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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why the left should push for banning dual candidacy

The Electoral Commission has launched a site to discuss the changes for MMP. For those wanting a progressive majority, these rules have deep implications.

The threshold is important and gaining sub threshold representation via an electorate seat are crucial issues for a progressive majority and I think the quality of democracy would be depleted if they were taken away. It is difficult enough to launch a new political movement in NZ without further barriers being erected.

But those are debates for another day.

The issue in front of the left that is most pressing is banning dual candidacy. It means a candidate can't stand in the electorate AND list positions, they have to stand in one. Such a dynamic would be crucial for Labour and would see the left gain.

If you look at a range of electorates (Auckland Central, Ohariu, Waitakere), the Green electorate vote is enough for the Labour candidate to have won. By removing the Greens from the electorate seats, Labour would have a far greater chance of winning these electorates and allow the Greens to focus purely on the list vote. Such arrangements would cut out vote waste.

It would force a party to only put up candidates in the electorate who can win, meaning they would have to have deep local roots and connections with the electorate rather than the collection of carpet baggers we get now.

The left should move quickly and use the talkback generated rednecked anger directed at MMP to dump dual candidacy.

Oh the irony that would create.



At 14/2/12 10:23 am, Blogger Rich said...

It would be in the interests of the Greens to run candidates in these seats who weren't on their list - they could either run "practice" candidates hoping for a list spot in the future, or cut back the list to 30 or so and have the rest run for electorates.

I believe that list MPs should be equally valued with electorate ones - they actually have stronger mandate with votes gathered nationally rather than from a tiny area.

At 14/2/12 10:36 am, Blogger Bomber said...

You couldn't run two candidates in an electorate, you can only run one candidate and that candidate would either be on the list or on the electorate.

At 14/2/12 2:49 pm, Blogger Rich said...

Yup, but only the top 20-30 or so Green list MPs have any chance of being elected even if there was a huge swing to the party.

The Greens currently field 61 list candidates (the maximum) all of whom also run in electorates AFAIK.

If this were banned, they could (and probably would) run 30 list-only candidates and 60 electorate candidates. They'd still get the profile of an electorate campaign and they'd still split the left vote.

(Green electorate candidates only run as a profile raising exercise - it gets them into candidate meetings, local press and so on).

At 14/2/12 3:05 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

It would have to be an either or situation, multiple candidates running for an electorate would get confusing. A candidate for a party either runs as the list candidate for that Party or as an electorate candidate for that Party rather than both or two different candidates.

At 14/2/12 5:31 pm, Blogger Max_black0 said...

Slightly off topic but...Norton Antivirus claims your site is malicious. Apparently thjs is a facebook invitation scam.

Know anything about that?

At 14/2/12 6:51 pm, Blogger Graeme Edgeler said...

There is no maximum number of list candidates.

At 15/2/12 8:56 am, Blogger Rich said...


The number of list seats is 61 though, isn't it?

At 17/2/12 10:29 am, Blogger caleb said...

Yeah but you still could technically need more than 61 ... On the current system, most of your electorate candidates will come off the list anyway, so you could need a list of more than 61 if you get more than half the vote.

If dual candicacy were abolished, presumedly the party vote would still determine the total number of seats (list+electorate), so if you win eg. 60% of the party vote and qualify for 72 votes, but for some reason you only win 10 or less electorates, youre going to need to fill up the other 62+ from the list. (But then again, those electorate seats aren't going spare, they'll be filled by someone else, so an overhang would have to be created to give you the amount your party vote says you should have. it's all very confusing)


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