This weekend New Zealanders cast their votes in the country’s 51st General Election. The media and the internet are chocka with the personalities, policies, plots, subplots, secrets, lies, dirty laundry and general haranguing that will influence us one way or another on Saturday 20 September. How is it possible make a decision amidst all this fracas?
Well, like everything else these days, there is an online tool designed to help you out. Vote Compass asks your opinion of various issues, gets you to rate politicians and then compiles your answers in a nice, colourful chart. Although this is a poll, it’s still an interesting way to find out what you’re thinking. The only problem for me is that the survey shows I am 65% compatible with one party and 64% compatible with another and, as these were the parties I was thinking of voting for anyway, it hasn’t helped me one iota.
Alternatively, libraries are a politically neutral place to search for accurate information. Online or in the library, you’ll find everything you need to know about the political scene in New Zealand. There is a full set of electoral rolls available to view and you can do advanced voting at nine branches of Christchurch City Libraries.
I am currently reading Philippa Gregory‘s excellent Cousin’s War series and, as I plunge nightly into the terrifying quagmire that was life under the reign one history’s most tyrannical despots, I’m reminded how hard won the right to vote is and what a privilege it is to live in a stable democracy in 2014. It’s totally worth doing some homework and making a sound decision.