Cracker by Damian Christie

The Cracker Guide to Tactical Voting

Elections only come around every five years or thereabouts, and this is your one chance to mingle with all the neighbourhood hotties who would never give you the time of day. By following this simple plan, no matter who comes to power on September 17th, you can still wake up on Sunday morning with a smile on your face.

Choose your polling booth very, very carefully.

Some polling booths are within hobbling distance of Retirement Villages. Others are within skipping distance of University hostels. Do I need to draw you a graph?

Vote outside your electorate.

Just like Alamein Kopu all those years ago, Election 2005 could be your ticket out of the boondocks. So you live in deepest Mt Roskill? You don’t need to vote there. Jump on the 258 bus to Symonds Street, then the 625 to Remuera Road. All the time humming “Uptown Girl”, saunter in to the nearest primary school or community hall. Lock aim on a tidy young Trustafarian and unleash all your working class charm. Good lines include:

“Vote here often?”

“Wow. I wish the girls in my electorate were as hot as you.”*

“I’ve got tickets to Rodney’s party tonight if you’re not busy…”*

“Would you mind doing my exit poll? It won’t take long…”

Nothing too grubby though. Any offers to stuff someone's ballot box should be considered beyond the pale.

Vote Early

Well don’t vote too early. In 1999, in my wild and crazy youth, I went straight from Calibre [a nightclub of some repute] on Karangahape Road to the polling booth. High on more than the fact I was about to do my democratic duty, I recall little other than voting for the candidate I really, really loved before locking the nearest scrutineer in a prolonged bearhug.

That aside, the earlier you hit the polling trail, the wider variety of candidates you'll encounter – and I'm not talking about politicians.

From the early morning fitness freaks who pop in mid-jog, the brunching socialites on their way to an eggs benny, some of the best opportunities will present themselves before lunchtime. The later you wait, the more likely you'll encounter Last-Minute Lindas, Tardy Tonys and Progressive Party voters. They've always been a bit slow off the mark.

Vote Often

Of course you can't literally vote often, but don't let that stop you cruising the various polling booths. Epsom Community Centre a bit flat? Then head over to Remuera Kindergarten. Need an excuse to be there? For less than $2, a notepad and a pen turns anyone into a windswept and interesting roving reporter. Or at least some poor schmo from the Central Leader, it all depends how you carry it off.

Don't talk politics

Whoever you're talking to obviously cares enough about politics to drag themselves out of bed and along to some depressing community hall smelling of grey power and sweaty boy scouts. And unless they're wearing a rosette (NB stay away from anyone wearing a rosette, they are by definition completely and utterly mad), you won't know which way they voted. And for Gods sake, if they ask you, don't reply "I'm not even registered love, I'm just here to pick up hotties." It took me two non-molestation orders to work that one out.

So that's it. Good luck. And remember to Have Your Way on Election Day.

*Thanks to Timmy G for the extra pick-up lines