New Zealand goes to the polls

New Zealand has been going to the polls today. I’m less than an expert on NZ politics, so here are a few links for you.

Liveblogging should start Real Soon Now at The Hand Mirror. Check out their recent series of posts on the leadup to the election.

LudditeJourno takes a look at the different parties’ approach to gender in How much does gender matter this election?

Elsewoman is thinking about child poverty in Something to think about for election day tomorrow.

Deborah Russell is also thinking about inequality at the Dominion Post, in Property divide creating second-class citizens.

Antony Green has photos of polling places in New Zealand, showing the complete lack of election advertising material (which is banned). It’s refreshingly peaceful – and must be a step towards environmental friendliness as well, I should think? The rest of Atony Green’s blog has the usual intelligent, accessible election information for you.

And Lauren at TeenSkepchick reflects on voting for the first time.

Add your own links, thoughts, and updates here.

Categories: gender & feminism, parties and factions, Politics

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3 replies

  1. The booths close at 7pm NZ time, so 5pm in Victoria, NSW and Tasmania, 4.30pm in South Australia, 4pm in Queensland, 3.30pm in the Northern Territory and 2pm in Western Australia. I walked down to the local high school to vote with all my girls, said hello to one of my colleagues who was there as an Election Day Worker, cast my votes and collected my sticker. Enrolment is compulsory in New Zealand, but voting is not, so it will be interesting to see what the turnout is. I’m guessing low 70s (percent).
    I would speculate about the result, but our law says that we may not publish political commentary from 12am until the polls close on the day of the election, so there’s still an hour or so to go before I have an opinion.
    I was fairly impressed with accessibility information for the election. We got our EasyVote cards about 10 days ago, together with a list of polling booths in our electorate. There was accessibility information for each booth, showing fully accessible/some accessibility (meaning a very low step to be negotiated, such as a step through a door way)/no accessibility, together with phone numbers to be called if people wanted more information. The great majority of booths were fully accessible. We have lots of booths for each electorate – for example there is one 400metres from our house in one direction, and and another one 400metres in the other direction – so usually you have a choice about where to cast your vote. Once I got to the booth, there were people there to assist with voting if necessary, and there was plenty of seating available. The huge number of polling booths means that it’s very rare to have to queue to cast a vote.

  2. I would speculate about the result, but our law says that we may not publish political commentary from 12am until the polls close on the day of the election, so there’s still an hour or so to go before I have an opinion.

    That’s interesting. Does this have an effect on the way Twitter is used by voters? Obviously the law pre-dates the internet, let alone social networking.
    I have to say, I do like that you’re not allowed to do political campaigning on the day. I usually volunteer to hand out how-to-vote cards during Aussie federal elections, because I know that my preferred party polls much better when they have someone handing out HTVs. I do enjoy some aspects of it, particularly the camraderie that exists between the HTV folks of all different affiliations — it’s a great reminder that we’re all human, no matter how strongly we disagree about politics — but I know that the HTV folks bother a lot of voters too, and I can’t say I entirely blame them. Even though I try to hand out the HTV cards in a non-confrontational way (no forcibly shoving cards into people’s hands, getting into personal space, or insisting after someone has said “no”), it’s hard not to feel like I’m imposing. So I can see how the NZ law against print campaigning on election day must make it a much more pleasant experience for many voters, and I would not object to such a law in Australia.

  3. I was amazed by the lack of electoral material in those photos on Antony Green’s blog. Wow! I’d forgotten what it was like to be able to actually see the polling places rather than a grand blazon of (mostly) Liberal Party advertising material. To be honest, this is one of the few things I’d preferred about living in the ACT over living in WA – the ACT has stronger laws about where the advertising materials have to stop, and it’s further back from the polling place than the WA laws allow for.
    It’s interesting also to consider this in contrast to the US model (which we’re all getting exposed to again, because their ever-increasing election cycle is in full swing, and everyone knows US politics is the most important thing in the world ever, right?) which is basically “open slather” and “may the best fund-raiser win”. I find it an interesting contrast against places like the UK and Australia, where we limit the amount of time a campaign period may stretch to (six weeks, go to whoa) and in the case of the UK, where they limit the amount of money the various parties may spend on advertising and campaigning.

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