Posted by: scribe9 | January 26, 2010

The view from here

The Citizens United decision is only a few days old, and already I’ve been asked twice whether it makes me want to stay in New Zealand, reputedly the least corrupt country in the world.

I find the decision appalling–an especially steep segment in America’s downhill slide into valuing nothing but money. But I’ll be back, if only as part of the loyal opposition.

I recently received this letter:

“If you qualify for enrolment as an elector then you are required by law to apply to be on the electoral roll.

“Please fill in and post the enclosed enrolment form now in order to be eligible to vote in elections, polls, and referenda.

“Your application will be acknowledged when it has been dealt with.”

Registrar of Electors

An interesting mix of tones, eh?

In yet another transtasman contrast, although you have to register to vote here, you’re not required to actually cast a ballot, unlike in Australia. 

The Antipodes were quite forward-looking when it comes to the ballot box: the Australians were the first to have official ballots (rather than supplied by parties), and New Zealand was the first major nation to grant universal suffrage.


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