We exercised our democratic right and voted today

Election 2011

It was a beautiful day to walk to our local polling station for New Zealand’s 2011 Election. We met lots of our lovely neighbours on the way there and back. Children played together on the field, whilst adults took it in turns to cast their votes (using the MMP system).

This has been the first year that any of our children have been aware and interested in what an election is. The last time there was an election both Charlotte and Sophie were caught on television exercising their right to choose green or red jelly at the local school fair – which also happened to be where the polling station was! This time round, Charlotte, at the age of eight, has been learning about government and politics at school – she probably understands the workings of the New Zealand system better than her mother 😉 Her class formed parties of their own and presented their polices to other year groups. Charlotte’s party was, ‘The Yummy Lunch Party!’. There was a ‘Pet Party’ and a ‘Play Party’ too! Charlotte’s policies included a shared lunch Wednesday, fish ‘n’ chip Friday and more yummy variety at the school tuck shop. I believe the ‘Play Party’ was the winner.

Tonight New Zealanders around the country are watching the results roll in (view Election Results 2011 here) – it’s a big ‘thing’ here (NZ was the first country in the world to give women the vote on 19 September 1893).

We’ve spent the day being thankful to live in a free, democratic society.