Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler


MMP Review - The Proposals

The Electoral Commission Proposal Paper has been released. The Commission has proposed two changes to our MMP voting system:

  • Reducing the party vote threshold to 4%
  • Removing the one electorate seat threshold ("the single biggest factor in public dissatisfaction with MMP at present")

It also made a contingent proposal - that if the one-seat rule was removed, then the overhang rule should be changed so that parties that earn less than the party vote threshold (whatever that is) don't cause overhang.

This is a pretty technical change, but its effect on the current parliament would have been substantial. Parliament would have reduced in size by one, National would have lost a list seat, and the Government could not pass legislation with support only from United Future and ACT (they'd have had 60 seats between them in a 120 seat Parliament).

Everything else - banning dual candidacy, or list MPs contesting by-election, requiring greater internal party democracy, or letting voters rank lists - is rejected.

And now ... I have to prepare for an urgent court fixture. Feel free to start without me.

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