Saturday, December 14, 2013

The $9 million waste of time and money

The people have spoken, and the winner of the LabourGreenNZFirstMana referendum on asset sales was - drum roll please - apathy. Here are the figures, via Homepaddock:

2013 Citizens Initiated Referendum Preliminary Result

Votes
Number of Votes Received
Percentage of Total Valid Votes
For the response
Yes
432,950
32.5%
For the response
No
895,322
67.2%
Informal votes*
4068
0.31%
Total valid votes
1,332,340
100.0%

Voter turnout on the basis of the preliminary result is 43.9%.  Turnout is calculated by taking the total votes cast of 1,333,402 (being total valid and invalid votes) as a percentage of the total number of voters enrolled as at 21 November 2013 (3,037,405).

The number of invalid votes cast was 1,062 or 0.08% of total votes cast.  Invalid votes are excluded from the count and include, for example, voting papers that cannot be processed because the voter has made the QR Code unreadable, or voting papers cancelled as a result of replacement voting papers being issued.

The parties of the Left will claim a victory, but the reality is that it's anything but. Only 43.9% of registered voters bothered to participate, dropping the effective No vote to around 29% overall of eligible voters. That's hardly a ringing endorsement.

And to make matters worse for the parties of the Left, their share of the vote was around 15% less than their share of the party vote in 2011 where the cumulative party vote for LabourGreenNZFirstMana plus the Maori Party was 1,066,003. In a referendum where they were the only ones doing any promotion, this must come as a huge disappointment.

This was always going to be an exercise in futility. But the result is out, and in this case, the people have chosen not to participate. Apathy reigns in Aotearoa.


5 comments:

Edward the Confessor said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Keeping Stock said...

2014 is when you're back Edward.

Jeremy said...

It's only a waste if you think actual democracy is a waste.

Anonymous said...

The referendum may have had some merit had it included a third question relating to the 100% sale of state assets. I voted "Yes" to the question provided but can understand those who voted "No" given the option to sell 100% was not on offer.

Cadwallader

Keeping Stock said...

@ Jeremy - democracy was the 2011 General Election. Both Labour and the Greens agreed that it was a referendum on asset sales, and this was just a cynical ploy to relitigate a democratic election result.