Development of MMP in New Zealand
By Graham Little
MMP is a powerful political tool able to make New Zealand the most effective, most inclusive democracy in the world. But to achieve this aim several critical changes need to occur.
Argument in favour of MMP
- Society is complex with many groups, views and opinions on what is good, what is best, what is right and what should be.
- A measure of democracy is how it treats minority views, and the extent minorities feel they ‘belong’, and have an opportunity to be heard.
- With MMP the House of Representatives is fractured into many groups, same as society itself.
- With the fragmentation of Parliament the passage of any change is difficult, contentious, and very slow.
- The struggle to ‘get the numbers’ in Parliament exactly reflects the reality of society, no group can have authority to do as it likes, compromise essential if all are to be carried along in this democratic and free society.
- Under MMP, Parliament parallels society, any changes (legislation and regulation) that do emerge are likely to have the broad consensus of people, this reflecting the debate, discussions, and ‘back room deals’ that need done if any change is to carry a majority in the House.
- MMP is an essential cornerstone of a plural democracy.
To truly make our democracy the world model, we need establish clear principles then live them.
- I believe in equality before the law, and the right of every person to form a political party and pursue their own agenda. I applaud the Maori party, likely such a voice overdue. But in all conscience I cannot support race based seats, or legislation. Maori seats in Parliament must go, as must all reference to race or creed in all legislation.
- It must be illegal for any form of formal coalition.
- The party with the most seats in the House after an election becomes the “government of the day’, supply is automatic, and confidence votes a thing of the past.
- All politicians are there for three years and are expected to work to the betterment of the people, so much of the current stuff passed off as ‘politics’ dismissed, and those who engage in it to be vigorously chided in all media, and if they persist they will be voted out next election.
- Notions of ‘left’ and ‘right’ are just rubbish; both people and economy critical and overall the country managed for the benefit of all citizens and for humanity generally.
- The government of the day has limited powers.
- Is expected to manage the country according the existing legislation and regulation.
- Directs budget according to the will of Parliament.
- Represents the country in dealings and visits with overseas nations and important people.
- The government of the day cannot:
- Change any regulation.
- Change any legislation.
- Change allocation of taxes.
- Change rules on collection of taxes.
- All budgets allocations (VOTE) adopted by majority vote in the House. This to be an annual wrestle as the House determines the allocation of spending.
- All legislation, regulation or any other directive expected of Government of day is processed through the committee process and subject to majority vote in the House.
- Parties expected to come forward with ideas on how the country can be better managed, and expected to outline what they see needing achieved to build a better country and enhance living for the population; these ideas would remain policy for a party, and the election would determine the ranking given to these ideas through the number of seats afforded the party.
- Under extreme circumstances, the House may grant the government of the day emergency powers, but this granting must be by 75% majority, so that the House is substantially in one mind.
These proposals represent a further devolution of power begun with MMP, these rules being a logical extension of the process of bringing true, inclusive democracy to all New Zealanders. –END-