Ever heard of a gerrymander? Yep, that’s what happened for many years in Queensland, when Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s National Party held power there with as little as 20% of the popular vote.
Anyway, here’s Cameron Slater – and again, and again, and again – advocating that New Zealand’s National Party should be advocating a vote against MMP:
News flash National, all your political enemies are conspiring to retain MMP and pouring lots of time, effort and money into it and some in National are even helping them. Silence is no longer an option, silence in 1993 on the issue is what got you 9 long years in opposition and silence is what will see your coalition partners disappear, and with it your chances of governing again for a very long time.
Slater’s argument is about as unprincipled as it gets. He is advocating gerrymandering the electoral system to make it less fair and less proportional because that would advantage the political right by giving the National Party a share of seats in Parliament well in excess of their share of the popular vote.
I somehow suspect he wouldn’t be running that argument if ACT were polling 12%, rather than being terminally ill at 1.2%.
The Young Greens are running a campaign to encourage people, particularly young people, to enrol to vote.
As a gimmick aspect of the campaign, it has a few prizes – the Greens are offering an incentive to encourage people to comply with the law – enrolling to vote (as opposed to actually voting) is compulsory under our electoral law.
But (suspiciously, within minutes of each other) blog posts appeared today from the Nats’ attack team of Cameron Slater and David Farrar, attacking the Greens for encouraging people to comply with electoral law.
I guess Slater and Farrar figure that a low enrollment increases the Nats’ probability of retaining power. So much for the commitment of the political right to encouraging democratic participation. They have decided that is against the interests of the Party they support, and the end of re-electing a National-led government justifies the means of discouraging democratic participation to ensure that end is achieved.
Cameron Slater, most likely deliberately, has got it completely wrong on the MMP referendum. Slater blogs:
Some people are already suggesting that MMP should be reformed but that is not the question in this referendum. What we are being asked to do is choose MMP warts and all as it currently stands, or vote for change. If we vote for change then we can choose one of four other systems.
If you like MMP just as it is then vote for that option, if you like anything else, including a changed MMP system then Vote for Change.
That’s utter crap! There are lots of voters who think aspects of MMP could be improved. But the referendum process specifically allows for a review of MMP to consider such potential improvements should MMP be endorsed – see sections 74 and 75 and 76 of the Electoral Referendum Act 2010.
76 Scope of review
(1) The matters that the Electoral Commission must review are—
(a) the requirement that a party must achieve at least 5% of the total number of party votes before it may be eligible to be allocated the number of list seats (if any) needed to ensure that the party’s total number of seats reflects its proportion of the total party vote; and
(b) the alternative requirement that a candidate of a party must win an electorate seat before the party may be eligible to be allocated the number of list seats (if any) needed to ensure that the party’s total number of seats reflects its proportion of the total party vote; and
(c) the ratio of electorate seats to list seats that results—
(i) from the effects of population change on the number of general electorate seats; or
(ii) if a party’s constituency candidates have won more seats than the party would be entitled to as a result of the party vote; and
(d) the capacity of a person at a general election to be both a candidate for an electoral district and a candidate whose name is included in a party list in a general election, and the capacity of a member of Parliament who holds a list seat to be a candidate in a by-election; and
Order of candidates on party lists
(e) a party’s ability to determine the order of candidates on its party list and the inability of voters to rank list candidates in order of preference; and
(f) any other feature of the voting system referred to the Commission under section 5(d) of the 1993 Act.
(2) In addition to the matters specified in subsection (1), the Electoral Commission may, in undertaking the review, consider other aspects of the mixed member proportional representation voting system.
(3) Despite subsections (1)(f) and (2), the Electoral Commission must not review—
(a) Māori representation:
(b) the number of members of Parliament.
A huge fail on the facts for Slater, and an indication that the anti-democratic forces the “Vote for Change ” people represent are going to play an evidence-averse dirty game.