MP for Dunedin North and Kiwiblog?
My number one focus as a candidate in this election is building a better way of representing Dunedin. This is proceeding well, cross party and multi-MP support has been assured for establishing a strong Dunedin democratic voice. At candidate meetings the best response I have received has been for promoting people of Dunedin combining to have a much stronger city voice.
This will change the way Dunedin does democracy, and with interest from elsewhere in the country it has the potential to change the way we do democracy in New Zealand, with a much better online and in-person communication between the electorate and the elected.
My involvement after the election will continue as an activist politician or a political activist – that’s when my campaign steps up a notch.
But I don’t and I won’t forget where much of this has developed – on Kiwiblog.
I have been the most prolific commenter on Kiwiblog over the past few years, and have often been criticised for that. I’ve been using Kiwiblog as a tool for my aims. I’ve been involved in sometimes protracted and heated ‘debate’, ironically having often been called a fence sitter by those I have battled with the most.
I acknowledge I sometimes haven’t taken a strong position on issues, that’s because I’ve been promoting discussions and learning from responses, unlike some commenters who start with an opiniion and won’t budge from that.
Skills (and knowledge) I have learnt on Kiwiblog will help substantially in my political quest. Many of the ideas and opinions – and encouragement and support – have helped me get to where I am now.
I don’t agree with everyone on Kiwiblog and everyone on Kiwiblog don’t agree with or like or support me – but that’s how it should be. We need to understand that we can only move forward accepting there will always be differences, and compromise, pragamatism – and democratic process – are all essentials. None of us can rule the world exactly as we might wish.
I’ve been blasted and abused often – sometimes fairly and sometimes nastily. This can be useful as a reality check but it has also helped me to develop a thick skin, an essential if you are to survive in the political arena. One of the biggest challenges to being successful in politics is to be able to deal with or deflect criticism but to maintain an open mind and open ears.
Earlier this year I started to firm up on what action I would take, after realising that going round and round in blog circles moaning about everything that was wrong was going to achieve nothing. The only way of changing things is to actually do things to encourage or force change.
So I’ve made some decisions and taken steps towards doing something. I’m already very pleased with what I have been able to achieve, whatever the election result I am succeeding.
There’s still an outside chance of me becoming an MP, and I’ll work through until election day looking at ways of achieving that – if I become an MP it would not only rock the political world, it would add impetus to what I’m doing. Some might see these most of these as lotto dreams but look at the possibilities:
- United Future gets 6.2% and I get in on the list (matching the UF 2002 result so not out of the question)
- United Future gets a few MPs in (quite possible) and I win Dunedin North
- Dunne wins Ohariu and I win Dunedin North
- Dunne loses Ohariu and I win Dunedin North
The last few are unlikely but they are possible, just like it’s possible for Susan Boyle to become world famous, just like it’s possible for a penguin to be the biggest news for a month, just like it’s possible for Nek Minute to spread around the world web wide.
In our democracy any of those are possible if enough voters decide to ditch the same old and make a real difference. We just need to believe we have the power to make a difference, at least once every three years.
I’m going to keep exploring possibilities and keep pushing for change. Much of this will have to be done person to person, but social media and blogs are becoming a powerful force – waiting to be harnessed more effectively.
Kiwiblog has played a major part in me getting to where I am now. It (and other online communities) will play an important part for me as I keep pushing the boundaries of politics for ordinary people with an interest.
My main goal is to build a better democracy in Dunedin and spread it from there. Kiwiblog (as long as DPF allows) will continue to be an integral part of this campaign.
I’ve come a long way in six months, it’s now starting to come together and gather momentum. I’d love to become MP for Dunedin North and Kiwiblog, but whatever happens in the election this is just a step along the way to changing from grass roots up – and from silicon roots up.