Friday, April 01, 2011

Don’t blame MMP for Labour’s problems

The NZ Herald has said that Louisa Wall is the most suitable candidate to replace Darren Hughes on Labour’s list. Why? Not because of any of her qualities, but because she is the next on the party list who will also be on the list prior to the 2011 election. Wall is several places below Judith Tizard, the next on the list.

Had Pansy Wong been a list MP, Conway Powell would have been an MP upon her resignation as he is next on the National party list. Does that mean he is the most suitable candidate, or would former Act MP Stephen Franks and former United Future MP Marc Alexander, the next two on the list, be more suitable, given their parliamentary experience?

Legislation does not determine which MP comes into parliament based on their suitability, but on their position in the party list. If an MP is deemed unsuitable or unwanted – as Tizard obviously is – it is not because of the vagaries of MMP, as the Herald would have you believe, it is due to an ill thought out list selection.

Labour, and the Herald, may well say Louisa Wall intends to resume her political career if she is leapfrogged by the party into Parliament. But she will stay in Parliament as long as Tizard would if she does not get a low enough list place to get into Parliament after the election. Labour has not indicated that Wall will be high enough on the list for her to return in November.

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Blogger Steve Withers said...

The Herald laughable at times.

They make a big fuss about a late-term list placing for a candidate who has already served several terms and decide this is a problem for MMP.

At the same time, the Herald hasn't remarked EVEN ONCE that in the recent Auckland elections the First Past the Post voting system saw 62.5% of all votes for Council candidates end up electing no one at all. Nor did the Herald report that 13 of the 20 Councilors for less than 30% of the vote in their wards. Nor did the Herald mention that in Albany Ward over 80% of all votes elected no one; in North Shore and Whau wards more than 69% of all votes cast elected no one.

The Herald's stance on democratic issues is little short of bizarre given the obvious imbalance between an editorial on a list candidate as a big problem....but completely IGNORING the reality that First Past the Post delivered a Council where - at best - 37.5% of Aucklanders can claim to have elected even ONE of them.

April 4, 2011 at 9:25 PM  

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