MMP?

Old Nov 16th 2011, 6:48 am
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Default MMP?

As well as voting for our favourite candidates in the election, we will be asked to vote in a referendum on MMP in a couple of weeks.

I have tried to look it up, but it's late and I'm tired. Could someone summarise what MMP is for us please

Ta

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Old Nov 16th 2011, 7:29 am
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Default Re: MMP?

A system where every vote counts unlike UK 'first past the post'.
I know countless people in the UK who don't bother to vote because they live in a safe Tory/Labour seat. In the UK you may have to vote tactically quite often to try to make your vote count and actually elect someone, so in a safe Tory seat, a Labour voter may be better off voting LibDem to try to keep the Tory out. The problem is that the progressive vote share is split LibDem/Labour while the main right-wing vote (Conservative) is in tact. FPP is a system designed for 2 parties (like USA).

Under MMP you can vote tactically in your Electorate seat (say Labour if you are really a Green) but for the party vote, just vote for the party you really want as so long as they get 5% share they will get representation from the party lists. The top-up list seats are allocated so that overall the seats as a whole fairly reflect the party vote shares.

It is very similar to the system West Germany (now Germany) has successfully used since the Second World War. It tends to force co-operation rather than adverserial yah boo politics.

It's main downsides - ACT/Winston Peters etc holding the balance of power and the fact that if you win a single electorate it also gets you a few extra MP's - are under discussion - there is no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater to improve its minor flaws.

The National Party claim it is unfair that an MP can lose their Electorate Seat but then still get back into parliament via the Party List - again a minor change could remedy this one.

I think it is unfortunate that the John Key has suggested National voters give their electorate vote to ACT in Epsom and Peter Dunne in Ohariu rather than to the National Party Candidate - that should be anathema to a Party Leader and brings MMP into disrepute. It is for the voter to decide to split their vote tactically, not for a Party Leader to undermine his own candidates.

Turnout in NZ is generally higher than in the UK because every vote counts.

So I say, vote anyway you want but please say YES to MMP and as the alternate option, I would personally go for STV (the most proportional).

The National Party seems to favour SM Supplementary member which is 3/4 FPP and 25% proportional.
I suspect they will get a working majority this time given how far ahead Key is in the polls and this may change their thinking somewhat.

But read the official stuff here: http://www.referendum.org.nz/votingsystems
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Old Nov 16th 2011, 7:34 am
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Default Re: MMP?

Its to allow the Maori party to be represented in any government that is elected.
whatever other reasons you may hear that is the main one..as explained to me by several
of my kiwi and Maori friends.
I have no idea how it works but every time I ask, thats the answer I get

FPP for me, at least I understand that option
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Old Nov 16th 2011, 7:55 am
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Default Re: MMP?

Originally Posted by Justcol View Post
Its to allow the Maori party to be represented in any government that is elected.
whatever other reasons you may hear that is the main one..as explained to me by several
of my kiwi and Maori friends.
I have no idea how it works but every time I ask, thats the answer I get

FPP for me, at least I understand that option
That's not true. There are Maori MPs in most of the main parties. Maori voters can choose whether they want to be registered as mainstream voters or on the Maori voters list.
The Maori seats is also a side issue. Germany has MMP and they don't have Maori-type seats.
It is a system where every vote counts but you also preserve the link of having a 'Constituency' MP (Electorate MP). In a pure PR system (like Italy) you just have party lists.
FFP means that if you live in a safe seat it is not worth casting your vote for the opposing parties, it won't count. FPP also in this way gives MPs safe seats for life in many cases which means they can behave how they want with little fear of being thrown out. It is only the marginal seats which determine the outcome of UK Elections most of the time (exceptions Blair's landslide in 1997).
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Old Nov 16th 2011, 8:42 am
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Default Re: MMP?

Originally Posted by luvwelly View Post
That's not true. There are Maori MPs in most of the main parties. Maori voters can choose whether they want to be registered as mainstream voters or on the Maori voters list.
The Maori seats is also a side issue. Germany has MMP and they don't have Maori-type seats.
It is a system where every vote counts but you also preserve the link of having a 'Constituency' MP (Electorate MP). In a pure PR system (like Italy) you just have party lists.
FFP means that if you live in a safe seat it is not worth casting your vote for the opposing parties, it won't count. FPP also in this way gives MPs safe seats for life in many cases which means they can behave how they want with little fear of being thrown out. It is only the marginal seats which determine the outcome of UK Elections most of the time (exceptions Blair's landslide in 1997).
in my view party lists are worse than FPP. Isn't democracy about electing representatives that we want not those that a party we support deems fit to be elected.

how can an MP be less likely to be returned if they are no.1 on the party list for labour or National than if they are a "lifer" in a so-called safe seat. ? And come election night some of those seats are not safe, especially if they can be removed from parliament by the votes of their constituents.

If I want to get rid of Mr Key as my MP - as has happened many times for ministers in the UK - there is no practical way even as a constituent to do this under MMP. So where is the democracy in that?
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Old Nov 16th 2011, 9:26 am
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Default Re: MMP?

Where is the democracy in my vote not ever electing an MP until 1997 just because I lived in Southern England.
Every single person outside London is a Tory? I don't think so and yet that was the reality of the sea of blue. In many FPP constituencies the Labour and LibDem party votes combined outweighed the Tory vote but the Tories won all the seats all over the South of England give or take a handful.(Occasional LibDem seat in Devon and Cornwall).

You could occasionally elect a Labour councillor in Southern England because voter turnout in Council Elections was often as low as 17%....17%? democracy is not working at all with such low turnouts.

How is that representative of the voters' will? It also often means that the winning party gets fewer votes than the losing party and it is just how they were distributed that made the difference. I shouldn't have to rely on voters in traditional Labour areas to get a Labour Government for me, my vote should count towards getting one regardless of my postcode.

I don't think a main Party leader in UK has ever lost their seat under FPP despite not always having the safest of seats.

Re Party leaders, make it that they can't stay on the list as leader/PM if they lose the Electorate - they still wouldn't lose, voters aren't that mean amazingly, just as they don't lose in FPP. Even Michael Foot didn't lose his seat in 1983.

Everyone is so keen to throw the baby out with the bathwater when a bit of tinkering could make MMP as good as it gets.

I hate the USA system and that's a sort of version of FPP combined with constant electioneering and the need to raise billions just to stand = inherently corrupt.

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Old Nov 16th 2011, 9:29 am
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Default Re: MMP?

I just saw Hone Harawira on the news and the words from his own mouth he said that his mum told him that MMP means 'More Maoris in Parliament'.
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Old Nov 16th 2011, 9:36 am
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Default Re: MMP?

Originally Posted by Bo-Jangles View Post
I just saw Hone Harawira on the news and the words from his own mouth he said that his mum told him that MMP means 'More Maoris in Parliament'.
That's just to encourage Maoris to bother to vote. They tend to have low turnout too. It is not the MMP system per se that gives them the Maori seats. The NZ system has chosen to have special Maori seats and I am sure you know why.
The Maori party was in any case a breakaway from the Labour Party I understand.

There are plenty of Maori in the National Party and the Labour Party.
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Old Nov 16th 2011, 9:42 am
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Default Re: MMP?

Come up with a proportional system without a party list or a list that has some form of real input from the voters, that allows them to rid themselves of an idiot member of parliament.
And get rid of the ridiculous idea that Act, Peter Dunne, or whoever can hold some power when they get less than 1% of the vote.
Plain and simple.

Tinkering with MMP, altering overhangs and the like might help solve number 2 but not number 1.
Why not become a little less proportional as that might be more democratic in the end.
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Old Nov 16th 2011, 9:47 am
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Default Re: MMP?

Originally Posted by luvwelly View Post
That's just to encourage Maoris to bother to vote. They tend to have low turnout too. It is not the MMP system per se that gives them the Maori seats. The NZ system has chosen to have special Maori seats and I am sure you know why.
The Maori party was in any case a breakaway from the Labour Party I understand.

There are plenty of Maori in the National Party and the Labour Party.
not only that.... the Maori Party would always be a minority 2nd or 3rd or whatever placed party in the overwhelming majority of non-Maori constituencies.
So Hone is right is he not?
And clearly the Maori Party coalitions have given their supporters leverage. So maybe More Maori in Power??
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Old Nov 17th 2011, 2:36 am
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Default Re: MMP?

I'm in favour of MMP with some of the wrinkles ironed out. You cannot get more democratic than every vote counts, and ultimately that is important to me.

With regards to the party lists, they are published before the election and just as for your electorate vote, if you don't like the person or persons, then don't tick the box.

Other thing that people focus on a bit too much is the apparent balance that small parties hold. In reality, these factions would be part of a bigger party if there was a different system, and even now some of the minority party key players are ex National or Labour MPs from way back (Dunne, Anderson and Peters to name a few).

Likely tinkering with MMP will be I think:
- lowering party vote threshhold to 3 or 4% from current 5%
- stopping one MP taking 2-3 colleagues in with him even when under the above threshhold (probably will become 2 seats).

Would like to think they'll look at the overhang situation too, but that will be harder to fix without increasing number of list MPs, or removing Maori electorates.

Don't think you can change the method of post election bargaining that can occur, but may be they can put in some rules to expedite it more quickly than sometime occurs.
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Old Nov 17th 2011, 7:20 am
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Default Re: MMP?

MMP doesn't guarantee that every vote counts, after all in the NZ election, NZ First polled significantly more than ACT, yet ended up with O in comparison to 5 seats.

I can't say I've been great fan of First past the Post electoral system in the UK, living in a solid Labour seat my vote practically meaningless in most elections, a donkey could have been put up and still won the seat.

As it turned the long term MP in one of my former constituencies was jailed last year for over claiming on expenses, and still managed to keep his job for month afterwards and still finally bowing to the inevitable.

The problem with MMP, is the list MPs you have virtually no say over.

I think the Maori seats ought to go, I think the committee that last reviewed MMP, recommended that. It used to be National Policy too until Key made them coalition partners after the last election.
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Old Nov 20th 2011, 9:59 am
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Default Re: MMP?

OK clearing the head and thinking it out again the Lardies are going to oppose MMP and both of us agree that STV is the best alternative.
Listened to the debate between the "keep MMP" and "Vote for Change" representatives on the TV - cemented the anti-MMP view as the main argument seemed to be SM is rubbish 'cause it's used by Thailand and Russia. Doh get your head straight, what does that prove or even suggest. Nothing at all.
/rant over/
Seems like the greens could be financing the pro-MMP campaign, let's see if they admit it, if not and they are found out then they've lost at least one party vote here - MrsL was going to party vote green......
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Old Nov 21st 2011, 6:03 am
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Default Re: MMP?

I honestly reckon that MMP is the biggest "Jobs for the boys" rort going. I have a house in the Christchurch's White zone and its been hinted that it could be 2 years before I know whether I can fix the house or whether its going to be legally stolen from me.
under a system like STV or FPP I can move to a rental in Ilam and participate in a movement which would end the political career of someone who has made my life in Christchurch very difficult, actually I would have probably arranged that protest campaign. with the current MMP, that guy has a job for life.
In Australia they have a version of STV and John Howard lost his seat in their election, so even if the Liberals had won that Election they would have had to find a new leader.
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Old Nov 21st 2011, 8:18 am
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Default Re: MMP?

Originally Posted by derab View Post
I honestly reckon that MMP is the biggest "Jobs for the boys" rort going. I have a house in the Christchurch's White zone and its been hinted that it could be 2 years before I know whether I can fix the house or whether its going to be legally stolen from me.
under a system like STV or FPP I can move to a rental in Ilam and participate in a movement which would end the political career of someone who has made my life in Christchurch very difficult, actually I would have probably arranged that protest campaign. with the current MMP, that guy has a job for life.
In Australia they have a version of STV and John Howard lost his seat in their election, so even if the Liberals had won that Election they would have had to find a new leader.
I've not made my mid up yet, with FPP there's too many votes that don't count, and MPs do have a job for life in many of them.

STV sounds good, but I'm not totally clear on how they decide which votes get transferred
http://www.referendum.org.nz/stv
Candidates who reach the quota from first preference votes are elected.

If there are still electorate seats to fill after first preference votes are counted, a two-step process follows.

First, votes the elected candidates received beyond the quota are transferred to the candidates ranked next on those votes. Candidates who then reach the quota are elected.


In the above, how do they decide which votes above the quota get transferred? the second preference of those that voted for the elected candidates could be different, i.e.
Voter 1, goes for 1st A, 2nd B
Voter 2, goes for 1st A, 2nd C
plus lots of other Voters 1st A,
and suppose A is elected and there was one excess vote, who's vote is chosen for the 2nd preference?

Also with STV the parties are still publishing a list, so it's unlikely someone in the top third of it would be 'voted out', so not dissimilar to MMP party lists.

Last edited by chocolate cake; Nov 21st 2011 at 8:24 am.
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