I blogged previously on Rock Enrol, and noted it is difficult to be seen as non-partisan when the band you are trying to get for your concerts is infamous for hating John Key and National, and singing obscenities about them.
I support their aim of increasing youth enrolments, but remain skeptical about their desire to have young people enrol if they are right wing.
I’m not sure if it is intentional, but they have put their 80 day campaign on Google Docs and have it set for public view. A few interesting points. They say their aim is:
Hold the government to account on behalf of the YouthVoter block through effective advocacy, political pressure & campaigning
Which looks more like being a lobby group, not a neutral enrolment service. There is no one set view from young people so no group can represent the youth voter bloc. They can only represent the people who agree with them.
CTU, NZUSA, NZNO & Unite Unions to assist with access to calling software ($11.5k), office spaces (nationwide) + volunteer mailing list
So the unions are effectively funding them. Now that’s fine, but this sort of information should be public, that they are union funded.
A commitment to share data with ActionStation and Oxfam to aid long-term strategy
Both very left-wing groups
CTU are paying for Amicus Calling software. CTU & PSA to train 5000 volunteers for GOAV calling (mid Aug – Sep 20). RockEnrol data to be entered into database to be called as well during this time. RockEnrol + Generation Zero volunteers will also call data
Generation Zero is also a left-wing group. Now there is nothing wrong with that again, just the Electoral Commission should be aware that this is not a non-partisan group, no matter how much they claim to be. They are not party political, but they are a left group.
Reach 4500 18 – 24yo through civics programme (approx. 150 workshops nationwide through PSA, NZUSA, ACE & PPTA)
A different set of unions, but basically all their collaboration is with unions – which to a man are dedicated to the defeat of National.
GOTV: Volunteers to have over 20,000 one-to-one conversations
Now this is interesting. It’s one thing to get people enrolled. But another to be calling them on election day, and urging them to vote – an activity normally done by political parties. Will they be calling people in Epsom urging them to vote, or only in strong Labour areas?
Partner with organisations that have underused volunteer networks (NZUSA, PSA, VSA, CTU)
The Young Nationals have around 5,000 members. But Rock Enrol never approached them until there was publicity about it.
In August (1st – 20th), we will run a PledgeMe campaign for $5000. This will be matchfunded by Derek Handley and one other well-known businessman or possibly ActionStation/CTU (??)
So they may also get funded directly by the CTU.
They also have a script for an ad:
Announcer: Voting only takes 30 second. Learn who to vote for at yvote.co.nz and be prepared for Election Day.
Now it gets even more interesting. Again they are not just enrolling people, but will be encouraging them to go to a website they run which will advise them on who to vote for.
I wish Rock Enrol every luck at getting those who agree with their politics to get people to enrol and vote. That is what democracy is about. But I think National MPs and candidates (and others) should be very cautious about giving support to a union backed group whose mission isn’t just to get people to enrol, but to turn into a lobby group that will advocate on behalf of the left.