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No Change Necessary to MMP

ACT Leader John Banks
August 13 2012

No Change Necessary to MMP

ACT will not support any changes to the MMP voting system, ACT Leader John Banks said today.

“No electoral system is perfect, and the proposed changes do not offer any additional benefits to New Zealand,” Mr Banks said.

“We do not support the abolishment of the one seat threshold.

“The purpose of the one seat threshold was to ensure that political parties with concentrated support got representation in Parliament. It was a judgement made by the Royal Commission on the electoral system in 1986.

“The Electoral Commission’s Paper on this issue is woeful. It uses the weight of partisan submissions to justify removing the one seat threshold, which has been working exactly how the Royal Commission intended since it was introduced.

“Those who want to gerrymander with the electoral system, do so because they lost the last election.

“We believe the five per cent party vote threshold should remain. It is well understood by voters and political parties.

“The proposed reduction to a four per cent threshold is arbitrary and the Commission’s own proposal paper says there is no consensus, which is all the more reason to maintain the status quo.

“Overall, none of the problems our country faces today has much to do with the electoral system.

“Tinkering with MMP is not going to make New Zealand a more prosperous place to live.

“There is far more to be gained by introducing constitutional reforms to help deter governments from going on spending sprees with taxpayers’ money - like we saw under the previous Labour Government.

“I would like to see Opposition parties advocate for real reforms that will make New Zealand more prosperous. But I won’t be holding my breath,” Mr Banks said.

ENDS

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