Wellington Scoop

A game of chance

by Gordon Campbell
Election day for local government is approaching. Around the country, the candidates seem to be the usual crew i.e. barely recognisable people offering a mixture of enticements, some of which sound kind of acceptable if you can ignore the stuff that sounds weirdly off-putting.

Does the person you’re toying with voting for look OK? Or, after you’ve seen too many of their billboards and leaflets, is that smile starting to look smarmy? Supercilious, even? Isn’t that photo starting to tell you that he/she totally takes your support for granted, and isn’t it time to take them down a peg?

In addition, there are some truly awful people trawling for your vote. Maybe the best option is to find the candidate who we feel lukewarm about but who might conceivably be the candidate best able to stop the candidate that we truly can’t stand. But who could that be? Is this any easier?

The other option is to go whole hog, single issue. Scratch out all the people who want to hand the Green Belt over to mountain bikers or build purpose-built stadiums for their corporate friends or pave Cook Strait in the hope this might attract planeloads of tourists. Tick the people willing to risk everything in the battle against plastic shopping bags.

That will still leave the secret agendas. Normally, candidates don’t tell you beforehand that their real aim is to shut down libraries and give all the money to their business mates. Basically….local body democracy is a game of chance. Good luck.


  1. mosey, 22. September 2016, 8:23

    Is this the best that Nick Leggett can do?
    But from what I am hearing, Mark B has more in common with Justin Lester….

  2. Simon Vita, 22. September 2016, 8:51

    Here’s my guide to STV voting for the Mayoralty:
    1. Rank the candidate/s you find the most repugnant at the bottom of your list.
    2. Next add in the candidates who are just using the mayoralty to boost their profile in their wards.
    3. By now you’ll probably only have one or two candidates left, toss a coin and rank them accordingly.
    You can now forget about civics for the next three years but blame the person who wins for anything you think has gone wrong anywhere.

  3. Hamish G, 22. September 2016, 9:23

    Leggett losing valuable face time with voters having to hand deliver his own letters around Johnsonville. This may be his downfall – no volunteers and run out of spending cap room.

  4. time for change, 22. September 2016, 9:26

    Mosey: whilst Blumsky has been off enjoying the exotic delights available overseas in recent years, he may actually have more to do with Nick Leggett than Justin Lester. Remember it was under Blumsky that the property developers were in their heyday and it is they who now sit behind Leggett (http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=63358)

  5. Mosey, 22. September 2016, 9:42

    TFC – Agree with your point re developers.

  6. Ben, 22. September 2016, 12:34

    Well the current lot seem to have been very chummy with developers, so how come they are not getting a hammering? Let’s face it, the Movie Museum didn’t even go out for tender!

  7. Barabbas, 24. September 2016, 7:41

    Maybe it’s better to vote for the one who is upfront about their policies even if you dont agree with all of them rather than the hipocrites who espouse one view and then practise another. At least you know where you stand and can strategise to counter their promises.

  8. The City is Ours, 24. September 2016, 10:07

    We had a developer in the environment court defending the council’s position on reopening the Manners Mall, because he wanted to build his own mall on Lombard Lane; persuading councillors into thinking this was good. Mall swapping?