Friday, March 2, 2012

Thresholds Part Zwei

The second part to the thresholds question in the MMP Review is the one electorate seat threshold. This holds that if a party wins one electorate seat then the 5% threshold does not apply to them and they are allocated a proportion of seats. Why does this exist? The MMP Review website states:

The Royal Commission recommended the inclusion of an alternative threshold for representation because it believed its use would make it easier for smaller parties to gain representation, reduce wasted votes and contribute to the overall proportionality and diversity of a Parliament.

Great intentions undoubtedly, however I feel this rule has failed us as evidenced by the 2008 election, when Act with 3.65% of the vote won five seats and NZ First with 4.07% won none. Act was entitled to one MP as it had won an electorate seat. But the allocation of four extra seats when NZ First had won a greater proportion of the popular vote made a mockery of the system.

Removing the rule would also hopefully stop the prostitution of democracy as evidenced in Epsom in 2008, 2011 and Coromandel in 1999.


  1. So posting this anonymous (as much as anything on the InterGoogle can be).
    Hey Sal, how about 4% threshold as the original Commission recommended BUT with a "no coat tails" provision.
    Would this satisfy your fairness test and at the same time get rid of those embarrassing anomalies?

  2. Honestly I am not really fussed about 4% or 5%. Only twice would it have affected the distribution of seats in the house and neither time would we have had a different Government. Because I don't believe it would make a difference I don't see the point in changing it.

  3. Hi this where my comment on threshold and seats should have been. I support 5%. And not just because I cheered when Winston went out last time. And yes let the prostitution stop. Hot potato