I’ve been back home for three days now but I’ve been feeling ghastly and wasn’t really up to tweets. I probably could’ve done it, but that would have meant a delay in my recovery and I had to be well again by today. Why? It’s election day in New Zealand and I’ve never missed voting since I became eligible in 1984.

I think voting is really important and everyone should do it if they possibly can. I have no time for people who say that they’re not voting as a “protest.” Not voting is NOT a protest, it’s an excuse for laziness. A protest vote is rocking up to the polling place and spoiling your ballot paper in some way. You can cross out all the names, write in a new name, or just leave it blank. But not voting, in my opinion, is abandoning your responsibilities as a citizen.

Just before I left on Monday I got a phone call from a political pollster. Naturally one of the questions was who I would vote for if the election were held that day. I gave them an answer, but the truth was I had yet to make a decision. Usually I’m sure well in advance, but this year it was a more difficult choice. However, I have now done my duty and voted.

I think it will be a fairly high turnout election this year. Last time turnout was 76.77%, which is low for New Zealand. It’s unlikely we’ll have a final result tonight though. The polls are all over the place and it looks likely that one of the smaller parties will get to decide which major party leads the government. Unfortunately, that smaller party will probably be NZ First, which is the one party I can’t understand anyone voting for. I have an great dislike for their leader, Winston Peters, and I think he is a risk to our extremely stable democracy.

We have a proportional representation system in New Zealand called MMP, or Mixed Member Proportional. (You can read all about it here.) Because of the way the election is going, even if the party that leads the government doesn’t change, their coalition partners likely will. A party has to get five percent of the national vote, or win an electorate set, to get into parliament. The party I like most probably won’t do that, therefore voting for them is a waste of a vote. It’s a bit like the 2016 elections in the US. If you live in one of the states where the election is close, it’s important to vote for one of the main parties.

The party that is closest to my own opinions is United Future. There is a non-partisan survey you can do to see which NZ political party your opinions are closest to. It’s called Vote Compass, and you can try it out here. When I did it, it gave me confirmation of where I see myself. (That’s one of the graphs I got from Vote Compass in the pic.) The new leader of that party, 34 year-old Damian Light also impresses me a great deal. However, as I said, there’s not much point voting for them. Further, the race between the two main parties – National and Labour – is very tight. I have a definite preference for one over the other and so I voted for that party to give them the best chance possible of forming a government.

On to the tweets. Some of these are as much as a week old now – I’ve got a fair bit of catching up to do!

Cat Tweets

I have a feeling I’ve seen this before, but if so it’s worth posting again. This man is a hero!


I have a particular fondness for snow leopard paws. They’re even more gorgeous than those of other cats.
(Via Ann German.)


It’d be fun making something like this for your cats to explore, then spending the afternoon watching them.
(Via Ann German.)


Any space will do …


The tweet says it all …


What a lovely thing to be holding …

Dog Tweets

This reminds me of our Golden Labrador who was like this whenever we came home. He was a wonderful dog – and I say that as someone who much prefers cats.


Awww …


This dog is a hero! I love Labradors – ours saved my life once.

Other Animals Tweets

The tail goes down when it actually buries the nut for real! Have I learnt squirrel talk?


Sea otters are so lovely.

Insect Tweets

I hope people realize just how serious this is. (And remember Dr Who!)
(Via Ann German.)


This is so cool!
(Via Ann German.)


Flora Tweets

Pareidolia results in this being known as the Duck Orchid. We can all see why!

Political Tweets

Google even gave us a special Doodle for the day!


I wish this cartoon was available when I did my recent post: ‘Donald Trump and the Evangelical Christian Nationalists‘. It would have fit right in there.


I think what Kathy Griffin did was inexcusable. Quite apart from anything else, two wrongs don’t make a right. I didn’t Re-tweet this, but I draw your attention to it anyway. A lot of those complaining about Griffin were completely silent about similar protests against Obama.


Another fine display of ignorance of the rules of both logic and diplomacy from the US Commander-in-Chief.
(Via Ann German.)


The prescience of Stan Lee?
(Via Ann German.)


Healthcare Tweets

Why are there so many idiots in US politics? Some of them, like this guy, are also downright scary.


Why is that so many USians just don’t get this?
(Via Ann German.)


Gun Tweets

Stupid is as stupid does, and I don’t just mean the guy in the tweet. The 2006 decision by the US Supreme Court to change the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment of their constitution to mean that everyone can carry a firearm is about as stupid as it gets.
(Via Ann German.)


Just sayin’.


Religion Tweets

Everybody is born to use their right-hand. It’s the influence of the devil that makes you use your left-hand. You could choose otherwise.
(Via Ann German.)


I was sent this on Twitter. Of course I Re-tweeted and Faved it!


One of mine.


People Tweets

We need more of this in the world.


Space Tweets

Very cool.


Someone’s having an existential crisis here …

Science Tweets

It’s so cool that we can understand what’s happening because of the work of scientists.

Funny Tweets

Baby Locutus of Borg (with apologies to ST:TNG).
(Via Ann German.)


The grammar alt-right at work! ????
(Via Ann German.)

Human Rights Tweets

This is appalling. Imagine a young girl being hounded by three men to cover her hair or her car will be impounded. The Iranian government wastes a lot of money employing men to roam the streets looking for women who do not comply with their medieval rules. And what sort of men take jobs like this? It’s not proper policing. It doesn’t make the public safer!


Good on you Great Britain! Standing up for what’s right. (Now we just need a few Western countries to start being more critical of Saudi Arabia.)
(Via Ann German.)


The situation in Yemen is complex, and there are rights and wrongs on both sides. However, we can do without attacks on civilians.

Weather Tweets

Another one of mine.


Some of the flooding in the Caribbean …


And to finish off, a flood from the pages of history …


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