elections

Hoarding nastiness still in full swing

You’d think things would be quietening down by now, but in some pockets of the country, things are still tense.

This comes off the back of Fia Turner finding her signs being ripped down by people, and some being replaced with Labour hoardings. Check her Facebook page out.

Labour really are the nasty party

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Will Fiji’s elections be free & fair?

Mohammed-Saneem

Supervisor of Elections at Fiji Elections Office, Mohammed Saneem Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

I am in Suva at the moment investigating Fiji’s path to democracy.

Today I visited the Fiji Elections Office, their Electoral Commission, and had an in-depth discussion with the Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem.

My questions and discussion focused on whether or not Fiji would be having free and fair elections on September 17.

In past elections there have been several incidences of vote tampering, ballot box stacking and in one particular example more votes cast than registered electors in a constituency.

Despite international observers in the past declaring elections free and fair it is obvious to all that Fiji’s past elections have been far from that.

Independence of Fiji Elections Office

The Fiji Elections Office is independent, just like New Zealand’s Electoral Commission. They are charged with overseeing the election and electoral law, which at present is by decree, but it is the law nonetheless.

I spent quite a bit of time understanding their voting processes and there are some quite innovative techniques they are utilising to combat voter fraud and vote rigging.

Voter Registration

The first step has been a comprehensive voter education and registration process that has been running for two years. Registered voters have a voter id card, this is not at all like the Easy Vote card that is so easily rorted in NZ.  The Fijian voter registration card is a photo id, it also contains biometric data (fingerprints) which require a match of at least 8 points.

The Fijian registered voters carry these cards everywhere. When I asked my cab diver last night, when I arrived in Suva, if he was registered to vote, he reached into his pocket and flourished it with obvious pride. Everyone eligible and registered to vote has one of these and a random sample on the streets shows that everyone without fail carries it. What this means is that only registered voters will be able to vote, and they require the photo and biometric identification in order to vote. This is a significant advancement over our voter registration processes in NZ. I should know as I have just watched my 18 year old son register to vote in NZ and our processes are farcical to say the least compared to what Fiji has initiated. ¬†¬† Read more »

Negative campaigning that makes voters feel guilty never works

There is a Facebook campaign running at the moment, run by the left wing, where people post pictures of themselves explaining why they vote National…they are all nasty.

Here is an example.

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They are even using their children to push their nasty message.

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And just so we get the gist of what they are about here is another one: ¬†¬† Read more »

An email from a reader

A reader and commenter, MAWG, writes:

We are seeing what I can only describe as the most vile sort of political debate in this country. ¬†¬† The issues are not being debated.¬† What we are seeing is behavior that we can only describe as “feral”.

We have orchestrated campaigns to destroy National election hoardings. We have these ferals boasting about it on Facebook. We have pure hate speech as part of a high profile campaign for the first time in my memory. We have overt anti-Semitism as part of a campaign against the government that is being funded by a German who owns an autographed copy of Mein Kampf.

We have a political left that rails against Chinese buying a few farms, but sees nothing wrong in a German funding a political party with the sole intent of carrying out a revolution. The crowd chanting “Fuck John Key” have done nothing more than pander to Kim’s ego, and will have done his cause more harm than good, but is symptomatic of the sort of politics that my parents moved to this country to avoid. ¬† Read more »

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Sign graffiti creativity in Hutt South

There is something to be said for creativity when it comes to election sign graffiti.

As my old mate in caucus, Scott Simpson, knows the best graffiti to your election signs is often that done by your own team.

I’m picking that Trevor Mallard has been consulting Scott Simpson and this is one of their collaborations.

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Turnout and complacency an issue

Voter turnout could be critical, along with complacency in this years election.

National are worried because of the low turnout in National seats at the last election…that is complacency kicking in. Labour are worried because they think the missing million are all their voters.

It’s a looming spectre both National and Labour say could derail the election, but which party stands to lose the most from a low voter turnout at the polls?

Figures from the latest Stuff-Ipsos poll show 77 per cent of people say only unforeseen events like illness or disaster would stop them voting.

When the remainder were asked what might put them off voting, 17.6 per cent said it was too difficult to get to a polling station, while 8 per cent said they were too busy and a further 8 per cent said they didn’t know enough about the issues or the candidates.

The data suggests this election could mirror 2011 when turnout sunk to 74.2 per cent Рthe lowest  since 1981.

National Party campaign director Steven Joyce said despite many polls showing the election was National’s to lose, a Labour-led government was still a realistic outcome.

“I think firstly, these are polls and the nature of polls is that they’re people’s opinions at a point in time and that makes it a reasonably costless sort of opinion.”

Joyce said the bulk of the missing voters were likely National supporters who thought the election was a foregone conclusion. ¬†¬† Read more »

It’s called a cheque Colin, and stuff all people use them these days

This is a quote from Colin Craig:

“I couldn’t even buy stationary at the shop this morning, without giving the man behind the counter a signed autograph.”

A signed autograph? Really? You autographed an autograph? Was it your dad?

The man is a complete muppet.

Stupidly he is also going toe to toe with Winston Peters, who is loving the attention and promising crazy policies like BCIR.

If National wants Conservative Party support it will have to make referendums binding, says the party’s leader Colin Craig.

He’s used his keynote speech at the party’s annual conference this weekend to highlight the party’s policy as a “bottom line” for any coalition negotiations.

Speaking to about 120 of the party’s rank and file, Craig said National was running a “nanny state”, that had grown “too big and too proud”.

“It’s time the government was smaller, it’s time the government was more efficient and it’s time the government was beholden to the people who voted them in. ¬† Read more »

Mark or Mike? Doesn’t really matter the missing million isn’t really a million or missing

I saw the headline this morning and though to myself…”Who is Mark Williams and why do I care what he has to say?”.

Mark WIlliams

Who was this Mark Williams who was providing his prognostications on our elections and turn out?

Well it turns out that it is Mike Williams aka Fat Tony the former president of the Labour party and he is shilling the mythical “missing million” story yet again.

The announcement of Laila Harre as leader of the Internet Party again put the political focus on the high rate of abstention in the 2011 general election when more than a quarter of enrolled voters failed to cast a ballot.

Harre stated her party’s main objective was to mobilise these no-shows, dubbed the “missing million”. If this happens, it is likely the survival of the National-led government would be in doubt.

The missing million fall into two groups: the nearly 800,000 who registered to vote but didn’t and the more than 200,000 Kiwis the Census tells us didn’t even bother to enrol.

Given pro-active enrolment campaigns by the Electoral Commission and the fact that enrolment in New Zealand is compulsory, it’s likely that the unenrolled group won’t reduce by much. That still leaves the enrolled non-voters. Following the 2002 general election, the Labour Party set out to understand who made up the non-vote to develop strategies to mobilise at least some in 2005.

The party observed that the non-vote was highest in safe Labour electorates and lowest in safe National seats. After research, a number of conclusions were reached.

The non-vote is nearly impossible to poll by conventional methods.

As many as half the people contacted refuse to participate. It is likely that in this group the non-voters are to be found (or not found).

Labour thinks, erroneously, that all of these “missing million” are going to vote for them or the left and hand victory to them at this year’s election. They are pouring precious resources into this group and at the same time ignoring the working poor of New Zealand and definitely ignoring the middle classes struggle.

There is some debate about whether or not there is infact a missing million. ¬† Read more »

First Union General Secretary misleads the NZ public on TV

On Q+A today on TV One Robert Reid said that the First Union does not advise its members who to vote for, though he did admit to reading WOBH.

Look at these quotes from their latest newsletter on their website (Union Express Page 14)

John Key has announced the Election date, which will be Saturday 20 September; in six months’ time.

FIRST Union will be working hard to get its members who are not enrolled to enrol, and will encourage them to vote.

FIRST believes that the political parties that support workers and people on the margins of society would be the most practical political parties to vote for.¬†However, the CTU and FIRST Union campaign is not going to be based around encouraging citizens who to vote for, but around changing the government. ¬† Read more »

Why the donations scandals are necessary for Labour to push

Labour's best bagman, Mike Williams could get donations from anyone

Labour’s best bagman: Mike Williams could get donations from anyone

Labour is continuing to push hard on Judith Collins and her glass of milk. They need to…along with their attempt to get traction on the legal and declared Antoine’s dinner.

Mike Williams gave a hint over why they need this to take hold…and it isn;t so they can get hits on National. The reasons are far more venal than that.

Political parties need money to survive in non-election years and to flourish when election day looms. Unlike Australia, most European democracies and the United States, New Zealand has not instituted state funding of political parties beyond the broadcasting grant that pays for (and limits) television and radio advertising during an election campaign.

If parties want to support an administration, employ organisers and advertise anywhere other than radio and television, they must raise their own money.

Mike Williams and Labour have for years wanted state funding of political parties. When my father was president of the National party he had regular meetings with Labour’s presidents and other presidents where the topic of state funding would come up.¬† Read more »