United sensibility

I’m going to stick my neck out here.

Whether National are returned to power as widely expected, or Labour pull off a policy coup that exceeds all expectations, we need other party options in parliament. Most options are not looking great.

  • Act seem to have lurched from strongarmed upheaval to creative blunder.
  • NZ First, especially at leadership level, looks well past it’s “use by” date.
  • Maori/Mana is at an interesting stage and caters for a specific demographic.
  • The Green Party has it’s place, should keep it’s place, but that’s more as a niche party

There’s one other party that is likely to be in parliament after the election. United Future has quietly operated, mostly beneath the media radar, steadily and with some success. Peter Dunne is criticised as being sensible, moderate, and willing to work with the government of the day.

Your NZ was set up to cater for an obvious need for a responsive, more representative party, especially in the New Zealand heartland. The concept has been well received. Other small parties are promoting varieties of better democracy.

Good ideas, even though they obviously have appeal, will struggle to get they attention they need to achieve anything. Fragments of sensibility will be far more successful if they are combined into a united force.

A solid unifying structure is already in place, with a sensible leader. It makes sense to me to support Peter Dunne and United Future as I feel they are the best option for a strong non-ideological common sense centre party.

I personally want to pledge my support for United Future. I’m standing for the Dunedin North electorate and am setting up a new model of regional representation. If successful it makes sense to me that I work with with United Future as much as possible, allying with a party with compatible aims will give me an opportunity to represent Dunedin North even better in parliament.

It’s time for the quiet achievers, working for the ordinary people of the country, to combine their strengths and offer a real, sensible alternative, united.

Dunedin’s political doldrums

In both Dunedin North and Dunedin South Labour candidates are expected to stroll to victory with minimum attention. Who cares? Dunedin electorate votes count for little because there is no chance of affecting the outcome. This is common in many other safe seats around the country.

In Dunedin North Pete Hodgson is retiring, leaving a 7,000 vote majority for his replacement to play with. Labour only lost the electorate once (1975-78) since 1928.

Is it going to be the same old boring campaign this year? Will anyone care who their new MP is?

There are actually four Dunedin North MPs in parliament, as well as Hodgson there are three list MPs that contested the last election – Woodhouse (National), Turei (Greens), and Calvert (Act). So Dunedin should be overwhelmed by influence. Not.

How often do we hear about what they are doing for the city? How often are we asked how we want to be represented? Even if they are slaving away for us in silence, and not for their parties, that’s poor communication. Today Hodgson had a letter published in the Otago Daily Times, but that was just in response to a critical ODT editorial.

If Labour keep the seat in November as expected, what will that give the city? Nothing more than someone working for the No party in opposition?

Do voters deserve more? If they want to choose more.

Under MMP it would be easy for electorates to take the initiative off the parties. All it would take is for them to decide, similar to Epsom, that they wanted their votes to count for much more than virtually nothing. Dunedin electorates could become influential, even pivotal, and Dunedin voices could be much more effective in parliament. All the people need to do is choose to be smart with their vote.

Your NZ acting leader appointed

Your NZ has appointed Jason Ashley as acting leader. This enables Your NZ to be managed until membership has been built up and candidates have been chosen. In August party leadership will be democratically elected from party list candidates.

Jason will also manage the formation of the party list. Your NZ is currently advertising on Trademe Jobs for more people interested in being on the party list. Response to that has been very good.

Your NZ founder Pete George was recently confirmed as a candidate for the Dunedin North Electorate. He sees the appointment of an acting leader as an important step in setting up the structure of the party.

Pete will oversee the establishment of other electorates for Your NZ, and once that is done he will be focussing on the Dunedin North campaign. Details will soon be released of the model of interactive democracy that will be set up.

Interest in Your NZ is spreading, by word of mouth and on social networks, and is proving research that indicated there are many people ready to look for a real alternative to the established parties.

Your NZ similar to Greens but also significant difference

Posted on Kiwiblog:

I thought it was a good interview too. The Greens are looking like one of the most sensible (how they act, not necessarily policies), practical, positive alternatives to National – but the standard of others is not hard to beat.

It’s interesting, I will standing against Turei in Dunedin North, and to an extent Your NZ is very similar albeit much newer than the Green Party.

Turei is her party co-leader and number 1 on their party list. She is passionate about what she is doing, and seems to be doing a good job – at cabinet level or just below cabinet level. She will be busy as leader, even busier should she become achieve an ambition to become a minister.

I don’t think Turei can give enough time and attention to an electorate, she’s working at a higher level. An appropriate list candidate.

There are similarities between the Green Party and where Your NZ wants to position itself.

Turei used a line, which I have advocated in the past they should use, that they can work constructively with both National and Labour and regardless of who forms the Government, they’ll aim to make it a greener Government.

Same for Your NZ, except instead of a green voice Your NZ wants to be a people’s voice (or lobby), to influence the government on behalf of electorate wishes. Government can’t be run by referendum, but they should listen more and ordinary people should have more influence.

Accurate determination of what people think and want = stronger democratic lobby to government.

It’s a good message which could well appeal to some swinging voters who may be saying they want John Key as Prime Minister but would like the Government to do more on environmental issues.

Also similar, except Your NZ would like the government to listen more to the people.

Again no one should think that if they have a choice, the Greens won’t install a Labour-led Government. They will, unless Labour totally alienate them.

Here we are different – Your NZ will pledge to support for Government the party that wins the most seats, we’re not slanted ideologically and believe in democratic majority.

But given the probability of at least a second term of a National-led Government, it is smart to portray yourselves as able to have influence, rather than just opposition.

It will take time for a new party to be accepted – that will happen much faster if the are a serious and positive contributor to the government of the day, and aren’t just another niggly “no” party.

The Green Party has a specific, narrow green constituency.
Your NZ represents a much wider “people’s voice”.