Are you one of the estimated 60 per cent of people who didn't vote in this year's local-body elections? Feeling just a tad embarrassed this morning? Or invisible? Here are 10 top reasons you can use to assuage your guilt.
1. You weren't informed.
Surely a vote from somebody who doesn't know about the issues or the candidates is worse than no vote at all? Yeah, you could have done some research but what is this, school? You had rugby to watch and tea towels to iron.
2. They're all the same anyway.
Fat-cat bureaucrats living off the public purse while ignoring the real issues! Well, that's probably the case anyway. It's hard to tell without doing any research.
3. Postal voting is really hard.
Do postboxes even still exist? Why couldn't they have allowed email voting? That would have made it way easier to put everything in the trash.
4. There wasn't enough advertising.
You probably didn't even know there were elections on. You poor thing. In a way, you're the real victim in this whole you-not-voting incident.
5. Um, you didn't have a pen?
Yeah, that's right, no pen. How are you meant to tick who you like the best if there's no writing implement nearby? By the way, lack of pens is totally a central government issue.
6. You're trying to remain apolitical.
Who's to say you won't one day work as a council reporter for your local newspaper? And what if word got out that you'd voted for the very district health board representative caught licking tongue-depressers in the hospital supply cupboard? If only more people thought ahead like you do.
7. You're saving your energy for New Zealand's Got Talent.
Just how many voting contests can you hope to stay abreast of? Speaking of a breast - the hours you spent weighing up the respective merits of Miss Universe New Zealand contestants didn't help much either.
8. You were trying to create a government shutdown.
Imagine if nobody voted - and nobody got elected. They'd have to shutdown the government like they have in the United States. They'd be unable to pay the parking wardens, collect rates or turn down applications for building consents. It would be difficult, but together we could get through it.
9. You have a problem with decision-making.
You just couldn't make your mind up who to vote for. You think you want one thing but then you realise you want another. You're a bit of a flake, to be honest. And you're going to be in Aussie playing for the Roosters most of next year anyway.
10. You live in Epsom.
This election's been confusing. You're expected to vote for the person you like the best, and if that person gets the most votes ... they win? No, it's just not the way things are done. Thank goodness there's a general election next year, when John Key can pop in and tell us all which reptile we're supporting.