STV fairer to all

We need a fairer voting system for voters.

The unfairness of the present system came to a head in our general elections in the early 1990s and a binding referendum in 1993 confirmed the people wanted a fairer voting system.

The country asked for change and MMP was brought in to give representation to those voters whose votes did not count under FPP.

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Yet we still use FPP, an unfair system, for our local council and mayoral elections.
The health board is elected by Single Transferable Vote, which is a much fairer system. Yes, it takes more time and effort, but it is fair. It is democratic.

Fair elections are the basic right of voters in a democracy. FPP favours the sitting members. STV gives newcomers a better chance.

It is noticeable that voting at local elections has fallen off - less than 50 per cent in the last two elections.

This is not just apathy.

People have realised their votes do not count.

For change to happen, the councils must petition the people for their opinion.

This would need to be undertaken by the incoming elected members.

Candidates should make their views on this clear before voting day.

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You can find out more about who is using preferential voting and, specifically, STV by using Google. (Suggested references: First Past the Post - The road to MMP, Single Transferable Vote.)

The arguments are presented factually with no bias ... as I have tried to present them here.

M. McDonald
Maungakaramea
Clarifying debt

Good to see headlines in the Advocate (20/9/16) "Council Debt comes under Scrutiny".

Whoever is scrutinising I wish you well but, unless there is a change, I'm afraid to say you are wasting your time.

Several years ago I spent a lot of time highlighting this through letters to the Advocate and submissions to Annual Plans.

The Advocate even did a feature article on the issues I was concerned about (August 18, 2012) but nothing changed.

The majority of councillors, your elected representatives, simply refuse to provide any documentation that collectively clarifies the true extent of borrowing, both external and internal.

This is quite deliberate and, in my view, for one purpose only - to fudge the true extent of borrowing and the depletion of reserve funds.

If this wasn't the reason then they would readily provide the information that many people, over the years, have sought.

Even the Audit Department has stated that they will not be placing any limitation on disclosures and, in fact, generally encourage more, rather than less, for transparency purposes and would encourage disclosure of external and internal debt in as clear a manner as possible.

All this falls on deaf ears because the majority of current councillors obviously have no intention of doing this.

If they did, it would have happened long before this.

To many people, the actual level of debt is not the concern. It is how the actual level of debt is disclosed.

My view is, nothing will change unless there is a change to the make-up of the people currently making the decision not to provide the disclosure of external and internal debt in as clear a manner as possible.

By coincidence, it is election year, so I could be proven wrong. Maybe a change of attitude is just around the corner.

Bill Harris
Maunu
Art centre vote

In reply to the letter to the editor, September 23, entitled "Art Centre", the writer is correct that I did say on National Radio that I would support the Hundertwasser Art Centre, believing that there were enough votes in council to support a proposal of a privately funded project.
However, at the council meeting the next morning, it became quite clear that this would not be the case and hence, I voted against a public-funded art centre.

Brian McLachlan
Councillor
Okara Ward