I request the Commission recommend:
1. retaining the 5% party vote threshold for the allocation of list seats
2. maintaining the one electorate seat threshold for the allocation of list seats
3. the provision for overhang seats be retained for parties that do not cross the party vote threshold.
Based on the evidence provided in the main body and appendices of the Commission's proposal, it appears to me that the current MMP system works. The proposed changes do not appear to add value in term of representation or disproportionality and run the grave risk of making it harder to form stable governments in the future. MMP has brought New Zealand a far more proportional representation than ever occurred under MMP.
The concerns raised in the Commission's proposal about the potential for gaming and the apparent importance of certain electorates will occur no matter what system is in place. It is not a sufficient justification for change.
Why fix that which is not broken?
I agree with the following proposals by the Commission as they stand:
1.Candidates should continue to be able to stand both in an electorate and on a party list at general elections.
2. List MPs should continue to be able to contest by-elections.
3. Political parties should continue to have responsibility for the composition and ranking of candidates on their party lists.
I agree that Parliament should review the balance of electorate seats to list seats prior to the point at which the proportionality from insufficient list seats becomes unacceptable. In making this recommendation, I would ask that the Commission recognise the important work currently being done to address New Zealand's economy and propose that such a review be considered no earlier than 2018. It could be done in the context of a review of the overall number of seats in Parliament and the process for determining electorate boundaries including the quota tolerance.
In summary, I urge the Commission to recommend the STATUS QUO for the MMP system, along with a review, no earlier than 2018, of the other issues (currently outside the review parameters) identified in the Commission's proposal.