Countdown to the ballot box

So, what’s on my grocery list today? Broccoli, toothpaste, mayonnaise, casting my vote…

Yes, that’s right. From 2020, you will be able to vote at your local school, library, at the supermarket and in public toilets. It seems that ballot boxes will be set up everywhere, in an undisguised effort to increase the left vote. After all, of the missing million that they talk about every 3 years, we all know that most of them, if they voted at all, would vote for parties on the left.

Justice Minister Andrew Little announced changes on Thursday that will see voters gaining the right to enrol on election day at next year’s general election, and allowing ballot boxes to be placed in supermarkets and malls to make it easier for people to vote.

I am really not sure I like the idea of enrolling on election day. What is to stop you from voting as yourself once, and then going to a public toilet (or wherever) and claiming that you are not on the roll? It seems like a really good way of committing electoral fraud to me.

The Justice Select Committee is currently holding an Inquiry into the 2017 General Election, where it has been advised by the Electoral Commission.

Little said the committee would run out of time to enact any changes to make voting easier, so the Government gave the green light to recommendations that were not particularly controversial, he said.

National’s electoral law spokesman Nick Smith said that was a poor excuse and the changes were a “stitch-up”.

“If the minister was concerned about the timetable, he could have asked the committee, at any stage in the past 18 months, to address the issues quicker.

He believed the three parties in Government had cherry picked Electoral Commission recommendations with the objection of making it easier.

Of course they did. This government is clearly very worried about its re-election chances. The question is – will it make any difference?

“We know from advice that if you allow same day enrolment and voting, that tends to favour parties of the left. The international vote, as we saw in the 2017 final count, tended to favour parties like the Greens.” 

I really do think a time limit should be imposed on overseas voters. Let’s say, if someone has been out of the country for more than 5 years, then they are not allowed to vote. Too many of these overseas voters have lost touch with New Zealand, and have no idea that the Greens, for example, will wreak economic sabotage on the country. Those overseas voters also do not have to live with the consequences, which is probably more important.

There were long standing conventions that electoral law changes were made on cross party basis because of the risk of trying to “screw the scrum” and advantage the Government of the day, he said.
In this case, the process was sneaky and National had not been consulted, he said.
The party only found out about the Cabinet decisions through questioning at a Budget estimates hearing on Thursday.

Open and transparent, huh? Get me a Tui.

New Zealand’s democracy was vulnerable because there was nothing in place to run a checks over law changes such as these that set a dangerous precedent, he said.

Changes included Election-day enrolment, more voting places where people live, work and play, such as supermarkets, making it easier to vote from overseas, and strengthening measures to protect the electoral process in the event of a significant emergency or national disaster.

Supermarket owners may well not be very happy about this. They want the people in their stores and their car park to be shopping, not voting. Just think about the average time it will take for shoppers to vote in a supermarket. Saturdays are busy shopping days, and this will cause queues, delays and a car park full of people who are not actually shopping. Why would any business owner want this?

Putting ballot boxes in supermarkets and malls would make it easier for people to vote, Little said.

“It’s important that ballot boxes are placed where people are going about their normal business and can therefore accommodate voting more easily into their busy lives.”

Stuff.


Well… I guess they didn’t manage to get the 5% threshold dropped in time for the next election, so this is the next best thing. Make it as hard as possible for people NOT to vote… and the parties on the left will pick up a lot more votes then they would otherwise.

Or so we all assume.

No government should be making these decisions in a partisan manner. In spite of what they say, this shows how very little regard that Labour and in particular the Greens have for actual democracy. They will do absolutely anything to stay in power. But there’s nothing new in that, is there?

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