An Initial Assessment of the Consequences of MMP in New Zealand

Fiona Barker, Jonathan Boston, Stephen Levine, Elizabeth McLeay and Nigel S. Roberts

in Mixed-Member Electoral Systems

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780199257683
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600241 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

 An Initial Assessment of the Consequences of MMP in New Zealand

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The purpose is to provide an initial assessment of the impact of the introduction of the mixed‐member proportional (MMP) electoral system on the New Zealand political system, especially with regard to the normative criteria established by the New Zealand Royal Commission on the Electoral System. However, since the normative nature of these criteria may limit the breadth of any analysis (they are not necessarily comprehensive and unambiguous, nor do they provide a watertight framework for evaluation), this particular discussion of the impact of MMP on the New Zealand political system is left until the last section. The bulk of the chapter instead employs the findings of political scientists on the relationships between electoral systems, political behavior, and political institutions. These are presented in 10 sections: Anticipating the New Electoral System; The Election and Government Formation; The Political Parties and the Party System; Political Recruitment and Careers; Voting Behavior; Parliament; Government Transition and Durability; Government and the Policy Process; The Future of the New Electoral System; and Winners and Losers. The authors make the point that (as in Germany) personalized geographic representation has continued even as the overall system has been made more proportional.

Keywords: electoral reform; electoral systems; government; mixed‐member electoral systems; mixed‐member proportional systems; New Zealand; parliament; party system; policy process; political behavior; political careers; political institutions; political parties; political recruitment; political systems; voting behavior

Chapter.  11730 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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