Why an Independent Vote is a Smart Vote

Authorised by Ian Cummings, 149-187 Roscommon Road, Auckland

by Ian Cummings, Independent candidate for Port Waikato

Under MMP we have two votes:

  1. The Electorate vote – to represent the Port Waikato region.
  2. The Party vote – for the Political Party of our choice.

MMP (mixed-member proportional representation) was introduced in 1993 to replace FPP (first past the post) mainly because National and Labour shut out wider voter representation in Parliament. Votes for third parties were wasted. But after nearly 30 years many voters remain alienated and disappointed. The National and Labour party machines continue to dominate politics.

  • Party vote

    The 5% threshold has proven to be very difficult to break through. Votes for Parties that fail to achieve 5% are wasted because these votes are distributed to the winners, e.g. National and Labour.

    If the recent polls are anything to go by only ACT and the Greens will exceed the Party vote 5% threshold and will be able to negotiate with National and Labour to form the government. The prospect of a Greens/Labour government has framers, growers, businesses, property owners, the socially conservative etc quaking in their boots – and rightly so. On the flipside the prospect of an ACT/ National govt has unions, workers, beneficiaries, the mainstream media, academics, and socialists, etc quaking in their boots – and rightly so. It seems we are more politically polarized than ever. Many voters fear what these governments might do to us. MMP could very well dish up the unbridled power we so desperately sought to escape.

    It is time to ditch the 5% threshold and reduce it to 0.83%. (that is, 1 in 120)

  • Electorate vote

    What concerns me most, as an Independent candidate, is the “two-tick” rhetoric that National and Labour continue to trot out. Under MMP voting “two ticks” is a wasted opportunity. National and Labour have been very successful in shutting down strategic voting thereby maintaining their political domination.

    Port Waikato is considered a safe seat for National. I am of the view that, all of us - including traditional National supporters - can outsmart the political spin doctors and lead New Zealand in a fresh and exciting way by casting our electorate vote for a local non-partisan candidate, e.g. an independent candidate.

    I realize asking people to cast their vote for an Independent is a bold proposition. But I like to point out that the last person to be directly elected to Parliament as an independent was Winston Peters in 1993 (Tauranga by-election). Clearly, one MP, an independent MP, can make a huge difference.

    It is time to ditch the “two tick” voting practice and vote for a local candidate based on merit, not the colour of their Party.

Using our democratic power, Port Waikato voters can make history and proudly restore our Parliament to what it was originally designed to be a Parliament of the people, by the people and for the people.

“When the people fear the government there is tyranny. When the government fears the people there is liberty”.

— Thomas Jefferson

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