Sunday, July 31, 2005


A friend of mine who works in a shitty job reports that her boss is openly threatening to fire anyone who does not vote for National. This is of course illegal - it violates s 22 of the Human Rights Act 1993 (which outlaws discrimination in employment matters, political opinion being a prohibited ground of discrimination in s 21 (j)), not to mention s 218 of the Electoral Act 1993, which bars "undue influence", both physical and financial. And it is exactly why we have the secret ballot - to ensure that people can vote for the government of their choice without being subjected to retribution and victimisation by those with social or economic power over them.

Anyone subjected to such threats should contact the Chief Electoral Office on and lay a complaint. Threats and economic intimidation have no place in a democracy, and those who use them should be punished to the full extent of the law - no matter which party they are pushing for.


are you sure he was serious? It just seems too stupid to be true.

Posted by Anonymous : 7/31/2005 01:45:00 PM

From the sound of it. The employer concerned has a bad record on other issues as well (a classic example of the small-business arsehole), and I don't doubt their stupidity in the least.

I don't think my friend wishes to formally complain yet, and so I'm seeing if the Electoral Commission will issue a press release warning against this sort of behaviour.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/31/2005 02:11:00 PM

there definitely are a lot of stupid bosses. and a lot of bosses that do incredibly illegal things, and won't back down even when you point out the illegality of their actions. they intimidate the worker(s) involved into not taking it to mediation and generally said worker(s) quit. unfortunately i see it far too often :-(

Posted by Span : 7/31/2005 03:18:00 PM

But voting is secret. How would the boss know what anyone voted for?

Posted by Muerk : 7/31/2005 03:38:00 PM

There is no point just complaining about bosses (anymore than there is a point to bosses complaining about law breaking employees).

The problem here seems to be neither the bosses nor the employees are utilizing the law because using the law costs you time and money and reputation (note if you breach the law at work it is unlikely the boss will go through the courts he will probably just try to fire you and write it off).

the question for us bright fellows is how can we change the system so that breaches are reported and laws are enforced at work.

Genius NZ

Posted by Anonymous : 7/31/2005 03:42:00 PM

The Human Rights Commission is a waste of space (like the Privacy and Health and Disability Commissioners). They seem to see their jobs as allowing the rich and powerful to get away with whatever treatment they feel like dishing out.

Posted by Anonymous : 8/01/2005 12:31:00 PM