Is Vote for Change sinking even before it sets sail

Aside

It’s interesting to see the disarray that the Vote for Change folk seem to be in. Yesterday’s Kiwiblog post on them has pictures of two crowd-sourced billboards – neither of which are logical*, let alone compelling. And then the comments underneath seem to be running majority in favour of MMP. If Vote for Change can’t muster a simple majority (ha ha) among the Kiwiblog comments you wonder where they are planning to get their support.

$10,000 in prize money to promote something, anything, we’re still not quite sure what yet, so long as it makes sure that some people’s votes are worth more than other people’s.

*e.g. the first billboard seems to have forgotten that Winston Peters came to power and prominence under First Past the Post, then lost his seat under MMP. And, as for the second billboard, surely the concern is supposed to be that tails wag dogs not that dogs wag tails?

Protect MMP!

So, yesterday I talked with one Steven Cooper over email about a Campaign to Save MMP. It sounds like there are definitely people interested in Auckland already- but if you’re from Wellington or Christchurch I recommend you get in contact with him anyway so that we can try and get some organisation going down in the other main centres. His priority right now is to set up an incorporated society, so I hope Aucklanders go along to his meeting. Here’s the information on how to contact Steven:

Our first meeting is at Auckland University Students Association executive chambers, 7pm Thursday the 13th of November. Anyone who wants to get involved with this campaign is welcome to come along, or contact Stephen Cooper at aotearoa.guy@gmail.com or on 0211072520.

There’s also a very nice press release you can find over on Scoop.

As many of us G.Blog writers were commenting earlier, MMP isn’t perfect. There’s lots of small tweaks we’d love to make to it. But we also ought to remember that MMP has always let over 90%1 of party votes count towards determining parliament. Under FPP, it’s easily possible for less than 50% of voters to determine the shape of parliament, (It’s pretty easy to win an electorate with as little as a third of its vote) and a party with an outright majority of votes can fail to be the government. MMP is a huge improvement over FPP, and we shouldn’t forget how precious that is when so many societies overseas still run electorate-based seats for their entire House of Representatives. Changing the system to be better is a lesser priority compared with stopping people from undermining the system we already have.
Continue reading