A group of New Zealanders have said that it was up to the voting public to choose the Prime Minister and not New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters.
‘Vote for Change Society Incorporated,’ has been campaigning for a ‘fairer electoral system,’ saying that the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) System has not been effective and that it has reduced the accountability of Members of Parliament across the political spectrum.
Society Spokesperson Jordan Williams said that Mr Peters forced the two major parties to bid for his support twice since 1996.
“Assuming that the ACT Party does not win the Epsom seat in the November 26 election, and assuming that New Zealand First reaches the 5% threshold, then Mr Peters will have the third time chance to be the kingmaker,’ he said.
Despite Mr Peter’s trivial support, our voting system may allow him to win the ultimate prize, he said.
“Election promises are easily forgotten during MMP style coalition negotiations. (Prime Minister) John Key has ruled Peters out but does anyone really trust the MPs in National Party not to give in and work with New Zealand First in order to stay in power?” he said.
According to him, Mr Peters represents “everything that is wrong with the current system including disproportionate power, unaccountability and excuses for broken promises.”
“He is a big supporter of MMP and has brought in to Parliament poor quality list MPs accountable only to their party and leader. He is the master of murky backroom dealing and is accused of having a history of shonky financing of his political party,” Mr Williams said.
According to him, MMP was supposed to lead to increased transparency and accountability but Mr Peters and his party were happy to mislead the public in the face of honest questioning from the media about campaign finance.
Mr Peters first entered Parliament in 1978 under First Past The Post (FPTP) and was among a few politicians who have held senior positions under both systems.
“Under FPTP, Mr Peters represented a local constituency and could be easily booted out. MMP has allowed Mr Peters with only a fraction of New Zealanders supporting him to effectively choose the winner of two elections,” Mr William said.