Kids set back children’s franchise 100 years

Written By: - Date published: 3:55 pm, November 26th, 2008 - 23 comments
Categories: election 2008, polls - Tags:

The results are in from the NZ Post-sponsored Kids Voting project, and while it’s a worthy project it nonetheless shows why we don’t allow children the franchise.

More than 13,000 school students nationwide took part in the project aimed at encouraging kids to take an interest in our democracy. The resulting Parliament had Labour and National hold their places as the major parties, but the stand-out winners were the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party with 10.5% and 13 seats, and the joke Bill & Ben Party with 11.7% and 15 seats.

However, due to Bill & Ben only having two candidates on their party list they would lose 13 seats, giving Parliament an ‘underhang’ of only 107 seats. On these numbers Labour, the Greens and the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party could easily form a government.

Hmm… come to think of it, why don’t we give kids the franchise?

23 comments on “Kids set back children’s franchise 100 years”

  1. bill brown 1

    So what does happen when a party gets more votes than can be accommodated by its list?

  2. Tane 2

    Seems they don’t get any further seats.

  3. gingercrush 3

    Good to see Kids still like the National party. But please kids move on from the Greens, Bil & Ben and ACLP and vote National.

  4. Stephen 4

    Interesting initiative and good question posed by Tane – there was a revolution that was based on ‘no taxation without representation’, so why not? I don’t think there is an objective basis for denying ‘youth’ the vote, but in saying that i’d still prefer they didn’t get it…might try and explain why later (will have a ponder), but at the moment it’s basically prejudice, despite having worked with fairly intelligent kids for a period of my last year at uni. Maybe this is where some sort of test or criteria could come in? Yes it’s all horribly elitist or something…

    I suspect the kids would’ve taken their voting a little more seriously if they knew their vote counted (quite easy to imagine them giggling to each other about having voted for ‘the marijuana party’ isn’t it?)

    The link isn’t frickin’ working, but would be interesting to see any age group segmentations…

  5. Daveski 5

    What’s funny is that politicians often get accused of behaving like kids in parliament 🙂

  6. Disengaged 6

    I can’t imagine Jim Anderton would be too happy within that coalition :). I would have thought that the Green vote would have been higher amongst younger people.

  7. Tigger 7

    What does ‘school’ mean? Were 5 year olds voting? Or mostly teens?

    I got excited by the pie chart that lists the ACLP thinking there was some cool new party that kids had discovered. In fact googling the acronym only comes up with stuff like The Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute at New York Law School or the Association of Catholic Leadership Programmes.

  8. Oi! Don’t knock the taigs…

  9. QoT 9

    On the one hand I want to say, I wouldn’t mind lowering the voting age if we could institute some kind of test to screen for kids who are only voting one way because That’s Who Daddy Votes For (only leftie in my high school, can ya sense the bitterness?).

    But then I recall that plenty of mature, supposedly rational adults vote based on far stupider things, so would it really change that much?

    I’m with Stephen – I think that the results would be rather different if the kids knew their votes counted (just as I think Bill & Ben’s real party votes would’ve been a lot lower if we had no 5% threshold.)

  10. lyndon 10

    Seems they don’t get any further seats.

    I’m pretty sure Colin Espiner did a post about this before the election (But I can’t find a @#%# archive).

    Pointed out that all those people who wanted fewer MPs could vote for Bill and Ben.

    The words I have to type to post this are “BETHROTHED Dunne”. WTF?

  11. Felix 11


    I wouldn’t mind lowering the voting age if we could institute some kind of test to screen for kids who are only voting one way because That’s Who Daddy Votes For

    Why would such a test be valid when applied to children but not to adults?

  12. Felix 12

    As for underhangs and “joke” parties, this is 13,000 votes in total with 11.7% of that going to the Bill & Ben Party.

    That’s about 1500 votes for Bill & Ben.

    I don’t think that’s going to get them much closer to winning a seat.

  13. Byron 13

    I’m not going to find all the stats and do the math myself, but it would be interested to see what the election result would be if these teenagers had the right to vote and had done so the same way they did in this exercise, wouldn’t be impossible, just find the percentage of high school aged New Zealanders, treat this as a poll and extropolate from there, then add it to the total of the actual vote and work out the percentage. (probably another step or two I’m forgetting)

  14. The B&B and ALCP portion of the overall “vote” roughly matches that proportion that can’t be arsed voting anyway. They clearly don’t take it seriously and probably have no real idea what it’s all about…..just like their adult counterparts.

  15. Uroskin 15

    We deny younger members of society the vote (even if they work and pay tax) on an irrational basis. Why don’t we also deny the elderly (senile, non-taxpaying) members of society the vote too, if we’re going to use irrationallity as an electoral policy. Isn’t NZ First as much a joke party for the old as Bill&Ben is for the young?

  16. Dylan 16

    The B&B and ALCP portion of the overall “vote’ roughly matches that proportion that can’t be arsed voting anyway. They clearly don’t take it seriously and probably have no real idea what it’s all about ..just like their adult counterparts.

    To be pedantic, the ALCP isn’t a joke party. They’re a single-issue party, sure, but it is a serious issue. Maybe not one of the top three issues faced by NZ right now, but it sure deserves more sober (ahem) attention than it gets.

  17. MikeE 17

    Why don’t we just give Puppies franchise too?

  18. Tane 18

    When they start working, paying tax and articulating their political beliefs like 16 year olds can, then it might be worth considering.

  19. my puppy never paid tax. he objected to the culture of envy.

  20. I use past tense because he emigrated to Australia.

  21. Joseph 22

    Coming from a “kid” here, hell yeah. Reflective of the fact that children aren’t thinking for the income, and thinking for the people. If the Green policy for 16-year-olds to vote had got through I certainly would’ve voted Greens/ALCP this year. (ALCP because it’s an issue I have a passion for). Well, actually I would’ve voted Alliance based on policies, but since it unfortunately would be a throwaway vote…

  22. zANavAShi 23

    ROFLMAO @ Steve’s puppy comment. I don’t have a witty enough reply that does that justice, but it’s the only belly laugh I had all week. Thanks! 😀

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