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Mixed-member proportional

mmp, layered with preference voting—mmpp—is fairest possible system

stv supercity shake-up, then Wellington

Mayor Goff was elected by barely 18% of registered voters. Len Brown at least, won 47.8% of votes cast, but only because voters were then still in the dark about his grubby use of Auckland Council property. But the bigger crime of both men, and of the Royal…

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Democratise coalitions and the lists

Half voted for change, and half for the status quo. The 44.4% who voted for the New Zealand National Party, and the 0.5% who voted for what remains of ex-Labour-finance-minister Roger Douglas’ rebel act party, are now represented by 57 opposition…

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Single super-coalition shot for democracy

If New Zealanders elected their prime minister, there would now be a clear winner. And, unless it was under the old deeply undemocratic first-past-the-post system, that winner would be Winston Peters. Because, while Jacinda Ardern and Bill…

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Let’s do this, deliver democracy

It would be hard to contrive a more effective means of turning youth off. After being lectured for months on the importance of enrolling and voting, young people are now told nothing. Not only are they not told how young people voted, they are…

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Just when Jacinda needed Germany most

When Jacinda Ardern stepped up, Labour was on 24% and National was at 47%. Once the special votes are counted, which include whatever youthquake or youth-tremor has occurred, the New Zealand National Party share will be lucky to be 45%…

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Failure to fix mmp could cost Labour

Gareth Morgan’s failure to crash last Friday’s leaders debate drew attention to the inescapable. His briefly promising political initiative hasn’t come close to breaking the 5%-threshold barrier to tyro parties, and will not make it into Parliament…

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No Dunne deal – directly elect coalitions

As with the America’s Cup, coming second place in party politics generally equates with losing. Until recently, it had been looking as though the hospital pass Bill English received from the charismatic, if unchivalrous, Sir John Key might not prove fatal…

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Courage for more than a cuppa

It’s 30 years since David Lange belatedly called taihoa. His Labour Party caucus cohorts had unleashed the neoliberal onslaught that, amongst other tragedies, precipitated New Zealand’s ongoing youth suicide epidemic. Throughout…

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Make direct democracy smart democracy

Professor David Altman wrote the book on it. Academics know it as direct democracy; Australians, bless ’em, mostly as plebiscites; and mere citizens, as initiatives or referendums. Semantics aside, most democracies allow for direct democracy, to a…

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Loyal opposition reaches oblivious conclusion

It was a stroke of unintended brilliance, which has blighted democracy ever since. When John Cam Hobhouse coined the term loyal opposition, in jest, he could’ve had no inkling he would help dignify 190 years of two-party parliaments, where…

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Make Aotearoa egalitarian and great again

His timing is impeccable, and his mission merciful. Immediately mocked by the mainstream media, Gareth Morgan’s launch of a party dedicated to eliminating poverty and closing the inequality gap is a cause worthy of wholehearted support, even by…

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Hard lessons loom as history repeats

Like Dirty Politics, Watergate was revealed ahead of an election that saw the perpetrating political party rewarded, by being returned to power with an increased majority. Five months after five burglars were caught in Democratic Party offices…

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After a little shadow voting elect the prime minister

It must be exercising the mind of ‘Mattiavelli’ McCarten. Simply give the job of prime minister, post the election, to ‘Wily’ Winston. After all, it is entirely up to the winning bloc as to who the prime minister should be. Across all voters, Winston…

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It might be politicians maintaining the miracle

It has happened only once. That the people, rather than the politicians, of an established democracy have led the change to a more proportional system. In fact, Aotearoa in 1993 elected to change from a sometimes inversely proportional system—the patently…

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Cure for ills of democracy is smarter democracy

Aotearoa is still very near to having the world’s smartest electoral system. If, as is entirely probable, the Electoral Commission’s proposals become its recommendations, and those recommendations are implemented by Parliament, Aotearoa might…

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Way clear for courageous first online list

Labour has just been handed a third potentially pivotal gift. Eighty years ago, the preoccupation of the United and Reform coalition predecessor of the National Party with balancing the books led to real unemployment reaching 30%, to food riots, and…

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mmp commission has perfect hearing

The primary motivation in producing the Mahurangi Magazine to champion the Mahurangi harbourscape. Just an hour’s bus ride away from the city centre—or it will be once the Mahurangi Coastal Trail is complete—the Mahurangi is many Aucklanders…

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Ranking not ticking to tame party lists

It’s a graphic illustration of the limitations of an electoral system. Despite every poll screaming its opposition to asset sales, the National Party ploughs ahead claiming that last year’s win over Labour provides it with an unassailable mandate to…

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Challenge to capture voters’ true intent

But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good Oh Lord! Please don’t let me be misunderstood It’s the Christmas present the planet doesn’t need. A signature of runaway global warming is the sudden release of methane from the ice-like clathrate compounds…

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Dispatching two electoral review room elephants

Two elephants in the room, are two too many. The Māori roll and size of parliament are the two no-go areas for the Electoral Commission review, which will call for public submissions in mid-February and hold public meetings in April and May. The two …

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Tune-up will leave MMP better loved than understood

At 74.21%, Aotearoa hasn’t seen lower turnout percentages, consistently, since 1887. And although the 1978 turnout is recorded as 69.2%, this was a one-off aberration reflecting an under-resourced attempt to reform the electoral enrolment process…

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Tactics and polls or preference voting

It was uncannily similar to ancient Greece. In Saturday’s tactical voting, where 54% could be said to have voted against John Banks, citizens were mimicking the first formal Greek use of the ballot, which was to ostracise a civic leader—his name having…

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Mixed-member means rout no landslide

The word has been expunged from the electoral lexicon. Had the election been held under first-past-the-post, the result would have been a landslide of global warming proportions. In its first successful election, in 1949, National won 51.9% of the vote…

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Supplementary is mixed-member-disproportional

There are two mixed member systems on offer. Mixed member proportional and mixed member majoritarian, also known as both supplementary member and parallel voting. At a glance, one system appears to be fully proportional, and the other semi…

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Electoral review and mixed-member disinformation

Political parties are universally distrusted. The level of distrust varies, but the 83.2% of Seoul residents in their 20s and 30s recently surveyed who considered no political party supported their interests is reasonably representative. This dissatisfaction…

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Fascination with the beauty of models

There is nothing put at risk, bar the possible dashing of preconceptions. Such is the beauty of models; they allow scenarios to be explored virtually, at very little cost—once the software has been written, the model can be run again and again with…

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Prendergast loss somehow pinned on preferential

As mayoral majorities go, it’s one of the slimmest. Because the democratic world is so inured to the deficiencies of first-past-the-post, it mostly goes unnoticed that mayors are typically elected by a minority vote, often a tiny minority. Whereas Celia…

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Tuned-up MMP could be ninety-nine not out

First, it was a fateful decision. Then it became a cynical decision, when parliament ignored the 81.5% of voters who asked for the house to be reduced to 99 seats—the cosy two-party duopoly had no desire to see mixed member proportional endure. In fairness, most will...

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Out of all proportional Aussies eat their Greens

Updated 9 September 2010 Grand coalition is the only honourable option. In yesterday’s election, neither major party obtained a mandate to lead Australia. The undisputed winner, out of the shameful defrauding of Kevin Rudd and the Australian people, is the Green...

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Voting for and against, and with first past the post

It is a continual improvement advocate’s worst nightmare. It would be like lining up the 15-year-old family hack at Bathurst, without even checking the dipstick. Mixed member proportional is about to be compared with a yet-to-be-determined range of other systems, with...

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Aotearoa has mixed-member proportional half right

Only half know what they are doing. That’s in general elections, where the turnout puts local government elections to shame—in spite of voters needing to travel no further than the mailbox. And not only do a mere 52% understand ‘which of the two votes…

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What’s to fix with mixed-member proportional

The member of Parliament’s ‘What’s to fix with mmp’ wasn’t rhetorical. Consequently, the editor was somewhat taken aback. It was a sharp reminder that opinion on mixed member proportional is, mixed. That it is either a huge improvement on…

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