INDEPENDENT NEWS

Internet Mana Seeks Law Change on Thresholds

Published: Sun 15 Jun 2014 07:48 PM
Internet Mana Seeks Law Change on Thresholds
The Internet MANA Party has called on Parliament to change the law on voter thresholds and will test public opinion online.
An online petition went live on the Internet Party’s website today (Sunday) and will run for a week. It calls for a change to the law to guarantee equal value for all party votes.
“There’s a lot of politics being played around the threshold issue,” said Internet Party leader Laila Harré. “It’s time for the people to have a say.”
MANA Movement leader Hone Harawira said his party had always taken a strong stance against current thresholds.
“It’s always been our position that we are against thousands of votes being wasted.”
Ms Harré said the issue centred around the 5% threshold and the one-seat threshold, known as “coat-tailing”.
“The 5% threshold means more than 100,000 voters for a single party can have their party votes ignored. Collectively, that’s a significant share of the party vote, and there are many thousands more who don’t vote for their preferred party because they fear those party votes would be wasted.”
Mr Harawira said the current thresholds had been purposely set by the big parties to suit their own purposes.
“This amounts to a protection racket set up by the old guard, who were frightened of what would happen under MMP. New Zealanders have been saying that they want their party votes to count. The current focus on the one-seat threshold should not be separated out from the undemocratically high party vote threshold.”
Internet MANA wants the principle of equal value for all party votes to underpin any change to electoral law.
“This could be done before the election provided that those parties who have benefited from the current rules do so in the spirit of one-person, one party vote,” said Ms Harré.
ENDS

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