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Key wants FPP back - and the Greens gone

28 October 2008

Key wants FPP back - and the Greens gone

John Key's call for the party with the most votes to form the Government is a disguised call for returning to First Past the Post - where a Government could represent a minority of voters, the Green Party says.

"Under FPP, Governments regularly represented a minority of voters - by dismissing smaller parties who gained substantial votes but no seats," Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"It was possible under FPP to form a Government with less than 40 percent of the vote. Since New Zealanders chose to get rid of that system 15 years ago, all Governments and their partners have represented a clear majority of voters.

"Key's claim that the party with the most votes should form the Government is a thinly disguised attempt to get the Green Party out of Parliament and deny eight to ten percent of New Zealanders any representation at all.

"With the Green Party vote spread across the country, only a proportional system of representation will see the future of our children and the planet represented in Parliament at all," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"It is an important democratic principle that a Government should represent the largest proportion of all voters. Whether they voted for one party or several who can work together is not an issue of democracy.

"There are usually more than two sides to any question and a Government of several parties is likely to be more balanced and more fully representative.

"In fact, many other countries regularly have Governments that represent a majority of voters without including the largest party. This is true in Sweden at present. It has been true in recent years in Ireland and Austria, twice in Denmark and three times in Norway.

"Ironically, these have tended to be right wing governments. Would John Key still hold the same view if the boot was on the other foot?"


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