Stefan Lipa (born 1953) (LL.B (Auck) 1975) is a former New Zealand politician. He was president of the Social Credit Party (originally the Social Credit Political League; in 1985 its name was changed to the Democratic Party) from 1979 to 1987 and he was a leading advocate of proportional representation in New Zealand.
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.
The New Zealand Social Credit Party was a political party which served as the country's "third party" from the 1950s through into the 1980s. The party held a number of seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives, although never more than two at a time. It has since renamed itself the New Zealand Democratic Party, and was for a time part of the Alliance.
The New Zealand Democratic Party for Social Credit is a small leftist political party in New Zealand whose policies are based on the ideas of social credit. The party has been known as the Social Credit Political League, the Social Credit Party and the New Zealand Democratic Party and was part of the Alliance for a time.
Lipa spent his childhood in Auckland and was educated at St Peter's College where one of the influential teachers was Tom Weal, deputy leader of the Social Credit Political League 1970-1972. Lipa studied law at the University of Auckland and practised law in Auckland.
Auckland is a city in the North Island of New Zealand. The most populous urban area in the country, Auckland has an urban population of around 1,628,900. It is located in the Auckland Region—the area governed by Auckland Council—which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,695,900. Auckland is a diverse, multicultural and cosmopolitan city, home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. A Māori-language name for Auckland is Tāmaki or Tāmaki-makau-rau, meaning "Tāmaki with a hundred lovers", in reference to the desirability of its fertile land at the hub of waterways in all directions.
St Peter's College is a Catholic secondary school for boys, located in Auckland, New Zealand, in the central city suburb of Grafton. With a roll of over 1300, the school is one of the largest Catholic schools in New Zealand. St Peter's College was established in 1939 as a successor of Auckland's earliest school and of St Peter's School, founded in 1857. The Outhwaite family, who acquired the land around 1841, donated the site of the college. The Christian Brothers provided staff for the college for 70 years.
Thomas Kavanagh Weal was a New Zealand politician for the Social Credit Political League, the New Democratic Party and the short lived Christian Democrat party.
Lipa was elected as a dominion councillor of the party in the 1970s. With Bruce Beetham, the leader of the party, he wrote a major submission on electoral reform to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform. The submission proposed, inter alia , the introduction of proportional representation into the political system of New Zealand to replace the then current first past the post electoral system.On 23 August 1979, at the party's annual conference, he was, at the age of 26, elected as president of the party, a position he held until 1987. In the New Zealand general election of 1981, the party gained the greatest share of votes in its history, 20.65%. But the party only won two seats, giving poignant nuance to the work Lipa had done on electoral reform. From 1985 the Social Credit name was dropped, and the party became the New Zealand Democratic Party with Lipa continuing as president until 1987. In 1996, New Zealand obtained a proportional representation system when the first past the post system was replaced by the Mixed-Member Proportional Representation electoral system.
Bruce Craig Beetham was an academic and politician from New Zealand, whose career spanned the 1970s and early 1980s.
Mixed-member proportional (MMP) representation is a mixed electoral system in which voters get two votes: one to decide the representative for their single-seat constituency, and one for a political party. Seats in the legislature are filled firstly by the successful constituency candidates, and secondly, by party candidates based on the percentage of nationwide or region-wide votes that each party received. The constituency representatives are elected using first-past-the-post voting (FPTP) or another plurality/majoritarian system. The nationwide or region-wide party representatives are, in most jurisdictions, drawn from published party lists, similar to party-list proportional representation. To gain a nationwide representative, parties may be required to achieve a minimum number of constituency candidates, a minimum percentage of the nationwide party vote, or both.
Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body --- each citizen voter being represented proportionately as by Evaluative Proportional Representation located in Section 5.5.5, or by each party being represented proportionately. If n% of the electorate support a particular political party as their favorite, then roughly n% of seats will be won by that party. The essence of such systems is that all votes contribute to the result - not just a plurality, or a bare majority. The most prevalent forms of proportional representation all require the use of multiple-member voting districts, as it is not possible to fill a single seat in a proportional manner. In fact, the implementations of PR that achieve the highest levels of proportionality tend to include districts with large numbers of seats.
The Christian Heritage Party of New Zealand was a New Zealand political party espousing Christian values and conservative views on social policy. Although it never won seats in an election, it came close to doing so in 1996 as part of the Christian Coalition and briefly had a member in Parliament.
Electoral reform in New Zealand has, in recent years, become a political issue as major changes have been made to both Parliamentary and local government electoral systems.
The Alliance was a left-wing political party in New Zealand. It was formed at the end of 1991 by the linking of four smaller parties. The Alliance positioned itself as a democratic socialist alternative to the centre-left New Zealand Labour Party. It was influential throughout the 1990s, but suffered a major setback after its founder and leader, Jim Anderton, left the party in 2002, taking with him several of its members of parliament (MPs). After the remaining MPs lost their seats in the 2002 general election, some commentators predicted the demise of the party.
The New Zealand House of Representatives is a component of the New Zealand Parliament, along with the Sovereign. The House passes all laws, provides ministers to form a Cabinet, and supervises the work of the Government. It is also responsible for adopting the state's budgets and approving the state's accounts.
The 1993 New Zealand general election was held on 6 November 1993 to determine the composition of the 44th New Zealand Parliament. It saw the governing National Party, led by Jim Bolger, win a second term in office, despite a major swing away from National in both seats and votes. The opposition Labour Party, despite a slight drop in their support, managed to make gains in terms of seats. The new Alliance and New Zealand First parties gained significant shares of the vote, but won few seats. The election was New Zealand's last under the non-proportional first past the post electoral system.
The Royal Commission on the Electoral System was formed in New Zealand in 1985, and reported in 1986. The decision to form the Royal Commission was taken by the Fourth Labour government, after the Labour party had received more votes, yet won fewer seats than the National Party in both the 1978 and 1981 elections. It was also a reaction to the power displayed by Prime Minister Robert Muldoon, whose action of illegally abolishing the Superannuation scheme in 1975 without any repercussions highlighted the need to distribute power in a more democratic way. The Royal Commission's report Towards a Better Democracy was instrumental in effecting New Zealand to change its electoral system from first-past-the-post to mixed member proportional.
Pakuranga is a New Zealand Parliamentary electorate. It gave the Social Credit Party one of its few MPs when Neil Morrison held the seat from 1984 to 1987, but otherwise the electorate seat has been held by the National Party since 1972. Its current MP is Simeon Brown who has held the electorate since the 2017 general election.
Terence Michael "Terry" Heffernan was a New Zealand politician who stood for Parliament on eight separate occasions. Heffernan was originally a member of the Social Credit Party before joining the New Zealand First Party and later, the New Zealand National Party.
The Electoral Reform Coalition (ERC) is a group advocating electoral reform in New Zealand. It was founded in 1986. The group has been reformed as the Campaign for MMP to fight to retain Mixed-member proportional representation at the 2011 referendum on the issue.
Electoral reform is change in electoral systems to improve how public desires are expressed in election results. That can include reforms of:
The Proportional Representation Society of Australia is an electoral reform organisation in Australia. It has branches in South Australia, Victoria-Tasmania, New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. Its membership includes people that have successfully promoted electoral reform.
The House of Commons Special Committee on Electoral Reform (ERRE) was a special committee of the House of Commons of Canada established during the 42nd Canadian Parliament to investigate reforms to the Canadian electoral system. The formation of "an all-party Parliamentary committee to review... [electoral] reforms" was an election promise by Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau in the 2015 federal election. After becoming Prime Minister, Trudeau indicated the formation of a special committee was a priority in his mandate letter for Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef. Shortly after the committee submitted its report to parliament on December 1, 2016, Monsef was transferred to the position of the Minister of Status of Women and Karina Gould took over the electoral reform file. Shortly after taking her position Gould announced that the government would no longer be pursuing reform of the electoral system, stating "It has become evident that the broad support needed among Canadians for a change of this magnitude does not exist".
Rural–urban proportional representation (RUP), also called Flexible District PR, is a hybrid proportional system designed by Fair Vote Canada with the intention of meeting the special challenges of Canada's geography, which includes wide-flung, sparsely-populated areas. As conceived in general terms by Fair Vote Canada, the rural–urban proportional model combines the use of multi-member ridings and top-up seats to meet the different needs of both rural and urban areas, while protecting the objective of proportionality. Sweden, Denmark and Iceland use similar voting models.