For New Zealand voters who are struggling to make sense of the current voting landscape, I implore you to read the following and act on your conscience: Vote! The following is not my own work, but rather the cleverness of a friend who prefers to remain uncredited, but is very thoughtful, thorough, and we share similar political leanings (posted with permission):
"Do you want to change the government this year above all else? Here's my advice.
First up, understand this: In MMP, parties that receive less than 5% and have no electorate winner get nothing and their share of the votes are spread proportionally across those that do. Some of them you will like, some you will not. A consequence of this is that getting a party over the 5% threshold, if they have no electorate chance, is the most efficient way to support that party's bloc.
So here's what to do and not do:
1. Don't vote National, ACT or United First. Duh.
2. Don't vote TOP. Their polling is far too low so it'll be wasted and spread in part to parties you don't like. And they're a centrist party so they could well support National anyway given the right persuasion.
3. Don't vote Maori. They will get one electorate seat, and probably only one. And while they are likely to support Labour in a coalition, they *could* still support National as they have done in the past.
4. Don't vote Mana. Or any of the other really small parties that won't win an electorate. Again, a wasted vote that gets shared to parties you don't like.
5. Don't vote NZF. They are a right-of-center party that naturally aligns more with National, and Winston has not indicated a preference between National or Labour, so if persuaded he could easily swing right.
6. DO VOTE GREENS to get them over 5%. This is the most efficient way to support the anti-National bloc given the risk with NFZ, as the Greens have no electorate chance.
7. DO VOTE LABOUR if you just can’t stomach voting for the Greens, or if they are comfortably above 5%.
8. Don't rely on exact polling figures - allow for a little leeway. The real public opinion is usually within 2-3% of the polls for the parties around or above 5%.
1. Differences between the Greens and Labour pale in comparison with chasm they share with National. If you want a change in government above all else, perhaps this year don't quibble.
2. If you're naturally left-wing but otherwise uncommitted, additional votes to Green at the expense of Labour is not only insurance but it would also likely get better MPs into government. The high order Green list is better than the middle order Labour list. Keeping the Greens afloat is also good for the Left in the long term, and democracy in general.
3. The party with the most votes won't necessarily be tipped to form the next government, but it helps.
Now, this is all just focused on changing the government this year. It's not about particular policies, or getting funding to small parties, or the long term. At junctures like this we shouldn't let the best be the enemy of the good, whatever your values.
I hope this helps"