Monday, February 15, 2010

Support the campaign for MMP!

Next year, despite the lack of any public demand for it, we will be voting on the electoral system. While the public seems quite happy with MMP, big business isn't. Results which actually reflect the way people voted, permanent minority government, a need for consensus and compromise and consequent limit of government power - democracy, in other words - is seen as a barrier to "reform", which they want but the people don't. And so there will be a referendum, where they will try and buy the outcome, in order to give us a less democratic electoral system where politicians will be less accountable to us.

They have to be stopped. And so a group of people who support democracy have come together (or in many cases, rejoined) to campaign for MMP. At the moment, they're focused on ensuring a fair referendum, with an unbiased question and spending limits to prevent big business from buying the outcome (as they almost did last time). Later on they'll move on to serious campaigning. If you're interested, then you can sign up here. There are already regional groups in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Nelson, Palmerston North and Hamilton; hopefully Christchurch and other areas will be coming soon.

We can't take our democracy for granted. I'm old enough to remember the days of unrepresentative elections, when a few hundred voters in marginal seats determined the outcome, parties became government despite winning fewer votes than their rivals, and governments did what they liked, unconstrained by public opinion. I don't want to go back to them. If we want to keep our democracy, we need to speak up for it. So, sign up, and do your bit to defend MMP!