Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Candidates and overseas voting

Nominations have closed and the candidates have been announced. 19 parties with 667 candidates will be contesting the list, while 597 candidates will contest the 69 electorate seats. Doing the maths, that means that there are ten times as many candidates as places - 90% of them are going to lose, and yet they're still willing to go to all the effort. Which is a sign that our democracy is still healthy, I think.

Also, if you're a Kiwi, enrolled, and reading this from overseas, you can still vote, either byvoting in person at a New Zealand embassy or consulate (or various other places if you're in Oz), asking for a ballot paper to be sent to you, or printing one off and posting or faxing it in. You have power, and if you want a particular brand of government, you should exercise it.

Correction: D'oh. I forgot about the overlap between list and electorate candidates. The total number of candidates is 739, so a mere 84% will fail to be elected. But I still think that's healthy...


Not just Kiwis either. A permanent resident who has been in NZ in the last year can also vote.
And I shall be. With much satisfaction too.
-Daniel Ryan

Posted by Anonymous : 8/24/2005 06:37:00 PM

lucky you (and how wonderfully civilised!) - as a kiwi living in the US for the past 20 years, paying taxes etc etc I was completely disenfranchised (NZ doesn't let you vote if you've been gone for more than 3 years, the US doesn't let you vote unless you're a citizen) - now I'm back I'm about to vote for the first time in 20 years (last time I voted I voted Muldoon down) - yippee!

Posted by Anonymous : 8/24/2005 09:45:00 PM

Now kiddies, do as the nice man says, you exercise that power. It really will make you feel better. Jeeeeeeeeeez.

Posted by Anonymous : 8/24/2005 10:10:00 PM

Anon: If you have power and don't exercise it, and in consequence get walked all over by people who do, then you have noone to blame but yourself.

This is why I urge people to participate in the democratic system, to lobby, submit on legislation, and vote. Not because its good citizenship, but out of cold, hard self-interest.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 8/24/2005 11:14:00 PM

Yep, that'll work for those who do vote and get walked all over anyway. Which, if you care to ask them, is excatly how many younger voters feel. And its not the voters who do vote who do the walking, my friend.

It's very public spirited of you to give out the encouragement, but maybe just tone down the condescension a bit?

Posted by Anonymous : 8/25/2005 12:15:00 AM

Anon, if you've been back to NZ in the last three years, then you can vote in the New Zealand elections. It doesn't matter for how long, or for what purpose, as long as you passed through Immigration control. (ie. I go back on holiday every couple of years, and so I retain voting rights in NZ).

Posted by Anonymous : 8/25/2005 05:46:00 AM

Don't worry I haven't been silent in my 20 years gone (though US law would have come on hard down on me had I actually given money to a candidate). I actually think the '3 years away' honored in the spirit rather than the breach makes sense - certainly pre-internet after 3 years I didn't have enough NZ knowledge to intelligently vote in NZ (other than along party lines .... and in that first case I probably would have voted down labour because of rogernomics had I had a good feel for what was going on rather than blindly voting labour because I didn't know any better).

I think the 'net does make it easier to know what's up but even though I do believe in the "no taxation without representation" that the US makes a big deal about (even if they don't actually put it into place for those of us with green cards) - and I kind of think it works the other way - you shouldn't get to vote if you're not actively engaged in a country - honestly coming back every 3 years for a couple of weeks doesn't count

Posted by Anonymous : 8/25/2005 06:07:00 AM