Electoral systems for online learners
If you think you need to be a mathematician to understand the difference between list MPs and supplementary members and a geek to care, help is at hand.
The Electoral Commission has set up an interactive website to help people learn about the various electoral systems before they have to vote for one on November 26.
At the general election polling booths a referendum will ask voters whether they want the present mixed-member proportional (MMP) representation system to continue, or a change.
If change is wanted they will be asked to choose between first past the post (FPP), preferential voting (PV), supplementary member (SM) or single transferable vote (STV).
Chief electoral officer Robert Peden said voters less than 35 years old, totalling more than a million, will have never experienced any system but MMP.
The commission has begun a two-stage process of informing voters on the upcoming poll.
‘‘Phase two will see a really intense TV, radio, online and print campaign to make sure that, unless you’re living in a very deep hole, by the time you go to the polls on November 26, you will know there is a referendum on, you will know what it’s about and you will know where to get information on it,’’ he said.
The site steps visitors through an interactive sequence informing them in a variety of ways, including text, animations and quizzes.
It shows them how to decide which system is good for them, the mechanics of the systems, what types of government each system tends to deliver and allows any two systems to be matched against one another.
If electors opt to keep MMP, there will be a Parliamentary review of MMP next year.
If not, Parliament will decide whether there will be another referendum to choose a system and what form it might take.
Visit referendum.org.nz or youtube.com/ReferendumNZ.