The Internet Party with the MANA Movement are campaigning to make changes to MMP
Sign the petition to give our party votes equal value by lowering the 5% MMP threshold and removing the one-seat threshold.
Who do we want to petition?
The NZ House of Representatives.
What do we want them to do?
We want Parliament to take action to make changes to MMP. The Electoral Act should be changed to give all party votes equal value. Parliament should lower the Party Vote threshold (from the current 5%), and remove the one-seat threshold (the coat-tails rule).
Why is this important?
The most important feature of a democratic electoral system is that everyone’s vote counts equally. MMP was a big improvement on First Past the Post – but some of its features still mean that some votes count more than others.
In the 2011 MMP referendum New Zealanders voted to keep MMP but to make it better. This lead to an Electoral Commission review of some of the details of MMP, including the Party Vote threshold and the one-seat threshold (the so-called coat-tails rule).
Currently your Party vote only counts if your Party either wins 5% of the vote or wins an electorate seat. Since MMP was introduced every new Party in Parliament has been a break-away from an existing Parliamentary Party.
Your Party Vote is your most important vote as it decides the make-up of Parliament. Under the current rules over 100,000 Party Votes can be wasted unless a party wins an electorate seat.
The Electoral Commission has said that the 5% Party Vote threshold is too high and it should be lowered. They recommended an initial change to a 4% threshold but also said that a 3% threshold would not create problems for Parliamentary stability. The Commission recommended lowering the threshold at the same time as abolishing the one-seat threshold. Research by Political Science Professor Rob Salmond presented to the Electoral Commission review showed that claims that low thresholds cause unstable parliaments are a myth and are not supported by the evidence from around the world. He recommended a threshold of no more than 2%.
The Internet Party has launched this petition with the MANA Movement because we believe that Party Votes should have equal value, whether or not a party wins an electorate seat.
I’ve posted a number of times on substantially reducing the threshold so agree with this aim, but I’m not sure that a petition is the best way to achieve it fair result.
3 News/Radio Live report Internet Mana wants MMP threshold lowered
Internet Party leader Laila Harre says it is wrong that a party can get more than 100,000 votes and still not be represented in Parliament.
“In order for all party votes to have equal value, we need to see a reduction in that threshold,” she says.
Ms Harre says there would be no stability problems even if the threshold was lowered to 3 percent.
Internet-MANA would need the support of both Labour and Greens (at least) to get this changed but both those parties say they want recent Electoral Commission recommendations implemented. This would favour large parties even more, as while it would lower it would lower the threshold to 4% it would also drop the ‘coat tail’ provision which would mean smaller parties would be less fairly represented if they won an electorate.
In another 3 News report Internet Mana seeking electoral reform:
Mana leader Hone Harawira said the 5 percent party vote threshold was “undemocratically high” and should be separated from the one-seat threshold.
Internet Mana wants an equal value for all party votes to underpin any change to electoral law.
“This could be done before the election provided that those parties who have benefited from the current rules do so in the spirit of one person, one party vote,” said Ms Harre.
Calling for it to be changed before the election suggests this is more an election campaign strategy rather than an attempt to change the rules – there is nowhere near enough time to change the electoral rules this close to an election and it would be wrong to do so. Petitions
Few if any current MPs are likely to support this timeframe.
I don’t have any problem with Internet-MANA pushing for abolishing coat tailing while aiming to try and benefit from it, they are entitled to use the current system while promoting a change.
Harre and Harawira must be aware there’s pretty much zero chance of any change before the election, again I see no problem with them using the petition as a campaign tool, other parties have used petitions and a referendum promote their own agendas.
I hope that after the election they are still keen to promote the lowering or dropping of the threshold.