Today is Suffrage Day, the 121st anniversary of the day women won the right to vote in New Zealand. Its rightfully a day on which we celebrate our democratic heritage (and it should be a public holiday, dammit).
Its also the last day of the 2014 general election campaign.
Whatever the result, the campaign has already been a tremendous success for democracy, with over 550,000 advance votes recorded. Add in today, and we're looking at anywhere from 700 to 800 thousand - over 20% of the entire electorate. Its a tremendous level of engagement, and it shows the value of the New Zealand way of making voting easy.
In previous elections, I've pushed people to party vote left. It doesn't matter which of Labour, the Greens, or Internet-Mana you vote for, because any of them will support a change in government and a dramatic shift in policy. As for myself, I'll be voting Green again. I seriously considered Internet-Mana, because I want to see the internet freedom agenda (and Laila Harre's left-wing take on it) represented in Parliament. But in the end, I like the Green lineup better than theirs. I'll give my electorate vote to Iain Lees-Galloway, because I like him both as an electorate and Labour MP (and Jono Naylor is corrupt and dishonest). Your mileage may vary, of course. But no matter what your political opinions, vote. Your voice may be one in 3.4 million, but it still matters. As Kate Sheppard said,
Do not think your single vote does not matter much. The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made up of single drops
Keep that in mind on election day.
Because of the "no campaigning on the day" rule, I won't be blogging or tweeting on election day. I'll be tweeting after 19:00, and I'll probably post something on Sunday once the results sink in a bit.