Whilst naturally enough, most media attention has focused on this Saturday's General Election, there's another important event this week; the Electoral Referendum.
Alert readers will have noticed that Keeping Stock has been carrying an advertising banner from Vote for Change for some time now. We were approached with a commercial proposition, which we declined, on the basis that we don't blog for any commercial gain. Instead, we offered the value of the advertising to Vote for Change as a donation. If from that disclosure you have formed the impression that we won't be voting to retain MMP, you'd be dead right. We didn't vote for MMP in the 1993 referendum either, and these days, it's hard to find anyone who will admit that they did!
Vote for Change has sent us the graphic which appears above. The people there are leaning strongly towards Supplementary Member (SM) as being the option of choice. We're yet to decide whether that will be our preference as an alternative to MMP, even though John Key has endorsed it. And that's one of the reasons why we put up a poll on the electoral referendum on Sunday; to get an idea of what other people are thinking. At the time of typing this, 222 people have responded to the poll, and SM is a clear leader.
Our main objections to MMP are the size of the Parliament (120 MP's is too many, in our opinion), and the disproportionate amount of power accorded to the smaller parties; one or more of Act, United Future, Mana, or even NZ First should not, in our opinion, determine which of the major parties can govern. We also don't like the concept that on the three-yearly opportunity we have to exercise our vote, an MP rejected by his or her electorate can waltz back into Parliament via the list; prospective MP's should choose one or the other.
So we're keen to canvass opinion a bit further. What should it be; MMP or FPP? Is SM simply FPP in drag? Is Preferential Voting too complicated, or might it work? What about STV; sure; it delivered a Green mayor for Wellington, but does it deserve its bad rap just for that? Feel free to express your opinion, but please respect the freedom of others to hold an opinion which doesn't tally with yours.
The floor is yours...