Patrick Gower has been vocal about New Zealand having to wait weeks before the official election result is known.
The Newshub journalist and ex-political editor said any sort of “crap” red tape “drives me to want to drink”, including the three-week wait for special votes to be counted.
Gower, who has been posting frequently on X about his opposition to the three-week wait, said the incoming Government needed to “cut through this crap with some sort of bloody chainsaw”.
“Something that is driving me to want to drink at the moment – the first thing – is waiting for this Government to actually be able to form because of this bizarre three-week wait for special votes,” he said during AM’s Wednesday panel.
I think everyone criticising the time it took to count the specials are wrong on two counts.
The first is the reason why it took 3 weeks.
We decided as value of democracy that ease of participation and access to the right to vote were paramount, so we changed the rules that allowed people to enrol on the day, anywhere and in many more venues.
This is to be applauded and celebrated, the drive to make access to voting as safe, secure and easy as possible.
The extra time to count those Specials is frustrating but it makes for a stronger democracy when accessibility is pushed to the forefront.
We have expanded the franchise of democracy with these changes and we should be proud that we have a culture where access to vote is championed.
The 3 week wait ensured others could vote because of the extra checking required once voted, and I salute that.
The second reason Paddy and those who echoed his frustration at the time it took to count the Specials are wrong is because you can have a quick result or a correct result.
With so many Qanon Sovereign Sheriff anti-vaxx lunatics claiming the election is rigged, we want the Electorate Commission to uphold the mana and credibility of the process.
Yes there were some other discrepancies and errors that the system picked up, but that’s evidence of the rigorous checks and balances working.
We should congratulate the Electoral Commission for a process that is rigorous and trusted so that we can rightfully have faith in the system that the people’s will is being followed.
I sure as hell didn’t agree with the resulting Far Right Government, but I respect and trust the process and the Electoral Commission has much to be praised for holding that line.
Paddy (and everyone else) is utterly wrong about criticising the time it took to count Specials. We get results we can trust and an access to voting that can’t be matched.
That’s a win, even if it took 3 weeks.
Winston’s complaints about the time it took is however gloriously hypercritical…
NZ First leader Winston Peters today launched a broadside against the decision to allow people to enrol to vote on election day.
These votes are counted as special votes, which take ten times longer to count than other votes. As part of the rule change, the Electoral Commission now takes a week longer to publish final election results, including the special vote count.
Asked why NZ First had waited so long to begin coalition talks, which could have begun the day after polling day, Peters argued the real cause of the delay was the decision to allow people to enrol on election day.
“Here we are with a three week delay because people decided to have people enrol on election day,” Peters said.
“They had 35 months to enrol, but no we had people going to the election day … that’s not democracy,” he said.
Peters then goaded media to investigate who was responsible for the decision to allow same-day enrolments.
“We had a three weeks’ delay as a consequence of that and I wish the media would focus on who caused that delay,” Peters said.
The problem for Peters is that he is in large part responsible for the delay. He was a member of the Cabinet which decided on the change, a member of the Government that introduced the legislation making the change, and the leader of the NZ First Party which voted for it at all three stages of the legislative process toughout 2019 and 2020.
It is unlikely that Peters was unaware that switching to same-day enrolment would mean longer to count votes. The bill that made the change allowed a longer time for the election process to play out, giving the Electoral Commission longer to count votes.
The introduction of the bill makes this clear: “To allow the Electoral Commission to process election-day enrolments, clause 11 would extend the latest date for the return of the writ from 50 to 60 days after writ day”.
Standing beside Peters’ today was his effective chief of staff Darroch Ball, a former NZ First MP, who also supported the legislation when he was in Parliament.
Speaking at the bill’s first reading in 2019, Ball spoke about the fact that allowing same-day enrolments would cause delays to counting votes, but he took the opposite view to what Peters is now arguing.
Attacking a speech made by National’s Chris Bishop, who attacked the fact the change would cause delays in counting votes, Ball said the change was worthwhile because it would increase voter turnout. Ball said that National did not want to increase voter turnout because they feared those new voters would vote for the then-Government.
“National don’t want more people to have access to vote, because that will mean that they’ll have favour in the election. If people are empowered in this country… they’re going to vote for the sitting Government,” Ball said.
In a later speech, Ball attacked National’s opposition to the bill, saying a longer count was a price worth paying for allowing more people to vote.
Let’s get this straight.
Winston is complaining about a decision he made and has attacked the Media to demand who is responsible when in fact it is him who was responsible!
This is insane!
National, ACT and NZ First expects the electorate to behave like Pavlov’s Dog.
In one breath we are told the negotiations can be immediate and quick, while in the next breath re-stating how they can walk away altogether.
NZ First is like retirement village political chlamydia, but more delusional. ACT have values that would embarrass your average Drug Cartel and shame flesh hungry piranha while Luxon looks like a frightened virgin at an orgy.
How’s your new Far Right Government going kids?
I am loving watching the right Wing Trolls having to defend this level of fuckwittery.
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