Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What if New Zealand had a Senate?

I've been thinking that perhaps Bolger was on the right track. The main purpose of an Upper House in this case would be primarily to stagger out shifts in public opinion, as well as possibly have a different than the House of Representatives, by differing proportionality. Similar to the Australian Senate, but I disagree with the population malapportionment.

What you could do is have electorates that elect both MPs and Senators, but in differing ways. For instance, there could be 30 electorates that elect 3 MPs each using STV every 3 years. Those same electorates elect 2 Senators, via instant-runoff voting, one each election cycle.
Though I'm not sure those are the right numbers. You could have only one Senator elected from each electorate, elected every second election. 30 Senators and 90 MPs? Or else you could have even bigger constituencies, with 5 MPs and 2 Senators each, elected at alternating elections, for say, 100 MPs and 40 Senators. The last idea seems most interesting politically, with what I think is the right balance between Upper and Lower House in size, but has the problem of electorates becoming too geographically large and seeming to be too "impersonal".


Blogger Lewis said...

I wrote about the Upper House issue here

1:45 PM  

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