Saturday, October 06, 2007

Who I'm voting for: Health Board

When voting for the health board I'm faced with a very different set of problems than when choosing between the rotary club candidates of regional health board. The health board candidates all seem like such nice people - more than half support collective action in the health sector.

I'm aware that the power of the health board is extremely limited. They are constrained by government policy and funding on one side and the governance/management split on the other. I've sat in on enough university council meetings to see how easily people are fobbed, or bought, off, whether or not they're well meaning. I don't think that makes people any less responsible for their actions,* I'm just entering into voting with few illusions. But, sometimes, the board won't just be under pressure from the government policy and funding they'll be under pressure from the workers. I don't vote for the, very nice seeming, health board candidates in the belief that they can bring about the health system I want, but that they're less likely to actively stand in the way of people who might try and bring about the health system I want.

One of my main tools when deciding who to vote for was the NZNO survey (thanks I/S)

Who I'm ranking

1 Jim Delahunty: I'm going to vote for the old leftie above everyone else, even though he won't get on, I'm sentimental like that.

2 Adrian Webster: I wasn't sure about him - the union background is a good thing, but the PSA is less so. But the PSA wasn't always up the bosses ass the way it was now, so I'll assume that Adrian Webster represents the more militant, better PSA of the past.

3. Petra Van Der Munckhoff: I'll tick her even though she is on the labour party ticket. She's worked for Evolve and Newtown Union Health and seems to know her stuff.

4. Peter Roberts: He's been the president of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, and the coalition for public health. See what I mean about all the candidates meaning well and having good credentials?

5. Coltyn Shaw: Another unionist, and the only Maori candidate. Possibly a little odd, but that is almost a requirement for local government.

6. Felicity McLennan: She worked for family planning. My fear is that I'm going to accidentally vote for someone who hates women and doesn't want us to receive health care. I almost went to a meeting of health board candidates just so I'd know where they stood on abortion, but working for family planning is a pretty good indicator.

7. Margaret Faulkner: Here I go again voting for a Labour party candidates, it's like a kind of disease. If only they'd stop saying and doing the right things.

8. Judith Aitken: As I said for regional council - I like everything I know about Judith Aitken, but suspect the stuff I don't know is less to my taste.

9. Helene Ritchie: I've heard she doesn't play well with others, but I'd still have her than some of the business lackies on the list.

10. Karen Coutts: Now I'm ranking Labour party candidates who didn't even bother filling in the NZNO survey - STV is obviously a gateway drug.

Who I'm Not Ranking

Michael Appleby - as I said I wouldn't vote for him for a primary school gala committee.

Clark Kent - That's how his name appears on the ballot paper (but it is actually Kent Clark). I would vote for him because he says all the right things. But he stood for a United Future of Future NZ, or one of the incarnations where a Christian party tried to sound less terrifying. I wouldn't vote for him unless I knew he supported Level J (the abortion clinic).

Donald Urquhart-Hay - I don't think I could ever vote for someone called Urquhart; I watched House of Cards at a far too impressionable age. Luckily in this case my prejudice is well-founded as he supports contracting out and is a doctor for ACC and WINZ - so he probably hates health care workers and sick people.

Hayley Wain - Even if she filled in the nurses survey I wouldn't have voted for her.

Trisha Inglis - I was very glad when she didn't respond to the NZNO survey, because I already hate her. From her blurb:

Statistics which say, “low income equals bad health” can be changed by education. As people learn to understand their bodies needs for nutrition and how environmental factors destroy their health, there will be less demand for hospital treatment.
See the reason that poor people live less long is because they're not educated enough to make smart decisions like rich people do. Like the decision to have the money to go to the doctor.

Virginia Hope - It's particularly bad that a doctor didn't fill in the NZNO survey - doctors who don't appreciate nurses are bad people.

Ruth Gotleib - Apparently she has a principle not to fill in surveys. What kind of a principle is it to ask people to vote for you and not say what you stand for?

John Cook - Not only am I unimpressed with his history as a capitalist - he didn't fill in the Nurses survey.

Gordon Strachan - Gets points for filling in the survey, but loses it with his worry that collective bargaining might lead to disrupted services. It's employers' shitty offers that leads to a disruption of services.

David Chamberlain - Should have run for Regional council - he'd fit in there. Snubs the nurses and is oh so proud of his business computer.

Sandra Patton - She doesn't support collective action which disrupts patients, which ignores the fact that it's not up to her to decide what collective actions unions will take.

* I'm looking at you staff-reps on the university council, who consistently vote for fee increases with the hope that some of the money might go to staff pay rises rather than try and build staff student solidarity.

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