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Greens push for changes to MMP

The Green Party has recommended that constituency MPs be elected by Preferential Voting rather than first past the post in its submission to the MMP Review Committee. The submission, released today, strongly endorses the continuation of the MMP electoral system.

Preferential voting gives voters more choice than first past the post, reduces the level of wasted votes and requires MPs to have majority support to be elected.

The Party is also calling for the threshold for party representation to be reduce from 5 to 4% and has strongly opposed suggestions that the one constituency seat rule entitling a party to list seats even if they don't cross the party vote threshold be removed.

The Greens have come out in support for the continuation of the Maori seats and want them entrenched in the same way that general seats always have been. The party is also calling for MMP itself to be entrenched so that it would enjoy the same protection previously afforded to First Past the Post.

Other recommendations include:

* Scrapping the current state funded broadcasting regime, allowing political parties to use their own money for broadcast advertising and a proposal for a new method of state funding for political parties.

* Establishing a new Electoral Commission which incorporates the existing commission, the Chief Electoral Office, the Electoral Enrolment Centre and the functions of the Clerk of Writs as well as possibly the Representation Commission.

* Remove National and Labour party representatives from both the Electoral Commission and the Representation Commission.

* Increase the Electorate Boundary tolerance from 5% to 10%

* Change Parliament's standing orders to improve the workings of MMP by requiring Parliament to sit within 30 days of an election, requiring parties to declare coalition preferences at the outset of post election negotiations, requiring an investiture vote when parliament first sits after an election and introducing constructive votes of no confidence where the party moving the vote must name the parties to an alternative government, as well as calling for the current one to resign.

The Green Party has also argued against reducing the number of MPs from 120 to 99 and against changing MMP to the Supplementary Member System. The submission also reinforces the party's opposition to anti-defection legislation.

Comment available from Green Party Electoral Reform Spokesperson, Rod Donald: 025 507 183 Copies of the submission are available from 04 470 6663


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