Electorate threshold rule up for review

New Zealanders have made it clear they want the chance to keep and improve their MMP system, including taking a close look at the single electorate threshold or ‘life boat rule’, Keep MMP said today.

Changes can be made to MMP if a majority of voters opt to keep MMP on November 26 and trigger a review of the system, Keep MMP spokesperson Sandra Grey said.

A poll out on Friday showed nearly two thirds of people want to keep some form of MMP, and this included 38 per cent of respondents who wanted to keep MMP and have the chance to look at some changes.  Their was a strong preference to keep MMP over a return to First Past the Post.

Parliament unanimously voted for the legislation setting up the MMP referendum, including the topics for the review, which included the thresholds to enter Parliament.

“The electorate lifeboat rule that has featured with National and Act in Epsom, and Labour and the Progressives in Wigram, comes up frequently in our discussions with voters,” Sandra Grey said.

“The threshold rules and other aspects of MMP deserve to be properly looked at.  MMP has given New Zealanders more power with their vote.  We can update MMP without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”

Sandra Grey said that politicians should leave the voting systems referendum to the public and not pre-determine any outcomes of the review of MMP.

“Clearly there is interest in looking at the thresholds rule, but Phil Goff has jumped the gun by attempting to pre-judge what changes should happen to MMP before the full review.”

“Politicians will have their personal views about our voting system, and in the run-up to an election the media will seek their views.”

“But this referendum belongs to us, the voters, not the politicians we elect,” she said.


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