First Past the Post

You may have been surprised at the outcome of the recent British elections, but New Zealand’s experience shows you should not have been surprised that you were surprised

While writing my history of New Zealand, I wondered about whether it would be possible to assess people’s attitudes before there were surveys. Writers often impose their prejudices, without realising they are doing so.

John Key's decision to speak out against MMP smells of partisan greed and hubris. It also raises questions for women, Asian and Pasifika voters and about what his tactics have been all along

I was staggered to hear on television Prime Minister John Key say that although he was "not entirely unhappy" with MMP, he intended to vote for change. The PM said while he likes proportionality, he "slightly prefers the characteristics of Supplementary Member (SM)".

If our voting system was more like Canada's and the United Kingdom's, we could change our governments more easily. Ummm ... right?

There's a certain irony in the fact that as New Zealand gears up to "kick the tyres" of MMP - a move seemingly fueled by longing backwards glances at that halcyon era when gods walked amongst us and governments could truly govern - the First-Past-the-Post bastions of Canada and the United Kingdom look set to wallow in "hung parliament" uncertainty.