Vote for FPP won’t get change

Polls suggest that the status quo will be chosen by most people who vote in the referendum on MMP.

They also show the alternative which gets most support is FPP.

iPredict has the probability of retaining MMP varying from 70 – 90%.

But even if a majority vote for change in the referendum I don’t think FPP would stand a chance in the second referendum against MMP in 2014 and the chances of another system getting majority support aren’t high.

The majority of organisations registered with the Electoral Commission to campaign on the issue are supporters of MMP – including the Green and Labour parties and several unions.

Most people don’t know enough about the alternatives except FPP to be keen on one and there is no campaign – at least yet – for any other option.

Next month’s referendum will be the last chance to get a different electoral system for decades unless a majority vote for change. But unless there’s a lot more effort put into educating voters about the options and promoting an alternative to both MMP and FPP, we’re likely to be stuck with what we’ve got.

 

16 Responses to Vote for FPP won’t get change

  1. Andrei says:

    This is silly you vote for what you believe is best you don’t not vote for what you believe is best because the elite don’t want it and have tried to stack the deck against it.

    We are not voting for change per se we are voting for what we believe is best

    I do understand the the rulers want to stack Parliament with tame non entity freaks who will do their bidding whilst maintaining the fiction that the people have a voice via the ballot box but it is a loathsome system that produces loathsome troughing MPS and so I will be voting for FPP which still produces duds but at least the voters can sack them.

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  2. homepaddock says:

    The referendum asks us to first vote for MMP or change then to choose which system we’d prefer if the majority vote for change.

    If most people opt for change then FPP I don’t think it will win against MMP in the 2014 referendum and we’ll be stuck with MMP.

    If you just want to register your opinion then a vote for FPP will do it. If you want to get rid of MMP another option than FPP is more likely to do that.

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  3. Rimu says:

    we’re likely to be stuck with what we’ve got.

    Not entirely accurate – when MMP wins, there will be an independent review of it and I expect there will be improvements made.

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  4. homepaddock says:

    The review will be independent but it will require agreement by parliament to adopt any recommendations and that will be difficult.

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  5. Dr Philip Temple says:

    Of the 1986 Royal Commission on the Electoral System’s recommendations, only nine were not accepted. It would be a foolish government indeed that ignored the Electoral Commission’s suggestions for improvements to MMP, especially with a crucial election coming up in 2014. The myth persists that under FPP you could vote governments or MPs out if you didn’t like them. So how come National hung on in 1978 and 1981 with less of the vote than Labour or the last FPP election in 1993 saw National returned with only 35.1% of the vote – 65% of the electorate wanted them out! Also, most electorates under FPP were safe seats for National or Labour and only 10% of marginal seats determined who would be government. We should leave the 19th century behind.

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  6. Andrei says:

    The real myth is that we have a “democracy”. What we really have is theater, a sop to give the peasants an impression that they have a say in what goes on.

    This allows the rulers to rule without the danger the peasants will rise, ransack their baubles and put them to death.

    It is a cheaper and more humane way of keeping the rabble in line than public impalement of the occasional upstart

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  7. you may wish to note the following:

    1. The govt has not announced that there will be a 2014 referendum if MMP is not selected in 2011.
    2. Even if there is a referendum in 2014, there is no guarantee that MMP will be reviewed if it is chosen then, unlike the 2011 vote.
    3. The decision in 2011 is about whether you want MMP – or more Maori seats – whats your preference Ele?

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  8. homepaddock says:

    Philip – FPP didn’t always enable people to toss out governments, but if voters tossed out MPs then they stayed out at least until they were re-elected at a future election.

    I don’t like MMP because it gives parties so much power when membership is so low and gives the wee parties power far out of proportion to their membership and support. But I am not arguing for a return to FPP.

    Andrei – the solution to that is more active involvement in political parties.

    Dave: http://www.justice.govt.nz/electoral/mmp-referendum/frequently-asked-questions-14-december-2010#what-happens-after-the-1

    The 2011 referendum is indicative. This Government has committed to holding a second, binding referendum in conjunction with the 2014 general election if a majority of voters opts for a change to the voting system in the 2011 referendum.

    Any second referendum would ask voters to choose between MMP and the preferred alternative voting system (selected from the 2011 referendum).

    This was the process followed in the 1993 binding referendum on the voting system when MMP was selected as the favoured option.

    You are correct there is no guarantee of a review if we have the 2nd referendum.

    I think Maori seats have passed their use by dates but I want more electorate seats and if that means more Maori seats in the short to medium term until Maori seats go then that’s still better than MMP.

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  9. Dr Philip Temple says:

    Hi Ellie – Re your first point – at the last election, only 6 sitting MPs who lost their electorate seats were returned via their party list. These MPs must have been valuable enough to the party to be high on the list. In the FPP past, excellent MPs disappeared for good because a swing or (often manipulated) boundary change resulted in their losing their seat. Then there are the MPs who stood in an electorate in 2008, did not win the FPP contest but were returned on the list. A case in point is the Attorney-General Chris Finlayson who stood against Annette King in Rongotai, knowing he would lose but worked to raise National’s vote. Are you saying, however, he should not now be in Parliament? Then there are MPs who only stand on the list. Are you saying, therefore, that neither Steven Joyce nor Tim Groser should be in Parliament, let alone cabinet?

    The ‘wee parties’ only gain the number of MPs in proportion to the vote they receive, nothing more – that’s the voters’ choice and in a free market society MMP give voters genuine choice. The size of membership of parties is another issue altogether, but the days of huge party memberships under National and Labour are long gone. And no matter what the size of the membership, party bosses, national and local, decided who would get to stand and who would be given safe seats.

    Finally the number of electorate seats has been increasing, starting at 60 in 1996 and now 71. The balance under MMP can go to about 80/40, maintaining proportionality, before we reach overhang problems.

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  10. homepaddock says:

    Philip – the party’s value of the candidate trumps that of the voters which confirms my point of parties having too much power.

    There is a difference between an MP who’s been rejected by an electorate getting back on the list and one who stands in an unwinnable electorate getting a list seat, as Chris did. That said I don’t support the suggestion that candidates be able to stand only in a seat or on the list, not both.

    Wee parties gain the number of seats in proportion to their vote but that can give them power way out of proportion to their vote – remember Winston Peters?

    In National it was always members in an electorate who selected candidates not party bosses. Selections were contested and no-one was given a safe seat. That hasn’t changed with MMP.

    The increase in electorates is only because of the South Island quota. Auckland gets more seats and provincial ones, especially in the South Island, have to cover an even bigger area.

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  11. Andrei says:

    These MPs must have been valuable enough to the partyto be high on the list.

    To the party for sure but that is not the same thing as the mug electors!

    A case in point is the Attorney-General Chris Finlayson who stood against Annette King in Rongotai, knowing he would lose but worked to raise National’s vote. Are you saying, however, he should not now be in Parliament?

    A lawyer- is our “diverse” Parliament suffering from a dearth of Lawyers?

    A Wellingtonian – are Wellingtonians under represented in Parliament?

    A Gay – are Gays under represented in Parliament

    A Gay Wellingtonian Lawyer – by jeepers there are at least two of those in Parliament – How many Engineers from Southland are there, how many engineers from anywhere are there, How many Southlanders are there.

    MMP is just about stacking Parliament with well heeled urban liberals who wont rock the boat too much for other well heeled urban liberals- that’s all.

    Don’t believe me – what is Damian O’Conners position on the Labour List? I guess he’s not exactly an urban liberal now is he?

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  12. This Government has committed to holding a second, binding referendum in conjunction with the 2014 general election if a majority of voters opts for a change

    That is not what the electoral commission is saying.

    If more than half the voters opt to change the voting system, Parliament will decide IF there will be another Referendum in 2014
    http://www.referendum.org.nz/about

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  13. That is not what the electoral commission is saying.

    They’re both true. The Government has committed to a 2014 referendum, but, like all governmental promises, it requires that they actually be in government to fulfil it. In that sense, it is up to Parliament to decide.

    It’s just that National and Labour and the Greens and United Future have publicly stated they’ll abide the decision if a majority vote for change. It’s possible they’re all lying, but that slight possibility is what you’re basing your position on.

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  14. Of the 1986 Royal Commission on the Electoral System’s recommendations, only nine were not accepted.

    The Royal Commission on the Electoral System made 71 numbered recommendations (http://www.elections.org.nz/study/researchers/royal-commission-recommendations-list.html).

    Rejected were: 1, 2, 9, 10, 18, 21(b), 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 31, 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 (it was adopted, but has been undone), 44 (in part), 48 (age 17, not age 16), 56 (recently changed), 57, 60 (b) & (c) & (d), 62(a) (but soon) & (b) & (c), 64, 65, 66, 70 (a) (part) & (e), and 71.

    And possibly also others relating to the operation of the Department of Statistics about which I don’t have sufficient knowledge. This is more than 9.

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  15. Also, the number of electorate seats is now 70, not 71.

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  16. Graeme, yes, both are true, but appear on the surface to contradict. While the govt cant bind successors, (which is why it can formally announce a review of MMP post election), but have said they`ll abide by a decision to have a referendum in 2014 if needed,( with multi-party backing) it just appears that the MoJ is saying one thing – pumping govt policy – and the ( independent) EC is saying another. On the surface, its not at all clear to the average voter who doesn’t understand the beltway, but wants to find out – via the public information campaign – what may well happen after any 2014 referendum.

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