Wednesday, December 10


Fair Vote - New Zealand held general elections on November 8th using mixed member proportional representation, which has been the election system used in the country since the traditional single-member plurality system was abandoned in the 1990. And once again the electoral cycle highlighted how the shift to winner-take-all to PR has allowed a better representation of women and minorities and a dramatic increase in voter satisfaction.

According to Ron Woodman, president at Fairvote N.L., New Zealand's change to MMP represents a shift towards less wasted votes. "Before they changed their system they had 48 per cent wasted votes and after they changed they had 1 per cent wasted votes, so almost everyone's vote went to electing someone", Woodman says to The Muse Online.

MMP uses double ballots where voters cast votes for both a district representative and a party list. Half of the seats are filled with representatives that are elected from single-member constituencies.

As the Royal Commission on the Electoral System envisaged, with the change to MMP the Parliament now more effectively represents the Maori, women, Asians and Pacific Islanders. In the last FTPT Parliament only 7 per cent of the members were Maori, now they account for 16 per cent. The proportion of women has risen from 21 to 29 per cent and the percentage of Pacific Islanders rose from 0 to 2 per cent. The November 8th election left The National Party with 59 seats out of a total of 122, the Liberals gained 43, The Green Party 9 seats, The ACT Party and The Maori Party were left with 5 seats each and The Progressive Party with 1 seat.

MMP was originally invented in West Germany right after World War Two and has since been adopted by several countries, such as Scotland, Wales, Hungary, Bolivia and Venezuela. Because system compromise between rivaling electoral designs, MMP is increasingly popular.


At 7:33 PM, Blogger geveN said...

very informative; but a small error....its not Liberal Party but Labour Party, in NZ


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