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Left voting guide to DCC elections

Written By: - Date published: 11:13 am, September 25th, 2010 - 55 comments
Categories: democratic participation, local body elections - Tags:

A reader has sent us a Lefty’s guide to voting in the Dunedin City Council elections. With the huge numbers of candidates and the relatively small amount of information we get on them, this kind of guide is really useful. If anyone else wants to put together a voting guide for their local bodies we’ll (almost certainly) publish it.

Perhaps next time round we’ll try to organise guides nationwide.

[lprent: I pulled the PDF off the site. As was pointed out in comments:

I believe that publishing a simulated ballot in that form is illegal under Section122(1)(b) of the Local Government Electoral Act. .

I don’t think that this particular use is what that particular section was designed to prevent. However the language of the section of the Local Government Act directly covers having this facsimile available on site.

Of course the actual voting paper facsimile is in the US and there would be other complications in pursuing a charge. However the policy of this site is to follow the stated intent of legislation unless there is a clear causal need to violate an idiotic law – which is not the case here.

If whoever sent the PDF would care to make the same thing without using an image of the voting paper, I’ll be happy to replace it. ]

55 comments on “Left voting guide to DCC elections”

  1. comedy 1

    This is a fucking disgrace !!!

    Nothing about the candidates at all, just vote like this we know best – [settle down — r0b] !!

    • Marty G 1.1

      i agree it would be better with a description of the people ranked. But at least someone’s had a crack at doing it.

      no-one is under any obligation to follow the guide.

      if i was in Dunedin. I would look at the names ranked and then google them. If they seemed alright by me I would go for it.

      That’s the difference between a guide and a diktat.

      • Jim Nald 1.1.1

        Cool! I am pointing out this guide to friends, family and colleagues there.

        If there are similar guides for Auckland, Christchurch, etc … let me know and I’ll email and share them with contacts.

        captcha: expanded

    • Shane Gallagher 1.2

      This is a crazy listing – okay I am a tiny bit biased because I am running – but the fact that I am the only trade unionist who is standing and stating that I am a trade unionist on all my literature and I am not listed? But Paul Hudson is? Paul Hudson, John Bezett, Andrew Whiley, Jonathan Usher – these guys are all National or right wingers. What gives?
      Sam Mann is not listed – he is a trade unionist and a well known left winger, and there are a lot of others not on the list who are on the left wing like Hendrik Koch, who is a well known local activist.
      I do not know who has put this up, but it is ill-researched and ill-informed to the extreme. Why don’t you try to contact the local left activists to find out. Someone who actually knows the local scene properly. Whoever put this up does not know what they are talking about.

      • Loota 1.2.1

        I notice The Standard Eddie mentions that David Clark won the Dunedin North Labour selection today (and by inference not the union backed nominee and trade unionist Glenda Alexander). OK that is all about national politics not local but perhaps there is some relevance.

        [lprent: Fixed your incorrect statement. ]

        • lprent 1.2.1.1

          A number of the authors (like myself) are involved with Labour. We are pretty interested in selections into our more organized electorate organizations as well as the list.

          There are other authors that support the greens and various obscure organisations. However they’re unlikely to win electorates, so posts on them tend to be about list selections.

          The union influence in the Labour party has always been there. However it is substantially overrated by scare mongerers like DPF and others. Why is that whenever a selection is made it always gets pushed into this idiotic frame of union vs non union. I’ve never been in a union myself. I also haven’t particularly noticed the distinction drawn by the rwnj inside the party.

          The distinction that I notice making a difference is between the talkers and the doers.

          • Swampy 1.2.1.1.1

            Historically trade unions are the people on the ground for the Labour party and their most visible presence outside the MPs and LECs etc. It is still true today although for some decades the leadership has made a great effort to widen the party’s appeal.

            • lprent 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Union members, people employed as union staff, and ex-union staff are active in the LEC’s, on the ground, and involved in most of the projects I do. Similarly I find quite a large number of IT people (or ex-IT people) involved in the same things. In neither case is it a requirement of their employment.

              It isn’t like most unionists expend their efforts for Labour. It is a small minority, just as it is a small minority of IT people.

              Your point is what? My take on it is that you have absolutely no idea how a voluntary organisation operates. You’d prefer to wank with conspiracy theories instead rather than look at the time and effort that people are willing to contribute.

              I’d hate to hear your opinions on other largely voluntary organisations like womans refuge, the SPCA, rotary, that operate in much the same way…

              But then I suspect that you’re a talker of bullshit rather than a doer. That is what I see when I see your comment streams.

              • comedy

                yes because those voluntary organisations like womans refuge, the SPCA, rotary, are just so similar to a political party ……….. rolls eyes, farts and potters off for a crap.

                [lprent: They are almost exactly the same in the way that they operate from my observations of each of those organisations.

                Ummm also didn’t you got banned for a day (I saw this morning), and the period isn’t up. Extending for a futher two days and adding it to the auto-moderation this time. ]

                • comedy

                  No I was put into moderation for yesterday only

                  [lprent: I count a day as being 24 hours for short bans. ]

  2. Ed 2

    It is however a guide. Yes I would prefer to know political affiliations, and brief details about each of the recommended people, but this is better than most areas have. Perhaps this discussion is an opportunity for those in Dunedin to explain why these people, and the order of preferences, have been selected.

    I would like a similar list for Wellington!

  3. Loota 3

    I guess having a list like this allows people to focus their minds, start checking out candidate’s websites and facebook pages etc.

    At least this guide does not exist in a vacuum, in Dunedin every voter pack came out with a candidates guide. I didn’t count exactly but there were probably 70-80 candidates detailed. But it really is too much material unless you are given some clues on who to focus on.

    • comedy 3.1

      Clues ? Like “put your x here”

      If you’re too fucking stupid to read their backgrounds and make up your own mind don’t fucking vote.

      • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1

        You’ve obviously never been in Oz on election day, comedy. The handing out of voter lists is a long standing tradition there because they use a ranking voting system and most voters prefer to take the advice of their preferred party as to where choice 2, 3, 4 etc. should go. Makes it quicker and easier, if you trust the party that has compiled the card.

        It’s not compulsory and its an aid to democracy, comedy, so stick your frothing outrage up yer date. Mate.

        • comedy 3.1.1.1

          It’s about as honest as the selection of Faafoi in Mana – [how old are you comedy, that you think mindless profanity is such a cool thing to do? Do grow up, would you. Putting you in moderation for the day — r0b]

        • Lew 3.1.1.2

          “Makes it quicker and easier, if you trust the party that has compiled the card.”

          This is a great point — and it’s also what’s missing here: trust. Who compiled this list? What are their motivations? Has The Standard* done any sort of due diligence before endorsing it?

          Given that the rankings here aren’t uncontroversial, I think people would be bloody idiots to follow it without some understanding of its provenance; and I think The Standard is foolish for endorsing it without apparent vetting. If there has been due diligence done on it, then I think the post could benefit from seeing it.

          It’s not a disgrace, it’s just stupid.

          L

          * Used advisedly, since that’s whose name appears as ‘author’.

          • lprent 3.1.1.2.1

            We haven’t ‘endorsed it’. Where exactly did you dig that up from? Your imagination? We seldom do anything as a group, this is a cooperative not a collective.

            In this case “The Standard” is used in exactly the way that was intended. In the backend it is called “notices and features” but that was too long – so we just shoved “The Standard” on it because we couldn’t come up with a name for it.

            It is an ‘author’ that is intended for publishing material that is not an opinion by an individual author on the site and is usually something that someone outside the site has published and we are repeating. We use it for OpenMike, Drinking Liberally, various events, interesting documents, etc etc.

            In this case, someone wrote a guide to how they view the local elections in Dunedin. You can take it or leave it as you please. If someone else manages to publish something else about local elections and we feel like it, then we’re quite likely to link to that as well.

            Roughly translated – pull your head in, you’re looking like a bit of a dick.

            • Lew 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Lynn,

              The list is titled ‘a lefty’s guide to voting’, but we have to take their word for it, because that status is disputed. If you don’t consider “this kind of guide is really useful” without any research or qualification an endorsement than I’m really not sure what to say, other than: anyone with an axe to grind or a barrow to push, submit your voting guides to The Standard, they’ll get published with a similarly favourable statement — not an endorsement, course not — no questions asked.

              Maybe I’ll submit one suggesting votes for Banks, Prendergast and Parker just as a wind-up. After all, if you’re not endorsing them, just saying “here’s some information, do what you like”, then you’d have no problem publishing them, right?

              L

              • lprent

                I’ve just been reading and marking the papers for Auckland. I’m not exactly a novice in politics – but I have bugger all idea who most of these people are. The waffle that comes it it is pathetic and patently self-serving.

                There was a site in Wellington that listed information on the local candidates, but nothing up here. Presumably people will read this PDF in the same way I would. They’d look at the assessments on the candidates that they know and use that to assess the competence of the author. If I was still in Dunedin, I’d probably read this document as being helpful to make my own assessments.

                Trust peoples judgement. They will assess the validity of peoples published choices themselves, and that will assist in their decision making.

                But I’d find virtually ANYTHING more useful than having effectively nothing which is the case in Auckland. I’ve always wanted to have external assessments (right or wrong) on candidates. In fact I own a domain auck.org.nz that I brought in 2004 specifically for the task of setting up a site to do just that – but alas I have never had the time to do anything with it.

                The only issue with getting a Banks/Prendegast etc spoof up would be having one of us bestir themselves enough to put a post up. Of course that gets to be a high barrier in the case you describe.

                BTW: The comments section is open – write comments about why you think that the guide is right/wrong. People will presumably read those as well.

  4. Loota 4

    Just took a look at the Guide again and its got Paul Hudson as no.3. But a lot of people in DN think that despite his business experience he’s an integral part of the mess of debt the DCC has got itself into. Not the best choice for a new DCC with a new approach.

    captcha: problem

  5. Jim Nald 5

    Hmm .. the more it annoys ‘comedy’, the more it is a good idea.

    I’m delighted there is such a guide for voters to work from and work with. People can now read the booklet of info about candidates that comes with the postal ballot, alongside this guide, and make their own choices.

    Well done! Now, where is a similar guide for Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, etc …

  6. Southernrata 6

    I’m a lefty, but I personally have a lot of time for Paul Hudson. On the other hand, there are some big gaps – Shane Gallagher, Hendrik Koch, Sam Mann and Geraldine Tait should all be up there for starters. So I wouldn’t call it a useful guide, just one person’s under-researched opinion.

    • Anton Angelo 6.1

      I completely agree, Koch, Gallagher, Tait and Mann are all the sort we need to deal to the old boy’s club in Dunedin.

      I like the idea of slates: it does give you something to work from, especially to get new people into positions.

      I also agree marking Chin down as a preference is a bit of a mistake – but better him than the other loonies standing for Mayor I suppose.

      • Southernrata 6.1.1

        By “slate” Anton, I presume you mean Community Vision, for which Hendrik Koch and Geraldine Tait are running, and a couple of others I don’t know personally. But they are a definitely a left wing environmental team, running on a recycled shoestring, and chaired by Alliance co-leader Kay Murray. The Greater Dunedin team is a bit more mixed, but does commit to strong sustainability and social responsibility principles, and Shane, Sam Mann and Jinty MacTavish are particularly strong candidates from that perspective, as outlined above.

        http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/112510/039progressive-left039-group-local-body-race
        http://www.facebook.com/pages/Community-Vision-Dunedin/137746102926320
        http://www.greaterdunedin.co.nz/

      • sts 6.1.2

        Would not put Aaron Hawkins in the category of loonies. His politics are good, and along with Cull was the most credible of the candidates (including Chin) on recent Channel 9 coverage. He appears to be “left” and in fact criticised Cull’s asinine comments of “cutting council bureaucracy” (aka cutting staff)- Hawkins has commented (more in response to loony Lee) that there is no benefit in throwing another 300 or 200 or 100 people onto the dole by cutting council staff numbers. He also talked of opposition to ECA as a youg fella, so appears to have union affinity. Along with Gallagher, McTavish, he is young and credible, and worth a vote for council.

        Also, note Lynne Tozer is also active in her union(TEU) ; as is Barry Simpson- who mentions this in his profile (PPTA and CTU involvement)

  7. Malcolm 7

    Seconded. The guide actually suggests ranking Peter Chin for mayor FFS! The person who put this together clearly doesn’t have a clue.

    • Jim Nald 7.1

      I understand there will only be one mayor for Dunedin, so I read the guide as putting Chin further away from having another term

      • mcflock 7.1.1

        he’s in option 3. To hell with that. Blank on my form.

        Somewhat intrigued about its conformity with electoral rules, as well -because it’s supporting specific candidates, doesn’t it need the name & address of the distributor/creator?

        • Loota 7.1.1.1

          Maybe it keeps Lee Vandervis one step further away, gentlemen? BTW good to see the debate here on the individual candidates, this is what its all about!!!

  8. Jim Nald 8

    “Perhaps next time round we’ll try to organise guides nationwide”

    why not this time? Auckland and Christchurch guides here and now should be actioned

  9. axeman 9

    Auckland’s Lefty guide to voting includes enrolling 70 odd people from the sub-continent in one house in South Auckland. And then get them all to vote for Len ‘Trotsky’ Brown

  10. Shane 10

    Semi on topic; For candidates you don’t like/like the least, is it better to leave them unranked, or to rank them last?

    • Marty G 10.1

      no rank. because there’s at least a chance that you’re ranking could help them if they are ranked.

      no ranking means no chance that your vote will help elect someone you oppose.

  11. prism 11

    What do others here think of a hospital employee in management I think, standing as a hospital board member? Or a policeman to the Council? I think that enabling measures were put through not long ago allowing for such positions.

    I think myself it is better not to have people who are in positions of power and control over distribution of amenities and coercion on community boards. They are not just ordinary citizens as they have powers beyond those of most of us.

  12. I had a good chuckle when you endorsed Olive McRae. She is an anti-fluoride campaigner and Social Credit candidate.

    http://uncensored.co.nz/2008/10/25/olive-mcrae-standing-for-the-democrats-for-social-credit-in-dunedin-north/

    • mcflock 12.1

      She’s still a better option than Guest, though.

    • Loota 12.2

      So, because Social Credit advocates ideas around the distribution of power throughout society, endorses a true democracy (not a virtual plutocracy or oligarchy), opposing the concentration of wealth and influence in small pockets of society, Olive McRae can’t be taken seriously? For real?

      • Swampy 12.2.1

        Funny money mean anything? Any other weird SC policies you forgot to mention?

        • Swampy 12.2.1.1

          Which means they have similar credibility to one our candidates for the Christchurch mayoralty

          http://51st-state.com/

          • millsy 12.2.1.1.1

            Piss off Swampy, I am sick of people like you who want to deprive future generations of the council amenities that they enjoyed

        • Loota 12.2.1.2

          Funny money is exactly what we have under the current system. A tiny amount of actual Government issued money (fiat money) in circulation, with tens of billions of credit created dollars magically appearing literally out of thin air due to bank loans and misuse of the “fractional reserve” system.

    • lprent 12.3

      “The Standard” doesn’t endorse. It is simply the “notices and features” we use to publish other peoples notices and features with or to run the (semi-)automatic processes like OpenMike.

  13. outofbed 13

    Wellington…
    Celia Wade Brown for Mayor
    Iona Pannett for Lampton ward
    Paul Bruce for regional
    Robert Ashe for Hutt

    • comedy 13.1

      Yes vote for these people because an anonymous person says so.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        Actually you vote for these people once you have looked through the short lists to help focus your mind and to help focus your research.

        Saves you from having to go through the grind of alphabetically (*groan*) checking everyone out you know?

  14. Paul Campbell 15

    Just a quick note to the people who run the Standard and to those publishing the document (Hudson? are you guys kidding?) – I believe that publishing a simulated ballot in that form is illegal under Section122(1)(b) of the Local Government Electoral Act. If you want to publish ‘lefty’ recommendations you’re best to come up with a different way to portray them – and of course include more actual lefty candidates and fewer businessmen.

    [lprent: Good call. I’m pulling the PDF off the site. ]

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