It is an offence to publish any material that might dissuade people from voting, or encourages voting for or against any party or candidate, on election day. So from midnight until after polling closes all comments to KP will be moderated by Anita, Pablo and myself.
But it is not an offence to exhort others to vote, in a nonpartisan fashion. The old cynic’s argument is that if voting made a difference, they would have banned it. In fact, in plenty of places they have banned it for just that reason. Whatever your view of the state of Aotearoan politics, it could be worse. Zimbabwean immigrant Peter Heath this evening called our election-day media ban “quaint”, and it certainly is when compared to the situation there, where (as he says) “officials are too busy with hacked off limbs to worry abt the odd tweet”. Long may it remain so.
We honour democracy by supporting it, and in addition to the other aspects of political participation that ultimately means turning out to vote. But people who feel disengaged from the political process, who feel it doesn’t serve their interests, or who refuse to vote on principled grounds shouldn’t be forced to add noise to an already-fuzzy democratic signal. So vote if you have the slightest inclination to do so, and if you haven’t the slightest, don’t.
But remember, this time around you have four votes: your two electoral votes are for New Zealand’s political body for the coming three years, but your two referendum votes are for its political soul.
Voted this week via fax from Canada. It’s odd that one can register via scanned forms, but you can’t vote that way. I suspect (with an assist from some friends) that the problem is that the Electoral Regulations specifically allow for fax voting, but no provision for email voting. Should be something that’s relatively easy to fix. Regardless, surprisingly painless to both register and vote from overseas.