Voting’s important, people. I know local body politics are poorly covered and full of who-dats, but the first step to changing that is for us to turn out and stop them taking us for granted.
And if you don’t vote? The spreadsheet will know. Fear the judgement of spreadsheets.
I really don’t like local government politics. I think a lot of this is really projected self-loathing, because as a political person I know I should care. I know it’s important, really, it’s about all those services and environmental and cultural issues which do make a serious difference to how we live and function as a community … but fucking Christ is it a dire thing every three years when it’s not-really-an-election time and a bunch of people you’ve never heard of before are suddenly clamoring for your attention.
So to make it easier on everyone – most of all myself – here’s
Your ultimate Wellington local government mega-voting-advice post with Bonus Candidate Translator
I stole a few of the links here from WCC Watch, but I’ll put them first to make up for it.
Do you care about fluoride? Check out the WCC Watch guide.
Do you care about libraries? WCC Watch has the goods again.
Do you care about a living wage? The Living Wage Campaign has got candidates to sign up to the cause.
Do you want candidates who can follow directions and give short, snappy responses to important questions? Wellingtonista has you covered.
Are you a transport fiend? Generation Zero has done the polling for you.
In case you’re still utterly confused about STV, Graeme Edgeler’s post at Public Address is the time-honoured go-to.
But you’re not fully equipped for the horrors which await you yet, so here, take this:
Candidate Bio Decoder
If the following words appear in a candidate bio or statement, they’re probably a rabid rightwing scumbag:
- “strong leadership” (as a positive)
- “balanced transport solution” (only mentions roads and parking spaces)
- “affordable rates” (as a positive), “high rates” (as a negative)
- “fiscal responsibility”
- “Why is Celia wearing the same dress for the entire mayoral campaign? And it isn’t flattering at all.”
There’s any number of obvious issues around the fact that it’s the better of the two non-Wellysuck signs in terms of tactical voting, the most obvious being of course that an explicitly Maori symbol doesn’t go down well with the middle-class white punters whose sensibilities are so offended by the Wellycrap sign.
And as KB commenters are quick to point out, it’s damn telling that there’s no “no fucking sign, thanks, you prats” option.
To continue my previous, pageview-exploding metaphor on the subject, Wellington Airport continues to be that tragic figure trying to convince you his moustache makes him look like George Clooney, only now he’s posting pictures on Facebook (probably with the help of a long-suffering teenager who’s hoping for a car for Christmas) of that awful ‘stache styled in three different ways and demanding you tell him which makes him look more like George Clooney.
None of the moustaches make you look like George Clooney.
Lonely Planet already named Wellington the Coolest Little Capital in the world. Not sure why a company so dependent on attracting tourism wants to fuck that up.
Lyndon Hood’s spreadsheet guide to voting in the forthcoming [insert ideological slant] referendum is amazing, and offers a great reason not to write rude things on your ballot – it’s not the little orange person’s fault the question’s stupid, is it?
Great list of suggestions for alternative questions in our upcoming “child discipline” referendum over at The Dim Post. I’m a particular fan of:
Should a smack as part of good parental driving out of devils be considered a criminal offense in New Zealand?
And the commenter who extensively cited Lewis Carroll gets ALL the e-cookies.
So far the leaders of our two major political parties have variously indicated that they agree the question is stupid (but seem to have determinedly avoided pointing out that this is due to our CIR procedures being rubbish in this regard) and probably won’t vote.
Well, I’m going to vote. Because the people who put forward questions like this are not overly swayed by facts. If only 80,000 people actually fill in their ballots correctly and 75% are no-votes, which of those numbers are we going to hear about? The pathetic turnout or the “75% of people think section 59 should be put back into effect!” spin?
Voting yes, for me, isn’t just about supporting a law that is working or making a stand against all violence in New Zealand families. And it’s not just a way of saying “fuck off” to Bob McCoskrie and his ilk (though that’s a bonus). It’s a way of showing them hey, you do NOT speak for the majority of New Zealanders, you do NOT speak for “normal” or “mainstream” or “middle” New Zealand, your ideas are BAD and you should FEEL bad.
Tomorrow is Election Day, New Zealand, and as worrying as the polls can be looking at the moment – no matter which team you’re batting for – what always comes to the fore in my mind is the concern that people just vote. There’s no shortage of polling booths and there’s no five-hour queues (holy shit, USA). I don’t care who it’s for, if it’s even serious (though I must admit to be interested to see what support Bill & Ben garner), I just want you to take a few minutes out of your day and participate in this fucking awesome democratic shindig we have going on.
Speaking of which, so far the hardest part of planning my own celebration of the day has been discovering that purple food colouring is really bloody hard to find. Red, blue, green, yellow, even black, no problem. Purple? It’s a clear indication God doesn’t want me to make United Future cupcakes.