Greens want Government to adopt electoral reform bill

Greens are pushing for electoral reform. Golriz Ghahraman is introducing a member’s bill, and her party wants the Government to adopt it. That would require NZ First or National support to get it over the line.

Proposed changes:

  • Ban foreign donations to political parties to “stop unfair influence and potential corruption in politics”
  • Overturn a ban on prisoner voting
  • Enable Māori to change roll types at any time
  • Lower the MMP threshold to 4%

If foreign donations can be effectively banned it should be a worthwhile change.  They coukld be suported by National. In January (NZH): National floats ban on foreign donations

Calls to ban foreign donations to political parties received a shot in the arm yesterday after National Party MP Nick Smith signalled reforms were needed to ensure the integrity of the New Zealand electoral system.

… in a speech last night to Nelson Rotary, Smith went public with his call for electoral finance reform, saying he wished to promote “a ban on foreign donations.”

“The existing electoral law does put limits on foreign donors, but needs strengthening. Only Kiwi citizens and residents should be able to donate to political parties or to campaigns that seek to influence an election outcome,” Smith said.

Prisoner voting is a human rights issue. Excluding people from voting on things that directly affect them is undemocratic.

Andrew Geddis:  Taylor strikes again (but still has no right to take his place in the human race)

The Court of Appeal has upheld Arthur Taylor’s challenge to the ban on prisoner voting under the NZ Bill of Rights Act … except that he personally shouldn’t have been able to bring the case in the first place, and he still won’t be able to vote. But still – exciting!

I’ve been writing on the issue of prisoner voting generally, and jailhouse lawyer Arthur Taylor’s various challenges to the 2010 law preventing it in particular, for quite some time now.

Māori roll changes is not a big deal, but the current system seems odd, where voters can only switch rolls during a designated Māori Electoral Option period.

One could be cynical about the proposed threshold drop to 4% given the closeness to this of both Greens and NZ First. I ask why 4%? Why not 3%? But 4% may be a pragmatic increment – I would strongly support any lowering of the threshold, which currently favours larger parties, hence their reluctance to make it more democratic.

Source NZH: The Green Party will introduce a members’ bill which would ban all offshore political donations

75% of Parliament means Labour plus National. They should support it. In the past they have been too self interested to implement lower threshold recommendations, but the new reality means it may be in their interests to lower it. It’ is also in the interests oif democracy.

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35 Comments

  1. Duker

     /  3rd March 2019

    The Maori enrolment option isnt odd. Its because only after each census and the moari roll option that they can work out where and how to do the math on maori electorates and their boundaries. It could mean an extra seat for Maori- but recently has been falling so they could lose one.
    The reason is that the general electorates are based on ‘all’ residents while the maori roll only gives those eligible to vote- essentially its working out those under 18 in the maori electorate. And of course there is a 55/45 split in maori from the maori/general roll.

    Reply
    • Ray

       /  3rd March 2019

      Interesting the same crew who say anybody complaining about CGT must have a vested interest (and is almost surely a “rich prick”) and should be ignored, now say we should allow a lower threshold down to their new level of support.
      All under the cover of trying to tidy up political donations, personally I am surprised they haven’t tried to slip in tax payer support for their parties. Wouldn’t be the first time!

      Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  3rd March 2019

    ban on foreign donors….National would work around this so easily its a complete waste of…time.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  3rd March 2019

      National did exactly that just before the election… a large donation came to national from a tiny business at Airlie beach Qld ( but office in Sydney), it was returned to donor.

      Lo and be hold , a new very large amount ( not exactly same but similar) was lodged with the Electoral Commission as ‘totally anonymous’ but to be forwarded to National.

      2+2 makes Exclusive Brethren and its Aussie HQ as the donor

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  3rd March 2019

        How do you know ? Lo and behold what ?

        Anyone can make a donation. I often have.

        Reply
    • Trevors_Elbow

       /  4th March 2019

      Ask Rick Barker what he was doing in Chongqing Blazer…..

      “The Herald revealed this week that Rick Barker was hosted by Liu at a lavish dinner in Chongqing in 2007 and also presented a bottle of wine to Liu’s partner as an auction prize at a Labour Party fundraiser.

      Mr Barker was the Minister of Internal Affairs at the time but has said he was unaware that Liu was a donor when he visited his cement business in Chongqing and was a dinner guest.”

      Bet he blusters and challenges and fumes….

      Want to point at National, Labour Boi go clean out your own latrines first. Hypocrite thy name is Blazer!

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  4th March 2019

        goddamned whataboutry!….do you prefer 2 Chinese ,a Chinese,a Filipino or…2 Indians….will you throw in an…Eskimo!😉

        Reply
  3. Zedd

     /  3rd March 2019

    lowering the threshold is reportedly not popular with NZF.. perhaps unless they remain below 5% ?
    politics 101 :/

    Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  3rd March 2019

    Abolish the Maori seats so Maori don’t have to decide which roll to park their genes on.

    Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  3rd March 2019

      Do you know how much DNA qualifies you for the Maori roll? I understood it was 0.15% but it could be lower

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  3rd March 2019

        The word you maybe looking for: ‘Whakapapa’ (being of ‘maori descent’ or Whanau connection) I dont think percentage is an issue, its about claiming ancestral links

        Te Tiriti o Waitangi/Aotearoa….. :/

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  3rd March 2019

        There is no test. Pocahontas would qualify.

        Reply
        • Conspiratoor

           /  3rd March 2019

          Don’t be silly Al. Pocahontas is deceased and moreover she never obtained NZ citizenship to my knowledge!

          Reply
          • Pocahontas 2.0 is alive and could be a Democratic presidential contender,

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  3rd March 2019

              Her native american heritage is not too different from Bridges maori DNA, an extra generation for her. The Tribe says she ‘wasnt connected culturally to them’ but the expulsion of Tribes from their homelands meant that only a tiny portion would be.
              US has had a VP with native american heritage, father was anglo, but he grew up on reservation and could speak the language and was known to embrace his heritage during a long career in politics
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Curtis

              Trump , in his book claimed Swedish heritage through his dad…later lied that he meant his dad visited Sweden a lot , but the original claim was in one of his books
              Never affected his voting numbers

      • Conspiratoor

         /  3rd March 2019

        Thanks for the insight Zedd. What is to stop someone falsely claiming a link? Would this constitute electoral fraud?

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  3rd March 2019

          David Lange had it that anyone who ‘identified’ themselves as Maori could count as one in law.

          Trump did what ? My mother visited London a lot, but I don’t call myself a Londoner.

          Reply
        • Zedd

           /  3rd March 2019

          You likely have to get some ‘evidence’ from a marae etc. ?

          Reply
      • alloytoo

         /  3rd March 2019

        Surely like everything else, self identification should be enough.

        Reply
  5. Pink David

     /  3rd March 2019

    “One could be cynical about the proposed threshold drop to 4% given the closeness to this of both Greens and NZ First. I ask why 4%? Why not 3%?”

    Not 3% because that might open the door to another party. 4% is ideal because there is a risk of the Green Party falling below 5% at the next election and they must protect there power base.

    I do not think it is cynical to believe these policies are specially design to benefit the Green Party. It’s just predictable.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  3rd March 2019

      4% is the number recommended in the 2012 review ( set up by national)
      4% was the number in the original MMP proposals back in the 1990s.

      The number of votes for 5% in 1996 wouldnt even make 4% of votes now, as population has grown.

      Where does your 3% come from ?
      My thinking is that its a number which gives a small party a workable number of MPs , around 4 or 5 rather than a fixed %

      Reply
  6. NOEL

     /  3rd March 2019

    I can’t believe that is a Greens initiative.
    Just think of the extra trees required for an exteeeeeended voting paper.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  3rd March 2019

      That just makes you stupid .
      Doesnt affect the length of the voting paper for party!

      Reply
  7. Finbaar Rustle

     /  3rd March 2019

    Labour NZF and the Greens are cleverly floating many issues.
    National like their soon to be former leader are barking at every passing car.
    Labour is not going to show it’s full hand for another 17 months.
    By then many policies will have been trialed, tested reviewed + refined
    Only then will they be implemented at the right time to
    make the biggest impact in election year.

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  3rd March 2019

      “Labour is not going to show it’s full hand for another 17 months.
      By then many policies will have been trialed, tested reviewed + refined”

      So, three years in power and we only get to see what they want to do when it’s their jobs on the line. Interesting approach. Can we expect the same story in 3 years from now?

      Reply
      • Griff.

         /  3rd March 2019

        You think so ?
        Yet national had a far longer time frame.
        9 long years of do nothing and once given the boot they finally identified the problems their lack of constructive policy change had made.

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  3rd March 2019

          Isn’t the point of a ‘conservative’ party that they don’t do a lot of change?

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  3rd March 2019

            appears that way….the status quo….maintain the system pyramid is their core aim.

            Reply
          • PartisanZ

             /  3rd March 2019

            Since when are National a “conservative” party …

            Lost neoliberals floundering in a post-neoliberal world maybe … but not conservative …

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  3rd March 2019

              National aren’t floundering in a post-neoliberal world because there is no post-neoliberal world.

              The only reason National are in opposition is because one conman tossed a coin and said ” heads means more baubles in my coffer,” so I’ll go with you.

            • Blazer

               /  3rd March 2019

              and if tails turned…up?

            • Duker

               /  3rd March 2019

              And which party blocked NZ First for the last 6 years of their term…..
              Oh that’s right the nats had a broken policy of relying on some joke 1 or 2 member parties, until they were washed away in rain and they had no umbrella

  8. seer

     /  3rd March 2019

    If we had a 4% threshhold in the 1996 election, Graham Capill and his “Christian” Coalition would have got into parliament.

    Reply
    • We had a 5% threshold in 2017 and Winston peters and his ‘NZ First party not only got into Parliament, they dictated who would get into Parliament. And James Shaw and his ‘Greens’ also got into Parliament and Government.

      Both of those parties have more influence than the Christian Coalition would have likely had.

      Reply

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