“If the totally politicised and partial chair of the latest electoral review wants to change the system, she should get elected first”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Deborah Hart says New Zealanders are sick of smoke and mirrors and want transparency. They want a contest of ideas, not a contest of cash, according to Hart.

“High on limelight, she can’t help herself. She’s trotting out slogans like a populist politician masquerading as a sober independent chair.

“Implementing her recommendations would set New Zealand on a course for permanent left-wing Government.

“More state funding for political parties, lowering the voting age to 16, giving all prisoners the right to vote, honouring the Treaty – all of that is plucked straight from the Green Party’s manifesto.

“This report could have been produced by left-wing activists trying to screw the scrum for a generation in favour of Labour and the Greens.

“Who on earth are the people on this panel? No one voted for them. Why should they get to decide what our political system is?

“Only 13 per cent of New Zealanders support lowering of the voting age because they know there are already far too many voters in New Zealand who don’t pay tax. We don’t want 120,000 more voters who pay no tax voting for more spending and bigger government.

“Taxpayer funding makes politics a closed shop where everyone’s an insider on the taxpayer’s teat. People should have to go out to the community and seek funding to contest political power. If they’re funded by the very institution they’re supposed to be holding accountable, that’s no longer true democracy.

“Our electoral system benefits from very infrequent change. To change the electoral laws you have to have a problem to solve other than political parties’ fortunes. There’s no problem to solve here.

“The one bright spot is the recommendation for a referendum on the term of Parliament.

“The good news is that we don’t need an electoral review to achieve that. I have a bill that would change Parliament’s term limit to four years, and place the control of select committees in the Opposition’s hands.

“This would bring real scrutiny of legislation, Minsters, and officials. Instead of facing a Government-controlled member of the governing party, they would face a grilling from the Opposition.”

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