What should the MMP threshold be?

February 14th, 2012 at 9:43 am by David Farrar

In my blog at I look at the issue of what the party vote threshold should be for MMP. I note:

One of the most important issues is what percentage of the vote should a political party need to get, to gain list MPs in Parliament. Currently the threshold is 5 per cent. You can also qualify through winning an electorate seat, but I plan to discuss that issue in a seperate post.

There are basically four options for the threshold. They are to:

  • (A) – Increase it
  • (B) – Keep it at 5%
  • (C) – Reduce it
  • (D) – Abolish it
In general terms, the higher the threshold, the fewer parties will be in Parliament, and fewer parties will be needed to form a government. The lower the threshold, the more parties there will be in Parliament, and more parties will be need to agree to form a government. Also the higher the threshold, the more wasted votes you get.
Over at Stuff I look at what would have been the impact on the last six elections, based on the scenarios of a 7% threshold, a 4% threshold and no threshold.
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54 Responses to “What should the MMP threshold be?”

  1. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    keep a threshold at a nominal level – ie: 5% or 4% or 7%, BUT if a party gets an electorate seat and only gets say 2.5%, then the threshold for everyone changes to 2.5%.
    There is no logical reason (other than making life simple) for a threshold if you dont get a seat, but no threshold if you do get a seat.
    If we didnt have list seats then there would be no need obviously.

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  2. swan (659 comments) says:

    You miss a major point, which is that a lower threshold increases proportionality.

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  3. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Oh – you naughty boy DPF………..

    Graham Capill is just one of the MPs that have been found out……
    you assume there are no others………….

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  4. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    Make electorates more contestable by increasing the amount to 90 and introducing preferential voting.

    Then change the threshold to 2 seats with no percentage.

    This will eliminate the phenomonen of the cult of personality where a party exists solely to further an individuals career rather than the party’s.

    If the United Future and NZ First parties are any more than facades then politicians as capable as they have will be able to get a second person pushing the same policies over the line in a seat.

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  5. Pete George (23,168 comments) says:

    The problem with analysing what woukld have happened with different threshholds is that it can’t take into account how a different threshhold may have affected how people voted.

    The lower the threshhold the more representative the system is, with the least number of distortions.

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  6. david (2,548 comments) says:

    Proportionality per se is a total crock swan, unless you want a system that caters for every special interest/special needs group in society that you can conceive of.

    I am offended that we need to argue that our political system must generate a parliament that contains representatives of any particular “group” (men, women, ethnic groupings etc) I can accept that those with political agendas should have the opportunity to put their policy ideas in front of the voters but I’m damned if we need to design a system that virtually guarantees that out parliament becomes a stewpot of groups who trade off their dearly held policies for a small piece of the power-to-influence pie.

    For all its perceived faults, a system that gives the most favoured group the mandate to implement their policies (you know, the ones that the voters voted for) must be the objective. If that means that candidates who are elected are trusted to take account of all groups in society (including those with no direct representation like Innuit or children), then that is as it should be.

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  7. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    I’m happy with 5% but wouldn’t be particularly opposed to 4%.

    I think if you get much below that then single issue parties without a broad support base or developed policies will sqweak in.

    If you raise it too much then it acts as a barrier to new entrants to the policical marketplace.

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  8. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    The test of an electoral system is how good is it at removing people from power?

    That comes waaay before proportionality.

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  9. Mark (1,407 comments) says:

    The Electorate rejected FPP and the other alternatives put up in the referendum held at the last election so we have MMP clearly identified as the preferred system.

    So now we are asked to look at the flaws in MMP and make changes that give a better process if not better outcome. Forgetting the other flaws for the moment DFP has started the discussion on the threshold. For me Key/Banks cup of tea fiasco in this years election demonstrated how the system can be manipulated in a way that was never intended and raises some questions around ethics and democracy. The Labour Party can have the same bone pointed at them over Anderton’s seat in the past.

    I like the concept of a minimum threshold being required to get a list seat no matter whether you gain an electorate seat. I would like the change to go hand in hand with a Preference Vote system for the Party vote so that people can vote for their party of choice without the fear that their party vote will be wasted should their preferred party not make the cut off.

    As to the threshold, it is arbitrary as to whether that threshold is 4% or 5%. I would be happier at 5% but would not die in a ditch to defend is against 4%. Seven percent is a nice thought but in reality pushing it too high.

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  10. Cobolt (82 comments) says:

    Have a higher threshold, 7-10%.
    An electorate seat does not negate the threshold, I.e. you win an electorate seat and get 4% party vote only the electorate seat winner gets in.
    Finally if a party does not get the threshold then any electorate MPs can not hold ministerial portfolios.

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  11. BlairM (2,303 comments) says:

    There does need to be a threshold. You shouldn’t be able to become an MP just by starting a party and having a small number of bewildered people vote for you by accident.

    I’d have no problem reducing the threshold to 3% or 4%, but no less than that. What really should happen is that the party vote should be a preferential vote, so that people voting for minor parties don’t distort the result as they do now.

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  12. Pete George (23,168 comments) says:

    Cobolt – let me guess, you support one of the large parties that will not be directly affected by any of your proposals, and you’d like to get rid of any meddlesome smaller parties.

    A 7-10% threshold would probably have cut out all parties but National and Labour so we would end up with two party MMP, little more than second best for FPP losers.

    The starting point for discussions on the threshhold should be the original recommendation of 4%, looking at lowering versus leaving at that level.

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  13. Pete George (23,168 comments) says:

    You shouldn’t be able to become an MP just by starting a party and having a small number of bewildered people vote for you by accident.

    Blair, do you have any idea how hard it is to get the numbers required to get a party into parliament? Even the Megabucks Conservative Party couldn’t make the cut.

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  14. Griff (6,970 comments) says:

    Threshold set at average number of votes to get a electoral seat.
    The Christians for instance have tried to get representation and repeatedly fall just short.
    They are as valid as mana ( the 1%)or any other minority party.
    This would allow the views of minority’s to be better represented

    That the polls influence the elections is the tail wagging the dog. A lower threshold would crimp the ability of media skewing the election by insinuating that X party is not getting in so a vote for them is wasted.

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  15. calendar girl (1,197 comments) says:

    Leave the threshold at 5% rather than set a precedent for perpetual tinkering with what will always be an arbitrary number. But if a minor party candidate wins an electorate seat, the threshold should remain 5% before that party gains any additional (list) seats.

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  16. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Cobolt (43) Says:
    February 14th, 2012 at 10:37 am


    Have a higher threshold, 7-10%.

    Dangerous idea. You get 4 parties with 6% of the vote and suddenly 24% of the voting population is disenfranchised which would be akin to telling a major urban centre like Wellington that their votes don’t count.

    Those who want higher thresholds tend to favour the two major parties and don’t want to compromise with the rest of New Zealand. Keep in mind that both major parties only have a core support of, I estimate, 25-35 percent with the remainder switching between the major parties and minor parties. These swing votes are often influenced by the 5% threshold because they fear wasting their vote. They should be able to vote without such fear by either eliminating the threshold or, even better, having preferential voting for the party vote.

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  17. Cobolt (82 comments) says:

    The greens would have made it in this time around.
    Actually, rather than having the party have to meet the threshold before being offered ministerial positions make it that only one party can hold ministerial portfolios. That means you don’t have the minor parties bargaining their support for the baubles of office. They support the govt on their ideologies rather than “What’s in it for me”, Eh Winnie.

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  18. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    calendar girl (653) Says:
    February 14th, 2012 at 11:06 am


    Leave the threshold at 5% rather than set a precedent for perpetual tinkering with what will always be an arbitrary number.

    Agreed it is arbitrary. But abolishing it altogether is based on a very principled stance that we should not be rigging the system to disenfranchise voters simply on the basis that their political beliefs are relatively unpopular. The goal of voting should be to establish a proportional Parliament which represents the people as accurately as possible. Only by achieving this does it gain legitimacy.

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  19. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Cobolt (44) Says:
    February 14th, 2012 at 11:09 am


    The greens would have made it in this time around.

    You ignore the fact that the higher the threshold the more fear there is of the wasted vote which would change the outcome.

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  20. swan (659 comments) says:

    “Have a higher threshold, 7-10%”

    Why?

    Because you dont like about what other people think?

    Agreed there should be PV for party vote.

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  21. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    BlairM,


    You shouldn’t be able to become an MP just by starting a party and having a small number of bewildered people vote for you by accident.

    It could be argued that those voting for the major parties are bewildered idiots, but it is fundamentally unethical to start analyzing the merits of a person’s vote as a basis for judging whether their vote deserves to be counted or not.

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  22. Pete George (23,168 comments) says:

    The greens would have made it in this time around.

    Only if the party survived this long without getting into parliament, which is doubtful. Based on past voting levels they would have kept missing the cut (2005 and 2008), so would have struggled to survive, let alone be in a position to get ovr 10%.

    And if the threshhold was higher less people would have risked wasting their vote, so the results would likely have been worse.

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  23. Cobolt (82 comments) says:

    Fair points on the threshold. But my concern is the tails wagging the dog the whole time.

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  24. BlairM (2,303 comments) says:

    I think some people have misunderstood me. When I said “You shouldn’t be able to become an MP just by starting a party and having a small number of bewildered people vote for you by accident.” I was referring to the scenario of no threshold whatsoever. DPF has already pointed out that Bill and Ben, and other assorted oddities would have got into parliament on that basis. I stand by my view that many of those who voted for such parties were bewildered, and did so by accident!

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  25. calendar girl (1,197 comments) says:

    “Agreed it is arbitrary. But abolishing it altogether is based on a very principled stance that we should not be rigging the system to disenfranchise voters simply on the basis that their political beliefs are relatively unpopular.”

    Implicit in my preference for 5% was a clear rejection of the 0% alternative. That’s because a benign hurdle as low as 10,000 votes nationally would be too much of a temptation for tiny pressure groups at all points of the political spectrum to promote their hobbyhorses du jour, using our precious democratic processes as their ready-made platform.

    In your quest for absolute proportionality you call abolishing the threshold a “very principled stance”. I say that it’s an extreme position with serious potential downsides. As with most things in life, there is no black and white course that reflects a moderate middle ground acceptable to most. The media, of course, would thrive on the electoral chaos that a zero threshold could generate.

    To me, the arbitrary 5% seems about right in practice, and the electorate has become accustomed to it and generally comfortable with it. Changing it now to 4% or 6% (but not zero, that is an extreme) will have very little effect. I simply argue that once the politicians start tinkering in this way, the pressure will always be there to tinker some more.

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  26. BlairM (2,303 comments) says:

    Oh, and I am thoroughly sick of this “tail wagging the dog” crap. When has that ever happened?! In every single government since MMP was put in place, the small party got rogered like a bitch by the big one, and only got a few token concessions. Even the National/NZ First government of 1996-1998 did not have major policy concessions to Winston Peters.

    Tell me, o grumpy bastards, where are your examples, or will you finally admit you are spouting bullshit?

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  27. emmess (1,387 comments) says:

    If a party win more electorate seats than you are entitled to proportionately, they should have some of the seats removed, the lowest winning margin first.

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  28. Cobolt (82 comments) says:

    @BlairM – Do you think we’d have the anti-smacking bill if the tail didn’t wag the dog? Whether you agree with it or not the vast majority of the country opposed it at the time, yet Sue got her way.

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  29. Pete George (23,168 comments) says:

    Do you think we’d have the anti-smacking bill if the tail didn’t wag the dog?

    What was the final vote? 113-8. That’s a big tailed dog.

    XXXXXXXX (dog)

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (tail)

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  30. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Cobolt,

    Yet National has done nothing to reverse it. Indeed they voted for it! Only seven MPs voted against the bill. Does Sue Bradford have some sort of special power to control nearly all of Parliament?

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  31. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    BlairM,


    DPF has already pointed out that Bill and Ben, and other assorted oddities would have got into parliament on that basis. I stand by my view that many of those who voted for such parties were bewildered, and did so by accident!

    I disagree. They probably thought that every other choice is terrible so Bill and Ben can’t be any worse. They are probably right in thinking that. But again, your aim is to disenfranchise people simply because you don’t agree with their vote. That is fundamentally wrong.

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  32. Joel Rowan (99 comments) says:

    I think the threshold should stay pretty much exactly as it is.

    The reason is that lowering the percentage threshold by any drastic amount will result in further fracturing of the vote. More people would vote for the extreme parties like Libertarianz and the Workers’ Party (for example) if they only needed ~1% to get one seat. It forces people to be more pragmatic with their vote and therefore they move towards the centre. This is a good thing, as it results in fewer parties in parliament (more unity), while various (but somewhat moderated) views are still represented. I don’t think it needs to be raised either, with the current mix being pretty fair. If anything, an ever so slight downwards push might be good, but it’s effect on the election would be fairly meaningless in my view.

    I also don’t have a problem with the “Epsom rule” (never gets called the Wigram rule, huh). Coat-tailing is fine by me. I can’t see that it’s a rort, and it doesn’t cause problems with stability. If anything, I think one party soft-gifting an electorate to a minor party is a good thing, and it helps stable blocs be elected to form a government. . That was definitely the case in the 2008 election (despite Act’s internal troubles latterly). It also helps minor parties achieve representation – people are not so scared of wasting their votes, so do not have to make a choice about compromising their true beliefs entirely. Realistically, the fewer wasted votes, the better, and the one-electorate threshold helps this.

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  33. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    calender girl,


    Implicit in my preference for 5% was a clear rejection of the 0% alternative. That’s because a benign hurdle as low as 10,000 votes nationally would be too much of a temptation for tiny pressure groups at all points of the political spectrum to promote their hobbyhorses du jour, using our precious democratic processes as their ready-made platform.

    Oh my god, people promoting what’s important to them. Heaven forbid! Can you not see the irony when you talk of “precious democratic processes” while simultaneously formulating an argument to deny the democratic rights of people simply because you don’t agree with them?


    In your quest for absolute proportionality you call abolishing the threshold a “very principled stance”. I say that it’s an extreme position with serious potential downsides. As with most things in life, there is no black and white course that reflects a moderate middle ground acceptable to most. The media, of course, would thrive on the electoral chaos that a zero threshold could generate.

    Electoral chaos? Could you be a little more specific rather than vague generalities?

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  34. Paulus (2,546 comments) says:

    Why complain about Banks and Dunne both being elected.

    Anderton did the very same thing for years.

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  35. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    The threshhold for getting a seat should be that you won a seat. List seats are bullshit.

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  36. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Joel Rowan,


    The reason is that lowering the percentage threshold by any drastic amount will result in further fracturing of the vote. More people would vote for the extreme parties like Libertarianz and the Workers’ Party (for example) if they only needed ~1% to get one seat. It forces people to be more pragmatic with their vote and therefore they move towards the centre. This is a good thing, as it results in fewer parties in parliament (more unity), while various (but somewhat moderated) views are still represented.

    Compromise and moderation should occur WITHIN Parliament. It shouldn’t be a prerequisite to get representation in the first instance because then you are giving advantage to one class of people (i.e. the centrist voters) over others.

    It astounds me the arrogance of many people here who openly express a willingness to rig the system for no other reason than the fact they don’t like the choices some people make. If people want to be represented by Libertarianz or some socialist workers party then they should have that right. Who are you to dictate to others how they should vote? …and failing that rig the system in your favour.

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  37. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Put it away


    List seats are bullshit.

    An unassailable argument if ever there was one!

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  38. Joel Rowan (99 comments) says:

    Well, Weihana, I don’t think the presence of extremist views in parliament is to anyone’s benefit. They won’t be wanted in government, won’t be credible or useful in opposition, and will be costly eating up funding and allowances. Unlike an electorate MP, the one or two MPs that could be elected from a party subject to a low or nil threshold would not be accountable to an electorate for any local issues, they could do whatever they liked essentially.

    The parliament is not a sounding board for extremists. It needs to be functional too, and I don’t believe this would be the case if the threshold were abolished. I don’t wish to dictate how they vote, merely to recognise a party voted for by an unsupported 1% of the population They are not beneficial. It’s an ideological position that I reject on the basis of pragmatism and in the interest of having the most useful and effective parliament.

    It is not rejecting those views, merely suggesting that they need to gather more (a certain level of) support before they should achieve a presence in parliament. Having extremists with low support in parliament is not beneficial.

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  39. samtheman (40 comments) says:

    The threshold should be the number of votes that the least popular electorate MP who won their electorate gained. If one group of 20,000 people can elect an MP because they all live in the same electorate, why should 20,000 people across the country not be able to elect an MP too?

    To all the people who think 1-2% parties would cause a breakdown in parliament – I suppose their voters would notice this and give their vote to a more productive party. And anyway who the hell is anyone to say one vote is less valid than another?

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  40. awb (301 comments) says:

    http://afinetale.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/every-vote-counts.html
    Thoughts on the threshold.

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  41. Griff (6,970 comments) says:

    awb
    +1

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  42. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Joel Rowan (34) Says:
    February 14th, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    The purpose of Parliament is to represent the people. What is “beneficial” is a matter of opinion and is no argument for determining the makeup of Parliament. The purpose of Parliament is to gauge the will of the people and only after that is done do we then say that a majority of Parliament gets to decide what is “beneficial”.

    You offer a specious argument that such representatives would be unaccountable simply because their electorate is not defined by “local issues”. I put it to you that the Green Party is a party defined by issues not specific to any one locality. If they announced they no longer believed in man-made global warming they would be out of Parliament by next election. The fact is they are accountable to the people who vote for them and it is up to those people to determine whether they want to keep voting for them.

    You also claim that disenfranchising “extremist” viewpoints is necessary in the interests of functionality and pragmatism. I fail to see why. You mention “funding and allowances” as if such paltry sums (relatively speaking) are more important than the fundamental democratic rights of citizens to be represented in Parliament.

    I also do not see how Parliament will cease to be effective. Certainly the major parties will not be able to push through whatever they want and why should they? They should have to compromise with minority interests as well or seek the support of the major opposition party on some issues. There are a variety of options and indeed without a threshold there will be more options from which to choose since the 5% threshold arbitrarily limits the number of minor parties with which deals can be struck.

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  43. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    # awb (128) Says:
    February 14th, 2012 at 3:08 pm


    http://afinetale.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/every-vote-counts.html
    Thoughts on the threshold.

    Good points. Although:

    In 2011 the only unrepresented party which would have gained seats under a no threshold system would have been Conservative. With 2.65% of the vote, they would have got in with 3 seats. Legalise Cannabis, Social Credit, Libertarianz and the Alliance would have all fallen short.

    I believe the situation could be somewhat different with a lower threshold. People change their vote in fear of wasting it and this is what really bothers me because the system forces people to cast their vote dishonestly. This is why I would prefer preferential voting for the party vote because we could all simply vote how we truly feel rather than having to vote tactically. The fact that we have to vote tactically, I think, reduces the accountability of the major parties. They know they can get away with certain things because alternative options at election time are limited. However, with preferential voting a libertarian, for instance, could vote for the Libertarianz safe in the knowledge that if not enough others agreed their second choice for National would still be counted.

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  44. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    BlairM (1,581) Says:
    February 14th, 2012 at 11:50 am
    Oh, and I am thoroughly sick of this “tail wagging the dog” crap. When has that ever happened?! In every single government since MMP was put in place, the small party got rogered like a bitch by the big one, and only got a few token concessions. Even the National/NZ First government of 1996-1998 did not have major policy concessions to Winston Peters.

    Tell me, o grumpy bastards, where are your examples, or will you finally admit you are spouting bullshit?

    Kiwibank.

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  45. Griff (6,970 comments) says:

    Too complicated just drop the threshold to 1% the fortunes of the minor party’s add extra dimension to the political landscape A Three year term gives plenty of time to sell a direction for the major party in coalition Having the ability to tactically vote and know its going to count enables a lot more nuance in the direction of a second term of government. Many of us are not tied down to one place , do not identify with the majority of the populous of our locale Or agree with the direction that major partys are forced to go in just to capture the enough votes. to be assured of governance.
    Nut jobs like b+b don’t hang around long and represent a constant reminder that if you voted for them you are a bit sad

    Germany has had a great deal of success since they changed to mmp.

    learn by example

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  46. Maaik (33 comments) says:

    With 120 MPs, 0.83% of the vote should allow a party to have 1 MP. Simple.

    So, we get a few loonies – we might call them loonies, but 0.83% of the voters think their views are legit.

    Far greater issue (for me) is the “Epsom rule” (not to mention the other guilty parties…) where people are encouraged to “vote strategically”. An obvious abuse of the system. As usual, Labour has been more effective at showing up National’s abuse of the system, while they have been doing the same for years. National needs better PR.

    I suggest having a single vote – for the candidate on your ballot. He represents a party, who gets the party vote from your ballot.

    If you don’t like any of the people on the ballot, you vote for a party instead (only the unrepresented parties will appear on the ballot), and you forfeit your right to choose a local representative (stand for parliament if you feel strongly about your views).

    This has the added benefit of not further confusing the bewildered that foisted WP on us for another 3 years – I wonder how many of them would have voted for the familiar face of their local representative if that was their only choice?

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  47. s.russell (1,578 comments) says:

    I suggest people go and read the relevant section of the 1986 Royal Commission report.

    The Commission recognised that no threshold would be more democratic (which is good), but was also (rightly) required to consider the effect on the working of Government.

    There are ample example of countries which have used low or zero thresholds (apart from Weimar Germany, Italy and Israel both spring to mind, and both have since increased their thresholds). The result has been that VERY extreme, fanatical groups have gained a position in Parliament which has indeed allowed their tail to wag the dog and caused considerable instability. That has been very bad for those countries.

    With a larger threshold a party has to gain support from a much wider range of people and is thus likely to be far more reasonable in its overall policies and behaviour (or it could not get 5 per cent support).

    The recommendation of a 4 per cent threshold (changed by Parliament to 5 per cent in the Electoral Act) was thus a compromise between the criteria of effective and democratic representation of the peopel in Parliament and providing for effective Government – in the longer term interests of everyone.

    I therefore believe that getting rid of the threshold would be bonkers. Exactly what it should be, well, that is indeed arbitrary. I personally believe that NZ First getting 4.1 per cent in 2008 despite all that had been shown about its and its leader’s moral bankruptcy is a powerful argument that 4 per cent is too low!

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  48. mikenmild (11,234 comments) says:

    I would suggest that a consideration should be the undesirability of single-MP parties. That for me would weigh against a very low threshold. As an aside, a single MP should not be able to constitute a parliamentary party as a so-called leader – that’s just an absurdity.

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  49. Tanstaafl (28 comments) says:

    I think there should be no fixed threshold. Instead, there should be a fixed number of list seats, which are allocated to reduce disproportionality. For example, if there were just 25 list seats (with 95 electorate seats), they would be allocated one-by-one to reduce the deficit between a party’s vote percentage and seat percentage. Thus, if National won a disproportionate number of electorate seats, leaving Labour with a 20% deficit and the minor parties with no seats at all, the 25 list seats would be allocated to the parties with the biggest gaps.

    If the Greens had a gap of 8%, NZFirst 4%, and ACT 2%, then the list seats would go to Labour until their gap is 8%, then to the Greens and Labour until their gaps are 4%, then to NZFirst/Green/Labour until their gaps are 2%, and so on. At some point the list seats would run out, and that would be the end of the process.

    I think this approach is fairer to the minor parties. Instead of setting an arbitrary threshold where some parties get everything and others get nothing, it spreads the list seats around.

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  50. laworder (273 comments) says:

    I am inclined towards lowering the threshold, maybe not to 1% but definitely lower than 5%. I’d prefer that to the current system where parties get in on the basis of a single electorate seat. You may end up with a smattering of fringe loonies, but better to have them out where everyone can see them for what they are than forever complaining that they cannot get representation.

    Tanstaafi’s suggestion has merit too

    Regards
    Peter J
    Webmaster for http://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz

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  51. big bruv (13,526 comments) says:

    All those who favour dropping the threshold should think about the day (because it will come soon) that the Greens, or the Motherfuckers party hold the balance of power.

    Can you imagine what Labour would give John Hatfield and co to get back the treasury benches?
    Can you imagine how much tax we would be paying under a Labour/Green coalition?
    Can you imagine how much irreparable damage the Greens would do to our economy in one term?

    When this does happen we can kiss goodbye to freedom, we can kiss goodbye to being anything other than a county controlled by the state.
    There is a name for a system of government like that.

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  52. BlairM (2,303 comments) says:

    But again, your aim is to disenfranchise people simply because you don’t agree with their vote. That is fundamentally wrong.

    I said that I wanted a preferential voting system for the party vote. That disenfranchises nobody.

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  53. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    # BlairM (1,583) Says:
    February 15th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    But again, your aim is to disenfranchise people simply because you don’t agree with their vote. That is fundamentally wrong.

    I said that I wanted a preferential voting system for the party vote. That disenfranchises nobody.

    Apologies. I agree that doesn’t disenfrachise anyone.

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  54. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    # big bruv (9,849) Says:
    February 14th, 2012 at 10:55 pm


    All those who favour dropping the threshold should think about the day (because it will come soon) that the Greens, or the Motherfuckers party hold the balance of power.

    To hold the balance of power a party has to be palatable to both sides of the house. The Greens can only realistically go with one party.


    Can you imagine what Labour would give John Hatfield and co to get back the treasury benches?
    Can you imagine how much tax we would be paying under a Labour/Green coalition?

    Probably similar to what we have had under the Fifth Labour Government. Although a Labour/Green coalition might more realistically be a minority government with confidence and supply support from the Greens. And guess what, life wasn’t that bad for the 9 years Helen was in power. Far from your hyterical apocalyptic predictions.


    Can you imagine how much irreparable damage the Greens would do to our economy in one term?

    Actually it would be a Labour led government, and the economy performed fairly well under 9 years of Helen Clark. But lets not let history and facts get in the way of paranoia.


    When this does happen we can kiss goodbye to freedom, we can kiss goodbye to being anything other than a county controlled by the state.
    There is a name for a system of government like that.

    The right takes away just as much freedom as the left. Until you freedom lovers demand right-wing government to ends the war on drugs, which causes untold harm to the economy, personal freedom and social cohesion, then get off your moral high horse. Stop blabbering on about “freedom” when right-wingers do very little to demand more freedom from centre-right governments other than lower taxes. And as it happens the Greens tax policy of a 39% top tax rate is hardly the North Korean dictatorship you like to imagine.

    Moreover, the Greens have consistently maintained a presence in Parliament and the threshold only makes it more likely that other coalition alternatives are excluded by the threshold. However, abolishing the threshold and/or implementing preferential party votes will make it easier for you to vote Libertarianz and get a party that truely is all about individual freedom of choice.

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