Posts by gavin long

  • Legal Beagle: D-Day for Dunne (updated),

    There is a point to SO 34(3) if SO 34(1) is interpreted that United Future should no longer be a party.

    SO 34(2)(b) allows a group of 6 or more MPs who are registered to apply to the speaker to get recognised. However, once the speaker has said they can be a party there could be some ambiguity about what would happen if after the speaker had approved the party they then fell under 6 MPs. SO 34(3) therefore clarifies that the requirement of having 6 MPs is an ongoing one and not one that only has to exist when the new party applies to the speaker.

    Since Jun 2011 • 4 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Paula's Peril; or The…,

    Graeme - out of interest, can you please point to which sections of the electoral act you are basing this analysis on?

    Since Jun 2011 • 4 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Referendum Fact Check #7:…,

    I think you are right that Campbell painted a somewhat incorrect picture of what the Royal Commission said. However, in your last fact-check you were also guilty of (to an extent) misrepresenting the difference between the Royal Commission recommendations of MMP and what MMP looked like when it was implemented. I thought you made the minor differences seem huge and either dismissed or didn't discuss the huge number of similarities between the MMP we have today and what is in the Royal Commission report.

    Also, in your last fack check you said it was "very very unlikely" that under PV or STV people would have to rank all the candidates for their votes to be valid. Where do you get that from? Schedule 2 of the Electoral Referendum Act (while not being 100% clear) seems to point in the opposite direction - that you will have to number all candidates.

    Having made those two critiques I would also say - keep up the good work! You are doing a great service to the referendum debate by making these fact checks.

    Since Jun 2011 • 4 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Referendum Fact Check #1,

    1. I believe you missed a mistake. Jordan Williams suggests that Sandra Grey is "turning it into a political debate" when she says that National hasn't decided to entrench the Maori seats even though they have a confidence and supply agreement with Maori party.

    Her point wasn't about politics it was about trying to defend MMP against Williams' arguments. Jordan Williams seemed to raise the Maori seats as an example of tail wagging the dog - of National (the far larger party) having to change their policy to fit with the smaller party's wishes. In fact, it is actually an example that reinforces the point that big parties do not have to fundamentally change their policy when going in a coalition with a significantly smaller party. Sandra was right to point this out and it was a misrepresentation of her argument to say that she was somehow getting off topic.

    2. Jordan Williams talks about how SM is good cause it solves the problem where a small party with 5-10% of the vote are given a disproportionate amount of power in deciding who gets to govern. But is this a problem with MMP in the first place?

    First, there has only been one instance (1996) where one party has held the balance of power. In all the other elections it has been clear that it would be one of Labour or National that was forming a government.

    Second, this also happens in close elections under FPP. Look at the most recent Australian and UK elections. If National had received one less seat in the 1993 NZ election there would have been a hung parliament with NZ First probably deciding who would lead out of National and Labour/Alliance. If the 1996 election had been run under FPP or SM (and the same proportion of electorate seats were won by each party) then NZ First would have still held the balance of power.

    Third, even if MMP leads to significantly more election outcomes where one party is effectively deciding who will lead I don't know if its that bad a way of doing things. If two parties get roughly the same percentage support then you need some way of dividing them. Getting Labour/Nats to make a deal with a party that was supported by 5% of the population doesn't sound that much worse than giving the election on an arbitrary basis to the big party that happened to have a better geographical spread of support (which happens in elections under FPP/SM).

    3. I agree that FPP and SM should not be labelled undemocratic. However, MMP clearly is far far closer to giving an individual an equal say in an election than non-proportional systems. The people who count in FPP and, to an extent, SM are a small group of swing voters in a small group of swing electorates.

    Since Jun 2011 • 4 posts Report