Why I’m not voting in the Flag Referendum

By   /   March 6, 2016  /   46 Comments

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The entire debate is pure political distraction and engaging in it is exactly what Key wants.

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I’m not voting in this stupid flag referendum.

I refuse to.

The entire debate is pure political distraction and engaging in it is exactly what Key wants.

Worried about housing affordability? Let’s talk about changing the flag.

Questioning why we are on the side of butchers and fanatics in the middle east?  Let’s talk about changing the flag.

Concerned public broadcasting and an informed electorate is being purposely dumbed down? Let’s talk about changing the flag.

Angry that 300 000 NZ children live in poverty? Let’s talk about changing the flag.

Want answers as to why the bloody hell we are bribing a Saudi businessman for a free trade deal with a nation that supports and funds the terrorists we are fighting? Let’s talk about changing the flag.

Demand real solutions to climate change? Let’s talk about changing the flag.

Disgusted that the poor are feudal servants in a country increasingly becoming ruled by the rich? Let’s talk about changing the flag.

Question the validity of simply coming up with new ways to disqualify those on welfare rather than gaining them real jobs? Let’s talk about changing the flag.

Distrustful of the mass surveillance powers Key has given himself? Let’s talk about changing the flag.

Want to know why women are still being paid less and why the minimum wage is still not enough to live on? Let’s talk about changing the flag.

Sickened by a rape culture that rarely provides justice to the victims? Let’s talk about changing the flag.

Want to know why private prisons and private charter schools are failing? Let’s talk about changing the flag.

The bloody flag! If it changes it will represent the cargo cult nation we have become where multi-millionaire traders can con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind to dance to whatever tune he fiddles.

I’m not participating in this bullshit farce any longer. We have 99 problems in NZ – a fucking flag ins’t one of them.

Voting only encourages these arseholes.

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46 Comments

  1. David H says:

    But once the Flag distraction has been removed then… So I am voting to keep the original flag, as is all my household,. And the more votes the bigger the message sent to Key.

  2. MYGENERATION says:

    I completely agree. But the process itself has been a sham as well;

    “You can vote for any flag you like, as long as John Key approves.”

    We need a Political Revolution. Come on Kiwis!

  3. saveNZ says:

    I’m going to vote for the old flag so that Key does not get his way.

    If you don’t vote Key wins!

    • Crikey says:

      Exactly SaveNZ, I am worried how many people are not voting to “protest”, EVERYONE who wants new flag will be voting for sure,and new flag may get in by accident!

  4. dave brown says:

    Ive changed my mind, I was going to abstain.
    Its principled to abstain as this is a ruling class jack off.
    But we are being asked to replace the old toothless British jack with a new corporate logo cynically trashing nature for selling out the country.
    So I’m voting for the status quo.
    When we begin to discuss the Republic of Aotearoa seriously I will then think about a suitable flag, preferably red.

  5. Clemgeopin says:

    Well, while I agree with you that Key and his highly paid PR cabal engineered this unasked for and unpopular cunning stunt as a massive manipulating scheme to distract and to divide the people, to me, not voting is not an option as it will simply enable these crooked ‘pseudo pretentious patriots’ to have their own way.

    I would like to have a new flag but I will be voting to retain the present flag at this time for several reasons. Here are a few:

    (a) To begin with, there were no surveys or different media polls to see if the people were interested to change the flag in the first place at this time.
    (b) The choices the panel gave us were very limited, a Clayton’s choice, with all the four designs being ferns, including the koru, a young fern! What kind of ‘choice’ is that? What a pathetic panel! Was that because Key said he likes the fern and promoted it? A flawed manipulated process.
    (c) The referendums were not held along with the general elections That would have reduced the cost and at the same time given a larger voter participation. It wouldn’t matter that such a process would have taken two elections or about 3 years, Nov 2014 and Nov 2017.
    (d) I dislike this particular chosen design. To me the ‘silver’ fern looks like a white feather or a dead fish backbone. The red on top instead of black is a little more appealing, but even that design is poor.

    Another point is that I would like to see the NZ flag design to somehow show at least a little bit of our Maori culture too.

    The main problem is that the chosen alternative flag on offer is not good enough for me. I do not wish our country or I or our future generation to be stuck with it. So I will wait for a different and better choice/design sometime in the future. So the country will need to revisit this issue sometime in the future again either when there is an overwhelming public desire to change the flag or if we decide to become a Republic or decide to have a written constitution.

    Of course, each of us has to make our own decision. For me, it will be the existing flag for now.

  6. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments, Martyn BUT

    You should vote just to stick it to Key and show him we’re not distracted by his obvious tactics – KOF.

  7. slumbergod says:

    My vote was simply a “GO FUCK YOURSELF, JOHN KEY” vote.

    • Winnie says:

      Slumbergod, I admire the figurative sentiment of your phrase, but question the literal anatomical possibility of what would most likely end up being an onanistic act, scrawling on your voting paper will invalidate it and skew the results in Key’s favour.

      He will be scratching around trying to make the most of being hammered in a referendum and will claim that invalid votes probably favoured change.

      Key’s vanity project is a referendumb.

  8. Suziam says:

    I get the sentiment of not voting, BUT your lack of vote could ensure Key gets exactly what he wants. Whilst I understand the issues with the old flag, the fact is, if change occurs now, it will impossibly difficult to change it in the close future.

    But if we stick with what we have for now, we can push for change firstly to our constitution and then in the right order, pick a flag that represents our new status.

    One of the biggest problems at the moment, apart from being Key’s vanity project, is the fact there is nothing to focus a new flag on. It’s like we want a republican flag to show our independence, whilst we’re still part of the commonwealth. Of course nothing presented is going to work under those circumstances and the government needs to be shown that.

    • johnt says:

      “whilst we’re still part of the commonwealth”

      The presence or otherwise of the union jack on our flag, or indeed our potentially becoming a republic, would not mean that we have to leave the Commonwealth.

      In any case, I have voted to keep the current NZ flag, and so have the rest of my family. A time will come when there will be the need for a new flag, but that time is not now, and not with Key as the person pushing it, and not with what’s on offer. The whole thing stinks to high heaven and the only right way forward is to vote for the status quo, learn all the various lessons, and do it right next time.

  9. maako says:

    Kai ora Martyn,

    the current NZ ensign is a true reflection of our Past, Present & future.
    warts and all, this is why we MUST retain it to keep our selves aware of the injustices of the past, the reparations of the present so we all know OUR history for the future.

    “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey

    • mary_a says:

      Excellent post Maako. Absolutely agree with your sentiments.

      Your final statement –

      “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey.’

      Indicating perhaps FJK’s true intention of having warped designs on being recognized for eternity as NZ’s past, present and future! Indeed the defective illusion of a very disturbed mind!

      Keep our NZ flag.

  10. PhilDC says:

    if JK is a monarchist -does he just want the original flag and all this hoopdeeloo to get that and have more tea with queenie – I dont know but the new one is a stinker – and we just keep up the pressure on the other things once this abhorrent process is over…
    PS fuck all flags!
    – Flags are all good for kids, waving and dancing in the breeze.
    – They go very well with kites and look great flying from trees.
    – But when you give one to an adult the trouble will really start.
    – They will bitch and moan about which is best and by lunch time blow each other apart.

  11. XRAY says:

    It was 30 seconds to vote for the old flag and even less to drop it in the mail on the way out. The accompanying propaganda for the tea towel was truly Robert Mugabe banana republic stuff, very embarrassing. What ever happened to an objective neutral Electoral Commission, it’s in trouble!

    And it sure as shit has worried some Nat’s, poor old ghastly Maggie Barry really has got quite in a tiz over it. Fuck them, it was a deep seated pleasure to vote against this manipulative dishonest pricks jacked up tea towel.

  12. remo says:

    no vote is no vote. UJack is bad enough, but neo.con.John is worse.
    just vote the [REDACTED] out.

  13. mosa says:

    Martyn i understand your anger here but dont let that get in the way of you having your say.
    Key has spent millions of dollars of our money on this ridiculous side show and after seeing the appalling designed alternative we have no choice but to vote for the current flag.
    I have always imagined a truely unique kiwi flag would be designed to make us all proud when we see it no matter the occasion and that the change coincides with New Zealand starting with a new constitution and head of state which we will soon have to debate as the current monarch is in the last years of he reign.
    The main issue with this current mess is that it was spearheaded by a man who claims to be a royal supporter and as soon as he was elected did away with a truly New Zealand honours system and replaced it with the old british honours we had before and swoons all over the royal family and does not believe in a republic for this country…but he wants to remove the union jack of the flag??
    The other point here is its become political and as soon as that happened this whole process had become a farce thats not the way to conduct an issue like this
    So for now i will vote for the current flag you should too.

  14. maako says:

    thanks for not posting my comment

  15. maako says:

    keep the flag warts & all

    “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey

  16. Tiger Mountain says:

    it is not often you get the chance to look John Key in the eye and kick him in the nuts–you know what to do here!

    the other reason for voting to keep the existing flag is to support Māori in their fight for justice from the fall out of British Imperialism’s colonial takeover–if the horrible Union Jack flag goes down the memory hole so does a daily visual reminder of its blood drenched history for everyone living in the post colonial era

  17. Peter Christie says:

    Better to vote for the old flag mate. Not voting is what Key wants. Voter apathy, for this is what it amounts to, is the Tories stock-in-trade.
    Vote for the old flag and sock it to him. We as a sensible nation can decide on a better flag at a later date. What’s the hurry?

    • schwen says:

      I agree. Voter apathy is why we’ve got a national government. If Martyn continues to promote voting abstinence, do you think the gov’t will change anytime soon? So much for finding the missing million.

  18. Mike the Lefty says:

    Yes, but if it wasn’t the flag distracting the sleepy hobbits from reality then it would be something else.
    What would be even worse would be the insufferably arrogant smirk on John Key’s face if “his” flag was chosen.
    That is why I will add my mark to the existing flag.
    When Key’s flag is rejected he will mutter something about how it is no big deal and that it was the media that was making it a big deal. Perhaps the $26 million spent on the referenda wasn’t a big deal either.

  19. Muttonbird says:

    C’mon Martyn. Your vote could be the difference between Key registering yet another victory or registering another significant defeat after Northland.

    You must vote for the New Zealand flag. Please.

  20. Himsee says:

    False dichotomy. You can talk about the issues (you even have your own show for that!) and have a say on the flag at the same time.

    I bet if the opinion polls were closer or slanted the other way you would certainly vote lest the wrong flag win.

    But at the end of the day it’s your vote to use how you choose.

    To all voters wanting to stick it to John Key; this is proof that we aren’t mature enough as of yet to discuss a new flag, or that the process wasn’t sufficiently politically neutral. Probably both.

  21. countryboy says:

    It is a stupid flag referendum but since we had no choice we must deal with it. And I’m dealing with it by voting for our existing flag to stay.
    Not voting is a vote for jonky which is partly why the fucker got back in last time.
    Why would you not vote on this particular leg of the debacle ? I’ve read your post but still, it seems odd ? I understand why you wouldn’t have voted on which flag you might prefer but not voting to maintain a status quo in turbulent times strikes me as, as I’ve said, odd ??

  22. mary_a says:

    Although I do admit the flag issue is a distraction from some very major and important issues negatively impacting on ordinary Kiwis Martyn,

    However by not voting, is giving in to FJK. Exactly what he wants, to make it easy for his diabolical piece of cloth to slip through. It will give him something else to crow about, boosting his flawed ego and popularity, giving the (false) impression of him emerging a winning leader!

    I urge you to vote. Please.

  23. elle says:

    John Key would love people who dont agree with his flag change not to
    vote. That way his sycophantic followers would win .
    A vote against the flag change is a vote against Key.
    A non vote is counter productive,surprised at your thinking Martyn.
    Key might be trying to detract us,hes such a sneak.
    A tick for status quo is a small price to pay to outfox him.
    Key wants to stop farmers using seeds they collect ,and make them buy new seeds,Monsanto own most of NZs seed companies now,so hes looking after Monsanto not us.
    Key is trying to deplete natural remedy stock and sales.
    Big pharmacuetcals benefit,they dont like the competition.So once again Key is looking after big corporations not us!
    Anything we can do to spoil his plans is a step in right direction.
    NZ must be the weakest county in the world to put up with a PM who is working against the people,and all we do is write blogs to show our displeasure, Key dosnt give a hoot for us and our disapproval,he flicks us off like dandruff on a collar.

    Key would approve of your actions to encourage people not to vote,a non vote is not affective as a NO vote.

  24. TopHat says:

    Thanks for taking up the other side mate. 😉

    • elle says:

      Thats the seeming stance Top Hat, or maybe Martyn is reving us u
      p to highlight the debate,if not maybe he is on the other side!!!
      Perish the thought.

  25. roy says:

    Please reconsider abstaining. Non-participation favours the bastards, even on such a trivial issue. Sure it’s a crappy choice, but low-turnout is favourable for the usurpers of democracy.

  26. Andrew says:

    I’m voting to retain the existing flag.

    As I see it, there’s not much point in removing the union jack from the flag when there’s still a Governor General in place.

    I’m not in favour of a Republic but should that change occur, only then should we consider changing the flag.

  27. TopHat says:

    But seriously Martyn the article has done it’s job to measure sentiment. Good poling sir. I tip my hat.

  28. elle says:

    Yesterdays Wake up New Zealand claims the so called trade deals tppa ttip,tirsa, are the means for American corporations to rule and controll world business,in other words One World Order.
    Key is in on it and is already using tppa to assist the corporate bullies, he is operating as a one man band and tppa is his own rule book ratified or not.
    We need to do something now ,in years to come the corporations will have total controll and it will be too late.Its like germany during 2nd world war, the Jewish people knew bad things were on the horizon but did nothing ,they suffered badly for it,are we going to repeat that history but in a different way.

  29. I encourage you to reconsider, Bradbury – your points have solid logic, but let’s defeat the false-flag change motion, put FJK’s dastardly ambitions to rest, and force those questions forward!

  30. Words says:

    Sure it’s a political distraction and it’s too late to ignore it. It’s here, it’s cost us time and millions of dollars so give John key the F you finger, like he has done to us, by voting for the current flag. Please, please Martyn please VOTE if not for yourself but for the rest of us to ensure John key doesn’t get what he wants.
    I beg you Martyn, we need your voice (vote) and others too to show John key, in no uncertain terms, where he can stick his corporate logo legacy.

  31. Sander butner says:

    I agree about the flag distracting from real issues, but it will be a distraction regardless. The vote is on and media will report the crap out of it over the next few weeks. Abstaining will not change that! The more people you encourage to abstain the more likely Key gets his crappy flag over the line.

    Please don’t encourage people not to vote.

  32. Doubting Thomas says:

    I got a pamphlet in the mail extolling the virtues of the new flag and listing all the celebrities and Keydashian symbiotes who support flag change. It turned my stomach to think that there’s 3 million pamphlets out there trying to persuade kiwis to vote for John Key’s flag. Any idea how much 3 million pamphlets cost to print and distribute?

    The pamphlet reminded me of the 2005 Brethren Pamphlet under Don Brash’s tenure in National.

    $26 million for the referendum and then God knows how much by Keyites wanting to corporatise the flag. If there were any decent journalists out there they would be taking that pamphlet, going round to the person that is responsible and finding out who funded it? Who’s behind it and why do they want to really</b change the flag? Where does the money trail lead to? I’m sure that ‘left-wing bastard’ would find out, unfortunately he was replaced in his 7 pm slot.

    So trolls Andrew, Gosman and al, pass this back to head office and tell them that the shit’s about to hit the fan when the media finds out who’s pulling the strings on this Brethren Keydashian-lover pamphlet. Get John Key to start denying that he knows anything about this pamphlet and have him rehearse some answers for when the media come a knocking.

    If all else fails Jonky, say you can’t remember authorising it, or ‘can’t remember being told about it’! Or blame Don Brash, or somebody else. Wee’d hate to tarnish or compromise that teflon coating in the run – up to next year’s election.

    Something’s fishy about this pamphlet, and no it’s not because it has a fish-skeleton flag on it. Frank? Nicky? Martin? Willie? Any ideas about the pamphlet funding? Follow the smell.

  33. Robert M says:

    No its much more simple. The Nat government just wants a brand and new icon to sell bulk milk and milk powder to Tim Grosset’s supposedly left wing triple alliance Of Russia. China and India and seeing the evidence that they do not want the fattening unclean products squeezed by ruralhayseeds and phillipine share milkers the aim is probably to supply Venezuela Nortk Korea Albania and Upper Volta. Act is the most extreme communist gay defending communist party on the planet and National is a close 2nd Nick Smith Bill English and Tom Grosser would Have been identified by Winston Churchill and Ted Cruz as about equal to George Wigg AndLiam Fox as prole upstarts likely to destroy western civilization. Woggs outing of Profumo as a john into hot working class girls basically destroyed the reason intelligent upper class men go onto politics PR become military officers.NZ is British I mean look at me or Barbara Ward Lealand or listen to the slpans view at a Liom test
    About 15 percent of kiwi men are not ordinary and able to think or verbally differentiate therefore the idea we could be a nation is a nullity and the correct solution is to differentiate the territory by increasing th size of the jack on the flag or alternatively we could offend the peacenicks and old Act Party fogey Stephen Franks by going for a black flag modelled on the Canadian with black slabs to the let and right and a white centre with a black fern or stylised kiwi on it an ancient Hindu fertility symbol to reveal the inner blackness of a nation that dared to select Murdoch Meads Wyllie Douganand Fergie for the All Blacks.

  34. Mark says:

    You’re wrong, Martyn. As so many others have said, not voting is in fact a vote in favour of change.

  35. Kate Lang says:

    Oh FFS! No wonder I’ve stopped reading your every word. Get some agreeable participation against biased propaganda going (notice lack of hyphens because these posts take too long anyway). Russell Brand, who is probably your, hero, can be an idiot, TOO.

  36. Words says:

    Can confirm that Mahesh Bindra is correct in what he has said. The Hindi translation does read ” tick the flag of New Zealand which you want to be the new flag” That would confuse people and make them think they will have to tick Lockwood’s design. Winston Peters is absolutely correct in his assertions, and that this amounts to rigging the vote in John key’s favour. The Hindi translation is very different from the Punjabi translation which reads “tick the flag which you want to be the New Zealand flag”

    How many other nationalities have been incorrectly translated with incorrect misleading wording?

  37. […] because the entire debate is pure political distraction and engaging in it is exactly what Key wants. As Martyn Bradbury […]