Wang’s wrong about Wong

Act candidate Kenneth Wang has put up billboards like this in Botany:

Act candidate Kenneth Wang and his billboard, which he says offers a 'two for the price of one' deal for the Botany electorate. Photo / Richard Robinson


Act should be upset with him because it’s the party vote which counts and he’s telling people to vote National with their party vote.

And National’s candidate Pansy Wong is upset with him because she thinks the billboard breaches the EFA and because:

Neither does Mrs Wong think her electorate wants “more Chinese MPs” to represent them.

“Botany is a multi-ethnic electorate and residents will vote on the strength and commitments of the candidates beyond our skin colours.”

The billboard is telling people to not vote for Pansy in the electorate so it won’t have to be counted in her candidate’s budget, but if it’s suggesting people vote National with their party vote it ought to have National authorisation and would have to count in the party’s overall budget.

Apart from that, I’ve never understood why Act stands in electorates which it probably won’t win but might split the vote and allow the Labour candidate through the middle.  It’s doing the same thing in Wellington Central where Heather Roy may split the vote with Stephen Franks and make it easier for Labour to take the seat.

 Hat Tip: No Minister

17 Responses to Wang’s wrong about Wong

  1. PaulL says:

    I think there’s some evidence that not standing an electorate candidate results in a lowered party vote – something about not getting invited to the candidate meetings.

    I would argue that Wang isn’t supporting the party vote to National – he’s just saying that on current polling Wong gets in either way. Give both votes to ACT, you’ll still get Wang and Wong. Give just your electorate vote to Wang, you still get Wang and Wong. However, give no votes to Wang, you only get Wong.

    Mostly, I suspect they thought it was a bit of an amusing word play, and didn’t think too far beyond that.


  2. homepaddock says:

    Paul – having a candidate outh to help the party vote and most of the wee parties’ candidates make it quite clear they’re after the party vote not the electorate vote.

    Wang is clearly targetting the electorate vote it’s not so clear if he wants the party vote for Naitonal or Act.


  3. Blair says:

    I think it is pretty obvious we are not asking people to vote National. The sign just assumes National will get the 20% of the party vote required to put Pansy Wong into parliament. Are you suggesting this won’t happen?

    We want people in Botany to give Kenneth their electorate vote. And if they Party vote ACT as well, so much the better.


  4. homepaddock says:

    Blair – that we’re debating this shows it’s not clear from the billboard what you’re wanting.


  5. 123 says:

    It doesn’t mention party voting at all – for National or anyone else. I can’t see how this breaches the EFA, Pansy is wrong on this one.


  6. Mr Dennis says:

    I agree completely with Blair. It is an amusing way of presenting the 2 for 1 message. Great billboards by the way, I was in Botany on Saturday and they do stand out well.

    Pushing the 2 for 1 message is completely valid. We (The Family Party) are doing the same in Mangere, where the Labour candidate will be in on the list regardless, and East Coast Bays, where the National candidate will be in on the list regardless.

    Homepaddock, even if the whole of Botany voted Act with their party votes, Pansy Wong would still be in, the rest of the country would ensure that. The message is valid. But just having those amusing billboards will get Act party votes too, due to the publicity, even if the billboard doesn’t specifically mention it.

    It really doesn’t matter for National if it loses a few electorates to Act or Family, what matters is the party vote. But the reality is that you are likely to need coalition partners after the election, and having Act and Family in, two parties with a lot of common ground with National, will greatly help your chances of forming a government.

    In fact, politically it is best for National to “lose” Botany to Kenneth Wang and East Coast Bays to Paul Adams, and gain more coalition partners, than to retain these seats. I say “lose” because it is actually a gain for National. If you want a National government, you should be supporting Wang’s campaign.


  7. Blair says:

    No, I think that we’re debating this shows you need to get a clue. There’s no confusion among the general public here in Botany, only in the minds of the agenda-driven commentariat.


  8. homepaddock says:

    Mr Dennis and Blair – the problem is not what it says but how it could be construed because of the EFA.

    However, it’s got Kenneth a whole lot mroe publicity than it would have otherwise so regardless of whether or not it breaches the Act, it’s worked for him.


  9. Sam says:


    IT DOES NOT BREACH THE ACT. Actually read it and tell us which part it breaches. It does not encourage ANYONE to vote for Pansy OR National.


  10. homepaddock says:

    Sam – it doesn’t have to literally say vote for me, it’s any words or graphics that encourage people to vote for or against a candidate and/or party. Wang + Wong could be seen to be encouraging people to vote for both of them – one with the electorate vote and the other with the party vote.


  11. Mr Dennis says:

    So basically, National’s candidate is complaining that people may vote for National.


  12. Isn’t Wang pronounced Wong? Is this a case of two Wongs making a right wing?


  13. homepaddock says:

    Will – you get the electronic equivalent of a chocolate fish for the best contribution to this discussion.


  14. Sam says:

    I’m well aware of what the law says homepaddock. How does this billboard encourage A VOTE (and that’s the key, no pun or EFA breach intended)?


  15. homepaddock says:

    Sam – by someone thinking it means they should give Wang one vote and Wong the other.


  16. cctrfred says:

    I saw a sign:
    and since it was near the Christchurch Airport I first wondered “Did Labour mis-spell You?” then wondered “Is this a truncated & mis-spelled ad for a Yaldhurst electorate I didn’t know about?”. Eventually I figured out it was for the Ilam candidate Sam Yau.


  17. John Ansell says:

    In the end the dopey/racist citizens of Botany made it clear they would rather have one centre-right Chinese MP than two.

    I find that a bit sad, don’t you?

    Although I helped Kenneth with that billboard (because he asked), I also advised him in the strongest terms to stop campaigning for the electorate vote when polling showed Pansy was going to win.

    In the end he won far more votes for himself than he won for ACT – a costly mistake.


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