Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The non-binary council

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    It’s daft to say that Brown did not get a mandate from this election.

    Oh of course he fucking did, and frankly the Herald needs to ixnay the concern-trolling about turn out at an election they didn't deign to take slightly more seriously than One Direction stalkers and what Ri-Ri does between gigs.

    What can be said is that Brown has lost two key members of his inner circle: Hartley and Richard Northey, who not only chaired important “committees of the whole” on council, but met weekly with the mayor to discuss strategy.

    I'd like to apologise on behalf of the Shore for tipping Hartley off council in favour of Chris Darby -- who in a decent world would have made himself unelectable with this opportunistic race-based pandering in Devonport.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I’d like to apologise on behalf of the Shore for tipping Hartley off council in favour of Chris Darby – who in a decent world would have made himself unelectable with this opportunistic race-based pandering in Devonport.

    Ah, of course. I hadn't made that connection.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    A mandate is a plurality of the votes, if one is dumb enough to have FPP elections. The councillors all also have mandates.

    What we really need is:
    - mayors (or leaders) elected by councillors, as we choose the government and the leaders of remaining regional councils.
    - council elections aligned with the general election and held by ballot box
    - an end to the ridiculous idea that councillors may not take a stand on issues for fear of pre-determining something they have to decide - as if they were judges, rather than democratic representatives.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Bryce Edwards has published a Simon Wilson post updating his Metro feature:

    At the same time, the rightists on the outgoing council distinguished themselves for their complete failure to cohere around a platform, a leader or anything else. Of the leading members, Dick Quax is Act and too extreme; Christine Fletcher has a battiness to her that potential supporters find remarkably alienating; Cameron Brewer is an opportunist lightweight, constantly flailing this way and that to find an issue that might stick (and absurdly allowing his name to be used as running mate with the ingenue mayoral contender John Palino); and George Wood is now almost fully in Brown’s camp.

    The people most opposed to Brown have not been the right, but the ideologues on both sides, especially Quax and Sandra Coney. As an example of that, it’s completely wrong to see the election in Waitakere of Linda Cooper, replacing Coney, as a blow to Brown. He was keen to see Cooper win. She’s in the National Party, sure, but she’s centrist and he’s got good channels to work through with her. Coney’s hand-picked successor, on the other hand, was Christine Rose, who actually put out a media release saying the super city was a complete failure. That was effectively a declaration of no confidence in Brown, and he was clearly horrified at the prospect of having to work with her.

    He sees a strong majority of councillors with whom Brown can work productively, vs a rump of a half-dozen malcontents. The post seems to have been written on Saturday, because he still has Noeline Raffills elected, not Ross Clow. Clow’s election pretty clearly further aids Brown.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Here's how City Vision are presenting it:

    Strong result for City Vision and centre-left

    "The 2013 Auckland Council elections have seen a strong performance from City Vision and progressive teams across the Auckland isthmus", says Gwen Shaw, Campaign Co-ordinator for City Vision.

    "On the Auckland Isthmus City Vision achieved the following results:
    • In the Waitemata & Gulf Islands Ward incumbent City Vision-endorsed Councillor Mike Lee was returned with a strong majority.
    • In the Albert-Eden-Roskill Ward incumbent City Vision Councillor Cathy Casey was comfortably returned.
    • On the Waitemata Local Board, City Vision retained five out of seven positions.
    • On the Albert-Eden Local Board, City Vision retained five out of eight positions.
    • On the Puketapapa Local Board, Roskill Community Voice increased representation to win four out of six positions.

    "When taken together with the Whau Local Board result (five Labour members elected on a Board of seven) and Maungakiekie-Tamaki (four Labour members elected on a Board of seven), this means that all Local Boards on the Auckland isthmus, with the exception of Orakei, are controlled by progressive groupings. This is a major achievement and a huge change from the old Auckland City days of C&R domination.

    "Regretfully, some high quality City Vision candidates were not successful this election. We also note with sadness the loss of Richard Northey as Maungakiekie-Tamaki Ward Councillor. City Vision has worked extensively with Richard over the years and we know him to be a person of great integrity and knowledge who has served his community faithfully. His contribution on Council will be greatly missed.

    "With strong progressive representation across the Auckland Isthmus we will be working hard to engage our local communities over the coming term. We campaigned on public ownership of Auckland's assets, empowering local communities, treating people and our environment with respect, and building a congestion free network. We thank Aucklanders for their support this election and will work hard to advance the values and policies we were elected upon", says Gwen Shaw.
    ENDS

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Bryce Edwards, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Thanks Russell. I've just corrected that guest blog post by Simon Wilson. I've corrected the stuff about the election of Ross Clow and non-election of Noelene Raffills! This was my mistake - I had uploaded the wrong version of the guest blog post that Simon wrote yesterday!

    Dunedin • Since Oct 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    The more unhappy the Council makes Orsman, the happier I am.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    On the result particularly, I’m very sorry to see Richard Northey (my erstwhile councillor) replaced by what appears to be a vacuous, lying, oxygen thief. Krum campaigned loudly on outright lies about the Unitary Plan (as noted by Transport Blog in the post Russell linked). She also managed to be ranked lower than Aaron Gilmore on National's 2011 list, which speaks volumes.

    I want to try and engage with her and encourage her to actually tackle the copious evidence in favour of an intensified Auckland (especially since she claims to want affordable housing; presumably not in her ward, though) and high-quality public transport, but I’m just not sure where to start on someone whose contribution to the UP debate was aimed at watering it down and based on lies.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas,

    Could someone please tell the Herald that Ross Clow is the likely winner in Whau. All of Sunday the Herald's 'updated' supercity results showed Noelene Raffils as winner and still do. So 14 hours after council posted the new results, Auckland main news website still didn't include this fairly significant change. I would've thought Noelene Raffils being in doubt and a likely recount was newsworthy but there you go.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Low voter turnout can mean that people feel, on the whole, that matters are in safe hands. Also, on the election of specialists, I expect most people feel the way I do - lost in the dark, and pretty much voting for the deepest CV.

    It seems strange to me how much furore there is over the low turnout. It's very much to be expected that matters of special concern simply don't attract much attention. Do we really need to vote on how many paper clips will be purchased by the council? It's nice to be able to vote on it, but it's not a sign of dysfunction that only a small number want to. It's how organization of large complex systems like local government have always worked. National level government is different, because their power is extraordinary, to the point of setting the basic moral framework of society, so most people both are, and should be, interested.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Meanwhile, Celia Wade-Brown's retention of the Wellington mayoralty has single-handedly brought out the sour grapes.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Are you looking at the same edit? Looks pretty factual to me - just reporting what the candidates said. They missed a trick on captioning that photo of Morrison on the wharf in the rain though - a smarter sub would have put "In the shower".

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ethan Tucker,

    Perhaps instead of worrying about online voting a simpler solution would be to survey every candidate before the next local elections and ask them 'are you a current or former member of any political party, and if so, name them'. And refuse to cast your votes for anyone who declines to participate. I think much of the confusion and lack of engagement in the elections results from candidates hiding behind the independent label and recycling identikit generalities in their candidate statements. If they were up-front and stated their party loyalties it would make voting decisions much easier.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2008 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    One of the weird things that happened here in Dunedin this year was that we had 4 candidates running in our large central ward who didn't actually live there - most of them lived in a smaller outlying ward where only one candidate was nominated and no election was held.

    I asked one of them why he was running in the central ward rather than his own, he claimed that he was doing it because he wasn't going to be allowed to vote in his own ward (which was a bit silly because of course he couldn't have known there would be only one candidate in his ward prior to nominations closing) needless to say after that bit of duplicity he didn't get ranked in my vote.

    I'm a little bit surprised one can run for a district one doesn't live in, that doesn't seem right to me, especially for local elections

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Are you looking at the same edit? Looks pretty factual to me - just reporting what the candidates said. They missed a trick on captioning that photo of Morrison on the wharf in the rain though - a smarter sub would have put "In the shower".

    I was referring to a great deal of the commenters, rather than the article itself. Still, the same day's editorial seems to have a subtle hint of it.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    why we should have ballot box voting, not online voting

    Because this fraud in a ballot-box election was discovered by online sleuthing?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Ethan Tucker,

    Perhaps instead of worrying about online voting a simpler solution would be to survey every candidate before the next local elections and ask them ‘are you a current or former member of any political party, and if so, name them’.

    "Are you now, or have you ever been a member of..." doesn't have the most fortunate history there, Ethan. And you bet your arse I wouldn't answer any such question.

    First, anyone who couldn't figure out my political views are on the center-right within seconds just isn't paying attention. Nor is it hard to find out that for a long period in the 90's, I wasn't only a member of the National Party but a small-time provincial officeholder in the Young Nats.

    Now, if you please, you can decided that makes me an electoral Typhoid Mary. The secret ballot is a wonderful thing. But the presumption of bad faith really offends me -- I can take a piss without a permission slip from National Party HQ, just as being an out gay man and a Catholic, doesn't mean I'm a Manchurian candidate for the Vatican or this "homosexual agenda" I hear so much about if I stand for local government.

    If they were up-front and stated their party loyalties it would make voting decisions much easier.

    Really? I voted for Ann Hartley fully aware that she was a former Labour MP. (Even did a bit of legwork for Jonathan Coleman's campaign in the election she lost her seat.) Despite that hideous character flaw (and our differences on a fair number of issues), I did so because, IMNSHO, she was a decent and effective councillor. Shame not enough voters agreed with me, but that's how elections work.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Perhaps instead of worrying about online voting a simpler solution would be to survey every candidate before the next local elections and ask them ‘are you a current or former member of any political party, and if so, name them’.

    “Are you now, or have you ever been a member of…” doesn’t have the most fortunate history there, Ethan. And you bet your arse I wouldn’t answer any such question.

    I can see Ethan's point in the sense that depending on where you voted, there were whole slates of "Independent" candidates offering similar blandishments. But it seems that prior party allegiances aren't a great predictor in Auckland local body politics. Penny Webster, who works productively with the "Labour" mayor, is a former Act MP. (I did actually have to look that up and check it ...)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I’m a little bit surprised one can run for a district one doesn’t live in, that doesn’t seem right to me, especially for local elections

    In a city with multiple districts it's a bit much to expect people to only stand for the area in which they live, particularly since the vagaries of district boundaries could see them become ineligible to stand for the area they've represented for years if they happen to have been living at the outskirts and the boundaries change.
    Since we don't do electorates or wards on any firm geographical basis, a residence requirement has all kinds of potential to force long-term elected representatives out of office purely because of a bureaucratic decision. How is that helpful or right?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    But it seems that prior party allegiances aren’t a great predictor in Auckland

    True, but that doesn’t mean many candidates adopted different labels to deliberately deceive voters and hide their otherwise unpalatable political affiliations. Stephen Berry is amongst the most egregious of these. A hard line libertarian who actively promotes the wingnut NZCPR website of Muriel Newman on his facebook page, he buried all reference to his libertarian beliefs, pretending to be a moderate on the “Affordable Auckland” ticket and claiming in the paper he is “…promoting affordable living if elected, calling himself as “the ratepayer’s champion”.

    When I asked him on Facebook about his libertarian beliefs he said they were “in the past”. He then accused me of being a lefty conspiracy theorist. As soon as the election was over he posted his thanks to his supporters on… solopassion.

    Berry, in short, constructively lied to Auckland voters and tried to use an astroturf front organisation to get elected.

    Craig’s proposal would at least flush out dishonest candidates like Berry.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Sacha,

    My understanding was that the alleged fraud was allegedly discovered by the Electoral Commission picking up on an increase in voter registrations in one ward, when all others were falling, and then investigating IPs, etc.

    In a ballot box system, such a fraud would be much harder, as you'd have to bus your voters in from far districts to vote in person, or generate a large number of applications for special postal votes, which would be clearly suspect.

    Voting in person avoids many fraudulent practices, ranging from vote harvesting as above to a dominating family member influencing the votes of the rest of the family. (Ever seen those 'My Whanau supports the Maori Party stickers')

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    In any case, Generation Zero managed to focus squarely on the issues, instead of the personalities behind them.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I'm a little bit surprised one can run for a district one doesn't live in, that doesn't seem right to me, especially for local elections

    I'm not bothered by it as long as a candidate has a demonstrable stake in the area. I've lived in places before, yet spent a lot of my time in alternative areas. Similarly people often don't have a direct stake in the area where they live, if they don't spend much time there.

    On the opposite side, recently living in Australia with dual citizenship (first time I'd been there longer than a month at a time), I was forced to vote in the local body elections for my designated rectangle of suburban sprawl of rectangular-sections and rectangular dog-walking parks where I lived, but spent almost none of my time, except overnight. I knew nothing of any of the 29 candidates which I had to rank, and nor did I really understand or care about any of the issues. It was worse than a DHB election. I did actually try to read the promotional statements before ranking them, but it somehow seemed very very wrong to me that I was being forced to vote in that election.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Online voting worked well for the census. I think we could have both online and postal.

    I suspect ( in Auckland) many people didn’t vote because they considered it a foregone conclusion. A good number of people ( more than 20,000) voted for John Minto & Penny Bright ( perhaps an obvious protest vote.) And then there were these votes that didn’t help anyone.

    INFORMAL, 1454
    BLANK, 6402

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 366 posts Report Reply

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