Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The sole party of government

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  • Not The Messiah, in reply to Not The Messiah,

    Oooops – sorry about that double up. I am not only new to this but a crap typer and proof reader as well…next time use the preview button you idiot.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to izogi,

    Aside from what Emma said, the issue’s also not limited to abuse. Any occasion when a voter thinks others might treat them differently if they vote in a certain way risks coercing them to vote in that way if there’s a possibility that others might find out how they’ve voted.

    It’s also worth remembering what the introduction of the secret ballot in 1870 replaced:

    The New Zealand Parliament – alarmed by reports of electoral abuses in Auckland – soon decided that the electoral laws needed tightening up.

    So in 1858 it passed a series of reform acts, which defined and prohibited treating, bribery and ‘undue influence’. Candidates were banned from employing musicians and displaying banners. The placement of committee rooms and polling booths in pubs was also outlawed.

    At the time, some politicians urged the adoption of the secret ballot (often called the ‘Australian’ or ‘Victorian’ ballot, as it was first adopted in Victoria in 1856). They claimed that this would help stamp out bribery, treating and intimidation – because there would be less incentive to try to influence or threaten electors if their votes could not be traced.

    But not everyone thought that voting should be secret. To many, the vote was not an individual right but an important ‘public trust’ granted to certain citizens to exercise on behalf of their community. Open (public) voting ensured that the holders of this trust were accountable to those who were excluded from the franchise – including, for example, women.

    In 1858 Parliament introduced a new verbal voting system. Each elector was required to state the name of the candidate he wished to vote for out loud to the polling official. The official would then record the vote in a poll book, and the elector would sign his name alongside the entry.

    This method, its supporters claimed, would at least require the elector to be sober enough to speak. Of course verbal voting was not secret – in 1860 one Auckland newspaper even published a list showing how every elector had voted.

    FWIW, I party voted National and don't give the proverbial rat's arse what you all think about it. It's also helpful that I live in a country where it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of political opinion. But the point here is that I choose to disclose who I vote for, otherwise it's none of your fucking business. As it should be.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Not The Messiah,

    it strikes me as odd that you do not need to show any ID when voting

    Do you think people who don't have ID shouldn't be able to vote?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Do you think people who don’t have ID shouldn’t be able to vote?

    There's also serious penalties for impersonating an elector for the purposes of committing electoral fraud, and there are mechanisms in place to detect said fraud which is incredibly rare.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    But not everyone thought that voting should be secret. To many, the vote was not an individual right but an important ‘public trust’ granted to certain citizens to exercise on behalf of their community. Open (public) voting ensured that the holders of this trust were accountable to those who were excluded from the franchise – including, for example, women.

    Interesting argument. No longer applicable, of course, unless under-18s want to hold their parents/guardians to account.

    In 1858 Parliament introduced a new verbal voting system. Each elector was required to state the name of the candidate he wished to vote for out loud to the polling official. The official would then record the vote in a poll book, and the elector would sign his name alongside the entry.

    This method, its supporters claimed, would at least require the elector to be sober enough to speak.

    Now that's setting a high standard! Geez, if you're too drunk to speak, how could you handle a paper ballot?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    The name on the electoral roll also only had to be in "a commonly understood form" (I used to do data matching on 19th century electoral rolls, and can testify to this producing some variation in names between elections).

    Keep in mind the 19th century requirements were also framed around a much lower level of literacy than today.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to David Hood,

    Far out, so the wooden spoon goes to Tamaki Makaurau. Less than half of the Maori enrolled in Auckland showed up to vote.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Not The Messiah, in reply to Emma Hart,

    It was just an observation.
    Are there many people these days without ID of some sort? ( I don’t know ) I would have thought pretty much everyone would have something - drivers licence seems a good start?
    I realise it is illegal and I am Not saying it should be done at all, it just seems possible.

    Hacking is also illegal and there is much debate about Public Interest.

    I always thought secret taping of conversations was not admissible in court ( I could well be wrong again here ), but I have seen it done and deemed admissible in an Employment Tribunal case…shocked me at the time and it certainly changed the outcome of this case.

    In the area of Dirty Politics it seems so much dubious, possibly illegal stuff is going on.

    Again just an observation. I hope this hasn’t caused offence.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    National benefited from the Labour stay home, but in the Maori electorates Labour benefited from the Maori Party/ Mana even greater stay home. Some commentators have described this as Maori turning out for Labour, but I don't know that is quite the way to look at it.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Not The Messiah, in reply to Not The Messiah,

    I know nothing is completely foolproof but perhaps when they send out Electoral Forms before every election an ID specifically for voting ( with photo? ) could be provided and a mechanism/ system for checking this could be set up, it wouldn’t be that difficult. Most places in NZ have a Post Office or Police Station or Bank, whatever, fairly close by. There are exception to this but it would cover most voters.

    I am not saying it should be done in NZ but in many ( most? ) countries Voting is compulsory.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I think the number of countries with compulsory voting is pretty small, Wikipedia lists ~30 if which only 11 actually enforce the law

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Not The Messiah,

    Most places in NZ have a Post Office or Police Station or Bank, whatever, fairly close by.

    May have been true 20 years back but National fixed that for us.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to David Hood,

    Electorates where NZ First's vote went up:

    So, had Winston managed a Labour / Green / NZ First coalition (playing MMP the way the right do) we could all be smiling now.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Steve Parks,

    The absurdity of it is that the Greens are barely more left than Labour.

    I would say they were to the right of Labour, in a traditional sense, because the power behind the Greens are the children of the comfortable middle classes that have the time to care about the subjective, whereas traditional Labour supporters are the struggling poor and the exploited workers. Its a Class thing.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Not The Messiah,

    Are there many people these days without ID of some sort? ( I don’t know ) I would have thought pretty much everyone would have something – drivers licence seems a good start?

    Thing is, voting ID laws always disenfranchise people, and disproportionately those people are poor and brown. That's why the Republicans love them so much. So surely, there should have to be an actual problem with voter fraud before you'd do that? We have a fantastic culture of making it as easy as possible for people to vote, and I'd hate to lose that.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Not The Messiah, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Thanks for that Paul - I really did not know ( should have looked that one up myself ). I don't support this level of enforcement myself. It was intended as just an another observation.

    It is a pity that in NZ, that for many reasons, almost 1/4 of the voting public choose ( or have just been put off ) not to vote. To some degree us voters may well inherit an unwanted government by virtue of this. Something like this happened a few days ago from memory.

    Carrying this discussion further I really look forward to John signing us up to TPPA as soon as possible so we can get our microchip implants.
    I don't drink Tui but I may just be forced to, by whatever Mutli-National that owns it and most other NZ breweries now.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Not The Messiah, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Totally agree.

    Slightly off topic but there seems to be a whole lot coming out of Scotland about voting irregularities ( fraud, vote counting oddities, deceased people voting etc.. who knows ).
    I dread to think that this could happen here.

    Thanks Emma

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • kiwicmc, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I think the number of countries with compulsory voting is pretty small, Wikipedia lists ~30 if which only 11 actually enforce the law

    Australia being one of them - I copped a $55 fine for not voting in the local council elections the other year....

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2008 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to BenWilson,

    All those people will have made a conscious decision at some point to be on the Maori roll - so why do that and then not vote?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    so why do that and then not vote?

    Because the Foreshore and Seabed issue pales into insignificance under National?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to kiwicmc,

    I think the number of countries with compulsory voting is pretty small, Wikipedia lists ~30 if which only 11 actually enforce the law

    Australia being one of them – I copped a $55 fine for not voting in the local council elections the other year….

    Some years back I saw figures that appeared to prove that the proportion of Australian non-voters who were actually prosecuted was tiny. If so, bad luck in being made an example of and “thrashed with a feather”, as someone once put it.

    The two Australians I knew who said they intended to vote for Pauline Hansen’s One Nation claimed they did so simply to give the finger to the major parties. They weren’t particularly interested in politics, and happily agreed that Hansen was mad. I believe that her fleeting success was very much a creature of compulsory voting.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • kiwicmc, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    More of a parking fine style arrangement then an actual prosecution. Both my wife and I got them, seemed to be pretty automated...

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2008 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Attachment

    For those following, I have updated my chart to include the special votes (which I had thought were included in the "total votes counted", but clearly not). I will revise again once they've been counted.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to kiwicmc,

    More of a parking fine style arrangement then an actual prosecution. Both my wife and I got them, seemed to be pretty automated…

    Things are probably tighter these days, but returning to sender with ‘gone interstate’ scrawled on the envelope used to do the trick :)

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    It occurs to me that one thing Labour desperately need to do in the next three years is to visibly, cheerfully, and consistently cooperate with the Greens -- to show that together they form a viable Opposition, and prove that one day they could form a viable government.

    Which may be difficult given the incumbents Labour will be lumbered with.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1940 posts Report Reply

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