How we vote in New Zealand

Just be­cause you voted in this year’s gen­eral elec­tion doesn’t mean you know how ev­ery­thing works. Luck­ily, David Slack has the an­swers.

Sunday Star-Times - - FOCUS A11 OPINION -

MMP makes prom­i­nent busi­ness­men cross. It makes them say things like how can one man hold us to ran­som this is 2017 we are not a third world coun­try FFS.

One huge ques­tion hangs over this elec­tion: do we ac­tu­ally know how our elec­toral sys­tem works? Yeah, nah.

What a ter­ri­ble state of af­fairs. And what do we al­ways do about a ter­ri­ble state of af­fairs, pun­ters? Dead right. Dump it on the teach­ers.

So stand by Ms Wal­lis in Room 3 and Mr Ger­rit­sen in pre­fab 94, here comes an Emer­gency Civics Teach­ing Guide, writ­ten in sim­ple Year 3 words for your kids and also any­one else you might meet wher­ever you go.

By rights there should be heaps of pic­tures, but there’s no money for that, so let’s just pre­tend they’re there, like the salary our teach­ers ought to get.

How We Vote in New Zealand: An Emer­gency Civics Teach­ing Guide.

This is an elec­tion. Many peo­ple come and put their votes in the box, es­pe­cially granny and gran­dad. If you are 18 you can vote, too. You can do it prop­erly with an easy-vote card, but you can also just turn up and say I only have a Fly Buys card can I vote please and they will say yes you can, we will just add up your votes two weeks af­ter the other ones.

This is a prom­i­nent busi­ness­man go­ing for­ward. He is cross that it takes so long to add up all the votes. He says this is 2017 and we are not a Third-World coun­try, FFS. This is some­thing peo­ple with money say when they are cross.

This is Win­ston Peters .Heisa politi­cian. No­body can re­mem­ber when he was not a politi­cian. Ev­ery­one wants to have him in their Gov­ern­ment. When­ever any­one puts him in their Gov­ern­ment they get thrown out at the next elec­tion, but ev­ery­one still wants him. Some peo­ple say this is be­cause MMP is stupid. Other peo­ple say it is be­cause politi­cians are stupid.

This is MMP. MMP makes prom­i­nent busi­ness­men cross. It makes them say things like how can one man hold us to ran­som this is 2017 we are not a Third-World coun­try FFS.

This is Hon­est Bill and his friend Hon­est Steven. They are point­ing at the sky which is full of rain and hail and say­ing that it is blue and sunny. Peo­ple are not look­ing up at all, but they are say­ing the sky is blue and sunny be­cause Bill and Steven said so.

Peo­ple who do not look up at the rain also say that Bill and Steven are re­spon­si­ble eco­nomic man­agers.This is a thing peo­ple say be­cause they hear other peo­ple say it. It does not ac­tu­ally mean any­thing un­less you think $1.2 mil­lion is a rea­son­able price for a brick and tile in Henderson.

This is Dave. Dave has just got back from a two-month hol­i­day in Europe and he will stop you in the street to tell you he can’t be­lieve the coun­try is be­ing held to ran­som. He wants you to name one sin­gle other place in the world where this could hap­pen. If you say to him: ‘‘Ger­many’’, he will act like he has lost his hear­ing and go right on to say this is 2017, we are not a Third-World coun­try FFS.

This is Bor­gen. Bor­gen isaTV pro­gramme in Den­mark. It is about pol­i­tics and MMP but peo­ple re­ally like it. It is also about a woman called Bir­gitte. Bir­gitte is very lovely and smart and peo­ple like her very much even though she is a lefty and rides a bi­cy­cle. Bir­gitte be­comes the prime min­is­ter be­cause ev­ery­one who lives in Den­mark un­der­stands you can be the leader of a small party and still do that. They say hooray for Bir­gitte, even though she is a lefty and a bloody cy­clist. In Bor­gen they never say things like we are not a ThirdWorld coun­try, FFS. Peo­ple in Den­mark have a lot of money.

This is the Sainte-Lague¨ for­mula .It is the method we use to work out who gets seats in Par­lia­ment. It is quite com­pli­cated but it is not the part of MMP that con­fuses peo­ple. What con­fuses peo­ple is the idea that the big­gest party might not get to be the Gov­ern­ment. It is funny that peo­ple can­not work this out, be­cause this is 2017 and we are not a Third-World coun­try FFS.


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