The NZ Government is doing an independent electoral review at the moment, and public submissions are open until 14th November 2022.
I thought I would write in with my submission, and share it here. I think my opinion is right obviously (at time of writing anyway). Since the current system favours the major parties I am unsure they’d act on this even if it does make sense. But if you don’t say anything, your voice isn’t heard. So I’m trying to do my bit here and make things less shit.
The change I propose would benefit everybody. It removes any potential downsides to everyone putting forward their honest, pure preferences, which is instructive to government. It could stabilise our system, as we could all say we had a say in the government, even if our first preference was the McGillicuddy Serious Party.
To write your own submission, don’t be turned off by the pages of guff you can read. Just email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone there will read your submission and put it into whatever category as another ‘public vote for X’ presumably. Mine will go in the ‘wants STV’ category.
[optional share: biographical info for their FYI; name, age, ethnicity,]
I am OK with this submission being published anonymously only.
My desire for our elections is to implement some form of Single Transferable Vote (STV) for the party vote in general elections, and keep the thresholds. [This means you rank your parties 1, 2, 3 etc. If your Number 1 party doesn’t make 5%, your whole vote goes to Number 2 party, and down until your vote counts)]
Ever since MMP has been implemented, there’s been the ‘wasted vote boogeyman’, “Don’t vote for X, don’t split the vote, it’s a vote for the opposition”. It’s a compelling argument. The hurdle for a not-in-parliament party to get to 5% and not be seen as a ‘wasted vote’ is absolutely massive.
STV would enable voters to vote with their heart, without the fear of wasted/split votes and indirectly helping ‘the complete opposite of what you want’. The current system is a massive barrier to even communicating a desire for change. MMP was supposed to enable more representative government, but it has not delivered and it’s got more and more ‘2 party vs’, due to this vote splitting fear being such a massive hurdle for new parties.
I believe arguments against STV are not honest. Local elections are poor because there’s way too much. The system of STV voting is not an issue. We are perfectly capable of ranking political parties in terms of preference, or just ticking one as usual if people aren’t into it.
I want everyone to be able to vote for who we want to, without any fearful strategic considerations around vote splits. I want us to know that, if the party we want in with our heart doesn’t get in, it doesn’t mean we indirectly voted for the complete opposite by ‘splitting the vote and watering down the side’.
I believe a fairer system that is capable of representing New Zealanders’ views that is less susceptible to manipulation with fear would be to make party voting an STV ranking, and keep the thresholds.