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MMP review underway, feedback sought

Triggered by last year's referendum, which supported keeping MMP, the Electoral Commission has started its independent review of the voting system and will report back by the end of October.

Colin Williscroft
Mon, 13 Feb 2012

The Electoral Commission has launched a review of MMP and is seeking public input on how the voting system works.

Commission chief electoral officer Robert Peden said it was a chance for people to have their say on how the system could be improved.

The review was triggered after last year's referendum on the voting system, where a majority of voters supported keeping MMP.

As a result, the commission has to carry out an independent review of MMP and report back to Parliament by the end of October this year.

“It’s easy to get information and have your say,” Mr Peden said.

“ You don’t need to be an expert - just have a view on how MMP might be improved. You can make your submissions by post, online or by email, and can also present your submission at a public hearing.”

The issues the commission must consider in the review are spelt out in the Electoral Referendum Act 2010.

They include what thresholds parties should have to cross to qualify for an allocation of list seats in Parliament, whether list MPs should be able to stand as candidates in a by-election and whether a person should be able to stand as a candidate both for an electorate seat and on a party list.

Other issues that must be considered include whether voters or political parties should decide the order of candidates on a party list, what should happen when a party wins more electorate seats than it would be entitled to under its share of the party vote and the effect of population growth on the ratio of electorate seats to list seats.

The commission can also consider other issues, as long as they relate directly to the way MMP works. Parliament excluded Maori representation and the number of MPs from the review.

Submissions from people wishing to appear at a public hearing need be received by April 5, and all submissions must be received by May 31.

The commission is then required to release a proposal paper on potential changes in August, which the public will be invited to comment on.

A final recommendation paper will then be presented to Justice Minister Judith Collins.

Colin Williscroft
Mon, 13 Feb 2012
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MMP review underway, feedback sought