MMP better for Maori?

A press release (that was poorly written, but that’s beside the point) by Maori Politics lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington, Dr Maria Bargh, has said that MMP has lead to more Maori within Parliament, and therefore any other system would be unfair to Maori. Subsequently, Dr Bargh has suggested that anything other than MMP would be undemocratic.

When we look at undemocratic, I personally think toward Winston Peters being able to effectively choose the Prime Minister, both in 1996 and 2004. I look toward the Green Party getting a disproportional share of power in the latter years of Helen Clark’s Government.

I also would suggest to Dr Bargh that if Maori wanted their own people in Parliament, they would vote for their own people. That way, we would have a democratic system, with Maori in Parliament. And this would happen no matter what electoral system we use. 14.6% of people in New Zealand at the 2006 Census were Maori. If 14.6% of people in New Zealand voted for Maori candidates, we would have a good representation of Maori in Parliament.


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Posted on June 29, 2011, in New Zealand Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Yea, that press release is poorly written.

    I dunno if I agree with the ‘any electoral system’ comment though, at least when in comes to FPP. Considering the whole Social Credit getting 21% in 1981 but only 2 seats thing. Systems other than MMP might get them representation, but possibly not as well, depending on the system.

    Of course, that’s without looking at Maori seats (which I do think we should do away with).

    • I will concede the fact that FPP will not provide an equitable number of seats. However, the other options will.

      Also, I like that you think Maori Seats should go. You should have a look at my post on this. Just search for Maori Electorates and it should come up.

  2. That’s a bit naughty Daniel, saying that if the 14.6% Maori voted for Maori you’d have 14.6% Maori in under any system, when in fact this is only true for proportional electoral systems. Maori could all vote for Maori candidates under FPP, and still have no representation (no taking into account Maori seats), because minorities struggle for proportionate representation the more disproportionate the electoral system.

  3. Dan, I’m sorry, but you are a buffoon. Have you actually looked into the actually-existing-in-practice examples of STV or PV? How is SM an improvement over MMP?
    Would you like me to start citing examples? Malta and South Australia are the substantively disproportionate STV electoral outcomes usually referenced. Also, in 1996, NZF carried a reasonable number of electorate (especially Maori) seats – an FPP situation. And that narrative about picking the king .. is not strictly accurate. We would probably have preferred to go with Labour … but Jim Anderton was refusing to play ball, thus meaning the numbers simply weren’t there. The second “kingmaker” election was in 2005, and considering that the alternative to Helen Clark was Don Brash … I don’t really call that a contest or a “decision”.
    Can I also enquire as to how precisely the Green Party had “disproportionate power” in ANY term of the last Labour government? They not only weren’t *in* Government .. they got quite bitchy about how they weren’t getting any opportunity to put forward policy etc.

    See, especially given NZF’s track record as the third and occasionally almost 2nd largest party in the House … I can’t really see why you’d want to marginalise and deny a considerable swathe of the electorate who voted for NZF (or, for that matter, The Greens – fellow political swingers that they now apparently are) a voice either at the negotiations to form a govenrment, or to exert influence over the policy creation process.

  4. So you deny that having a “kingmaker” is a breach of the ideal of democracy, Curwen? Funny that it seems pretty much everyone who isn’t a member of New Zealand First or the Green Party disagree with you on that…

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