Allowing list or electorate only would create two classes of MPs

MMP’s party lists are designed to ensure that the number of seats a party gets in parliament is proportional to the amount of support it gets in the election.

They are used for positive discrimination to make parliament more reflective of the population.

Lists also enable people who can’t stand for a seat or who stand but don’t win, to enter, or stay in, parliament.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Some people have to resign from their jobs once they declare they are standing for parliament. Going for a list place means they’d be out of work for a much shorter time than if they sought selection in a seat.

People dont’ seem to be too exercised by people who stand in unwinnable seats and then enter parliament on the list – Katherine Rich was well regarded as an MP and Chris Finlayson and Hekia Parata, have both proved to be assets in government.

What does upset a lot of people though is the MPs who lose seats then come in on the list.

Change in that area would attract popular support but it isn’t without fish hooks.

If anyone who stood for a seat and didn’t win it could then not come in on the list the wee parties would stand in few if any electorates and just run lists.

That would be a pity because most candidates who fight an electorate campaign have to engage with voters of all persuasions and learn the practical implications of policy which they wouldn’t if they were just seeking a list seat.

It would also create difficulties for Labour and National. It would be much harder to find candidates to stand in unwinnable seats if they knew they didn’t also have a chance of entering parliament on the list.

We’d end up with two classes of MPs – electorate ones who weren’t on the list and list MPs who never stood in seats.

It would be better to apply the rule not to all who stand and fail, but to those who hold a seat then lose it.

MPs rejected by their electorate could be barred from returning on the list for that term. But their party could select them again, either for a seat or list only, in the next election and let voters decide if they wanted them.

6 Responses to Allowing list or electorate only would create two classes of MPs

  1. smttc says:

    Your proposition would have presented Jeanette Fitzsimons with a problem in Coromandel.


  2. Andrei says:

    They are used for positive discrimination to make parliament more reflective of the population.

    BS and I’ll call you on it. What reflective of the population means characteristics deemed important by the empty headed, vacuous, elite chatterers. Thus some racial characteristics e.g. skin color can work if you are not white. White racial characteristics of course are not important.

    And religious identity (if any) is mostly kept hidden – except for a tokenistic Muslim in Labour who National maybe trumped with a tokenistic Sikh (can you name him without looking it up?). Bill English is Catholic I suppose and he has voted in the way you would hope a Catholic would vote but nobody keeps tabs on the representation of Anglicans, Methodists. Ppresbyterians, Russian Orthodox etc because this doesn’t matter to the idle chattering class who are mostly indifferent or even hostile to religion

    The of course we have the sexual deviancy characteristic, an important one in these modern times – even National has its token homosexual.

    But is Parliament diverse – no it is full of Lawyers, Accountants and School teachers. And in the Labour party full of professional pollies who have never done a real days work in their lives but have gone from “uni” to politically motivated jobs.

    Where are the fishermenpeople, forestry workers, engineers, miners and so forth?

    Don’t get a look in, they don’t speak the language of the party elites. And MMP has made this worse not better.


  3. pdm says:

    HP you and Andrei make some excellent points.

    What I have a problem with is people like Rick Barker. trounced twice in Tukituki it is evident he is clearly unwanted by the electorate. Yet he has got back on both occasions through the list. Now I see him appearing as a candidate in Taranaki/ing Country where as far as I know he has no affiliation whatsoever to the voters.

    David Parker will be the same if he stands in Epsom as seems likely.

    Surely those beaten twice in electorates are shown to be way past their use by dates and should look elsewhere for employment.

    BTW I suspect there are National MP’s in the same situation as Barker and they should take the hint too.


  4. Chris Bird says:

    I agree HP that those who loose their electorate seat shouldnt be able to come back in as a list MP.
    Jim Sutton did the right thing down your way a few years ago, and good on him.


  5. Andrei says:

    Jim Sutton did the right thing down your way a few years ago, and good on him.

    No that was another example of why MMP sucks. Jim Sutton of course was bought off by the execrable Helen Clark who found to working with gay activist lawyers more to her taste than North Otago Farmers.

    Thus one the most repellent and repulsive of all MPs found his way to the trough where he has slurped ever since.


  6. Sally says:

    Andrei – You have a wonderful ability in putting the situation as it really is.

    Thank you


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