Shambles needs Royal Commission

Dunedin author and electoral commentator, Philip Temple, says our parliamentary system is a shambles but he doesn’t think a referendum on MMP is the answer.

What we need is not an ill-defined, ad hoc referendum but a new Royal Commission on the Electoral System, a generation after the last, to enable a considered examination of all aspects of the voting system, the electoral cycle, electoral financing, the Maori seats etc . . . so that all sectors of the community can have input and influence in bringing about much-needed reform.

He supports MMP and I don’t but I agree with him about the need for a Royal Commission.

We would be far better served by the measured and detailed consideration commissioners would bring to the many issues which need to be addressed in our electoral system than by the blunt instrument of a referendum.

Once the commission had concluded its deliberations a referendum could be held on its recommendations, but it shouldn’t be the starting point.

One Response to Shambles needs Royal Commission

  1. JC says:

    Most people who voted in the MMP referendum understood there would be a formal public review or another referendum down the track. However, politicians were quick to later tell there was no such committment. Labour, in fact, did hold some sort of closed off review in 2002(?), and of course concluded MMP as it stood was fine.

    In short I’m suspicious of reviews, commissions, royal commissions, referenda etc because we are asking turkeys to to set up a process that could result in an early Christmas.

    I’d suggest a two stage RC whereby the first stage calls for public input into the questions that need to be asked followed by the actual report .
    Two bottom lines would be required:

    1. Absolutely no involvement from Geoffrey Palmer and Assoc
    2. Consideration to the Chair and several members being qualified foreigners.



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