Political party reform should be debated – in addition to having the Review of the MMP electoral system. Democratic participation is about more than just how the votes are counted and translated into parliamentary seats. The process by which parties develop policy, the organisational structures, the ability of members to participate in decision-making – whether it be about policy, candidate selection or arguably leadership selection are all matters that would be worth of debate as New Zealanders consider how to improve the system we have.
In the US the primary system usefully provides a testing ground for candidates and an opportunity for members to participate in policy debates prior to the actual voter decision at the general election for President. There is much about the American system that I don’t think we should emulate. But the primary concept is well worth a look.