Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

So what is MMP?


When discussing politics with people from around the world, one question I am frequently asked is how does Mixed Member Proportional representation (MMP) work. There are only a handful of countries that use MMP to elect their national legislature, Aotearoa New Zealand being one of them, so I understand the curiosity.

My attempts at describing the system are usually unsuccessful, as I tend to give an overly detailed explanation which bores the pants off the other person. So to avoid me wasting my time, and that of anyone curious, I have located a clip that explains it more succinctly than I ever could. It is explained in a North American accent, so you don’t need to struggle with a NZ accent, and it makes liberal use of a “Kiwi” connection.

Currently there are seven political parties represented in the New Zealand Parliament

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

6 thoughts on “So what is MMP?

  1. Cool Barry. Thank you. You and I have discussed this before as Canada has a FPTP system and as a result our current government has about 37% of the vote and yet have a majority government with over 60% of the seats.

    • That’s how it was here before 1996. The ruling party could push through whatever they wanted with no effective opposition. Since then no party has been able to govern alone, and as coalitions tend to be rather lose, minority parties are able to push some of their own agenda in cooperation negotiations.

      • To my mind that’s a good thing as it keeps them honest. I know that governments hate that though. Quite often here when there is a minority government, the other parties will disagree just on principal, even when the proposition is sensible,. It is annoying.

        • Our largest right wing/conservative party National is further to the left and more liberal than the American Democrats (I’m not familiar with the situation in Canada), so here it’s more a matter of degree or emphasis. Before MMP the two major parties usually disagreed “on principle”, and still do on occasions, but extreme polarity was one of the least liked aspects of FPP (along with unrepresentative government), so opposing views are debated more sensibly than in the past.

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