Hot Topic Reporting season
Hot Topic Reporting season
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NZ Politics Daily: MMP debate kicks into life, at least among elite

PLUS: SAS injuries | NZ-India relations | State housing

Bryce Edwards
Thu, 30 Jun 2011

The MMP referendum debate is kicking into life - at least at an elite level. Clearly the launch of the anti-MMP Vote for Change organisation is having an impact, if only to galvanise the pro-MMP proponents into action. In this regard, the Dom Post’s Vernon Small puts a case for retaining MMP in his article, Voting system lobbyists still boxing at shadows. He thinks the status quo is working fine, and that the ‘tail wagging the dog’ argument against MMP doesn’t add up:

‘The history of the Alliance, NZ First, ACT and now the Maori Party is that policy gains are mostly moderate, often popular, and that the tail often gets wagged to death – or flies apart under the stresses of being down the back end of the government’. Not surprisingly Small reckons that the Supplementary Member (SM) system will eventually become MMP’s main challenger option in the referendum. Small says, however, that ‘SM is a quack remedy for a system that is not ailing’, because ‘while SM can claim to be a partly proportional, the proportionality is a fig leaf on a FPP system. It is a counterfeit, four-flushing, phoney option for a true proportional system’. And if you want to read the pro-MMP repudiations of the Vote for Change arguments, you could check out Andrew Geddis’ comprehensive Pundit blog post, You can Vote for Change ... but why?.

The other sharp legal mind to follow during the referendum debate is Graeme Edgeler, who can be sure to fastidiously correct even the most minor technical inaccuracy presented during the debate. Check out his Referendum Fact Check #1. Selwyn Manning of Scoop can also be relied upon to get to the bottom of all the electoral system points of view – and he does that today in his lengthy 16-page online story, MMP Or SM? A Big Decision Looms For New Zealand Voters. There’s also a very good editorial in the ODT about political finance – see: Another dip in our pockets.

Today's content:

MMP referendum
Vernon Small (Stuff): Voting system lobbyists still boxing at shadows
Andrew Geddis (Pundit): You can Vote for Change ... but why?
Big News: More on that referendum on the voting system
Mike Smith (The Standard): Bait and Switch – to SM
Frogblog: Anti-MMP forces look like they are going to play dirty
Graeme Edgeler (Public Address): Referendum Fact Check #1
Mike Smith (The Standard): Vote for Change Incorporated
Phil Quin (New Tasman): Behind the scenes at Vote for Change
Selwyn Manning (Scoop): MMP Or SM? A Big Decision Looms

NZ in Afghanistan
Audrey Young and NZH staff (NZH): SAS fired from Black Hawk – reports
AP: Kiwi SAS soldiers left with moderate injuries in Kabul attack
NZPA/NZH: SAS injuries ‘not life-threatening’
Keith Locke (Frogblog): What Taliban hotel attack says about NZ military involvement
Yvette McCullough (Newstalk ZB): Criticism over published SAS picture

NZ-India relations
John Hartevelt (Stuff): Key winds up whirlwind India trip
John Hartevelt (Stuff): Navy could be part of piracy fight
No Right Turn: An alarming alliance

State housing
Kate Chapman (Dom Post): State house waiting list only for the very needy
Audrey Young (NZH): National vows to move well-off state house tenants
No Right Turn: Gutting the state housing system

Editorial (ODT): Another dip in our pockets
Mai Chen (NZH): Row over women and work may close gender pay gap
Danya Levy (Stuff): Greens slam transport law changes
NZPA: Govt accused of ‘politburo approach’ to road planning
Paul McBeth (Stuff): Govt spending still a risk to monetary polity - RBNZ
Brian Fallow (NZH): Why door is closing on ownership dream
John Pagani (Stuff): What's wrong with the economy and how to fix it fast
Dom Post Editorial: Education Ministry must lift its game
Derek Cheng (NZH): Big majority for drinking age of 20
Alastair Reith (Spark): Greenpeace loses battle for charity status
TV3: The Week in Politics
Yvonne Tahana (NZH): Tuhoe hope agreement will pave way for Te Urewera
Dom Post: Politics briefs – Thursday, June 30
iPredict: 2011 ELECTION UPDATE #32

Bryce Edwards is a lecturer with the Department of Politics at the University of Otago. He blogs at

Bryce Edwards
Thu, 30 Jun 2011
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NZ Politics Daily: MMP debate kicks into life, at least among elite