Since Sept 4, Bob Parker, according to the polls, has reversed his fortunes, going from a likely one-term mayor to a council colossus. He has been portrayed as a steady hand on the tiller, while CCC staff worked incredibly hard to restore services to the damaged areas. Meanwhile, Jim has largely stayed out of the limelight, working hard behind the scenes, continuing the advocacy for Christchurch that has seen Wigram/Sydenham return him as their MP since 1984. All the while, false statements and fallacies surrounding him have come and gone.
Parker has now, according to his own comments, abandoned campaigning in favour of focusing on rebuilding Christchurch. This is an incredibly arrogant position to take – however distasteful campaigning might feel in the aftermath of such a disaster, Parker owes it to the people of Christchurch to be able to make an informed decision – the alternative is withdraw from the race to focus on early rebuilding and the handover.
OTOH, Jim has continued his campaign, although toned down, he has and is continuing to meet with the people of this city.
But fear not, Anderton, whilst the underdog according to current polls, has a number of things in his favour:
– He is a recognised politician, unlike less previously visible 2007 2021 Mayoral opponent Megan Woods, who gained a significant number of votes considered.
– Many Anderton voters will be anti-Parker votes, because they are upset about what is happening to our city – Anti-voters tend to more motivated to vote than pro-voters.
– Anderton is supported by the 2021 People’s Choice team, which has a huge number of volunteers out and about ready to corral votes.
– Part of Christchurch already has Anderton as their elected representative, and have experience with his advocacy skills.
– Those who have not suffered temporary memory loss from the quake, will know that this council has been unpopular with both ratepayers and other voters for its lack of consultation, closed door approach, and lack of transparency.
– Parker remains unapologetic for the decisions made during this term, including the Henderson purchases, 24% rent increases on council owned housing.
This is not to say that it will not be close. Don’t forget to vote.