List Ranking

May 6th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

The public can only wonder how somebody like that can get into Parliament.

Nobody elected him. He came in on ’s list in 2008 but could not make it back to Parliament on the list in 2011 even though that election increased ’s proportional representation. The previous year this newspaper revealed he did not have a finance industry qualification claimed in his CV.

Now he is back filling a vacancy left by Speaker Lockwood Smith’s departure. This unfortunately is typical of the list system. People near the bottom of the list come and go without the public noticing or knowing much about them.

It is often claimed that the same could be said of many electorate MPs who are largely unknown outside the electorate. But they are well known within it. Before their election they have faced public meetings, attended local gatherings, made a point of meeting and talking to as many voters as possible.

List MPs may do the same but they do not face the same test. It is hard to believe someone who behaved as Mr Gilmore apparently did would win even a safe National electorate. Word gets around.

The fact he is in Parliament suggests National’s list exceeds its depth of presentable candidates.

Not quite, but it is true that most parties get some quality issues at the lower end of their lists. However this situation is partly of National’s own making.

In 2008, Aaron was ranked No 56 on National’s list, and he was the list person in on their list.

In his first term he didn’t endear himself universally. That’s now because he isn’t without skills – he’s got a good understanding of policy, and is a good debater in the House – but because he does some stupid things.

So in 2011 he was one of two MPs ranked at the bottom of the caucus on the party list, and they were not returned in the general election. Since then however two vacancies have occurred, and hence the two List MPs not re-elected were given opportunities to return.

But while they were ranked at the bottom of the caucus, they were not at the bottom of the list. They were both given places potentially winnable and this is because National has made a “policy” decision at the last three elections to rank existing List MPs above new candidates, except when the new candidates are deemed exceptionally talented or have special appeal.

In 2005 the only candidates ranked above current List MPs were Tim Groser and Chris Finlayson.

In 2008 the only candidates ranked above current List MPs were Steven Joyce, Hekia Parata, Bakshi Singh and Melissa Lee.

In 2011 the only candidates ranked above current List MPs were Jian Yang, Alfred Ngaro and Paul Goldsmith.

When you are in Government with small majorities, I understand the desire to not have incumbent MPs given unwinnable List places. However there is a price to pay when you do protect the caucus.

By this I don’t mean in any way that I believe incumbent MPs should be treated more harshly – far from it. I just think that when it comes to , MPs and candidates should compete fairly on their qualities as individuals – not dealt with collectively.

There are in fact a number of people lower down National’s List who would make solid MPs – Paul Foster-Bell (who is now there), Claudette Hauiti, Jo Hayes, Leonie Hapeta, Denise Krum, Viv Gurrey, Brett Hudson etc (not an exclusive list).

The problem is not that National won too many seats. The problem is that it protected its existing caucus and ranked them ahead all bar three new candidates. Now again, there are reasons why that can be politically desirable. But there are also reasons it is politically undesirable, as we have seen this week.

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51 Responses to “List Ranking”

  1. peterwn (3,144 comments) says:

    This is the Lyndon B Johnson principle:
    “Better to have them inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in”

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  2. Redbaiter (7,522 comments) says:

    “The public can only wonder how somebody like that can get into Parliament.”

    That the Herald only thinks to ask this question today shows what a useless out of touch source of commentary they are.

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  3. tvb (4,196 comments) says:

    Gilmore lacks the temperament to be a good mp and that should have been obvious. All parties make errors in candidate selection. I presume Gilmore will be ranked below the axe murderers and pedophiles. Might be wise to announce the list after parliament is dissolved.

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  4. edd (150 comments) says:

    This is the beginning of end for National if he stays in the party. Happy Gilmore hit this one right over the back of the green into the 19th hole waiter hazard… And Key will never here the end of it.

    A lot of voters out there actually like honest, hard working poor people don’t you know. And despise wealthy, arrogant fuck sticks like Gilmore. I know I do.

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  5. hamnidaV2 (247 comments) says:

    Gilmore is only one of many useless backbench Tory MPs who should be taken out the back of parliament and given a good flogging.

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  6. edd (150 comments) says:

    @tvb

    “I presume Gilmore will be ranked below the axe murderers and pedophiles.”

    I did not know National had axe murderers and pedophiles on their party list. You learn something new every day.

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  7. berend (1,631 comments) says:

    Didn’t this nation vote to retain list MPs? I would say it’s a problem of NZ’s own making. Bring back FPP, so at least MPs can be voted out.

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  8. Sidey (248 comments) says:

    hamnidaV2 (207) Says:
    May 6th, 2013 at 11:22 am
    Gilmore is only one of many useless backbench Tory MPs who should be taken out the back of parliament and given a good flogging.

    Why do you think 18th century British MP’s should be dug up and transported all the way to the back of NZ’s parliament just to be given a flogging? Seems like a lot of effort just to prove the fact that you appear to be a moron. Just tell us, we’ll take your word for it.

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  9. dime (9,368 comments) says:

    “except when the new candidates are deemed exceptionally talented or have special appeal.”

    special appeal – is that code for being a minority?

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  10. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    The public can only wonder how somebody like that can get into Parliament.

    I can answer that.

    1. We have far too many parliamentarians
    2. Politics has become so grubby that
      (a) the calibre of those interested in participating has declined
      (b) the apathy levels of NZers has increased

    Fix 1, 2(a) and 2(b), and the quality of our representation would increase.

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  11. gravedodger (1,509 comments) says:

    @ HamnidaV2, 11 22, contrast your theory to the braindead socialists on the Labour List who because of insecurity and perceived threat find themselves on or near the Labour front bench while a genuine electable talent such as Cunliffe languishes near the door either waiting fo,r or just having received his ” good flogging”.

    I am aware D C holds an electorate seat.

    Gordon Bennett, you are visible evidence of the paucity of socialist talent, so thick that even after innumerable efforts to explain your rank stupidity over what a Tory actually is, you continue to trumpet your idiocy.

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  12. Huevon (184 comments) says:

    One more example of the problems with MMP politics and the silly idea of “proportional representation”.

    No one voted for this guy, but we are stuck with him. So he’s good in a debate and understands policy detail? Who would know. Perhaps if he had to slog it out in town halls at election time to win votes we might. Basically, this guy’s job is to keep his backbench seat warm, vote along the party line, and keep his mouth shut. And he can’t even do that.

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  13. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    berend,

    Why is it important to vote MPs out? Surely the aim of elections is to have the public fairly represented not to give you a sense of satisfaction for ousting someone you don’t like. Hence why we have the party vote to ensure fair representation so that we do not deny 20% of the public the right to be represented simply because their numbers are geographically distributed.

    At the end of the day Gilmore is a non-issue with very little significance. The system doesn’t need to change because of him. Such a suggestion vastly overestimates his importance.

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  14. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Huevon (3) Says:
    May 6th, 2013 at 11:41 am

    One more example of the problems with MMP politics and the silly idea of “proportional representation”.

    No one voted for this guy, but we are stuck with him.

    So your argument against proportional representation is that “no one voted for this guy”? Irony is clearly lost on those who favour a system which produces governments that often lack the support of most people.

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  15. s.russell (1,559 comments) says:

    Being an MP is unlike any other job. It is very hard to predict how a prospective MP is going to turn out. Sometimes people with outstanding credentials turn out to be hopeless or obnoxious. Occasionally, someone who comes in expected to be hopeless (because there were no more promising alternatives available) turn out to be excellent. Result: you are always going to get the odd plonker, prat or dickhead.

    So how did Gilmore get back in in 2011 when he had already demonstrated his weaknesses? Answer 1) he does actually have some offsetting strengths. 2) At the time his dickheadedness was not so apparent as it is now. 3) The party did not want to cause trouble and/or bad publicity by dumping an MP, so just mildly demoted him (a hint to depart he did not take). 4) The party wanted to send a message to MPs that loyalty would be repaid with loyalty 5) Better the devil you know – new people MIGHT be better, but you can’t be sure of that so best to stick with your known quantities rather than take a risk.

    After the latest demonstartion of his qualities no doubt National will be making an exception to their rule of not going too hard on sitting list MPs when it comes to the list ranking next year. But that is only if Gilmore resists the inevitable heavy pressure to FGSG (for God’s sake go), and spare everyone the embarrassment of what will follow.

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  16. Mike Readman (356 comments) says:

    Add Sam Collins to that list. At 66, would he have a chance of getting in this term?

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  17. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    Is there like a suitability test for prospective mp’s?…highlighting skills preferred, previous experience etc etc…

    Maybe an X Factor type show vetting candidates is needed, or even better, a Survivor style format?

    Be a damn sight more entertaining than 7 Blunt, and Turd degree!

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  18. Liberty (233 comments) says:

    The problem of wayward list MPs is easily fixed.
    To get on the List. The Candidate should have to provide a signed resignation letter.
    They are only list MPs and are at the beck and call of the party.

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  19. edd (150 comments) says:

    @ s.russell

    “But that is only if Gilmore resists the inevitable heavy pressure to FGSG (for God’s sake go), and spare everyone the embarrassment of what will follow.”

    Is that the embarrassment of what follows if he stays or if he goes? Because either way, after what Key just said about him staying, it’s nothing but shit for National. At least if he goes Labor wont have a prize dickhead to attack in the beehive for the next 18 months leading up to the next election.

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  20. rosina (9 comments) says:

    berend
    Didn’t this nation vote to retain list MPs? I would say it’s a problem of NZ’s own making. Bring back FPP, so at least MPs can be voted out.

    The lists should be made on election night.
    Every candidate stands in an electorate.
    2 votes as we have now.
    Lists made up from the percentage of votes (already published) sorted by party.

    This way at least the voters can have some say on list candidates, and not vote for a stinker.
    Personally I would vote for the best person to represent my electorate, whatever their party, and party vote for the party I want in Govt. Much farier.

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  21. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Liberty (128) Says:
    May 6th, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    The problem of wayward list MPs is easily fixed.
    To get on the List. The Candidate should have to provide a signed resignation letter.
    They are only list MPs and are at the beck and call of the party.

    Too much power in the hands of too few.

    Why is this one list MP such a HUGE problem for people? He is a minor distraction of little consequence. Party leadership with concentrated power on the other hand could actually represent a real threat.

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  22. BeaB (2,056 comments) says:

    Without making any excuses for his stupid behaviour, surely we can accept the apology of a minor List MP and move on. t would be different if he were a cabinet minister – perhaps, though I don’t expect them to be anything as puerile and patronising as role models either.

    Surely he cannot be without any redeeming qualities. In fact I heard Barry Corbett on the radio praising his activities in Christchurch after the earthquakes. The prospect of the Opposition and the media continually harping on this, like Tuku’s underpants, makes me yawn. We seem never to be able to forget much less forgive.

    Why are we so intent on vilifying and pilloring people in public positions? Why do we hold them to such impossibly high standards without any possibility of redemption? Why do unions and socialists bay for people to lose their jobs? What has happened to a tolerance for human fraility and giving someone another chance? When did we become such censorious wowsers?

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  23. Pete George (22,754 comments) says:

    It’s already been pointed out that Gilmore represents obnoxious people with drinking problems and there’s probably quite a few of them but it seems that National doesn’t want to represent that demographic.

    If Gilmore were to stay an MP through to the next election it would make little difference to Government, if he didn’t make a public dickhead of himself again. The only thing that would be gained by him resigning is National reducing the damage he’s caused them and media getting something to go on about for another day or two.

    It’s possible Gilmore could have finally learnt the error of his ways and reforms himself, surely even he must have got the message over this.

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  24. Pete George (22,754 comments) says:

    And it needs pointing out again, one reason wht parties have trouble getting enough quality people as candidates and MPs is that many good people are put off by the extreme levels of scrutiny that MPs can get if they fart without saying pardon.

    Some are particularly concerned with opening their private lives and their families to scrutiny and criticism.

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  25. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    I still struggle with all the people who think the number of votes someone gets in an electorate is indicative of anything. Next we’ll be back to every Tom, Dick and Harry wanting to stand in a “safe seat” and any seats that are largely safe for the other side having useless candidates. Which then continues to polarise the elections – if Labour’s best candidates are standing in South Auckland and National’s worst candidates are standing in South Auckland, then South Auckland will vote even more overwhelmingly for Labour.

    Contrast that with a system where a strong candidate from National can be stood in Sth Auckland, and also be given a winnable list place. No system is perfect, but I’d argue this is better than the alternative that others such as rosina suggest.

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  26. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    BeaB (1,589) Says:
    May 6th, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Without making any excuses for his stupid behaviour, surely we can accept the apology of a minor List MP and move on. t would be different if he were a cabinet minister – perhaps, though I don’t expect them to be anything as puerile and patronising as role models either.

    Surely he cannot be without any redeeming qualities. In fact I heard Barry Corbett on the radio praising his activities in Christchurch after the earthquakes. The prospect of the Opposition and the media continually harping on this, like Tuku’s underpants, makes me yawn. We seem never to be able to forget much less forgive.

    Why are we so intent on vilifying and pilloring people in public positions? Why do we hold them to such impossibly high standards without any possibility of redemption? Why do unions and socialists bay for people to lose their jobs? What has happened to a tolerance for human fraility and giving someone another chance? When did we become such censorious wowsers?

    ==================
    Becuase the place is full of lawyers, socialists who never do wrong and silly little girls that pose as reporters.

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  27. s.russell (1,559 comments) says:

    edd,
    I meant the embarrassement of him being dropped to the bottom, or off the bottom of the list.

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  28. iMP (2,231 comments) says:

    Aaron Gilmore is a complete anomaly of the National system, which makes all this nonsense so galling. He came thru de facto, because the only other contender in his electorate pulled out at the very last minute, and all other good Nominees were busy actually fighting contests in other seats. He never gave a speech, never had to hawk his wares, even before the Canterbury Nats. No one knew who he was.

    He was extremely fortunate to scrape in on the Nat landslide in 2008 (extreme bottom of the cut-off). But then in 2011 Nat played the ludicrous game of “once there, stay there” and ranks its incumbent Mps first ABOVE non-Mps. So, Gilmore got a 2nd unearned placement by virtue of his first anomaly.

    Many of us have given up, disallusioned with politics and National’ s procedures under MMp. Sam Collins – mentioned above – flew in from London, a very large cheque was forthcoming from Daddy (the largest for any candidate that year) surprise surprise won the nomination – lost, and flew back out to London supposedly “deeply committed” to Christchurch. Several Nats were told the “result’ before the interviews had even taken place. All very suspect.

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  29. tvb (4,196 comments) says:

    My comment about axe murderers was tongue in cheek. It is meant to make the point that Gilmour has no future in politics.

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  30. Grizz (500 comments) says:

    Key needs to show some teeth and get rid of him. This was not a one off indiscretion. It was part of a series in a pathological collection of incidents. If you are a party that means business, then uphold your standards and get rid of the dickheads.

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  31. Liberty (233 comments) says:

    Weihana
    “Why is this one list MP such a HUGE problem for people?”
    If he was a NZF mp Gilmores antics would not have been noticed.
    But he is a National MP and being pissed in public is not acceptable.

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  32. iMP (2,231 comments) says:

    tvb, your comment is that you want an axe in Happy’s cheek? or is that a press release from Caucus?

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  33. iMP (2,231 comments) says:

    I agree with you David, that new candidates should be treated on merit equally with caucus members. In the 90s UK Tories dropped their epithets Rt Hon, MP etc in the selection season and campaign, and contested the slots on an even footing. It is most rare in our system for an incumbent to be challenged, simply by virtue that they are already in caucus (Exceptions I can think of straight-up are: Banks in Whangarei and Collins in Clevedon). Technically any one can challenge an MP (sort of), but nominees are often discouraged or actively asked to step back with a ‘phone call’ (this has happened several times) and is undue pressure. It led to the Selwyn debacle.

    We need a truly transparent, contestable selection process under MMP. National is now effectively an oligarchy like Labour. In 2014 there will be no open selections (incl. S. Maori) in National’s 11 Canterbury seats, either because they have incumbent Mps (like Gilmore) or there is no quorum in the seat for a membership-based selection so it will be decided by a committee of 4 or 5 (perhaps just 2 locals).

    Diluted democracy. Very bad.

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  34. Alan Johnstone (1,055 comments) says:

    “In 2011 the only candidates ranked above current List MPs were Jian Yang, Alfred Ngaro and Paul Goldsmith.”

    Who ?

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  35. publicwatchdog (2,093 comments) says:

    The actions and behaviour of National MP Aaron Gilmore prove (yet again) that NZ needs an enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for MPs?

    Australian MPs have ‘Codes of Conduct’ – both at State and Commonwealth level:

    http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BN/2012-2013/Conduct#_Toc325623495

    So – how come New Zealand ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ (along with Denmark and Finland – according to the 2012 Transparency International ‘Corruption Perception Index’) does not?

    http://www.transparency.org/cpi2012/results

    (Same applies to our NZ Judiciary.
    NZ Judges don’t have an enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ either.)

    So – those in NZ responsible for making the law and enforcing the law, don’t have enforceable mechanisms in place to ensure that THEY are held accountable to the law?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption/ anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz

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  36. RRM (9,427 comments) says:

    Local Govt should have a code of conduct too. Parasites who don’t pay their rates should be ineligible to stand as mayoralty candidates.

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  37. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    Penny, I agree that we should have a Code of Conduct for MPs, and also for local bodies. I notice that you have been vigorously pushing such a Code, otherwise called a “Draft Action Plan”, which is supported by Occupy Auckland’s General Assembly.

    Now as you are again running for Mayor of Auckland, I’d like to ask you a question in my capacity as a voter. If we can somehow get such a code implemented, would you sign up to it? Using the “Draft Action Plan” as a reference, would you commit to abide by the principles of points 4 and 5? The two points in question are:

    4. Legislate for an enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for NZ Members of Parliament (who make the rules for everyone else).

    5. Make it an offence under the Local Government Act 2002 for NZ Local Government elected representatives to breach their ‘Code of Conduct’.

    Will YOU, Penny Bright, happily sign up to a ‘Code of Conduct’?

    Signed

    A Voter

    If not – WHY not?

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  38. Sonny Blount (1,845 comments) says:

    Weihana (3,122) Says:
    May 6th, 2013 at 11:43 am
    berend,

    Why is it important to vote MPs out? Surely the aim of elections is to have the public fairly represented not to give you a sense of satisfaction for ousting someone you don’t like. Hence why we have the party vote to ensure fair representation so that we do not deny 20% of the public the right to be represented simply because their numbers are geographically distributed.

    The mechanism to vote people out is the no 1 function of democratic elections, and its daylight second. This function needs to remain the main consideration of whatever variation of system is used, the peaceful transference of power.

    FPP as we had it is not the only alternative to our current form of MMP. We have created a political class with our current system where the National and Labour party heads can give or remove an MPs job for life.

    A simple change such as ranking the lists based on electoral votes gained will make a difference here. The parties can still give the yes or no in what electorates people stand in but who is in or out on the lists would then be decided by voters.

    Now National or Labour will never push for that system because it reduces their power, it has to come from the ground up. But unfortunately our media just isn’t interested.

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  39. Sonny Blount (1,845 comments) says:

    PaulL (5,173) Says:
    May 6th, 2013 at 12:32 pm
    I still struggle with all the people who think the number of votes someone gets in an electorate is indicative of anything. Next we’ll be back to every Tom, Dick and Harry wanting to stand in a “safe seat” and any seats that are largely safe for the other side having useless candidates. Which then continues to polarise the elections – if Labour’s best candidates are standing in South Auckland and National’s worst candidates are standing in South Auckland, then South Auckland will vote even more overwhelmingly for Labour.

    Contrast that with a system where a strong candidate from National can be stood in Sth Auckland, and also be given a winnable list place. No system is perfect, but I’d argue this is better than the alternative that others such as rosina suggest.

    Yep, and electorate vote ranked lists would do this. And they would encourage 3rd parties to contest the safe left and right seats as their best bet of a good list ranking for their parties (The National candidate in Epsom would have to collect as many votes as possible to make the list spots rather than get in on a deal with Key).

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  40. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Alfred Ngaro is a wally. He would probably be good on children’s TV tho..I suppose he is there because of his race..Those outside the National party are wondering how much Aaron’s family donate to the party??
    Tho’ I’ll be fair and say that all parties seem to have these people who turn in serious liabilities at some stage or other.

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  41. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    @Sonny: electorate vote ranked lists would only do this if they somehow had allowance made for the personal contribution – so what vote did we expect and what did we actually get. And therefore this person that worked hard in an impossible to win electorate, and lifted the vote from 30% to 40%, is better than the person who did nothing in a safe electorate and brought home the same 65% of the vote we’ve had every election for the past 30 years.

    And my view is that that process would be crazy, and the process we have where a party is accountable for the people they put up, is fine (as compared to that process).

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  42. Nookin (3,033 comments) says:

    “The actions and behaviour of National MP Aaron Gilmore prove (yet again) that NZ needs an enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for MPs?

    I cannot read the small print to which Penny links. Where does it say “Thou shalt not be a moronic dickhead when on the plonk”? Or is her statement a total non-sequitur.

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  43. BeaB (2,056 comments) says:

    Codes of conduct are for children or where there are vital health and saftey issues. Adults should have learned how to behave themselves. That used to be one of the definitions of growing up!

    But it’s a sad day when a public figure cannot get drunk or misbehave without being ostracised, sacked or punished.

    To me, this minor misdemeanour by a nobody is not even on the same planet as Phil Goff’s appalling breach of the law and standards of professional behaviour in releasing confidential information.

    But I guess the media has more fun ridiculing an easy target like Gilmour (look at TV3 almost wetting their pants reading out his CV as though they were brilliant satirists) than dealing with an important issue that needs some thought and intelligence.

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  44. Reid (15,917 comments) says:

    I’ve been out of this for awhile. I got knocked out the day the story hit the papers, so forgive me if I traverse old ground.

    But how come Key doesn’t just fire him? Why is he insisting on waiting for a complaint? Doesn’t he understand this makes him look like an indecisive schoolgirl?

    And NZ’ers can’t stand that quality in their leaders. It’s probably already too late, damage has been done. But we’ve just seen the demise of Key. To have any hope of winning next time, Joyce is going to need to be leader, otherwise Nat’s lose. Key is now officially unelectable.

    This is because the PM, the PM, can’t even deal with an arrogant tosser of an MP who think’s he’s special. Now this is instant poison to the public because they expect their MP’s at all times to SERVE and not to rule. And if anyone ever makes a slip of the tongue that reveals they really think themselves more of the latter than of the former, then this is fatal, fatal, to anyone who supports that, because if you want something that cuts right against the grain of the Kiwi character, it’s a little Lord Fauntleroy. And Key by failing to grab him by the scruff of his neck, march him out of the chamber and throwing him roughly down the steps of Parliament before running after him bellowing to others to get the tar and feathers ready. By his failure to do that, he’s lost the country. What an idiot. Even if he – finally – did it now, it’s too late.

    You watch the next leadership poll. Key -2,145 – battling to stay ahead of Wussell in the preferred PM stakes.

    Talk about an unnecessary self-implosion. Key really is quite the political amateur isn’t he. You have to wonder where his advisers have been as well.

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  45. Jafa (37 comments) says:

    This is simply MMP in action. Kiwis had 2 opportunities to get rid of a third rate (non) proportional election system. You get what you vote for! Enjoy folks.

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  46. Sonny Blount (1,845 comments) says:

    PaulL (5,175) Says:
    May 6th, 2013 at 3:22 pm
    @Sonny: electorate vote ranked lists would only do this if they somehow had allowance made for the personal contribution – so what vote did we expect and what did we actually get. And therefore this person that worked hard in an impossible to win electorate, and lifted the vote from 30% to 40%, is better than the person who did nothing in a safe electorate and brought home the same 65% of the vote we’ve had every election for the past 30 years.

    That is exactly what my suggestion does.

    The party is still going to dole out the seats in a preferential order. The favourites get the safest seats, the noobs at the other end of the scale.

    If Key gives candidate A seat no 61 which got 30% of the vote last time and candidate B seat no 62 which got 29% it doesnt matter how each candidate performs in the electorate A is ahead of B on the list because John Key said so.

    If you used electorate ranked lists and A got 29% and B got 31% then B would jump ahead of A on the list. And National gets an MP who has shown he can or has learnt how to campaign and attract votes. And if B is a dickhead then his electorate can drop him down the list regardless of how he gets on with Key.

    The safe left and right seats also become much more attractive for Green or ACT candidates to campaign in and make their lists from.

    As an example Julie Ann Genter from the Greens (who moved to NZ in 2006) received 1258 votes and entered parliament as their 13th list MP. 42 Green candidates attracted more votes than her, including James Shaw who received 5225 votes (4th most of any Green candidate) but he missed out due to being number 15 on their party list.

    And my view is that that process would be crazy, and the process we have where a party is accountable for the people they put up, is fine (as compared to that process).

    The mechanism for the appointment and removal of MPs is far far too removed from the democratic process now. If Key or Shearer have people that they need to work with then they are welcome to appoint them as parliamentary staff. The office of MP is different and it should be given and taken away as directly as possible by voters and not party leaders.

    Even in elections when National or Labour are turfed out of office they are bringing unelected MPs into parliament through the list. The quality of our MPs is degrading because of this, and there are less and less of them who have the ability to campaign and win a race for office.

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  47. Sonny Blount (1,845 comments) says:

    Jafa (24) Says:
    May 6th, 2013 at 10:26 pm
    This is simply MMP in action. Kiwis had 2 opportunities to get rid of a third rate (non) proportional election system. You get what you vote for! Enjoy folks.

    Not that simple.

    MMP ensures MP jobs for life for the parties so they are going to do nothing to change the status quo if they can.

    To instigate change required sustained media coverage and an understanding that the country would have to act against its politicians to fix the problems. Yet again we were let down by a disgraceful media performance.

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  48. slijmbal (1,210 comments) says:

    Sonny

    I see what you are trying to do – but I don’t think one can circumnavigate the basics of a proportional representational system combined with a party system.

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  49. Sonny Blount (1,845 comments) says:

    slijmbal (957) Says:
    May 6th, 2013 at 11:13 pm
    Sonny

    I see what you are trying to do – but I don’t think one can circumnavigate the basics of a proportional representational system combined with a party system.

    How am I trying to do that?

    Changing to electorate vote ranked lists retains our proportional system.

    Our current party ranked (and then only followed if they choose to) lists are not fundamental to the basics of a proportional representation system.

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  50. Mark (1,359 comments) says:

    One expects that he will not have much chance in the next list.

    The guy appears to have few redeeming features

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  51. wrightingright (136 comments) says:

    This explains it all:

    “Facelift: National List MPs – 20 August 2007 ”

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