In the lead up to the election, comedians Melanie Bracewell and Angella Dravid take a journey through the voting process in Make Me Tick, The Spinoff’s new four part video series with the Electoral Commission. Today, Melanie gets hyped for the history of democracy.
When Angella and I were told that the first topic we were going to address in this series was ‘the history of voting in New Zealand’, I yawned. Probably because it was a 9am meeting and I’m not used to those ridiculous early morning starts. Usually 9am is reserved for normal things like continuing to press the snooze button despite an alarm set for 8am. The other reason I yawned though, was because frankly it seemed like it would be boring. It seemed like the first slide of a Powerpoint you did in Year 8 social studies. I looked at Angella thinking, oh man, how do we make this funny? Turns out it was easier than we thought, mainly because things in the old days were just a right old drunken mess.
They basically bribed people to vote for them with an olden day equivalent of Scrumpy Hands. Now that I can get behind! Except I couldn’t, because back then women couldn’t even vote. Drat. Throughout working on this episode, I learned heaps about the massive shambles it was, which in a weird way, helped me appreciate the progress we’ve made. Whilst getting bribed by politicians sounded awfully fun, our democracy has come a long way.
We joked heaps in the writing room about ways to get people interested in voting, because it is super important. Somehow the idea of Angella dressing up as the orange man came up. Then before we knew it, one can of spray paint, two leg warmers and a vivid later, this happened:
Yeah, I’m just as horrified as you. Those eyes! I’ve had nightmares about Angella as the orange man, and also laughing fits every time I think about it. Almost every time the election comes up, I’ll tell someone ‘oh please let me show you this photo’, and the reaction is always the same: “Oh my god.”
Also, another fun behind the scenes costume tidbit. We wear the same clothes throughout the whole series, except in the opening scene where I’m wearing an ‘I LOVE VOTING’ T-shirt. That was basically because right before we were done shooting, I went to Revelry on a Saturday night, got a bit steamed and lost my jacket there. Angella also got a haircut mid shoot as well. Whoops, sorry continuity! Also if anyone sees a black lace jacket at Revelry can you hit me up? I quite liked that jacket.
In this episode we got to chat to Victoria Woodman, who was so great. I’ll be honest… and this is probably a bad admission in a story about videos encouraging voting, but I’m not exactly a political fiend. I’d consider myself a normie in this regard. It’s okay though, I’m a beast in almost every other regard. She had a way of explaining things that was so endearing, it made me want to go back to university to hear her talk more. But then I remembered how much I hated assignments and decided against it.
She helped us realise how lucky we are to be able to vote in 2017. You don’t have to be a rich white man who owns land, which is great! Anyone over the age of 18 can do it. It’s like drinking and smoking except with none of the health detriments. Get out there and vote, Sam! (I just used a random name, but I enjoy the fact that any Sam reading this is losing their mind). It’s also not nearly as boring as I first anticipated. You’re literally having a say in the biggest decision of the entire country. Imagine if you didn’t have that choice? A while ago, most of you probably wouldn’t have.
What I’m saying is, this is an official retraction of that 9am yawn and we hope you enjoy the series.
Watch Make Me Tick episode 2, Government is Like a Toffee Pop, here.
The Make Me Tick series is brought to you by the Electoral Commission in collaboration with The Spinoff. Head here now to make sure you’re enrolled and ready to vote on September 23rd, and for any other questions you need answered.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.