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Labour to introduce MMP member’s bill

Labour Leader
06 November 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Labour to introduce MMP member’s bill

The Labour Party has begun drafting legislation to amend MMP, abolishing the so-called ‘coat-tails clause’ and reducing the party vote threshold to 4%.

“New Zealanders need to have confidence in the integrity of the electoral system, and these changes need to be made in time for the 2014 election,” says David Shearer.

“People are sick of deals being stitched up over cups of tea. That moment between John Key and John Banks in Epsom hurt Kiwis’ confidence in MMP and its time to restore that trust.

“New Zealanders voted to retain MMP and have it reviewed. The Electoral Commission consulted widely on these changes. It’s important that the Government keeps faith with the people and follows through on the democratic choices they have made.

“Labour’s bill will deal with the most important recommendations made by the Commission. It will abolish the one electorate seat threshold for the allocation of list seats and lower the party vote threshold from 5% to 4%. It will also require the Electoral Commission to conduct a review after three general elections.

“This should not be a party-political issue. I will be writing to the Prime Minister offering to work with the Government to see these changes put in place.

“But I am not prepared to sit back and wait and see if National will act on the Electoral Commission’s recommendations. That’s why Labour will take the lead and put them in front of Parliament in the hope they can be implemented in time for the next election.

“We are asking other political parties to help us progress the Electoral Commission’s recommendations. We would also be more than happy for National to pick up our member’s bill and take it forward as Government legislation,” says David Shearer.

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