I still think there is something weird going on with people who vote Goff but party vote National. They need to be understood.
I've been toying with the idea that both electorate and party votes are effectively person votes. You vote for the person you like in your electorate, and for the person you like in a prime minister. This seems like a plausible mechanism for a disconnect between electorate and party vote. (With more than a little debt to Daniel Kahneman's What You See Is All There Is principle)
I'll delete this later. Hopefully there is no snow for the walk tomorrow.
2 days old
I have other things I need to be typing today, but note that although advance voting up, enrolment continues to trend down from the previous two elections. I think the spike in advance voting will be mostly made up of people that were going to vote anyway. I'd be super happy to be wrong. And just to add an extra degree of hedge, there may be a little bit of extra engagement this year for a whole variety of reasons.
OK - I'll bite a bit. Though I previously thought this, I've also been reading a lot of the research on non-response in academic research in the last few days. To sum up and over-generalise, personal engagement in research counts, and the more impersonal and anonymous it becomes, the lower the response rate. I think this underlies the dreadful response rates at local body elections, and I don't think that electronic voting will help. Putting people back into the process, having it be a social thing where people go with their neighbours etc. I think are the ways to increase voting. When I worked on Saturdays, my whole workplace en masse voted after we'd closed for the afternoon. With advance voting, you don't know who you need to encourage, and there is less social pressure.
via Andrew Geddis s.168
The voter, having received a ballot paper,—
(a) shall immediately retire into one of the inner compartments provided for the purpose; and
(b) shall there alone and secretly vote—
There is a later bit about being able to take a carer in, but I don’t think you need your children to physically help you to vote…
Perhaps it's a moment to talk to them about the importance of people being able to make their own choices and why we have a secret ballot.
My daughter's first foray outside the maternity ward, at the age of 2 days, was to accompany me down stairs to the ballot box in 2011. I look forward to walking round the corner with her to our local school to vote tomorrow, and continuing to engage her as she grows.
I've walked through a polling booth numerous times in the last fortnight, but I'm saving myself for the big day. I meant to write more about this, but the tl;dr is that making it easier for people to vote at a time that is convenient for them, makes it easier for them to put it off, and then find that there's not a very convenient time, and so not vote. I think the theater of voting on the day is important, and making that in to an institution is important. I even like the idea that choosing not to vote is a choice you should make in the booth by not ticking a box. Not by not going to the booth at all.
Late to the discussion, but two slightly different reasons to vote.
1. For better or worse, we have a representative democracy. This means that we don't directly vote on policy, but vote for people to best represent our views. Even if you could find a person or party who perfectly encapsulated your views, the chances of them being able to enact them all must approximate zero. And if you don't vote, then your views are not represented (in fact probably the inverse).
2. More weakly, a strong democratic process should hopefully protect us from more extreme forms of government.
So I've come up with my design for a one household experiment on whether a drain water heat recovery system is worth it. Will update once I have some results
There was a brief discussion about just that in a recent RNZ Media Watch podcast. Get it while it’s still online.
Which episode is it in?
So I think in the public interest, I might invest in a bit more plumbing (so I can bypass our drainwater heat exchanger), and update with some data, both on how much money is saved, and how much efficiency is reduced through fouling.