MMP

Coalition governments are a consequence of MMP. They may better reflect us and our democratic aspirations than the Winner-Takes-All ones of the past.

The public understanding of election outcomes remains dominated by a misunderstood account of the old electoral system which was not based on proportional representation. One commentator said confidently that the party with the most votes should form the government. That certainly did not happen in 1911, 1928, 1978 or 1981 when the party with most votes ended up in opposition.

The Labour-NZ First coalition deal proposes taking our electoral laws back to 2001-2005. I don't think thats a good place to revisit.

One of the more surprising matters included in the Labour-NZ First coalition agreement is their joint commitment to “Introduce and pass a ‘Waka Jumping’ Bill”.

Winston Peters' announcement that he will enter a coalition with Labour gives the 2017 election its final meaning. But it sounds like it was a very, very close run thing.

So, very late yesterday afternoon (let's be charitable) Winston Peters lifted the box's lid and out wandered a cat with a black head, red body and green tail.

It has been 21 years since the first Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) election. But we do not seem to be learning how to get the best from the system. We are treating it like First-Past-the-Post (FPP). It is time to relax and play to strengths of MMP. 

It is an unfortunate feature of the 2017 coalition negotiations that the country seems to be a mad rush to form a government. "Here we are", lament commentators, "days after the election and we still don't know who is going to run the country!!' (Actually, it is the job of the public service to "mind the store" in the absence of a government in all democratic countries). 

The official election results finally have been announced. They tell us what we thought they would - so now what will they mean?

The announcement of the official election count, including special votes, is both unsurprising and at least potentially game-changing (to use a much-abused cliché).