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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Can you cheer and vote at the same time? 

There's been quite a lot of speculation lately about the possible date of the next election, and fair enough too. Potential dates are being debated all over the place, like here and here. Fine, I like a bit of idle speculation as much as the next guy. But what does it say about this country that the an All Blacks game somehow disqualifies the day it falls upon as an election date? Will the people of Dunedin refuse to vote if the election is held on August 27? Would the people of Auckland similarly rebel on the following Saturday, September 3?

Unless I'm mistaken rugby union is a sport followed by many - but certainly not all, and perhaps not even a clear majority - people in this country, and the game takes about 80 minutes to play. Allow 2 hours to take care of the build-up, stoppages, and half-time etc. That still allows a decent 10 hours for voting.

If the people of New Zealand can't watch a game and vote on the same day, they probably shouldn't have been enfranchised in the first place.

You know, other countries hold elections on days when ... shock horror, most people also have to go to work! Like Mondays! And Tuesdays!

We seem to lack any sense of perspective on this. At the rate the NZRU and their cronies are expanding the Union season, they'll never be time for an election. Nope, can't have it on Saturday January 3rd, that will be the second round of the Super 27, with the mighty Dunsandel Prairie Dogs up against the Huntly Havoc.

Finally, an intelligent comment on the issue of rugby players' drinking can be found here. Notice it makes no use of the facile argument that the players are somehow role-models for something other than "catching a ball and running with it, or stopping others doing the same". The point is that drinking and athleticism don't fit well together. Serious athletes don't drink while in training or competition. Simple as that.

I think New Zealand has the right idea. Hell, I don't like to work early mornings or late evenings or even weekends. Afternoons don't really work for me either - wouldn't want to miss Oprah! Maybe the election can be held between 6 and 8 on a Thursday night (unless of course a good Campbell Live is on!)

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