Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP) is a vast improvement over our old First Past the Post voting system. Sections of the community who were marginalised under First Past the Post now have a voice. That’s certainly true of Maori, the Greens, and Winston First’s indefatigable blue rinse brigade.
To a degree it’s a good thing.
How long before it becomes an anchor around the legislative neck and makes government impossible?
Where will it all end?
I’d like a Gray Power Party to boost my New Zealand Superannuation. What about a Kate Sheppard Ladies’ Party with a persondate to banish manholes to Personchuria. Can we do without a Jockstrap Party to declare the Rugby World Cup ours as of right? There’s definitely a need for a Petrolheads’ Party for the promotion of phallic exhaust pipes for the under-endowed, and a Wouldn’t Work in an Iron Lung Party for the equitable redistribution of filthy capitalistic gains.
There’s a crying need for a Who Needs a Real Job Party for dumped MPs whose only experience of the real world is teaching, or practising law, or a combination of the two. (Hey, I’m not knocking teachers. I just think that they should have 10 years in the general workforce before they get the job. Then we can double the pay pool for those teachers who accept results-based remuneration.)
Not knocking lawyers, or real estate sales folk either. They’ll keep.
An RSA Party would be a good idea. We retired servicemen and servicewomen (servicepersons?) could have our superannuation payments quadrupled to match the sweetheart deal that MPs have given themselves. Yeah, bears thinking about. Free air travel too. Where’s the phone?
Until the last few days, it was likely that New Zealand First, with maybe 10% of the vote, would decide which major party forms the government in this country for the at least 3 years.
In the last few days that’s become less likely with Labour’s resurgence, so the Green Party, and the Maori Party, could outflank Winston’s New Zealand First. Not too frightening a prospect at present; their views are quite moderate–even sensible–on most matters. But is it a satisfactory situation to have the two main parties of choice for 80 or 90% of voters marginalised in this way by a small minority of voters?
Was it right, way back when, that Winston First could trout on about being unswayed by the “baubles of office” and then scurry after the Czarina’s breadcrumb bribery like a rat up a drainpipe after previously serving as a minister with the opposing party?
For decades, Maori were disenfranchised because a huge proportion of Labour votes were concentrated in just their four electorates. consequently, on more than one occasion, Labour gained the most votes nationwide, but lost the election. Shades of Hillary Clinton.
FPP was a disaster for Maori. They voted Labour. Labour ignored them. Now they have some muscle. It may be justice, but it’s not a satisfactory situation for the country.
What’s the alternative?
If sensible heads prevailed in both major parties there’s the possibility of a grand coalition.
Don’t scoff. The convergence of Left and Right policies in most democracies means that Labour and National have at least as much in common with each other as they have with the Greens, or New Zealand First, or TOP, or the Maori Party.
It won’t happen, but Labour and National working together could accomplish something worthwhile. They could enact sensible economic policies instead of engaging in a no-win bidding war.
Here’s a workaround:
Give everyone two votes. Then you could give one to your favoured party, and the other to your first choice as backup. Not as good as the Aussies’ preferential voting system, but it would be an improvement.