Standing in an election is optional. Same for a by-election. So this claim from Green candidate Julie Anne Genter is odd, and also a tad hypocritical.
Speaking last night Julie Anne Genter told 1 NEWS National’s no show in the contest for the Auckland seat shows a lack of “respect” for the “democratic process”.
“The fact National didn’t put up a candidate shows that they don’t have much respect for the democratic process and they were trying to make very light of this election,” Ms Genter said.
Ms Genter said her performance in the by-election was expected and went on to congratulate Ms Adern for her win.
“It’s pretty typical for a Green Party result in a by-election,” she said.
“Because we campaign on the party vote many Green Party voters are used to giving their CV to other candidates especially candidates as strong as Jacinda Ardern.”
So Genter stood with no expectation of winning and making no attempt to get votes. She used the by-election as a PR exercise. As she can choose to do, but it could be seen as a cynical use of the democratic process.
Is it better to stand in an election and encourage votes for another candidate, or to not stand at all?
Green candidates have stood in electorates for a number of elections making no attempt to win the electorate. They openly campaign for the party vote, but suggest to varying degrees that the electorate vote should go elsewhere.
That is their choice. They are using the democratic process to suit their goals. As National did in the Mt Albert by-election.
Greens chose not to stand a candidate in the recent Mt Roskill by-election to help the Labour candidate. Did that show no respect for the democratic process?
Greens chose not to stand a candidate in the Northland by-election to help Winston Peters. Did that show no respect for the democratic process? Labour stood a candidate but campaigned for votes to not go to her but instead to Peters.
Genter is trying to diss National for making their own choices on what they do in electorates, but she and Greens play the democratic system to suit their own purposes as much as any party.