How to lift participation in local elections – it’s simple but won’t happen!

Fucking Tic Toc is not the answer to falling democratic participation you shmucks

Lowering voting age to 16 among significant changes proposed to improve New Zealand’s dismal voter turnout

Lowering the voting age to 16 was one of the significant changes proposed to strengthen the local government system and improve New Zealand’s dismal voter turnout.

The bullshit list of nothings to increase local Government participation has been released by the wobbles and it’s all just garbage.

Lower voting age to 16 – sure, but it’s not enough.

STV voting? Fuck off!

More Tic Toc? Are you drunk?

The naked truth that no one wants to hear is that local elections are a scam because they are run by a private company who doesn’t give a flying fuck about the participation rates!

In the end, in Auckland, we had only 8 polling booths for a city of 1.2million voters!

TDB Recommends

Tic Toc, STV and bloody lowering the voting age to 16 won’t solve 8 voting booths for a city of 1.2 million will it you clowns!

The problem is that we are such cheap pricks in this country that we subcontracted our democratic obligations out to a private company!

The solution is that we take this contract back, have the Electoral Commission run elections, JUST LIKE THEY DO FOR NATIONAL ELECTIONS and have the same dispersion of voting booths (with the same ability to enrol and vote) over two weeks before a main Election Day.


Everything else, Tic Toc, STV and lowering the voting age is window dressing to avoid having to pay the cost of breaking the contract to the private company and running it ourselves.

Our venal cheapness to short change democracy is the issue here, not more bloody Tic Toc accounts.

BTW – you all understand that Tic Toc is a Chinese mass surveillance platform right? Why would allowing China more control over our local elections via that platform make elections better or safer in NZ?

This country’s stupidity is beneath the challenge of our times.

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  1. Misuse of the word significant. Tell us there’s 29 proposals, push just one, and all-in-all tell us 4 of them. Then say they want engaged kiwis.

    Well done NewShub.

    • big tick countryboy….voters can always spoil your ballot paper if you’re that way inclined..but at least people have to make the effort.

      • But…but… Permanent Residents should not be allowed to vote even when they’ve lived and worked here for over 30 years, paid tax, have been engaged in the community and society.
        No for them it should be forbidden to vote…. right?

        • BTW, you only need to live in NZ for 1 year, not pay tax to vote here, so while those who pay tax for 30 years may have a case for voting, someone who pays nothing and just got here on a work/study visa, doesn’t speak the language or know anything about NZ after 1 year, can also vote and skew our elections.

      • Simplistic Ben, democracy needs to be constantly cared for, maintained. It isn’t a horse to ride on to get where you want to go that feeds and cares for itself.

        Democracy is supposed to listen to people’s wishes, but they are many and contradictory. The saying goes ‘If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”. Democracy without concern and work from the people it is set to care about, will result in a poor control entity for those who most need it; we have beggars already. So don’t spout your views in that lordly, naive or hypocritical way.

    • Yes! All the rights and privileges but no responsibilities – that’s the status quo the has to change. Both at local and national level. Everyone must vote!

  2. Democracy needs compulsory voting.
    The greatest ‘democratic deficit’ New Zealand suffers is the high proportion of people who do not vote. To make democracy democratic, New Zealand ought to follow the century-long law in Australia, and make voting mandatory for everyone who is eligible to vote, and present in the country on election day.
    The failure of great numbers of eligible people to vote is a stain on New Zealand democracy. Voting needs to become compulsory, as it is in Australia; it needs to be made clear that participating in elections, both national and local, is a duty of citizenship. Compare the voter turnout in Australia for the House of Representatives (91.01% in 2016, 91.89% in 2019, 89.62% in 2022) with voter turnout in New Zealand: in 2014 76.77%, in 2017 79.8%, in 2020 81.54% of registered voters. But break those 2020 numbers down: 89% of people aged 65 to 69 voted, only 74% of those aged between 25 and 34, and even fewer, 65%, of eligible Maori in their late 20s. The young, especially the Maori young, surrender their futures to the old.
    And the proportion of eligible voters who do vote in local-body elections is only half the low voter turnout for general elections.
    In 2017, RNZ interviewed politicians on whether voting should become mandatory Former Labour prime minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer said it should be against the law to stay home from the voting booth. “If you are going to live in a democracy, which is supposed to be conducted by the people, for the people, then the people should have some duties. They should participate and they should vote.”
    In Australia, voting is compulsory in federal elections (since 1924) and in all state elections. In all states except South Australia and Western Australia voting for local council elections isalso mandatory.
    Tasmania made voting mandatory for council elections only in 2022. “We want to lift the community’s engagement with the local government sector, and I am confident the passing of this legislation will do that,” Tasmania’s Local Government Minister Nic Street said when he announced the change in June. “By making voting compulsory, we will lift community’s perception of local government and its importance by bringing local council elections into line with state and federal elections.”
    In an essay ‘Australia’s experience of compulsory voting’ ( 10feb2022) Matteo Bonotti and Paul Strangio write that: ‘Compulsory voting has a century-long history in this nation. Not only is it a durable feature of Australian democracy, but it is universally applied. Whenever an election is called, whether it be at the national, state or territory level, voters are obliged to turn out….’
    Bonotti and Strangio say compulsory voting has had a century of unambiguous success in achieving high voter turnout. ‘Perhaps most remarkable is how broadly supportive of the practice has been the public. This has been demonstrated by any number of public opinion polls and decades of Australian Election Study survey data….’‘Compulsory voting,’ they argue, ‘can help to realise political legitimacy better than voluntary-voting systems, thanks to its easy use and accessibility, its ability to produce high and socially even turnout, and its propensity to often … encourage greater levels of information, attention, and critical engagement among the public. Furthermore, compulsory voting can also contribute to political legitimacy understood in a slightly different way — namely, as the idea that laws and policies are politically legitimate only if they are justified by appealing to reasons that all citizens can accept at some level of idealisation. More specifically, in a parliamentary democracy … compulsory voting can contribute to public reasoning and political legitimacy by compelling public officials to pay great attention to a broad range of worldviews, interests, and demands, and, based on that information, provide reasons for laws and policies that appeal to the common good rather than to any specific sectarian interests.’
    Another way to boost voting in local-body elections would be to make them the same day as general elections. Whether compulsory or not, there would be One Big Voting Day for everything, every three years.

    • I guess compulsory voting is why Australia has the most politicians per head of population in the western world. The more votes to harvest the more politicians needed to do the harvesting. Still, it increase the overall value of the voters to the politicians so maybe that’s why on the one hand Australian political class is more corrupt than here and on the other hand Australian voters are more wealthy than here? Or they are all just lucky to be sitting around the edge of an open pit mine.

      • Your guess Joseph is as good as mine. And mine is that Australia’s number of politicians is probably affected by the extra problem they have of states which are fairly autonomous plus federal matters all having to work in together.

  3. I love it – turnout of 18-25 yr olds is low, so we need to get 16-17 yrs voting too if we’re to get “progressive” candidates elected. That’s how we can make democracy more woke … errr, I mean more inclusive.

  4. The best way is to encourage more voting, is to have more candidates who are less self interested in their political careers and more interested in making their cities better. Remove dirty politics that scare normal people off and have proper debates and more information about the candidates. NZ lacks ethical people with talent who wants to enter the arena of self interested scum bags that seem to surround NZ politics and those on the side lines seem paid to force out more ethical players.

    • I agree with Martin about taking back the contract, but this is important.
      I tried, I read those papers and I had no choice to say ‘no confidence’.
      I could find a single candidate I wanted to support. I read the papers several times. This is no small thing.

      The set-up meant I had to support a minimum of five candidates. I couldn’t even find one. I felt like I was given a choice of supporting five candidates I had no faith in, or not voting at all.

      Which is the same old shit of giving support to the least awful. Yet this is exactly what is perpetuating a status quo that I loathe.

      We have a post -democracy visage and I know the idealistic tropes about organising and standing our own, and its not about money, contacts, and the acceptable status quo tribes – yada yada yada

      • I agree, I vote Elfeso, only because of the free transport, but I had big reservations about voting for him due some of his woke and impractical ideas gleaned from the Labour Party without having a clue they are just made up ideology that isn’t working as much as they push money into it. If it is a dog, it’s a dog.

    • People vote around party lines in the national elections…because it is easy! All you have to argue is which party is kinder, nicer, talks better, looks after poor vs rich, last time ..etc etc. People come and go , but party’s high level perception remains same.

      Let’s look at local election. Every election, there is a list of unknowns, who knows what they stand for and how competent they are other than the sound bites sent with election papers. People simply vote for a name they recognize, not in a bad way, or It all goes into too hard basket and who cares!

  5. Participation in democracy is citizen’s “right and duty”. If people can not be bothered to excercise it, there are reasons why…voter apathy is cancer of democracy. Ozone hole is not cause of it.

    Majority of humanity can only dream about being able to vote freely. Many of them die trying to achive that. How naive of them.

  6. Dont have dodgy company’s like run local body election and let dodgy registrars decide whether a ballot needs to be signed or witnessed!

    “Staff had been told they did not need to sign the forms for the votes or witness the voting, contrary to instructions on the form for casting a special vote.

    Electoral officer Jo Daly acknowledged she did instruct them in that way and admitted her instructions were inconsistent but only at that centre.”

    • And the really dodgy thing is that the General Elections and Local Body elections are run by Dale Ofsoke.
      He runs the Local Body elections as a side hustle through one of his companies, Independent Elections or Elections NZ.

      This bs needs to be stopped.

      He runs dodgy iwi board elections too!

  7. ” The naked truth that no one wants to hear iOS that local elections are a scam because they are run by a private company who doesn’t give a flying fuck about the participation rates! ”

    Bomber I agree with your post but I remain to be convinced that giving a sixteen year old the right to vote in a local body election will mean that they turn out and vote. I will keep an open mind.

    I did not vote for the first time in 36 years in a local government election and what Chris Trotter had to say in ” They call it democracy ” reinforced what I had suspected for so long.

    And the fact that here in Christchurch many people had simply stopped listening or believing that their elected council could run and provide even basic services. Council is about the tyranny of the minority who are control of billions of dollars but won’t do anything anywhere unless it provides a return which is why basic core services just don’t get done. All the bullshit promises are just that bullshit.

    It just goes around in circles after every dismal vote , the hand wringing , the shocked gasps about low turnout , democracy is failing , and the appalling apathy which is a hangover of the neo liberal reforms.

    When was their an actual honest debate about the real reasons , some of them you have mentioned here.

    A lot needs to change but that would mean fronting up to the real reasons on why no one see’s the point in voting at all at a local level.

    If LINO were concerned enough and really wanted to act they would have a royal commission of inquiry and then probably ignore most of the recommendations because they are just to hard to do.

  8. I almost forgot.
    Since our AO/NZ’s a multi-party neoliberal cryptic-nonsense jigsaw puzzle of lies, deception and fear propagated by private wealth sequester’ers at our expense, of course. Us voting is nothing more than a quaint, oldie worldie custom of hope countered by pretences which are the lies we tell ourselves in order to find the energy to get out of bed in the morning. It’s no wonder many of us can’t be fucked voting at all. We’re reduced, by increments of survival, to hoping to God we have enough wages left to put fuel in the car after we feed ourselves and our kids while most can’t figure that out while knowing we live on an incredibly resource rich country larger than the UK but with only 5 million people. Nine multi billionaires though, Aye Boys? Aren’t we lucky we have multi billionaires to which our wealth can trickle up to? roger douglas? I love you. I really do. We should hang out? Wine, cheeses, mustache wax, G strings, high heels and fish nets for you, a black singlet, shorts and muddy gumboots for me, barry manilow playing on the record player, hairless cats fighting over the body of a dead mouse, spot lit paint by numbers art, love letters from jonk E, ” Dearest friend roger… That was nice… thank you for wearing that pony tail wig. Mmmmmm… and your bottom. So flaccid, wrinkly and naughty. Sorry about your testicles during that spanking session. You did insist and I’m sure they’ll come back out.
    That, right there, is a win for those most dependent on us sinking further into the despair they push us overboard into. We’re far too exhausted, frustrated and anxious to say, even to ourselves in private ” Hang the fuck on a minute!? How the fuck come…etc etc etc…”
    What’s the most basic tenet of the laws, rules and regulations within a democracy? They’re to give us safety, security and protection from ourselves, and each other, surely. So, if you don’t vote, you end up with laws, rules and regulations that most suit the voter who IS motivated. By, in our case, skewing the fabric of the laws, rules and regulations to line their pockets at the expense of the many. We many get fucked over while a minority get hyper rich. Sound familiar?
    We must vote. All of us. I sometimes wonder if children could have a vote pertaining to their childreness that lies within the parameters of the consciousness of children. What would they come up with, I wonder? Mad, colourful nonsense hopefully, because it looks like we adults are brain dead in a most boring, drab, greedy way. We’re either drinking and brawling or drunk and beaten. We survive. We function. We’re an organism on life support and life’s a bit shit. Our ugly cities are wall papered with moron advertising while morons spray the grass along the roads to nowhere. Where we think, or are rather led to believe, that a slab of decorative concrete with a tussock and designer gravel is a flash of inspiration and when I see that kind of shit outside the plasti-dog box houses that no dog would be caught dead in that we’re told by real e-snake agents is the new and must-have ‘thing’ in housing I get that feeling like I know I’ve just eaten an iffy oyster and now all I have to do is wait and pray. Doesn’t that sound like non mandated voting? Is the politics you’ve just swallowed going to kill you, make you sick as the dog in the box or are you going to be a useless billionaire with no friends in a heated swimming pool.
    Vote! You must. You must vote. Your vote means far more than you might imagine. Voting must be mandatory. Do’s and Don’t’s. You must keep to the right. You must wear your seat belt, you must pay your rates and taxes, you must not shoot your neighbour with a .303, you must not poo in the bus. YOU MUST VOTE! In the vote, therein lies your future. Right now? You’re getting fucked by crooked, liar politicians who’re all bought and paid for by multi billionaires who exploit you. Is that what you want just because you can’t be bothered to vote once every three years? Thank about it. Take your time. The other thing you might not be aware of is that if you write to an MP about a thing, they’re duty bound to reply. Ask questions. Don’t be shy. Get explanations, find out the truth. You might be shocked but soldier on. I wrote to HRH QE2 about how our AO/NZ was sliding into fascism. She replied, then Prince William turned up, he then had a barbi with jonky, then jonky flaked out and disappeared. Funny that.

  9. I’d vote more often if there was a suitable candidate. Voting for any old muppet just to increase the turnout only benfits substandard old muppets, it does not benifit the NZ public in anyway, in fact it’ll make it worse. It is that simple.

    • Peter
      Would you want to be mayor (CEO, MD, CHIEF, HEAD BEAGLE) of say NZs biggest city without any real executive powers? It’s an almost pointless position. If you want more suitable candidates, and who doesn’t, we need to change the system. Do that and you’ll see them queue up for the job.

  10. 1. Enough voting booths so when you are driving around you see the orange signs locating the booths.

    2. A day off work so you have time to be driving around and see the booths.

    3. Local income taxes, poll taxes, cycle taxes, toll gates on roads and parks, council houses and local income redistribution – some material reasons for non-ratepayers to vote. 🙂

  11. It’s good to try to encourage voting but who to vote for. NZs tiny population of many underpaid busy people, along with well off bored retired business people, and younger aspirational career politicians , makes it difficult to get worthy genuine and energetic candidates. I know this isn’t a solution but more a reality. Although some sixteen year olds have good judgment, many would have trouble with the concentration needed to complete the voting form, and if they did would have asked their parents who to vote for. Having said that getting people voting early in life has to be good.

  12. Good idea Martin, bugger the cost let’s make polling stations available to all and for an extended period. Also, let’s make Councils more attractive to a greater diversity of the public. Councils are dominated by older businesspeople, take the WestCoast Regional Council, a mix of miners, dairy farmers and their acolytes, dominated by a MAGA hat-wearing bully.


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