Critically Evaluate the Argument That Electoral Systems Can Produce Effective (Decisive) Government, or Representative Government, but Not Both.

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Critically evaluate the argument that electoral systems can produce effective (decisive) government, or representative government, but not both. New Zealand’s current electoral system is MMP or Mixed Member Proportional; this is the system which will be used to evaluate the question. A comparison of MMP and FPP or the First Past the Post system will also be included, since it is being debated as to which is better for New Zealand. MMP is an appropriately representative government which also creates a rather effective government at the same time. On the other hand FPP causes a seemingly effective government but is far less representative. Some electoral systems can create effective and representative government while others may not. This will be shown by; firstly detailing how these systems of governance compare under effectiveness and representativeness, followed by an explanation as to why electoral systems can be both effective and representative and why they cannot.

For a government to be classified effective it must sufficiently achieve its objectives as a governing body. It also must create a strong impression on the community (dictionary.com, 2011). MMP tends to have a less efficient form of law making than FPP. Under MMP the major parties must form coalition governments with the smaller parties to form a fifty per cent majority over the house. These coalitions may cause a time delay in passing legislation, as the major supporter of the bill tries to convince their support parties to agree with the legislation. MMP may take time to make decision but this doesn’t mean that the government is less decisive although; Many people argue that proportional forms of government lead to a less decisive and durable government. Their argument is based on the fact that the decisions must gain the support of coalition parties which cause a lower quantity of bills passing. However it is not the quantity of laws which cause an effective government it is the quality. MMP...
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