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Politicians still have plenty of poll work to do

Aug 26th, 2011 | By | Category: Latest News, News

LESS than 100 days before the general election, a street survey in Wellington shows only about half of those questioned are interested.

Of the 41 asked if they cared about the election this far out only 23, or 56 per cent, said they were aware of November elections.

The rest were either not sure or disinterested. However when asked if they would vote 68 per cent, or 28 of those questioned, said they would be casting their ballot.

The importance of voting was underlined by comments from Colin Legge, Helen Rowe and Zach Palmere.

Retiree Colin, 66, pictured left, says everybody should exercise their right to vote. “You can’t help change without voting. You can’t complain, if you don’t vote.”

Helen makes the same point: “If you don’t do it you can’t complain.”

“You’ve got to have your say and take part in the democratic process,” says Zach, 19, a programmer.

Student Joseph Sturm, 20 says sees voting as an important freedom. “I’ll be voting for Labour, because they’re in tune with my personal values.”

Even not voting is a form of voting, says Ruby Gray, 18, who works in retail sales.

Broadcasting student Baden Clure, right, 21, is representative of those disinterested. He describes the referendum as “pretty silly” and thinks the general election itself is boring. “I’ll probably vote in the end.”

Of those questioned, 16 (40%) indicated their voting preference. Seven would vote National while nine were “not National”, with their choice a mix of Labour, Greens or unsure.

The National bloc was represented by Deni: “I think John Key’s proved himself with everything that’s happened over the last year, he’s made good decisions.”

Likewise Daniel leans towards John Key: “He seems to know what he’s doing, and I would vote for him in that regard.”

However as a reader of politics in newspapers, Daniel has reservations: “We’re scared of everything. I don’t have a clue what’s going on, I’m just the average guy. Everything seems to be about money with the economy.”

Andre Bowland, left, a 20-year-old accountant finds politics interesting. “I’m interested in capital gains [tax] and I’m curious to know if they will come in after the election. He will also be following the issue of what will happen about selling state owned enterprises”.

John Bowden is not impressed with the choice of who to vote for. “It will have to be John Key unfortunately, he’s the best of a bad bunch,” he says.

Cheryl, 50, Raumati South, nurse/artist, says she will be voting because there are bad things happening in NZ. “For example, child poverty. I’m going to vote to try and help prevent it.”

“Everyone wants a change. I’ll probably be voting Greens and Labour. I hope everyone will vote, but not National. Everyone should do their own research and form their own opinion, and not just go with what their friends are saying.”

Following are some of the responses from those asked if they were paying much attention to the election, if they intended to vote and why:

Helen Rowe has changed her tune over the years. “When I was younger I would never think of voting for National, but now would.

Emma Tucker, right, is not interested in politics. “I wouldn’t vote. I wouldn’t know who to vote for.” Asked about John Key’s as Prime Minister she says: “He did well with the earthquakes”.

Christopher Kennedy, 42 intends to vote because “we don’t need more laws”. “MMP’s gotta go. Once I’ve voted I can have my say, I haven’t voted the past two years as I didn’t agree with what both parties represented.”

Jean Furness, Tauranga, 40, mediator: “National will win again. John Key is very popular. There is no leadership from other parties. I am a right wing voter. Yes I am voting. If you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain. National has done a clever job of aligning with the Maori party to split the Maori vote. NZ First are dead in the water.”

Rachel Greg, 49, designer will vote: “I like to have an opinion in New Zealand, and some small influence on the country.”

Monique, 21, Lower Hutt, student: “I can’t be bothered with the elections and I’m not enrolled to vote.”

Grace, 16, Khandallah, student: “I’m very interested in politics because I work for them but I’m too young to vote.”

Frances, 26, Te Horo, student: “Yes because it’s interesting and I haven’t heard much about it. I’m going to vote because I can.”

Victoria, left, 19, Alicetown, retail assistant: “No, I don’t watch the news much or hear about it. I’ll forget to vote.”

David, 31, Mount Cook, personal trainer: “Yes, I don’t want idiots running the country. So I’m going to vote for that same reason.”

Josh, 20, Johnsonville, painter: “No, it’s boring. Mum said I have to vote.”

Paul, 46, Karori, plumber: “Definitely, I want New Zealand run properly. I’m going to vote because every vote makes a difference.”

Diana, right, 23, central Wellington, student: “Sort of, I only know very little about it. I’m going to vote because we’re expected too.”

Sonja, 18, central Wellington, fundraiser: “A little because we’re affected by it. I’m voting for Green party because I want to.”

Jeanette, 73, retired: “It’s my right to vote. I think everyone who is able, age wise, should vote.”

Alex, 22: “I’m interested but don’t really follow politics. I won’t vote. I don’t know enough about the different parties to have a concrete opinion on who I want.”

Jane does not follow politics because she can’t be bothered. “The Government stuffs it up anyway.”

Judy is vaguely interested in politics. “I don’t like National or Labour. I’d would vote for the Greens just to show my anger towards Labour.” She thinks John Key has done a “reasonable job”.

Russell: “I’m sort of interested. I would vote for National because I support them. I like John Key.”

Gail, a registered nurse, has always been a supporter of Labour and would vote for Labour. “It’s become tricky with more parties. I don’t have faith in John Key because he focuses on higher social groups, but he has good humour. Looking back in history, Labour’s been a well-tested party over time.”

Leonard, 23, student: “Not interested, can’t be stuffed enrolling”

Elizabeth, 17, student would be keen to enrol when she turns 18. “I’m not clear on how to enrol but would be interested in finding out.”

Ko, 21, musician hopes its Green. “It would be good to have a more chilled out environment. I don’t really follow politics, so probably won’t vote.”

For more information on the election and referendum go to



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