Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Elections in New Zealand

Difficulty: 0

Hi, welcome back to Human Capital.

Today, I'm standing on the steps of parliament here in Wellington, because

we're going to be talking about the election process here in New Zealand.

I've been following the lead up to elections in the U.S., and I thought it'd be interesting to cover off

what the process is here in New Zealand.

New Zealand doesnt have a constitution, and there is no specific election date. But,

there are laws that explain how the government should be structured and run. What those say

is that the Prime Minister decides when the election occurs, but there must be an election

at least every 3 years. And yes, there are examples of the election being called on a whim. My

favourite example of this is when in Robert Muldoon called an early election in 1984while drunk...

and he lost. As far as political parties are structured,

each party picks a leader, and that person becomes the Prime Minister if the Party can

form a majority to govern (more on this later). There are several side effects to this set

up: The first is that its more about your standing

in the party and if people in the party believe you can lead, rather than about personal details.

So, its not such a dog and pony show as it is in the U.S.

For instance: The current prime minister is agnostic, one of the recent candidates to

lead the liberal party was gay, and there have been two female prime ministers.

The second side effect of the party system here is that there is a team in place to hit

the ground running when the party or parties come into power.

The third side effect is that campaigning isnt such a big, drawn out ordeal.

You really don't notice there's an election on. In New Zealand you get two votes. One vote for

the party and one for the representative for your district.

The party vote determines what proportion of the seats are taken by each party.

If a candidate specifically gets voted in for their district, it means that he or she

fills one of those 6 seats, and the rest of the empty seats are filled by people the party

thinks would do a good job.

The minor parties get seats and a voice, so the

system isnt completely dominated by two parties. When an alliance

is formed among these parties thats a majority, its called the government.

Seeing as the government holds a majority, that means they pretty much pass the laws

they want, so there isnt deadlock.

Alright guys, that's it for today. I hope you found that interesting, and thanks for tuning in!

The Description of Elections in New Zealand