Republican New Zealand

Kum Fac’e
If the World Could Vote is one of those sites that tell us what everyone supposedly already knows. In this case, it’s that the whole world would rather have Obama as president of the US than have McCain. It’s not a new trend. After the 2004 election, there was a spate of sites featuring Americans apologising to the rest of the world for the results. There was even a bag company that included an apology in their exports to France.

In general, the developed world is to the left of US politics. Up and to the left, if you add an axis representing, say, literacy or education. And you’d expect New Zealand to follow that same trend. But here’s the curious thing. New Zealand is one of the few countries that favour McCain over Obama.

In his, we join Thailand (96% McCain), Venezuela (100% McCain) and Kenya at 100% McCain, which presumably says more about Venezuelans and Kenyans who have the money to afford a computer that anything else.

And that’s it. Human-rights paradises Israel and Indonesia are split down the middle. Israel’s split probably shows, more than anything, the level of education of Israelis, as they’ve apparently seen through the Republican spin that Obama wants to single-handedly destroy their country. Haaretz, a particularly good Israeli newspaper, commented on this even before Obama had finalised the nomination, in an interesting editorial. Probably more on that later, as the Obama smears are downright fascinating (as is Obama’s response to them.)

So, why are online Kiwis more in favour of McCain than Obama? It’s not a huge majority – 55% – but it stands out in contrast against the votes of other Western countries (Australia around 90% Obama, UK 92% Obama, etc.) Any simple answer is likely to be simplistic, but there has to be something to explain the anomaly. I doubt it’s a matter of racism, since our neighbourly International Home of Racism is sitting at 90% Obama.

I’m not going to speculate on it further – I’m more likely to chat about it on Thursday’s Wire show on bFM, around 1.30pm. But someone with their finger more firmly on the pulse might have some suggestions.

10 Comments Republican New Zealand

  1. Chris S

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that at the bottom of the page it declares: “You are from Australia”.

    Could just be a big-ol’ technical issue 🙂

  2. Ryan Sproull

    Mine said New Zealand, but yeah, that’s not a particularly accurate way to make something like that happen.

  3. Chris S

    Also, the sample size appears to be fairly puny, given that it’s the entire world we’re modeling here. A smidge over 7000 votes in total.

    It’s not hard to believe that Kenya, for instance, would only be represented by one or two votes on that page which might explain a lot of the 100%’s you see…

  4. Dominic

    It’s a teeny tiny sample. Don’t let the decimal point fool you as to its precision.

    It’s currently sitting on 7000 votes, from 72 countries. So, it’s not likely to be many more than a hundred or two votes from New Zealand. So, the disparity is only a few dozen people – easily few enough to just be the result of a link on a right-wing blog or two.

    So, not very precise. But accurate? I don’t know.

  5. Ryan Sproull

    Well, we’ll see if those change as the sample size grows, but the fact remains that there is quite a specific anomaly here. The sample size is likely to be a problem for the less developed 100%ers like Kenya, but New Zealand is still so far out of sync with the others. I’ll check it again in a few weeks and see.

  6. Lyndon

    As for sample size, if you’ve had more that a couple of people from here clicking for obama (you’ve had one) then it hasn’t made a big dent.

    Of course, how your sample is selected is also improtant.

  7. Jake

    It’s just not a meaningful poll. The land that elected Chavez is 100% in favour of McCain. Come on.

    I did a bit of googling though, and there doesn’t seem to be a New Zealand blog linking to the site other than this one. My initial though was Whale Oil or someone like that linked to it, but as far as I can tell that’s not the case. There are a few US blogs along the line of ‘wtf NZ?’ however. So, a mystery.

  8. Ryan Sproull

    I’m not hugely surprised by the Chavez/Venezuela thing. You’ll find the same thing with anyone from Latin America travelling overseas. “What do you think of Chavez?” “He’s awful!” Well, yes, but of course the very people who have the money to travel around the world are precisely the minority of Venezuelans who would benefit more from a less egalitarian government.


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