somewhat overshadowed by the circus in the states, new zealand will be heading to polls on november 8th after a 3 week campaign cycle.
here you get 2 votes: one for your local member of parliament and one for a party.
the candidate getting the most votes in each 70 electorates is seated in parliament. our electorate is rongotai, currently represented by annette king of the labour party.
easy so far.
the rest of the remaining 50 seats in parliament are allocated based on the party vote. the party votes from across the country are tallied and each party gets additional seats to bring up their level of representation in parliament to match their level of party vote.
as an example, if labour gets 40% of the party vote and wins 30 electorates they will get 18 additional seats to bring their total up to 48, or 40% of the 120 seats in parliament. this system allows smaller parties, who may never be popular enough to win electorates, to have significant representation.
the two major parties are labour (same as labour in the uk and left of centre) and national (more conservative but still probably more liberal than the democratic party in the states. everything is relative). the largest minor party is the green party (yes, the same as the greens in the us but with less ralph nader and more public transport). the greens are on track to get about 10% of the party vote and have a big voice when parliament is seated.
i attribute at least part of their recent success to their great ads.
best i’ve ever seen.
compare this to the typical fare from labour and national