Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Accusations of Voter Apathy Misguided

15th October 2001

Accusations of Voter Apathy Misguided

Christiaan Briggs, a 25 year old who stood for Napier City Council, is not surprised by another low voter turnout for local body elections around the country.

“Accusations of voter apathy by some politicians is misguided frankly. How can eligible voters be expected to understand the importance of voting in local body elections when we don¹t even teach politics in our schools,” he said.

“I think there are a number of factors of fundamental importance causing low voter turnout, and number one is the fact that people just don¹t realise the extent to which local government affects their daily lives, especially people my age and younger.

“On top of this is the primitive voting system we use, which allows candidates to be elected without a clear mandate. This, coupled with low voter turnout, translates into candidates being elected by less than 25% of the eligible voters. A change to STV next term, which will allow voters to rank candidates, will be a positive move for all involved.

“I think another factor is that our current system does not allow people to vote for no one. This may sound strange but it makes it difficult to encourage people to vote if they don¹t think they¹ll like any of the candidates. People are far more likely to actually open the envelope in the first place if they know they don¹t *have* to vote for someone, and can still have their opinion recorded by sending in their ballot.

“And finally I think there¹s the lack of information coming through the media. I think candidates and journalists can split the blame for this. TV and newspapers should put far more resources into educating people about local government during the run up to an election. And all candidates should have comprehensive websites. When people realise what¹s involved I think they¹ll also realise how much influence they can have and just how exciting it is to live in such a free society.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

 
 

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>

ALSO:

Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election