The Mahurangi Magazine

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stv must be made mandatory for local-body elections

and mmp without stv overlay is unfit-for-duty democracy

Compulsory voting cart before smarter-democracy horse

Big business would be the biggest loser, was a Labour-led government to legislate to prosecute non-voters. Currently, unlike Australians, New Zealanders are legally allowed to abstain from voting. But with global voter turnout in determined decline, New Zealand’s lack…

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Aotearoa might best advance stv by enhancing mmp

Aotearoa is not just the world’s first full democracy because it was first to enfranchise women. Thanks to New Zealand’s geographic isolation and late colonisation, a partnership approach was attempted from the get-go, with greater and lesser success. One uniquely…

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Climate and democracy at the mercy of plutocracy

Epically ironically, salvaging a survivable climate and a free society possibly now depends upon a one plutocrat deposing another plutocrat, turned dictator. Far preferably, Republican Party senators would suspend self-interest for the survival and dignity of their once…

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Low-hanging election-turnout fruit and silver bullets

It is more than semantics. In the thousand-year war to survive anthropogenic global heating, a magazine of silver bullets the size of the 59 000-hectare Hawthorne depot, Nevada, will be needed. However, regardless of the problem, received wisdom would…

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stv-elect first Mayor of Mahurangi

Vote early and often to elect the first mayor of Mahurangi. Of course, only the latest vote an individual casts will count. Because somebody votes early, they shouldn’t later be penalised when some late-breaking information causes them to revise their preferences…

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Nominate someone as 2020 Mayor of Mahurangi

Mayors, to be legitimate, need to be elected by preference voting—known as stv in Aotearoa, and as rcv in the United States, where Barry resided until retiring to his country of birth. The need for a useful demonstration of stv to appropriately mark…

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stv-electing first Mayor of Mahurangi

Some dots can take longer to connect. And the more obvious the dot, the longer it seems to take for it to be connected. Since the announcement of the terms of reference of the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance, the Mahurangi Magazine has…

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stv bicentennial extraordinary town-hall talk

Ideally, the bicentennial of stv should be held where the Birmingham Society for Literary and Scientific Improvement held the world’s first election with it. But even if that ultimate location was the epicentre of a global celebration, two other, antipodean, countries…

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Crude reminder of royally half-cocked commission

First-past-the-post, 200 years after the first single transferable vote election, deserves to be a very distant memory. But, thanks to the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance stvsingle-transferable-vote-ignoramuses, the region is about to elect its fourth mayor with the…

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stv supercity shake-up, then Wellington

Mayor Goff was elected by barely 18% of registered voters. Len Brown at least, won 47.8% of votes cast, but only because voters were then still in the dark about his grubby use of Auckland Council property. But the bigger crime of both men, and of the Royal…

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Healing unhealthy health-board ballots

The first requirement of a voting system is to reflect voters’ preferences. First-past-the-post does one thing and one thing only: it reveals voters’ first preferences. But in the real world of human interactions, second and subsequent preferences are…

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Make direct democracy smart democracy

Professor David Altman wrote the book on it. Academics know it as direct democracy; Australians, bless ’em, mostly as plebiscites; and mere citizens, as initiatives or referendums. Semantics aside, most democracies allow for direct democracy, to a…

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Health boards and the triennial panning of STV

Every local-body election since its introduction, sees the same disinformation. The rock-solid single-transferable-vote system, first computerised in Aotearoa and used by her for 12 years, is set to endure its triennial onslaught of…

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Only council candidate to score straight-a pluses

Warkworth from 4000 to 20 000 by 2040. That would be a five-fold increase in less than half the 50 years it took the region to treble to today’s population, of about 1.5 million. With this planned growth-rate of more than three times the regional average…

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First-past-the-post dictates one tick

Voters, reasonably, seek to get their money’s worth. But thanks to obdurate royal commissioners, Auckland Council remains stuck in the bad old days of first-past-the-post, and voters are about to be short-changed. This is manifestly evident in the crowded, 18-strong…

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mmp commission has perfect hearing

The primary motivation in producing the Mahurangi Magazine to champion the Mahurangi harbourscape. Just an hour’s bus ride away from the city centre—or it will be once the Mahurangi Coastal Trail is complete—the Mahurangi is many Aucklanders…

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Second past the post preferred

Another election and another clamour to scrap preferential voting. New Zealanders are wondering why Wellington, for example, would choose a system that makes ’em wait days to hear who they’ve elected mayor. And sifting through interminable…

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Prendergast loss somehow pinned on preferential

As mayoral majorities go, it’s one of the slimmest. Because the democratic world is so inured to the deficiencies of first-past-the-post, it mostly goes unnoticed that mayors are typically elected by a minority vote, often a tiny minority. Whereas Celia…

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In smart democracy ties not needed

With the third excruciating reversal of fortunes, Wayne Walker is once again a Rodney District councillor. On election night Walker was provisionally ahead of running mate, runner up Colin MacGillivray, by four votes. However, the position changed…

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Preferential voting following the right fork

First-time visitors often overshoot the turnoff into Ngārewa Drive. It is not because the road to the Mahurangi Regional Park, west, Ngārewa Drive, is poorly sign-posted. There are now three major elements to the signposting: A diagram of the…

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Preferential voting better representation of results

Trawling through the results of the 2007 local body elections where single transferable voting was used, I was somewhat discouraged by the various representations of the data involved. Some results were simply listed as Elected and Not Elected. Others…

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stv-voters spared the horrors of how

Five friends meet up to see a movie. Screening is a romance, a horror, a comedy and an arthouse film. The friends hold a verbal ballot, agreeing to go with the highest-polling choice. Horror of horrors, the horror gets two votes, the rest one…

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Preference preferable to dual-candidacy confusion

Safety in numbers. Unlike Wellington City and seven other local bodies, Rodney District Council and the rest of the herd have clung to first-past-the-post. The council, when rejecting preference voting prior to the 2004 election, denied the…

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