Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Voting in the Flag Referendum

152 Responses

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  • Mick Buckley,

    If you regard the two silver fern with stars (weetbix) as essentially the same flag, surely you should only rank one of them. Otherwise you give a silver fern double vote.

    Northland • Since Aug 2014 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Mick Buckley,

    If you regard the two silver fern with stars (weetbix) as essentially the same flag, surely you should only rank one of them. Otherwise you give a silver fern double vote.

    This is wrong. If you like the Kyle Lockwood fern flag, rank them both.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    As much as red peak being added makes the whole process a farce.

    I'm sure opinions vary but personally I see it more as a symptom of a farce that already existed. Maybe even a laughably hopeless attempt to mitigate the potential damage of what was already a terrible farce.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Mick Buckley,

    Not really, as Graeme said. You only ever have a single vote. But if your favourite fern flag gets into position where it can't possibly win, your vote is then transferred to your next preference, unless it has already been knocked out by having so few people like it. So rank your favourite one first, then your next favourite.

    Everyone else's single vote also acts the same way and transfers as their higher preferences get ruled out, so it's not as if your vote is somehow any more powerful.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Soon Lee,

    For the more audiovisual, it might be useful to check out this youtube clip which shows a worked example of "Alternative Vote" a.k.a. "Preferential Voting" a.k.a. "Instant-runoff voting" a.k.a. the flag referendum voting system.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2013 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Mine went straight into the bin; Spoiling your ballot is just a good. Both are valid forms of protest because ultimately a democracy cannot survive without the consent of the governed, and change like this needs the legtimacy of a strong turnout - at least two thirds, I would have thought.

    A low actual vote de-legitimises the outcome whatever it is.

    No flag that is selected on the basis of the votes of John Key’s fanboys will ever be regarded as anything other than as a constant reminder of division.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Some people have been puzzled by the fact that the Lockwood flags and Red Peak are being sold by their creators.

    All entrants agreed to sign over the copyright in their designs to the Crown if they were selected for the short list.

    This makes the shortlist finalists subject to the same rules as apply to the current flag – which allow anyone to make, use or sell a copy so long as they respect the design. So they're allowed to sell copies of their own designs – and so is anyone else.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Russell Brown,

    – and so is anyone else.

    Ouch!

    The NZ Flag....97 bucks!

    Seriously....David's Emporium in Hammytown...$10

    (Or was when I bought one a month ago for the TPP march...they might have gone up by now)

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I'm a little torn. I strongly believe everyone should vote as a general rule. It is one of the few times we actually get to exercise our personal view in this democracy.

    Yet I personally hate all the designs proposed (yes even red peak).

    Setting aside my reasons for hating them it is my belief that none of them should replace our current flag.

    So should I vote in the ranking process when my vote in the actual referendum to change the flag will be to keep the current flag (as flawed as it is)?

    Is it actually fair for me to rank my least hated or should I just not bother?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I'm following Russell's earlier suggestion of voting for Red Peak in the first poll, mainly to drop Key's preferred choices to the bottom of the pile. The second referendum is the more important one and I'll be voting for keeping the existing flag. Not because I have any love for the union jack, but as an objection to the whole, flawed process.

    Is it actually fair for me to rank my least hated or should I just not bother?

    I bunged the koru at #2 for the reason above. If we are going to be stuck with a new flag, please let it not be one of Key's preferred two.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1388 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I was just playing with a qCode and barcode reader that I had just downloaded and was looking for a handy barcode or qCode. I found both on the voting form.
    At the top under your name and address you will see a bar code, this generates an eleven digit number. If you look at the tear off voting form you will see a qCode, this generates the exact same number as the barcode under your address.
    Fishy or what?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    this generates the exact same number as the barcode under your address.

    So, my vote is not anonymous? Well, in the bin it goes.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Oliver Thompson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    It's just the serial number for the paper isn't it? Hardly fishy to make it easily machine-readable.

    Lower Hutt • Since Apr 2011 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Oliver Thompson, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    The NZ Flag….97 bucks!

    Flags have a pretty hard life if actually flown - the only current NZ flag in my house is really too ragged to fly, as it's had a long trip around the pacific. So spending some bucks for decent fabric and finishing is important for some uses of a flag.

    Lower Hutt • Since Apr 2011 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Oliver Thompson,

    Yes, it’s fairly standard practice for most elections http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2015/0066/latest/DLM6405395.html.

    The ballot papers are always traceable in all/most elections and secrecy relies on them being locked away and destroyed after six months, unless there has been some sort of irregularity that results in a court order to unseal them (like a bunch of ballot papers got diverted and voted).

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

  • mpledger, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    At the top under your name and address you will see a bar code, this generates an eleven digit number. If you look at the tear off voting form you will see a qCode, this generates the exact same number as the barcode under your address.
    Fishy or what?.

    If both numbers are only on the forms that you hold and/or send back then it's ok because only you have the link. If they are on information that the govt holds then that is fishy. Purposefully obscuring them as to hide the match is definitely fishy.

    Since Oct 2012 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • mpledger,

    When there were three fern flags and one non-fern flag there were low probability cases where the voting method could give some odd results about what flag wins – although there was some disagreement about that.
    http://www.statschat.org.nz/2015/09/10/do-preferential-voting-and-similar-flags-interact-badly/

    Now that there are two non-fern flags against three fern flags it’s not so bad. And also because there are two black and white flags against three non-“black and white”. So there won’t be so much clustering of voting.

    It will be interesting to see how they report the outcomes of the vote. It’s quite easy to report an FPP or MMP vote so that people can immediately see the result. People might not be too happy if it’s not intuitively clear from the results posted for STV. If 40% first preference votes go to the hypnoflag but a fern flag wins at the fourth round people might go “huh! How did that work out?”.

    Since Oct 2012 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It is not meant to bother those counting but John Key and if enough invalidate their vote it wil embarrass him in Parliament.

    I think you've underestimated just how little embarrassment John Key has in parliament.

    Mine went straight into the bin; Spoiling your ballot is just a good. Both are valid forms of protest because ultimately a democracy cannot survive without the consent of the governed, and change like this needs the legtimacy of a strong turnout – at least two thirds, I would have thought.

    You're supporting democracy by not voting? Interesting tactic.

    If both numbers are only on the forms that you hold and/or send back then it’s ok because only you have the link. If they are on information that the govt holds then that is fishy.

    It would be difficult to prevent voter fraud if voting papers weren't individualised and linked to the voter. You could run it through the photocopier and submit thousands.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It will be interesting to see how they report the outcomes of the vote. It’s quite easy to report an FPP or MMP vote so that people can immediately see the result. People might not be too happy if it’s not intuitively clear from the results posted for STV. If 40% first preference votes go to the hypnoflag but a fern flag wins at the fourth round people might go “huh! How did that work out?”

    From the Act:

    38 Declaration of result of referendum
    (1)
    When all the voting papers returned in accordance with section 29 have been processed, the Returning Officer must,—
    (a)
    in the case of the first flag referendum,—
    (i) calculate the number of first preference votes received for each option; and
    (ii) count the votes in the manner described in Schedule 4; and
    (iii) declare the result of the referendum by giving public notice of the following:
    (A) the absolute majority of votes determined at the first iteration; and
    (B) the number of first preference votes received for each option; and
    (C) the absolute majority of votes determined at each iteration at which an option was successful or excluded; and
    (D) the number of votes recorded for each option and the number of transferable votes at each iteration at which an option was excluded; and
    (E) the iteration number at which each option was excluded, where applicable; and
    (F) the number of informal voting papers; and
    (G) the outcome of the referendum;

    The results at the iterations are knocked out get reported under E.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Is it actually fair for me to rank my least hated or should I just not bother?

    Entirely fair to rank your least hated to give the best chance ensuring your most-hated is not selected.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Standard voting procedures?
    Comparing two voting forms: the bar code and unique number (20+ numbers) down the side are both different (one sequentially after the other) as are the two QR codes. My eyes aren't good enough to see if the barcodes above the address are different - but I would imagine they relate to the voters name below... - so yes I assume the tear off bit is identifiable to the named recipient on some database somewhere... hopefully for no more than cross-tallying.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    The Wellington Council Elections are STV and get reported like this.

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

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    one sequentially after the other

    How many digits? Leading zeros? (I haven't had my ballot papers yet so can't look)

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

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Is it actually fair for me to rank my least hated or should I just not bother?

    Entirely fair to rank your least hated to give the best chance ensuring your most-hated is not selected.

    Pretty much the way I operate at a beer tasting then - sadly that usually results in a win for budweiswer or equivalent, apparently I'm hypersensitive to the bitterness of hops.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    You’re supporting democracy by not voting? Interesting tactic.

    I’m never said i was supporting democracy, this isn’t an election. If it was, I'd say any one of the choices would make a better leader than John Key. Maybe we should tie him to the top of a fIagpole to see how he looks?

    I said spoiling your ballot or not voting in this ridiculous referendum is a legitimate democratic choice.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

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