Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Threshold

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I can't see any logical connection between turnout and overhang. Overhang results when a party gets members in only through winning electorates. And you can win an electorate with a plurality, you don't need a majority.

    [made up numbers]
    200,000 people sign up for the Māori roll, allowing 7 Maori seats. 2,000,000 voters overall.

    We have an election and everyone on the electoral roll votes.

    If everyone on the Māori roll voted two ticks Māori Party (and no-one else party-voted Māori), then that would translate into 12 seats - 7 electorate and 5 list.

    But let's change the numbers. Everyone on the General roll votes (but still not for the Māori Party), but only half of those on the Maori roll vote (again, two ticks Māori Party). The Māori Party again wins the 7 electorates, but is only entitled to 6 seats overall. Result - overhang!

    Now imagine only 7 people in the Māori electorates vote - one in each electorate. Māori Party gets all 7 votes, and thus 7 seats, but the Māori Party is not entitled to any seats based on its party vote - 7 overhang!

    Low turnout in certain sectors can most definitely lead to overhang.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    linger - independents don't create overhang.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    linger - independents don't create overhang.

    How does that work Graeme? By logic they would be an automatic overhang.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    independents don't create overhang

    ... but a one-electorate party a la Jim Anderton could?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1930 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    __independents don't create overhang__

    but a one-electorate party a la Jim Anderton could?
    ...
    How does that work Graeme? By logic they would be an automatic overhang.

    If an independent wins an electorate seat (or an electorate seat is won by a candidate from a party that does not submit a list) then that seat is removed from the calculation, and proportionality is maintained over the other (119) seats.

    For example: all 70 electorates are won by independents, and Bill & Ben get 100% of the party vote (and submit a full list). Parliament has 70 independent MPs, and 50 B&B list MPs.

    Contrast with this: the Residents' Action Movement wins all 70 electorates (and have submitted a party list). The Republic of New Zealand Party get 100% of the party vote (and have submitted a very full list). Parliament has 70 RAM MPs, and 120 RoNZ MPs.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    --which is to say, yes: graeme is correct, because seats given to "independents" are deducted from the total of 120 allocated among parties. (The provision is there in subsection 8, but we haven't had any real cases for that to apply to yet.) So for "independent" in my thought experiment, read: "party with only one serious candidate".

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1930 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    heh. clearly takes me too long to type!

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1930 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    The provision is there in subsection 8, but we haven't had any real cases for that to apply to yet.

    Derek Fox came with 600 or so votes in 2002...

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Thanks for that Graeme. That is somewhat bizarre, do you know why a different rule was put in for an independent (non) overhang, as compared to a party overhang?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • jonathan heaphy,

    So could the special votes realistically change the current makeup of parliament? Who could now miss out or now be in?

    Since Nov 2008 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Who could now miss out or now be in?

    See my post here. Most likely Labour will pick up one from National.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    New numbers for no threshold, based on the new numbers:

    New Zealand National Party - 55 seats
    New Zealand Labour Party - 41 seats
    The Greens - 8 seats
    New Zealand First Party - 5 seats
    Māori Party - 5 seats
    Act New Zealand - 4 seats
    Jim Anderton's Progressive - 1 seat
    United Future New Zealand - 1 seat
    The Kiwi Party - 1 seat
    The Bill and Ben Party - 1 seat

    And there would have been no change.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    1.4 first divisor still kicks the rubbish out (1 seat to ACT, 1 to Labour), though I'd imagine the Kiwi party would have grabbed a enough votes to make the margin if folk thought they had a chance at getting in (they'd have had some media mention for one thing), as could one or two others from here and there of course.

    Since Nov 2006 • 610 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    1.4 first divisor still kicks the rubbish out (1 seat to ACT, 1 to Labour), though I'd imagine the Kiwi party would have grabbed a enough votes to make the margin if folk thought they had a chance at getting in

    I'd be pretty sure of reasonably major changes that way. Winston might even have gotten 5%, if he hadn't needed to. ALCP was also pretty close, and quite possibly would get an MP if people knew it wouldn't be a wasted vote.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    On a different and slightly ghoulish note.

    The news that Rodney Hide fainted (and is now returned to robust good health) caused me to speculate momentarily.

    What happens if he were to leave parliament (rather than through illness, let's think about him having a Damascene moment and running away to become a hippie dancing celebrity advocating for Greenpeace).

    Presumably there would be an Epsom by-election. What would happen if ACT lost it?

    Would they lose the other seats too? And what would happen if NZ First won it? Would they gain their full quota?

    I'm getting pageloaderror on the legislation website so I can't look up the Electoral Act just now, or I'd find out.

    [Note - no ill will to Rodders intended. May he live healthily and harmlessly)

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    What happens if he were to leave parliament?

    ...

    Presumably there would be an Epsom by-election. What would happen if ACT lost it?

    Would they lose the other seats too? And what would happen if NZ First won it? Would they gain their full quota?

    There would indeed be an Epsom by-election. The winner of it would become an MP. If they were a list MP (e.g. if Richard Worth ran and won), then their party would get another list MP.

    If Winston Peters ran and won, he would return to Parliament, but no other NZ First member would.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

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