Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Now it's up to you

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  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to DexterX,

    I would hate, in reality, to see the bulk of voters with a social conscience get split between STV & MMP and the social conservative voters who prefer a one party state prevail with FPP.

    Can’t happen. There are two questions, the first question is about whether we should keep MMP. The second question is about which of four non-MMP systems you’d want, if we didn’t have MMP.

    If you really like MMP, but think STV would be second best, then you can vote to keep MMP in the first question, while also supporting STV in the second question. Your vote for STV will not detract in any way from your vote in favour of MMP in the first question.

    Voting in this way would indicate: “I want to keep MMP, but if enough people disagree with me, then I think the next (binding) referendum should be between MMP and my second choice, STV.” If "keep MMP" gets 50%+ on the first question, that should be the end of it, even if STV gets 100% in the second question!

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to George Darroch,

    (However, given NZ’s political environment, and those driving for change, I think we’d almost certainly get single member electorates).

    We wouldn't get single member electorates. Preferential Voting in single member electorates is a separate option in the referendum (preferential voting (PV)).

    If it's single transferable vote (STV) that tops the second question, it will be with multi-member seats. The size of those multi-member seats just hasn't been determined yet.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Sacha,

    perfectly fitting the masters' master plan.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Thanks

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to George Darroch,

    Assuming that we did have multi-member seats, STV inherently creates a “threshold” of (for a party with uniform national support),:
    1 / (members_per_electorate + 1)

    So 4 member electorates would have an implied 20% threshold.

    That’s for parties with uniform support. If a party had all their support in one electorate (Maori or otherwise) they could get in with
    1 / (number_electorates * (members_per_electorate + 1))

    So a party running in one 4 member electorate out of 30 could get in with 0.66% support.

    That’s an imbalance right away, before you look at horse-trading with preferences and how-to-vote cards, etc.

    [ It would be possible to have a hybrid MMP/STV system with preferential voting in multi-member electorates, and list MPs to iron out any disproportionality. That isn’t on offer. Nor is any form of list-only system ].

    [ And to achieve the current threshold of 5% for a party with uniform support, you’d need to have maybe 6 electorates with 19 members ].

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    For an example of what might have happened last election under STV, see this (based on the University of Auckland's simulator) see:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&key=0AvurY2k7kP6HdEhCRGR0OE9wRm80TmRCUURYSmJEbWc&output=html

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    In general, I think it is assumed that parties don't have uniform support, and that, on the whole, things mostly work out, if the electorates are reasonably-sized. The Royal Commission on the Electoral System recommended that if we were to have STV that 80% of the electorates should elect 5 MPs.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Venetia King, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    +1 to what Jackie said, thanks Graeme.

    Apparently STV is my second choice - I find it interesting that my two top choices are the voting systems with which I've had the most experience in recent years (at least in local & central government elections).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    parties don’t have uniform support, and that, on the whole, things mostly work out

    That's what I mean by "coincidentally proportional".

    It's possible for STV to deliver a proportional result (and indeed for FPP to do so, in a few cases). But it isn't in any way guaranteed by the design, unlike MMP.

    Under STV, if I vote for a party that has wide support throughout NZ, then my vote has less value than if I vote for a party that gains all its votes from one small area.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I think that analysis is based on the faulty premise that the proportionality of second preferences is equal to that of the first. This is unlikely to be true. A left leaning voter will go through all the left leaning parties before they would vote for National. I'd suggest that a significant proportion of Labour voters would have Greens as their second preference, and vice versa. This is, I believe, the principle benefit of STV - reducing the effects of a split vote.

    Also, knowing that your vote will count in the end would make people much more likely to give their 1st preference to the party that they like the best. Under current systems people avoid "wasting" their vote on a party that won't make the threshold, so they vote for a party they don't especially like, just because it's better than the other one(s).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Great fun and helpful
    The fun part is trying to skew the results to the way you think 'cause I keep get STV as a second option which I thought I didn't like ie the ranking of candidates which I feel is a crock
    More education for me obviously

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 576 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    What that tends to mean is that the bits of the system you knew you didn't like are being balanced out by the bits that you didn't know you did like (I would also note there is a difference in the nature of "second choice" between a close second and a distant second).

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    spit n pollish...
    Is there a "Faust Past the Post" option?
    In which we contract the Government we want
    at the crossing place, naturally...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    Great work Graeme.
    I am disappointed we have no options for absolute monarchy or theocracy. Hey they worked in the past.

    This wonderrful list of forms government has some doosies like Kratocracy (government by those who are strong enough to seize power through force or cunning) umm that would include spin doctors right?.

    I’d like a poetcracy – government by poets.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Richard Aston,

    Speaking as one - no, you wouldnt!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Islander,

    Fair enough Islander I guess there are poets and poets but what about Solon the greek poet who was credited with setting up Athens? Just loved that thing he did declaring all debt written off .

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Was he not primarily a lawmaker & statesman? Whose poetry seems to have been largely propaganda in support of what he was doing?

    I.e.- not one of us idle wordplayers/mythmakers/songsters & explorers-of-nature-the-human-heart-history & everybloodythingelse?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Islander,

    Was he not primarily a lawmaker & statesman? Whose poetry seems to have been largely propaganda in support of what he was doing?

    Yes I think a lawmaker first poet second ... propaganda? I though he used poetry to communicate his ideas to the Athenians, does that count as propaganda?

    And yes perhaps a lawmaker can't really dance out on the edge of language, safely or even unsafely .

    Though I'm thinking of Wallace Stevens - insurance agent by day , damn fine poet by night. I do not know which to prefer/The beauty of inflections/Or the beauty of innuendoes/The blackbird whistling /Or just after.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Now, *he* is an interesting one (more lawyer than insurance agent tho’.)
    I think of him as the poet-apologist for poetry & the especial work poets can do…must go shortly to the poetry bookshelves & check my memory, renew my respect…thank you for bringing him to the surface of my mind again (there are so many
    really good USA poets eh?)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Rebecca Williams, in reply to Ian MacKay,

    it will get seen by my peeps, anyway. very useful, thank you graeme.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I'm voting for Charlie Chaplin...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • amymac,

    Forgive my ignorance ...
    so once we've all voted - how do 'they' decide? Um.

    orkland • Since Sep 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to amymac,

    the Empire's Vampire Umpires...

    so once we've all voted - how do 'they' decide? Um.

    I reckon for such high stake stuff they send in the Count with his death adders, sundry calculating bastards and show-off hands to cook the books before we come to our census.
    Psephology is a fascinating field, it's not all pebbles and bam bam...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to amymac,

    Forgive my ignorance ...
    so once we've all voted - how do 'they' decide? Um.

    On the day of the election, the advance votes cast in the referendum will be counted by the returning officer.

    Some time over the following week or so, the votes actually cast in the referendum at polling booths will be counted by the returning officer. Scrutineers will not be permitted to be present, although the count in each electorate will be conducted with a JP present (chosen somehow, by someone unknown) .

    The results will be forwarded by the returning officers to the Electoral Commission, who will add them up and announce the result when the final election count is announced. The formal announcement will be the result. If at least 50% of votes announced to have been cast for the first question are in favour of the "keep MMP"option, this will trigger the Electoral Commission review. There does not appear to be a method of simply asking for a recount.

    It's up to the next Parliament to decide what to do with the result. They don't have to do what the Electoral Commission recommends. They don't have to hold another referendum if "change" wins the first question. They could hold a referendum between MMP and an option that didn't win the second question. But I imagine they'll abide the result.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • JLM, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Some time over the following week or so, the votes actually cast in the referendum at polling booths will be counted by the returning officer. Scrutineers will not be permitted to be present, although the count in each electorate will be conducted with a JP present (chosen somehow, by someone unknown) .

    Thanks for this, Graeme. An extra piece of information that will help me make my mind up whether to stay on or go to the election night party.

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 239 posts Report Reply

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