Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Referendum Fact Check #1

80 Responses

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  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    get off your fraking arse and get involved in the party's candidate selection and list ranking process

    Reliance on that in an age of declining civic particpation is perhaps MMP's major weakness. Allowing easier public input into list ranking might appeal to some voters.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    Ben, I suspect you are confusing Maori electorate seats and Maori representation.

    Farrar identified 23 current Maori MPs in April. And yet there are only seven Maori electorate seats. It isn't accurate to say that MMP doesn't / won't maximise Maori representation.

    I think it is fair to say that over the coming months there will be a lot of heat generated by folks talking at cross-purposes.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Phil Lyth,

    It isn't accurate to say that MMP doesn't / won't maximise Maori representation.

    That's one of the things I like about it. It would be awesome if the Maori party really back themselves enough to keep seeing it that way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    Allowing easier public input into list ranking might appeal to some voters.

    Perhaps, but I really that's for parties to determine -- and be rewarded by the electorate as they see fit in the only poll that really counts -- not the legislature.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    that's for parties to determine

    not in some voting systems

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Allowing easier public input into list ranking might appeal to some voters.

    Perhaps, but I really that’s for parties to determine – and be rewarded by the electorate as they see fit

    The Party can write the list, but voters should get to choose who gets elected from it!

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Yeah, but truly, who's going to sit down in a polling booth and rank 50+ candidates? If we had open lists, there would need to be an opt-out and I suspect many would take it.

    Still, I guess it would be symbolically open.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Yeah, but truly, who’s going to sit down in a polling booth and rank 50+ candidates? If we had open lists, there would need to be an opt-out and I suspect many would take it.

    You don't. The voting paper looks pretty much the same as it does now: Party vote on the left, electorate vote on the right.

    Except underneath the party vote is a little box. In that box, anyone who wants to can write the number corresponding to one candidate on the party list of the party for which they voted. The number of votes each list candidate gets is added up over the country, and if XYZ party earns the right to 8 list seats, then the top 8 people as voted by people who bothered are it (although many places that do have open lists operate a process where list candidates need to get a certain number of personal votes before the original list order is displaced).

    In short, the ballot doesn't have to be horrendously long and it won't be compulsory to do it, but just giving people the option would mean arguments about unelected list MPs would be weaker.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    That's not a very proportional way to re-rank a list though. And it would tend, I suspect, to mean the biggest show ponies getting elected (a bit like mayoral elections, and look at the fucktards they throw up).

    Maybe some kind of us style primary might work better.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    But as a "look we get input" thing almost any method would do, however ineffective in practice.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    John Armstrong is surprisingly unimpressed.

    Vote for Change looks very much like the National Party Preservation Society in drag

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • peterpeasant, in reply to Sacha,

    You think journalists are capable of rational thought?

    You are kidding me?

    new zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to peterpeasant,

    eh?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    As rational as anyone else.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    John Armstrong is surprisingly unimpressed.

    “Vote for Change looks very much like the National Party Preservation Society in drag” is a really cute line, but I really do draw a line at a newspaper whose idea of top-tier diversity and gender equity in top-tier editorial/management is "keep Tapu Misa on the payroll" pontificating quite so freely on what the tinted-people think.

    Perhaps John Armstrong could stop recycling Trevor Mallard’s blog posts, and try doing some actual analysis of the arguments. You know, like those mean, nasty bloggers who make John Drinnan cry. If nothing else, a Herald columnist adding value to a public policy debate worth having would have considerable novelty value.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I've read the Wikipedia article on open lists and now understand, sort of (it's all in the counting).

    I have thought of an alternate method. Each party holds a primary through an Electoral Commission serviced website (to avoid shenanigans). Any voter can access the site and express a preference, and having done so, they get a multi-digit code number to print/note down. The generated code numbers are retained against each vote by the EC.

    The "provisional" list is thus decided.

    At the general election, those who voted in the primary write in their code number. This validates their primary vote, and only the votes of those who actually voted for the same party get counted. The EC generates the final list. (They could then destroy or escrow the data, but in any case it doesn't reveal any traceable personal information).

    That allows a fair ranking ballot to be conducted with people making the decisions at leisure, and knowing the rough party list before final voting.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Perhaps John Armstrong could stop recycling Trevor Mallard’s blog posts, and try doing some actual analysis of the arguments. You know, like those mean, nasty bloggers who make John Drinnan cry. If nothing else, a Herald columnist adding value to a public policy debate worth having would have considerable novelty value.

    He seems to come across as politically schizophrenic these days.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    There's no limit to the number of possible systems that could be devised to extract the cloud wisdom of the democratic citizenry and turn it into decisions and/or leadership. There's also no guarantee any of them will come up with something that citizenry will like in the long run, because they can always just make bad choices.

    Some more possibilities just off the top of my head:

    -Instead of selecting or ranking candidates, you have to "weight" them, by assigning a numeric value from, say 0-100 for each of them. You could weight them all evenly, strictly rank them, give all to one and none to any others, or even give them all none (which would be a much better way of signalling no-confidence than to not-vote). Candidates would then be chosen either on a proportional basis of total weightings, or in a winner-takes-all basis electorate by electorate, or both.

    -You could go even deeper and make a matrix that divides the candidate parties or representatives by portfolio (Prime Minister would be only one of these), weighting the extent to which you like their views in some policy dimension or other. Then the choices are allocated exactly where they are most preferred, so National could win Finance, but Labour could take Education, Maori Affairs going to Maori Party and Greens getting Environmental portfolios. Close runs might end up with shared portfolios. This could be a way for people to signal what/who it is that they actually like in party on a national basis, where all the electorate based systems only take account of your opinion about the candidate's influence on local affairs.
    -The ballot could be organized by issues, which you weight by how much you care about them, and in which direction your preferences go, and then weight which candidates you prefer to represent you on them. That way not only is the candidate chosen for their views, but the actual mandate itself is clearly represented - you're signalling to them that you voted for them, for instance, because you want them to represent you on drug policy, AND that what you want is for them to push for decriminalization, rather than have an epiphany after the election and decide that the status quo is Te Orsome now that they're in control.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    -Another obvious one, you could vote for only one person, and let them decide everything. It's not really that far from how we do it now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    He seems to come across as politically schizophrenic these days.

    Not necessarily a bad thing - being someone who seems terminally ambiguous about everything nowadays. :) But in the end, I agree with our host: A bad argument is a bad argument, and a good one is a good one, no matter who's making it for paying for the ads. Really, if we're going to turn this into a popularity contest why no just go back to high school and be done with it?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    someone who seems terminally ambiguous about everything nowadays.

    Maybe you are. Maybe you're not.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Really, if we're going to turn this into a popularity contest why no just go back to high school and be done with it?

    OTOH, if it's all about the issues, why don't we just vote directly on the issues? Representative democracy is always going go have elements of a popularity contest, and the credibility and motives of people strongly maintaining policy positions will always be of interest. It actually does undermine ACTs law and order position that their spokesman was hiding a crooked past, however much of an ad hominem that is technically. We don't speak in vacuums, imparting impartial facts for evaluation in a great big logic machine - the framing of debates is highly contextualized to the people doing the debating.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    choices [could be] allocated exactly where they are most preferred, so National could win Finance, but Labour could take Education, Maori Affairs going to Maori Party and Greens getting Environmental portfolios. Close runs might end up with shared portfolios.

    I rather like this suggestion.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1941 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Yes, wouldn't it be great to have the Tories set the tax rate and Labour spend the money? We wouldn't go bankrupt or anything...

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

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