July 25, 2012
One of the questions under consideration in the review of MMP is what the threshold should be to allow a party to enter parliament, or whether there should be a threshold at all.
This is why there should be a threshold and why the threshold for registering as a party should be higher:
TV star and comedian Ben Boyce has been discharged without conviction for a botched fake pilot stunt which was condemned by the aviation industry and Prime Minister John Key.
The former Pulp Sport star was discharged, alongside The Rock host Bryce Casey and TV producer Andrew Robinson at the Manukau District Court today. . .
The trio were charged with providing false information in an attempt to gain access to a secure area after a skit for the TV3 series WannaBen in September 2011 went wrong.
This is the Ben of the Bill and Ben Party which gained .56% of party votes in the 2008 election.
With no threshold he could have been in parliament.
Having a threshold is no guarantee against idiots gaining seats and power.
But having a higher hurdle to jump before being able to register as a political party and a threshold of at least 5% does make it harder and gives some protection against the plague-on-all-their-houses votes inflicting this sort of accidental MP on the country.
November 5, 2008
While many commentators are pointing out we could end up with an overhang after the election, Tim Donoghue has found a way to get an underhang.
Under MMP, people will actually be able to vote for a reduction in the size of Parliament, simply by voting for the Bill and Ben Party.
. . . There are only two people on their party list – Jamie “Bill” Lineham and Ben “Ben” Boyce.
Now here’s the rub. There’s been much talk about the Maori Party possibly causing a four seat over-hang if they win the seven Maori seats on Saturday night but poll poorly in the party vote. That would mean there could be up to 124 MPs in our next Parliament.
But wait – the Bill and Ben Party could actually be on the verge of reducing the number of seats in the Parliament.
Under the Sainte Lague formula, if by some miracle the Bill and Ben Party polls five per cent of the party vote the pair will be responsible for an underhang in Parliament.
The rules of MMP state if a party hasn’t nominated enough list candidates to fill all the seats to which it is entitled on the basis of its share of the party vote, the seats remain unfilled and the size of the Parliament is reduced by that number of seats till the next general election.
If disillusioned voters decide to vote en masse for the Bill and Ben Party as a protest vote and the party cracks the magic five per cent figure, Parliament could be cut to 116 or 117 seats. Bill and Ben would not be allowed to conjure up the names of four or five mates to help them fill the void.
Recent polls indicate National, Labour and the Greens are the only parties guaranteed to crack the five per cent threshold on Saturday. NZ First is the only other party with an outside chance.
So the message is simple – if you’ve decided you’re not going to vote because you don’t believe in encouraging politicians, think again: vote Bill and Ben Party and put three politicians out of a job.
July 30, 2008
The Electoral Commission has decided that unions can be registered as third parties under the Electoral Finance Act.
It has registered RAM – Residents Action Movement and The Bill and Ben Party as political parties; a logo for the New Zealand Pacific Party and the abbreviated name Kiwi Party for The Kiwi Party.
Its decisions on nine complaints under the EFA and two matters concerning late donations returns will be announced and released once written up, which is expected to be in a week or so.
It also notes that the statute of limitations has expired for prosecution of electoral law offences related to donations returns for 2005 which means it won’t be persuing allegations about Owen Glenn’s donation to NZ First.
But there is no mention of a decision regarding whether or not party logos are election advertisements and therefore require authorisation under the EFA. It’s an important decision. The delay in making it is hampering campaign planning for parties and it’s also having a detrimental impact on my attempts to reduce waste.
I have a dozen reusable shopping bags which I’d been using for several months before January 1st. But because they have a National Party logo on them and the EFA clause on advertising applies from that date I stopped using them.
The number of people likely to be influenced by my bags at the Weston Four Square or Oamaru New World is small, but National Party HQ directed members to abide by the law no matter how petty its restrictions and as the EC is yet to determine the status of logos I’m doing as I’m told and leaving my bags at home.
My shopping bags might be trivial but the question over logos is not a minor technicality. The EC decision will impact on virtually everything political parties do in election year and as the election is now less than four months away the need for a ruling becomes more important by the day.