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Speaker: The Government lost the election

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  • Kumara Republic, in reply to TracyMac,

    And regarding the point about how much racism is embedded in people's attitudes towards welfare recipients, I'd say it's a pretty damn big chunk. And another chunk is simple classism - growing up poor and Pakeha 30 odd years ago (before the worst of the welfare "reforms") certainly demonstrated that aspect to me adequately.

    So just like in America. One of the more sensible things Christopher Hitchens said was as follows:

    “An old joke has an Oxford professor meeting an American former graduate student and asking him what he's working on these days. 'My thesis is on the survival of the class system in the United States.' 'Oh really, that's interesting: one didn't think there was a class system in the United States.' 'Nobody does. That's how it survives.”

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5385 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Is welfare in NZ only as controversial as it is because of racial undercurrents?

    Sadly, I think so and you are right about that being the dominant narrative in the US.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 787 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    That's a good idea.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 787 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Emma Hart,

    We had quite a few voters furious to find that, since the last time they’d voted, they’d been disenrolled. In most cases, this would be because they moved, didn’t update their address, their first ‘check your details are correct’ pack went to their old address, and was returned to sender.

    Ooooh, that's not good. How awful for the large section of our society who are forced to move around numerous times in any three-year period, due to landlords giving them notice to vacate their tenancies. Seems a very bad idea to just automatically unenrol folks where those forms are marked 'Return to Sender' - why not wait to see if they turn up to vote and then initiate a change of address?.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 787 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Sadly, I think so and you are right about that being the dominant narrative in the US.

    Keith Boykin of Columbia University (& occasional CNN commentator) certainly thinks so, in this Twitter thread on the subject:

    - No Democrat has won the majority of the white vote since 1964, when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. Of course it's about race.
    - Racism is the glue that held the country together. As long as both parties were a bit racist, we could build bridges and dams and highways.
    - When both parties were a little bit racist, government could do big things like Social Security, Medicare & GI bill on a bipartisan basis.
    - Shortly after the Democrats aligned with the civil rights movement in 1964-1965, government became the enemy for many white voters.
    - After signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Lyndon Johnson reportedly told Bill Moyers that Dems would lose the south for many years to come.
    - Nixon exploited white fears with his "southern strategy" in 1968. Reagan used "states' rights" & Cadillac-driving "welfare queens" in 1980.
    - George W. Bush used "Willie Horton." Newt Gingrich used "food stamps." And all Donald Trump had to say was "make America great again."
    - As GOP's Lee Atwater said, you start by saying "nigger." You end up talking "tax cuts," but it's all the same thing.
    https://www.thenation.com/article/exclusive-lee-atwaters-infamous-1981-interview-southern-strategy/

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5385 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    That's a good idea.

    It does seem like a simple way to help people vote.

    Just need someone like Edgeler to test it for bugs - it seems too simple a solution.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4426 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Seems a very bad idea to just automatically unenrol folks where those forms are marked 'Return to Sender' - why not wait to see if they turn up to vote and then initiate a change of address?.

    Well, at the moment, if you don't, then you send their EasyVote cards to an address you know they're not at, basically giving their cards to someone else. And they have the whole of the advance voting period to come in and cast a valid vote.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4634 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Emma Hart,

    The EasyVote card sounds more like a bug than a feature.
    (And I've still never received one. I hope that just means they're not sent to overseas addresses at all.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1805 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    We're from the Government, we'd like to help...*
    Perhaps henceforth all new born citizens are issued with an IRD number, a cellphone number and an IP address - for life.
    Looks like retinal or facial recognition security systems may go over well
    Tattooing or chipping may be a step too far though.


    *it seems a long time since one could feel encouraged by those words...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    They could have a database entry to not send out the EasyVote card to the returned enrolment checks.

    But leave them enrolled.

    Then do a check after the election, that if those missing people voted anyway (which is checked to defend against people casting multiple votes) they stay enrolled, and if they didn't they're purged.

    Person fails to have updated contact address and also fails to vote, they can enroll again before the next one, person voting is fine. Still clears the list.

    Probably somewhat more easy to abuse, but theoretical abuses never seem to matter as long as there's no way to automate it via a machine, given the impossible nature of a massive conspiracy. As long as we're physically voting with an orange marker, easier enrolment is a convenience for everyone rather than an existential threat to the system.

    Since Nov 2006 • 596 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to TracyMac,

    Hello.

    No need for a third vote. That's essentially STV.

    Not if I've understood (not sure). Australia's STV is applied to elect a bundle of candidates and lets a vote be distributed between several of them (depending on how much it was needed). I'm just meaning is a simpler thing where NZ keeps the party vote almost as-is, but voters get to express an alternative party to get the vote if, and only if, their first choice doesn't reach the threshold. I guess it's a dumbed-down preferential ranking system. If there's an MMP argument that the threshold needs to be high so that parliament doesn't end up packed with parties that are too small to operate effectively, I think the least that should be done is to let people cast their vote for the party they like most without needing to fear that they'll just help a party they don't want to succeed.

    Since the Aussies use that for the Senate vote, and a bastardised version for the lower house vote (NOT a good option), any argument about complexity is void. I haven't heard of any Aussies complaining about not being able to understand this voting thing.

    Maybe, but Australia also added group ticket voting. To me seems more like hiding complexity which voters struggled to cope with rather than fixing it. It encourages voters to hand the full power of their vote to the one favourite candidate, and whichever political alliances and deals that candidate has, instead of necessarily thinking about and understanding what they're voting for.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1133 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to tussock,

    They could have a database entry to not send out the EasyVote card to the returned enrolment checks.

    But leave them enrolled.

    Then do a check after the election, that if those missing people voted anyway (which is checked to defend against people casting multiple votes) they stay enrolled, and if they didn’t they’re purged.

    put a little note by their name on the roll used on the day, when they show up send them over to the specials desk, make them fill out a change of address form before they vote

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2586 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to TracyMac,

    I haven't heard of any Aussies complaining about not being able to understand this voting thing.

    What's the donkey vote proportion in NZ elections? In Australia it's about 5%.

    Here's an article in The Conversation on the topic:

    Many also felt perplexed by the voting system, to the point of lodging donkey votes or even informal ballots if they did not have parental guidance

    My observation of the actual voting process is that a lot of people find it daunting, and if there's not a simple "write one in the box" option the informal vote rate goes way up. This isn't about people saying "I R 2 DUM" in loud voices, this is about people just quietly not casting valid votes despite their apparent best efforts to do so. "no-one told me" doesn't mean the problem isn't there.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1118 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to linger,

    The EasyVote card sounds more like a bug than a feature.

    That's my impression as well, particularly if because of them people are removed from the roll altogether.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 787 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    I'm trying to remember now, but doesn't or didn't the Electoral Commission often send out other correspondence anyway leading up to an election? If a returned EasyVote card can cause removal, presumably anything returned-to-sender would cause someone to be removed from the roll.

    Prior to the flag referendum, we received ballot papers for the previous occupants of our house. After a year of forwarding their mail when they clearly weren't correcting their address with anyone, we'd given up bothering and most stuff was just being returned to sender. For voting docs, though, I thought I should probably tell someone. I emailed the local registrar to notify that they no longer lived here. I also indicated that I specifically knew they'd shifted to the retirement village down the road.

    Despite knowing where to find them (same electorate!), the response was:

    Thank you for advising that you are returning the previous owners voting papers as "Gone no address".

    The Electoral Commission will forward them to our Head Office and the [name_removed]'s will be made "dormant".

    Unfortunately, many people move and do not advise us so miss out on their democratic right to vote.

    I've no idea if they realised they weren't on the roll before this year's election came around.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1133 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to izogi,

    anything returned-to-sender would cause someone to be removed from the roll.

    Yes, that’s exactly the problem: and the main reason that action is taken seems to be to prevent the EasyVote card being sent to the wrong address and subsequently being used for invalid voting. Which makes the EasyVote card the problem. Granted it shouldn’t be sent out in such cases; but equally, it’s not essential for voting, so the disenrolment step (under conditions where by definition the voter will be unaware that that has happened) seems excessive.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1805 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to izogi,

    I'm trying to remember now, but doesn't or didn't the Electoral Commission often send out other correspondence anyway leading up to an election? If a returned EasyVote card can cause removal, presumably anything returned-to-sender would cause someone to be removed from the roll.

    The EC isn't just getting it's info from returned mail. I moved out of my house in Waikanae a shade under 2 months before the election and, though I was staying in a rental in Foxton (preparatory to purchasing a place here), I redirected my mail to my mother's place. I got a letter from the EC addressed to my mother's house noting that I had moved house and I should correct my electoral details. The only place I gave that address to, besides putting in the redirect, was the CCDHB. Turns out I didn't need to change anything urgently, as I had bought a house by that point (sadly, still in Nathan Guy's electorate), and the returning officer just crossed me off at the old address. I thought they'd be sending me to the special votes desk.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2897 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to linger,

    I see what you mean.

    Browsing the Electoral Act I see that section 89D(2)(a) states that the Electoral Commission is required to check with every registered person, that their details are correct, within the 12 months leading into an election. To me that suggests that even if the EasyVote card wasn't being sent then it'd probably be sending something.

    Section 89G then goes on to state that if the inquiry cannot be delivered, the Electoral Commission must make any inquiry to the whereabouts of that person which they think fit, and otherwise shift them to the dormant roll. Based on that I feel a bit miffed that they didn't seem to contact the Retirement Village when I informed them that that's where the couple were now living, but maybe it's just not thought fit to chase people to that extent.

    The Dormant Roll section 109 is interesting, though. Once people are shifted to it, they're required to remain on it for 3 years until being taken off. It goes on to say that the dormant roll for the district where they were last known to be, and to be used as a list for determining if people are allowed to vote.

    If I'm reading this correctly, does it mean that if people were successfully enrolled at the previous election, and remain at the same address or in the same electorate, they should still be allowed to vote (from the dormant roll) if they show up to a polling booth at the next election? ie. Being removed from the main roll because an EasyVote card was returned-to-sender shouldn't make a difference. (60(c) states that any person who's qualified to be registered in a district, and was successfully enrolled "in that district", is allowed to vote.

    Or have I mis-read something?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1133 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Hooton, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    What a load of horse-radish. Why can’t some pundit somewhere say it: 61 seats gives you a government. When you can win or negotiate that, you have moral authority. Less than 61 seats? You have the ‘moral authority’ to be in opposition.
    End of.

    Pundits say this all the time. And I think the public also knows it perfectly well. But a proportion of the public - usually supporters of the party that won the most votes - doesn’t like it. I really don’t see any evidence more civics education is needed.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    I really don’t see any evidence more civics education is needed.

    That nice Mr Seymour warned us about that Civics stuff – Orwellian and Marxist indoctrination in disguise apparently!!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • simon g, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    I really don’t see any evidence more civics education is needed.

    Rebuttal: Two minutes reading Stuff comments.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1254 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    (Translation: if there were more civics education, there’d be less of a market for uninformed political punditry.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1805 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Hooton, in reply to simon g,

    Quite a strong rebuttal! But I would be very interested in any scientific polling of knowledge of MMP. I suspect most people understand it perfectly well. Or at least as well as any other necessary background information, such as basic fiscal management.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to izogi,

    If I'm reading this correctly, does it mean that if people were successfully enrolled at the previous election, and remain at the same address or in the same electorate, they should still be allowed to vote (from the dormant roll) if they show up to a polling booth at the next election? ie. Being removed from the main roll because an EasyVote card was returned-to-sender shouldn't make a difference. (60(c) states that any person who's qualified to be registered in a district, and was successfully enrolled "in that district", is allowed to vote.

    Yes. But.

    They're not on the printed roll. Anyone who's not on the printed roll has to cast a special vote. So if they don't get shitty and walk out of the polling booth (we can't tell them why they're not on the printed roll, because we don't know), then they cast a special, and in the apparently far too long and drawn out process of counting the specials*, if they're on the dormant roll, that'll be picked up.


    * (But whhhhhyyyyy does it take so long to count the specials? Because it fucking does, all right?)

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4634 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to simon g,

    I really don’t see any evidence more civics education is needed.

    Rebuttal: Two minutes reading Stuff comments.

    Further rebuttal: two weeks working in a polling booth. My son voted for the first time this year, and had no idea what to do or what the votes were for until I sat him down and explained it. Clearly nobody had done this for all the people furious and confused that they couldn't vote for Prime Minister.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4634 posts Report Reply

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