I've sent the link to my befuddled ("referendum? what?") colleagues
Sorry about the paragraphing, it's fixed now.
You should head over there. It’s pretty flash.
I'd prefer something I could use without having to let Adobe's (or anyone else's) proprietary, secret-source software do goodness-knows-what to my computer.
I’d prefer something I could use without having to let Adobe’s (or anyone else’s) proprietary, secret-source software do goodness-knows-what to my computer.
Will I have something for you!
I’ve been travelling around Australia for the past 3 months or so and it is interesting to see what’s going on here politically. With a partially proportional system (it’s complex what with two houses and all) they have managed to recapitulate most of the issues which we have travelled through with MMP in one year. Since NZ is virtually ignored in the media (exceptions being Sports and Earthquakes and Snow in odd places) nobody ever makes any comparisons across the ditch. Well, not that I've seen...but then I'm here on holiday and typing this at the beach :)
The electorate is blamed by the conservatives for “not voting properly” and the current government is claimed to be “illegitimate”. Which basically means the conservatives don’t like the Aussie Rules for how one counts votes and forms a government. Amusing.
FPP makes it really hard to throw the bastards out. That’s the problem with it. Government can stay in total control on 30% of the vote, and so can local MPs. Disaster. All about the vote-splitting nature of the system, particularly hard on the more fragmented left.
There’s systems around to make it explicitly easy to chuck out individuals, but we’re not voting for any of them this time. We’re deciding who goes in, not who goes out.
FPP makes it really hard to throw the bastards out. That’s the problem with it.
I don't think that's true - relative to others.
It was under MMP that we had Winston picking who to go with and the baubles of power.
FPP tended to make changes of government based on the marginal voters in marginal seats. You wouldn't tend to get a strong swing away from a government who then held onto power by forming a coalition with someone that was from the opposition - that's happened under MMP.
You wouldn’t tend to get a strong swing away from a government who then held onto power by forming a coalition with someone that was from the opposition – that’s happened under MMP.
That can happen under MMP. But it hasn't.
In 1996 there was a slight swing away from National, but a bigger one away from Labour, and National was substantially ahead of them and formed the government.
In 1999 there was a large swing to Labour, who formed the government.
In 2002 there was a swing to Labour, who maintained government.
In 2005, there was a large swing to National, and a small swing away from labour (0.16%), but Labour was still ahead and maintained government.
In 2008, there was a swing to National, who formed the government.
If anyone is interested, there is a 'keep MMP' campaign.
They are not (yet) all that active, but hopefully that'll ramp up. Apparently there's some sporting event on or something.
The site looks really nice, but I'm a bit wary about the Electoral Commission doing this sort of thing.
To me, their advocacy should be limited to encouraging people to vote and explaining how to do so. This seems to be a bit beyond that (one could do a similar thing where you entered your views on private property, individual vs community rights and had the parties ranked for you. Would that be ok for the EC?).
It's not that I see the site as a bad idea, just the EC's involvement.
It’s not that I see the site as a bad idea, just the EC’s involvement.
They've been pretty careful:
1. It doesn't say which you should vote for based on your answers.
2. It keeps repeating that there's no perfect system.
3. They had outside experts do most of the analysis.
4. They even had massive debates on how big to make the bar to show that everything was a continuum with no perfect fit.
FPP makes it really hard to throw the bastards out.
If you mean throwing parties out of government, maybe, I haven't thought about it in depth. If you mean throwing individual MPs out of Parliament, then MMP makes it much harder.
Take, for example, David Carter --- 9th on National's list in 2008, and not subject to any indicative popularity results from an electorate. Even if about 90% of voters had their first preference as "keep David Carter out of Parliament", the other 10% could keep him in there. Knowing this, no-one even bothers trying to use their party vote to keep David Carter out (or anyone else high on their party's list).
So the question now becomes: Do you want MPs to be elected by (and therefore accountable to) voters, or do you want (at least some) MPs to be selected by (and therefore accountable to) parties? For the former, you want PV, STV, or FPP (or, preferably, a Condorcet method --- not one of the options in the referendum). For the latter, you want MMP or SM.
If you want proportionality and accountability to voters, you want STV (or perhaps a variant of a Condorcet method, but I'm not aware of a good proportional variant that has been properly researched yet).
With regard to MPs being selected by parties, see also Russel Norman's entry into Parliament, and Louisa Wall's recent re-entry. In both cases, the parties arguably pressured the intervening list candidates to relinquish their positions, in order to get their newly preferred candidates in. By doing so, they over-rode their declared list, which the voters had relied on in the previous election.
…do you want (at least some) MPs to be selected by (and therefore accountable to) parties?
MPs are selected by parties in all systems. Electorate MPs are chosen by the party, and their chance of being elected depends on the electorate. Being #1 on the list or National candidate for Helensville both guarantee election.
If you don't like the people on the list, don't vote for the party. (or join it and agitate for better candidates).
Being #1 on the list or National candidate for Helensville both guarantee election.
In the latter case, voters have a far better chance of over-turning the party's decision. If, say, 60% of Helensville voters despise National's choice for Helensville, they have a very good chance of getting someone else. If 80% of party voters despise National's #1 list candidate, they have next to no chance of keeping them out of Parliament.
I agree that parties still have influence, regardless of the electoral system, and voters can always make parties pay for their choices, but party list systems like MMP and SM give parties a lot more power, especially when they're willing to manipulate lists after the election. So do we want more power in the hands of the (relatively) few who have control of party lists?
In the latter case, voters have a far better chance of over-turning the party’s decision. If, say, 60% of Helensville voters despise National’s choice for Helensville, they have a very good chance of getting someone else. If 80% of party voters despise National’s #1 list candidate, they have next to no chance of keeping them out of Parliament.
I suspect the more likely scenario is a high ranking list candidate in one of the major parties, after the lists are set, being accused of something serious - lets say sexual assault.
That's a serious problem for the party and would likely affect their vote, but the person would likely still get elected under their list position, even if the accusation meant that they didn't win their electorate. Under FPP that wouldn't have happened.
The MP might subsequently resign (or even indicate that they would do so before the election), but less control to the voters.
Pretty good site.
"spectrum "response got me well placed.
recommend it. Just remember your responses to questions.