How the Maori Party can game MMP for more seats

The fundamental flaw in MMP is the two unequal votes - that become more unequal depending on which electorate you’re voting in. In the old FPP days, if you lived in a marginal seat then your vote counted - safe seat, stay in bed. Under MMP, voting in an electorate where the electorate seat will be won by a party that won’t reach the 5% threshold gives you two useful votes and the rest of us get one. The problem we had in FPP where some electorates had more “useful” votes than others is still with us under MMP. It’s not fair, it must change.

The Maori Party are on track to win seven electorate seats. They need more than 7% of the party vote to increase the number of seats in the House. It won’t happen. But there is another way.

Register a new party, the Aotearoa Party - same policies as the Maori Party. Tariana Turia¬† switches to this party - she is a certainty to win her electorate seat. In Tariana Turia’s electorate the Maori Party stands no electorate candidate against her and voters in her electorate vote Aotearoa for electorate and party vote.¬† All Maori party voters in other electorates are instructed to vote Aotearoa Party for their party vote (this may entail splitting their votes between Maori and Aotearoa). They only need about 1.4% of the party vote to get two seats in the House - Tariana Turia would be one and the party crosses the threshold with the electorate seat so its 1.4% will get it two seats on party vote allocation.

Eight seats, at least, instead of seven. No need to canvass more votes, just get them split to make maximum advantage.

Far fetched? Maybe - but under MMP quite legitimate.

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