Friday, 21 August 2015

Flag change conspiracies

There's plenty of conspiracies about as the flag debate heats up and we head into the first referendum.

On the right is one of my favourites. It repeats a common thread that the reason why we're having referendums on the flag changing is to give "due authority" to the enactment of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

This is nonsense. To enact the TPPA, parliament must pass legislation ratifying the agreement. This is exactly the same as for every other free trade agreement; the most recent one being the New Zealand-Korea Free Trade Agreement which is currently before our parliament.

Recently the conspiracies seem to have shifted to telling people to waste their votes in the first referendum. This would be funny if it weren't so ironic. An informal vote will be counted as such, but they won't affect the final result. So they're a wasted vote. If you're skeptical of change but still have a preference for what the flag might change to, the smart thing to do is to rank your next favourite alternative as "1" - that way your vote won't be wasted. Nothing about changing the flag has anything to do with the TPPA - so don't waste your vote.