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What is a "free and fair election" to you?

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I'm curious to see how others define "free and fair elections". I can't find an operational definition for it.


To me, a free election is one where:

- Voters/citizens are given all the information necessary to make informed choices pertaining to the election

- Voters/citizens are given agency to decide their level of involvement with the election, anywhere from full participation to non-participation

- Nobody is pressured to vote for a particular party or candidate, nor to disclose their political choices

- Anybody has the right to abstain without penalty

- Voters have the right of access to polling places, and to alternate methods of polling if in-person voting is not possible

- Voters have the right to cast votes in peace and privacy without discrimination or harassment

- Journalists have the right and protection to cover the election, free from financial persuasion by any candidate or interest group

- Any citizen meeting the requirements to vote shall be allowed to vote in any and all federal-level elections regardless of where they physically reside within the country's sovereign domain (so territories of a country and their residents must be able to influence the highest body that governs them)


A fair election is one where:

- Corporations and interest groups are disallowed from exerting financial influence on any party or candidate (i.e. elections are clean)

- Voters have the right to transparency about election finance and candidate/party campaign activity

- All persons/parties wishing to run are given equal allotted public television and radio time, to speak or campaign as they see fit

- Said air time is administered/moderated by non-profit public broadcast networks

- Candidates for a specific office are listed on the ballot alphabetically by name, not by party affiliation (my country always lists Republicans and Democrats first, a nasty little tidbit of social engineering)

- Voters have the right to confirmation, by whatever body that supervises the election, of whether their vote was counted or rejected

- Negative campaigning is discouraged

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the last wereiff

Overall, I like it. 


I definitely agree with the corporations and special interests not being able to finance campaigns. 

I would add that only a constituent should be able to donate to a campaign (so a kansas person couldn't donate to a politician in missouri campaign or a person in ca-26 can't donate to a candidate for ca-28) 


There is apparently an advantage to alphabetical order of candidates ("donkey voting") which resulted in an Irish politician dropping the o in his name to go from o'cuiv to cuiv

However there is no other fair way to sort ballot names

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Here in NZ it seems fair from what I can tell.


They make it so you can choose when and where to vote and you have like a week or something to get it done. They make it so you can vote in libraries, banks, post shops, schools, all kinds of places to make it as easy as possible for people to access a voting booth. As much information as possible is given to the public about each party and their policies, but it is up to each individual to do their research. I'm not sure if there's a penalty for not voting because my dad didnt start voting for the first time in his whole life until the last election before our most recent one (because we wanted the conservative party out as they were sending the country to shit, so I made him vote lol), and anyway he never got in trouble for not voting almost his whole adult life. Whichever party gets the most votes gets the most seats in parliament, but smaller parties who get enough votes get a percentage of seats too.


It all seems quite fair to me? But I admit I don't fully understand all the ins and outs. We had more voters than ever before this year, due to our vote being combined with a referendum to 1) legalise cannabis and 2) legalise assisted suicide in extreme cases of illness etc over a certain age. We won't find out the results of that for a couple of weeks.


The party who won did so by a record breaking number of votes, and we get Jacinda Ardern as our prime minister for another few years if all goes well (she has two young kids so I'm kind of always worried she'll want to step down and care full-time for her family!). 


I've seen lots of people online (never seems to be Kiwis) complaining that NZ is a police state and that Jacinda Ardern is like Hitler or Trump. I don't know if they realize that Labour is the left party?? Like the opposite of the conservative one here. Labour is the one that cares about social welfare and equal rights and helping the poor etc.. Yes we had lockdown, but (knock on wood) we've had no new Covid deaths and everyone who lost money as a result of lockdown was paid a weekly wage for as long as they needed to get their jobs back. Even beneficiaries got like $80 extra a week that extended way past lockdown :o We also have public healthcare so any emergency surgeries of even injuries that happen from accidents or whatever are taken care or for free.. to the extent they even pay for Taxis for you to get to the hospital and for therapy from any therapist you want, no matter the cost. Doesn't seem very Trump-like or Hitler-like to me?



But yeah I don't know.. sometimes I think people just want to shout and hope people will hear them even if they don't actually know what they're saying :P

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Real Jazz Hands

Nobody stands, nobody votes. 


Simples! 🙂

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Here in Australia voting is compulsory, and there is a fine for not voting. This means that more people's opinions are taken into consideration which I believe to overall be a good thing. 

Unfortunately we have a trashy government, frickin' liberals :( (right wing). Hopefully soon we'll get a much better government because recently we've had a string of white male failures.

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