Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Before every election, the Electoral Commission runs information ads telling New Zealanders what the deadline for enrolment is. The first of those ads, for the first flag referendum, is above
Enrolment for the first referendum closes on November 19. In the first referendum, we’ll vote for the preferred of the five alternative flag designs (see video below). It will be conducted by postal ballot this year, and then next year the winning alternative will be pitted against the current New Zealand flag, which means that there will be a new enrolment ad for that referendum, too.
Tonight, I saw the first ad for the referendum itself, from the Flag Consideration Project (under the brand, “Stand For NZ”). That video isn’t online yet, so I can’t share it right now. Still, it basically just says a referendum is happening.
It’s legal to run ads for a particular flag in the referendum, but I can’t imagine anyone will. However, there may be ads for next year’s referendum, and that could be interesting.
In the meantime, people are still repeating the same complaints about the referenda that they have all along. They’re also muttering various conspiracy theories, none of which sound very plausible to me. This whole thing isn’t exactly a high point in New Zealand democracy, that’s for sure.
But I WILL vote in both referenda—after all, how many people get to have a say in their country’s flag? I wouldn’t miss this opportunity for anything, no matter the end result.
The five alternative flag designs: