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MMP Review a lost opportunity - Constitutional Lawyer

MMP Review a lost opportunity - Constitutional Lawyer

Wellington lawyer and former "Vote for Change" campaign spokesperson has expressed disappointment at today's MMP Proposals Paper by the Electoral Commission.

"The politicians set-up this review so that it could not fix the fundamental flaws of MMP" says Jordan Williams, a Wellington constitutional lawyer. "In the case of the percentage threshold reducing to 4%, the proposal would make our elections even more vulnerable to the tail wagging the dog."
"Even supporters of MMP such as Sir Micheal Cullen and Jeannette Fitzsimons cautioned the Commission that setting an MMP percentage threshold too low would result in instability."

"It is a relief that the Commission has listened to the overwhelming calls for the one-seat threshold and overhang provisions to be removed but the 5% threshold must stay if we are to avoid more Winston Peters-type politicians deciding who wins elections."

The Commission's eventual recommendations will not be binding on Parliament. Ultimately it will be up to the politicians to make changes to MMP. "The Commission has a hard task in working in the very limited scope the politicians have given it, and knowing that any recommendation unlikely to get the support of the majority of MPs will be set aside."

"When Winston Peters, hardly a champion for stable government, tells us that 4% would result in instability, we should be sitting up and taking notice" concludes Mr Williams.

ends

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