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Speaker: Why you should vote

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  • Angela Hart,

    Thanks James, this is a good way to explain it and I agree that it is foolish not to vote. However, our system is sorely lacking in the checks and balances which should ensure that the leadership takes note of the populace. You only need look at the public health and disability amendment act 2013 to see that.
    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2013/0022/latest/whole.html

    This bill removes a specific legal right from New Zealanders

    Tariana Turia still believes that she voted against this bill, which as Minister for Disability issues, you'd expect. But the reality is that because it was put through under urgency and as part of the budget, and the Maori party is required to vote with the Nats for confidence and supply, her vote wasn't recorded as she wanted.

    It is really important to vote, in order to obtain as much as possible in the way of checks on the abuse of power, but we may also need to build more checks and balances into our system. For that we need a government which truly represents its people, which requires a high voter turn out.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Henry Harrison,

    An interesting take on why to vote. I've always used a simpler notion, though where I originally got it from, I no longer remember:

    There might not be anything (or anyone) you want to vote for, but there is sure to be someone or thing you want to vote against!

    Wellington • Since May 2008 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Angela Hart,

    I agree that it is foolish not to vote.

    Happy at the present point in time to languish in the realm of the foolish, Angela.

    So far, neither Labour nor the Greens have stated specifically that they will make repealing that shitty piece of legislation a priority....believe me I have scoured both parties' Policy statements,

    AND spent a considerable amount of time on the phone with each's head office asking more or less..."what's the story ?"

    So far I have a message via Mojo that they will aim to repeal the PHDAct(2)...I replied that I was looking forward to actually reading that in their policy statement.

    Methinks there is a little bet hedging going on here.

    Jesus wept....these politicians a wriggly arsed bunch.

    I apologise for banging on about this one particular issue....but it really does provide us all with a benchmark when it comes to deciding on who to vote for, or if one votes at all.

    This issue has been meandering its way through nearly fourteen years of discussion, mediation, tribunal and court hearings, consultation and submissions and yet more discussion.

    Culminating in the shitty broadside from the Nats and their supporters...and the predictable howls of protest from the opposition benches.

    Yet Labour could have addressed the discrimination before the issue was heard at the Human Rights Review Tribunal in 2008.

    It didn't.

    Why not?

    And on an issue that even some deeply blue National supporters found repugnant, one would have thought that making clear and unambiguous policy statements on this issue would have made sound political sense for both Labour and the Greens.

    Oh, dear!

    Methinks, perhaps, that I overthink the whole politics thing.

    Demand too much from those who clamour for my precious vote.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Well put James.

    More crudely If JK is PM he can safely ignore any party that has less than 6-7% of the vote and he will because he doesn't need them at all. If those parties had 12% then he would need them and he would suck up to them and do deals to get their vote for the things he wants.

    Essentially your minority voice will only be heard if JK thinks he needs the vote from the minority party that most represents your voice.

    I've always voted for a slightly different reason.
    In a democracy most people have two times in their life when they can influence the democracy.

    The first is when they vote - yes the influence is small but it's the only influence you have unless you want to enter the murky waters of politics yourself.

    The second is when you are on jury duty - that is the time when you actually apply the laws that the government passes and on a jury you can influence whether those laws are being applied correctly.

    It would seem a pity not take part in the democracy in which we live.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    So far I have a message via Mojo that they will aim to repeal the PHDAct(2)…I replied that I was looking forward to actually reading that in their policy statement.

    Methinks there is a little bet hedging going on here

    I still don't see what benefit you gain by not voting. Or to put it another way, what do you actually have to lose?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    In a democracy most people have two times in their life when they can influence the democracy.

    I've always encouraged my lad to get involved and have his say. He's organised a couple of large letter-writing and signing campaigns on various conservation issues, and he and his mates like to claim partial credit for the abandonment of the Fiordland monorail project. Who knows if this is the case, but at least they made their voices heard and who knows, perhaps the influx of teenage indignation did have some influence on Nick Smith.
    Overall I agree with you, and with the idea that we should cherish the right to vote.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 821 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    Pity we can't have all those unused votes traded on Trademe.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Richard Aston,

    Then they'd be seen to be worth something!

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • RaggedJoe, in reply to Henry Harrison,

    I also have a simpler notion, which I have tried to impress on my kids.

    Contemplate an environment where you have no vote, then consider how lucky you are to have the right. Now exercise that right.

    You can use it positively to support or negatively to demonstrate disagreement, but please use the opportunity.

    City of Sales • Since Sep 2008 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    And some of the vote buying that goes on would be obvious.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Murray Hewitt,

    free reign

    Very appropriate spelling in these times of King Key

    Wainui • Since Jan 2008 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to RaggedJoe,

    nice infographic from the Guardian - timeline of women's right to vote.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 821 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Or to put it another way, what do you actually have to lose?

    Integrity and principals, morals and ethics.

    Quite a bit of talk here about getting rid of JK...I'm with y'all there...Off with his head!

    BUT...a pity that the precious vote is being used AGAINST something or someone....rather than FOR....as it ought to be.

    Please...who do I vote for?

    I have MY bottom line policy issue....

    I will vote for the party that states unequivocally that it WILL repeal the PHDAct(2) ammendment AND reveal the redacted sections of the Regulatory Impact Statement. Within the first month of claiming a majority.

    Tempus is fugiting, and I have not yet seen ANY concrete policy statement on this.

    I would be stupid not to recognise that there will be one of two outcomes when you all go and do your thing in September.

    The Nats will get back in. And may God have mercy on our souls.

    There will be a tentative Labour/Green coalition.....with other minor parties on the periphery.

    The latter outcome demands that there is a clear mandate....which could very well be undermined by He Who Must Not Be Identified By His Country Of Origin and His Kiwi Friends.

    Let the Games commence.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to RaggedJoe,

    You can use it positively to support or negatively to demonstrate disagreement, but please use the opportunity.

    Or you can choose not to vote.

    This in itself is exercising your democratic right.

    It is saying..."None of these candidates/political parties is worth voting for".

    It always amuses me when those of us who don't vote are accused of being "apathetic", "lazy" or "foolish".

    In many cases it is a well considered stance...if you like...a political statement.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    I will vote for the party that states unequivocally that it WILL repeal the PHDAct(2) ammendment AND reveal the redacted sections of the Regulatory Impact Statement. Within the first month of claiming a majority.

    Which will never happen, and frankly I don't think it should -- legislative stunts under urgency generally aren't a great idea: look at National Standards. So you've basically set an unrealistic standard for earning your vote -- which is your right, but I don't see it does you any material good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Integrity and principals, morals and ethics.

    I don't understand how casting a vote compromises the voter's integrity, morals or ethics. Principles perhaps.

    I agree that the potential outcomes are worrisome, but think that's all the more reason to vote, and to encourage others to do so too.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Which will never happen, and frankly I don’t think it should – legislative stunts under urgency generally aren’t a great idea:

    Repealing the amendments made to the Public Health and Disability Act on the 17th May 2013 will restore the previous status quo.

    Instantly.

    Simply removing the few lines in MOH:DSS documents that were the reason for the Atkinson and Others v. MOH case would have been all that was needed to stop the discriminatory practise.

    This is actually a very simple issue.


    The rights and wrongs have been exhaustively addressed through all three hearings...from a New Zealand Bill of Rights Act perspective.

    Perhaps I am being "unrealistic"...add that to "lazy", " apathetic", "foolish".

    Maybe I should take a different tack with Labour and the Greens on this.

    Instead of asking "Will you.....?" I might ask "Why wouldn't you.....?"

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    It always amuses me when those of us who don't vote are accused of being "apathetic", "lazy" or "foolish".

    In many cases it is a well considered stance...if you like...a political statement.

    Whereas I would choose to spoil my ballot paper if I wished to demonstrate my disgust at the lack of decent choices, which at least has a chance of being recognised as a political statement. I don't think failing to vote has much chance of being seen as a political statement. It means that you choose not to do the little that you can. It is your choice., but it is a hard won right that you are setting aside.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Maybe I should take a different tack with Labour and the Greens on this.

    Instead of asking "Will you.....?" I might ask "Why wouldn't you.....?"

    They've both said they want to fix this problem. They don't want to promise to do it ahead of other priorities and not knowing what strength they will have in a new governing situation. You've actually got honest answers instead of promises which might not be able to be kept.
    However you are right about the lack of information on this in written policy.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Instead of asking “Will you…..?” I might ask “Why wouldn’t you…..?”

    or "How can I work with you to...?"

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    We vote for the parliament, not the government.

    Democracy doesn't end with the election ether. The MP's are there to represent there constituents, and they need ongoing support from there constituents.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to steven crawford,

    Good point - the opposition do shape policy during the term of a government. Same with all the community organisations, corporate lobbyists, and assorted riff-raff. We deserve better riff-raff! Vote frankenfurter.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    At the handover of the petition last month both Ruth Dyson and the Greens committed to repealing the Act. Like Russell, I think rushed law changes are bad - much of the bad law in this current government, like National Standards, goes back to the marathon law changes the incoming government did in December 2008. I would prefer a select committee process that let people have input and let the politicians consider the issues properly.

    I know you are not voting from a moral position but when I hear about non voting women I just feel so sad for those suffragists who worked so hard for so many years to win the right to vote.

    Are you registered in King Country? I used to be on a school board of trustees with the Labour candidate there Penny Gaylor. I would vote for her.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Good point – the opposition do shape policy during the term of a government.

    I tend to think Auckland Central benefits from being competitive. For the last three years, it's effectively had two very good MPs: Nikki Kaye and Jacinda Ardern. Green voters could make a real impact with their electorate votes this year though. Watch that space.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Jane Pearson, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    Thank you for the link to the infographic from The Guardian, Carol. I was discussing the right of women to vote with my class today and will share this with them tomorrow.

    Since Feb 2010 • 28 posts Report Reply

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