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Electoral commission not looking very independent  

In brief
  • The Electoral Commission backs TVNZ’s biassed voting advice website.
  • The same kind of biassed filtering is attempted  at candidate forums, lead by Labour and Greens candidates..
  • The effect of these sorts of things adds up.

Electoral Commission backs TVNZ’s biassed voting tool

On 10 September 2023, TVNZ launched its “Vote Compass” website to “help you decide which party policies are cut out for your vote.” Voters answer the survey questions and the website indicates which political parties align with their views. 1News says it is “backed by the Electoral Commission as a way of driving voter engagement and is delivered in association with the University of Auckland and Victoria University.”

University of Auckland associate professor Jennifer Lees-Marshment encourages Kiwis to use the tool to “make your voice heard” and “make sure that journalists will be discussing what voters really care about.” Yet the survey omits questions of controversial issues that conservatives care about deeply, such as abortion, euthanasia, and informed medical consent, while including issues pushed by liberals like cannabis legalisation.

Electoral commission not looking very independent   - Centrist
Which way is it pointing you?

It betrays political bias in its wording, for instance the question of transgenders being allowed to compete in women’s sports is confusing, hiding that it is talking about biological men.

Most egregiously, the only minor political party included as an option to vote for is The Opportunities Party. This is despite not polling consistently above other parties like the New Conservatives and the Freedom and Rights Coalition. According to the rules on the website’s FAQ, many other parties are eligible—but for some reason they have not been included.

All public officials are legally required to be politically neutral, but nowhere is this more important than the Electoral Commission. For it to back such a slanted tool is for it to neglect its basic duty.

Left-wing candidates attempt to block public questions

Prior to a public “meet the candidates” event on September 7th, Wellington Central candidates Tamatha Paul (Greens) and Ibrahim Omer (Labour) tried to prevent the organisers from allowing questions around “transpeople in womens’ sports”. They said no such questions should be permitted, because they were divisive and upsetting to trans people. Nevermind that trans people are themselves divided on the issue.

It shows just how out of touch some in Wellington are, as a poll in February showed only 16% of Kiwis supported men who self-identify as women competing in womens’ sport—down 11% from the year before. While this kind of censorship is common within Government, it’s far more inappropriate for an election campaign. Especially when Labour and Greens have been pushing the transgender agenda to the point of encouraging disorderly action.

Feature image from YouTube

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