The lesser of two evils

I’m not really sure how to vote.

I’m kinda pissed off at Labour over the extraordinarily cynical exercise of the EFA, I’m definitely pissed off at them over this whole “ISPs have to disconnect customers based solely on accusations of copyright infringement” thing (which appears to be driven solely by Siones Wedding, which was massively pirated … by copied DVDs rather than P2P) and I am surely pissed off at anyone that has anything to do with Winston “NO (cheques .. cash only)” Peters.[1]

However, I cannot possibly vote for the Nats, because their social stances are just too regressive.

Dammit. Perhaps I should abstain from voting altogether.

[1] I would also accept Winston[2] being referred to as “Chopper”.

[2] I actually saw the classic Winston cliche on the news last night – a dear old thing, telling the interviewing reporter that Winston “Always dressed so nicely, such a nice man.” … I’m not unconvinced that she wasn’t taking the piss.


  1. It comes down to whether you want to try to vote Labour out or not. I’m pissed off at them enough that I’ll be voting to do so, even though I’m not particularly impressed with the Nats.

    Two points:

    1. The Nats have effectively neutered themselves with their “don’t scare anyone, agree with all of Labour’s policies”.
    2. The Nats front bench aren’t very appealing but neither is Labour’s.

    • You’re assuming that they’ll stick to their announced policies.
      Historically they tend not to. (not saying Labour do either)

      – MugginsM

  2. Ditto on the not quite decided thing, although I seem to be headed towards another party vote for the greens.. No idea who to vote for in my local electorate – Peter Dunne will probably get back in regardless.

  3. I would like to recommend the Feen Party
    Feen Party Policies include:
    – lying in the sun for at least 4 hours everyday
    – compulsory snoozes
    – daily structured play
    – Fancy Feast for all
    – bath water on demand
    – legalised Plush-Sucking; what one does with ones plush in the privacy of ones own home is ones own business
    so I think you might find his case quite compelling

  4. Yeah.

    I’m unhappy with Labour, but National are so much worse.

    I don’t thing trying to game the system by voting in the
    “bad guys” just to give the “good guys” a shock is a smart
    idea, not with the economy and environment in the state they’re in.

    I’m just going to continue voting for the party I think
    has the best policies/history (Greens) and the local
    candidate I feel represents me best (Clark), regardless
    of their chances.

    – MugginsM

  5. A vote for one of Labour’s coalition partners would be a vote for the left side of the spectrum, without supporting Labour themselves?

    I think you should vote – more votes for any other party reduces NZ First’s chance of reaching 5% 🙂

  6. I agree with most of what you have said. B&B are getting my party vote!

    I just wish they had used a slogan like “Putting the Partay, into the Party”!

  7. The interesting thing about the NZ political system is that there are more than two parties. Actual parties, even. Labour are perhaps a bunch of egomaniacal arsehats, but they are also, going on historical guides, less arsehattish than National. Labour, for example, actually have one or two people in it that aren’t complete prats. I can’t really think of a National MP that isn’t a pillock. Including that Nice Mr Lockwood Smith who stole the win from us when we were on It’s Academic in 1983. Not that I’m bitter.

    Anyway, given that the general public in NZ seem to be stupid enough to actually vote for National on the basis of “Oh, some change would be nice, even if it is similar to shoving your hand down a waste disposal” there are only two tactical voting choices that make sense: vote for the Labour candidate locally if they have any chance and use the party vote for a viable third party choice. While I don’t agree with even half their policies and think some of them are batty (I’m writing at you, Sue), the Greens have a decent chance at being a pivot point in the next parliament *and* can be trusted to be honest in what they do with that power. That puts them waaaay ahead of any of the other choices out there.

    • I’m not voting for “a change” because I’m bored. I’m voting for a change of government because I want Labour out.

      And voting for the Greens is still voting for a Labour government, sadly.

      • That’s nonsense. You appear to be playing the old FPP game of voting for a lizard you hate so that the other lizard (which you hate even more) doesn’t get re-elected.We have MMP now, though it would be improved further with range voting, so that voting tactically does not mean losing the opportunity to vote in favour of your most preferred party even in the case of only one winning position being available.

        • Your first paragraph is entirely correct but I fail to see why it’s nonsense. I’m voting to achieve a particular aim and that’s a good enough reason for me.

          • It’s nonsense because it’s irrational to want something out (ie. “a change”) and being willing to accept or actively seek something worse. Something about “cutting off your nose to spite your face” springs to mind.

            And yes, the Greens are, in many ways, very similar to Labour. But their key differences are, IMO:

            a. They’re not as corrupt.
            b. They’re not as right wing.
            c. They’re transparent in how they do things.

            Granted, these may not be traits you seek in a political party. 🙂

          • I’ll be voting National because I think they’re a better option than Labour.

            And, once again, voting Green will lead to a Labour government because the Greens have promised it will. Seeing as my #1 priority is to not have a Labour government, voting Green would get me the opposite of what I want.

          • So you actually see National as a better option over Labour? Can you articulate the *why* of that? I’m interested because I honestly don’t understand.

          • I can see why people on large incomes who send their kids to private schools and can afford to pay for mum or dad’s hip replacement would vote National. Likewise business people who don’t like the RMA, National makes sense for them. Or people who invest in private prisons, or work place accident insurance companies, Nats all the way.

            And maybe I can justify young voters who don’t remember previous National governments and how they gutted the country to line overseas investors’ pockets and gave us artificial competition in our health care system because the theory was fashionable.

            But everyone else? People, people, people… We’ve only just got our (now run down) rail services back. DHB are working out that if they co-operate life gets easier. Kiwisaver is giving us assets, and we now have a NZ owned bank again. Working for Families is helping people and most importantly, it’s helping kids. No more market rents, no interest on the odious student loans. Prescription and doctors visits that can be actually afforded.

            Now it’s all going to get chucked out and we’re back to the dog eat dog true blue – the poor just need to work harder – stuff.

  8. I’m pretty sure I’m voting Green. I figure that whichever lot of bastards get in the Greens will have a good go at keeping them honest. I like a lot of their social and environmental policy and I like that they manage to be both reasonably savvy and still wide-eyed and idealistic.

  9. I still find it a pity that, as far as I can tell, NZ doesn’t report statistics on ruined ballots.

    • NZ voting forms are idiot-proof. The black bits in the tickboxes encourage the voters to confine their marks to within the circles (a picture of example tick is provided, even). The names and logos are clear. The electorate and party votes are vertically aligned, even, so that two ticks on the same row means the party vote and the electorate vote goes to members of the same party.

      The staff are plentiful and helpful, so people with disabilities are not at any significant disadvantage.

      I would expect the proportion of spoiled voting papers to be very, very close to zero. It would be really hard to imagine how one could get spoiled, let alone spoiled and submitted.

      • You’re assuming involuntarily spoiled votes – there are places where the preponderance of spoiled votes function as a indicator of absent voter confidence.

  10. There are more than two options.

    I wouldn’t have gone near the Greens in 2002, after the nasty “Corngate” smear-mongering, but that was six years ago, and they’ve changed since then. Now they’re being run by a bunch of serious-minded people who think politics is about tackling real problems, not a sport where you fight the other team for the sake of it. I’ve been impressed by the depth of knowledge of their candidates and supporters, and most especially by their respect for evidence over rhetoric.

    Basically, I’m a conservative voter, in the sense that I don’t believe in changing things unless there’s a good reason to change them. It’s not a conincidence that the Green candidate I’ll be voting for in my electorate is Ken Graham, the brother of Doug Graham, who is one of the few National Party MPs I’ve ever had much respect for. When things need to be changed, I want to see calm, rational minds approach the change with hypotheses they’re willing to subject to testing, and the Greens are the only party I see behaving that way at the moment.

    So I’m off to the old school to vote for them now.