Monday, 22 November 2010

Electile Dysfunction: ‘None of the Above’ Wins Mana By-election

Guest post by Dr Richard McGrath

Libertarianz Party leader Dr Richard McGrath said Saturday’s debacle in Mana was an embarrassing kick in the guts for the two main political parties, with only 55% of people judging any candidate worthy of their vote.
    He suggested that in any by-election where less than 50% of people vote, the seat should remain vacant until the next general election.
    “Kris Faafoi struggled to win the support of a quarter of eligible Mana voters. What sort of mandate is that?”
    “Our own candidate, Sean Fitzpatrick, took a pasting on Saturday, receiving 43 votes - despite a great effort on the campaign trail.”
    “But the big losers in this by-election are the Labour and BlueLabour candidates. On election night they were well beaten into the minor placings by ‘None of The Above’, which garnered an impressive 45% of votes.”
      “The people have spoken. ‘None of the Above should now take their seat in Parliament…”

Read more here.


  1. I think Sean did pretty well - about a third of what Act got.

  2. 43 votes is doing pretty well now? And how many of those thought they were voting for an ex-All Black captain? Keep it up, you're on the verge to taking over. ROFL

    Judge Holden

  3. I would have thought if people ever thought he was an ex-All Black that there would have been publicity to match.

    He did beat the Alliance, which of course had an enormous profile for around a decade. It was seen by those who voted as a two horse race, meaning Labour was unconvincing in a traditionally safe seat, and National attracted almost all the votes of those who wanted to teach Labour a lesson for selecting a liar.

  4. Come on guys don't kid yourself. 43 votes is statistically static noise. Meaningless.

    Such numbers are as meaningless as a reduction of 2 deaths in a weekend road-toll. (Remember that Not-PC post?)

    I would love to see better results but let's not make it what it is not. That is embarrassing.

  5. me thinks you should focus on one type of activism and drop the other. you either go political or cultural and if I were you drop the political completely. Its a waste of time and effort. You

  6. @Judge Holden:

    In case you hadn't noticed, we are the only political party who doesn't want to 'take over'. But then again, perhaps that what people want - someone to tell them what to do.

    But what are your thoughts on leaving electorate seats in parliament empty if less than 50% of people bother voting?

  7. @twr: The low vote for both ACT and Libz probably reflect a general feeling that the only way to stop Labour winning was to vote National.

    Sean did about as well as Libz normally do at general elections.

    @Michael: Libz tend to look beyond numbers of votes in elections, though we would love to get more! Our influence does not go unnoticed by the MPs themselves, who do read our press releases. I have been told that Don Brash was a regular reader of the Free Radical magazine, and was seen reading it in parliament on one occasion.

  8. I'm not sure they would need to stop Labour winning, as either way it wouldn't have changed the number of seats filled by the two main parties.

    As I understand MMP, if National won, an existing MP would swap from list to electorate and Labour would get an extra list MP.

    If Labour won, one electorate MP would be swapped for another.

    If McCarten won, it would be just another demonstration of the populace's delusion that money grows on trees.

    If any of the others won, they would get an extra overhang seat.

    I think the low support for Act is reflective of the shenanigans they've been up to since 2008, and the policy void they have. Colin's a pretty decent bloke, and is definitely on the Libertarian side of Act.

  9. Sean Fitzpatrick22 Nov 2010, 15:05:00

    @twr yes Colin is all you say. I am very surprised his vote was not higher.

    In the course of the campaign I received a lot of good feedback from some interest quarters. The Greens had never heard the libertarian perspective on things before and expressed appreciation for the food for extra thinking we gave them. Matt turned out to be very libertarian on social issues so was allied with us on some debates - he and his supporters also expressed respect for our position on a number of other issues and said they would do more reading on libertarian perspectives.

    All this is important - as much as vote count.

  10. I think the low support for Act is reflective of the shenanigans they've been up to since 2008, and the policy void they have. Colin's a pretty decent bloke, and is definitely on the Libertarian side of Act.

    More likely the disgusting censorship practiced by the media aginst him and other third party canditates.They were ingnored and even openly told they would not be interviewed or included in debates.Colin was the only actual long term resident of Mana as I understand it.

  11. Sean Fitzpatrick22 Nov 2010, 15:50:00


    That was a problem in Mt Albert as well - media just tends to ignore the minor parties. That is why there is no point getting too worried about a low vote count at this stage - if there had been a pile of media coverage of the Libz campaign and still less than 50 votes then OK that is something to be concerned with!

    As it is the main local paper (the Dom) did not bother to contact me AT ALL during the 3 weeks of the campaign until the very last minute - in fact they left it so late they could not reach me in time for comment before they had to go to press. Hopeless.

  12. @James: You're right, the media (and election meeting organisers) should realise that elections are a time when the minor parties should be allowed their say in equal amount to the bigger parties. It's about ideas, not how many seats a party had in parliament before the election, or even what chance each candidate has of winning. There should be absolute equality, with all candidates given equal time and ability to advertise their ideas.

  13. "There should be absolute equality, with all candidates given equal time and ability to advertise their ideas."

    Yes it's disgusting. The media should be forced to provide equal coverage to all candidates. Oh wait...

    Judge Holden

  14. The media has a certain bias though, the Alliance came a close second in the Selwyn by-election after Ruth Richardson's resignation (Marian Hobbs a distant third). Had the Alliance not had the oxygen of sympathetic journalists, then it may not have done so well.

    Surely one of the stories was how RNZ justified Faafoi as a journalist for so long when he was so clearly partisan politically. How many other political active journalist do state owned broadcasters hire?

  15. @Judge Holden:
    Let me rephrase what I wrote: No political party should have a financial advantage over any other during an election campaign. During general election campaigns, political parties get massive amounts of taxpayer money to advertise on TV, if I recall correctly in proportion to the vote they received at the previous election; thus perpetuating the Labour-National grip on power.

    I believe taxpayer funding of political parties should be nil. They should be funded, and their MPs paid, by the membership of the parties themselves.

    Libertarianz were prevented from advertising on television because we would not accept taxpayer money to pay for it. That's where we were deprived of equal time and opportunity.


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