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Government Should Reject MMP Review Recommendations

Government Should Reject MMP Review Recommendations – Constitutional Lawyer

5 November 2012

Wellington constitutional lawyer and former Vote for Change campaigner, Jordan Williams today expressed disappointment with the Electoral Commission’s final report on the MMP review. The key recommendations are a reduction of the party vote threshold from 5% to 4% and removal of the one electorate seat threshold.

“New Zealanders have been conned,” says Williams. “The public voted to keep MMP with an expectation that the review would result in improvements and a more stable electoral system. Instead, these recommendations would make the features of MMP even worse. ”

“Instead of reducing the influence of small parties holding the balance of power, the report recommends lowering the party-vote threshold and potentially allowing even more small party tails to wag the dog.”

“A 4% MMP threshold is a recipe for instability and unpredictability.”

“Even Winston Peters, hardly the symbol of stable government, argued that the party vote threshold should not be reduced. Governing arrangements and lines of accountability are complex enough without letting more marginal parties into Parliament.”

“The Commission has made no effort to address the power of party bosses to select, rank and exercise power over list MPs. The report ignores the overwhelming calls for transparency in list rankings.”

“The Commission’s suggestions are likely to be controversial and party political. Without a broad political consensus the Government should not tinker with our electoral system for political advantage and should reject the recommendations.”

ENDS

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