Friday, May 30, 2008

Why attempt to fix something that ain't broke?

Earlier this month, National announced that it intended to seek a referendum on our electoral system. But it indicated it was not about to revert to First Past the Post, but if people want a change from MMP, the range of proportional representation (PR) electoral systems will be up for grabs - SM, STV, MMP etc. Problem is that most don't even understand MMP and so how would they understand Single Transferable Vote, (STV) or Supplementary Member (SM), a cross between MMP and FPP, or any other PR system without public education campaign?

Many interpret a referendum as a platform to decide whether to return to First Past the Post or not. That would be a mistake. In 1990, National got 69 percent of the seats with 48 percent of the vote, and in 1993, our last FPP election, The Alliance got 18.3% of the vote, but got the same amount of seats as NZ First: two. Had it been an MMP election The Alliance would have got 23 seats and NZ First 10 seats.

If you are reading this and prefer the FPP electoral system, why on earth would you want to support such a disproportionate system? Why fix something that ain't broke?




Blogger Graeme Edgeler said...

I'm not wanting to go back to FPP either, but one of the major tests to determine whether an electoral system is democratic is to ask whether people can vote someone out.

We found out at the last election that MMP fails this test.

You did forget at least one possible proportional system, however. 100% list vote (possibly based on regional lists)?

May 30, 2008 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger Swimming said...

Despite not meeting that test, t it doesn't mean that MMP is not broke. Cracked perhaps, but not broke.

Open lists may assist in some way - but SM would be fairer.

100% list vote is an appalling system. Nobody has a constituent MP. List MPs will be even less responsible or accountable to the electorate. It is also less proportionate as it requires all parties to cross the percentage threshold.

Better five in under proportionaility, with and one of them on party coat tails than none at all.

May 30, 2008 at 10:09 AM  

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