Twenty five years of MMP in New Zealand

Footrot Flats’ Wal says everyone gets two votes in MMP. Image: Supplied.

A blast from the past is being used to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first MMP election in New Zealand.

After looking through the archives, the Electoral Commission has rediscovered the original Footrot Flats advertisements that explained voting under the Mixed Member Proportional system.

The campaign was developed with Footrot Flats creator Murray Ball for the Electoral Commission ahead of the first MMP election on 12 October 1996.

Dust off your desktop computer like it’s 1996, and get ready to watch Wal, Cooch, Aunt Dolly and Dog give you the low down on your party and electorate vote at www.elections.nz/mmp.

As Wal says, everyone gets two votes, one for a party, and one for a person, and the party votes decide the share of all the seats in Parliament.

“Twenty five years on, these ads are still fresh and funny and give a good explanation of our voting system,” says chief electoral officer Alicia Wright.

Alicia says voters have come to understand MMP well and know how to use their two ticks.

After each election the commission surveys voters and non-voters.

In 2020, 96 per cent of respondents said they had a good or excellent understanding of how to vote, up from 93 per cent in 2017 and 95 per cent in 2014.

“The Electoral Commission thanks the family of Murray Ball for their permission to release the advertisements to mark 25 years of MMP,” says Alicia.

 

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