2014 Election Questions
One of the issues being canvased in the lead up to this year’s election, is why a growing number of New Zealanders are not voting. Over 800,000 voters chose not to cast a vote in our last parliamentary election, and we’ve had a couple of spats amongst regular commenters here at Menz, about the validity of the vote, for men in New Zealand.
My prediction is that this year even less people will vote, and that appears to be a common concern in the political arena judging by the conversations that have arisen on various platforms. It has become apparent that no one, including politicians, actually have any idea of the demographic make up of this non-voting group, or perhaps more importantly, the reasons why voters are not turning up to the polls.
In respect of the question ‘why don’t people vote’ comments such as “they’re brown and rural” or “they’re ignorant and lazy”, (which is not particularly helpful) were thrown up, but I didn’t see anyone giving consideration to the possibility that it was more likely to be men than women, in this growing group of non-voters.
I think there is a growing number of disenfranchised men that are a big part of this group and as such on a men’s site, a better question might be, why don’t you vote?
Some commenters have already stated, that they do not vote – so let’s go a step further.
If you have voted in the past but are a non-voter for at least the last election, why did you stop voting?
Does the way that you have been treated as a man or as a father have any bearing on your decision not to vote?
If you have voted in the past, but are not likely to vote this election, what has changed; is it because you feel the current political climate in New Zealand doesn’t give men any reason to vote?
Is this an issue you discuss with other people?
Are there other people in your social circles or amongst your work mates that also don’t vote, or is this something you can’t be bothered discussing with other people?
If you are a non-voter, what would a political party need to do, or what would need to change in New Zealand, for you to vote in a future election?
Do you think that gender has no bearing on voting and there are other obvious reasons why so many eligible voters are not voting?
Update 22 September 2014: The election is over and the numbers are in.
It’s been a strange election and the percentage of enrolled voters casting a vote increased 2.84% from 74.2% to 77.04% but the overall number of people not voting has increased.
The percentage of people refusing to enrol is increasing. Numbers dropped a further 1.7% from the 2011 Election (93.4) to this election (91.7).
I don’t know the gender disparity of the group of non-enrolled. If the increase in this group is largely male, along with the already larger number of women in New Zealand, then we are seeing a further watering down of the male vote.
Downunder, I agree that this elephant in the room could be a clincher in the next election, especially the way that National is behaving presently. Thanks, MurrayBacon.
I’ve voted once in my life, when I was 18yrs old. I’ve circled the Sun 32 times since then.
I have 3 adult children of voting age. They don’t vote either.
We share common memories of extreme family violence, attempted murders, attempted infanticides and suicides, stupefying and poisoning, surviving an utter farking craziness where support is only afforded to abused children if their FATHER is violent but not their MOTHER. Maybe I’m being unreasonable? It’s only been 28 years … tick, tock.
I tell everybody that the ex tried to kill our children and me, that she was never charged with any crime, that there was no help then as there is no help now for fathers and their children living in a similar situation.
I’ve never voted since I understood that both major parties pump the very same gas from the very same tank, albeit branded differently. I’m content with walking. I’ll never vote again!
I don’t vote and won’t vote as I see the two puppet system in New Zealand as an established set of actors in a soap opera who have nothing to contribute to the improvement of New Zealand society.
We have witnessed laws being enacted with the sole purpose of destroying the family unit and vilifying men. We have seen tax and child support laws implemented with the purpose of denying men access to their children and the means to do so. We have seen politicians legalize substances that even an idiot can see is harmful. We have seen the wishes of the people ignored when referendums request change.
So explain to me why my vote will be heard or indeed make a difference? I’d rather go fishing.
I always vote. I consider it a duty. It’s one small but certain way of influencing our political direction. In MMP, votes for smaller parties carry more weight because smaller parties have more influence. Even if one’s vote does not seem to make any difference, political parties monitor where votes are going and what this might mean about policies that are supported.
It will be difficult this year to find any party that shows a shred of awareness or concern about real gender equality or about individual rights, freedoms, fairness and justice.
It’s pointless to vote..
Why? It’s a complex thing to think about for sure.. I am not unique.I’m a white male in mid 30s, being held down financially with no way out despite being on a good salary (child support and student loan). To complain or become an activist would only bring me additional hardship. I must focus on a career to dig my way out of this hole. I must ‘man up’. That phrase says it all yes?
My two cents as to how I see my demographic thinking.
The needs of society are secondary. We were the first generation to be saddled with the user pays system that has been dumped on us by the aging baby boomers (huge voting group), who will continue to exercise a massive strain on our government welfare/healthcare system.
None of our leaders/politicians represent us. Their interests/things they advocate for don’t speak to our needs. It’s women’s rights, the environment, big business, immigrants, healthcare etc. Nothing about the burdened younger men of today. Would be advocates/leaders from our demographic are too busy trying to get that promotion and keep our loved ones happy etc.
There are deep neurological and societal reasons for why my demographic don’t collectivise/complain/advocate for change.
At a glance:
We are largely not religious. We are too educated and disheartened by all that we see that is wrong/incorrect/untruthful to ever believe in such. We are a generation of skeptics and rightly so. We therefore fall outside that collectivising body as well. We don’t agree with their way of living. Our voices can never contribute to this large voting group as our ideologies often conflict.
We see very little benefit from all the taxes we pay. We live in a society of entitled looters (to quote Ayn Rand), and we know that when the time comes for us to age, the welfare system we pay for now will no longer exist. Our short sighted but inevitable solution is to try harder to earn more money. Our focus is turned more inward. This in turn hardens us to the needs of others, especially our own demographic, who are our own competitors for that ‘more money’.
We see the elderly and older propertied people profiting from favourable immigration policies that keep the prices of property from ever really correcting. The largest voting bloc has too much vested interest there to ever give us a chance to get in. Unless you are born with assets (inherit), or save and live like a pauper for years can you never afford a house even in the worst areas of Auckland. To live like a pauper is unattractive to women and our peers and it also lessons our competitive edge for that higher dollar (dress for success etc).
It’s not masculine to complain. It’s manly to ‘man up’ and make the best of it. We have a beer and try to laugh at it all. This is our own private struggle, our punishment for poor choices taken when young and ignorant. It’s not attractive to moan about the child support system or any of the other injustices/inequalities we experience. Because we are men we are meant to just shut up because we have all these other ‘benefits’ that come with being a male. Benefits like higher salaries.. Which is false.. Equality means equal rights not equal results. I damn well earn that higher dollar. And besides. Keeping a woman happy is expensive. That’s an additional hidden and unspoken tax on all my demographic. I know I sound sexist here but it’s the way it is… Men do all bitch about this quietly.. How often does one hear of women pay for all a man’s things, upkeep, clothes, dinners, entertainment. This tax kills our surplus dollar. Add a family to that and there’s nothing left for the man but a few beers and a bit of fishing (generalising but you get the idea).
Also, other men that aren’t in this situation (debt burden, child issues etc) don’t want to hear about it and lack empathy. It’s our faults and nothing to do with them. Their comparative lack of empathy compared to females is intrinsic to what constitutes being male. It’s unmanly to bitch and a man’s focus is on his family etc.. Those unaffected men would never jump on our bandwagon and fight with us/for us. Unlike other groups (women, religious groups, elderly, immigrants) who often collectivise for each other.
So we know it’s pointless to complain because that won’t get us anywhere. We see that we need to earn enough to be able to impress/keep our women/families happy/provide some happiness in our lives. We are obsessed with this to our own detriment as a demographic. To complain/fight the system only makes us less attractive to the opposite sex. It also impacts our careers. Imagine trying to succeed in a corporate world as a vocal males rights activist. that would never happen. but a woman could.. She would be seen as a strong female leader.. this is my view. Not all..
And the white collar world is where a large group of intelligent males work (my demographic). We exist in our own competitive bubbles. Unfortunately these males are the best equipped to fight this fight but for all those reasons above we don’t.
In short, we are burdened by debt and unable to act outside our own ‘personal bubbles’ due to societal and neurological reasons; we’re not old, not an immigrant, not female and not religious. We fall outside any of the main collectivised voting groups that our current leaders must bend their knee too.
We know we have no say in how the system is run. We know we can’t collectivise as a group. There isn’t enough latent anger and those that finally get out (i.e. child support ends etc), they are just relieved they no longer have to shoulder it. They manned up and just want to enjoy life as much as possible.
Men, and some women, have fought for you prior to your conception. You’re right about your bandwagon. We’re unlikely to jump on yours when we’ve got our own to manoeuvre. That does not connote any lack of empathy.
There is a burgeoning horde of men, and women, that have pressed feminist dogma to the precipice and of whose rapid descent is imminent. Men don’t collectivise like your mentioned demographics might, yet we do, in our own ways. When too many men have a common purpose they can be quite frightening as can be evidenced by some notable paradigm shifts amongst previously rabid misandric feminists of late.
You’re helping the cause by simply typing your thoughts here.
I wondered how we might relate to other countries.
I was surprised that last election Australia had a 93% turnout, the highest in the world according to OECD Stats, yet other Commonwealth countries had a lower turnout than us with the United Kingdom 66% and Canada 61%.
I understand our trend following along behind Canada and UK, but what are they putting in the water in Australia?
They completely buck the international trend and it’s only across the ditch from us.
Any comments from our Australian cousins on site – what makes Aussies such political animals?
Is it just a happier, less feminised country?
Australia: What happens if I do not vote?
A non-vote is a vote for the ruling party.
One cannot really complain about policies and the government if one does not vote.
Find out the policies of the various political parties and vote for the one who has not broken promises in the past. That removes NATIONAL, LABOUR, GREEN PARTY, ACT, and possibly more. If a minor party votes in a bill that is not their policy then they have betrayed the voter.
TO THE MINOR PARTY: By all means agree to ‘supply and demand’ whatever that means but rather lie to the vile ‘ruling party’ than the serfs who voted for you.
Did parliament hit a new low today when Winston Peters called Brendan Horan the New Zealand Jimmy Saville?
No…that was achieved when list MPs went independent, without any mandate, in order to keep on the gravy train!!!
I’ve loaded some of the voting percentages for this years election. The non-enrolled figure is now over 8% of the eligible population.
This is what (the then Revenue Minister) Peter Dunne said in May 2004:
He was commenting after the suicide of Paul Jenkins by child-tax, discussed in this post.