The Green Party of Canada sends its congratulations to the New Zealand Greens who won a historic thirteen seats in Parliament in this week’s election. Winning just over 10% of the vote, the Greens increased their seat count by four.
“New Zealanders are increasingly choosing the Green vision, just as they are in Canada,” said Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May. “In both countries, it has taken persistence but citizens are now responding. The success of the Greens on the world stage is not well known in this country, but in fact Greens have been elected for many years now in many countries.”
New Zealand also voted in a referendum to keep their proportional electoral system, Mixed Member Proportional (MMP). Under this system, every voter has two votes: one to choose the political party and the second to choose the candidate for local Member of Parliament. The overall make-up of Parliament is a direct proportion of the party vote. The MMP system often results in coalition governments. At over 70%, voter turnout in New Zealand is higher than in Canada.
“MMP is working for New Zealanders. It gives them a sense that their voice is heard and that their votes count,” said May. “Canada needs to have a serious look at our out-of-date first past the post system. It is truly broken. With proportional representation leading to more parties gaining seats, the government relies on working in coalition. New Zealand realizes this is a good thing, that it fosters cooperation and ensures that the will of the people is being done.”