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 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”.