Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cautious optimism on MMP

The Herald has published the results of its pre-xmas poll, which showed that almost 51% of respondents support MMP. This is a massive increase on a year ago, and it caps off a year in which support for the current electoral system has consistently been above 50%. I think that gives us reason to be optimistic that kiwis will vote to retain democracy later this year.

But that optimism should be cautious. In 1993, MMP had a far greater lead than this, and almost lost after a $1.5 million campaign from big business to retain the old undemocratic system. We'll no doubt see a similar campaign again this year, complete with crying babies and faceless list MPs, though fortunately this time round the amount of money the rich can spend in an effort to buy the outcome will be limited to $300,000. So, if we want to keep MMP, then we are still going to have to fight for it.