The ladders of democracy should be equal

Democratic processes should be as even handed and equal opportunity as possible. The Auckland mayoralty contest seems to be far from fair.

Quinton Hogg at Whale Oil pointed out something I have been meaning to post on:

I attended the EMA candidates meeting last week where Ms Crone, Mr Goff and Mark Thomas spoke. And Penny Bright stood outside in the cold as she wasn’t let in.

Of the three Mark Thomas was the most impressive. I had heard Ms Crone previously without being impressed and Mr Goff wandered through the platitudes.

Slater added:

The EMA refused to allow John Palino to participate.

This stinks, regardless of how anyone may rate candidates at this early stage of the pre-campaign campaign.

It is sad to see the Employer’s and Manufacturer’s Association picking and choosing candidates to give exposure to.

Penny bright may have limited appeal, especially to an EMA audience, but she’s prepared to put herself forward and should be given an equal opportunity in a democratic contest.

John Palino (who has Slater as an adviser) and got off to a poor start with a launch that was treated as a bit of a joke by media, but he is one of the choices so should be in the mix at any election meeting.

But this does have some irony as Whale Oil is not exactly an equal opportunity blog for candidates. Slater seems to have been quiet on Palino but has been predictably critical of Goff, and frequently very critical of Crone who happens to have a good chance of keeping Palino out of the contest.

Slater is also often critical of ‘the media party’ and how they influence politics, but this is even more ironic given his claim to be serious media but is far more biased and attack orientated than the MSM are ever likely to be.

The Auckland mayoralty and democracy are being poorly served all round.

The ladders of democracy should be as even as possible.

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17 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  21st June 2016

    Democracy- tyranny of the majority. Which is great if you are counted among the majority. If you aren’t- tough cheese bud. We want your money, freedom and life.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  22nd June 2016

      Can you think of a better way ? I can’t. It’s only tyranny if one disagrees with the decision, otherwise it’s what most people want. so that’s what it will be. We can’t all have our own way. Nor, I think, would people appreciate a dictator. Stop pouting.

      Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  21st June 2016

    I think it would be fair enough if Bright and Palino demanded the Electoral Commission charge the costs of the meeting against the preferred candidates electoral expenses accounts.

    Because that is exactly what this is – preferential campaign advertising for them.

    Reply
    • jamie

       /  22nd June 2016

      What’s wrong with the EMA promoting whomever they like?

      Reply
      • They are free to promote whomever they like, but if they select only some of the candidates to promote it’s poor democracy.

        Reply
        • jamie

           /  22nd June 2016

          So anyone who wants to promote a candidate has to promote all of them?

          Who else does this apply to, the National party?

          They’re not the media. They’re not a government body. Their responsibility is to represent the interests of their members.

          Perhaps we have different ideas about the function and purposes of the EMA.

          Reply
          • The EMA says that it advocates on behalf of it’s members. Surely if it wants to give it’s members full choice in an election – and if it wants to gauge members’ preferences – it should present all candidates to them.

            Even if some candidates look likely to not come close to winning they can have a significant influence on the outcome. For example John Palino might not be rated a high chance but his share of the vote will impact on the vote of other candidates.

            I think an organisation representing members who presumably have a range of opinions should present full choice, not cherry pick some candidates.

            Reply
            • jamie

               /  22nd June 2016

              I think that’s a matter for the members. If they’re not happy with the association they are free to disassociate.

              I don’t see that the association has any responsibility to the public in the way the media has.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  22nd June 2016

              I agree. If it was a general ‘meet the candidates’ like the ones I have been to, that would be different. At those, even the ones who ended up with fewer votes than they had members were represented. But I would have thought that something like the EMA could invite whoever they wanted to speak at a meeting.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  22nd June 2016

        Nothing, but their promotion budgets should be counted as part of those candidates’ campaigns and their members who fund it should have to approve that selection.

        Reply
  3. Gezza

     /  21st June 2016

    I agree PG. Sounds very unfair. 😡

    I’d love to see how those three would stack up against Penners with an angle grinder. 😎

    Reply
  4. jamie

     /  22nd June 2016

    Why do you think the EMA is obliged to provide anyone with a platform?

    Are there any other free associations/private organisations/businesses/clubs/individuals on whom you wish to place similar obligations?

    Reply
    • I didn’t say they had any obligation.

      The point I’ve made is that fair democracy requires equal campaign representation and it’s disappointing (to me) when organisations and media pre-select candidates who they will promote.

      EMA are not obliged to respect good democratic process, they are free to do as they please, but I’m free to criticise them when I think they are being democratically unfair to some candidates.

      Reply
      • jamie

         /  22nd June 2016

        Of course you’re we’re free to criticise, I’m just trying to figure out your criteria for which organisations you might criticise for expressing a preference.

        For example I doubt you’d criticise a political party for giving some candidates more of a platform that others, but a political party is just a free association of individuals like the EMA.

        Reply
        • jamie

           /  22nd June 2016

          P.s. I apologise for starting two subthreads asking more or less the same thing, very untidy of me. I haven’t had breakfast yet 😀

          Anyhow, I think understand your point better now and I’ve said my piece, so I’ll go make some eggs and leave you to it for the morning.

          Reply
  5. I agree Pete. The EMA is doing its members a disservice by not allowing all candidates to have some time presenting their views. But i suppose its up to them who they invite to their meetings they are a private organisation and make their own rules.

    If this was a media organisation then I would be much more concerned and more scathing in my comments, as I see them having more of an obligation to allow all candidates reach the public via radio, newspaper, web or broadcast TV

    The classic example is the US medias refusal to allow anyone but GOP or Dem cadidates airtime in presidential races even though the Libertarian and Greens gain reasonable sized votes in presidential elections, particularl;y the Libertarians

    Reply

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