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10 years on MMP has delivered plenty

13 October 2006 Press Release

10 years on MMP has delivered even more than expected

The Mixed Member Proportional representation electoral system has delivered even more than its supporters had hoped when they campaigned for it said Progressive leader Jim Anderton today.

"When we campaigned for MMP ahead of the 1993 referendum, we did so because we said that the new system would deliver a more representative Parliament which would fully reflect society.

"We also said that the worst excesses of the old, two party system - such as the economic vandalism inflicted on the country by the National Government of 1975-1984 - would be moderated by MMP because big parties would never again be able to monopolise and therefore abuse power.

"But when you examine the situation in New Zealand today you realise that MMP has actually delivered even more than we dared hope ten years ago.

"Our society faces big changes over coming decades from issues ranging from global climate change to the significant ageing of our population.

"Under MMP, you have eight parliamentary parties competing with each other to respond to the public's demand for action on climate change whereas if we had still had the old system then it is unlikely there would be anywhere as much responsiveness to the public's demand for policy making on such a long-term issue.

The Labour-Progressive minority government has, over the past seven years, also implemented its economic policies with a view to protecting the long-term interests of society.

"It is under MMP that the present government recently announced that it is the first government in New Zealand history to achieve a positive net financial asset position: The government has more financial assets than it has liabilities.

"Our government, every year, invests millions of dollars in the Superannuation Fund for the benefit of future retirees, future generations and future governments' finances which will be strained by the ageing population.

"The historic record of First Past The Post, in stark contrast, is that it failed to implement policies with such a long-term, national-interest focus.

"The MMP system is delivering. It is delivering much more responsive government - much more responsive to the genuine interests of New Zealanders and New Zealand over the long-term," the Progressive MP for Wigram said.

ENDS

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