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I’m off to vote today

Written By: - Date published: 1:22 pm, September 11th, 2017 - 75 comments
Categories: climate change, democratic participation, election 2017, elections, electoral commission, ETS, global warming, greens, labour, national, nz first, Politics, same old national, science - Tags: , ,

Voting has opened for advance votes and the expectation is that it will be pretty heavy prior to polling day over the next couple of weeks.

Advance voting begins today, and the chief electoral officer Alicia Wright said there would be more places to cast an early ballot than ever before.

The commission has made 485 advance voting booths available, up from 295 in 2014, and booths are now available in shopping malls and the international departure lounges at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports.

Ms Wright said more people than ever were expected to cast an early vote.

“We’re providing a better service than we ever have. What we’ve seen in the 2014 election was that it had doubled – it had gone from 15 percent 2011 to 30 percent in 2014.

“We’re anticipating that it is going to be up to 50 percent this election.”

I’ll be one of them. You can find out where and when on this page. Just tell it what electorate you are in and it will present you with the list of candidates and the location of the advance and election day voting places.

In my case being at the edge of the Mt Albert electorate (the other side of Newton Road is Auckland Central), I really only have one choice of candidate – the “ARDERN, Jacinda” immediately attracts my attention and I ignore the rest.

Best new candidate out of ‘my’ electorate since I (unfortunately) voted against CLARK, Helen in 1981 in favour of one of my ex-teachers at Mt Albert Grammar. While I am still living that down as a mistaken assessment of character, I have always tried to pick the person I think will be best candidate for my electorate and who could win it. I’m afraid that in my view voting for electoral forlorn hopes are just a waste of time.

But that is after all why we collectively put in MMP. We also get the more important party vote that actually determines which parties can coalesce to form a government.

Of course in my first election in 1978 I’d deliberately voted for the Values party candidate in Hamilton East. Pretty much as my first and last protest vote.

None of the other candidates had bothered to show up on campus when I was around. He’d made sense to someone doing a Earth Sciences degree with their focus on effects of increasing population on resources of a finite planet, and that the major parties will just flounce around playing lip service to doing anything about it.

Well he (whoever he was) was right. It is now nearly 40 years later and the major parties are still being ineffectual short-sighted fools. What was then a speculative theory about the effects of human generated greenhouse gases has flowered into being by far, the most effective predictor of the real world data being collected by an increasingly larger, denser, and more sophisticated world wide network.

National as usual are being supremely good at that particular folly of humans – having the ability to see into the future, and instead preferring stick their head in the arse to deny it. You really only have to look at their track record of doing nothing good for anyone apart from their donors over the last 9 years. That they got dragged kicking and screaming into doing anything that was useful has always been a result of extreme political pressure from outside that even they couldn’t ignore in a pig-headed and ignorant fashion or having to panic bribe voters as they are having such joy in doing this election.

Despite volunteering and donating for Labour for most of the last 35 years simply because Labour are better at longer term thinking than National (frankly it’d be hard to be worse) – their MPs really aren’t particularly better.  If they were, then we’d see their efforts when in government in serious longer-term issues like our greenhouse gas emissions or waterways or public transport actually getting some results despite the overt sabotage by the idiots in National. We don’t and we consistently don’t.

Instead we see half-arsed attempts to get around their party and their member’s clear intent. That was why I didn’t vote for them in 2014 after the stupidity that they displayed at the 2012 conference, and part of the reason that I’m not voting for them today.

Sure Jacinda Arden is doing well in the headline position. But that could have so easily been a disaster. But I suspect that the decisions of the senior MPs who forced that decision to step down be made by Andrew Little were motivated more in avoiding the party involvement in a post-election leadership decision than in any real concern for the interests of the party.

But that is more of symptom than a real issue. The real issue for me is that Labour have been increasingly failing at their job of implementing policy for the long-term things that National refuses to consider. For instance, while they they did considerable work on faltering and governance infrastructure of New Zealand’s main urban centre, it clearly wasn’t enough. As importantly they left all of the really crucial decisions to way too late. The royal commission on Auckland governance reported in time for National to completely distort and mutate its recommendations into something that was unworkable in the medium term. The regional fuel tax that was to have funded much of the development was removed by National and not replaced.

These were foreseeable consequences of being succeeded by the simpletons of National MPs in government. The lessons should be obvious. After winning government, don’t bask on your victory or quarrel over what to do. Start the long-term changes required in 6 or 9 or 20 years first. Do the minor stuff as you have time.

Looking back into the differences on political intent vs reality, you only have to look at the difference between the Greens and Labour on greenhouse gas emissions. The Greens have been calling for straight-forward tax for decades. Labour caught in cleft between its market orientated MPs and its obligations under the Kyoto agreement dithered around for most of their 9 years being lobbied and gradually watering down from something that might have worked to something that didn’t.

What we got was accurately analysed by Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn this morning as being effectively useless and ineffective.

The problem with the ETS is that while its perfect in theory, its absolutely ineffective in practice. Labour weakened it with subsidies, National weakened it further, and meanwhile international trading flooded the market with fraudulent “credits” that had no environmental value at all. This crashed the price, providing no incentive for anyone to reduce emissions. The Greens’ plan would replace all that with a simple tax regime, with the revenue recycled into emissions reductions and a universal payment to every adult New Zealander. Forest-owners would get a fixed payment, rather than the present credit scheme. While unstated, I expect that the proposed independent climate change commission would recommend tax increases to reduce emissions over time.

In theory, this is equivalent to an ETS. In practice, it is likely to be easier to administer and more effective. There will be transition costs – the ETS will take some time to unwind. So its really a way of putting pressure on pro-ETS parties to fix the fucking thing: bring in agriculture, stop subsidising pollution, strangle credit supply to hike the price, so that it works as it should. Otherwise we’re just shuffling paper around as a substitute for action.

Now here is the thing. The intent of something like ETS is to force a gradual change in economic behaviour. In this case to add at least part of the cost to the emission of greenhouse gases by the producer directly to them. This is to ameliorate their current behaviour of dumping the cost to everyone else in the future in a classic tragedy of the commons manner. Essentially the farmers and other large emitters are metaphorically and physically crapping, peeing, and farting into our atmosphere and waterways and expecting everyone else present and future to pay for them. And we’ll pay for next few thousand years in the costs of unsettled climate and poisoned waters.

But something like the ETS simply isn’t going to work in anything other than economist wet dreams. It provides so many ways for the invisible hand of the market and politics to rort because of its very complexity. It carries vast overhead costs to administer because of its complexity.

The issue that Metiria Turei raised is like this as well. We now have a punitive and ineffective welfare system that costs a hell of a lot to run (I estimate that more than 40% of the money for programs like unemployment or DP benefit never reaches those needing it), and appears to be designed as a torture system for anyone entering it.

Now this isn’t particularly my personal experience, I only looked at it once in the midst of the GFC and ignored it as being useless immediately. I have an MBA, writing a CV isn’t a problem, and I don’t need to waste hours demonstrating that their instructor doesn’t know how to write one. But it is the experience of literally hundreds of people that I have run across over the decades who do have to put up with the simple minded stupidity of the system.

Frankly the best thing that could be done with the current would be fire most of the WINZ staff, put it on the web or consoles, and to make it operate like superannuation does – with an average 2-3% loss rate and a entitlement based on very simple criteria. It’d be way cheaper and you deal with cheats by simple investigation and criminal charges.

I can’t see Labour even thinking effectively about these kinds of things. So I will be party voting Green again this year and hoping for a Labour/Green government. Ideally with cross bench support and places in the cabinet for NZ First irrespective of if they are needed for the votes or not. I think that NZ First will feel more secure in a position where they can both be opposition and government at the same time. They will push for their changes more effectively that way. Maybe the Greens should consider it as well.

But we need a governing coalition that can achieve a long term governing across several electoral cycles. Because that is what we need to fix our accumulated long-term issues that National avoids dealing with and to prepare for the challenges of the future.

75 comments on “I’m off to vote today”

  1. blue 1

    I was going to wait until election day but I couldn’t so I cast an early vote today. I’ve been a Labour/Green voter for years but I’m strictly green this time. It’s about time we all realise that the Earth can do without us but we can’t do without it. And as for the Blue team, harpic blue that is. Surf’s Up!

    • DSpare 1.1

      blue
      Where are you in that you believe that electorate voting Green has any chance of success? I suppose Wellington Central has a decent enough chance of having the party vote won by the GP. But last time even though they beat Labour there (though both less than National), Robertson held the seat easily.

      In Dunedin North I’m voting Green Party, but Labour Electorate. Clark has been solid on health, and though he’s not my favorite politician is a lot better than Woodhouse. Even National Party voters in this electorate agree on that; where the Nats barely won the party vote in 2014 (by 155 over Labour, though with 8035 GP party votes), but lost the electorate by nearly six thousand (and Woodhouse got nine hundred less votes than National).

      • blue 1.1.1

        DSpare
        I’m in New Lynn. I didn’t vote for the perceived best chance but I voted for someone whom I believed in. A candidate who has strength, intelligence and openness and is a representative part of this community. Unlike the honorary consul for the Philippines. The Labour candidate is good too but I personally felt more impressed by the Green candidate.

        • DSpare 1.1.1.1

          Well at 30 on the Labour list, Russell is likely to become an MP anyway. Tamu is a bit unlikely at 17 on the GP list – good luck to her in the electorate.

  2. Matiri 2

    I’ve voted – party vote Green, electorate vote Damien O’Connor – Labour. He is a good electorate MP.

    • alwyn 2.1

      You have quite amazing foresight.
      How can he possibly fit the description of “He IS a good electorate MP”
      He might become one, if he wins, but he can’t possibly be one yet, can he?.

      • Tracey 2.1.1

        Hasnt he been one in the past alwyn?

      • Craig H 2.1.2

        Damien is currently an electorate MP – are you mistaking Damien O’Connor for Greg O’Connor?

        • alwyn 2.1.2.1

          I’m sorry.
          Yes, I did confuse him with Greg. My bad.
          As a Wellingtonian I tend to think Greg when I see the name O’Connor.
          Please accept my apologies for the slur on Matiri’s intelligence.

          • Matiri 2.1.2.1.1

            Damien O’Connor has been an electorate MP for a long time – 1993, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, (2011 narrowly lost to Chris Auchinvole Nat), re-elected 2014.

  3. Ad 4

    They will need your vote to get back.

    I’m happy with Labour’s all-gases ETS.
    In reality the Greens are not going to be in a place to get any different system. So no advantage there at all.

    Complaining about Labour changing its leader, then voting Green when they did far worse and fucked it up – simply shows you’re not judging the character of the leaders or the team correctly.

    Your point about social welfare culture is fair. But again, the Greens won’t be in a position to do anything there. If they had performed better, when government beckoned for the first time in 9 years…….. So goes counterfactual history.

    No matter the narrowness if your reasoning, they will need your vote to have any say at all.

    • lprent 4.1

      …when they did far worse and fucked it up…

      Huh? If you are in an environment where WINZ staff are actively encouraged and incentivised to ensure that you don’t get the benefits you are entitled to (something that has been going on since at least 1983 when I first became aware of) means that you can’t do the same.

      Fuck off you pious toerag. If WINZ defined cheating as being the standard then they define it both ways.

      You sound just like a classic unthinking stupid tory – one who didn’t bother to read the post.

      Quite simply the prospect of being in government isn’t a reason to drop your intellect down to idiot level or to become craven arseholes without principles that you are willing to stand for.

      However these appear to be your touchstones – you should stand for being an MP

    • tracey 4.2

      Wow Ad. Just wow.

  4. Allan 5

    Yep, after a lifetime voting Labour (except Values in 1975), I’m party voting Green for the same reasons you mention. Labour will do well enough anyway so the priority has to be ensuring a strong Green voice.

  5. Poission 6

    Essentially the farmers and other large emitters are metaphorically and physically crapping, peeing, and farting into our atmosphere and waterways and expecting everyone else present and future to pay for them.

    Nice walk was it?

    Inner city Auckland cells(measurements stations ) have a co2 loading of around 20kg co2m^2 as opposed to around -1to -1.85 co2m^2 in the spring farm growth in the SI.

    at present without gas generation AK would shut down.

    https://www.transpower.co.nz/power-system-live-data

    • lprent 6.1

      Sewerage? You lack context.

      The biggest single bill that I pay outside of a mortage and food is for sewerage treatment. It is almost twice my fresh water costs and vastly exceeds my power requirements.

      I know that a large part of the treatment currently goes to methane treatment. Even more goes into making sure that my waste water doesn’t get into the waterways.

      Perhaps we should apply exactly the same standard of costs and treatments to farmers eh?

      It’d be more useful than making daft and illiterate comments that ignore existing treatment.

      • Poission 6.1.1

        2030 is the expected goal of separated sewer and storm water in ak ?

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11784545

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          Completion yes. But it has already been going on for more than 30 years. Depends where you are. Where I am, they did virtually all of it before I moved in here in 1998

          However the problem is that with increased population, especially into the central city, comes more crap and overflows. Normally this is work that would have just kept going on. But because we have had idiots in Central Government who have no frigging idea about how to operate a largish city, they keep screwing up the process.

          Mike Lee has a good description of the history.

          The problem first became apparent in the early 1970s. In the late 1980s Auckland City Council began to separate the sewer and stormwater pipes. In early 2008 a bold announcement from Council-owned Metrowater claimed the job would cost $50 million and be completed by 2011. Instead by 2010 separation of wastewater and stormwater had been quietly put on the back-burner. Critical momentum was lost when the government decided that the top priority for Auckland was a ‘Super City’. Then the focus turned to a ‘Central Interceptor’ which was originally proposed to convey both sewage and stormwater directly south via a 13 km tunnel to the Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant. In 2012 it was planned that work would begin this year and take 10 years to complete. Now the start date has been put back once again to 2019. The Central Interceptor is estimated to cost about one billion dollars and that’s just the start. Ironically the cost of Super City amalgamation, notably the $1.2 billion that the Council paid for a new (still not working properly) IT system, could have easily paid for the Central Interceptor. All that time, 2.2 million cubic metres per year of diluted sewage has been washing into urban streams and the inner harbour and the problem is getting worse.

          This sorry story I guess could be categorised under the heading ‘Sins of Omission’. Now we come to the Sins of Commission. A key objective of the Super City amalgamation, the Unitary Plan, is a major deregulation of town planning rules, designed to drive urban growth and intensification, while decoupling this development from its infrastructural and environmental consequences. Like the Super City itself the Unitary Plan was largely government-imposed. And not bothering to wait even for the Unitary Plan, in 2012 Housing Minister Nick Smith pushed through legislation to enable fast-tracked intensified Special Housing Areas (SHA), suspending the normal RMA notification processes.

          Like most Aucklanders I had assumed that sewerage problems were being taken care of by the experts. I was drawn into this issue almost indirectly by the Kelmarna Avenue SHA and investigations that I made with Watercare about it. When I raised the question of the extra sewage pollution in a letter to Housing Minister Nick Smith, who also happens to be the Minister for the Environment, in April last year, he appeared on TV, red-faced with anger, to personally attack me.

          And so on. Good description of the problems of focusing on growth and not focusing on what is required to allow it to continue to happen. But here is the critical point. We are still paying for all of these developments now in our sewerage bills. The problem is that the money is in effect being siphoned off into paying for Nick Smith and the governments migration policies and the work is slow.

          I would point out that Nick Smith goes beyond idiot, and could easily be described as being a incompetent sabotaging fuckwit who really shouldn’t be a government minister and probably needs to be separated from society..

          But until we reduce the amount of stupidity from Wellington, Auckland will carry on running behind on infrastructure.

          • Poission 6.1.1.1.1

            My understanding was that the population growth is also exceeding existing capacity of pump stations etc in the high upbuild areas for both SW and sewage.

            The Ak response is more parades,new stadiums and light rail to the airport.,

            • Poission 6.1.1.1.1.1

              PS the real reason for the supercity is that it makes the lobbyists job easier and cheaper.

            • lprent 6.1.1.1.1.2

              As a direct consequence of central government being a pack of arseholes who aren’t prepared to pay for what they force upon us.

              The problem is that with more than 200 thousand people added to the city in the last 5-6 years from central government’s policy and those idiots not wanting to pay for it for their insanity, the amount of money to pay for improvements is limited.

              You’ll notice that neither new stadiums nor light rail to the airport have been actually built? And that they are just proposals – ones that have to get paid for outside of rates because ratepayers aren’t interested in paying for either of them.

              Personally I think that Eden park should be razed to the ground and not replaced. I am like anyone who used to live close to it. I am not interested in subsidising the accommodation industry. I’d treat anything the increases congestion in the city in the same manner. They are just distractions from what Auckland does best – exporting.

              If people want parades, then they should be done in downtown Wellington. A much better location.

              The Auckland response is to ask Wellington to stop interfering and to piss off out of Auckland. Let us tax ourselves and the operations here so we can build the infrastructure we need. We can start by making property developers pay the upfront costs of their infrastructure like sewerage levies. Let Wellington concentrate on what they haven’t been doing for some time – namely containing inwards migration to a sustainable level.

              But you haven’t answered my point. Why can’t farmers pay for their crap like we have to? Why should we subsidise the freeloading shit droppers?

              • greywarshark

                lprent
                Aren’t you bad mouthing Wellington as a whole? Auckland as a whole is affected by the machinations of one boil-on the-bum building sitting on Wellington’s flanks. It is a world of its own really, and has superior offices let out on three year terms – building used to be named Planet Key. Now it’s just been culled down to Plan-It, which everyone thinks is a more than adequate name for the place.

                Hopefully it will end up living up to its name. Wellington city has its own concerns when the Plan-It building and denizens cause more problems than they provide solutions.

                • Mrs Brillo

                  Just a reminder to those that blame “Wellington” for government decisions, that NINE (9) of the 20 ministers in cabinet are from Auckland, and only ONE (1), Finlayson, is from Wellington.

                  In addition, the National ministers Upston and Adams are Aucklanders, though sitting in other seats (Taupo and Chch respectively).

                  Find another city to blame for your woes.

                • lprent

                  Not really. Wellington is Ok on those brilliant few clear day when there is no breeze and they haven’t imported their weather from Foveaux Straits.

                  I could say the Beehive, but half of the time these days I mean the silliness coming out of MOBY (trademarked as Joyceville), NZTA, MoH, DIA, MSD or others. I am aware of a few offices of things like MoBIE in Auckland, but they don’t seem to have any input to the ignorant daftness that passes for ‘policy’ related to Auckland infrastructure.

                  As much as I sometimes dislike our council and their staffs, they are orders of magnitude more competent at running policy for this place than whoever seems to be trying to sabotage it in Wellington.

                  • Mrs Brillo

                    What’s weather got to do with this topic? That’s just demonstrating your irrational prejudice against another city.

                    Government agencies provide what the ministers want, and if they don’t they are overruled. God knows that point has been made on this website often enough. Auckland has appointed itself enough ministers in cabinet to get any result they want. And they do.

                    If it’s not the result you want, make sure your Labour or Green candidate is fully aware of your alternative suggestions. Grizzling here about “Wellington” is only alienating people.

                    • lprent

                      I have irrational judgements against a lot of other cities (including my own).

                      After having been blown all over Wellington Harbour in everything from Fokker Friendships to International flights, even the most crazed person would have to admit that Wellington gets more than its share of wind. Of course getting in one of those lovely villas on the hills where the static pressure exerted on the walls is sufficient to drive a freezing compressed air blast through those walls tends to confirm that view.

                      Frankly I couldn’t give a rats fart about your ignorant and unrealistic view. That you consider that government agencies have been so cowed that is what they now do merely shows your inability to deal with either history or reality. It is something that has only really become a problem over the last few decades. We don’t elect MPs because of their competence to operate organisations – they are untrained and almost invariably incompetent to do so.

                      Moreover they seldom are in any organisation to act on its required timeline. Consider for instance that it’d be hard to find a minister of transport that has ever been there both when a major transport project started and finished.

                      We elect them to provide a public viewpoint into the organisations that they are nominally responsible for keeping an eye on.

                    • Mrs Brillo

                      I’m replying to my own post because for some reason there was no reply tag under yours.

                      For your information, LPrent, I have been a consultant to more than a dozen government departments in the last three decades, and have had a close up view of how policy is formed and regulations written… and the political processes that change them.

                      So less of the “ignorant and unrealistic” accusation, sport.

                      And to think about once a year you have a ritual shirt-rending on The Standard wondering why you don’t get more women contributing here. As I’m about to abandon this website to the nutters and the drunks, I’m hoping you might glimpse some of the reason why women might decide they have better things to do with their time.

    • cleangreen 6.2

      Hey Poission,

      Do you like breathing in all that tyre dust you receive every minute and hour of every day????

      Yes tyre dust do you know anything about it?

      Well you must drive a four wheeled car right?

      Every time you do then know that you shed 0.1 mg per km every time you drive, and if you are in the traffic or unluckily live within 35 km of a busy road with 20 000 cars travelling on it every day guess how much tyre dust is shredded off for every km?

      Yes you are right 9kgs per km and you will breathe all that poisonous substance all for free!!!!

      Yes, all those PAH’s will really get you high, as the tyre is made from toxic ingredients in 1,3, butadiene & styrene are so dangerous that you may contract cancer or nervous system damage or reproductive damage (NIOSH/OSHA referenced) but never mind all of us are breathing in this stuff also.

      http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/07/31/3554997.htm

  6. DoublePlusGood 7

    Why ignore the rest? Julie Anne Genter is a superior candidate to Jacinda Ardern. I’d love to have Genter as the next transport minister.

    I’ll be voting some time in the next few days for Green and James Shaw. Hope against hope he can wipe the smirk of Grant Robertson’s face.

    • lprent 7.1

      Because she can’t win my Mt Albert. I spent more than 20 years helping to make damn sure that noone else has a real show of changing that.

      • Matiri 7.1.1

        Genter is number 3 on the Greens list so if they get back into Parliament you will get both – hopefully in a new government!

    • Reality 7.2

      Ironic therefore that it is Jacinda’s talents which have given Greens their best chance ever of being in government. Hope they remember that, given they were in disarray not too long ago.

      • Muttonbird 7.2.1

        Agree. Not sure you’ll get much love for the idea here though. 🙂

        • Reality 7.2.1.1

          Muttonbird, well aware of that! But if Jacinda has to enjoy a single malt with Winston if voting goes that way, so be it. I like James Shaw though, he is what I would call a moderate Green. So be it also, if voting goes that way.

          But I hope all parties in opposition remain very aware of what Jacinda has achieved in six weeks. Absolutely remarkable.

      • greywarshark 7.2.2

        The last phrase could apply to either Party. So your comment just reflects the short memory many voters have. Turbulence in everything is the way things are now and both Labour and Greens have experienced it.

        It’s hard work gathering voters into the kete, trying to pry loose the comfortable middle class clinging to their rock of apparent normality and security. Then there are those totally programmed to their familiar path, the scuttling sideways crabs trying to get back into the National crack they hide in. They can never move forward.

      • tracey 7.2.3

        LOL@ disarray.

      • tracey 7.2.4

        If they fall at her feet and kiss her ring, will you be happy? Any idea that the Greens would;

        A. Try to be the tail that wags the dogs; or be
        B. Dismissive of Ardern

        Is uninformed about how the Greens operate. They wont, for example, if part of a govt, say to Labour ” na na na na na you cant rule without us.

  7. SpaceMonkey 8

    Good stuff! Voted at lunchtime today… party vote GREEN!

  8. Glenn 9

    I took my 94 year old mother to vote this morning (even though she bats for the other team).
    Started to think about locking her in the wardrobe until the 24th the other day but democracy doesn’t work that way so I did the decent thing and took her to vote then promptly cancelled her vote out with my vote..

    She told me that she wouldn’t be around next election and I reminded her that she has said that every election for the last 12 years.

    Voted early last election on the first day and the polling booth was very quiet, this year it was the opposite with people waiting for their turn.

    Voted Labour/Labour as I reckon the Greens will do well with the overseas votes and those voting strategically. When Andrew Little was leader I was disenchanted and I honestly thought about voting for Winston. A months a long time in politics.

    .

  9. Jeremy 10

    Who’d you vote for in ’81?

  10. tracey 11

    Voted today. Party vote Green. Electorate vote Labour. I live in Selwyn.

  11. frankie and benjy 12

    Done.
    My daughter who is not quite old enough to vote, couldn’t believe how quick it was.
    Same as usual.
    Thanks for the link for where and when.

    • tracey 12.1

      What a shame we dont have kids booths so they can practice

      • greywarshark 12.1.1

        tracey
        Now that’s a great idea. Kids get to vote for something they can understand, say three options which will be clear and carried out within months of the election. Good to initiate especially now while we have things changing so fast that will affect the young ones. They could understand and make their mark. We are already enabling toddlers to use little machines of intricacy that vastly affect their lives before they are old enough to comprehend just how much, but never too young to suffer from their effect.

        And there would be balloons in all the colours of the parties for fun and colour The children could vote for real things to be funded by the government – a street party and art show with prizes on Waitangi Day, a weekend at an outdoor camp with one parent or caregiver, or a ticket to a NZ film show like The Wilder People.

        At present there is so much control over not showing any enticement to vote that a lot of things that could be done are banned. Giving out coloured balloons with all the Parties vying to give out their own colours, and have soap boxes where they talk or sing about what they stand for, or act out little scenarios like a Punch and Judy show. These would be nearby the voting booth but not so close that people milling around with balloons, and coloured ice cream didn’t disrupt the serious stuff. This would be a revolution in how we conducted election day and would create interest and excitement.

        Interest and excitement at every election. Wouldn’t that be good and then the votes and involvement would remove the apathy that has left us now with the heightened feelings of anxiety as we try to claw ourselves up to a better political service and out from the pothole we are in.

        We have a complacent lump of older people (I am one) who now might spend a third of their lives being as dependent as children on parents, but we are dependent on the state and there is no compunction on us to put anything back into society to assist in its running and its economic value to all. We are not getting behind our country, and the young, and not ensuring a good future for all people here now, and the children who will be the future voters if they can see any purpose to it.

        So let’s get kids involved. There was an experiment in democracy at my school when there were elections for representatives who would be involved in running the school for a week. We could ask for things that we thought would be good for the pupils and generally encouraged to think about how to have a good school. Asking didn’t mean getting, but the Headmaster talked to us and explained what could be done and what wasn’t possible.

        The present political system in NZ encourages adult people to be PC but not have any real thought or input as it’s not ‘our’ country any more, we are just consumers of it. And the complaints counter is down a back alley and often closed for repairs, or you swore once and they won’t let sad potty mouth like you in! Or you have to phone up on your cellphone which needs a charge but you have lost the charger, and needs money input but you haven’t got enough cash to get back in credit or even use the phonebox if one near you works, and you know that the gummint has a sly message – “Your call is important to us. Please hold the line until it is no longer important to you.”

    • lprent 12.2

      No problem. I’ll have to repeat it several times between now and the election 🙂

  12. greg 13

    peters demand of Jacinda proves he will go national the greens must get in. peters must not be allowed to be the king maker.

    • Carolyn_nth 13.1

      I think it’s probably the middle and upper class perty owners who want to know more about Labour’s tax details – the “what’s-in-it-for-me brigade.

      I wish more people were as concerned about party policies for low income people and beneficiaries.

  13. greg 14

    peters can not be trusted to remove nact from power

  14. Liberal Realist 15

    Has anyone not received their voting card in the mail yet? My wife and I are yet to receive ours? We received our enrollment confirmation letters promptly 6 or so weeks back.

    Planning on calling the electoral commission to query, however curious to see if anyone else hasn’t received theirs yet?

    elections.org.nz says:
    “You’ll only get an EasyVote pack if you’re fully enrolled about a month before election day. Why wait?”

    I’m a little concerned that ours have gone amiss. Although I know we can vote without the card, guess that’s what we’ll have to do if the cards aren’t received in time.

    From:
    http://www.elections.org.nz/voters/voting-election/easyvote-cards-make-it-easy

  15. the pigman 16

    Lprent — aren’t you tempted to delay casting your vote?

    I’m a Labour man intending to PV greens but, if they end up polling low 4s in the last set of polls before election day, why throw away your only vote that counts?

    (This question is asked in good faith.)

    • lprent 16.1

      It is the usual game theory issue.

      1. I don’t think that Labour has a shit show of getting 61 MPs on their own. It has never happened for any party under MMP.

      2. There are a significiant proportion of what I’d consider to be behavioural conservatives inside the Labour caucus who would tend towards far too much caution when it comes to dealing with issues that need to dealt with early rather than later. These come in the form of the professional politicians who haven’t ever had to really deal with a working reality, and then just the ones who have have the religious fetishes about the values of markets without understanding their limitations.

      3. If you look at the how the 5th Labour government operated, those same groups were (in my view) the primary reason why some of the issues that should have been dealt with early didn’t get dealt with in a reasonable time frame. I have alluded to some of them in the post. Ones that still have to be dealt with 18 years later. Both groups fold when there is any significiant political opposition.

      4. The only other likely coalition parts are both highly conservative. It is almost the defining characteristic of both NZ First and the Maori party (or as I describe it – the Iwi corporate party). Neither are really interested in change, except to benefit their constituency. Call them National party without the economic liberal wings.

      5. The Greens are the only party likely to get into government who are raising the kinds of issues that actually need to be dealt with and are likely to induce enough change to avoid some of the issues I see that are going to come and bug my great nephews and nieces.

      6. That is MMP – you vote for what you think will be most effective at furthering your objectives. I have over the last decade kind of given up on politics as being a game played by fools too scared of looking towards the future and resigned myself to being a thorn in everyone’s paw. It was a pleasant surprise to have Turei actually raise an issue that has needed looking at for decades

      I’d point out that I am myself a ‘neo-liberal’ when it comes to anything to do within the business planning time horizon. But business planning is something that considers 5 years to be a long term plan. Raising kids takes 20 years. Raising infrastructure to handle a city that doubles in size in less than a generation is too much for any business style operation as well.

      Business time horizons are usually too short to deal with even minor shifts in operations like sewerage, water, transport, power or even data systems properly, well and in advance of desperate need.

      In the absence of sufficient regulation and control, they always wind up operating like Toll did with the rail or that the power companies have been doing with the power generation and grid. They usually milk the profits for shot-term returns and don’t spend enough building the capacities for future demand. In fact they are pretty well required to do so under laws governing directors. That is why we don’t have any substantive capacity in our electrical grid to cope with even moderate demand for EVs.

      SOEs effectively operate the same way. That is why they keep failing to deal with changes and fail to maintain the infrastructure they are designated to sustain. Their shareholder in the treasurer tends to suck cash out to boost his books.

      For me, I suspect that having the Greens in the government means that I’ll have a higher probability of spending less time acting as the government’s critic, and more time explaining the underlying rationale for an effective future proofing of our society against the winds of change. They have been acting more and more like that kind of party over the last decade especially since they have been getting more and more competent at providing ideas to the other parties that lack the ability to generate their own.

      So for me the decision to vote early for the Greens was easy. What other choice was there? A government of short-sighted fools led by National. A government of thinkers limited by conservatives scared of their own political shadows. Or a government that adds in more long-term thinkers into the mix that is more likely to at least try to generate long-term solutions.

    • tracey 16.2

      It is that thinking tbat will drop greens below 5. Vote for them and await the outcome. Trying to double bluff or other on your vote will drive u mad. Imo.

  16. capn insan0 17

    I’m wondering if there are any reliable strategic voting guides this time around. I had a look and didn’t see anything that wasn’t a media site.
    This time around for Howick-Pakuranga it seems Williamson is finally going to fuck off [and only to move to a different role] so they have this greasy snot-nosed young natz contesting the spot. I have a Labour candidate and, this time, a green, NZ first and Maori Party candidate to choose from. So far I’m thinking Labour candidate and Green party vote.
    Last time was ridiculous; Other than Williamson there was the same Labour candidate, the Act head-arsehole and a Conservative Party candidate.

  17. Tom Barker 18

    Done – at my local public library. A small, good-natured crowd waiting their turn, and the ballot box seemed more than half full by lunch time.

  18. mary_a 19

    Voted this morning at the local shopping mall. Party vote Green, electoral vote Labour. It was a lot busier at the polling booth than I expected! Good sign a change is coming.

    Labour/Green government coming up folks 🙂

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