Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Government votes not to improve MMP

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  • tony j ricketts, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Parliaments with five times as many members work fine (and there is a good argument that the less "efficent" parliament is, the better the laws that come out).

    One reason for this may be that with a larger parliament there are more government-party backbenchers, some of whom will be competent, and they are able to exercise the parliamentary role in a usefully different way than the opposition MPs

    wellington • Since Aug 2012 • 41 posts Report

  • Moz, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Parliaments with five times as many members work fine (and there is a good argument that the less "efficent" parliament is, the better the laws that come out).

    I fear that in NZ that might just push the quality of representatives down. We would probably still have the same number of good and excellent MPs, we might even gain one or two from minor parties, but there's a population effect to consider. Given 5 million people, how many excellent representatives can we expect? And given the learning experiences available in a population that size, how much can we expect them to develop over time?

    This is another one of those "how big should our Olympic team be" and "how many global pop stars should we expect" questions. Just because we once managed 50 medal winners in an Olympic team does not mean that we should always send at least 50...

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report

  • andin,

    the great unwashed

    Yep there's just some people not keeping up...

    might just push the quality of representatives down.

    Oh lower ok.. IMHO there is a disconnect between representatives and well...
    Arent these representatives supposed to ... lead.
    What if the direction they are headed isnt looking... well thought out.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report

  • izogi, in reply to TracyMac,

    the great unwashed seems to have no problem at all ranking their preferences

    The ability of often being able to tick a box to apply the recommended rankings of one’s most preferred candidate, without necessarily even considering or knowing what those rankings are and who else you might be electing, probably helps with that. Interpretations may differ but to me it seemed the whole thing’s so convoluted and confusing that they’ve built in methods to help people not consider who they’re voting for.

    I’ve only needed to vote in an Australian election once (Vic local body election ranking 30+ candidates). Despite caring little about the municipal rectangle of suburban arterial roads and dog-walking parks where I spent my overnight time for the 12 month lease before I moved to a different rectangle, I felt some responsibility for others who lived there to actually make an effort to put thought into my compulsory vote. After a long, painful evening of trying to care, I just did the donkey vote thing, numbering 1 through 30-something from top to bottom.

    Theoretically I think some kind of preferential system could make MMP much fairer, both in electorates and in the Party vote. But in practice, I’m also wary that one of NZ’s problems is in getting people to vote at all (and ideally actually want to vote if they do). Making the system even more complex, to the point that it’s even harder for more people to understand and trust what’s going on, seems unlikely to help with that. Australia simply gets people to vote by making it compulsory to cast a vote in whichever convoluted system is put in front of voters.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    the great unwashed

    Now there's a group of people that needs 'soapbox' support...
    just as the lumpenproletariat always needs stirrers!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Brent Jackson,

    I would like the threshold reduced to 2 (or perhaps 3) MPs (ie 1.5% to 2%), so that small parties can get going. At 5% (or even 4%) only extremely rich movements are going to be able to get going for long enough to build up this sort of support.

    I would also like to see an alternative box on the ballot, so that if your primary party vote does not count because your party failed to meet the threshold (or whatever other reason), then your alternative one does. This allows you to vote for the party that most represents you, without "wasting" your vote by having it not actually contribute to the make up of partliament.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report

  • Rich of Observationz,

    How about a box on each ballot where you could write in your ideas for the governance of New Zealand in 400 words or less?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report

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