Kiwis reject 'first past post' voting
Sunday 20 September 1992
Voters who, according to opinion polls, were totally confused about the four alternative electoral systems on offer, cleared their heads in the last few days, and strongly endorsed the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system used in Germany since the late 1940s.
More than 70 per cent chose MMP over other systems used in Australia, Hungary and South Korea. In next year's referendum, MMP will be the only option on offer against 'first past the post', which gets another chance.
The result was a heavy slap in the face for the National and Labour parties, which have dominated parliament since 1935. Although ostensibly neutral, their leaders opposed reform as likely to produce unstable governments. Minority parties, which see PR as a way of winning more seats and a role in coalition governments, hailed it as a victory for democracy. The Prime Minister, Jim Bolger, said he would fight to retain the status quo, but conceded that a different result was unlikely in next year's referendum (to be held at the same time as the general election, due in October). He said another ballot on introducing an upper house to the unicameral parliament would be held simultaneously.
The result reflected more than dissatisfaction with the electoral system. After eight years of painful economic restructuring, voters are disenchanted with their politicians and sick of broken promises by successive governments. 'I'm sure that's partly why there was such a strong vote for change,' Mr Bolger said.
The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Mike Moore, said that coalition governments were inevitable from 1996.
The turnout of 48 per cent was low compared with general elections, when more than 80 per cent of voters go to the polls. Although not all Maori votes had been counted, there were signs that many had heeded calls for a boycott in protest at their under-representation in parliament. Details of how the MMP system will operate, including the fate of the four seats guaranteed for Maoris since 1867 and the number of MPs in the new parliament, still have to be worked out.
- 1 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 2 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 4 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 5 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGH VALUE REAL ESTATE / RESID...
£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Are you looking for part time/ ...
£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a quailed Teacher ...