Should We Vote ?

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What happens if we do not cast our vote in September?

Well nothing much, it’s ok, there is no compulsory voting in NZ, but it is a requirement to be on the Electoral Roll. Apart from being on the roll, no one will question you, so it’s very easy to non-vote.

Some people say “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain”. Well that’s not right you can always complain.

Others say “You can’t trust any politicians”. And yes, recent events do seem to support that idea.

Another comment is “The non-vote is a form of protest”. That’s not correct – a non-vote actually supports those who do vote, and you may not get what you agree with.

At the last election 75% of those enrolled on the General Roll voted, (58% for the Maori roll), there were about 3 million on the roll, but 791,000 did not vote. For the Otaki electorate the turnout was 80%, with 8385 non-votes, better than the NZ average but still less than Denmark, a country of similar population, with a voter turnout of 86%.

A claim is made that if our system of politics is based on 75% of the population – it is not democracy if 25% of people are ignored.

The previous election results show a pattern with votes following broad political concepts. Using Wikipedia descriptions a summary showed that the majority chose Economic Liberalism and the Free Market concept, by some 370,000 votes. Compared with the concept of Social Equality and Equal Rights. This should raise a question; would the result have changed much with an additional 791,000 votes?

The non-voter effectively delegated the choice of Government to the people who did vote. Consequently the decision of what political ideology should govern was made by one broad group in our society.

Was that what we wanted?

We have an opportunity in September this year, surely we should take full advantage and not leave the decision to others.

We need to Vote!

by Phil Malpas