The review is not binding on Parliament, but will provide a set of recommendations. The timetable is:
- Written submissions can be made up to Thu 31 May 2012, but if you wish to also make an oral submission then the deadline is Thu 5 April 2012
- Oral submissions can be made from Tue 24 April to Fri 18 May 2012
- A proposal paper released on Mon 13 August 2012
- Submissions close on proposal paper Fri 7 Sep 2012
- Report presented to Minister of Justice on Wed 31 Oct 2012
So I encourage people to have their say. If you remain silent, then you will be leaving it to unions and lobby groups to dominate the debate.
The issues the review will cover are:
- the thresholds for the allocation of list seats,
- list members contesting by-elections,
- the rules allowing candidates to both contest an electorate and be on a party list,
- the rules for ordering candidates on party lists,
- the effect of a party winning more electorate seats than its party vote share entitles it to,
- the effects of the ratio of electorate seats to list seats on proportionality in certain circumstances, and
- other matters referred to the Commission by the Minister of Justice or Parliament.
Two issues can not be considered, under the law which set up the review. They are the total no of MPs in Parliament, and Maori representation.
It is my intention to blog on each issue individually, and discuss the pros and cons of potential changes.
What I would also like to do is arrange some public forums in major centres, where a range of speakers can advocate for and against some of the significant possible changes. I think hearing a contest of ideas is one of the more effective ways to get people interested in the issues, and to come to a conclusion on them.
I don’t have the resources to do arrange the public forums myself, but am happy to work with some others to do so.