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UK voting system a reminder of how good MMP is

9 May 2005

Flawed UK voting system a reminder of how good MMP is

The UK's election results, in which Labour secured a comfortable majority in Parliament in spite of winning less than 37% of votes cast, is a stark reminder of how much more democratic New Zealand's voting system is, says Progressive international contact Paula Gillon, now living in the United Kingdom.

"If the U.K. had as representative a voting system as New Zealand's MMP system, then what would be happening now is that the British Labour Party would be looking around for partners to form a new coalition government.

"A coalition government would emerge which would deliver a government far more responsive and representative of the electorate's mood and aspirations than the single party majority government that British people now have to settle for because of their flawed First Past The Posting voting system," she said.

Opinion polls in the U.K. have found strong support for international law and opposition to the illegal invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and the U.K.

"Under the British voting system, however, British voters were offered two pro-war parties - Conservative and Labour - a bit like the way New Zealanders in the old days were offered two pro-privatization parties despite public opinion against strategic asset sales.

"The inadequacy of the British voting system is a reminder of how good our own more democratic voting system is and a time to remember how good it is to be a Kiwi," Paula Gillon said.

The Progressive Party is a partner in the coalition government first elected in 1999 and is campaigning in this year's election on a platform that includes cutting tertiary graduates' debt in return for them working in New Zealand, raising the drinking age to twenty, cutting the company tax rate and investing more to get low income families into their first homes.

Its leader, Jim Anderton, is the third ranked Cabinet Minister with responsibility for Economic, Industry and Regional Development and the government's campaign to reduce the harm caused by drugs.


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