Labour leader David Cunliffe now says his party would
make it a priority to get rid of ''coat-tailing" under MMP if
it leads the Government after the September election.
He says that within its first 100 days, Labour would remove
the coat-tailing provision and lower the MMP threshold
required for a party to get MPs without an electorate seats
from 5 per cent to 4 per cent.
That was Labour's position to the Electoral Commission which
reviewed MMP earlier this term but Mr Cunliffe has moved to
harden the position in the wake of the Internet Mana alliance
announced last week.
The two parties will stand separately in electorates but have
a joint list, meaning that if Mana leader Hone Harawira wins
his Te Tai Tokerau seat, and no others, and Internet Mana got
about 3 per cent party vote, the alliance could get four MPs.
Mr Harawira's Labour opponent is Labour list MP Kelvin Davis.
National support party Act has used coat-tailing to get MPs
into Parliament by winning Epsom but getting under 5 per
New Zealand First also used "coat-tailing" in 1999 when
Winston Peters kept his Tauranga seat but the party polled
under 5 per cent.
Even Labour and the Greens sought to used coat-tailing in
1999 when then Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons stood in
Coromandel and Labour voters were given the clear message it
was okay to vote for her as an electorate candidate, in case
the Greens did not make the 5 per cent threshold. In the
event, the Greens did make the threshold.
- By Audrey Young of the New Zealand Herald