Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Writ day

It's official: we're having an election:

The Governor General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has given the green light for this year’s General Election.

The Governor General has signed the writ directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on 20 September 2014. This is the formal authority to run the 2014 election, and enables candidate nominations to open tomorrowThursday 21 August 2014.

“The issue of the writ is a key constitutional step in the election process. The writ sets out the dates for candidate nominations to close, election day and the date the writ must be returned showing the successful electorate candidates,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer.

The fact that we do it this way is a sad relic of our monarchical past, when Parliament served the monarch rather than the other way round. And while we've put some of it on a statutory basis, it would be better to eliminate such vestiges.

Meanwhile, it looks like most of the small parties hoping to contest the election made it in time, givin gus a healthy 18 parties competing for votes. The exception is the Expatriate Party, which claimed to have enough members to register, but hasn't done so. Maybe they'll get their act together next time...