Kids Voting 2008

November 27th, 2008 at 9:29 am by David Farrar

, along with , ran a simulated election amongst secondary school students alongside the general election. This is a great civics initiative and 13,000 voted.

And those who want a smaller Parliament will be delighted with the results – a Parliament of only 107 MPs!

How is this possible? It is an obscure feature called underhang – the opposite of overhang. Let us look at the results:

  1. National 28.4%, 36 seats, 29 elects, 7 list
  2. Labour 25.0%, 32 seats, 16 elects, 16 list
  3. Bill and Ben Party 11.7%, 15 seats, 0 elects, 15 list
  4. Greens 11.2%, 14 seats, 0 elects, 14 list
  5. Legalise Cannabis 10.5%, 13 seats, 0 elects, 13 list
  6. Maori Party 4.9%, 6 seats, 6 elects, 0 list
  7. ACT 1.9%, 2 seats, 1 elect, 1 list
  8. NZF 1.0%, 1 seat, 1 elect, 0 list
  9. United Future 0.7%, 1 seat, 1 elect, 0 list

Now the Bill and Ben Party only had two candidates (Bill and Ben!) on their party list, so there would be an underhang of 13 MPs for a Parliament of 107. This means to form a Government you need 54 votes. So what would the Government be?

You could do National 36 + ALCP 13 + Maori 6 = 55

More likely is Labour 32 + Greens 14 + ALCP 13 = 59

The electorate seat won by NZ First was actually in Tamaki, so their sole MP would be a Doug Nabbs.

They have given results for each electorate also. Below are the seats where a different party would have won the electorate vote if the kids were the real electors:

  1. Auckland Central – Labour
  2. Bay of Plenty – Labour
  3. Dunedin North – National
  4. Invercargill – Labour
  5. New Lynn – National
  6. Rimutaka – National
  7. Tamaki – NZ First
  8. West Coast-Tasman – Labour
  9. Whanganui – Labour
  10. Wigram – National
  11. Ikaroa-Rawhiti – Maori

It is great to see the kids encouraged to take part in mock elections and vote. The results do show though why the Greens are bonkers with their campaign to lower the voting age to include 16 and 17 year old schoold students.

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27 Responses to “Kids Voting 2008”

  1. gingercrush (153 comments) says:

    The kids don’t seem that dumb. They too know the Greens are nothing but empty words of dread.

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  2. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    I’m all for lowering the voting age to 16, kids can drive and marry at that age they should be allowed to vote. I’d also like to see voting restricted to actual taxpayers and a sliding scale applied to older people’s votes (so at, say, 70 your vote only counted as 0.25),

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  3. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    kiwigreg is insane. thats nice.

    as you say, just shows kids should never be allowed to vote. .21% of the vote going to legalise dope and the bill&ben party..

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  4. coge (160 comments) says:

    I used to vote Labour too. When I was a kid.

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  5. WraithX (295 comments) says:

    I agree that only taxpayers (paying tax on a real income, not a welfare cheque) should be allowed to vote. Beneficiaries are essentially being paid to vote a certain way. When you rely on the government to provide an income, you will vote for the party that will give you the most money. This is the reason that National can’t abolish benefits (even though they should).

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  6. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    DPF said: The results do show though why the Greens are bonkers with their campaign to lower the voting age to include 16 and 17 year old schoold students.

    Point of clarification DPF – the Greens have never campaigned to reduce the voting age to 16 and it is not Green Party policy to lower the voting age to 16.

    The proposal to lower the voting age to 16 was a personal initiative from Sue Bradford who proposed it as a Private Members’ Bill. As it turned out, the media and public reaction (including some opposition from within the Green Party itself) was such that she recognised it would be highly controversial and have no chance of getting passed, so she didn’t even enter it into the Member’s Bills Ballot. The proposal for her Members’ Bill also included Civics Education becoming part of the Core Curriculum to ensure young people were prepared for the responsibility of voting.

    But good on her for raising the issue, and I still think she is right on this one. I was 17 at the time of the 1975 election, was an active member of the Values Party (inspired by a nutbar suggestion by my local and then very junior National MP Bill Birch to build a nuclear power station at Waiau Pa on the Manukau Harbour), and remember being really pissed off that while I could campaign for the Values Party I could not vote for them. In addition to KiwGreg’s points, I would also add that young people can leave school and be paying tax on income from full-time employment at the age of 16. So why should they have no say in how much their taxes are or how they are spent?

    Also, it appears Kids Voting 2008 involved Year 9 students. That’s 13 and 14 year olds, not 16 and 17.

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  7. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    WraithX – National should abolish benefits? wtf?

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  8. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    Toad – sue bradford? which one is she? i didnt see her at all during the campaign..

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  9. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”
    - Abraham Lincoln, 1838

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  10. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    dime said: sue bradford? which one is she? i didnt see her at all during the campaign..

    Doubt you saw Gerry Brownlee either, despite him being No 3 on the Nats’ list, as Sue Bradford was on the Greens’. The media focus is very much on Leaders during election campaigns and other MPs struggle to get much of a profile, unless, like Maurice Williamson and Lockwood Smith, they stuff up.

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  11. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    “The results do show though why the Greens are bonkers with their campaign to lower the voting age to include 16 and 17 year old schoold students.”

    Really DPF? Were all the participants in the survey 16 and 17 year olds? That wasn’t the case was it? So what reason(s) can you give for reaching that conclusion? Or are you just talking out the wrong end … again …

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  12. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    As opposed to Sue Bradford flawless performence you mean?

    You people have no grip on reality whatsoever do you.

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  13. sbk (299 comments) says:

    .Legalise Cannabis 10.5%, 13 seats, 0 elects, 13 list ..thats scary.Is there a need for more education on the dangers of Drugs ,me thinks so.

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  14. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    The results do show though why the Greens are bonkers with their campaign to lower the voting age to include 16 and 17 year old schoold students.

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  15. WraithX (295 comments) says:

    Dime: yes – why not? They don’t need to abolish it entirely – perhaps there could be a 3 month benefit to help people who lose jobs, but the unemployment benefit should be removed otherwise. If National gave 3 months notice that unemployment would end, it would give people a chance to either get a job, or family support.

    The DPB should be abolished too. It is not the place of society to be forced to pay young women to have children.

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  16. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    Gerry Brownlee was heavily used in the campaign! NO ONE brings in the chick vote like Gerry!

    Good to know you consider her to be a liability that isnt well liked by the people though :)

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  17. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    So you just want to give unemplyment the flick? not DPB? sickness?

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  18. WraithX (295 comments) says:

    dime: no – as I said in my edited post, I would abolish the DPB entirely as well. I would give people time to get health insurance and then abolish sickness and invalids benefits. This in turn will mean a huge drop in tax rates and all of the people who support high tax for social reasons can use their tax cuts to contribute to charities who will help those in need.

    After all, they are so adamant that we must help the poor that I am certain they would be happy to voluntarily give 30% of their income for that reason…

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  19. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    I agree that only taxpayers (paying tax on a real income, not a welfare cheque) should be allowed to vote. Beneficiaries are essentially being paid to vote a certain way. When you rely on the government to provide an income, you will vote for the party that will give you the most money. This is the reason that National can’t abolish benefits (even though they should).

    I know a stay at home dad (5 kids, some his, some hers), wife works: he voted ACT.

    Isn’t every family a beneficiary under WFF?

    E X P A N D – Z E E – M I N D

    should add: recently married too. The nerve! :lol:

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  20. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    dime said: Good to know you consider her to be a liability that isnt well liked by the people though

    I neither said or implied anything of the sort, dime. Sue Bradford is not well liked by people on the right – I think that is because she is effective in challenging their ideology and has been effective in getting legislative change through that they are not happy with. She’s liked well enough and considered effective enough in the Green Party for her to have been ranked by the democratic vote of their members at No 3 on their party list for each of the last 3 elections.

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  21. WraithX (295 comments) says:

    goodgod: yes – and if we only allowed non-beneficiaries to vote, people would have rioted over the concept of Working for Families and it would never have been implemented. I think people value their vote more than a tax rebate in the form of welfare!

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  22. Ramsay (123 comments) says:

    Dunedin North would go to National? These “voters” obviously thought that Katherine Rich was still the candidate!

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  23. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Interesting to note that among the kids, as among the grown-ups, Act have less party vote than almost everybody else :-P
    And the children, like the grown-ups, also seem to appreciate that a vote for United Future is a vote for, well, nothing…!

    Would be interesting to see a Green + Bill & Ben + Legalise Cannabis + Maori Party coalition with both Major parties shut out, but sadly that comes up short of a majority and a National + Labour coalition could still shut them out. Pity…

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  24. Rex Widerstrom (5,124 comments) says:

    Oh come on.

    1. These kids knew the whole thing was pretend, and many cast a vote as a joke or with the hope of “shocking” oldies. Judging by the “OMG, the Legalise Cannabis Party!!!” horror going on on this thread, they succeeded. Many commenters here have told how they delighted pre-election in giving phone pollsters ridiculous and inaccurate responses – did it ever occur to you this is just the kids doing the same? Give them the real responsibility of casting a vote and I suggest they’d take it seriously. I don’t know about the cannabis vote, but there’d certainly have been less for Bill & Ben.

    2. The majority of Winston’s support came from the other end of the age spectrum. Since their choices were also clearly stupid, then KiwiGreg’s suggestion that we weight votes on a sliding scale due to age is simply the logical extension of assuming all young people are stupid and shouldn’t vote.

    3. My 20-something kids, both voting for the first time, were so unimpressed by Labour and National that they were seriously discussing voting Bill & Ben as a way to express that disgust. Rather than simply being a lark, it’s possible the vote for Bill & Ben – amongst these kids and amongst the registered voters who actually did vote for them – is saying to politicians “we’re so disgusted by you lot we’d rather waste our vote on a couple of clowns than give it to any of you”.

    4. This is why we need civics taught in schools, and discussions of issues of issues, philosophies and solutions to occur outside of just social studies and maybe geography.

    5. In short, you’re underestimating young people, DPF. Yet you’re not that old yourself… which leaves you in danger of being called a young fogey :-D

    6. Oh crap. I think I may just have agreed with Sue Bradford on something. Somebody shoot me.

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  25. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Good to know you consider her to be a liability that isnt well liked by the people though

    I saw her on TV1 http://tvnz.co.nz/view/video_popup_windows_skin/2209255 and big bro hear her on radio…

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  26. reddeath26 (97 comments) says:

    @KiwiGreg-
    While I agree with you that 16 and 17 year olds should be able to vote, I am somewhat at odds with your implication that only those paying full tax should be able to vote. What about those who are in a stable relationship and happen to be the one to take care of the housework etc. I do not see why they should be deprived to vote?

    I would also disagree with your notion, that you can place more value on certain peoples votes. I am under the belief that anyone one person applicable to vote, should be entitled to the same weight as any other.

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  27. clintheine (1,560 comments) says:

    The Greens would LOVE to lower the voting age – although they are being rather coy about their objectives behind it. Kind of like why they have such a high vote outside NZ, because they treat NZ like their little laboratory without actually staying round to experience their policies first hand.

    Lowering the age will get the unions like Unite and the Labour associated unions into the schools, ably assisted by the teachers who will “help things along” for the left vote. Quite scary stuff.

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