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MMP electoral system is working well


MMP electoral system is working well

The Mixed Member Proportional representation electoral system is working well at the moment and Prime Minister Helen Clark, who celebrates ten years a Labour leader today, can take her share of the credit for that, says Grant Gillon, Progressive Local Government Spokesperson.

"Helen Clark can be congratulated not only for her ten years as Labour leader but also for her successful adaptation to the MMP. One of the reasons for her tremendous success as a Major Party Leader is that she has adjusted to MMP whereas the four leaders of National since 1998 have all shown a total inability to adjust successfully to the new more representative system," Grant Gillon said.

Prior to the introduction of MMP, its critics said it would lead to political stalemate with nothing getting done because no party would have a Parliamentary majority and minor parties would play endless political games and point-scoring at the expense of good law-making.

"After the first MMP election – when NZ First campaigned for anti-National Party vote but then went on to join a National-led coalition government after people had voted, many peoples' worst fears about MMP were initially confirmed.

"One of the great achievements of Jim Anderton and Helen Clark since 1999, however, is that the centre-left parties have restored peoples' confidence in the electoral and political system," he said.

"MMP is now working as it should.

"Of the 59 contested laws that have been enacted since the July 2002 election, 44 have secured the support of more than one Opposition party even though Labour-Progressive legislation in fact only requires one non-government party's support to be successful. That is a tribute to the success of the coalition government's democratic engagement with Parliament," he said.

Contact: Grant Gillon 027 476 4679 www.progressive.org.nz

See next page for background, details of 59 contested laws


Background

As the biggest party after the 2002 election, Labour had a number of options available to it as it planned to lead a government. It could have governed with the support of one party with nine seats or more (such as the Greens or NZ First) or alternatively do what it did - reach an agreement with two other parties in order to deliver it at least nine seats of support.

The Labour Party holds 52 seats in Parliament and the Progressives two seats, giving the centre-left coalition 54 of the 120 seats. In the 2002-2005 Parliament, Labour is in coalition with the Progressives and the Labour- Progressive coalition has a confidence and supply agreement with the eight member United Future Party.

That takes care of the coalition's ability to pass its budgets and govern, but to enact any other legislation the coalition government needs the support of at least one of the five Opposition parties (or seven votes) to pass.

The table shows that of the 59 Labour Progressive contested laws enacted since the last election, 44 laws were passed with the support of more than one Opposition party.


Date

Legislation Support provided by
1. 18 Sep '02 Social Security (Personal Development and Employment) Amendment United Future, Green
2. 03 Oct '02 Customs and Excise Amendment United Future, Green
3. 08 Oct'02 Taxation (Relief, Refunds and Miscellaneous Provisions) United Future, Green
4. Civil Defence Emergency Management United Future, Green, NZ First , National
5. Terrorism Suppression United Future, ACT, NZ First, National
6. Crown Organisations (Criminal Liability) United Future, Green, NZ First
7. 13 Nov '02 Climate Change Response Green
8. 19 Nov '02 Appropriation (2002/03 Estimates) United Future
9. Securities Amendment

Securities Markets Amendment

Takeovers Amendment United Future, Green, NZ First (times 3)
10. Trade Marks United Future, Green
11. 05 Dec '02 Education (Tertiary Reform) Amendment

Industry Training Amendment Green
12. 12 Dec '02 Animal Welfare Amendment United Future, ACT, NZ First, National
13. 17 Dec '02 Local Government

Local Electoral United Future, Green
14. Health & Safety in Employment Amendment Green
15. 27 Feb '03 Television New Zealand
United Future, Green
16. 19 Mar '03 Appropriation (2001/02 Financial Review) United Future, Green
17. 25 Mar'03 Taxation (Maori Organisations, Taxpayer Compliance and Miscellaneous Provisions) United Future, Green
18. Taxation (Annual Rates of Income Tax 2002-03) United Future, Green
19. Student Loan Scheme Amendment United Future, Green
20. Child Support Amendment United Future, Green
21. 27 Mar'03 Government Communications Security Bureau United Future, ACT, NZ First, National
22. 01 Apr'03 Land Transport (Unauthorised Street and Drag Racing) Amendment United Future, NZ First, National
23. Motor Vehicle Sales United Future, Green, National
24. The Treaty of Waitangi Amendment United Future, Green, NZ First, National
25. Social Workers Registration United Future, Green, NZ First, National
26. 01 May’03 Ngati Ruanui Claims Settlement United Future National, NZ First, Green
27. 06 May’03 Maori Television Service Green, Donna Awatere
28. Customs and Excise (Alcoholic Beverages) Amendment United Future, Green
29. 13 May’03 Resource Management Amendment (No. 2) United Future
30. Approval of Order under Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 United Future, National, NZ First, ACT
31. 12 Jun’03 Debate on performance and current operations of Crown entities, public organisations and State enterprises United Future, Green*

* subsequently the Green Party altered their vote to oppose the motion
32. Minimum Wage Amendment NZ First, Green
33. 18 Jun’03 Appropriation (2002/03 Supplementary Estimates) and Imprest Supply (First For 2003/04) United Future
34. NZ Trade and Enterprise United Future, National, NZ First
35. 26 Jun ’03 Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and and Compensation Amendment Green
36. 01 Jul’03 Immigration Amendment (No. 2) United Future
37. Fair Trading Amendment (No 3) United Future, National, NZ First, Green
38. Commerce Amendment

Consumer Guarantees Amendment

Fair Trading Amendment

Sale of Goods Amendment United Future, NZ First, Green


39. Crimes Amendment (No. 6) United Future, National, NZ First, ACT
40. Wool Industry Restructuring United Future, National, NZ First, ACT
41. 29 Jul’03 State Sector Amendment United Future, Green
42. 06 Aug’03 Appropriation (2003/04 Estimates) United Future
43. 14 Aug’03 Crown Minerals Amendment Green
44. 04 Sep’03 Immigration Amendment United Future
45. 11 Sep’03 Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Medicines Amendment United Future, Green
46. Gambling United Future
47. 14 Oct’03 Supreme Court Green
* * * Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Amendment

Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Amendment (No. 2)

Medicines Amendment (No. 2)

Bio security Amendment (No. 2)

* * note the Progressives voted against United Future, National, ACT
48. 21 Oct’03 Crimes Amendment

Terrorism Suppression Amendment

Misuse of Drugs Amendment

NZ Security Intelligence Service Amendment

Sentencing Amendment United Future, National, NZ First, ACT
49. Summary Proceedings Amendment United Future, National, NZ First
50. Copyright (Parallel Importation of Films and Onus of Proof) Amendment United Future, NZ First, Green
51. Retirement Villages United Future, National, NZ First, Green
52. Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Amendment United Future National, NZ First, ACT
53. Wine United Future, National, NZ First, Green
54. Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) United Future, Green
55. 06 Nov’03 Land Transport Management United Future, Green
56. 13 Nov’03 Dog Control Amendment United Future, National, NZ First, Green
57. 18 Nov’03 Children’s Commissioner United Future, National, NZ First, Green
58. 19 Nov’03 Taxation (Annual Rates of Income Tax 2003-04) United Future
59. 20 Nov ’03 Ngati Tama Claims Settlement United Future, National, NZ First, Green, Awatere

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