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Boots Theory: Flag referendum 1

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, November 24th, 2015 - 35 comments
Categories: referendum - Tags: , ,

Originally posted at Boots Theory.

I’m a politics nerd, so of course I was excited to receive my voting papers in the mail for the first part of the flag referendum – despite strongly disagreeing with the way it’s been conducted, the fact it’s a smokescreen for the Key government’s third-term flailing, the bankruptcy of the “design process” and lack of genuine public debate, and of course what a gigantic waste of money all of the above entails.

On the other hand … boxes to fill in! Options to rank! I’m so easily pleased in some regards.

If you have serious questions about the voting process, Graeme Edgeler seems to have covered everything off over at Public Address. If you have uncovered the truth about the flag referendum and need to tell the world about DUE AUTHORITY, the TPPA, the constitutional importance of the Union Jack, or the two-year time limit which will allow John Key to personally change the flag without a further ballot if the number of formal votes exceeds the number of informal votes … please form an orderly queue to see Dr Dentith.

Having previously said I think the first referendum is essentially rigged in favour of John Key’s put-a-fern-on-it preference, I’m still going to rank the options I like and leave the ones I don’t. The received wisdom is we’re going to reject a flag change in the second referendum anyway (which would really show what a farce the whole process has been) but I want to do what I can to make sure our current flag is at least up against an alternative I like.

You, personally, get to decide what you want to do with your vote. Not voting is always an option.

The only thing I’ll say is that trying to “send a message” by not voting or spoiling your ballot is an uncertain game. Yes, a low turnout could say that we the people reject the process – or it could, and probably will, be spun as “we’re all pretty relaxed about the process.” High numbers of informal/spoiled votes could say that many of us think the process is corrupt – or it could, and probably will, be spun as “those weirdos on the Left who hate democracy” or “see, we told you preferential voting systems just confuse people, let’s try to resurrect FPP again!”

If you want to send a message, send that message. Sign a petition which clearly states your view, or write a letter to the editor, or take to the streets, or tweet it. We live in a world dominated by spin, marketing and short attention spans – we have to work extra hard to make sure our opinions are clearly stated and not open to mischievous misinterpretation for other people’s ends.

35 comments on “Boots Theory: Flag referendum 1 ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Voted 2, 3, 4, 5, 1 and sent it off yesterday.

  2. tinfoilhat 2

    I gave mine to one of my grandsons to choose.

    • The lost sheep 2.2

      My Wife and I gave ours to our kids as well.

      I’ve really picked up on their feeling that the current flag “just says that we come from England and are really similar to Australia”.
      None of the current flags seem to inspire them particularly, but what they seem most concerned about is that there is some change to something more unique to Aotearoa.
      They report this is largely the feeling among their peers.

      Maybe we should have had everyone 12+ voting?

  3. maui 3

    Still think if the informal/inappropriate votes get more votes than the some of the flag options then it sends a message that spin can’t really cover up.

  4. madtom 4

    I can’t agree. Your advice seems self-contradictory. To best impair this illegitimate flag-switcheroo requires active opposition, not just the mild cooperation of picking your favourite bad-choice flag this time and hoping for the best.

    One piece of good online advice was to vote in *reverse* order of preference, so as to diminish the chances of seeing a more popular choice on the second ballot. This could reduce the odds of a flag change on that second vote.

    Better is Winston Peters’ advice to send in “informal” ballots clearly marked “KOF” or “Keep Our Flag”, which indicates participation in the voting process and opposition to it, rather than lazy or uncaring failure to vote. He suggests that a high enough proportion of such ballots could mean no second referendum. Winston being an old pro in politics, I took his advice.

    I’ve seen my native USA damaged horribly in my 70 years by too many votes for the lesser evil, and I’m trying to avoid that here when there is the slightest chance to.

    • I said:

      You, personally, get to decide what you want to do with your vote. Not voting is always an option.

      You may need to read the post again before painting my decision as “mildly cooperating” and “hoping for the best”.

  5. Anno1701 5

    Black Nail polish !

    closet goth ?

    • Would you believe I try to fight against the Wellington trend of wearing all black? Except on my nails!

      • Rosie 5.1.1

        That lovely shade looks more a deep rich plum. Absolutely lush! 🙂

        Besides, in the darkness stakes, nothing is blacker than my 1980’s gothic soul…………

        As for ref 1, my 2 cents and a response to your boots theory post before it was put it up here are over on open mike. Part of the discussion:

        Open mike 24/11/2015

  6. weka 6

    Anyone know the cutoff date for voting? I haven’t cleared my mail in a while.

  7. Once was Tim 7

    How about a single “5” for the least worst option – it seems to obey all the rules (maybe)?

  8. NZSage 8

    They can spin it all they like, I will be sending a message via my voting papers and it wont be supporting this absurd and dishonest referendum.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Nope, still don’t like any of them. Thus the voting shall be 6-6-6

  10. DS 10

    I’ve cut out the brochure into paper dancing men.

    (Apart from that, I’ve voted for Red Peak as the least obnoxious, and Hypnoflag because it’s funny. I wrote “John Key is a wanker” on the back – figuring that since my intent is still clear I haven’t spoiled the ballot).

  11. b waghorn 11

    Had planned to got the red blue Lockwood vote but red pack one in the end ,its just more of a flag style and if it doesn’t win this pole I’ll probably vote no change.
    Interestingly her in doors opened hers and choose keys fav after 2 mins thinking .

  12. Rawsharkosaurus 12

    Hypnoflag for troll value and Red Peak for originality. The whole process has been comprehensively sabotaged by the politicians anyway (that chicken is so strapped that you can hardly see the feathers for the gaffer tape) so I may as well get some comedy out of it.

  13. sabine 13

    No flag no country
    that’s a rule i just made up.

    It’s hard to be a puppet, so many strings attached (but you can’t cut loose), that’s just how you were hatched…….

  14. Gabby 14

    1 for hypnoflag. Nothing for anything else. At least it’ll cancel a lockjaw, and won’t get transferred.

  15. Dav 15

    Nice to see a post about not sabotaging a referendum.

    I was in two minds about voting in this referendum (since will vote to keep flag).
    But might as have reasonable option. Pretty sure the existing flag will stay, so way I see it the people in very hard opposition are too small a minority, so any vote spoiling or reverse ordering just means they miss out, bit if a silent and invisible protest really.

  16. Neil 16

    Got mine today, ticked all the boxes & wrote on the bottom “Keep our current flag, Change the PM”

  17. Tautuhi 17

    No verification that you are actually the person that filled out the document used mine for toilet paper.

  18. Venezia 18

    Two voting papers posted from this house – both with crosses for all options and “Keep the current flag”. The Winston option.

  19. Instauration 19

    Just like LP has posited earlier;

    On the flag – lets not have one


    “We” don’t need a flag.
    Is just a symbol of simple thinking – a “gang patch”

    Where can I vote for “Glad Wrap” as a flag ?

  20. Instauration 20

    I see some Cars and fewer Properties fly;

    Black and silver and fern of variant proportions
    Red and blue and fern of variant proportions
    Red and blue and/or black trad star stuff of variant proportions
    Peaks and stuff
    Trad stuff
    Koru stuff
    And posters fly equivalence

    But MOST fly nothing !

    Listen to the Void – this is what “We” assert.

  21. rod 21

    The 65% of voters who want to keep the present flag should, imo, All vote for the least preferred flag in the first ballot, the KORU. this ensures the Koru wins. Then next year in the second ballot the 65% all vote for the flag they all really want, the present one. Its not rocket science folks, It’s a win-win strategy, a fait accompli, and it’s straight from the Epsom voters manual. Personally, I like the Red Peak.

    • tracey 21.1

      I don’t like the present flag. I have voted for Red Peak as being the one I consider best encompasses ALL NZers

    • Phil 21.2

      Yeah, there’s definitely room to game the system.

      If you want to keep the current flag in Ref#2, the best way to make it happen is to vote in Ref#1 for the publicly least liked of the listed options. I get the feeling the least liked options are black-and-white-fern and monkey-butt.

  22. Gary the newbie 22

    Given that the Flag consideration committee was made up of National Party cronies and in light of our apples already packed and stickered with the PM’s option ,
    I personally think the whole process is just a ‘going through the motions” exercise
    for a decision that already been made.
    1. Who counts all those voting papers?
    2. Are there Independent scrutineers ?
    3. Why is there a QR code on the paper?
    4. What’s in that QR Code? Could it one choice only?

  23. Doogs 23

    Voted the other day 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, and that’s being generous. Sent it off. Small piece of civil disobedience will do no harm considering the damage has already been done to the sanctity of the democratic voting system by the Nacties.

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