Ask not what politics can do for you

November 29, 2011

A million people who could have voted didn’t.

Turnout dropped by just over 90,000, from 79.5 per cent of those on the rolls in 2008 to 73.8 per cent.

Except for an anomaly in 1978 when the rolls were inflated by outdated and duplicate entries, this was the lowest percentage turnout since 1887, when 67.1 per cent of those on the rolls voted. That was before women won the right to vote in 1893.

Moreover, only an estimated 93.2 per cent of the 3,276,000 people who were eligible to vote were enrolled, so the 2,254,581 people who did cast their votes (including special votes) leaves just over 1 million who stayed at home.


23 voter turnout 2011 election campaign NZ Politics Daily - Bryce Edwards Otago University liberation blog -

Among the reasons given by those who didn’t vote were not knowing enough about what parties and candidates were offering and none of them offering what the non-voters wanted.

The best way to address both issues is to understand your own philosophy and principles, find the party which best matches them, get involved with it and take an active part in its policy development.

Those wanting to be engaged shouldn’t be asking what politics can do for them but what they can do for a politics.

Election results

November 26, 2011

Polls close at 7pm.

The Electoral Commission will post results here.

They are aiming to have all advance results, including the referendum released by 8.30; general election results from 50% of polling booths by 10pm and resutls from all polling places by 11:30.

Official results for the election and referendum will be published by 2pm on Saturday December 10.

When life imitates satire

November 18, 2011

Tweet of the day:

He could be right, the campaign is decending to a farcial level in which Fred Dagg would have revelled.

Hat tip: Election 2011 Live

Saturday smiles

November 12, 2011

Two friends with radically different political views meet outside a polling booth on election day.

One turns to the other and says “You know, we’ve argued about policies and philosophy for months, and we’re obviously going to vote for different candidates. Our votes will cancel each other out anyway, so why don’t we just call it a draw and go home instead?”

The other woman pauses, thinks for a minute, nods her head and they part ways to go back to their cars.

A man who overheard the conversation approaches the dealmaker and says with admiration, “That’s a real sporting offer you just made!”

“Not really,” the woman  says, “That’s the third time I’ve done the deal this mroning.”

Voting starts today

November 9, 2011

Anyone who can’t get to a polling place on election day, including people overseas, can cast a vote from today.

The Electoral Commission has information here for people wishing to cast a special vote in New Zealand.

Information for people wishing to vote overseas is here and those of a blue persuasion might be interested in the National Party’s Internats.

Opportunity for renewal missed

September 5, 2011

Labour has released its full list of candidates for November’s election.

It includes several candidates who have been selected for unwinnable seats very recently and highlights the stupidity of doing its list ranking in April.

When you’re in opposition it is prudent to be prepared if the election date is unknown. But John Key announced in early February that we’d be going to the polls on November 26 which made it safe to rank the list much later.

They not only ranked the list too early they did it badly, missing the opportunity for significant renewal. That’s left them  with far too many of the tired old candidates who are associated with Labour’s failures of the noughties.

They could have learned from National’s mistakes after the 1999 election when too few of the dead wood fell on their swords. Failure to do that leaves them plummeting towards a similar forced clean out to that which National suffered in 2002 and little hope for a significant injection of fresh talent.

Two weeks and three months

August 27, 2011

It’s just under two weeks until the Rugby World Cup kicks off.

It’s just three months to election day.

It would make me feel a lot more confident about voter intelligence if so many people didn’t keep saying the outcome of the former could influence the result of the latter.

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