Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Twisted election stats.

Bryce Edwards makes a point that everyone needs to remember. It's basic statistics, not that hard to figure out. National did not win the support of 48% of the population. They won 48% of the people who voted. These are two completely different things. The thing to remember is the low voter turnout. I don't think the numbers should be reported the way they are. Of the total possible viote, national won 33%, Labour 18.5% and the Greens 7%. What is truly scary is that the proportion of voters who didn't make it to the ballot box, 31%. The second biggest chunk of voters were too apathetic to get to a polling booth. I've seen a fe people claim that the day just got away on them or they ended up being to busy on the day so it wasn't really their fault they didn't vote. In a word, balls. I'll accept that if you're currently in outer Mongolia for an extended period of time, but randomly being to busy on the day - somewhat pathetic. This happens once every three years, it's not a big ask.
So, what do we do? I would imagine that some of the non-voters just don't connect with any of the political parties. How do we get the apathetic to re-engage with the political process? And I don't just mean voting once every three years. Being involved in the political process is more than that. I'm not saying I'm perfect at this. It's only in the past few years that I've actually started writing to MP's and public servants when they piss me off. I've only been to one major protest/march (the occupy one). I've always voted though and I'd like to think I'm getting better at being involved. At the least I want to get that 31% off their behinds and voting.
I'm thinking it's time that the don't talk religion or politics rule at parties was thrown out. Politics is important. It needs to be discussed when groups get together so that there's not a permanent echo chamber - most of my friends (I think) are probably Labour or Green voters. If they only ever talk to other Labour and Green voters, nothing changes. It's not so much that they need to talk to National voters, it's that we need to be talking to the apathetic voters, pushing them to take a stand one way or t'other and being appalled at people who don't. Politics should be to the fore of interesting/important conversations. I just need to learn not to rant when doing it.

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