A hangover from the First Past the Post /Plurality past, or perhaps as result of MMP being a hybrid system (The First 'M' stands for 'mixed'), I'd like to clear up this misunderstanding and celebrate the wonder of democracy that List MP's are.
| || |
A List MP is elected to the house proportionally. The percentage of votes a party gets in the "Party Vote" column translates to that percentage of seats in the house. (subject to a couple of conditions, mainly that the party either gets 5% of those party votes nationally or someone in that party wins an electorate somewhere.) If a list MP leaves parliament, the next person on that party's list is invited to take their place.
Why are List MP's so Awesome?
More than 1 in 10 voters Party Voted Green, but the Greens won zero electorates. It is because of MMP that there are any Green MP's at all, and 10.7% of votes would have been wasted if it weren't for MMP.
It is because of the Party vote, and the List MP's that your vote is so valuable, and that our NZ Parliament more closely represents the voting intentions of the public.
Our List MP's therefore, represent the most democratic aspect of our system, and I think they should be celebrated for that.
I quite like Jacinda Ardern MP, and Nikki Kaye has a good support base too, but it didn't matter what people do with their candidate vote because of how MMP works. the total number of MP's a party gets is set hard and fast by the Party Vote results.
The New Zealand Labour Party won 26% of the vote. This got them 26% of the seats, or 32 seats. If Jacinda Ardern had won Auckland Central instead of Nikki Kaye, Labour would have exactly the same. 32 seats. No difference.
So even though Denise Roche Green candidate for Auckland Central won more votes than the difference between Nikki and Jacinda, the number of MPs from each party in the house remains the same, and once you accept that all MPs are the same in the house it doesn't matter than Nikki Kaye is the MP for Auckland Central and Jacinda Ardern is a Labour List MP based in Auckland Central.
People choosing to candidate vote Denise instead of Jacinda may have cost Jacinda the Auckland Central electorate seat, but they did not cost Labour a seat in Parliament, and they did not contribute to National's majority by doing so.