Friday, September 28, 2007

Who I'm Voting For: Wellington Regional Council

I have found a new way of judging local body candidates; I don't just have to rely on the inane 100 word blurbs they write about themselves. The Wellington Chamber of Commerce has come through with a questionnaire where it asks all sorts of questions about where candidates stand. Never let it be said that the Wellington Chamber of Commerce never did anything useful. I could have voted for people who support water metering if it hadn't been for their timely intervention.

Before I get onto the candidates for the Wellington Regional Council I should say that Iona Pannet and her supporters, and Nick Kelly's supporters have been arguing their cases on my previous post. So you don't just need to listen to my snap judgements based on 100 word blurbs(and do check out the Wellington Chamber of Commerce - "what will you do to make Wellington more friendly for business?" is a particularly revealing question).

I am now considering ranking Iona Pannet number three in Lambton Ward (or possibly two, because despite the photo taken by a friend of mine Callum Strong appeared to support water metering) because it occurred to me that if Iona got on the council then Alec Shaw might lose his job. People I hate losing their jobs is one of my favourite things about elections (last general election was awesome in that regard with John Tamihere and most of the ACT and United Future caucus).

Wellington Regional Council

The candidates for Wellington Regional Council look very much like a Rotary club meeting, which makes thinking of voting for any of them pretty depressing. I think it's got harder as environmental issues have got more mainstream. Even the most reactionary pillocks are talking about sustainability. These were the candidates I could bring myself to rank:

1. Yvonne Legarth - she gets bonus points for leaving the section about what to do to help business blank and for out and out rejecting user pays for water.

2. Paul Bruce - While his party hates poor people, I'm fairly certain Paul doesn't. He would be #1, but he appears to support some sort of water charges.

3. Judith Aitken - She has a radical past and she certainly says the right things, although I suspect she's come very managerial.

4. Daran Ponter - What I find so depressing about local body elections is how comparatively good the Labour party candidates look. That doesn't mean that I'll actually rank Daran, but the fact that I'm even considering it shows what a bunch of inane business suck ups the rest of the candidates are.

Who I'm not ranking and why:

Michael Appleby: Michael Appleby running is an important tradition in any Wellington election. I don't think that legalising Cannabis will solve society's problems so I'll maintain my half of the tradition and not vote for him.

Fran Wilde: Even if there weren't other reasons not to vote for her - she was part of the fourth Labour government and I'm holding a grudge.

Bernard Darnton: He's a libertarian. I know it's not actually possible to lose respect for libertarians. But when they marched with the fundies in the pro-smacking march I came pretty close. If you believed what either group said fundies and libertarians wouldn't have room for alliances.

Michael Gibson: He's endorsed by Michael Fowler - I probably wouldn't vote for a member of my immediate family if they were endorsed by Michael Fowler.

Michael Fleming: He thinks that telling me he's a company director will get me to vote for him. He's wrong.

Hugh Barr: I have to thank the Wellington Chamber of Commerce. On the hundred words of waffle the council give us I was thinking of voting for him. But he's for privatisation and user pays, so I won't.

Thomas Morgan: In the fine tradition of local body politics he appears to be a particularly focused individual and is running on a platform of eliminating rates (and the bypass - glad to see that the proud tradition of useless attempts at stopping the bypass through voting is not stopping just because the thing is built). I'm not particularly pro-rates myself, but he wants to replace rates with a use pays system.

Ian Hamlin - His reply to the Wellington Chamber of Comerce is full of extremely vague words (partnerships, communication, innovation) all in bold.

Chris Laidlaw: If I'm not voting for Fran Wilde, then I'm not voting for him. By getting through Homosexual Law Reform Fran Wilde did one not-evil thing while in parliament, which is more than we can say for Chris Laidlaw.

Sally Barber: Is rabidly in favour of water metering. A very bad sign.

Tony Coard: Apparently his most important qualification for being a Regional councillor is that he's fit and active. He also asks lots of questions without telling us what his position is. Is it too much to ask that candidates actually have a position on the issues before we vote for them?

John Gilberthorpe: Is it any surprise that the councillors who looked like they were the committee of the local rotary all end up supporting user-pays for water? No it is not.

Matt Barclay: He says absolutely nothing in his blurb, except that he's a geography teacher. I wasn't averse to voting for him, but my old stand by the water metre test ruled him out.


  1. Anonymous9:14 pm

    What on earth was radical about Judith Aitkin's past?

  2. Anonymous11:03 pm

    Thanks for the shoutout - and another to Slim MacDaddy for the blazing photo shoot.
    Just to clarify my position on Water. I am completely opposed to the privitization of water but do advocate raising water usage consciousness. Water meters are only one means - but it would make more sense for the Council to invest in providing technology that uses rainwater to flush our toilets - a 30% reduction in water use - than investing in meters.

    Cheers Callum