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Kate Hawkesby: Special votes are finally out tomorrow

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 Nov 2023, 7:45AM

Kate Hawkesby: Special votes are finally out tomorrow

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 Nov 2023, 7:45AM

So tomorrow we finally —after such a ridiculously long wait— get the final vote count.

Specials will be done, duplicates checked, ballots finalized, we will know where we’re at, and more importantly, what form the new government might take.

The fact we’ve had three weeks in limbo is completely ludicrous and at least the incoming PM has acknowledged that and claims he’ll do something about changing it. Which as far as I understand involves changing the law and the way the electoral commission operates, and I hope they do that.

The electoral commission did not cover itself in glory: botching some people’s booth experiences by not having enough forms, closing early or opening late, not getting easy vote packs out in good enough time for early voting, and generally operating like it’s 1953. Even Luxon said that three weeks is too long, that they should be working 24/7 to count votes. He also reckons they should do a daily release of votes counted and take over local government elections so they’re up to speed a year before general elections. The main thing is he wants the vote counting sped up, so let’s hope he makes that happen.

As for the new government and how that looks... he seems confident they’re on track for a swift and seamless transition with good faith and goodwill from all parties. Actually, someone —who will remain nameless— in this newsroom had a bet that a new coalition government would be announced and formed all set to go Friday arvo. That overly ambitious idea was smacked down by Luxon himself who said that there’ll be no government announced Friday arvo.

Good news – they’re closer to an actual government than they were a week ago. Bad news – not so close that it’ll be wrapped up by tomorrow afternoon. Luxon said they still have issues they’re working through and things to be agreed on, but they’ve been working diligently in good faith for a strong stable government, and he says progress is being made.

So how long?

Luxon says no timeframe exactly – but there are good intentions not to draw it out. Maybe next week? Who knows. Even Winston though, claims it’ll be quick. Can we trust anything Winston says?

Having said that, you have to hand it to them all, not a peep out of them. No one’s broken ranks, no one’s leaked, no one’s spilled the beans. Luxon has to be congratulated for consolidating everyone together in a way that seems clean and tight. Winston hasn’t been playing it out in public, Seymour has kept his cool, it all seems, so far, tickety boo.

If they can keep it that way, they’ll manage to prove all the naysayers wrong. Every person who said it would implode and that it'd be a cluster and they’d all be at war with each other... so far, so good. None of that.

The true test is if Luxon can keep it that way – if he can, he’ll be seen as a genius. I mean who’d want to wrangle Winston and David Seymour on a daily basis? Not me. Best case scenario, they don’t need Winston, and NZ First can just stay out of the fray altogether. Worst case, he’s in and he goes nuts wreaking havoc and making it all about himself and the whole thing implodes. That would be disastrous not just for Luxon, but also for our country.

So fingers crossed tomorrow goes their way and it’s a clean two party Nats/ACT deal and they can get on with some governing. If not, get out the popcorn. 

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