Electoral law changes should not be part of the horse trading

The DP editorial:

Winston Peters wants to reduce the 5 per cent parliamentary threshold for political parties, the barrier that kept his party out in 2008. Peters’ own interests are obvious, but his unique position as kingmaker means he might now get his way on this. Labour or National might decide to give him a lower threshold as part of the coalition horse-trading.

That would be very very wrong. Policies should be horse traded, but not electoral law. Significant changes to electoral law should only be made with wide cross-party support. We do not want a US style system where the winning party gerrymanders the electoral system to favour them.

But I’m not sure the editorial is correct in saying Peters wants to reduce the 5% threshold. In the 2012 review of MMP he advocated keeping it at 5%.

He may have changed positions since then, but I can’t see any stories on this.

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