I was surprised that there was a 56.6% vote in New Zealand in favour of retaining the current flag. Yes, there was criticism of the alternative – but it was chosen after a preliminary vote. And yes, it’s true that voting wasn’t compulsory and the turnout was a little over 66%. Just the same, it was an “interesting” outcome, I thought. Perhaps the absence of bipartisan support was a factor?
It’s perhaps not really appropriate to comment on an issue such as this from here, although that didn’t stop Peter FitzSimons having his say when given a platform in the Age. However, one observation that comes to mind is that there seemed to be a lot of support for a change in the “social media” space (such as here – click through to “View results”). Likewise, on Facebook “Change the Flag” got far more “likes” than “Hands off our Flag” (at the time of posting, over 36,960 to 11,456). True, neither of these are reliable indicators – but it does seem to suggest that just because an issue is swaying the opinions in “social media”, it doesn’t necessarily follow that there’s the same level of support in the broader community.