My questions are for Professor Norris.
Professor, you referred with respect and with admiration, I think, to the process by which New Zealand adopted its new electoral reform system, the MMP system, in the 1990s. Others—at least one other witness—have been much less respectful of at least the motives of those who set up the process, although I think people are universal in their respect for the maturity with which New Zealand voters dealt with the system.
I want to go back and ask you a couple of questions about this. New Zealanders are the masters of something that I don't think exists anywhere else in the world, which is the preferential referendum, the referendum whereby you have more than two options. I want to ask you a bit about this.
In 1992-1993, what happened was that in 1992, the New Zealanders held a referendum with two questions. The first was, “Are you in favour of getting rid of first past the post?”, to which 84.7% said yes. The second question was then, “Which system do you favour?” Happily, this produced a majority in favour of one system, with 65% in favour of MMP, because it was not a preferential ballot. It was actually just to list off their preferences, and there could have been a big shemozzle in which 20% might have gone for each of the alternatives, or at least no majority for any alternative. That was done. Then a year later, more or less, a second referendum was held on MMP versus first past the post.
Subsequent to that, they've had a second preferential referendum, which was structured differently, over their flag. This occurred in two stages, in November of last year and in March of 2016. In this case, what whey did was structure it somewhat differently. You ranked the four preferred options that had first been chosen by a select committee in order, and then in the second ballot, you took the winning candidate and voted versus the status quo.
I'm just wondering, looking at those different variations, if you have any thoughts as to what is the best way of approaching a preferential referendum.