Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Electoral reform in New Zealand

A referendum ballot attached to the New Zealand general election on November 26 will review the 1996 decision to base elections on MMP ( mixed member proportional) representation, which has been frequently rejected in Canadian referenda but now prevails in New Zealand.

One voter who wants out of MMP writes, after listing the flaws of FPP, First Past the Post
MMP is the opposite of FPP. Instead of our MPs being accountable to individual electorates, they are accountable to parties. Instead of the MPs in the swing-seats - electorates most reflective of the "average voter" - standing up for the wishes of their community, MPs vie for high list positions. 
The MPs we want standing up to the powers in political parties are those most reliant on the party bosses to be "protected" by an MMP list position. MMP discourages the vulnerable MPs from standing up for their electorate.
Poor Canada.  We have FPP and all the flaws of MMP too.  In New Zealand it's the law that half the MPs are not elected by voters but appointed by their parties.  In Canada all our MPs are directly elected, but they all act as loyal appointees.
Follow @CmedMoore