Options to change MMP

At the same time as New Zealand’s general election on November 26th 2011 it also held a referendum of the voting system. While only early results are back it looks like the vote was to keep Mixed Member Proportional ( MMP ) system and so there will be a review in 2012 of MMP. I thought I’d list many  of the possible options for changing MMP in a post for people. I’ll try to skip options that completely change the system however.

Local Electorates

  • Completely get rid of and go to a list-only system
  • Use a preferential voting system to elect members
  • Have multiple member electorates and elect MPs via STV
  • Abolish the Maori seats
  • Change the formula for decided the number of electorates ( currently 16 in the South Island and NI and Maori seats in proportion )
  • Loosen or tighten the requirements for electorates to have the same population
  • Create other  electorates for other ethnic groups, overseas NZers, electorates that anyone can “move” to.
  • electorate winners determined by Party vote ( eg if a party is entitled to 20 MPs then it’s 20 highest polling candidates are elected)
  • Otherwise disallow the election of electorate MPs that would cause an overhang.

The Lists

  • Strighter requirements for lists to be democraticly decided
  • People can be on multiple lists
  • List-only candidates not allowed
  • Changes in how list-members who leave parliament are replaced.
  • Regional lists and/or one covering the Maori Seats
  • Make any MP that forgoes their position on the list to allow a person below them into parliament ineligible to stand in the next election

The list vote

  • Threshold to be changed from current 5% ( usually reduced )
  • Removal of exception from threshold for parties that win an electorate
  • Winning a electorate reduces the threshold but doesn’t eliminate it ( eg : No Seats = 5% , 1 Seat = 4% , 2 seats = 3% 3 seats = 2% )
  • Remove/Reduce threshold for parties representing Maori interests
  • Change from Sainte-Laguë method for deciding seat allocation to another method
  • Ability of people to reorder or otherwise influence the order in which their  party lists are ordered when they vote
  • Ability to have a second choice if ones “first choice” party does not make the threshold
  • Removal from lists of candidates that stood in local electorates but failed to win or complete ban on people being allowed to be on both list and stand in electorate.
  • Only remove a losing electorate candidate from a list if they were previously the MP ( eg “thrown out by their constituents” )
  • Allow people to vote across lists . Perhaps via a STV type system of (optionally) numbering candidates from multiple parties.
  • Regional lists and/or one covering the Maori Seats
  • Threshold is 1 electorate MP , no percentage threshold
  • Electorate MPs elected for a party must exceed list MPs
  • Increase/decrease in the number of list MPs
  • Removal of separate list vote, just count electorate vote towards party-list quota.