Wednesday 1 January 2014

From the Archives: Asset Sales Referendum December 2013

I happened to not have anything planned for the evening when I saw that the Citizens-Initiated Referendum (CIR) preliminary result had been released. Going straight to the Electoral Commission results page, I found that the "YES" vote was higher than I had expected. I was not particularly for or against the question that was proposed by the CIR, but I was (and still am) anti-referendum given that it would have no real impact on the government's Partial-Privatisation Program and only a political impact of boosting the opposition's clout and keeping the issue in the media for a bit longer. Any perceived benefit simply did not outweigh the massive cost of running the referendum, estimated at $9 million. Hence, the evening was spent using the data from the CIR and making absolutely pointless comparisons. Below is a selection of my Twitter activity from the night.

- In today's edition of pointless political data, Asset Sales vs. Anti-Smacking Referendum by electorate:

- Almost 350,000 more people voted in the anti-smacking referendum than the asset sales referendum.
As observed by , "Yes" average of Maori electorates is 27% lower than general electorates
- In more pointless political data, percentage turnout between Asset Sales and Anti-Smacking Referendum by electorate:
More people voted in the anti-smacking referendum than the referendum in every electorate except for Wellington Central.
- Additionally, the % of informal votes has halved between the anti-smacking and referenda, meaning absolutely nothing.
- Adding all the digits in the number of votes counted in the preliminary result equals 22, indicating a clear mandate to stahp
Coromandel wins the award for highest prime number of votes received in the referendum.
- Two electorates had more Yes votes than No votes in the referendum: Epsom and Tāmaki.
- The largest vote differential was in Dunedin South with 12,985. Unfortunately, it's not a prime number so the votes don't count.
- Wellington Central also had the most Invalid Votes! Clearly a sign that the OCR should be raised.
- Most important statistic of the night: the referendum cost roughly $6.75 per vote collected.
- Actually to be accurate, 29.5% of (eligible to vote) kiwis voted against asset sales. (as opposed to the 67% that was actively being quoted)
- Back to pointless statistics: Xero's stock price has increased 25x inbetween the anti-smacking and
Last one: number of votes collected in the electorate is perfectly divisible by the number of letters in the name of 9 electorates.

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