A serious post about the flag referendum


Please vote.

Whatever you like to see happen, vote for that.   You will get a form that looks eerily like this, and you are expected to rank one, more or all flags by writing the numbers 1 through 5 in the boxes below, with 1 being your most favoured choice, 2 the next favoured, etc.  Until you run out of flags you like or you have numbered all five.  

I’m not telling what your vote should be.  That’s up to you.  But here are some examples.


This is how John Key might vote.  First, the flag he likes the best.   Then the flag he can live with as a 2nd choice.  And then he stops.   Or he might rank them all.  Black and white fern 3, Red peak 4, Koru 5.

You get the idea.  I hope.

Now, what to do if you want to keep the old flag?   You have a choice of not voting, spoiling the voting paper, ranking them in order of preference even though you will still vote against change, or…?


This is how I will vote.   The Koru has only 2% natural support.  The likelihood that it will float to the top is zero.  But the effect is that none of the other flags are going to get any support, because I won’t rank them.

Whatever support the Koru gets above 2% will be the “protest vote” as not being able to vote “no” in any way in this stage of the process.  It becomes measurable, rather than not voting, or spoiling the ballot.

Although I like to think this blog’s reach is huge, and it is in comparative terms, I have very little influence over the voters as a group.  If that was the case, then I could personally drive every election result.   But, if you are in the “I want to keep the current flag” camp, and you are stuck between deciding to ignore, to spoil, to rank things you don’t like and voting for the least favoured option, at least you now have a set of choices to pick from.

John Key has publicly admitted defeat before we even got started.  There will be no change in 2016.   So all that remains now is to participate in our democracy and vote where your heart takes you.





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