Tag Archive: MMP

Please, no return to two-party politics

Bryce Edwards at The Guardian has pointed out the problem Jacinda and Labour have with minor parties:

Bridges knows that his best chance is not making new friends in parliament, but rather taking out Ardern’s current support parties. It’s a cunning, if very cynical plan.
A number of new “micro parties” will be attempting to make it into parliament in 2020. They have little chance of success, but they do have the potential to have a big impact. Two small environmentally-focused parties – Sustainable NZ and the Opportunities party – could end up acting as spoilers, stealing votes from the Greens and sinking them under the crucial 5% threshold.

No no no no no no no.

The change from FPP to MMP was the best and most important political change for recent political history. FPP is a terrible system, voters should not be forced into voting for the lesser of two evils. Yet, that’s what’s essentially that we could be staring at, despite being in MMP.

If we do lose the minor parties, barring changes to the electoral system (which isn’t hugely unrealistic, to be fair) it will be difficult to get any minor parties back in parliament.

Going to a two-party system is a bad idea, period. One party having absolute power in government is bad.

Come 2020, if we are in danger of losing the minor parties, NZ voters, please do the right thing. Vote for the minor parties if you have to.

Minor party shortage

No Right Turn recently blogged about TOP’s dissolution.

However, it’s the last line of his post which I find the most interesting:

But while its clear that TOP has died a natural death, it means we’ll be down to only 12 registered political parties (and only 5 in Parliament). Which isn’t a lot of options for voters to choose from. One way of measuring the health of a democracy is by the number of registered political parties. And on that metric, ours seems to be in slow decline.

Not including the five parties in parliament, the seven remaining ones are:

  • Maori
  • Legalise Cannabis
  • Conservatives
  • People’s Party
  • Democrats for Social Credit
  • Outdoors
  • Mana

Of those seven, the only party which holds a reasonable chance of actually getting into parliament come 2020 is the Maori party. What’s more, all three of our current minor parties are in danger of failing to be re-elected in 2020: NZ First and the Greens are hovering around the 5% mark, and National have refused to guarantee ACT that they will endorse them in Epsom.

This does leave me concerned that we will just have two parties in parliament in 2020, and if that happens, given there will be no coalitions with minor parties, the ruling party will have no power checks. That ain’t good. And even if they’re not in power, as NRT said, having minor parties is good for democracy.

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