New Zealand

New Zealand is in a dangerous debt spiral

The financial crisis has made us remember some half-forgotten truths. One of them is that countries with negative net foreign assets and large government liabilities are in danger of being shut out of capital markets. [...]

Confessions of a political disaster tourist

It is a very useful experience to travel to the scenes of political disaster. Because they hold lessons for us to learn. At least that’s my own experience travelling between Europe and Australia. [...]

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. [...]