Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Anderton against dual candidacy in by-elections

Yesterday, The Press's Colin Espiner pointed out some of the oddities resulting from the Mt Albert by-election. In the case of three of the candidates, a victory in the by-election will effectively result in someone entirely different from the person being voted on entering Parliament. Now Jim Anderton is planning to do something about it, with a member's bill to force sitting MPs to resign from Parliament if they wish to stand as a candidate in a by-election.

As I noted yesterday, I strongly support dual candidacy in general elections. But it does seem absurd in by-elections, and as Anderton points out, it results in candidates facing no real risk. His bill would be a minor tweak, and would not undermine the principle of dual candidacy generally. It is at least worth a look by a select committee.