Don’t Waste Your Vote!
If you are thinking about giving your party vote to one of the minor parties at this election, make sure you give some serious thought to if they are actually going to get into parliament.
Any political party needs 150,000 votes without an electoral seat win before it gets into Parliament. Every election New Zealanders give their vote to a minor party as a form of protest of they like a particular policy that the party is promising.
However, if a political party doesn’t make the threshold then they are not considered for any of the allocation for party seats under the a system known as the Sainte-Laguë Formula.
Named after its founder, it determines the precise order in which all the seats in Parliament are allocated to the various political parties, the Electoral Act 1993 prescribes that a mathematical formula, called the Sainte-Laguë formula, be applied. The nationwide party vote of each of the parties which qualified for representation in Parliament is divided by successive odd numbers starting with 1 (i.e. the party votes divided by 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, etc). The 120 highest numbers (which are called quotients) determine both the number of seats for each party and the order in which they are allocated. The following explains how the process works:
Step 1: The Electoral Commission draws up a table showing the name of each party shown on the party side of the ballot paper, the number of party votes it won, the percentage of all party votes it won and the number of electorate seats it won.
Step 2: The Electoral Commission then excludes parties that are not eligible for Party List seats by deleting any party that has not won at least 5% of the total number of party votes and has not won at least one electorate seat.
Step 3: The Electoral Commission then divides the total party votes for each eligible party by a sequence of odd numbers starting with 1 (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, etc), until enough quotients had been found to allocate all 120 seats. In the table on the following page the numbers beside the highest 120 quotients indicate their order from highest to lowest.
Step 4: The Electoral Commission then counts the number of quotients each party has in the highest 120.
Step 5: The Electoral Commission then determines how many electorate seats each party has won, and allocates enough Party List seats to each party to bring the total number of seats up to the number to which it is entitled.
Step 6: The Electoral Commission then examines the list of candidates each party submitted on its Party List before the election, and deletes the names of any candidate who has won an electorate seat. The Electoral Commission then allocates each Party’s list seats to its list candidates, starting at the top of the list and working down until it has allocated all the list seats to which that party is entitled. The Electoral Commission then declares these candidates elected to Parliament and advises the Clerk of the House of Representatives of their names.
A more details explanation can be found here.
So, consider your vote wisely. If you give your party vote to a minor party and they don’t make the 5% threshold then your vote is wasted! Your vote will go the strengthen who you didn’t want to vote for! So vote wisely..