Universal Suffrage Tino rangatiratanga to save NZ Democracy: In defence of 16 year olds + prisoners voting, limiting migrant voters and restricting political donations


The Blogfather, Dr Bryce Edwards, was righteously damning of the recent review into NZ democracy for its genuine lack of a coherent philosophical structure, but with all due respect to the Blogfather, this is the land of the wrong uptight crowd and coherent philosophical structures are far and few between.

I think we need an urgent upgrade of our universal suffrage with a focus on Tino rangatiratanga to save NZ democracy.

The breakdown of social cohesion, social media hate algorithms and distrust in institutions are all driving a disconnect from politics and attempts to overthrow procedural democratic systems to implement conspiracy theories or woke dogma demands.

We need a host of reforms for our Democracy that builds back support of the process while opening up the ability for people to engage in the democratic system that strengthens it for the real challenges we are going to have to agree on as

Lowering voting age to 16: People who argue 16 year olds don’t have the frontal lobe development to vote are the very same fuckwits who scream Police have every right to chase those very same teenagers to death during car chases. A car chase is a heat of the moment reaction that frontal lobes are impacted by, standing ate a ballot booth and voting is not the same issue. 16 year olds should vote, their concerns about the climate future they are inheriting from a complacent and apathetic older electorate has every right to be challenged. If you are old enough to fuck consensually, you are old enough to vote.

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Allowing all prisoners to vote: Prisoners are the weakest members of our society because the State controls every element of their life while in prison. The constant drive by voters for crueller and harsher sentences needs a counter weight in the ability for Prisoners to vote. You don’t lose your rights as a citizen or permanent resident when in prison and seeing as Prisoners face the brunt of voter anger when determining the living conditions inside those prisons, they deserve the right to vote and help build some relationship between them and the wider society.

Limiting voting to Citizens and permanent residents: Migrant workers are exploited mercilessly in NZ and our reliance on huge migrant populations to prop up our low wage economy means we have huge easily manipulated migrant worker populations always inside NZ and their ease of voting means the domestic electorate can quickly resent the power imbalance created by allowing them to vote. The Independent Electoral Review are arguing that limiting voters rights to Citizens and Permanent Residents would build trust back into the electoral process, a position migrants in NZ are very angry about. Requiring migrants to live in NZ for at least one voting cycle NZ b before gaining the right to vote is the least we can do seeing as NZ is one of the few countries in the world that allows people who are not citizens to vote. One might argue that for real Universal Suffrage Tino rangatiratanga we would limit voting to rights to only citizens and permanent residents. This is not expanded to refugees who gain all permanent resident and citizenship rights

Amnesty on overstayers: If we were to limit voting rights to only citizens and permanent residents we would need to give all existing overstayers a one off amnesty that bestows permanent residency status plus voting rights.

Donation limited to voters not corporations: Limiting donations, expanding state funding and only allowing citizens and permanent residents to donate rather than allowing Unions and corporations to donate is righteous. We need tone kinder to individuals and crueller to corporations. Get corporate money out of politics

3.5% MMP threshold: MMP has been a failure in terms of creating new political voices to challenge the engrained interests and that is due in part to the high requirements of 5%. A 3.5% threshold would create a reasonable level that would enable more representation which is crucial when you look at the wide range off buy in required for the big challenges we face.

In short, NZ Democracy is sick and ripe for a level of corruption that ruptures and mutates into something dangerous. These changes are no silver bullet but they do create buy ins and can alleviate  some of the social fiction that risks tearing the fabric of society asunder.


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  1. There should not be a threshold at all! If a percentage of people want mickey mouse in so be it.
    0.8% you would have someone in.

    People will say you get too many misfits, weirdos, but surely that is true democracy.

    Meanwhile I look forward to the percentage actually being lowered as it should have been when the last inquiry was done 2001?

    What we really need is civics in schools so that teenagers actually learn the value of voting both at natiional and local level.

    • If there was no threshold, there might actually be some real opposition in the Parliament (e.g. Matt Robson, Honé Harawira & Laila Harré would all still be there). Compulsory voting would likely increase this even further (the demoralised ex-Labour vote would be back).

      There are a grand total of zero M.P’s who support fully reversing the Roger Douglas reforms, which doesn’t represent public opinion at all. Opening up the new, younger electorate would only intensify the opposition to Reaganomics (and immediately reignite momentum for the Bernie Bros. and Corbynistas).

      • Someone who operates under the Net Zero Act is going to be a completely different character to that of someone operating under Neoliberalism but thats not the point. The point is, it is up to those who still enjoys freedoms that this democracy blesses us with to make that transition from a relatively high carbon producing economy to a low carbon emitting economy as smooth and seemless as possible as quick as possible.

  2. The judiciary & defense lawyers with the connivance of Psychobabble 101 “experts” decided to allow diminished responsibility up to 25 years old (on the basis that brains aren’t fully developed) for serious crimes eg multiple rapes so I changed my mind on supporting Vote16.

  3. If the young people didn’t break the law they wouldn’t be chased.
    The increase in ram raids was a direct consequence of not being pursued.

  4. “In short, NZ Democracy is sick and ripe for a level of corruption that ruptures and mutates into something dangerous.”
    Is ripe for…… ????

    To late dude, it already is. It’s well ingrained corruption and it runs deep.
    NZ has to stop turning a blind eye to the obvious.

  5. Ughhh the ‘vote at 16’ argument, when the proponents of it want to redefine what an ‘adult’ is within the judicial system.
    Soooo argue on one hand a 16/17yr old is a child in the eyes of the law, but adult enough to vote.
    Woman = Adult human female….funny how that statement gets the far lefties in sooo much of a lather and yet the adult/child argument is set!
    Lefties = making it easier for the right to win elections.

  6. Raise the age for voting to 40-45.
    Have a ‘woke’ test in place at the polling booths to test for general fuckwittedness like being middle-class woke, believers in mythical things like climate change aka Green Washn and other shit like that. If any of these things are detected, they get sent to the back of the queue and go through the process again until they answer the questions correctly.

    If anyone protests or argues with the officials on the day at the polling booth, their names get passed onto the NZMoD for recruitment and sent to the Russian Front or to the Neo-Nazi Ukrainian Front. They can choose which one it is that they want to put their argument to. If mum and dad, nana and grandad want to protest the sending of their offspring to either frontline, they can go with them too.

    NZ needs to be purged of these types of infiltrators and wokerattis who have succumbed to European dogma and colonisation bs MKII(I).

    Migrants of all colours and creeds can have a half-vote after they’ve qualified for 30 years or more.

    For prisoners, the same rules as everyone else applies.

    Politicians and ex-pollies shouldn’t be allowed to vote because of their baked-in bias.

    Overstayers. They can vote from offshore. And it becomes the same rules as (Im)migrants.

    The ‘drawbridge’ needs pulling up.

  7. I think many will argue the exact opposite based on rational thinking.
    You lost me when you abused those who hold a different opinion to your own.

    I will continue celebrate freedom a speech and thought.

  8. I agree with adults voting – even if imprisoned. It is not a popular view.

    It may be useful to frame it as a ‘duty’ or a ‘task’ to vote – rather than a ‘right’. Prisoner Rights are not convincing arguments for many people.

    As a ‘duty’, voting becomes something that people should do, and not get let off. As a core ‘task’ of a prosocial adult in a democracy – voting becomes a rehabilitation step – like gaining or improving literacy.

  9. I really like your suggestion on individual donations and not corporate ones. Brilliant.

    But I am 100% against 16 year olds voting as they really arent up to it and it smells a lot like a very politically weighted idea.

    Neutral on prisoners, your arguments are valid but OTH, prison is supposed to be a deterrent although that may be one of those ideas that hasnt stood the test of time.

    • Prison should not be a deterrent, it should simply be the place where we house people who are a danger to society away from society. You can call it Club Med so as long as the gates stay closed and the inmates stay inside.

      • Prison is where re-education should happen, not trying to re-educate us by paying off the media and through the disinformation project nonsense and sensor-ship of speech.

        Protect free speech and democracy.

  10. Don’t know why everyone gets stressed over prisoners voting.
    50% probably wouldn’t and the other 50% aren’t really going to make a huge difference to the end result.

    • The objection to and support for voting rights for those deprived of their liberty resulting from their own choices (and mistakes by the state) is ideological.
      On a practical level the mobilisation of the prisoner vote in a geographical location could be used effectively to gain the MMP voting system.

  11. When I manned a special votes table a couple of elections back the majority of people who required a special vote were non citizens, new residents, followed by those who had been in prison. They really wanted to exercise their “right” and I made a point of of NOT being impartial and told everyone of them I disagreed with their right to vote being removed.Their attitude changed immediately realizing they were supported by a supposedly respectable person.
    Some even smiled.

  12. A worthy post. Make all the people in jail study politics 101. They will find out what they can do to stay out of prison, never again!

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