The Herald on Sunday editorial:
In the big grey building on the hill in Wellington are 121 MPs – one for every 36,600 New Zealanders.
That’s almost a record (they had to redo the seating plan to fit in such numbers) and it’s a big increase on the 99 MPs who represented us in 1996, before the introduction of MMP.
The last Parliament had 122 MPs, so in fact it has dropped. And worth mentioning that the population growth since 1996 means that even without MMP, we would be up to 109 MPs. In another decade or so Parliament under MMP will be smaller than what it would have been if we had continued with FPP.
Do we need so many MPs? Well, Australia’s House of Representatives contains 150 MPS – one for every 152,300 Ockers.
The HoS is not comparing apples with apples. With no second chamber our backbench MPs on select committees do the work which upper houses often do. Also with no state governments, the national parliament and government is responsible for all laws and policies. So what is the total number of legislators in Australia.
- Federal – 150 + 76 = 226
- NSW = 93 + 42 = 135
- Victoria = 88 + 40 = 128
- Queensland = 89
- WA = 59 + 36 = 95
- SA = 47 + 22 = 69
- Tasmania = 25 + 15 = 40
- ACT = 17
- NT = 25
The total number of legislators in Australia is 824. That is one for every 27,700 Australians – a considerably higher ratio than in New Zealand.
The truth may be unpopular but for a country of its size, New Zealand has one of the smaller Parliaments in the world. I researched around 50 different countries for a submission on this a few years back.
Does MMP need so many politicians? No, it would work perfectly well if we went back to 99 MPs – 63 in general electorates, seven in Maori electorates, and 29 list MPs to bring specialist expertise and proportionality.
Another incorrect statement. In 1999 Labour would have had an overhang under a 70/29 Parliament creating a disproportional result. Again in 2002 Labour would have had an overhang. And such overhangs would be inevitable in the future. A 70/29 split doesn’t produce proportional results when the winning party wins a lot of the electorate seats.Tags: editorials, Herald on Sunday, Parliament