I think most voters can manage a couple of referendum votes as well as party and candidate votes

That sounds like nonsense to me. I’m fairly sure most voters will be able to manage a couple of referendum votes on top of a couple of general election votes (one party vote, one electorate vote).

It will still be far simpler than local body elections where there are multiple STV votes (here it was city mayor, city council, regional council and DHB board) where ranking of a large number of candidates is required.

The two referendums – one on cannabis, the other on the End of Life Choice bill – may attract more people to vote.

More negative commentary on the referendums:  Labour and the referendums of dread

Both of these referendums are a potential problem for the Government and not insignificant ones. The first and most obvious reason is that cannabis and euthanasia could crowd out whatever issues the Government is running on: be it the Zero Carbon Bill, trade deals, a strong economy, low unemployment.

This could, of course, be a problem for both the Government and the Opposition. At key points in the lead-up to and during the campaign, either party’s momentum could be stalled if the wrong drug or euthanasia issue crops up.

But the political downsides are potentially much worse for the Government. First, and most obviously, the National party has a leader who genuinely and simply opposes both of these things. And secondly, as this column flagged a couple of weeks ago, National is going to sharpen its focus on cost of living issues, which it sees as of key importance for voters. National can effectively paint any focus away from those things as a distracted Government concerned with peripheral issues.

The euthanasia bill is probably not so much of a problem – it wasn’t the Government’s idea and it was supported by MPs across the political divide. Cannabis is a different story. Counting the Nats, NZ First voters at the last election – nominally conservative voters, plus probably not an insubstantial conservative working class Labour vote, this could be a lose-lose issue for Labour. Lots of Labour voters, and the Prime Minister has said this of her own experience growing up in small rural towns, know the damage drugs can do.

While Ardern may see merits in legalisation for health reasons, she is very far from being some sort of pro-drug flag-waving leftie. Essentially the Prime Minister wants to be a citizen like everyone else in this issue, in all the difficulties it poses. The problem is that in the heat of a campaign, that could be politically difficult.

Yet as the election moves on, the issues could prove hard to avoid and there is probably no ‘right’ side of the argument for Labour. It could potentially lose votes either way.

It could potentially do nothing like this as well.

The fact is we are having two referendums alongside next year’s general election.

I’m fairly sure Labour and National will figure out campaign strategies the run alongside the referendum issue debates.

And I think that most voters will manage a couple of yes/no votes (if they choose to vote on the referendum questions) as well as choosing a party and an electorate candidate (if they bother to vote on these).

It won’t be complicated. Sure the extra votes could deter a few people from voting. But I think it is more likely to encourage more people to vote – those who are passionate about either of the referendum questions, and those who can’t usually be bothered voting for parties and politicians.

 

Leave a comment

53 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  16th November 2019

    I think the writer makes a good argument.
    Policy will get over shadowed by the referenda issues.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  16th November 2019

      I think not.

      Those who don’t understand how these things work or can’t be bothered to get off their arses and vote won’t be doing it anyway.

      Referendum is a gerund (from referre) In Latin it doesn’t have a plural, and if it did, it would not be -a.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  16th November 2019

        As usual ,first with hand up with the WRONG answer…
        ‘A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct and universal vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal, it can be nationwide or local forms. This may result in the adoption of a new policy or specific law.’

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  16th November 2019

          The plural referenda is widely used, but it’s incorrect. The Latin plural (if there was one) would be referendi. But as referendum is a gerund, it doesn’t have a Latin plural. Many people imagine that all Latin words have -a as a plural. They don’t.

          The definition is totally irrelevant to the fact that referenda is not a Latin word.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  16th November 2019

            Refero/fere; my mistake.

            But it’s still a gerund and as a Latin word can’t have a plural; gerunds can’t.

            As it has become de facto an English word, it should have an English plural and not a cod Latin one.

            Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  16th November 2019

      “Policy will get over shadowed by the referenda issues” via the media, who will have a second thing to focus on besides personalities …

      Reply
  2. NOEL

     /  16th November 2019

    The cannabis referendum has already been manipulated.
    All those years of the Drug Foundation and the Greens shouting it’s a health issue to see decriminalization removed from the options.
    Now it’s a choice issue with a regulated supply that was denied the addicted.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  16th November 2019

      health issue ? Thats just a nice name to give when ALL the problems are put in a a box which they then toss over the fence as someone elses problem. My neighbours kids used to do that the watermelon rind after they had the best part.
      Its a Greens pheromone policy which they use to attract ‘young voters’ to their brand, so they will be secretly glad when it fails at the referendum as they can then continue with the bait.
      In 1966 the Legalise Cannabis Party got a surprising 1.6% of the part vote but since then the Greens made sure to ‘cannabise’ that vote . Haha

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  16th November 2019

        So Duker, what are you saying? That cannabis is a crime issue and should remain so?

        There’s barely an issue or ‘harm’ with cannabis that isn’t directly related to its prohibition.

        What kind of “issue” then is alcohol?

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  16th November 2019

          No. Portugal kept the crime and started seriously with the health issue. Carrot and Stick. Anyway we have laws passed recently which recognise the addiction problem
          for all Drugs when prosecutions are considered- Misuse of Drugs amendment Bill

          You are deluded if you think the health issues are related to its prohibition- a woman lawyer said to me she ‘smoked it by the sackful’ , was that because it was illegal? Or did she seek help because it was both a crime and bad for her health- circumstances that were relevant for her.
          Another male acquaintance, after being a regular smoker for decades had a stroke and was ‘lucky he got the privilege’ of having to learn to speak again. Was that because it was illegal?
          Walk all over that with your Trumpian logic

          Reply
  3. Corky

     /  16th November 2019

    ”It won’t be complicated. Sure the extra votes could deter a few people from voting. But I think it is more likely to encourage more people to vote.”

    Agree. Herb heads and people who believe they will now be able to up the dose of morphine
    to finish the ”olds’ off , and get their hands on the bach sooner, will be out in force.

    It’s not so much the vote…but what thought has gone into those votes that worry me.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  16th November 2019

      The euthanasia will be voluntary and anyone who wants to kill their parents to get their inheritance will be disappointed. If they have been following this issue, they will know that the only one who can request the assisted suicide is the person and there are checks all along the way.

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  16th November 2019

        Good bait though huh, Miss Kitty? This (what Corky did) is just exactly what the media will do with it and lap up and ramp up as the election looms.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  16th November 2019

          One can only hope that no one will be stupid enough to believe it.

          Reply
        • Corky

           /  16th November 2019

          It wasn’t bait, And, like you, the media is woke, so we know which way they will spin stuff. The conservative folk may put up a fight. But they will be written off as nuts.
          Both bills will pass. If I voted, I would vote for both bills. However, I would know there will be problems down the road. For example, South Auckland like areas will socially disintegrate, and in years to come, policy creep will probably happen to the Euthanasia Bill. For that to take place the present law would need to go back before parliament to be debated. Would a generation of idiot social media dwellers have the ability to debate amendments for this legislation?

          Reply
          • PartisanZ

             /  16th November 2019

            Oh FFS, “problems down the road”! As though there aren’t any problems right here ‘Right’ now?

            Like, for instance, 60+ “unassisted suicides” each year who are terminally-ill people ending their own suffering; except they have to do it all alone in ghastly ways and burden family and friends with discovery, shock, trauma and sometimes stigma.

            Or the problem that almost all harm associated with cannabis is the direct result of cannabis prohibition, rather than the herb itself.

            Politicians are already “idiot social media dwellers” Corky. Its plainly evident they didn’t have the ability to debate the EOLC Bill over the last four years! There’s really no reason to think future politicians will be any worse or better, unless we summon the courage to write them a Constitution they must abide by.

            Reply
  4. Corky

     /  16th November 2019

    Geez, some people are really thick.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  16th November 2019

      I’ll say, Corks. I can sometimes tell when they’re been sniffing around here because they downtick me.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  16th November 2019

        Nothing worse than being attacked by your own creations.😉 I’ll downtick you to give your ticks some credibility👍

        Reply
  5. Zedd

     /  16th November 2019

    some folks cant even agree whether its worth voting at all.. or seem to support the leader of another country instead.. never mind wrapping their head around TWO (count them: two) referendum questions… :/ :/

    ‘viva la revolucioN’

    Reply
  6. duperez

     /  16th November 2019

    I have heard a senior opposition person in grizzle attack moaning mode saying having referenda at the same time of the general election would be too confusing for people.

    I’m very simple so it confuses me hearing that from someone who I’ve heard on numerous occasions say, “People aren’t stupid.”

    Off course there should be enough information out to inform people whether its about the euthanasia or cannabis issues. Regardless of that we can bank on plenty of misinformation being put out. Appeals to emotion and ignorance will be par for the course. Just like in a general election.

    Reply
  7. Duker

     /  16th November 2019

    “Claire Robinson, a political communications analyst at Massey University,”
    Funny that the ‘communications analyst’ hides her true colours ( national) and position ( professor of Political Studies) as a lowly ‘analyst’.
    She had a run in with Mallard the week , as she always supports the National party position, and like Farrar does a lot of contract work for them.
    heres her predictions before 2017 on ‘how National will win’
    https://www.massey.ac.nz/about-massey/news/article.cfm?mnarticle_uuid=5A436104-C7B9-76A6-6C18-83F8AE86C186
    Even a few days after the last election she jumped in boots and all saying ‘National Won’ using a factoid thatthey won more votes than last election. perhaps the Good professor isnt so good at statistics as she is at marketing ( I think she wears two professor hats) as the Nats dropped 2.5% of the total vote. But she shows her true colours in the public sphere

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  16th November 2019

      Metiria Turei’s foolish mis-read of stolen Labour voter support & spectacular crash & burn – plus Andrew Little being persuaded to vacate the leader’s job when he was taking Labour’s poll support positively floorwards, putting Jacinda Adern into the spot where the mainly female journos engineered Jacindamania is what made the difference.

      Claire unfortunately made her prediction too early here &, understandably, completely failed to see those events coming. It’s no longer safe to conclude that average poll support levels are a rekiable predictor, no even to say that the only poll which counts is the election. It’s what happens after the election, during coalition negotiations, that resulted in a change of government to Winston’s & Jacinda’s coalition one.

      One imagines having been so completely humbled last time she might now be a bit oracle-shy?

      Reply
  8. Corky

     /  16th November 2019

    This is why we must fight against ideological fanaticism as espoused by Parti and those of his ilk. Some may call this a gross exaggeration. But the number traitors who were executed after the second war for acts brutality against their own was astounding in one fact: the mundane jobs many had held before the war. I’m not saying Parti would become feral like this chap…but the ferals come from the same ideological camp as Parti.

    Replace Rambo with some poor non-voting Libertarian and this scenario would play out
    quite accurately …somewhere.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  16th November 2019

      I don’t think there ARE any libertarians who don’t vote and are poor in NZ?

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  16th November 2019

        Yeah, there are. Believe it, or not, the Libertarian Party picked one of it’s biggest blocks of votes for a predominately Maori area. They received 26 votes if I remember correctly. I think the overall tally was less than a 100 votes. I’m sure someone will scurry away to check.
        But come, now, Gezza, you can’t tell me Parti wouldn’t jump at a part time job like above.
        Hell, the guy even looks like Parti when he puts on his glasses.

        Btw…don’t confuse Libs with Righties. Most Libs have a passion to be free. Most Righties have a passion to be rich.

        Reply
        • PartisanZ

           /  16th November 2019

          🤓 … I must have really got to you Corky …??? 🤣🙃😂

          You sound really *TRIGGERED* …

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  16th November 2019

            ”I must have really got to you Corky.”

            Too true. I don’t fear a madman with an axe. I fear a fanatic with a manifesto.

            😒

            Reply
            • PartisanZ

               /  16th November 2019

              So what is this ideological fanaticism you attribute to me?

              Do you really think that von Hayek, Friedman, von Mises and Murray Rothbard et al are NOT fanatics!?

          • Corky

             /  16th November 2019

            ”You really should include corporate elites in your range of elites OldLaker, don’t you think?”

            You can’t differentiate capitalism from dishonesty. For you, both go hand in hand.

            Hows that for a start? I will post some more when I return.

            Reply
            • PartisanZ

               /  16th November 2019

              But they do go hand in hand. History has proved it over and over again.

            • Corky

               /  16th November 2019

              So, what of the upper echelons of socialism and communism? How come the elite of these regimes are sometimes fat bastards who own many capitalist consumer items? While the serfs starve. History has also proven that time and again. And as China has shown, capitalism keeps the worlds wheels spinning. Nothing else does.

              The defence will rest.

            • PartisanZ

               /  17th November 2019

              The defense should rest. The defense is very tired and very lazy. In fact, the defense should retire!

              Typical Rightie ‘False Dichotomy’ polarization: It must be either/or. If I think capitalism is corrupt I MUST therefore necessarily think (so-called) socialism and communism is honest.

              Or, as Monty Python put it …. “A WITCH!!!” …

              Or, “If you’re not with us you’re against us” … The Godwinian language of emotellectual poverty …

              What I actually think is that what we’ve so far called socialism and communism have been Totalitarian forms of Central Command Capitalism, if not on some occasions simply the rule of Sociopathic Despot Tyrants …

            • Corky

               /  17th November 2019

              ”What I actually think is that what we’ve so far called socialism and communism have been Totalitarian forms of Central Command Capitalism, if not on some occasions simply the rule of Sociopathic Despot Tyrants …”

              Finally, the penny half drops. Socialism and communism create Sociopathic Despot Tyrants …” because there is no limiting factors. Capitalism is controlled by the markets. Socialists bludge off that market to keep themselves happy to a certain extent. Why? Because their ideologically does not ‘PRODUCE’- it’s parasitic because that’s its only survival mode. That ideology goes against human nature and needs.

              ”Typical Rightie ‘False Dichotomy’ polarization: It must be either/or. If I think capitalism is corrupt I MUST therefore necessarily think (so-called) socialism and communism is honest.”

              Well, given your comments, I see know reason to think otherwise. I am quite liberal in my damnation of the right. In fact I think they don’t deserve to win the next election.

              You on the other hand? Well, let’s look? Yep, I see no critical thinking or criticism of your ideologically. Just a continual stream of negativity about capitalism.

              The defense will rest.

        • Gezza

           /  16th November 2019

          Believe it, or not, the Libertarian Party picked one of it’s biggest blocks of votes for a predominately Maori area. They received 26 votes if I remember correctly.

          I’m not sure what your point is here Corky? You seem to be crowing that in a predominantly, Maori area the Libertarian Party scored 26 votes?

          Firstly, “predominantly Maori area” doesn’t mean those voters were Maori.
          Secondly, being Maori doesn’t mean you are always poor.
          And thirdly, if they voted – those 26 cannot be, Libertarian, AND poor, AND don’t vote.

          Happy to receive any clarification, therefore, of what the point of your comment in italics therefore is?

          But come, now, Gezza, you can’t tell me Parti wouldn’t jump at a part time job like above.

          I wouldn’t know, Corky. I don’t pretend to be a mind reader. Those few I know who seem to think they are here do a terrible job trying to read mine. I go by what people say, or say that they do. Not by what I think that they must think – which can only ever be based on the way I think – and I am not them.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  16th November 2019

            ”I’m not sure what your point is here Corky? You seem to be crowing that in a predominantly, Maori area the Libertarian Party scored 26 votes?”

            Dry fact. The Libs had a Maori candidate who in a call to Perigo told how he explained to his rellies that under a Libertarian government they would be free to use their lands as they liked, without Whitey interfering. They weren’t too happy about other things like no Winz. I believe he would have been from that area. However, I have no proof.

            ”And thirdly, if they voted – those 26 cannot be, Libertarian, AND poor, AND don’t vote.”

            True. But I didn’t mention the non voting part of your comment That should have been obvious to you. Plus your comment was a generalisation.

            ”I wouldn’t know, Corky. I don’t pretend to be a mind reader.”

            Mate, you don’t have to be a mind reader…all you have to do is read Parti’s comments. Fanatical…and scary! Why aren’t you scared?

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  16th November 2019

            Mate, you don’t have to be a mind reader…all you have to do is read Parti’s comments. Fanatical…and scary! Why aren’t you scared?

            Firstly, I don’t suffer from paranoia. Secondly, Parti fights with words.

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  17th November 2019

              You are a brave man. I’ll stick with my paranoia. It’s served me well during life. It’s not always correct, but it’s been correct enough times to keep it around.

          • Gezza

             /  16th November 2019

            Besides, be honest Corks. Parti wouldn’t need to subject you to physical torture. After 3 hours of being forced to listen to an audio book of Frank E Warner’s Future of Man, wouldn’t you probably agree to anything he wanted, just to make it stop?

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  17th November 2019

              Yes..maybe the steel bed frame and a little electricity isn’t too bad after all. And Parti would need toilet breaks and a bite to eat, so there would be the odd intermission from torture.

              But three hours straight listening to an audio book would probably break me.

              Lordy..does this man have no mercy?

  9. oldlaker

     /  16th November 2019

    I love the way our political (and academic) elites so often think the population is too dim to know what they want. I suspect the elites are not all that keen on democracy generally and would prefer it if the plebs left it to them to organise a government for them.
    Most people won’t have read the End of Life Choice Bill (and obviously some politicians like Shane Reti haven’t understood it if they have) but the public knows what they think is fair.
    The fact Parliament has passed the bill will be enough for many to vote in favour.

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  16th November 2019

      You really should include corporate elites in your range of elites OldLaker, don’t you think?

      Who firstly possesses and secondly spends the most money by far influencing governments through lobby-groups, think tanks and a range of ‘legitimized corruption’ techniques?

      Hence corporate-political elites.

      Reply
  10. Zedd

     /  17th November 2019

    actually.. there is a referendum on ‘assisted dying’ & a REEFERendum on personal use of Herbz 😀

    BUT they do say ‘all good things come in 3’ :/ 🙂

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  17th November 2019

      True..3-6-9. According to Tesla, the universe operates on divisions of these numbers. He believed if science would study the harmonics of these intervals; science would evolve and progress in three weeks, what had previously taken a century to achieve. I’m not going argue.

      Reply

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