Electorate votes

As I said previously, this election will be decided by electorate votes in a few key electorates. Peter Dunne has now announced he will support a National-led government. National needs as many friends as possible, and Labour as few as possible, if we are to have a change of government. So updated electorate recommendations for a change of government are:

To ensure representation from Act, United Future and The Family Party:

  • Epsom
    • Rodney Hide (Act)
  • Ohariu-Belmont
    • Peter Dunne (United Future)
  • Mangere
    • Jerry Filipaina (Family Party)
  • East Coast Bays
    • Paul Adams (Family Party)
  • Manukau East
    • Papali’i Poutoa Papali’i (Family Party)

To ensure NZ First does not get in:

  • Tauranga
    • Simon Bridges (National)
  • Rimutaka
    • This is more debatable. Probably the National candidate, Richard Whiteside, as many Labour voters will probably vote strategically for Ron Mark, giving Whiteside a chance. But it is a Labour seat currently.

The party vote is where you decide which party policies you support. But the electorate vote can be used strategically under MMP, as it makes a big difference to which minor parties are represented in parliament and which are not. Sometimes this may mean voting for someone whose policies you disagree with – I have recommended candidates from four different parties here. But that is the nature of MMP.

This election, strategic electorate voting is absolutely essential if you want to change the government.

Drinking age

In the minor parties debate tonight, Tariana Turia, Winston Peters and Jim Anderton supported raising the drinking age back to 20. Rodney Hide did not support this, nor did Peter Dunne or Jeanette Fitzsimons, who both pointed out that the problem binge-drinkers are the 13-year-olds, for whom alcohol is illegal anyway. In their opinion changing the drinking age would not affect this at all.

I disagree. Where are these 13-year-olds getting their alcohol from? Sometimes their parents, but not normally enough to really get them into trouble. I would suspect they are primarily getting it from 18-year-old friends.

Raising the age from 18 to 20 won’t stop 18-year-olds drinking. They have always been able to obtain alcohol from their older friends. But it will make it a lot harder for 13-year-olds to obtain alcohol, because they will usually have fewer 20-year-old friends. So raising the drinking age should be an effective way of combatting teenage alcohol abuse.