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National is really worried that people may vote

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, June 21st, 2019 - 95 comments
Categories: election 2017, elections, electoral commission, electoral systems, national, nick smith, same old national, uncategorized - Tags:

There is this unwritten law of electoral results throughout the world, higher turnouts favour the left and lower turnouts favour the right.

America provides the most stark example of this.  It is why Republicans have continuously hacked at the electoral system and why there are such long waiting lists in Democrat areas.

This rule also applies to New Zealand.  Last year’s improvement in turnout no doubt helped Labour succeed.

And this is why National gets really concerned at any proposal to make voting easier.  It is because this is against their interests.

Take this extraordinary response from Nick Smith to the proposals that there should be voting booths in shopping malls and that people should be able to enrol on election day.

From Collette Devlin at Stuff:

New Zealanders will soon be able to cast a vote while grocery shopping but the Opposition says the Government is rushing the changes to advantage its own re-election.

Justice Minister Andrew Little announced changes on Thursday that will see voters gaining the right to enrol on election day at next year’s general election, and allowing ballot boxes to be placed in supermarkets and malls to make it easier for people to vote.

The Justice Select Committee is currently holding an Inquiry into the 2017 General Election, where it has been advised by the Electoral Commission.

Little said the committee would run out of time to enact any changes to make voting easier, so the Government gave the green light to recommendations that were not particularly controversial, he said.

National’s electoral law spokesman Nick Smith said that was a poor excuse and the changes were a “stitch-up”.

“If the minister was concerned about the timetable, he could have asked the committee, at any stage in the past 18 months, to address the issues quicker.

He believed the three parties in Government had cherry picked Electoral Commission recommendations with the objection of making it easier.

“We know from advice that if you allow same day enrolment and voting, that tends to favour parties of the left. The international vote, as we saw in the 2017 final count, tended to favour parties like the Greens.” 

Election day enrolment is utterly rational and should not be contentious.  After all you can enrol and early vote during the weeks leading up to election day.  Why should the day itself be different?

In the report of the Electoral Commission on the 2017 election the proposal was floated and further work on the issue was suggested.

And what is the problem with the change?  Smith has claimed that making voting easier will favour the coalition.  He has also raised the bogeyman of electoral fraud.  To have a meaningful effect on an MMP election the fraud would have to be significant.

He is also claiming that National has been broadsided by the idea.  It is difficult to take this serious.  We have over 12 months before the next election and the change is not a significant one.  There is plenty of time for the proposal to be discussed and consulted on.

Of course our electoral system should be able to reflect the views of all eligible voters.  Allowing late enrolments on election day and for their vote to be counted is a logical development of that principle.

95 comments on “National is really worried that people may vote ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    As i noted in the other thread, Nick Smith is completely past his use by date. His interviews are characterised by hypocrisy, self serving disingenuous nit picking, choleric bellicosity and hints that his thinking belongs firmly in the RWNJ tin foil hat brigade. He clearly has no compunction in being a truculent and partisan obstructionist within the parliamentary process then whining in the media when people lose patience with his white anting of the process. He should have retired a long, long time ago.

    I just knew that National would hate this. Their class arrogance means that in their heart of hearts they don't really support the universal franchise – they think only the "right sort" of people should be allowed to vote.

    But really, it is commonsense to put the voting booths where the voters are and it completely nonsensical to say you can enroll up to the day before but not the day of the election.

    • woodart 1.1

      put voting booths into high schools. give the future a vote. bet THAT would alarm the natz!

  2. Lou 2

    Nick Smith is just a bitter & twisted, negative old man. Will never take him seriously after reading his sore loser rant that appeared in my mailbox in the form of a National party publication after the 2017 election. He needs to retire and give someone fresh, with a positive attitude, a go. Nelson has young people in the electorate now, not just old retirees anymore.

  3. Peter 3

    Nick Smith is turning by the month into more of a parody. One of the main sadnesses is sad sacks supporters of his party do not have the wit to appreciate that fine art he is perfecting.

    Another sadness though is that with him not recognising he needs help, that none of his woebegone mob recognise it either. You'd have thought his sensitive deputy leader, with the fine humanity she flourished in the Ross events, would be turning on a Florence Nightingale act.

  4. Muttonbird 4

    I knew they'd kick up a stick about this. They'll do anything to make life harder for low income people as their policies over the last 90 years have proved.

  5. Formerly Ross 5

    There is this unwritten law of electoral results throughout the world, higher turnouts favour the left and lower turnouts favour the right.

    I imagine it's unwritten because it may not be true, at least here in NZ. The highest turnouts in NZ occurred under FPP. For example, 1949, 1951, 1954 were all won by the National Party with voter turnout of 93.5%, 89.1%, 91.4%. Even Rob Muldoon's narrow win in 1981 was with a voter turnout of 91.4%. However, Labour won in 1984 with a turnout of 93.7%, but since then voter turnout has dipped considerably. (In 1981, although National won more seats than Labour, it received slightly fewer votes than Labour.)

    MMP has muddied the waters to the extent that the party that wins the most votes doesn't necessarily form the government. Despite a lot of publicity before the last election about voter enrolment, turnout was only 79.8%. The highest turnout under MMP was 88.3% in 1996 – won by National.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_New_Zealand

    • Enough is Enough 5.1

      I also shared your suspicion that MS's unwritten rule had no relation to facts.

      US Presidential elections have range from around 49% to 60% turnout over the past 60 years. The turnout has had no correlation with who won.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout_in_the_United_States_presidential_elections

      With National winning 10 more MPs than Labour in 2017, it is also debateable how higher turnout effected the last election.

      • Formerly Ross 5.1.1

        Let's not forget that the outcome of the last election hinged on which party NZ First supported. If Winston had supported National, we would've had a National-led government. The number of votes cast can mean very little in an MMP environment.

        • Dukeofurl 5.1.1.1

          Guess who spent 3 elections 'ruling out NZ First' until they didnt.

          The reality waqs there was only the faintest chance of peters going with National.

          • Enough is Enough 5.1.1.1.1

            There was never really a chance.

            English was never going to give Peters $3B to throw at questionable projects the way Labour did. Peters used National to leverage a 50/50 coalition with Labour.

            • mac1 5.1.1.1.1.1

              From Peters' campaign rhetoric, backed up by his post coalition comments, it was pretty clear post coalition where he was headed. He spoke pre-election scathingly of National and corporate capitalism. Of course he got some of his concerns met. That's MMP and bargaining. But he went where his head and heart were leading, I believe.

              MMP is very hard on minor parties that don't get and keep their support. If Peters and NZ First seemed to be too demanding, or too unreasonable, or too radical in a centrist MMP environment, then they'd go the way of failed minor parties. I instance the Maori Party, United, Future, various conservative Christian parties, ACT (only there at National's favour), TOP, Mana Mauri.

              The 5% threshold is a tough arbiter.

    • MMP has muddied the waters…

      More like MMP has clarified the waters. FPP ignores the proportion of the electorate that voted for the parties and effectively just counts which individuals did better in a bunch of marginal seats. Thanks to FFP, it would be possible for the elections with the highest turnouts to have both seen an increased vote for the left and a National victory.

      MMP, on the other hand, tells you exactly what proportion of the voters voted for each party. In that system, increased turnout favouring the left would actually be reflected in the final outcome (regardless of whether left parties formed the government or not).

      • Formerly Ross 5.2.1

        increased turnout favouring the left would actually be reflected in the final outcome (regardless of whether left parties formed the government or not).

        I agree, but it isn't clear that an increased turnout favours the Left.

        I doubt that the proposals discussed by Andrew Little will, if implemented, have much effect on voter turnout. At the last election, nearly 700,000 voters who were enrolled didn’t vote. As for voting at supermarkets, that was introduced in 2017. An additional 10,000 hours of advance voting time was also added in 2017.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11918231

        • Dukeofurl 5.2.1.1

          Advance voting at Supermarkets, a bit different to election day voting at the supermarket

    • Paul Campbell 5.3

      Rob Muldoon won the '81 election under FPP, but Labour got more votes than National that year (as also happened in '78)

      • Shadrach 5.3.1

        National got more votes than Labour in 2017. The party of 7% decided who led the government. All electoral systems have their faults.

        • Dukeofurl 5.3.1.1

          The party of 7% ?

          You havent checked the numbers, there was another party of 6% who National could have 'won over'

          • Shadrach 5.3.1.1.1

            The party of 7% was NZF. 7.2% to be strictly correct. So a party who only received 7% of the votes chose a party who only received 37% of the votes to be the government. Yes, every system has it's flaws.

            • Incognito 5.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes, yes, we know. The party of 7% should have chosen the party with 44% of the votes not the one with only 37%. Obviously, 37+7 still doesn’t make 50 (it’s actually the number of seats that matter) and it required a third party with only 6.3% of the votes to prop them up and get them over the line. What you seem to overlook is that this required intense coalition negotiations and the three parties chose for the coalition government we now have. Suffice to say, the 7% and the 44% parties were not able to reach a deal. So, who chose whom is the wrong way of looking at it.

              • Shadrach

                "this required intense coalition negotiations…"

                Nah. Winnie was never going to go with National. But both National and Labour were too stupid to realise that. Winnie said 'jump'. Labour said 'how high'?

                • Incognito

                  You smoke your own dope.

                  • Shadrach

                    Shane Jones' $3b slush fund.

                    • Incognito

                      Yes?

                    • Shadrach

                      How high?

                    • Incognito []

                      I was waiting for a well-constructed argument, not half a slogan or some decapitated clickbait headline 😉

                    • Shadrach

                      Giving a political opponent a $3b slush fund as just part of buying their electoral support hardly needs much explaining.

                    • Incognito []

                      That’s a pretty pathetic “well-constructed argument” but if it is the best you can or are willing to do, I’ll give you an F for effort.

                      BTW, “opponent” is not how you spell “coalition partner”.

                    • solkta

                      Yes, it would have been interesting to see an attempt at some reasoning as to how spending money on regional development was contrary to Green and Labour policy. By "interesting" of course i mean "amusing".

                    • Shadrach

                      "That’s a pretty pathetic “well-constructed argument”…"

                      I didn't claim it was one. I said it hardly needs explaining.

                      "BTW, “opponent” is not how you spell “coalition partner”."

                      BTW, unless Labour have morphed into the Winston Party, they were political opponents prior to the coalition deal.

                    • Incognito []

                      Well, duh! The weight of your ‘self-evidential explanation’ is crushing me. A 5-yr old would do a better job. It begs the question why do you bother here on TS?

                      BTW, both Labour and NZ First were together in the Opposition before they won the General Election in 2017. I know it suits you to see them as sworn enemies and adversaries who only have a temporary ‘truce’ in the form of the coalition.

                    • Shadrach

                      "…how spending money on regional development was contrary to Green and Labour policy. "

                      If they were serious about regional development, they wouldn't let Shane Jones anywhere near the money.

                    • Incognito []

                      Can’t argue with that genius assertion. It is too deep for mere mortals to contemplate.

        • Dukeofurl 5.3.1.2

          The party of 7% ?

          You havent checked the numbers, there was another party of 6% who National could have 'won over'

        • Psycho Milt 5.3.1.3

          The fact that you can't form a government with a minority of the vote isn't a "fault" in MMP, it's an excellent design feature. National and its supporters may find it annoying to no longer be able to play elected dictator with a minority vote share, but everyone else is really quite chuffed about it.

          • New view 5.3.1.3.1

            Not everyone. You lot think the Coalition is so great. There are Plenty of good policies labour want put through parliament only to be tipped out by Winston. Pretty much what he says would happen in the NZF party I’m thinking, so you have one man getting his way (not in a good way) and controlling the whole coalition. How can you think that’s a great outcome and be chuffed about it. Labour will be gutted they couldn’t press ahead with a capital gains tax but are in turn gutless because they are happy to water down their ideals to stay in power. That’s what MMP does.

            • RedLogix 5.3.1.3.1.1

              they are happy to water down their ideals to stay in power.

              That was indeed the whole point of MMP; to prevent one party and in particular a very small group of Cabinet Ministers from exercising unconstrained power.

              MP will frequently disappoint zealots and ideologues, but NZ has only one House and very few checks and balances on Executive power.

              • New view

                What a load of bollocks. What’s the point of having labour have a list of promises as long as you’re arm that they got elected on if Micky mouse with his crown on stops what he doesn’t like. What’s the point if election campaigns are just hot air and you can say what you think the population wants to hear to get elected. That’s bullshit. As for safe guards, safe guards against what. With MMP you will take an eternity to accomplish anything there’s your safe guard. With FPP you don’t like what you’ve got vote them out.

                • RedLogix

                  As for safe guards, safe guards against what.

                  Maybe you are not old enough to remember the Fourth Labour govt and the economic trauma it inflicted on this country, because once elected there was no constraint on the power of the Cabinet.

                  MMP was a direct consequence of that government.

                  • Pat

                    "MMP was a direct consequence of that government."

                    Not really, the push for MMP came from dissatisfaction with the representation of mainly Social Credit's support and the fact Muldoon won power with a minority of the vote…..4th Labour gov just added to it

                    • RedLogix

                      NZ had just gone through two governments that had abused their unconstrained constitutional position. There is a straight line connection between those two governments and the introduction of MMP.

                      Yes Muldoon's regime certainly played it's part, but please don't try and pretend the Fourth Labour govt had nothing to do with it.

                  • New view

                    I’m old enough alright. I’m old enough to know that this form MMP we have isn’t serving this country the way it was intended. If it was intended to work this way we have settled for a very mediocre form of government in my opinion.

                    • RedLogix

                      That's a more interesting argument. Nowhere did I claim MMP was an ideal system. There are plenty of alternatives to FPP or MMP. Or even more radical rethinks of how we do politics.

                      Indeed one of the more egregious flaws of our current system is that all the people who voted for the Opposition parties are effectively disempowered altogether. Typically elections result in a relatively tight balance between the right and left leaning blocks, usually within 5% or so of each other.

                      This means that almost half the population at any given time don't want the government they have.

                    • New view []

                      Yes but psycho milt was seemingly happy with the current situation so long as National supporters were disenfranchised. My original comment was a reply to him. It seems to me that a lot of people are quite happy to put up with a poor labour led coalition so long as it keeps National out. The idea is childish as you end up being either from the right or left regardless of how they perform. Those from the left who followed Roger Douglas May have questioned their own labour loyalty after that debacle. It doesn’t matter who you follow as long as they do the job. Is this coalition doing the job. Might be but I don’t want to die of old age waiting for them to achieve anything of substance.

                    • RedLogix

                      It doesn’t matter who you follow as long as they do the job.

                      Yes, I'm inclined to agree myself. Looking about the world, it's plain that competent governments, regardless of political shade, are generally to be preferred to incompetent ones.

                  • Pat

                    Dont know how old you are but suggest you read some history…the push for proportional representation well predates 4th Labour Gov…Socred had up to 30% of electoral support and never more than 2 seats in the House.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yes lack of proportionality is an obvious characteristic of FPP, everyone knew this. But this was largely accepted for a long time as a valid trade off for stable government, with a clear mandate to implement policy. Much as New view is arguing above.

                      It was only after Muldoon and Douglas that the push for proportional representation gained sufficient momentum to become unstoppable.

          • Shadrach 5.3.1.3.2

            National won the 2008, 2011 and 2014 elections, so your comment is silly. As for having a 'minority vote share', a system that sees a party who received only 37% of the vote end up governing is far from perfect. But then nor was FPP.

    • Gabby 5.4

      Of course under FPP the party with the most votes always formed the government didn't it xross.

  6. ianmac 6

    Years ago I was asked to run Special Votes in a small town in a southern North Island. At the previous election there had been angry disputes as voters had been refused the right to vote.

    My answer was to allow every Special vote knowing that all Special votes are later checked for eligibility. It worked fine with no voter getting angry or upset and each feeling that they were valued. A Special Vote would now be part of the new enrolment process.

    As for Nick Smith! It could be argued that he believed that a large group of people should not be encouraged to vote to protect National. Huh!

    • Tiger Mountain 6.1

      My partner has 4 times worked at polling booths in recent years, and giving people a special vote is one thing, and yes it can pacify people, but the stinger is thousands of these votes are ultimately not counted as the Electoral Commission tallies shows.

      Good to see the Govt.proposing the very opposite of voter suppression. Next: promote the unpublished roll more widely, allow prisoners to vote, and run “practice voting” for students. But hey, at least we have MMP!

      • ianmac 6.1.1

        But on the day the voter believes that they rightfully voted and many of them were entitled as proven by the later checks. Imagine the person who had been missed off the roll, or had the wrong/new address, or mistaken name. Just because the name didn't appear easily on the roll, shouldn't block their vote, should it? Benefit of the doubt? In fact when employed in Poverty Bay the Returning Officer said, "When in doubt give the voter a ballot paper and we will check the validity later."

  7. Sarah 7

    There were stories in the media the last couple of elections which told of unexpected removal from the electoral roll, despite the voters having lived at the same address for many years. These unsuspecting voters found they couldn't vote so this new rule will protect them. Nick talks a lot about democracy and then states allowing same day enrolment and voting is unfair? It's almost as though he's using politics to deny ALL Kiwis the right to vote.

  8. Stuart Munro. 8

    Our democracy does not exist to provide secure seats for chumps like Nick Smith. If he feels threatened by more people voting, he and his colleagues need to more properly represent the legitimate aspirations of NZ people. That would result in significant policy change because frankly, contemporary Gnats are rubbish, and have been since the pressure went off them in '84.

  9. “We know from advice that if you allow same day enrolment and voting, that tends to favour parties of the left. The international vote, as we saw in the 2017 final count, tended to favour parties like the Greens.”

    That statement is just astonishing, even by Nick Smith standards. Its logical corollary is that suppressing the vote tends to favour parties of the right, therefore National supports making it more difficult for NZ citizens to vote in general elections.

    • fender 9.1

      +1

      Listening to the lame arguments of the antidemocratic fuckwits is both tedious and concerning. Obviously having people see straight through them is of no concern to them at all, shameful.

    • Formerly Ross 9.2

      Also, voting decisions made by those based overseas mightn't have any relation to how voters enrolled on election day choose to vote (if indeed they do vote). That the Greens do well out of special votes has nothing to do with enrolling and voting on election day.

    • marty mars 9.3

      Yep he is shameless.

      I wonder how allowing prisoners to vote will change things.

      • Formerly Ross 9.3.1

        There's no likelihood of prisoners being able to vote anytime soon. I think if they could vote, it would have little or no effect. In 2017, if 10,000 prisoners had all voted Labour, its share of the vote would have gone from 36.9% to 37.1%. I don't believe that would've meant any additional seats for Labour.

    • Gabby 9.4

      Pricksmith is outraged the select committee hasn't been crippled by gnatsy obstructionism. How very dare things happen.

  10. tc 10

    Ah nick smith, wondered where the old duffers been…speaking of parody Pullya looked tanned and scary next to oafish Jones the other morning on brekky TV.

    In a public place the comments from viewers were priceless. They're not fooling anybody. My fav line being '…at least Jones owns it…'

  11. indiana 11

    I suppose registering on the day of election to vote means there is less time to validate the difference between Martin and Martyn, and you can still have the vote counted.

    • dv 11.1

      Nope.

      treat as a special so checked and counted later.

      • Dukeofurl 11.1.1

        yes Eligibility to enroll in that electorate checked too.

        Remember when Key enrolled in the electorate where he wanted to be its PM , despite him never living there – and having houses in a number of places

  12. mac1 12

    Here's another reason why National should be really worried that people may vote. Outside a shop an hour ago an older man asked me whether our town was this cold, prompted by the fact that I had just bought a second hand fleece-lined coat. In the ensuing conversation, which included the fact that he was a farmer from central Canterbury here for the horse races and therefore knew my cousins, we talked about how great a country NZ was.

    He then said, this normally National voting dairy farmer employing three milkers, that one of the things that made this country so good was our Prime Minister.

    I voted Labour last election he said because of her desire to help kids. He continued that he will vote Labour again, and his neighbour, another farmer, was going to do the same.

  13. Kay 13

    Someone's obviously feeling a bit left out, but come on, "Slobocracy" ????

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1906/S00192/election-day-changes-will-promote-a-slobocracy.htm

    • tc 13.1

      Oh deary me Rimmer "New Zealanders will lose respect for the importance of freedom and democracy when they are trivialised.”

      Like the respect ACT showed aucklander's trivialised by the ham fisted way Hide slammed through Supershity. Foot's never far from the mouth with that boy.

      • Peter 13.1.1

        Seymour is concerned that NZ is going down the tubes with this move? Seriously?

        You get someone campaigning through jerktwerking as a Member of Parliament and you're worried we're going downhill?

        • tc 13.1.1.1

          ‘dancing with the stars’ and many other publicity stunts define the Rimmer party.

      • Formerly Ross 13.1.2

        I tend to agree with Seymour. It's not too onerous to vote, and we do have three years to prepare for it. 🙂

        • greywarshark 13.1.2.1

          But Formerly Ross, you may not notice from your armchair but a lot can happen in just three days. Who can prepare ahead and understand what our future will be? Sorry you will just have to take shorter dozes.

    • ianmac 13.2

      ACT must fear that not enough voters will vote for them. They have a huge support base but a few Leftish voters might halve their support.

    • WeTheBleeple 13.3

      Sign me up for the Slobocracy! Brilliant. Couch surf and smoke weed grow food wait for the last minute… vote Green.

      Public enemy #1.

  14. ankerawshark 14

    I am no expert, but I think all the work, meet and greets Jacinda does with young people at schools etc, must count for extra votes surely. I don't see Christopher L pulling that crowd, but he will likely work just dandy for the likes of Mark Richardson and his elk

  15. greywarshark 15

    I think he meant elf. Like those little ones in the story of The Happy Shoemaker where all the work got done by unpaid and scantily clothed industrious little people who worked all night and had vanished by sparrow fart. And the thing to remember about them was that when they were fed and clothed well, they never came back to work again. Disgraceful, and so similar to NZs in the opinion of RWs, that it might have been written by 'one of us'.

  16. Cinny 16

    Dr custard will do anything to get in the news cycle, he's shocking with his attention seeking.

    • greywarshark 16.1

      He is so good though all Nationals in Nelson think. He talks so firmly and with so much confidence. You just gotta believe him.

      • Cinny 16.1.1

        LMFAO !!!!! Laughing because you speak the truth. What's up with that lolz, I know…. it was rachel reeces subliminal blue lines that were painted in the inner city. Fingers crossed that this time the vote won't be split, that was a real bummer last election.

        Tell you what I do know Grey, when he does his Street Meetings during the election cycle he has national supporters there asking patsy questions. True story. Dodgy as fork.

        Heard another funny story the other day about Dr custard….

        During the fires and surrounding media, Dr custard was desperately trying to elbow his way into the camera shot…. funny thing was the sign language translator picked up on it and kept moving in front of Dr custard, apparently those there were having a good ole chuckle about it.

  17. Rapunzel 17

    Re all the above and people in prsion voting how does that work if it they are sentenced at the lower end or for the first time etc when possibly it seems that a long line of fraudsters etc detained at home and not physically imprisoned may well be still able to vote. Does anyone know if home detention criminals are removed from rolls so they can't vote? Otherwise that is a huge anomoly in my opinion.

    • dv 17.1

      Interesting point, wikipedia thinks? they are entitled to vote.

      • Rapunzel 17.1.1

        I thought so, a quite crucial point they are convicted criminals and nothing less.

        • WeTheBleeple 17.1.1.1

          So long as they don't go to jail for crimes against grammar.

          Not really about the grammar though, it's about the Gramma as in, you sound like my grandma. A vicious bitter woman that ruled by fist and food. Elbows on the table gets you 5-life. Opinions will see you to bed with no supper.

          How else might we stop people participating in society, they are

          "convicted criminals and nothing less".

          How fucking dross.

          • Rapunzel 17.1.1.1.1

            Well how "how fucking dross" that you missed the point entirely, others got the gist of what I said easy enough, and I certainly ain't your "gramma".

            In fact it appears that you might be exactly what you are pointlessly choosing to reflect on to me, for whatever reason, and that is that those who missed "grammar school" should not attempt to communicate, either to engage and/or share their ideas.

    • WeTheBleeple 17.2

      Get thee hence back to school and learn to construct a sentence.

      No, not a prison sentence.

      • Rapunzel 17.2.1

        A who and two "ares" I am so shamed by my quick post, happy now? Oh and the commas of course. It's come to this that communications must be so prisitne?

        "Re all the above and people in prsion voting. How does that work if it they are sentenced, at the lower end or for the first time etc, when possibly it seems that a long line of fraudsters, etc, who are detained at home and are not physically imprisoned may well be still able to vote. Does anyone know if home detention criminals are removed from rolls so they can't vote? Otherwise that is a huge anomoly in my opinion."

        • WeTheBleeple 17.2.1.1

          I apologise – if I got your comment wrong – I thought you were de-humanising prisoners as in they don't have a right to vote and so home D shouldn't either?…

          And so I was being smart ass about grammar as I didn't like the comment.

          I was not clear either.

          • Rapunzel 17.2.1.1.1

            You did get it wrong, possibly my fault for the way it was written leaving room for it being mis-read.

            The issue and clear anomaly of incarcerated people being denied a vote and those with "home detention" perhaps not was something that had occurred to me a few months ago when the issue of "prisoners'" voting eligibility was raised.

            For instance if I was a person detained in prison I would contest being denied a vote – assuming people on home detention can vote – on that simple basis alone. If it is the case that those on home detention can vote then automatically it should be the right of other prisioners, I can't see any court or body being able to rule otherwise.

            • WeTheBleeple 17.2.1.1.1.1

              Thanks, sorry for the doofus botchup…

              I think if we are to switch focus to rehabilitation rather than punishment the denial of voting rights is diametrically opposed to this.

              To have people who want to participate in society they need to be included.

              Yes there is certainly the criminal element in jail, those antisocial sociopath types who never learned the corporate world is their oyster…

              But the majority are lead astray, poor, addicted, mad… Needing help, guidance, an ear, a shoulder.

              "I'm sick of trying to be tough. I'm sick of everyone else acting tough, being assholes. It's bullshit. I'm sick of constantly watching my back while evil pricks and guards in gangs pockets run the place. Most of the good people are bullied or beaten. They beat me up for typing. How are we meant to leave this place better, how am I meant to fucking sleep at night, I'm sick of it". – Me talking to a psychologist while in jail for cannabis, age 21.

              We all pretended to be tough, that it was all a joke. Weakness was an entry point. You had little chance to display humanity.

              Incidentally, that's the only time I saw any semblance of help. He sat and said nothing, scribbled notes, sent me back to my cell with no feedback.

              And that's one of the mildest stories.

    • Cinny 17.3

      That's a really good question Rapunzel.

      I thought that any doing a lag under two years were entitled to vote, but then national did away with it and banned all prisoners.

      But I don't know anything about home D. I guess they would have to have the ability to leave home to vote and the ankle bracelet prevents it in some cases. Hope someone can provide an answer.

    • Gabby 17.4

      I'm sure nobody's suggesting white collar criminals should be treated like ordinary peasants. Why, they have glittering futures.

  18. Jackel 18

    Smith is probably just spouting off along the lines of that old catch phrase that if it's a fine day on election day Labour wins and if it's a rainy day the Gnats win. The facts and science of it are probably something completely different though.

    Considering the bulk of the population have a serious TV addiction that may disable them from being able to vote, why don't they just have a TV channel with a voting paper on-screen and you just click a button on your remote for who you want to vote for?

  19. peterlepaysan 19

    The worrying is that Smith keeps getting re-elected, after a short stint as natz leader.

    There must be something in the water in his electorate.

    He's been there forever, Like the legendary elephants graveyard.

  20. JustMe 20

    Has the paint thinner swilling completely coddled Nick Smith's mind? Or has the consumption of other beverages over the years increased his idiotic 'statements' and 'claims'?

    Why are National so frightened of allowing NZers of voting age the democratic right to vote even when going to the supermarket?

    Surely, and despite this age of technology where one can order ones groceries by internet, there are probably many wealthy people who would prefer to shop at a local supermarket?

    Why are National harping on about the poor having a better opportunity to vote? Is it the typical National Party habit as per usual of bashing the lower paid especially because the lower paid do not have the money to donate to say the NZ National Party?

    Why is National so anti towards the lower paid and yet shopping public of NZ?

    Out of all this I am of the firm opinion Nick Smith needs to call it a day and retire to his tax-payer funded super-superannuation and perks of his former job(should he do the honourable thing and retire)because he is way past his Used By Date.

    Maybe the also ridiculous leader of the NZ National Party needs to trundle Nick Smith out every so often for Smith's "words of wisdom to the NZ media" before Bridges comes up with some sense of upmanship on Smith's statements. It certainly does come across that the National Party lot(the MPs)don't have much intelligence between their ears. Are they still suffering from the Poor Loser Syndrome?

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