Monday, November 05, 2012

MMP: They blew it again

The government has released the Electoral Commission's final report on MMP [PDF]. Their initial proposal paper blew it, recommending a much less representative Parliament than we have at present. Rather than taking the opportunity to reconsider, their final report continues this mistake (and adopts even more strident language against "a proliferation of small parties", such as the one we've had for the last ten years, into the bargain). The only improvement is that they recommend a further review of thresholds in three elections' time. Which is a long time to wait for a better democracy.

The good news is that the government's (informal) reaction is less than enthusiastic:

Mr Key said he didn't have a strong view on the proposed changes.

"The National Party's view has been not to support those changes," he told Radio Live this morning.

He said some of the changes could lead to more volatility.

Or, in normal language, "meh". National just isn't interested in voting to eliminate its coalition partners from the political landscape (and those parties aren't exactly keen themselves). Whether this means they adopt only some of the recommendations, or just shitcan the entire thing, is unclear at this stage - they will respond formally at a later date. But either is better than what is being proposed. I'd rather have no change at all than a regressive one which reduced political diversity and the proportionality of our Parliament.