Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Presidential election stats

Earlier in the month, the Republican Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand ran a mock presidential election to highlight their cause. They've now put some statistics from the election and the accompanying survey online. The election was a landslide, with Kiri Te Kanawa taking 44% of first preference votes, making it impossible for anyone else to win on preferences.

The survey results make interesting reading. Most NZ republicans, it seems, want a head of state roughly similar to the Governor-General, but with a two-term limit. Most want candidates for the position to be nominated by the public, rather than politicians. However, there's an even split between those favouring direct election and those favouring indirect election via Parliament, with the vast majority of the latter supporting a 75% majority in Parliament. Almost no-one supports the current system where the Governor-General is effectively appointed by the Prime Minister without reference to Parliament or the people.

These are the views of republicans, not the general public, and I'd like to see a wider survey. But at the least, it suggests that it is worthwhile thinking about electing the Governor-general as training wheels for a republic. All we need to do is agree on how...