Monday, March 30, 2015

THE LIE THAT IS MMP AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

The mantra that surrounds MMP is that the makeup of Parliament is determined by the proportionality of votes that each Party receives at the time of a general election subject to the 5% threshold rule for Parties that fail to win an electorate seat.

And so it is that List MPs are free to die or go as they please and all that happens is that they are replaced by the next person on their Party List and so proportionality is maintained.

Not so in the case of Electorate MPs as we have just seen in Northland.   Peters won and gets to bring another MP from the Winston First List.   National drops to 59 seats and the proportionality of Parliament changes. MMP is revealed as the Emperor without any clothes.

No-one can dispute the right of an electorate to elect its own MP,   But where an electorate seat is declared vacant anytime during a parliamentary term there has to be a mechanism to ensure that the proportionality of Parliament determined by the general election result is maintained.  The simple solution would be (based on the Northland result) for Winston Peters to take his seat as the MP for Northland and for National to bring in another MP from its List.    

There may arise the situation where a Party not currently represented in Parliament wins the seat (unlikely but possible).    It this case the same mechanism would apply but acknowledging this would produce an over-hang situation.    Not ideal but better than the alternative.

Changing the rules would benefit no particular Party but it would preserve the so called integrity' of the MMP system (assuming of course there was any integrity about it in the first place).




10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The original recommendation was that under MMP there would be no by-elections. Parliament (National and Labour) rejected that so we got what we have now.

Since MMP there has been 2 parties elected in by-elections that were not elected at the previous General Election (They were defectors from other Parties Maori Party and the Mana Movement)

Noel said...

If you're going to get up in arms about this how about first honouring the outcome of those previous referendums on MMP.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Referenda, Noel! The bloody word is referenda.

Name said...

Ah we both got it wrong. It was a review recommending a removal of "coat tailing" and lowering the threshold.

The Veteran said...

Noel ... sometimes you talk a lot of bollocks. There's only been one referendum held on MMP since it's introduction. In 2011 57.77% voted to retain the bastard system while 42.23% said change it. The Govt honored the result.

Anon ... who defected from the Mana Movement? They only ever had one MP - Hone H.

Anonymous said...

The 2 defections were from Labour to Maori; and from Maori to Mana

Noel said...

I did correct my error. Judith Collins wouldn't allow it to proceed as it was against National interest.
Now yah want a change because it suits you. Is a word for that?

Howie said...

Noel makes a good point. Bring back Collins! Her disdain for democracy is consistent with the new National Party position on the stupidity of voters.

Psycho Milt said...

where an electorate seat is declared vacant anytime during a parliamentary term there has to be a mechanism to ensure that the proportionality of Parliament determined by the general election result is maintained.

The two main parties came up with everything they could think of to safeguard their interests against voters when they introduced MMP, not least of which were the 5% threshold and the coat-tailing rule. Here's one they forgot to cover - oh, how my heart bleeds for them...

The Veteran said...

Noel ... I didn't see your correction (unless you have a new 'Name') but have to say, given the time-line involved in getting something like this thru the House, it's not going to happen any time soon.

As to who benefits .... all Parties surely (assuming you believe in the canard of MMP).

You are making the mistake of treating this as a partisan issue.