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MMP review details

Published: 1:03PM Monday February 13, 2012 Source: ONE News

The Electoral Commission has launched a review of the MMP voting system.

The review follows the referendum at the election last year which asked voters if they wanted to keep MMP or change to a different system and to choose between four alternative voting systems if there was a change.

Because 58% of voters opted to keep MMP, a review was required to ask about possible changes to MMP.

Purpose:
The review will recommend changes to the way MMP works, and will give everybody the chance to have their say on improvements that might be made to the system.

Who is doing the review?
The Electoral Commission is undertaking the review. It is an independent body.

What is being reviewed?
The thresholds parties should have to cross to qualify for an allocation of list seats in Parliament.
Whether list MPs should be able to stand as candidates in a by-election.
Whether a person should be able to stand as a candidate both for an electorate seat and on a party list.
Whether voters or political parties should decide the order of candidates on a party list.
What should happen when a party wins more electorate seats than it would be entitled to under its share of the party vote.
The effects of population growth on the ratio of electorate seats to list seats.

The Justice Minister or Parliament can direct the Commission to review other matters. The Commission itself has the power to include other aspects of the MMP voting system, including matters raised with it by the public.

What is not included?
The Electoral Referendum Act 2010 does not allow the Commission to review the number of MPs or Maori representation.

The process
Any member of the public, either individually or representing a group or organisation, is invited to make a submission to the Commission.

The public submission process begins on February 13, with the launch of the dedicated website and consultation paper. Public submissions are open until the end of May, and can be made online, by email, by post and in person at public hearings.

The Commission will then come up with a set of proposals. These will be released in August, and the public will again be invited to comment.

Timeline 
The Commission must present a report to the Minister of Justice by October 31, 2012 with recommendations on whether any changes to MMP are necessary or desirable. As soon as practicable after receiving the report, the Minister must present a copy of it to Parliament.

After the report
Parliament will decide what to do with the Commission's recommendations.

Full details can be found on the MMP review website

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