Submission to the Justice Committee on the Inquiry into the 2020 General Election and Referendums
New Zealand’s electoral system is undermining the health of our democracy, public trust in the political system and citizen engagement with the political process. The Opportunities Party submits that significant and urgent reform of our electoral laws is needed.
New Zealand’s political system should be based upon the fundamental democratic principle that all citizens have equal political power, with equal ability to contribute to and influence political outcomes. Our electoral laws however utterly fail to uphold this core principle and addressing this should be of paramount importance for the Justice Committee.
In particular, our electoral rules allow money to play too significant a role in our political system which undermines public trust and legitimacy of Government; do not ensure free and fair elections, as they provide incumbents with a disproportionate and unjustifiable advantage which the Electoral Commission fails to mitigate; and the excessively high MMP threshold and paradox of the “wasted vote” fails to deliver a truly representative electoral system.
The Opportunities Party requests the Justice Committee to give due consideration to the issues raised in these submissions, and the proposed solutions in order to protect and restore our democracy.