MMP not a political football

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.

3 Comments Posted

  1. well said Holly; the Govt. should start listening to the majority, not just their supporters/self interest group.

    It seems that as long as the ‘Key party’ are in power (hopefully not much longer), its a waste of time/resources to have any type of referendum or other review, they just ignore what is not in their interest : ie asset sales, MMP review

    kia ora

  2. there is no reason given for the ‘coat tail’ provision being dropped, other than the public supposedly being against it – because apparently they did not like behaviour of ACT party MPs elected via coat-tailing in 2008 … That the public had a knee-jerk response to bad behaviour of a few MPs, is no good reason to suspend analysis, but the EC used the public clamouring to justify a very superficial (and therefore fatally WEAK) analysis of why the coat-tail provision should go.

    Why would a genuine Democracy drop an aspect of the voting system, that means voters have much increased confidence that their votes actually count for something? Lest you forget, the coat-tail provision is what helped lead to a very big swing behind the Green Party in 1999 (getting behind Jeanette Fitzsimmons in Coromandel, and Nandors cannabis reform publicity)… Once the polls showed she would win, the Green party became a SAFE vote and the 5% threshold was not such a barrier to representation.

    yet the Green party wanted the coat-tail provision dropped too…a tad hypocritical???

    can someone from the Green Party actually explain why the coat-tail provision is REALLY such an undesirable aspect of proportional representation?

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