MMP: This Time It's Binding

172 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 Newer→ Last

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    The National-Act-Maori-United agreements stitched up in November would still have had 65 seats out of 122, a clear majority.

    That assumes that the Maori Party would have gone the same way. At the last election they didn’t have the option of going with Labour, so having some sort of deal with National was basically a fait acompli. With no threshold, there were options for Labour.

    Labour + Progressives + Greens + NZF + Maori were one MP less than National + Act + United Future + Kiwi Party – who had 61 votes out of 122, and not enough to govern.

    Probably, the Maori Party would have gone with National, but they might not have.

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

  • Grassed Up,

    George Darroch:
    "Mr Lange, as was his wont, promised a referendum for 1987, but his party really really did not like the idea. Bolger, for reasons unknown to me, promised one in 1990, and having broken a list of promises longer than his arm, decided to keep this one."

    Actually, Lange misread his debate notes during a televised debate in the 1987 campaign and promised a referendum when he was actually meant to say NO to one! (This is more than an urban legend ... see the account in Jackson K., and A. McRobie, "New Zealand adopts proportional representation: accident? design? evolution?" (Ashgate, 1998)). The story is then taken up by http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/fpp-to-mmp/royal-commission

    "Although National's leadership also disliked the idea of MMP, they saw an opportunity to embarrass the government over its failure to respond to the commission's proposals. As each party tried to outmanoeuvre the other, both entered the 1990 election campaign promising to hold referenda on electoral reforms that they did not really want.
    The Labour government was heavily defeated in the 1990 election, but its National successor was soon under fire for breaking election promises. Confidence and trust in politicians and Parliament plunged to new depths. Polls showed that politicians ranked alongside used-car salespeople as the least-respected occupational group in the country. Public support for electoral reform continued to grow."

    Since Nov 2008 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Looks like Colin Espiner is in agreement :

    There are, as I see it, two major flaws with our MMP system:

    1. MPs who get booted out of their electorates can come in through the "back door'' on the list. This could be stopped easily enough. MPs who hold an electorate seat and lose it at an election cannot come back via the list. Simple.

    2. The 5 per cent threshold versus the electorate seat entry method. This is unfair. NZ First - while I was pleased to see the back of them - should be in Parliament before the ACT Party. NZ First got 4.3 percent of the vote and no seats. ACT got 3 per cent, and five seats - all because Rodney Hide won Epsom.

    This should be changed. I'd lower the threshold to about 2 per cent and do away with the electorate seat method. Five per cent is too high, and I can't see why ACT should get more MPs just because it won an electorate.

    I'm not sure that his No1 problem is actually a problem. But his solution may have a nice flow on effect. Party stalwarts that are high on the list, would have little to gain in running in an electorate, and plenty to lose. So the higher members on the big parties lists will not run in electorates (unless they are totally safe). This would make more electorates available for up-and-coming MPs which would then be likely to get in as electorate MPs (where they otherwise would have got in as list MPs). Hence, most MPs will have had an electorate at some time, which I think is good for the system, as MPs who are list only have a primary allegiance to their party, and not the voters.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • Dodgy Insider,

    MPs who get booted out of their electorates can come in through the "back door'' on the list

    That's part of the moronic myth that list MPs have less of a mandate than electorate ones.

    People chose to vote for their party. The party members (in the case of a democratically run party, like the Greens) gave the MP a list position. So the MP has been just as, if not more, fairly elected than if they got 12,000 people in Waikikamukau South to vote for them.

    In some ways an open list system might be a good idea. People could choose to either vote for a party, or fill in a detailed ballot paper that ranks candidates by preference. The Australian Senate uses a not dissimilar system. 95% of voters go with the parties ranking.

    NZ • Since Jan 2009 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Dodgy Insider,

    This time it's binding

    Can it be? A parliament can't bind it's successor.

    If Labour get in at the 2011 election, they are perfectly entitled to change National's timetable/plans and ignore any referendum result. or indeed, it's possible that the minor parties could vote with the opposition to block FPP.

    After all, there hasn't been any sort of all-party constitutional convention to discuss the Nats scheme. It's just being imposed, like everything else (and in the same manner that made the National controlled media scream "dictatorship" when Labour made people put their name on election posters).

    NZ • Since Jan 2009 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Melchior,

    I'm not sure that his No1 problem is actually a problem.

    I'm not sure it is either but it's the source of considerable grievance in the community (at least to tell from my discussions with relatives etc) If we get to keep MMP by getting rid of that one small issue then I'm all for it!.

    Melbourne • Since Nov 2006 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    @Insider: Already addressed upthread. Yes, you're right, but also Labour and the Greens have spoken in support of the first referendum. So those of us backing MMP want a clear MMP vote (say 55% - 45%) at 2011.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    I'm not sure it is either but it's the source of considerable grievance in the community (at least to tell from my discussions with relatives etc) If we get to keep MMP by getting rid of that one small issue then I'm all for it!.

    Manufactured grievance perhaps, but it is only the trio of Fear Uncertainty and Doubt being fed.

    Where is the magic in winning more votes than other candidates in an electorate? My local MP is Dunne, who won with 32.6% of the vote. What mandate is there in less-than-one-third to bar someone else from Parliament?

    Where to draw the line. Current MPs like Chris Finlayson and Charles Chauvel were list MPs who ran in a seat but did oust the incumbent. Would Espiner bar them?

    And who is a sitting MP? Technically, Dunne was running for a 'new' electorate: the boundaries revision as well as tweaking the boundary also changed the name from Ohariu-Belmont to Ohariu. Would Espiner have given Dunne a Get Out of Jail card?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    So those of us backing MMP want a clear MMP vote (say 55% - 45%) at 2011.

    Or, as I said at DimPost, the pro-MMPers can vote for the generally least-attractive as their preferred contender so that should "change" win that first vote, the contender is a weak one in 2014.

    It would be useful if someone can get "Selected by Random Cats" as an option in that first vote.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    1. MPs who get booted out of their electorates can come in through the "back door'' on the list. This could be stopped easily enough. MPs who hold an electorate seat and lose it at an election cannot come back via the list. Simple.

    Not simple at all, Colin. We have a clear legislative steer on who qualifies to stand for Parliament, but I do wish he'd have a little think about whether we really want to extend that into Parliament telling parties who they can and can't select.

    And I have to agree with NI that there's something essentially bullshitty about the idea that list MPs get in "through the back door". Just because the media (including Los Bros Espiner) can't be arsed seriously covering list candidates in any depth, doesn't mean they're electoral party crashers.

    Something else Espiner forgets to mention is that both National and Labour have had incumbent electorate MPs throwing public tanties at not getting the 'winnable' list placing they thought they were owed. Perhaps the parties organisations aren't as stupid as he seems to think.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    @Gareth, 'And' rather than 'Or'. Gotta aim to have MMP win in 2011 as the first goal.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    aaargh, only noticed after Edit time expired.

    Finlayson and Chauvel did NOT oust the incumbent in the electorates they ran in. Would Espiner have barred them too?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    True Phil, and the nature of the referendum lets you do that - you can vote to retain MMP but still vote for the contender should there be one.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And here's a question that niggles at me: How many people who complain that MMP is "broken" really mean they don't like the people that get elected? You can swap out the name of your own least favourite pollie, but IMNSHO Trevor Mallard was then, is now, and ever shall be a waste of perfectly good skin. Holding elections under FPP, MMP, STD, waiting for the anointed ones to be touched by the hand of God -- whatever.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Trevor Mallard was then, is now, and ever shall be a waste of perfectly good skin

    I'm sure he'll appreciate the compliment on his complexion... =)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    STD?

    Subscriber Trunk Dialling? How does one conduct an election that way? Or do you mean the other STD. That would be very interesting? <G>

    OK, maybe it's a typo but a Freudian one.

    really mean they don't like the people that get elected

    Under FPP, Nats would demonise the Labour leader and vice versa. (There were only a handful of MPs not from Nat or Lab in the 50 years 1946-96, six I think, the longest of whom served 7 years).

    But with MMP there more parties in Parliament making it more representative. A side effect is that MPs from smaller groups can be hated/demonised much more by many people. People join in, becomes self-reinforcing, and presto, the Two Minute Hate happens.

    I'm sure I/S when back on deck could give us some handy statistical formula to explain this.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Can it be? A parliament can't bind it's successor.

    By 'binding' it means that the referendum will cause the change to take place, unless parliament intervenes.

    Not much parliament does is truly binding, unless governed by some constitution or higher power (GG etc). It can always change its mind.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • lensboy,

    Gidday all. I am new to this forum posting carry-on but mmp and the referendum is way important so i look forward to having my say over time. I beg your indulgence and pardons for using a nom de web but my reasons are i believe, solid.

    west auckland • Since Oct 2009 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    lensboy
    -well. go on-

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

  • Sacha,

    Welcome, lensboy. You do realise your displayed email address is a little less plumey?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    HAH!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    Oh, and because I just spotted this thread, the threshold should really be dropped to what most closely approximates the number of voters that gets you an electorate seat, which is similar to half the amount you need to get two list seats (0.75 of a seat, or 0.6% of the vote).

    That's a first divisor of 4/3, using our Sainte-Lague method. Various other places use a 7/5 divisor, which serves much the same purpose. And yes, it does change things now and then, stops minor parties taking quite so large an advantage by splitting up.


    While we're at it, we could use STV for electorate seats (or a Condorcet method, if you're assuming voters are numerate), and even some sort of preferential system to reallocate party votes rather than accepting the cumulative rounding errors (which can in theory change governments from left to right based only on the vote split between Labour/Green/Jim voters).

    Since Nov 2006 • 609 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.