Patrick Gower calls out Mark Richardson for MMP comment

The AM Show 08/05/2018

Patrick Gower and Mark Richardson went head-to-head on Tuesday when The AM Show host said it's unfair that former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton claims she got more votes than her opponent Donald Trump. 

Mrs Clinton gave a speech at Spark Arena on Monday night where she spoke about her failed attempt at winning the 2016 US presidential election.

She highlighted the fact that despite losing the election, she won more votes than her opponent Donald Trump. 

I think you're a little bit confused.

The US has an Electoral College system, where each state gets a certain number of electors based on its total number of representatives in Congress. In total, there are 538 electors. A majority of electors - 270 - is required to win the election. Donald Trump lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College. He won a combination of states and reached the 270 electors mark without winning the majority of votes. 

While Mrs Clinton lost the election, Gower, Newshub's National Correspondent, noted her achievement of gaining 60 million votes in the US election. Mrs Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million votes, according to an Associated Press analysis.

"She got more votes than Trump and she made that point last night that the political system in the United States needs to change," said Gower. 

But Mark Richardson said it's unfair that Mrs Clinton claims she won more votes in the US election but the National Party can't claim it won more votes in the 2017 New Zealand election.

The National Party got 44.4 percent of the vote while the Labour party got 36.9 percent. 

"That's exactly the argument that National's not allowed under MMP," said Richardson. 

"National's saying that they won the election but they're not allowed to say that. But she's allowed to say she got more votes than Trump," Richardson said.

Under the mixed-member proportional (MMP) voting system, despite receiving fewer votes than the National Party, neither National nor Labour received enough seats to form a government alone (a party needs 61 seats to govern alone). Labour was able to form a coalition government with New Zealand First and the Greens. 

"I think you're a little bit confused," Gower told Richardson. 

"You're a bit confused because National did not get more votes than the government coalition."

The first MMP election was held in 1996. As a result, National and Labour lost their complete dominance in the House. Neither party has yet been able to govern on its own and has had to form coalitions to govern.

Watch the full commentary between Patrick Gower and Mark Richardson above.

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.