The campaign against MMP has become more organised with the newly incorporated Vote for Change .
“Vote for Change asks the 40% of New Zealanders who have already realised that MMP doesn’t offer enough accountability, to join our group” says Wellington Lawyer and Vote for Change Spokesperson, Jordan Williams. “We want Kiwis to use their opportunity to have a better voting system. Only by voting ‘change’ in November can we ensure a proper debate on MMP’s merits. Only a vote for change will mean there is another vote, a run-off between MMP and one of the four alternatives at the 2014 election.”
“Vote for Change wants a system that restores more certainty, that allows voters to easily hold governments to account and kick rascals out of Parliament,” says Mr Williams. “The current system lets party bosses sneak MPs who have been dismissed by their local electorates back into Parliament on party lists.
“New Zealanders are tired of Lists that make MPs beholden to political party bosses instead of being accountable to constituents. We want politicians to have to think of the people they serve and not party list rankings when making tough decisions” says Mr Williams.
Although it is clear it does not support MMP, VfC has not yet decided which alternative it will advocate voting to change to.
Vote for Change has not endorsed a particular alternative to MMP. “We want New Zealanders who understand that MMP has not delivered, to go to our website, join us help determine what voting system is best for New Zealand,” says Mr Williams. “With a more substantial membership base we will work out what voting system we think is the fairest”.
The VfC website lists its founding members who include former Labour Party president and mayor Bob Harvey, former Labour cabinet minister Michael Basset, former National party MP Annabel Young and Business Round Table executive director Roger Kerr.
Some of the more strident supporters of MMP try to vilify anyone who isn’t happy with the system but as David Farrar points out all five electoral systems on offer are acceptable electoral systems:
All of them are in use in various countries that are universally recognised as democratic. The moment someone tells you that only one system is acceptable, is the moment when you should stop listening to them.
There are of course degrees of acceptability, some systems are more so than others, although which is very much a matter of opinion.
I don’t like MMP but am unsure which of the alternatives would be both better and have a chance of winning a referendum when put up against MMP.