Voting Local 2010

499 Responses

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  • Sacha,

    Not sure it's the Herald who's confused about that.

    I am unamused by faux claims of independence, wherever they may spring from. However Boag's quote linking the fortunes of candidate Banks with that of the National party is current, and I doubt she's stopped actively working in the party's interests just because she's not in charge. Just like many of Len Brown's staff and supporters have Labour links and sympathies, as you note.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Just having a wee troll, Craig.

    Like Sacha, claims of independence from all quarters make me thirsty for a well-known brand of Kiwi beer named after a native bird.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Meanwhile back in Sin City...
    Here's hoping Momentum got the right people
    for all those Super City jobs...
    Bell City in California is discovering what
    happens when council staff go bad...
    LA still looks like Chandler/Hammett territory...
    Who will save Gotham from these Jokers?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Gotta say, if a candidate can't be bothered sticking up a decent profile/photo on the offical website, then why should I bother voting for them?

    and following this, it's probably worth noting that the profiles in the hardcopy booklet are considerably more extensive and focussed than those on the election2010 website.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Just having a wee troll, Craig.

    I suspected that there was a hook with a lump of well-seasoned Orc flesh being dangled in front of my nose. And damn tasty it was too... :)

    However Boag's quote linking the fortunes of candidate Banks with that of the National party is current

    And about as subtle as the Hubbard campaign (and supporters) not so subtly suggesting that, Banks being Banks, he was incapable of working constructively -- i.e. bring home the pork -- with the then-Labour led government. Don't think it was particularly true then (apart from a rather infamous blurt from the Auckland Central MP emeritus), and if Len Brown wins? Meh... suspect the government will just take a deep breath and keep buggering on.

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

  • Paul Campbell,

    OK, here's a question for the local politics nerds: If one is inclined to vote negatively on the STV portion of the ballot, is it better to rank every candidate, so the ones you _least__ like are positively placed last, or is it better to simply not put a number next to them at all?

    Mostly I agree with Hillary - find all the candidates you can stand, rank them, leave the rest blank (the street campaign going on here in Dunedin is "don't rank the rank leave them blank").

    Remember in STV you have just one vote (even if you are voting for 3 positions in the ward) - to best use your vote you should vote for as many candidates as you can stand, the number you choose to rank should have nothing to do with the number standing (you only have 1 vote) - the more people you choose the more likely your vote will have an effect

    STV is interesting, unlike FPP there are cases where you can actively vote someone out - since the law requires an absolute majority of votes cast in the first round of counting for positions electing just one position (mayors for example) if 50% of the populace don't check their boxes (rather than rank them last) for a candidate they can't be elected (I'm not sure if this is a drafting error in the Act or deliberate in that it puts two constraints on what it takes to get elected 50%+1 is the stronger - the other case involves the number of live votes in the last round of counting which is different if votes have dropped out because people don't check boxes) -

    So I believe you can have an STV election where no one wins - it's probably rare but not impossible

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    OK, here's a question for the local politics nerds: If one is inclined to vote negatively on the STV portion of the ballot, is it better to rank every candidate, so the ones you _least__ like are positively placed last, or is it better to simply not put a number next to them at all?

    Actually, my understanding differs from Hilary's and Paul's. If your vote, or part of it gets to the end of your ranked candidates, it then gets evenly split amongst the people you haven't ranked. I'll need to check that.

    If that's ture you should actually rank every candidate, even if that means putting your ones you don't want in in order and ranking them 'least hated' to 'most hated'.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Kyle that's true and is how the low end explanation reads - but section 5B(b) of the Local Electoral act states:

    In the case of an election for a mayoral or single member vacancy, has the following features:
    (i) voters express a first preference for 1 candidate and may express second and further preferences for other candidates:
    (ii) an absolute majority of votes for election is calculated from the number of votes and positions to be filled:
    (iii) the first preferences are counted and, if a candidate's first preference votes equal or exceed the absolute majority of votes, that candidate is elected:
    (iv) if no candidate is elected under subparagraph (iii), the candidate with the fewest votes is excluded and that candidate's votes are redistributed according to voters' further preferences:
    (v) if no candidate is elected under subparagraph (iv), the steps described in subparagraph (iv) are repeated until a candidate is elected:

    The test in (iii) is an "absolute majority" (from (ii)) and it's referred to again in each voting round by the reference to (iii) in (iv).

    Consider an STV election where all voter only rank 1 candidate - candidate A gets 20%, B gets 35%, C gets 45% - round 1 A gets kicked out, no preferences are passed forward, round 2 C wins according to the programmers notes but still doesn't meet the stricter constraint provided by section 5B of the act

    As I said I suspect it's a drafting error - no one bothered to make sure that both parts of the bill said the same thing - so now you have 2 different constraints that have to be met to be elected. The argument against it being a drafting error is that the mayoral case is called out specially and the 'absolute majority' test applied explicitly and the intent was that mayoral elections proceed differentlt

    I think it means you don't rank the people you cant stand and get to vote again if at least half of you can't agree on a mayor

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    My reading is that the quota is half of the valid votes *in each round*. That's what Wikipedia suggests for Meek's method.

    Also, I think that if you have just one credible candidate you dislike, then they will end up in last-round contention against one you *have* ranked, and so your final preference will be irrelevant. If you dislike multiple candidates, it may be worth grading your dislike. Or not.

    I also haven't analysed the impact of where you rank no-hoper candidates.

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

  • Hilary Stace,

    My understanding is that all votes go into one big computer which does the calculations and spits out the results. Which means that hopefully the programmer read and understood the law.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Rich: that's what it says elsewhere - it's just that they added this preamble (section 5B) that has a slightly different (but similar) requirement for being elected.

    If you dislike a candidate (like the people who foisted the stadium on us in Dunedin) then simply not ranking them is the best thing to do - the alternative , even if you rank them 90% of the way down) is the possibility of them actually getting your vote - if you don't rank them then your vote can't possibly be used to elect them

    There's actually a "notes to programmers" section in the law that tells you how to implement the programming (I need to do a test implementation just to play with) my cursory reading of it is that it doesn't follow section 5B - so the act presents two requirements that an STV mayoral winner must meet to be elected (win the STV process, and have 50%+1 of the votes at the end of it)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Oh and as far as "no hoper candidates" - I think it's quite safe to rank your mate who you know wont win or the local jedi/silly party person for lark as #1 in an STV election - just make the smart choices in #2-#n and your single vote will find its way

    Here in Dunedin we have a local DJ running - he's basically the student candidate and almost certainly wont get enough votes to win (my guess is he'll come in 4th) - but there's no problem with students ranking him #1 - but they're wasting their votes unless they also rank some of the other candidates like Cull and Vandervis who have a more likely chance of winning

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Paul,

    I think the details are here:

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2001/0145/latest/DLM57125.html?search=ts_all%40act%40bill%40regulation_Local+Electoral+Act+2001_resel&p=1#DLM57125

    "non-transferable votes means the votes remaining untransferred when a voting document becomes exhausted"

    These are taken off the total number of votes. So your vote doesn't become equally distributed, but the quota falls as people's voting cards run out of options.

    Quota is (votes - non-transferable votes) / (number of vacancies +1) + 0.0000000001.

    So if there are 50 000 votes and 9 vacancies, the quota is 5000.

    If 10,000 votes become exhausted, the quota is 4000. It keeps getting recalculated as they go through the process.

    It works the same way in practice - if you don't list all the way, you help all people who you don't list get elected. You're not voting for them, but you are reducing the quota that they need to reach, so it works out for them anyway.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    If we take Wellington as an example, then assume the final round has all candidates eliminated except Kerry Prendergast and Celia Wade-Brown.

    If I rank Celia 1 (or any other value) and Kerry last, then my vote in this round goes to Celia. If I don't rank Kerry, the same thing happens.

    So basically, the last rank doesn't matter. On the other hand, if i didn't rank either of them I wouldn't have expressed an opinion and my vote would be eliminated as non-transferrable.

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

  • Kyle Matthews,

    So basically, the last rank doesn't matter. On the other hand, if i didn't rank either of them I wouldn't have expressed an opinion and my vote would be eliminated as non-transferrable.

    Yes. Effectively by reducing the quota you would have voted half for each of them.

    If you rank all but one candidate, you are effectively ranking all candidates.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    If we take Wellington as an example...

    can I put in a plug for Chris Lipscombe for Wellington Regional Council (on the Labour ticket)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Sarah Horth,

    Just had a chat with a friend who works for Waitakere City Council and she recommends Penny Hulse (the current deputy mayor for WCC) in a big way for one of the Waitakere Councillors.

    Seattle • Since Aug 2009 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Kyle - I agree - that's the other part of the law that says it can be less

    My point is that the law has 2 requirements - an absolute majority (in section 5B) and the STV what to do at the end of the counting process bit in the notes to programmers that you point to - both are valid, both are conditions that must be met for someone to be elected and as a result no one might be if enough people refuse to rank one or more of the candidates.

    It seems a deliberate piece of law, maybe to appease people who can't understand the how to program it section and the chances of them being different (and no one being elected) are low but not impossible

    So IMHO there is a reason to not rank the last candidate - you can effectively vote them out if enough people (50%) do it

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    If one is inclined to vote negatively on the STV portion of the ballot, is it better to rank every candidate, so the ones you _least__ like are positively placed last, or is it better to simply not put a number next to them at all?

    It is better to rank them all.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Elsewhere, I'm rather glad that I don't live in Papatoetoe.

    Voting papers went out last Friday, and 12 per cent of postal votes had been returned in the Papatoetoe subdivision of the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board yesterday.

    This is one of the highest figures in Auckland, where 8.8 per cent of ballot papers had been returned.

    Jatinderpal Singh, who lives at the Kindergarten Drive address, was surprised to hear that he was one of 48 voters registered at a Puhinui Rd address in Papatoetoe. He produced his voting papers to show he was now enrolled in Papakura.

    At an address in Station Rd, Takanini, Rajdip Kaur was shocked to find that she was one of 39 voters enrolled at a Pembroke St property in Papatoetoe. Her husband and mother-in-law live with her and were also listed as being at Pembroke St.

    Ms Kaur said her voting papers had not arrived and she was concerned that someone could re-enroll her at another address without her knowledge.

    She said a police officer had questioned her, but she did not have information that could help.

    Mr Gutry said police were making good progress - up to 40 officers are working on the inquiry - and hoped to wrap up matters before the postal election closed on October 9.

    Officers were still visiting addresses to check enrolments.

    Last week, 306 people were removed from the roll after the Electoral Enrolment Centre found they were not living at addresses given in Papatoetoe.

    As Idiot/Savant puts it, you just don't expect this kind of shit to happen in New Zealand.

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

  • Joe Wylie,

    As Idiot/Savant puts it, you just don't expect this kind of shit to happen in New Zealand.
    Maybe not, but it's more than a little reminiscent of the kind of Labour branch stacking, using members of the Pacific Island community to boost the numbers for certain candidates, that was all the go in Auckland a couple of decades ago.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    To be fair, Joe, I won't turn my fire on Labour until the Police investigation is over (and I hope charges are laid). And at least this time the Police aren't viewing investigating electoral law breeches as a "distraction from real crime".

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

  • Joe Wylie,

    I won't turn my fire on Labour . . .

    Assuming it's them then they may, given time, end up doing it for you. Of the two biggest beneficiaries of Labour Party branch stacking back in the day, one went on to lead the ACT Party, while the other supposedly had a major hand in producing Brash's Orewa speech.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And another one for the Cock Up Trumps Conspiracy (I Hope) File Shore Voice's outsourced campaign spam is causing problems:

    Police have started a second Super City electoral investigation, this time into allegations of bribery on the North Shore.

    The Shore Voice ticket, which includes five North Shore City councillors, is being investigated for allegedly asking voters to participate in a survey with a $15,000 prize draw.

    [...] Last night, there were conflicting interpretations between Shore Voice leader Chris Darby and the company providing email survey work for the ticket about entering voters into a $15,000 prize draw.

    Q Group head Kevin Francis said the company sent emails asking voters to register with Shore Voice.

    In the next sentence, the email invited voters to click on another information link to go into a draw for $15,000.

    "The act of doing that puts you in the draw," Mr Francis said.

    Mr Darby, a North Shore City councillor, said the political group had never thought of treating, bribery or inducements for voters.

    He said the survey copy seen and approved by the group did not include any financial inducements.

    I'm willing to put this down to incompetence rather than corruption, but it would be nice if Darby didn't blame a "smear campaign" for being caught out. If C&R were that damn careless, I wouldn't have any sympathy for them either.

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

  • Sacha,

    Doesn't say much that the company didn't know about treating either. #fail

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

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