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2620 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 530954 8-Oct-2011 17:57 Send private message

gzt:
Linuxluver: No one is holding anyone to ransom. Voters didn't give a majority to any of the present minorities....and they are ALL minorities.

Example of that process in action today:

"The Government wanted to make the bill fully retrospective, but had to water it down to gain the numbers to pass the bill. Attorney-General Chris Finlayson had no option but to yield to Labour and Act demands for select committee hearings, which resulted in changes including dropping retrospectivity with respect to pending trials, a clause explicitly upholding the protection of the Bill of Rights, and a timeframe of six months instead of 12 months. The bill retains the provision where past convictions cannot be challenged on the basis of the Supreme Court decision. Yesterday Mr Finlayson praised all parties for the passing of the bill. "It's not a victory for any one political party. It is a bill that is a product of this Parliament and a credit to this House.""

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10757132


Yep.  




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If you're not curious, your brain is already dying...if not dead.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 531543 10-Oct-2011 15:00 Send private message

Linuxluver:
polglase:

I don't feel as if we are on the same wavelength.

Let's use the following (hypothetical) example

On election night the results are:

Party A - 45%
Party B - 33%
Party C - 11%
Party D - 6%
5% of the vote on parties who failed to reach the threshold.

Imagine Party B and C have announced before during or after the election that they will not work with Party A under any circumstances because of irreconcilable differences and they form a coalition.

I may have done this all wrong, so forgive me if I have, but wouldn't Party D end up effectively choosing the next government depending on who they sided with?

That possibility, however remote, is what I was referring to. It doesn't seem right to me that a party with 5% of the vote have the influence to choose the Government. Particularly as it could exclude the party with the largest share of the vote. This is the disproportionate power I was referring to even if I didn't explain it very well Smile.

But at the end of the day all systems have pros and cons and I don't mind MMP at all, I don't have a a better solution to offer up. It was really just a throwaway OT comment.
 


Thanks for following through.

My point was: In ignoring that parties B and C *also* do not support the would-be government, it is easy to miss why Party D looks like they are dictating to Party A.

The reality is that if *any* of Party B, C or D agree with Party A on a given issue, *any* of them can help party A compose a majority on that issue.

In the scenario you put forward, the only party who want "disproportionate power" is Party A. This is because they want to pass their legislation without having a majority in the House.

Yes, I do not accept one tiny party can dictate to everyone else...because the simple reality is, they can't do that by themselves at all. They must be part of a majority of MPs who collectively agree.

5 MPs, by themselves, can't do very much at all.

This is why the "disproportionate power" is a fallacy. The majority *always* rules the day, whoever it is made up on any given vote. No minority - be it Party A or any other - has the right to override anyone / everyone elese if they do not have majority support.

As for Parties B and C never back Party A, that is thinking from the old FPP days. The reality is that governments today can and do cobble together majorities on any reasonable issue that has major public support. 

On unreasonable policies or policies that do not have major public support......then, yeah...they may have to wait for the next election. 

No one is holding anyone to ransom. Voters didn't give a majority to any of the present minorities....and they are ALL minorities. In the scenario you put forward, any TWO parties can pass laws. 



All good, I enjoy a rational discussion on these issues, not easy to find sometimes with the emotion that seems to be involved in politics.

I still feel as if your points best relate to the operation of the house, and I largely agree with you.

I am more concerned about election night issues. Perhaps we disagree on the best way to outwork democracy?

Am I right in saying you would have no issue at all with Party A being in opposition as they would continue to cast their vote in proportion whilst in opposition?

To me it is fundamental to democracy that the party with the largest share of the vote is able to form a Government with the support of other parties. I would be disappointed with any system that allowed a Government to be formed that excluded the party with the most votes, it doesn't seem to align with my personal take on democracy.

Having given it some more thought perhaps that would be how I would modify MMP if it were up to me!
In the scenario above I would want see Party A negotiating with party B,C and D to form a Government. The disproportionate power I was referring to was if Party B and C refuse to work with A then party D seems to carry more weight in the negotiations than the 5% vote suggests.

If there is to be a referendum on the topic then I shall have to give it more thought before I cast my vote.






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Master Geek
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  Reply # 531547 10-Oct-2011 15:07 Send private message

John2010:
Linuxluver: ...Yes, I do not accept one tiny party can dictate to everyone else...because the simple reality is, they can't do that by themselves at all. They must be part of a majority of MPs who collectively agree.
 
5 MPs, by themselves, can't do very much at all.

 
They can negotiate requirements peculiar to their ideology (and parties other than the two major parties run predominantly on ideology) during a support agreement with the party seeking power.  If these are not things that the two major parties would otherwise of implemented themselves, and they often are not, then it is a case of a minority dictating terms which the majority of the representatives of the voters do not regard as desirable. Labour, for example, has caved in to the various demands of a coalition party (Progressive) having only one member in the house and 1.2% of the vote.

  The minority party can also threaten to withdraw their support if their new demands on the government are not met during the term of the government. Doesn't even need MMP or a minority party for this to happen as the Australian Labour Governement is finding from the various threats of support withdrawal by the 2 (without checking, think there are 2) independant MP's.

  Alliance with only 10 seats in parliament ended up getting their Dim Jim the position of Deputy Prime Minister in the 1999 Labour Government, one assumes that in that role he was given more clout than the presence of 10 Alliance weirdos could ever have deserved in the formulation of policy.


Can you show that Progressive and/or Alliance gained what I have been describing as disproportional power from their negotiations over the support agreement?

I haven't researched our recent history to answer categorically if this has happened, I was more working on a hypothetical scenario that I feel could eventuate given the current system. 

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 531548 10-Oct-2011 15:08 Send private message

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5761516/Green-MP-disturbed-by-National-polls

Prob no relevance here but this made me laugh. Twice.

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