What would breaking the norms for partisan advantage look like in NZ?

Rob Goodman at Politico argues that as Trump has broken so many norms, Democrats should do the same and abandon self-restraint in order to regain power. The possible actions are:

  • Grant statehood to D.C. and Puerto Rico
  • break California in seven, with the goal of adding 16 new Democrats to the Senate
  • Expand the Supreme Court and the federal courts, packing them with liberal judges
  • Move to multi-member House districts to roll back the effects of partisan gerrymandering
  • Pass a new Voting Rights Act, including nationwide automatic voter registration, felon enfranchisement and an end to voter ID laws
  • Grant citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants, creating a host of new Democratic-leaning voters

Those actions would indeed cement a liberal majority in the three branches of Government.

This got me wondering what would a similiar program look like in NZ, if Labour or National decided to ram through massive electoral or constitutional changes on a bare majority.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far. Feel free to add ones on in comments. These are not things which are desirable or popular. Just things that would give one side a significant advantage.


  1. Spin off an affiliated Maori Party that contests the Maori seats but not the party vote, meaning they get a seven seat overhang.
  2. Allow any citizen of a Pacific Island automatic citizenship and voting rights in NZ.
  3. Lower voting age to 13
  4. Allow all prisoners to vote
  5. Establish an Upper House exclusively of Maori MPs, and no bill can be passed without its support
  6. De facto compulsory unionism to increase funding for Labour
  7. A fund to encourage voting where you get a $250 payment if you vote
  8. Ban donations of over $20 to political parties


  1. Spin off an affiliated Rural Party that contests rural seats but not the party vote, meaning they get a 15 seat overhang.
  2. Ban anyone convicted of any crime in the last 15 years from voting
  3. Ban non-natural persons (ie unions) from joining political parties or voting in them
  4. Direct public service to offer public servants much higher salaries if they go onto individual contracts (which reduces funds for unions and hence Labour)
  5. Require photographic proof of identity when voting
  6. No representation without taxation – restrict the vote to those who pay income tax
  7. Increase MMP threshold to 15%
  8. Abolish spending limits for campaigns

Hopefully NZ will not go down the path of such partisan electoral or constitutional changes.

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