MMP: reduce the five per cent threshold?
I'm, back, been a bit busy lately.
Destiny New Zealand announced yesterday that is is contesting the next election. It was the highest polling party outside parliament in 2005, getting 14,210 votes (0.62 per cent), 100,000 votes short of getting past the five per cent threshold. It is currently polling more than the Progressives. However it is futule to compare Destiny's position with the Progressives as Jim Anderton has an electorate seat.
Some have suggested that the threshold should be lowered or abolished. Let's have a look at this. Options that have been discussed are are an abolition, a reduction to 4 percent as recommended by the Royal Commission on the Electoral System, or to 0.8 percent, the equivalent of one electorate seat.
Only one person would have benefited by a reduction to 0.8 per cent at the last election:Destiny's Richard Lewis, as all other parties that got between 0.8 percent and the threshold got an electorate seat as well. IN Previous elections, the Alliance would probably have been in Government in 2002, but with fewer seats. The Alliance (13) and NZ Firsts (17) combined seats in 1996 were greater than National's haul in 2002.
The sole advantage (if you could call it that) a one percent reduction in the threshold as recommended by the RCES would have made is that Graham Capill would have got into Parliament in 1996 for three years, as the only party to get between four and five per cent of the vote without getting an electorate seat post MMP was the Christian Coalition in 1996. So reducing it to 4 percent won't change much.
if the threshold was 0.8 per cent, though, any Christian Coalition of Destiny/Christian Heritage/ NZ Family Rights would have not got one seat in 2005 either as its combined vote was just 0.79 per cent - just outside!
Here's their votes in 2005
Christian Heritage 0.12%
NZ Family Rights 0.05%
DPF has some figures.
However, if we had have had a 0.8 pecent threshold from 1996 we would have had more parties in Parliament.
In 1996 we would have had Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis (1), Christian Coalition (5).
In 1999 we would have had Christian Coalition (3), Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis (2), Future New Zealand (1)
In 2002, The Alliance, Christian Heritage, Outdoor Recreation (1 seat each).
In 2005 there would have been no change.
If I was former United Future MP Gordon Copeland I`d be campaigning on reducing the threshold to 0.8 per cent, rather than removing the anti-smacking Act. Barring a miracle, its the only one of two ways he is going to get back into Parliament. However, even if Copeland's Future New Zealand Party was to go into coalition with Destiny, Christian Heritage and NZ Family Rights, he is not likely to get back into Parliament -bui even if the threshold is dropped to 0.8 percent he will have to have an almighty scrap with Destiny's Richard Lewis to get the top spot on the list.
He's got as much chance as the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and Destiny New Zealand of getting into Parliament after next year's election. Which is nil. And its also a shame. He deserves to be in Parliament. He is one of the best MPs UFNZ has ever had.