Electoral system

MMP for beginners

If New Zealand wants to run under MMP, get used to its machinations. And if that is too Machiavellian for your taste, return to first-past-the-post. [...]

Grand Coalition the price of MMP

Perhaps the occasional Grand Coalition is the price we have to pay for our MMP electoral system. If you want to avoid difficult coalition bargaining and prefer clear parliamentary majorities, then a first-past-the-post system would be better. [...]

MMP, made in Germany

German constituency MPs thus also lack the degree of personal independence that we would often find in countries with a first-past-the-post system. The grip of political parties on the political process in Germany is much stronger than in countries like Britain, the US, or New Zealand. [...]

The fracturing of Australian politics

Voters are becoming disillusioned with mainstream political parties unable or unwilling to deal with voters' real concerns. A quick look at other countries should be a warning where this may lead. [...]

The perils of multi-party Australia

It may be nerve-wrecking for the Australian public to watch the negotiations between the parties and the independents in the wake of the federal election. However, there is no reason to believe that the election result poses a fundamental challenge to Australia’s political system. Other countries have managed and are managing with far more complicated political situations. [...]

MMP struggles in Germany and here

Given Germany's experience, it is high time New Zealand starting thinking carefully about the future of its electoral system. Has MMP cured the ills it was meant to or has it just made the system more complex? [...]

Superseding MMP: Real Electoral reform for New Zealand

After 13 years of Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) representation, Prime Minister John Key has said it is time to ‘kick the tyres’ and see how much support the system enjoys. New Zealand will hold a referendum on the electoral system coinciding with the next election, which may well be a close contest. With this referendum looming, it is both desirable and necessary to revisit New Zealand’s electoral system, its peculiarities, and its history. Beyond that, this is also the time to consider alternatives to MMP. [...]

Question time on whether NZ needs to reinstate an upper house

MMP has, in some ways, proved to be the worst of all worlds. It was meant to provide consensual decision-making, prevent an outright parliamentary majority pulling away from the will of voters and, thus, make Parliament representative. It was also meant to provide different local and national representation, and the proportional element was supposed to increase diversity within Parliament. [...]