- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

MMP status quo

The MMP review seems to have been for nought.

Judith Collins:
Justice Minister Judith Collins says the fact that political parties cannot agree makes it impossible to make any changes to our MMP voting system.
“Opposition parties have said the Government is deliberately ignoring the recommendations of the Electoral Commission. This is simply not true – all parties have their own agendas and have selected which recommendations they will support, and which they won’t.
“All parties in Parliament are responsible to the public on the Electoral Commission’s review of MMP.
“I have consulted with all those parties, and there is absolutely no consensus, or even a majority, across Parliament.

Consensus hasn't always been the hallmark of electoral legislation now or in the past so there is a more credible answer.  Because National's support parties, Act and United Future, game the coat-tailing rule to their (and National's) advantage the Nats have no incentive to abolish that provision or alter the threshold limit that many people regard as prohibitively high. It is a cop-out and all of those submissions and the entire exercise of review might as well have been shitcanned to start with.

 NZ Herald: John Armstrong fumes:
That rationale is just a little too convenient, however. When it comes to consensus, National is the one which refused to budge in its opposition to arguably the commission's most important and most controversial finding - that the anomalous, outdated one-seat threshold under which minor party list candidates can coat-tail into Parliament on the back of a MP winning an electorate seat should be abolished.[...]Such a stance is totally indefensible. But it is also completely understandable.

The system as it is has seen the Nats in government after three of the last six MMP elections, so we shouldn't be surprised they have concluded they may only have something to lose by tinkering. That means we are stuck with a 5% threshold and the coat-tailing. While this keeps the life-raft afloat for Act and United Future on the right, it also keeps the Mana waka above the waterline too, so this is a calculated risk by the Nats.

What a pity. The threshold is the cause of the unfairness and wasted votes. If there was only one aspect that should have been dealt with it's the threshold.


Post a Comment

<< Home