}

Monday, November 25, 2019

It’s all about balance


The video above is the 30-second version of an ad currently running on TV to raise awareness of the fact that the New Zealand Electoral Commission is in the process of open review of proposed adjustments to the country’s Electorate boundaries to ensure they have roughly equal population. Other countries do this, too, of course, but New Zealand’s work is completely non-partisan and independent of all elected politicians. It’s a good system.

Generally speaking, there’s not much opposition to boundary changes because most people simply don’t care that much about it. Sometimes people will grizzle about losing an MP they like for a different one they may not like as much, but that’s about it. Because Electorates are geographic entities, they reflect the populations of those areas. So, areas that strongly align with one party or the other are likely to remain so even after the boundaries are shifted. That’s not a concern of the Electoral Commission, however, so sometimes party balance does shift.

The Electorate we moved from isn’t changing, the Electorate we moved to is changing, and the one I plan on moving to sometime next year isn’t changing. Of those three, the only grumbles I’ve heard so far have been about the electorate I live in now because, complainers say, the proposed new boundaries “split communities”. Trouble is, very often most of those supposed “communities”, if they existed at all, were hardly unitary entities in the first place, so no “splitting” could actually happen. Still, when boundary changes really do threaten to “split” communities, genuine appeals unusually resolve the issue.

The video below is the 15-second version of the ad, which I think works well: It retains the important parts of the longer ad without sacrificing meaning. This is the version I’ve seen on TV the most often, and I think its brevity makes it the best one.



Finally, the 7-second version. I’ve never seen this one on TV, and I think that’s a good thing: While it reinforces their message that “it’s all about balance”, in my opinion it doesn’t provide enough information to explain what they’re talking about, or why, exactly, “it’s all about balance”, or what that even means.



Objections the proposed boundaries are open until December 20, 2019.

No comments: