Saturday, September 6, 2008

MMP = Dictatorship by the minority

So now, according to John Armstrong in the Weekend Herald, the Maori Party is in the box seat.

Instead of Winston First being King or Queenmaker, it will now be the Maori Party.
So while the paties will have changed, we could well see the final result dictated to by a small party on the fringe or middle.
So the result is settled by someone on 4-5% rather than 40-50%.
We may even see the party that comes first, still losing.
Now, I quite like MMP in allowing a variety of parties from the Greens right through to ACT. They all offer a distinctive and valuable contribution to the nation's politics, even when I agree with them.
But should such smallfry be able to dictate a final election result and whoever forms government? Especially if it leads to a coalition of losers?
I recall many years ago, in Germany, where we obtained our MMP from, a small centre party , the Free Democrats switched sides, so the government changed without there being a ballot. It hardly seemed democratic or fair to me. But there we go.
Now, John Key has promised a referendum on MMP. I favour the idea of an electoral systems where we can have strong governments, where the winners win, raher than what we have today. I'm not arguing for a return to FPP however, as I value the contribution of the smaller parties. Is there some way of coming up with a system that is a hybrid of the two?


Andrei said...

Sorry Fairfax but I can't agree, we need to go back to FFP.

Small parties notably social Credit did achieve representation under this system by fielding strong candidates and this is what FPP delivers - especially in marginal electorates strong candidates rather than party hacks.

Lets put the people back in charge - not the party machine.

Just look at what John Mccain has just done.

Not possible under MMP

Anonymous said...

Sorry Fairfax but I can't agree, we need to go back to FFP.

Hell yeah. Actually I'd go back further than that: I guess we need to keep female franchise, but some kind of property qualification (or perhaps an income qualification) is absolutely required. What I prefer is a conflict of interest test --- no civil servant or someone who's salary is paid by the government or an SOE (except police & army), and absolutely no beneficiaries of any kind --- are permitted to vote.

That would give us the government NZ needs: an ACT/National coalition with the Libz as the opposition.

why should people who don't pay taxes get to vote?

Anonymous said...

alternatively -

FFP with geographical proportionality will give better results than population-proportional MMP

or the Appointed Member system - say 60 geographically proportional electorates with an income qualifiaction set at say 50,000, plus a conflict of interest rule,

and the 60 appointed members from industry groups based proportionally on export income.

WAKE UP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WAKE UP said...

(Sorry, too many typos earlier)
FPP: Nah, I lived under FFP with an appallingly incompetent and seriously-minority-elected MP (i.e he had almost no votes in his electorate, just a couple more than any one of his many opponents: effectively, the electorate was divided 9% for him, 91% for anyone else but him, if you get my point :) Same principle applies to parties/governments as a whole. Don't want to see that again.

MAORI PARTY: any major party will be dancing with the Devil here - if there's ever been a minority party with one clear, self-centred, the-hell-with-anyone else, philosophy, it's the Maori Party.

(I asked a Maori friend of mine to research the Maori phrase for that reasonable person, The Man In The Middle. He came back and said "There isn't one: you're either for us or against us". Which explains a few things :)

Anonymous said...

Pita Sharles always seems ok but Tariana is one crazy woman.


KG said...

"why should people who don't pay taxes get to vote?"

Psycho Milt said...

Andrei - great to see a comment from you here again! How you doing?

What I prefer is a conflict of interest test...

Damn straight - anyone with a business that stands to be affected by govt legislation doesn't get to vote.

why should people who don't pay taxes get to vote?

Why should people who think taxation is theft get to vote?

Dave said...

Is there some way of coming up with a system that is a hybrid of the two?
Yes, its called Supplementary Member. Except mostrun it like FPP with a n MMP tag on.

Anonymous said...

Whgat we need is a second chamber which might allow more reasoned analysis of government policy.
Fairfacts is right in wanting a system that keeps the diverisyt of the smaller parties, but yet, we don't want the country being held to ransom by the littlies.
How long was it before Winston made up his mind in 1996?
We certainly do not want a repeat of that!