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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Factors Governing Frequency of Elections

These effects, however, can be obtained only if elections are held sufficiently frequently before past action becomes an immediate fait accompli; if there are sufficient candidates for election offering alternative policies; and if those entitled to elect are able to judge accurately what conduct was, and is likely to be, displeasing. Moreover, it is always a question whether what is pleasing or displeasing is in fact of real advantage or detriment, and whether the persons authorised to vote do comprise all those persons for whose benefit the actions of the office holders should be controlled. From an administrative point of view elections are costly in terms of money, and they may also cause worth-while action to be abandoned lest it be not appreciated by the electors at the time of the next election. Further, there are some offices which are required to be of a dignified and impartial nature that could well be destroyed by anything in the nature of a public campaign for election.

Accordingly, whilst election is the method most frequently employed in New Zealand for selecting persons to hold both public and private office, it is not invariably adopted and, moreover, where it is employed, certain requirements are usually imposed to minimise any of the possible disadvantages that might accrue.