Last year, the Electoral Commission reviewed MMP and reported to Parliament. The Commission recommended two small changes to MMP: to reduce the party threshold from 5% to 4% and to take away the electoral seat threshold.
When we vote for Members of Parliament, we get two votes, one for the person and one for the party. If a party gets a minimum of 5% of the vote throughout the country, that party has 5% of the MPs. The threshold or minimum at the moment is 5%. For example, in 2011, the Green Party received 11% of the vote which is equal to 14 MPs (11% of 120 seats), all from their list. However, in 2008, New Zealand First had 4.1% of the party vote but no MPs. This does not seem fair.
The electoral seat threshold also seems unfair. In 2008, Rodney Hide won the seat of Epsom for ACT. The ACT party won 3.65% of the vote throughout the country which gave the party 4 list MPs as well as Rodney Hide. Compare that with New Zealand First’s 4.1% but no MPs. Is that fair?
However, the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins, today said that the government does not plan to make the changes recommended by the review. She said that all the parties need to agree.
If you want to know more about MMP, listen to September 8th 2009 or type MMP in the search box.
• Electoral Commission – a government agency to control elections
• reviewed – looked at MMP again, studied it, asked people for their ideas and wrote a report
• recommended – a strong suggestion
• reduce – decrease
• electoral seat – we vote for an MP for each electorate (area) e.g. Epsom
• minimum – lowest number (compare maximum)
• list MPs – chosen by the party but not voted by the people