Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Referenda and MMP

In a major poke in the eye for the small but loud mouthed 'broken election promises' brigade, justice minister Power has announced details of proposals for a series of referenda on the future of MMP. The proposals appear to have met favour with the county's leading political journos and with the Labour Party.

The details have been well covered elsewhere so it remains only for Adolf to remark that he will be agitating for the retention of MMP, albeit with some major structural adjustments to eliminate mischievous outfits such as Jamdertin's little labour party. In addition, I'd support Homepaddock's suggestions for an increase in the number of registered members required for recognition of a political party. Currently 500, the thresh hold is too low and should be increased to at least 1,000.

Let's face it, if you put it up to 2,000 you might embarrass the Labour Party.


Lou Taylor said...

You are close to the mark here Adolf. There will be plenty of cheering from the sidelines for MMP. The alternatives will be painted as "too complicated" or "not fair" and people will buy into it because that will be the easy option. If we are stuck with MMP then we should fight to have it cleaned up. Just to start.
1. Can't come back on the list if you loose your electorate seat.
2. No cabinet ministers from the list seats.
3. Independant vote for the Speaker
4. No list MP can stand in a by election
5. Don't lower 5% threshold.

Lou Taylor said...

Forgot to mention.
6. Ban the aparteid seats. The Maori Party can contest general seats like everyone else.

pdm said...

I am with both Adolf and Lou on most things but wonder if even 1000 members is too low - how about say 2,500 - for a party.
Not sure how the independent vote for speaker would work - who would be voting?
Also not sure on no cabinet ministers from the list.

Plus two extras:
* Reduce number of list MP's by 50%.
* Remove Maori seats - perhaps should be included in 2nd referendum.

Lou Taylor said...

No Cabinet ministers from the list would ensure that each party put their top people in electorates and the journeymen troughers could take their chances on the list instead of a job for life. It would improve the standards.

Re the speaker , anyone could be nominated and the people would vote on the day, so you could get an independant or a party hack, but the people would decide.

mawm said...

MMP will need a significant revamp to ensure that minorities do not have such a disproportionate say. It also flies in the face of the need for separate Maori seats, which should have been abandoned when MMP was first introduced.

I'l wait to see what is on offer.

I'm very glad to see that National doesn't govern the Obama way - making massive and dangerous changes without thought or consultation. However there are things they need to do to Welfare, Government spending, taxes......

Anonymous said...

One of my thoughts is

Limit the number of terms a person can Be an Member of Parliament - Say 3

Sus said...

Why retain the party lists?

Those MPs are beholden to no-one. Margaret Wilson ran a poor third behind Winston & the Nat in her (Tauranga) electorate and yet at no. 3 on the Labour list, she was a shoe-in.

MPs should have to do the hard yards of winning an electorate seat. A proportional system is preferable, but not as it currently stands.

Redbaiter said...

"Limit the number of terms a person can Be an Member of Parliament - Say 3"

Two max.

Someone like to tell me why anyone with a brain should believe that John Key and his boys will fix this?? Like they fixed the RMA?? Like they fixed the ERB???

They'll fuck it up because lacking any real political direction, and being a bunch of preening self promoting political neophytes and gutless compromisers, a fuck up is the only result they're ever going to be capable of.

Psycho Milt said...

Simon Power came on the news last night to tell us why it's important that the govt throw $23 mil of our cash at this. Good, I thought - perhaps there is in fact some genuine, compelling reason for doing it and he's going to make the case. Well, no actually. The best Mr Power came up with to explain Mr Key's determination to raid my wallet yet again was that it had been an election promise, so they had to honour it.

Well, quite. God forbid that I should shrink from handing over my hard-earned cash to help keep Mr Key from embarrassment. Still, it would have been nice if there was some reason beyond that for blowing $23 million bucks - wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

Milt,you had Cullen raiding your wallet for 9 years for thousands of dollars and I didn't see you jumping up and down, so stumping up $20 for a good look at improving our democracy is a bargain. Last century men and people paid with their lives.

Anonymous said...

meant to say "men and women"

Psycho Milt said...

It's about improving our democracy? According to Simon Power, it's about not embarrassing the govt - forgive me for taking him at his word.

Anonymous said...

Milt the MMP/ maori seat debate is one that we desperately need to have. labour didn't want a bar of it because they thought the EFB was going to keep them in power forever. They turned MMP into a sick joke. At least this government has the balls to put it up for debate.
The biggest issue by far is not what form of proportional system we have but how to stop the Maori seats from distorting that system.

Anonymous said...

The only thing this provides for is a 'yap-fest' at our expense in the short term. Long term is two elections out and seeing as a week in politics is an eon I have doubts of anything substantial emerging. John Key's election promises are restricted to fostering the harmless while avoiding the politically harmful. The S59 referenda proved him shallow in the extreme. A complete purge of the compliant and complacent in the National Party is what is needed. It is unlikely to happen. They lack leadership that is concerned about NZ and not their own skins.


Anonymous said...

the problem with limiting parliamentarians to terms is that like every career, it takes time to learn how to do it. A good first timer is not very common, and yet you get a number who rise to the job once they learn the ropes.
independIn the past when parliamentarians were not remunerated for their efforts you had only the capable proven individuals/ independantly wealthy able to afford to become one.
This changed with salaries for back benchers, and now a trougher can make a no advance career out of it. Perhaps there should be a 6 year limit on the salary a back bencher can collect, with ministers/ shadow ministers (where the real decisions and power lie) continuing to collect their salaries.Once the minister had been seen to fail and demoted by their leader/ caucus, then they would be relegated to back bencher status to receive what ever remuneration was left available to them. If they had already been in parliament for more than 6 years as a backbencher, then they may have to consider if indeed it was their time to give up parliament. The deadweights would bugger off pretty quick with a system like that, although there would have to be constitutionally imposed limits to the size of the ministerial benches.

Anonymous said...

Every time I pass a list MP's office I wince. Tax payers dollars' backing these offices, yet they can't win electorate seats. What a farce, MMP allows dead wood people to stay in Parliament, some of them have been there for years, riding the fleas on the doggies' back.