A vote to keep MMP locks in an independent review

Supporters of MMP, and supporters of a modified MMP both need to vote to keep MMP on November 26, as it locks in an independent review to make the system even better, Campaign to Keep MMP said today.

A retiring Member of Parliament, a University of Canterbury academic and others spoke during this last week about possible tweaks that could be made to the MMP voting system that New Zealand has used since 1996.

Campaign to Keep MMP spokesperson Sandra Grey said that if a majority of voters opt to keep MMP at this year’s referendum, it would lock in an independent review by the Electoral Commission to hear from the public about improvements that can be made to our current system.

“We know that aspects of MMP irk some people, who otherwise broadly support a voting system where everyone’s votes count equally, no matter where they live.”

“It’s important that not only supporters of MMP, but supporters of MMP with some tweaks, vote to keep MMP this November.”

“This will allow us to take a close look about how we can improve MMP, but not throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

All political parties in Parliament voted for the review to occur and included key issues for the voting public to comment on, such as the current thresholds to get into Parliament, and dual candidacy – where candidates stand in both an electorate and on the list, Sandra Grey said.

“The fact that there was unanimous support for the referendum and the review shows that our politicians know it is time to iron out some of the wrinkles in MMP.”

“Of course, the final say on the details of any voting system used by New Zealand – whether we are talking about the details of a proportional system like MMP or the exact application of a non-proportional system like SM – will be left with our elected representatives in Parliament. The legislated review gives us the best chance of keeping the power of our votes and making this even stronger.”

Sandra Grey said recent polling has indicated support among backers of MMP and backers of a modified MMP was around 60 per cent when combined, and her group was committed to making sure voters understood how to achieve a modified MMP this referendum.

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