Monday, 14 October 2013

So, maybe you had no-one to vote for?

By the way: if you didn’t bother voting for mayors or councillors this election—even though you know that virtually all mayors and councillors both old and new regard your property as their business, and your pocket as their personal ATM machine—then maybe you should have done something about it?

You know, like standing yourself? Or supporting those who did, so more folk could hear what they had to say?

There were a few candidates across the country standing against that premise, and some of them polled well, and some few of them got elected. And I hope some of you do let me know how you did.

And I hope, too, that you build on what you got this election, build up your war chest, encourage others to stand with you, and stand again next time for the right to get our wallets back.

To me, the most exciting result was in the Auckland mayoralty. Not in the race between Tweedledum and Tweedledummer—between the re-elected mayor (who’s bankrupting the city to build monuments) and his opponent, (who wanted to bankrupt it building a second city)—but in the result for the fellow who came third. Stephen Berry. From Affordable Auckland.

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Stephen ran on the single most relevant ticket in the election—an Affordable Auckland.  He ran against the city’s rapidly rising debt, and for cutting rates and recognising your property rights. He ran on a shoestring, so was probably only known to 15,000 people, yet he still polled third—beating out all the truly fringe candidates like the Mana Party’s John Minto, and perennial loon Penny Bright.

It seems to me that with a bigger team next time and a war chest big enough to make a difference, Stephen and and a decent Affordable Auckland team could actually do some good. (So why don’t you help out? Now’s the time to get started.)

Still, it’s encouraging (if somewhat unbelievable) to hear the newly-elected big-spending Len Brown (currently borrowing over $1million per day to cover his overspending) say that he’s “heard” the electorate and will be “wielding the knife.”

Even if in the end the only knife that’s wielded is a paring knife, it shows you how even a small, poorly funded campaign can make a difference.

Perhaps the most frightening news from the election came from Greens co-leader Meteria Turei, who gives a hint how Green policies have been so successful in capturing local government.

A “Green sweep” of all Green candidates in Wellington topped off the best local Government result ever for the Green Party today.
    “Every single Green candidate for Wellington City and the Regional Council was elected today, with the city’s Green mayor Celia Wade-Brown re-elected alongside new Green councillors Sarah Free and David Lee and sitting Councillor Iona Pannett,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.
    “They’re joined by Green Councillors Paul Bruce and Sue Kedgely who were elected to the Wellington Regional Council.
    “The fantastically successful Wellington team is joined by record numbers of new Green Councillors and community board members up and down the country.

So next time you’re wondering why “sustainability “ is so stultifyingly all-pervasive at local level—or you’re trying to get new consent, finding a Green policy in your way, and wondering how it got there—this is one reason. Because Greens act local…

4 comments:

  1. I was very saddened and angry that Shane missed out by a mere 1000 votes in Invercargill (dammit!) and wish some people in my hometown had paid a little bit more attention when filling out ballot papers.

    Congrats to Stephen Berry - a worthy total; I had not paid any attention at all to the Auckland Mayoral election so was pleasantly surprised at that result; shows what can happen when libertarian candidates bother to actually campaign and ask people to vote for them.

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  2. The frightening thing is that, anybody, voted for either John Minto or the 'Communist League' candidate.

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  3. I'm just not convinced that voting is going to make a difference ever. In fact, by participating in democracy I just believe that you are adding more wind to the 'democratisers' sails. It's like enslaving people to fight slavery.

    Sure well done to Stephen, but the amount of democratic apathy is an incredibly interesting phenomenon from a libertarian stance. Non-voters are basically saying a) they have no real conviction to vote (they don't know what is in the best economic interest of thousands of people) and b) its not like voting Brown nor Palino make any real difference either and the other candidates, well, they won't win.

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  4. Phil,

    You're right, if the mob can vote for freedom they can just as easily vote it away. It's a fantastic result as with David Leyonhjelm here in Australia it's going to work in two ways, other parties are going to try and claw back votes and they're going to have to do that by easing up on the reins. But the other thing it's going to do is a whole bunch of people are going to be asking what the hell is a libertarian? They're going to start looking, some of the sheep will wake up, and they're going to see there is 'right' and there is 'wrong' and there going to see there is a whole hell of a lot of wrong going on right now and they aren't going to be able to un-see it.

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