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MMP Changes Should Be Adopted

MMP Changes Should Be Adopted

The Green Party has welcomed the recommendations of the Electoral Commission on the Review of MMP released today.

“It’s great to see that the underlying principles of fairness, proportionality and diversity are reflected in these recommendations, and I look forward to seeing them implemented.” Green Party electoral reform spokesperson Holly Walker said.

“The Electoral Commission has conducted a robust public consultation process, through which a clear set of recommendations has emerged. The Government now needs to respect this process and implement the recommendations.

“This should involve building cross-party consensus as has been done with past changes to the electoral system.

“It’s vital that the National Government does not allow the immediate political interests of any single party get in the way of changes that strengthen our electoral system in the long term.

“This isn’t about the next election; it’s about the next ten elections.”

The Electoral Commission’s recommendations include abolishing the one electorate seat threshold and lowering the party vote threshold to 4 percent, continuing to allow dual candidacy, and an urgent call to review the balance of electorate and list seats.

“Lowering the party vote threshold is a good decision that is based on strong research and upholds the principle of fairness. It’s also encouraging that the Electoral Commission has recommended that the operation of this new threshold be reviewed after three elections.

“Removing the one electorate seat threshold will make a big difference for fairness by making sure that the votes of people in some electorates are not given more weight than others.

“Removing the one electorate seat threshold and lowering the party vote threshold are important recommendations that need to be considered as a package.

“The recommendation that the ratio of electorate and list seats be fixed at 60:40 is also very important to ensure diversity and proportionality in future. Even though this issue is technically outside the scope of this review because it may impact on the size of Parliament, it’s vital that this issue be considered without delay.

“The New Zealand public voted clearly in favour of retaining our MMP electoral system in last year’s referendum. The review has recommended practical, popular changes that further enhance MMP. It is up to the Government now to respect this process and implement the changes with the support of all parties in Parliament.”

Ms Walker also noted that it was timely to be considering the recommendations on the seventh anniversary of Rod Donald’s death.

“Rod was a passionate campaigner for MMP and we believe he would support the improvements being proposed by the Electoral Commission.”

ENDS

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