Holly Walker

MMP not a political football

by Holly Walker

In the last few days we’ve seen MMP being kicked around like the political football it should never be.

Electoral systems shouldn’t be politicised or swayed by particular situations or political parties. But that’s exactly what’s happened with MMP since the announcement of the Internet Mana Party deal.

Last election, the public voted to keep MMP and to improve it. We then had a robust public consultation process that came up with a clear set of recommendations that could have been easily implemented.

Instead, National played politics and blocked the improvements to MMP.

Now we’re seeing certain recommendations, particularly abolishing the one electorate ‘coat-tailing’ threshold, being used as a political football.

This isn’t the right way to make changes to our electoral system. We should be honouring the public review process and implementing the recommendations as a package. Parties shouldn’t get to pick and choose.

This is what the Green Party has been calling for from the beginning – for all recommendations to be adopted as a package. We don’t necessarily support all of the recommendations, but that doesn’t matter. It’s not about what we think, or what Labour thinks, or National, ACT, United Future or Internet Mana. It’s about what the public wants, and what they clearly called for through the review process.

It’s important that the immediate political interests of any party are put to one side in the interests of what’s best for our electoral system long-term.

Published in Justice & Democracy | Parliament by Holly Walker on Thu, June 5th, 2014   

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