Hosking says don’t drop the threshold

Mike Hosking writes:

The small parties have been decimated in the 20 years of MMP.

Not a single small player who has had anything to do with government has prospered.

Act had a disastrous night, they won’t be in government, their vote shrank, they are only in the house because of a sweetheart deal.

The Mana party are finished, the Maori party are gone, United are over, it’s a tale of carnage, poor old TOP never got off the ground, not unlike poor old Colin Craig.

Even New Zealand First when they last dabbled with Government exploded in chaos.

So the suggestion was, given we don’t seem to want to vote for small parties, to lower the threshold. The idea that five per cent is too high.

Of all the theories and ideas floating around at the moment, ranging from grand coalitions, to the Greens doing a deal with National – as far fetched as they may be – can we at least all agree and take the lowering of the threshold idea and bury it right here and right now?

Five per cent is a perfect threshold, because it has proven to be a hurdle for many, which it should be.

It has been softened with the electorate concession, the one the Maori Party used this previous parliament.

Even at 5 per cent we still seem to have had ourselves a fair old selection of odd balls.

Lower the 5 per cent – you’re merely inviting more madness into the place.

Look at the countries who operate lower thresholds. Italy has 3per cent. That’s a stable democracy – not. Greece is another with 3 per cent surely another example of sensible fiscally responsible and longstanding stability – not.

If we had no threshold, the provisional Parliament would be:

  • National 56
  • Labour 43
  • NZ First 9
  • Greens 7
  • TOP 3
  • Maori 1
  • ACT 1

So you could have a National/ACT/Maori/TOP Government with 61 seats. No balance of power for NZ First.

On the other side Labour would still need both Greens and NZ First to govern.

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