Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: What if We Held an Election and Nobody Came?

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  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    I have real trouble not doing that at airports. A check-in person once very sternly told me “We don’t find those kinds of jokes funny.”

    I can also tell you that Australian customs staff do not find jokes about apples amusing.

    My brother gave our entire family heart palpitations when we stopped over in Singapore, weren't selected to have our bags searched, and he said very, very loudly "But they didn't even check to see if we had any drugs!". Turns out telling a fifteen-year-old multiple times about how tough Singapore's customs is can be counterproductive.

    OTOH, we did accidentally smuggle some apples into Australia on an earlier holiday (you can get away with it if you're very sincere due to having forgotten you have them, and have some legal but smelly cheese as a decoy for the dogs) so we are a suspicious bunch.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    I just wanted to check if my election-day helper was following procedure, or being obtuse... Can you tell me if the following is what you're trained to do?

    They looked at my easy vote card, which has not just my name, but also the page and line number of my entry....

    And appeared to completely ignore the second bit of info.... and found my name dictionary-search style... flicked through the roll, first backwards from the middle, then forwards when they went too far.... finding the page with best alphabetical match to my name.... and then searching up/down the lines with their ruler until they found my name.... And then they double-checked that the page/line they'd found matched that on the easy vote card....

    It just seems like it might be a bit easier to go the the page number written on the card, scroll the ruler down to the indicated line.... and double check the name was the same?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 789 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to FletcherB,

    That's what happened to me as well. They must have been very bored as it is a way of filling in time.

    She triple checked everything and I did wonder if she was going to ask for my passport as well... but I gave her the benefit of doubt and thought she was being extra careful.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm,

    Yeah, they didn't understand the card, FletcherB. It's a little difficult to see how that could happen but it's a funny old game, the voting game.
    I helped at a polling booth and I can't say that it was enjoyable. The actual handing out stuff and dealing with the public was fine but the counting was a nightmare. It was cool to see folks voting and taking it seriously though.

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to FletcherB,

    And appeared to completely ignore the second bit of info…. and found my name dictionary-search style…

    No. Oddly enough, that's really not what's supposed to happen.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4335 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    the show of hands...

    stick "I've voted" on, walk to the door - the sticker blows straight off my chest and sticks to the door

    I wish we were a larger and emergent democracy, then we might use the inky thumbs method instead of these first world crap adhesives - which <sob> I was never offered, as I voted early with my mum, expecting Saturday to be a horrendously busy bottleneck...

    Now I find it hard to look at my fellow Cantabrians, knowing that seemingly most of them empowered National or didn't give a toss...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4627 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Sob, too-
    they didnt seem to have 'em in Whataroa either...
    but given the number of beady-eyed local-locals about, they certainly wouldnt've been needed as proof you'd done your welcome duty as a responsible citizen-

    which makes it trebly sad that so many of us felt so indifferent - or fundamentally disenfranchised - that we just didnt bother to go vote-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Islander,

    which makes it trebly sad that so many of us felt so indifferent – or fundamentally disenfranchised – that we just didnt bother to go vote-

    I think it was indifference. "Why bother. It's just middle aged white men in suits* making decisions for us. We can't stop them doing it at work/at the bank/at the stock exchange, so how can we stop them doing it in parliament."

    My friend wrote on facebook that she was so glad she could vote and be confident her vote was counted when so few people on the planet can be sure of that.

    I think though that one issue is that we don't have enough political parties in New Zealand (because of the stupid 5% rule). The result is many people don't feel there is a party that represents them and their views. Certainly none of the parties fit my views.

    Um too serious for this thread surely.

    *Which of course is not the truth.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3256 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I think though that one issue is that we don’t have enough political parties in New Zealand (because of the stupid 5% rule). The result is many people don’t feel there is a party that represents them and their views. Certainly none of the parties fit my views.

    Yep, it’s not *entirely* “middle-aged white men in suits” to blame (but I think, because of established power structures, they are a major part of the problem).

    I go for a lot of Labour party planks and ideals, quite a few of the Greens, and some of Mana – but my views are also concerned with The Arts in AotearoaNZ*, and people who are disadvantaged by the current health system (we have people, among immediate whanau, and among friends) with/on Aspergers syndrome spectrum; people with very long-term recurrent mental health problems, and people who have physical problems that
    arnt catered for all that well (after-effects of poliomyelitis, and severe osteo-arthritis for examples.Not to mention the 2 who have inoperable bladder dysfunctions.))

    Any party that actually committed to putting A LOT MORE FUNDING into these areas (especially into research in the non-glamorous medical areas) would get considerable support from me.

    *NO party had what I would call a good support system for the arts. They concentrate on bloody systems & bureaucracies instead of supporting actual workers in the many glowing fields (latest example – the fiasco that is ANZ e-books. I’d love a competent person to fisk their figures. To me (and I am not involved) it stinks of CLL (quite apart from the fact that CLL *is* involved.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Islander,

    NO party had what I would call a good support system for the arts. They concentrate on bloody systems & bureaucracies instead of supporting actual workers in the many glowing fields

    I'd say exactly the same about science funding in NZ.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3256 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    +1

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    The result is many people don’t feel there is a party that represents them and their views. Certainly none of the parties fit my views

    A friend said her friends decided not to vote because none of the parties were exactly what they were looking for.

    Thing is, we've got so used to customising everything to our own needs that it's easy to lose site of the fact that much about being an adult is making compromises.

    We don't get to choose the perfect house, job, car, or universe, nor do we get a perfect political party.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 225 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Certainly none of the parties fit my views

    I'd love to hear what your perfect party would look like. Might even vote for it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16435 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Untidy disinvestments...

    “Why bother. It’s just middle aged white men in suits.*”
    *Which of course is not the truth.

    I knew it, it's those bloody nudists again...
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4627 posts Report Reply

  • poffa,

    As someone said to me ' There is no point in voting the government always gets in.'

    auckland • Since Jun 2007 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    They concentrate on bloody systems & bureaucracies instead of supporting actual workers in the many glowing fields

    Universal Basic Income would help there - some people could use it to give themselves time off to create stuff.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4413 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to poffa,

    As someone said to me ' There is no point in voting the government always gets in.'

    That's so true. It's also true that they should have waited until all the old folks had died before they brought in decimal currency.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3357 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Ae, the resulting disgruntlement gave young Winston a foothold, after all. #poundfoolish

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16435 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Now there's an idea - make them campaign in the nude.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3256 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    They probably do that in Finland.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 647 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    would that stop the "Battle of the Babes" nonsense?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 872 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Now there’s an idea – make them campaign in the nude.

    A Czech Communist Party candidate once brought out topless models to get people out and vote.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4141 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to DeepRed,

    A Czech Communist Party candidate once brought out topless models to get people out and vote.

    Or there was that candidate for the Polish parliament whose TV ad involved her stripping. (No link, sorry, it was on a TV news segment about All Those Shocking Overseas Electoral Ads With *Sex* In Them). I believe she lost, though.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Or there was that candidate for the Polish parliament whose TV ad involved her stripping. (No link, sorry, it was on a TV news segment about All Those Shocking Overseas Electoral Ads With *Sex* In Them). I believe she lost, though.

    I think it's this one...

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4141 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to linger,

    No but it might stop people going to listen to Winston.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3256 posts Report Reply

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