Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler


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The Electoral Commission is ramping up its public information campaign for the referendum on the voting system (just 85 sleeps to go!), and it has a nifty little website, with new and exciting information to help you and other voters decide what voting system is right for you.

You should head over there. It's pretty flash.*

There's a place to directly compare aspects of the systems. And a tool where you can enter your preferences which shows how the various systems stack up.

Like any tool (ours included), it's best used as a guide, but the more information people have, the greater the chance our votes in the referendum will represent what we truly want in a voting system.

Usefully, it's set-up a little differently from the way ours will be, spits out results in a different way, and focuses on some different things, so they'll sit alongside each other nicely. I also have the benefit of not having to be quite so neutral, so your answers will slightly more explicitly: you like that, want those, and hate them? Vote Preferential Vote!

When I've a bit more time, I may go back and look at some of the debate about some of the assumptions: for example, it's just not clear to me that first past the post is the system with the greatest ability to “throw the rascals out”: New Zealand voters tried throwing the government out in 1978, 1981 and 1993 and the first past the post voting system kinda got in their way. 67.6% of those who voted in Ōhariu at the last election tried throwing their local MP out, but the first past the post voting system we use in electorate contests decided otherwise.

But that's a debatable point. On a quick look, it seems in line with accepted thinking, and I can't see anything to fault.

I was hoping to find *something* to fact-check, but the one quiz question I had an issue with during the media presentation yesterday is now fixed, and the other fact-check I was thinking of making resulted in my being fact-checked (I'd have checked before posting, I promise!). About the only thing I can really dispute is their claim that it went live at 10am this morning. It was totally on-line last night :-)

Right here.

* final nerdish pun, I promise.

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