Re: MMP recommendations from the panel.
Objective: Keep a high level of proportionality, electorate accountability and party diversity.
Assumptions: General/Maori division of rolls continues, House of 120 MPs continues (neutral on overhang and coat-tailing).
Scenario 1: Multi-member electorates a way to make electorates more constestable and a means to abolish list MPs.
There are no list-only MPs. Every MP to be an electorate MP: elected from multi-member electorates (ie. min. 2 per electorate). 90-99 seats in 25-33 (multi-member) electorates. (Seats start adjusting upwards with pop. growth so perhaps start at 90 or 95 and allowance must be made for enough positions available to get proportionality). South Island to have 5, 6 or 7 electorates and retain minimum 16 seats as at present. Maori roll to have min. 3 electorates [With 7 Maori electorates currently would mean 2 x 2 member, 1 x 3 member].
Electors vote for a set number of MPs (ie. 2, 3, 4 or 5) depending on the population. [Max. of 5 as total candidates in 5 seat electorate may be 5-10 parties running full slates plus independents = 25+ -50+ candidates which is starting to become unweildy.]
Next 21-30 seats to be the 'top-up' allocation to ensure proportionality. They are deemed to have been returned to the electorate in which they stood (so that some electorates will have more than the set number of positions voted on). These 'top-up' candidates declared elected to the electorate and to have same status and resources etc. as others without any distinction.
Top-up seats awarded to the party candidates in electorates:
- 1st iteration: who are the highest polling losing candidate (ranked in order of how many votes needed to equal lowest polling successful candidate ie. the smallest majority)- if not enough (or any) candidates for the party are highest polling losing candidates then either:
- second highest polling, third highest etc. until all positions filled, or
- ranked on the party candidates with most number of votes.
Multi-member constituencies can be elected via the STV system, but this proposal is neutral on that issue.
Scenario 2: Ensure adequate diversity of representation by finding the least arbitrary way to set a threshold.
Party threshold to be set at whichever is the lesser of:
- 4% of total party vote, or
- one-third of the Maori roll
The percentage figure shall be rounded up to the next whole number to set the threshold. (ie. it may be the Maori roll figure is just below 2% in which case it will go to 2%, but if it is even a bit higher than 2 it will jump to 3% - not quite sure what the figures are, but it will be either 2 or 3%. If the Maori roll gets bigger then it will be 3% and then once it hits 4% it will stay there.)
This is to ensure that the same threshold that could adequately allow for diversity in Maori political representation can also apply to overall representation - with a back stop 4% to stop it getting too high should the Maori roll expand greatly over time.