As the Christchurch East by election draws to a close National’s candidate Matthew Doocey has done something quite unusual, he has not fronted up to an important public meeting to discuss that most vital of local issues, insurance cover for earthquake damage.
National’s Christchurch East by-election candidate has been slammed for deciding to put family ahead of a critical election debate tonight.
Matthew Doocey said the invitation to speak at tonight’s WeCan earthquake recovery debate came in “at the last minute” and he had already agreed to watch his godchildren’s end of school year production.
But his main rival, Labour’s Poto Williams, said she was “staggered” to learn Doocey would be a no-show at what she was probably the most important debate of the campaign.
WeCan organiser Reverend Mike Coleman, who had planned tonight’s debate, was also angry Doocey would not be there, especially as he left it very late before responding to his invitation.
“It feels a bit like avoidance to me.”
Doocey has stated that a family commitment that he entered into some time ago is the reason for his not attending the meeting. At one level I can understand the desire to have some private time. But you have to wonder why he would not take the opportunity to state what the Government’s position on this issue is so close to polling day.
He and National may have some further explaining to do after a young National Activist was caught trying to remove a Poto Williams sign. Such hair brained activity by young activists is not unheard of. Poto Williams was relaxed about it but Matthew Doocey’s campaign manager has begrudgingly ruled out an apology. I am interested in whether Nicky Wagner’s van, which was used in the commission of the offence, has any Parliamentary Services funding and if so why it is being used for campaign purposes.
Nothing National did could match the weirdness of the Conservative Party’s antics however.
Colin Craig hit the area and created something of a twitter storm. When asked he stuck by an earlier statement that “I am aware of the theory that chemicals are being released at high altitude for some nefarious purpose but don’t know whether there is any truth in this or not.” He does not believe in anthropogenic climate change despite the masses of evidence and studies in support but refuses to rule out the existence of chemtrails despite the complete absence of supportive evidence. Go figure.
If at all possible it got worse for the conservatives. TV3 discovered that the pictures of supporters in a conservative brochure were actually people in overseas stock photos and, shock horror, the legs in local conservative candidate Leighton Baker’s billboard “[w]hich of these legs would you rather vote for” were not his. Surely there is a commandment against this? Supporters of the legs in question would be voting for someone who was not actually a candidate.
And to round the weirdness off Colin Craig announced his undying affection for Sarah Palin. Apparently she took on the big oil companies in Alaska and bet them and we should have the same attitude in New Zealand. I wonder how John Key feels about this? It seems that his position on the oil companies is supine whereas Colin Craig wants a Hockey Mum approach to the industry.
With two days left to election day the choices are becoming stark. You can vote for the conservative nut job, the National candidate who seems to want to be the MP for another area, the apparently decent Green candidate who will not win or you can vote for Poto Williams who I would be proud to vote for. To all Green voters can I suggest that you hold your breath, vote strategically and party vote Green in 2014.
This election will be close. Be strategic.
Update: Comments will be moderated until 7 pm tomorrow because of election day restrictions.