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MMP Recommendation Good But Limitations Prevent Best Outcome

MMP Recommendations Good - But Limitations Prevent Best Outcome

The Conservative Party of New Zealand is welcoming the Electoral Commission’s recommendations to tweak MMP, although Party Leader Colin Craig says the review has been unwisely limited.

On the Commission recommending lowering the threshold, Colin Craig says,“While our expectation is that we would have crossed the 5% threshold at the next election, we nonetheless welcome the Commission’s recommendation to lower it.”

“Previously no new party has been able to enter Parliament under MMP unless it is a break away from an existing party. It’s clear the 5% threshold has been one of the factors preventing new parties being successful in New Zealand.”

However the Conservative Party is looking likely to be the first party to break these barriers. In just seven weeks the Party gained 2.65% of the Party vote. In fact, over 87,000 New Zealanders gave the party at least one of their votes last election.

“With a 4% threshold just over 90,000 party votes would have been required to enter Parliament last election, so it’s fair to say we’re smiling,” Mr Craig says.

“Considering our growing membership and support, we are very confident of getting into Parliament in 2014,” says Mr Craig.

“I think the recommendations from the electoral Commission represent a balanced and well considered process, and are in line with our submission to the MMP review panel. These changes will ultimately be good for our democracy.”

However the Conservative Party criticised the limitations imposed on the Commission by government, specifically excluding consideration of the number of MPs, and whether or not there should be separate Maori seats.

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“These are issues that are very relevant to our democracy, and I am confident that in the future New Zealanders will have their say on these important components of our electoral system as well.”

“When the 1984 Royal Commission on MMP said the threshold should be 4% they were right. We have finally recognised that. They also said there shouldn’t be separate Maori seats. Sooner or later we will recognise that too,” says Mr Craig.

ENDS

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