In this week’s Listener, Jon Johansson, sets out a few good reasons why NZ should reconsider before getting rid of MMP or to quote Jon – “putting [our] proud democratic tradition to the test.”
For a start, under MMP more of our voices can be seen and heard in Parliament:
…it is indisputable that MMP has led to a more representative democracy. In our last first-past-the-post (FPP) Parliament, 22% of its members were women and 7% Maori. In 2009, 34% are women and 15% Maori, a sign of progress towards a more inclusive and diverse democracy. Since MMP came in, other ethnic groups have gained representation for the first time.
New Zealand’s demography is rapidly changing with Pasifika and Maori now comprising nearly a third of our under 25-year-olds, and a growing and diverse Asian Kiwi population –it is only fair that we have an electoral system that provides for all New Zealanders to be represented.
Under MMP every vote counts equally, as Jon points out this wasn’t the case back in the day:
The great majority of people over 30 will remember that under FPP our votes were not equal. Only if you voted in a key marginal electorate did your vote significantly influence an electoral outcome … MMP changed all that: our votes are now hugely more equal.
What do you think about the MMP referendum? Or why the Nats are so keen on it?