Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government after
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the 20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be the last to do so.
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
the opinions of many political commentators.