Friday, November 18, 2011

Can You Say Farce?

New Zealand's elections are coming up! Brilliant! Time to kick National to the curb (Please on please don't vote National. That would be tragic).

Anyway, they're also doing a referendum on our voting system. What a crock! I just had a look at my voting papers and the information they sent out. For each of the options, the first sentence is "There are 120 members of parliament". Wow! Way to point out the differences in the different systems. If you look at the layout of the options in the informational leaflet, you can't help but think "It's not symmetrical". I can't help but wonder as to their reasons for the layout. For example, on the first line, MMP takes up 2/3's of the line, FFTP, 1/2. On the 2nd line, it's all Preferential Voting. The third line, a 50/50 mix of Single Transferable Vote and Supplementary Member.

Is this just a really bad case of someone trying to subliminally influence people's votes? Given the wording of NZ's last big referendum, "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?", it's easy to see an improvement. I'm not sure if I've said this on this blog, but I thought the question was stupid and designed to get a particular answer. i.e. It's pathos. If you don't agree with the question, you don't believe in good parenting.

So it's an improvement. However, given that we're being bombarded with irrelevant information and not really given the information we need to make an informed decision, I would argue that this referendum is just as irrelevant. It's no more than a complete waste of money.

Shouldn't there be some sort of check on this sort of thing?...

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