Opposition parties say the government should adopt all the Electoral Commission’s recommendations for MMP reform. Labour leader David Shearer said it was “well and truly time to ditch the so-called ‘coat-tails clause’ to avoid stitch-ups like the deal done over the tea cups by John Key and John Banks last election”. The clause wasn’t actually used because ACT did not get enough party votes to bring another MP into parliament, however, the party benefited from the clause in 2008. Shearer said Labour was keen to see the government move quickly on the recommendations. The comments came after the government today tabled the commission’s final report in parliament.
Justice Minister Judith Collins said the government would take time to consider the report. She thanked the public for participating in the review which received thousands of submissions.
“The government will now carefully consider the commission’s recommendations and will be consulting with other parties in parliament for their views.”
MMP opponents have expressed disappointment at the final report.
ACT Party leader John Banks said the one seat threshold was well understood by voters and and changes to the party vote threshold were “arbitrary”. “The Commission’s assertion that this [one seat rule] is somehow unfair is nonsense. Each voter in every electorate has a vote of equal value. How they decide to use that vote is up to them, based on the pitch put to them by various political parties.”
ACT would not support the changes, he said. “Voters will not have any confidence in the Electoral system if it can be continually tinkered with it.”