Let's separate fact from fiction:
Myth 1: Small parties get too much influence.
Small parties may make the news more. However, the government agenda is still set by the major party voted by most New Zealanders. There is more evidence of small parties being punished by voters for having too little influence in coalition governments. Small parties tend to bargain to get one or two policies on the government agenda. In return, they have to vote with the major coalition party on everything else.
Myth 2: List MPs aren't true representatives.
Some believe an MP chosen from a list doesn't directly represent anyone. However, many people have gained representation for the first time via list MPs. List MPs are able to represent interests and communities that cross electorate boundaries. Whether your community or interest is motorsports, an ethnic group, rights of young people, or a health issue, your best champion may be a list MP. Our electorate MP represents us because of where we live. List MPs can represent us anywhere, anytime.
Myth 3: MMP produces weak governments.
Nonsense! Has John Key had a weak government? Did Helen Clark have a weak government? No. Coalition governments under MMP have been decisive when faced with true emergencies like the Christchurch earthquake. At other times, the MMP system has required politicians to debate issues with other political parties before making legislation and this is a good thing as it provides checks and balances. Under MMP we have had strong leadership and stable full-term coalition governments.
Myth 4: MMP favours left-wing parties.
Again, nonsense. This myth arose because we had Labour-led coalitions in 1999, 2002, and 2005. But the 1996 and 2008 governments were led by National. MMP favours no particular party or 'side'. It delivers to us parliaments which reflect where most New Zealanders are voting because the party votes determine the shape of parliament by setting the proportion that each party will receive in parliament.
Myth 5: MMP makes parliament too large.
The size of parliament is a separate issue to the type of electoral system we want. For those who think going back to First Past the Post (FPP) would reduce the number of MPs - under FPP we would have had 111 MPs by now, as under that system the size of parliament kept up with increases in the population.
Myth 6: There are too many deals done under MMP. Certainly deals between major and minor parties are a feature of MMP, because MMP tends to deliver coalition governments more often than a single party government. However, under any type of system there are deals - under MMP the public sees these deals being negotiated more openly. This is a good thing. Also deal making is sometimes evidence that other parties in parliament are putting brakes on a government that is trying to rush through legislation.
Of course, no voting system is perfect. We've had MMP for five elections now, coming up for six. It's a good time to review the system and make it better - and the Government has set up an automatic review of MMP if most people vote to keep MMP.
Vote for MMP and make it even better! View this video of dastardly tactics from anti-MMP campaigners in 1993 (a bit of history)