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psst... pass it on! Vote STV campaign under way

Electoral Reform Coalition (Wellington Branch)

Media release
11th August 2008
psst... pass it on! Vote STV campaign under way

“The decision to hold a poll on STV (Single Transferable Vote) just before a general election is less about giving people a chance to have a say on the system and more about changing the system that removed a number of councillors over the last two elections,” said Electoral Reform Coalition (ERC) Wellington Branch spokesperson Iona Pannett today.

“The mayor and her supporters lost 7 of their allies at the last two elections. Some have blamed STV for the loss of these councillors. But that’s democracy; voters used their vote to choose new councillors under STV”, said Ms Pannett.

Wellington city’s mayor and seven councillors have voted to run a postal ballot in September on whether to keep STV for the council elections in 2010 and 2013. The poll will be run between 5-27 September. STV has been used to elect the members of the WCC and six other local councils (as well as the elected members of all District Health Boards country-wide) since 2004.

“Spending $185,000 of ratepayers’ money to re-litigate the voting system adopted by Wellingtonians in 2002 is a waste of money, said Ms Pannett.

“STV is a far superior system to FPP (First Past the Post). Why go back to last century? It is simple to vote under STV, practically all votes count and a mayor has to get more than 50% of the vote to be elected.

In contrast, mayoral elections have seen candidates win as little as 19% of the vote. Mayor Prendergast got a little over a third of the vote in 2001. Under STV, mayoral candidates have to win a majority support; this is another reason why we need to keep STV.

STV is working well in Wellington, there is no need for a change,” said Ms Pannett.

“The ERC is running a vigorous and non-partisan campaign to defend STV,” said Ms Pannett.

“As in 2002 campaign that won STV for Wellington, the ERC will be proudly branding the campaign Wellington colours - gold and black,” said Ms Pannett. To those who say STV is too complex, we say Wellingtonians are smart people, very capable of understanding STV It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!”

Go to www.stv.govt.nz for information on STV in New Zealand.


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