INDEPENDENT NEWS

The Campaign to Save MMP

Published: Sun 9 Nov 2008 09:39 PM
The Campaign to Save MMP
I would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Prime-Minister-in-waiting John Key and the National party he leads. This was an election that in many ways became a referendum on change, and voters were careful to weigh up their choices carefully between the competing blocks With ACT and United Future, John Key has a clear working majority and it appears that part of National's strategy for the future will be to forge a working relationship with the Maori party as well. It is however interesting to reflect that despite only a 12 point gap in the polls between the two major parties, National won forty-one electorates to Labour's twenty-one, suggesting that had this election been held under FPP the result would have been a National majority out of proportion with what New Zealand voters overall intentions. Instead we have a Parliament with seven different parties represented by both electorate MPs and list MPs through proportional voting, and we have a Government that reflects the mandate New Zealanders gave it: lead the Government, but not alone.
We at the Campaign to Save MMP believe this is an election which shows the strength of the Mixed Member Proportional electoral system. While most New Zealanders place their support behind Labour or National there is a large number who choose another party to represent them. Few other electoral systems make this possible. On the other hand, the voters in the general roll electorates of Wigram and Epsom chose a minor party candidate to represent them, and voters in five of the seven Maori roll electorates opted to be represented by the independent Maori party. MMP provides the best compromise between best reflecting New Zealanders' wishes by proportional representation while also giving local electorates the opportunity to elect independent candidates. It ensures fairness and gives us a Parliament with diverse representation.
We respect National's desire to hold a public referendum on the issue. A second referendum on the issue is not something to fear, but an opportunity for New Zealanders to show they believe in fairness in their electoral system. The Campaign to Save MMP will be an independent, non-partisan effort to inform voters of the benefits of MMP and show them the downside of other electoral systems. 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.
Stephen Cooper,
Campaign to Save MMP

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