‘Thinking about the system we use for voting in elections – MMP. How easy do you think it is for people like you to understand MMP? (5 point scale)’ Consistently more people think that MMP is easy to understand than think that it is difficult. - NZ Electoral Commission
Richard Edmunds (The Gisborne Herald, 31 October) claims that most New Zealanders oppose MMP and that a different electoral system would be more democratic. A few facts are needed.
There is no groundswell of opinion demanding a new electoral system. In fact, the only politician campaigning against MMP is ACT leader Don Brash. The anti-MMP campaign is being run by the same two men who ran Brash’s campaign to become ACT party leader. They are being supported by Ruth Richardson (also ACT Party affiliated). All these people are welcome to try, of course, but this is hardly mainstream New Zealand.
Another fact: opinion polls show that if MMP is rejected, then New Zealand will return to first past the post. Other options such as PV and SM are not well understood and don’t stand a chance. This would truly be back to the dark ages, where a party with thirty-something percent of the votes could become government.
So, Richard Edmunds is wrong. Most New Zealanders are intelligent, sensible people who value stable government, a strong economy and a Parliament that represents the whole country. I expect they will vote to continue with MMP.