Hard News: Time to Vote
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Thanks Russell. For long time lurkers like me, PAS has proved to be an intelligent and stimulating venue for political discussion these last few weeks. Much appreciated.
rock on everyone.
Ah, so it will be ok if I wear either my bright red Stooges t-shirt or my bright red Throwing Muses t-shirt tomorrow... ; )
Stephen R, in reply to
I asked about the requirement to verbally confirm your name to the electoral officer - even with the easyvote card - and whether this was a problem for any non verbal or disabled people and the man assured me there is always a way to communicate.
When I advance voted, they asked me to confirm I was <name> and I said "yes", so there doesn't seem to be a set formula for requiring the voter to say their own name.
I get much more rigorous identity confirmation when I donate blood. I think anyone who could hear the question would be able to affirm their identity to the satisfaction of the polling clerk, and if they were hearing impaired, I imagine the polling clerk would be happy to try to work something out.
Like Russell I like the idea of voting on the day, and our local primary school is a polling booth so it's also a social occasion for us (less so now both our kids have left there).
But I voted last week. I wasn't going any unforeseen events prevent me voting, and nothing anyone did from that point on was going to change my party vote, and as for electorate vote I just voted on party lines: I don't know the candidate at all but tactical voting would have no effect on this seat, might as well give them encouragement.
I echo others at the level of political engagement among young people, my eldest won't vote until next election, but I'm sure at 15 I wasn't anything like as interested and informed (and from sources more varied than TV).
So, tomorrow David and I intend to hit the local booth as close to opening as possible, go do the standard Saturday morning things (grocery shop, library run, lunch, finally clear the post-holiday housework deficit) and then we're off to a friend's for dinner under firm instructions that the table is to be a politics-free zone and the TV's not going on until 10pm.
I've just moved in the last two weeks to Samoa for a year to do some volunteer work. I'm hoping to come home in a year depending on tomorrow's outcome - it will determine whether I come home or not for the foreseeable future. The last 6 years have been excruciating for me and I have been one of the lucky ones to keep his job after going through 3 restructures in almost as many years. Needless to say, others have not been so lucky.
I think we all know by now that the suspicions many of us had about media and government collusion have now been, maybe not addressed (even if we did have some individual reporter's mea culpa's before back to BAU), through Nicky Hager's book, but at least there is now a starting point for NZ to have the discussion about the relationship it wants to have with its media and representatives. I used to teach Film and Media at Victoria some years ago, and the sustained complicity between the media and this government has been nothing short of incredible in these last 6 years. There are just too many things the government has never been taken to account for that i think most New Zealanders would be astonished by if things were framed in different ways than they have been. We became the boiling frog.
It started with Legislation under urgency, a slew of breaches of the BoRA (can someone please entrench the Act?), the non-stop dehumanisation of beneficiaries, the secretive selling or giving away of Schedule 4 land after 65,000 New Zealanders marched and said no. I could go on, but most folk here will know what i'm saying and understand the changes we have seen in this time.
National's attitude seems to be a patronising message that this is all some distasteful medicine that's good for us in the long run. It's not. Part of the reason it's so distasteful is not just the ideology, but the process through which these changes have been accomplished is distasteful.
In my professional life a lot of cracks started to appear. I was a public servant and fervently believe in what that means - serving the public AND the government of the day. What happens when you believe your role is no longer of use in serving the public, but merely serving the government of the day?
This has been the strangest and best election i have witnessed, and yet there is nothing in the polls that reflects or suggests any of the events have really made a difference. What has given me hope has been some of the comments i have heard from people who now seem to be, for the first time in a long while, actually engaged.
I voted the day before i left the country and i'll look forward to coming home. Enjoy the day tomorrow everyone, i'll be there in spirit.
We've taken our kids with us when we vote all their lives, we've talked about how to choose who to vote for, and how and who and why we choose to vote .... but when they started to vote made sure they knew it was their decision.
My son proudly harassed National's Woodhouse at Uni over his anti-gay marriage stance
This year they've both moved out, we've kept up the "you are going to vote aren't you" gentle reminders, I'll send them a text tomorrow. We'll both go to the church at the top of the hill early tomorrow then go for a coffee.
Soon Lee, in reply to
I think the theater of voting on the day is important
I considered waiting until Saturday for that reason, but in the end decided that the act of voting is more important. I also like the idea of supporting early* voting; providing a greater window of time for people to get to the ballot box can only be good for increasing participation in our democracy.
I have been more engaged than during any previous campaign, been reading & watching the work of many, not only MSM but also online sources. Lurking has been very useful in clarifying & solidifying my own thoughts so I want to add my thanks to the contributors here.
*I called "peak crazy" yesterday & popped into the local polling station after work. It was a very easy process (took about three minutes).
-back to lurking-
My wife has voted early but my 19-year-old son and I are going for a father/son moment tomorrow morning. I do feel a tad guilty when I hear my children repeating the lefty rantings of their parents but I would rather be guilty of lefty brainwashing than that of the right. They'll make up their own minds soon enough. Daughter, 16, is not old enough yet but has been fully involved in the dinner table debates. My heartfelt best wishes to anyone looking to oust the current junta and roll on a final result - I'm exhausted from the fretting.
A S, in reply to
Heh. Could well be truer than we may think.
I agree with Rob S. Once upon a time if the Minister wanted to interfere in an OIA the whole request would be transferred to the Minister. If the Minister then wanted to ignore the law, it was his/her responsibility. Now the pressure seems to be applied from the Minister or their office, to force the public servants to break the law, and in my experience sadly, some senior officials are quite happy to do so.
One other thing I personally noticed in recent years, is that free and frank advice is rarely given to Ministers any more when it is on an unpopular subject. Officials who do speak up, have seemed to find themselves being quietly sidelined. With a public service in a state of almost constant restructure, it becomes very easy to get rid of problem advisers and replace them with people who do as they are told.
Giving open, honest and professional advice is critical to good governance, and I know a lot of people in Wellington are quietly concerned about how things are going, and the yes-minister culture that pervades things at the moment.
As someone who places a lot of value on a transparent, professional, and honest public service, the way things look to be going really concerns me, and I hope this is the start of a much deeper look at what has happened to the public service over the last decade or so.
Sorry about the rant, and hope the clouds clear for everyone on their way to vote tomorrow!
krothville, in reply to
Hmmm, I'm not so sure, because this time around, I've heard that very high numbers of people have voted early. But, then again, sometimes I'm just ridiculously optimistic about things ;)
Although, if you want to elaborate, I'd be interested to hear it :)
Richard Aston, in reply to
A simply awesome column on it all from Toby Manhire.
Brilliant piece of writing and re-framing but Toby's brave new world was a little scary in places and hey no autonomous anti gravity flying machines.
Geoff Lealand, in reply to
Or get your plants and veges at Logan Park?
Just hope my daughter in Kyoto has found a way to vote. She had a long chat with David Cunliffe a few weeks back and was very impressed.
Craig Ranapia, in reply to
My heartfelt best wishes to anyone looking to oust the current junta and roll on a final result – I’m exhausted from the fretting.
And with all due respect, Luke, I’m exhausted by anyone (left, right, don’t give the proverbial) who could actually describe any government in this country as a “junta”. Because words mean things, and it’s not that hard to find people in New Zealand who have experience of what life under real military governments. I have an acquaintance whose father… vanished during Argentina’s Dirty War. Really puts domestic partisan drama queening into perspective, as I discovered the hard (and deeply embarrasing) way.
I may or may not like the outcome, but it really helps to remember that tomorrow will see a free, fair and credible general election held without violence, intimidation or wholesale fraud (something too many people in this world can't say) and adjust the rhetorical thermostat accordingly. Don’t you think?
Luke Williamson, in reply to
Heaven forbid that I should get a little emotive in my language on the last day of what has been a rather extraordinary campaign. My apologies to all the readers of this thread who were offended by my use of the word that Craig referred to but which I will not mention again.
Cold change later on tomorrow in the deep south, snow to 500m. Get out early if the weather might affect you or you have a drive.
Rain on the West Coast by the look, gets thundery with snow to 700m later, so go early.
Gales and thunderstorms in Wellington should clear in the afternoon, high winds in the ranges.
Severe gales central North Island. Thundery showers in the north and Auckland.
Eight weather warnings in place for the country. OK, then. Help everyone get that wants to, eh, there might be a few need it, but hopefully people have gone early if it was going to be too much trouble. Or vote today yet.
Sara Bee, in reply to
I'd love to you to include that photo you showed me :)
James Green, in reply to
I have other things I need to be typing today, but note that although advance voting up, enrolment continues to trend down from the previous two elections. I think the spike in advance voting will be mostly made up of people that were going to vote anyway. I'd be super happy to be wrong. And just to add an extra degree of hedge, there may be a little bit of extra engagement this year for a whole variety of reasons.
OK - I'll bite a bit. Though I previously thought this, I've also been reading a lot of the research on non-response in academic research in the last few days. To sum up and over-generalise, personal engagement in research counts, and the more impersonal and anonymous it becomes, the lower the response rate. I think this underlies the dreadful response rates at local body elections, and I don't think that electronic voting will help. Putting people back into the process, having it be a social thing where people go with their neighbours etc. I think are the ways to increase voting. When I worked on Saturdays, my whole workplace en masse voted after we'd closed for the afternoon. With advance voting, you don't know who you need to encourage, and there is less social pressure.
Rich of Observationz, in reply to
Junta is simply the Spanish word for council. See "La Junta de Andalucía" which is the perfectly vote-o-cratic devolved government of Andalucia.
Luke Williamson, in reply to
Thank you Rich for doing my research for me. To be fair to Craig, I was, in my offhand manner, referring more to the cliché South American, throw people out of helicopters regime. However, I just want a change of government and I'm tired . . . so very tired.
Dismal Soyanz, in reply to
All true but in terms ensuring higher turnout you've got to have the willingness there in the first place. Things to do on Election Day are like the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. All the calls for greater emphasis in education on civics are the way to go, IMO.
As I'm sure has been said many times by others more learned in the area than me, if a person is disengaged from society they won't feel the need to express an opinion or vote. So the common thread is engagement but I would like to see it sooner rather than later.
It's closer than you might think. Here's my poll of polls, correcting for the difference between the actual vote and the final polls at the last few elections. UMR polling is included in the mix. http://sayit.co.nz/blog/its-crunch-time
Thanks for that Gavin. I'll be plugging that link tonight.
"There is a sense that this democracy needs to clean house."
Yes, that is for sure, but I fear, that we will not get much "cleaning" if the voters do largely vote in something like the status quo.
I hope the polls are wrong, as they are largely land-line based, and so many voters do not even have land-line phones anymore.
And a concern is how the brains of the too many out there will make their decisions, in between endless ad breaks in broadcast media, that are constantly hammering and thus mellowing the brain-cells, so an overly strong focus on short span messages and solutions is all so many have developed.
A change is definitely needed, I cannot believe the polls we have been getting are truly representative. If they are, some serious soul searching is needed, for all who care about true democracy, transparency and information we need to shape good opinions and decisions.
3 more years of what we got under the present government will be dreadful, that is my view. A country with a government with no plan for the future is a disaster.
So tomorrow will be a very important day.
I voted early yesterday, so I have done my bit. Please all else, go out and vote, and vote wisely.
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