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Robson outlines to Canadians why MMP is so good


Robson outlines to Canadians why MMP is so good

Canadian High Commissioner, John Donaghy, has invited MPs from different New Zealand political parties to attend a round-table discussion with the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedures and House Affairs tonight.

Progressive Deputy Leader Matt Robson's speech notes are posted at: www.progressive.org.nz

Highlights:

Does our MMP system give very small parties, like Progressive, too much power? Jim Anderton and I advocated for a New Zealand-owned, low cost bank Kiwibank initially against opposition from every other party.

We advocated for paid parental leave entitlements and an extra week's holiday entitlement a year for workers, initially opposed or resisted by Labour, National, United Future and ACT.

We promoted the establishment of a dedicated Ministry of Economic Development, initially with no other party's support.

We got a Big Screen Production Grant Scheme put in place that initially no other party supported.

Surely, Canadian MPs could say from Ottawa, that proves the system is rotten. A very small party with just two MPs can forced its policies onto society? But that conclusion would be the wrong one.

The MMP system allowed Progressive to put these issues on the Cabinet agenda and to argue the business case. It gave us time to win genuine public support for our viewpoint. Parties bigger than ours, one by one, endorsed the policies so that today all parties except ACT support all of the policies I have just outlined. The democratic check is that all our policies first had to win Parliamentary majority support. The second check is that people get to vote again later this year!.

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