On The Threshold

Welcome to OnTheThreshold.nz which also answers to twochoicemmp.nz, twochoicemmmp.com or twochoicemmp.wordpress.com.

On the subject of the MMP Threshold, we may be on the threshold of a good solution to the problems that are perhaps the most controversial part of New Zealand’s 25 year old MMP electoral system.

The proposal is that voters be given a second choice of party vote. This solution is easy to understand and implement, and removes the threshold problems in a more acceptable and effective way than by slightly reducing the threshold percentage.

This site is targeted at people who are aware of the MMP threshold problems, and aware that there is interest in finding a solution.

Go here if you would like to be reminded about the history of the NZ MMP electoral system. 

The situation with the MMP threshold may be summarized as:

The 5% threshold is considered important to prevent a proliferation of small parties in parliament.

The threshold is disliked by many because of the wasted votes this causes and because of the flow-on effects of those wasted votes.  These people would like to see the threshold reduced or eliminated to reduce the problems stemming from wasted votes.

Even those who support the threshold do not like when wasted votes hurt them.  And others would like to see the threshold lowered, even if no votes were being wasted.

This proposal is based on the idea that the problem of wasted votes can be eliminated without reducing the threshold.  Almost all concerned would benefit from this change, which would also substantially reduce the impact of the threshold.

This post win-win explains how the proposed change would be a win-win for different interest groups and explains some of the benefits it would bring:

These posts about barking and about the size of the threshold suggest we could look at the problem a little differently.

This post about listening suggests that the electoral system should offer options that voters want to express with their vote.

Go here for an analogy with other situations where people make choices and we want nobody to miss out.

Go here or here for history and statistics of wasted votes in MMP elections, and here for more including turnout

You can find an article about this idea on the democracyproject.nz website here.

And this post from 2008 shows how wasted votes have already come close once to changing the overall result of an election.

Also on this site is a page showing how ideas like these were advanced by numerous submitters to the 2012 MMP review.

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