There's a lot of assumption here that pollies who stick around for ages and get good playing politics are axiomatically of high quality. Crikey, some long termers have written entire doctoral theses whilst allegedly representing somebody or something. What a joke.
It's also fair that running for reasons other than to get elected might seem slightly kookie. But seems insignificant compare to the issues of quality, representation & democratic freedom expressed here.
BUT: What if you were an anarchist, and you wanted to destroy the government to which you were hoping to be elected? Oh, wait. That's the National party.
Graeme, you make all the relevant points, so I won’t repeat them. I agree the dual-candidacy rule should remain. Through talking to people about the subject, I’ve come to understand that people opposed to the dual-candidacy rule don’t really understand MMP. Their heads tend – even after 15+ years of MMP – to be firmly stuck in FPP modes of thinking.
I can’t see why any smaller party would waste a single good candidate in any electorate if the rule were to go. It’s my view that the local seats are already the preserve of party hacks from the two major parties.
I’d like to see the local seats done away with altogether for the simple reason the people elected in them now don’t represent me many better than than they did in the bad old days. My local MP is usually completely opposed to much that I support.
There is really no point in my casting my local vote as the seat is a safe one for the party who holds it. I asked on polling day if I was required to cast that vote. The refused to answer my question…which I found annoying. I’ll find out for next time and in all probability I’ll not bother casting a vote in the local seat at all.
I asked on polling day if I was required to cast that vote. The refused to answer my question…which I found annoying.
I suspect the person answering it just wasn't sure, and didn't want to mislead you.
The answer is "no".
You may cast a party vote and not a candidate vote, and your party vote will still count.
You may cast a candidate vote and not a party vote and your candidate vote will still count.
If instead of not casting one, you cast an informal or invalid vote (voting for multiple people, crossing out everyone's name, swearing on the ballot about how much you hate that safe candidate) your party vote will still count (but please don't, because working people count these things).
If you cast a special declaration vote because they can't find your name on the electoral roll, and it turns out the reason they couldn't find your name was that you got your electorate wrong, so were voting in the wrong electorate, your party vote will still count.
I can’t see why any smaller party would waste a single good candidate in any electorate if the rule were to go.
They wouldn't. But I'm not sure that's a problem. Why do they run now, other than not to win?
Some run with the hope of winning, but not much chance. The Greens haven't run electorate candidates in a while, but I could see a serious Green candidate running in Wellington Central, aiming to win, even knowing they have only a 1 in 4 chance, or whatever. I think the current Green tendency to run fake candidates is likely to prove a bit of a fad, although I could be wrong.
It seems to me that these two points are contrary. If you're not an electorate candidate, surely the only rights you'll have at the candidates meeting is to ask questions as a member of the general public. Why should the Rotary give you a platform at their meet the candidates evening if you're not a candidate and the race has been limited to people who want to represent the electorate?
Actually Jane, some organisations do allow non-candidates at meet the candidate meetings. I have done so when a candidate from my party wasn't able to make the meeting and was present when Richard Prosser did it in Gore, when he stood for Waimakariri, and there was no candidate for New Zealand First in Clutha-Southland. Ultimately it's up to the organisation who they ask.
If you cast a special declaration vote because they can’t find your name on the electoral roll, and it turns out the reason they couldn’t find your name was that you got your electorate wrong, so were voting in the wrong electorate, your party vote will still count.
But not your electorate vote, surely.
But not your electorate vote, surely.
No. Which is why I didn't mention it :-)
Actually Jane, some organisations do allow non-candidates at meet the candidate meetings.
That has been my experience too.