Friday, November 18, 2011

Want a reason to support MMP?

To use the immortal words of Wal Footrot, look at the people who are telling you not to:

A majority of CEOs - 65 per cent - want New Zealand to scrap the mixed member proportional (MMP) voting system.

MMP does not aid the election of a decisive government capable of making tough decisions because "the senior party has to agree to too many compromises to attain power," says Martin Simons, chief executive New Zealand Media for Herald publisher APN.

Others noted New Zealand was unlikely to see the major reform of any policy that might be unpopular at the time - but best for New Zealand in the long run - because MMP tends to result in coalition governments.

Or, to put it another way, according to NZ businessmen (and it is mostly men), MMP is bad because it forces the government to listen to the people rather than them. Its quite revealing of their attitude to democracy.

Meanwhile, Bill English recognises that this is in fact a strong point: MMP requires governments to win the argument and take us with them. It ensures that policy has democratic legitimacy. Again, it speaks volumes that our business leaders don't think this is necessary.