Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The MMP Review is dead

Today in Question Time, Green MP Holly Walker asked Justice Minister Judith Collins whether she intended to implement the recommendations of the MMP review in time for the 2014 election. The Minister's answer? "No".

As someone who thinks that the Electoral Commission's recommendations are worse than what we have at present, I'm not exactly broken up about this.

MMP needs to be tweaked, but those tweaks must enhance representation, not diminish it. The changes proposed by the Electoral Commission on their own assessment give us a less representative Parliament than we have at present, and thus it is better that they are dumped. National is acting out of pure venality, but I think its a better result for our democracy than if they'd implemented everything. But it is kindof spitting in the face on everyone who contributed to the review. And having done this, National is inviting future governments to make changes without consensus, which could be even worse.

It also raises the question of what our political parties could reach consensus on, and why at least those changes are not going to be implemented. And if the answer is "none", then it suggests that consensus is simply too high a bar, and that the government set up the review to fail all along.