Natalia Albert's Blog

Why New Zealand Needs an Election System Makeover!

Ever felt like you're watching a black-and-white film in the age of 4K? That’s how I feel about our approach to our MMP system. We've got a high-res, technicolour democracy model, but we're still viewing it through the lens of the old 'first past the post' system. And, let me tell you, it’s neither flattering nor efficient.

“Why bother voting for small parties?” or “Strategically, I will only vote for who might get in”. Look, I get it. These statements would be spot on... if we were still in the 'first past the post' days. But we’ve upgraded! It's like trying to run the latest apps on a Nokia 3310. Not happening. We all need to upgrade our thinking, approach and ideas of how to choose your candidate and party vote.

Now, debates. Ah, the lively and (often) theatrical realm of political duels! But here’s where we’re going a bit 'Hollywood'. Instead of showing who is the best collaborator and influencer for our values, we’re stuck in winner and looser mode! Candidates debate like it's a boxing match, defending their corners with aggression and division. Yet, MMP is more of a dance than a boxing match, where we show you not just how we can stand on our own, but also how we move and work and influence in harmony with others. Yes, we're vying for your votes, but there's a dance floor big enough for all of us. The question is, can we learn some new moves?

Speaking of dance floors, ever noticed how some parties and candidates get the VIP access while others linger by the entrance? That's right, our dear private companies, universities, media outlets and community groups, with their "selection criteria" for debate invites, seem to have a bit of a bouncer attitude. By gatekeeping the debates, they inadvertently shape the narrative and the perceived validity of parties and candidates, creating nothing more than echo chambers. It's a bit like choosing the school football team based on shoe size. Does not work.

So, a reminder: our MMP system isn't just some quirky political jargon. It's a call for a refreshed mindset on voting, debating, and election reporting. The onus isn't just on politicians; it's on all of us to harness its potential.

To sum it up? Let's stop trying to play vinyl records on a Spotify playlist. The music is richer when we embrace the present. **Yours in hoping for a clearer tune,** Natalia Albert A new candidate from a small party, trying to jam in a world still attuned to the old hits.