Vote Smart: Wellington

Written By: - Date published: 2:16 pm, October 29th, 2008 - 40 comments
Categories: election 2008, vote smart - Tags:

In Wellington Central and Ohariu-Belmont, left-wing voters have the opportunity to use their candidate votes wisely to help good left-wing candidates to victory, and keep out two conservative dinosaurs.

Wellington Central is a two-horse race between Labour’s Grant Robertson and National’s homophobic former ACT MP Stephen Franks. Wellington Central was a firmly Labour seat last election but the incumbent, Marian Hobbs, is retiring, and Robertson has a name recognition handicap compared to Franks. It could be a tight race. However, last election 3,700 voters gave their candidate vote to the Greens’ Sue Kedgley and another thousand went to micro Left parties’ candidates. If those voters keep their party vote Green but give their candidate vote to Robertson, as I will be doing, we’ll get a well-qualified Left MP and keep that bigot Franks out.

Ohariu-Belmont has been Peter Dunne’s fiefdom but Labour’s Charles Chauvel cut his lead from 12,000 to 8,000 last election. With greater name recognition this time, and National’s Katrina Shanks also taking votes from Dunne, the electorate is now potentially in play for Charles. If the 2,000 voters who gave their candidate vote to the Green candidate last election were to back Chauvel, we could get United Future out of Parliament altogether.

None of this is any criticism of the Green candidates but only the Labour candidates have a chance of winning. The choice is between Robertson and Chauvel or Franks and Dunne. Left-wing voters should back the left-wing candidates who have a chance of winning.

40 comments on “Vote Smart: Wellington”

  1. Sarah 1

    Well done. You’ve now resorted to personal attacks to get your points across.

    I think voters should just be honest and vote for the parties and people which they personally think will do a better job for their electorates. Rather than listen to Clinton’s “bigoted” rants.

  2. Hey “sarah” – are you Stephen Franks?

  3. Sarah 3

    Why Robinsod, i’m whoever you want me to be.

  4. DeeDub 4

    I bloody hate living in Dunn’s fiefdom. I would love to see him out of parliament but I don’t fancy Chauvels’ chances in reality. This is a very conservative electorate and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Nats tell their Ohariu-Belmont people to push a UF seat/Nat party vote agenda just to make sure Dunn gets over the line….

  5. higherstandard 5

    Of course it’s criticism of the Green party candidates – Make up your mind Clinton are you a Young Green or a Young Labour supporter – if you really and truly are a green why not encourage Labour voters to vote for the Green Party candidate ?

    [Tane: Um, dude, even Kedgley’s campaign team are quietly and not-so-quietly urging a vote for Robertson. Check out “Greens for Grant Robertson” group on Facebook.]

  6. higherstandard 6

    No sod I am

  7. Patrick 7

    HS – because the Green candidate has no chance of winning the seat, but both the major party candidates do. The logical choice for a Young Green would be to vote for Robertson to ensure they are not represented in parliament by a bigot who supports the death penalty and wants to build nuclear power plants.

  8. HS – even you ain’t as dumb as Franks.

    Sarah – I only date hot girls, not sad old men pretending to be chicks. Does you’re wife now about your fetish? Does she even care…

  9. higherstandard 9

    Patrick why do the Green candidates have no chance of winning the seat ?

    Do people in those electorates have no faith in the Green candidates, their policies and their ability to represent their electorate ?

  10. higherstandard 10

    Sod

    “Sarah – I only date hot girls, not sad old men pretending to be chicks.”

    Billy ?

  11. Lew 11

    HS: I think they have no faith at all in the Green candidates to represent their electorate if they don’t get elected.

    L

  12. Patrick 12

    Given Dunne’s announcement that he could not possibly work with Labour (wow, I am still amazed by that), and he wants to become one of Key’s multiple heads, Ohariu could see a significant protest vote going to Chauvel. I’m not certain, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me, and boy would it be a delicious irony.

  13. Matthew Pilott 13

    HS – why even try and run that line? I guess National has no faith in whatsisname to represent Epsom then. If you’ve come this far and you still don’t understand tactical voting then i guess there’s little hope for you. Do you miss FPP that much?

  14. Sarah 14

    But shouldn’t they try Lew their best to get their candidate elected? And it’s not impossible. Jeanette won Coromandel after all.

    Maybe Clinton will suggest Ron Mark in Rimutaka next.

  15. Anita 15

    If I still lived in Rongotai I’m not sure what I’d do with my electorate vote. King will win by a million miles and there are no worthy-and-broke candidate who needs a hand getting their deposit back (the best way to work out what to do with your vote if you’re in a safe seat).

    Ick!

  16. deemac 16

    Sue Kedgeley has good name recognition in Wellington but still stands no chance -not a hope in hell – of winning the electorate seat. She herself recognised this by repeatedly emphasising that she is asking for the Party vote. Obviously she can’t say “don’t cast your electorate vote for me” but that is the message – only yesterday she did a joint photo op with Grant. (Not sure if the Dom Post used any of the photos they took, as I can’t bear to buy the rag…)

  17. higherstandard 17

    Mat

    It might come as a huge surprise to you but maybe a lot of people in Epsom think RH represents them and their views well in parliament.

    Lew – indeed, but perhaps they just have no faith in the Green candidate full stop.

  18. Anita 18

    hs,

    Like many people who will tactically vote for Robertson my decision is based on an understanding that electorates are FPP (yuck!) and the fact that Stephen Franks is a bigot.

    I will, like many others, hold my nose and vote for Robertson because the other option is being represented by Stephen Franks.

    I wish it were not so; there are a couple of really good candidates in Wn Central I’d love to vote for, but this is the reality of the situation.

  19. Lew 19

    Sarah: Maybe they should. But the trade-off between principle and pragmatism is for each elector to make; there’s no need for them to embark upon a Quixotic campaign of fruitless idealism if they can see a more immediate goal which might be achieved.

    L

  20. higherstandard 20

    Anita

    Which is the problem with FPP and MMP – what about those other two options now would they have alleviated the need for people to vote for the person they don’t think is the best candidate ?

  21. Lew 21

    HS: Perhaps so.

    Sarah: Clinton (or someone else) might, if he thought Ron Mark was more friendly to Labour than to National. Remember that National have ruled out Winston, not NZ First. I don’t think that’s the current thinking about him.

    L

  22. HS. Then why don’t they vote for his party? Hide got ten times the candidate votes that ACT gt party votes in Epsom.

    The fact of all single-seat elections is that there are two, sometimes three, serious contenders. Voters should choose their favourite of the viable options, otherwise they are effectively giving a vote to the other person.

  23. Matthew Pilott 23

    It might come as a huge surprise to you but maybe a lot of people in Epsom think RH represents them and their views well in parliament

    Sure – that must extend to the candidiate, and a lot of National voters. It might surprise you, but a lot of people would simply vote Rodney to keep ACT in.

    Deemac – there was a photo of the two, might have been page two.

  24. Anita 24

    hs,

    Which is the problem with FPP and MMP – what about those other two options now would they have alleviated the need for people to vote for the person they don’t think is the best candidate ?

    Huh?

    MMP means that representation in parliament as a whole is proportional (with some caveats, some of which piss me off), which is a Good Thing (with the same caveats).

    The electorate seats as straight forward FPP, which means that we can be represented in parliament by a person who is not the majority’s preference. That sucks! Even if the majority of Wn Central voters prefer Robertson to Stephen Franks we can still end up with Stephen Franks. That is Bad and Wrong (no caveats).

  25. Roflcopter 25

    Vote smart indeed!

    Now that Dunne has basically ditched Labour, he’s sent a clear signal to the people of Ohariu-Belmont on the way to tactically vote where he can do the best.

    First, get Dunne elected as a MP, through the candidate vote.

    Second, get him in a position where he can do some good for his electorate in a position of power, by casting the party vote to National.

    Chauvel’s vote total is going to get absolutely murdered next weekend, as the people of Ohariu-Belmont flex their muscles…. power to the people.

    For the record, I hate Dunne. LOL

  26. Con 26

    Like Steve I’m also a voter in Wgtn Central and I’ll be voting for the Green Party and for the Labour candidate.

    There’s actually no good reason in general to vote “2 ticks” (i.e. for a party list and for an electorate candidate of the same party). It pays to consider all the electorate candidates carefully. Actually, to maximise the effect of your vote, you need to consider even voting for candidates of parties which you would never even consider giving yor party vote to!

    Imagine that National had a run a nice liberal candidate in Wellington Central instead of the vile ex-Act ultra-rightist Stephen Franks, and that Labour had run a right winger there (think Annette King). In that case, leftists in Wellington Central would have been well advised to vote for the National candidate! It may seem paradoxical, but that’s how MMP works. Every left-ish Nat candidate who gets in as an electorate MP is one less Nat off their party list, so voting for a “left” Nat candidate doesn’t increase their parliamentary numbers, it just changes the political composition of the Nat caucus, but moving it slightly to the left.

    In short, my advice to left voters is to look at the electorate candidates, discard those who have no hope of winning (e.g. Kedgley), and from the remaining candidates, vote for the one which is the more left wing RELATIVE to the (average) candidate on their party’s list.

    Of course, if there are candidates whose parties may dip under the threshold, it’s more complicated; vote for that candidate if they’re in the left bloc, or if they’re in the right bloc, then vote for the candidate which has the best chance of defeating them.

    I really hoped that the Nats would stand a liberal in Wellington Central, and that Labour would stand a right-winger, just so that I’d be able to say that I’d once voted for a National candidate, but sadly no.

  27. Anita 27

    Con,

    Yes!!!! 🙂 If Blumsky hadn’t been so clearly above the party list cut off I would’ve probably voted for him, bringing him in to the Nat caucus and pushing their lowest ranked list candidate off would have lead to more socially progressive conscience votes.

    This is not remotely true for Stephen Franks who could be voting with Gordon Copeland and Taito Philip Field and Destiny Church.

  28. deemac 28

    the idea that the odd (in Blumsky’s case, very odd) “soft” Tory will alter the overall orientation of the National Party or its caucus is ludicrous. When push comes to shove, they side with the bosses against the rest of us. The fact that the occasional individual may be charming is irrelevant.

  29. Anita 29

    deemac,

    I didn’t say he would have altered the National Party, I said on conscience votes he voted for socially progressive causes more often than most of the rest of his caucus. For example only he was one of the 12 (of 48) National MPs who voted against the Baldock/Copeland Marriage (Gender Clarification) Amendment Bill.

  30. higherstandard 30

    Anita I was referring to an STV type option for electorate votes.

  31. Anita 31

    hs,

    STV is designed for large multi-MP electorates (e.g. the Tasmanian system). So our options are either the existing single MP electorates using a different preferential voting system or multi-MP electorates using STV.

    I suspect that a single MP PV system is probably a better fit for NZ electorate seats, but I could be persuaded… 🙂

  32. Con 32

    deemac –

    The fact that individual candidates may be charming is indeed irrelevant, but their political position is something else.

    Sure, the National Party may represent the bosses in general terms, but don’t forget that neither the National Party nor the capitalist class they represent are entirely homogeneous. If I could stack the National seats in the House with Blumskys and purge it of Frankses, then I’d be well pleased with myself.

    Some people believe the electorate vote is all about choosing someone local to represent your local interests. I’m not so concerned about that – I’m more concerned about class interests rather than parochial ones. So to me, the value of the electorate vote is really only in the (minor) influence it has on the composition of the various parliamentary party caucuses. Oh, and also in the influence it has on the 5% threshold.

  33. Dom 33

    Roflcopter – the seat is called Ohariu now.

    Ohariu voter here. This is an electorate with a personality disorder – those of us in the Hutt (Korokoro and Maungarakei) have little or nothing in common with the Tawa, Johnsonville and Newlands side and similarly the Ngaio and Khandallah sets.

    The seat is definitely winnable by another party but not at this election. Dunne will win this time around (with no help from me, I will be flexing my considerable muscles to vote two ticks for Labour!) but if either National or Labour targetted this seat over the next three years I suspect Dunne would be fighting to keep this seat.

  34. Byron 34

    But I want Franks to win Wellington Central- Don Franks that is.

  35. Pascal's bookie 35

    HS Tactical voting of this sort is actually similar to a preferential voting system like STV. The elector is recognising that that their vote will not count if they give it to their top candidate, so they are choosing to allocate it to another one to achieve some other preference.

  36. Scribe 36

    So some of you people in Ohariu are going to vote for a guy who comes out with lines like these?

    “A Vote for Peter D is a vote for John Key”, says Charles Chauvel.

    “Peter Dunne doesn’t care who’s PM, as long as he still gets to ride in a Ministerial BM”, Chauvel said.

    WOW!!

  37. Ari 37

    Given Dunne’s announcement that he could not possibly work with Labour (wow, I am still amazed by that), and he wants to become one of Key’s multiple heads, Ohariu could see a significant protest vote going to Chauvel. I’m not certain, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me, and boy would it be a delicious irony.

    It’s quite unlikely. We’re a bit of a National/UF stronghold here, sadly.

    And Scribe- yes, I’d vote for practically anyone but Act or Winston to get rid of Peter Dunne 😛 I voted Green/Chauvel last time and I intend to do so again.

  38. Chris G 38

    “A Vote for Peter D is a vote for John Key’, says Charles Chauvel.

    “Peter Dunne doesn’t care who’s PM, as long as he still gets to ride in a Ministerial BM’, Chauvel said.

    True and True… whats the problem, Scribe?

    Go Chauvel! What troubles me is there must be a decent cohort of Labour party votes in Ohariu ticking Dunne as MP.

    Ohariu-Belmont 2005: 14,720 Labour Party votes
    9,142 Charles Chauvel votes (!) Whats going on people!

    Dunnes majority is 7000 odd. take the 5000 labour voters add some of the 2000 green candidate voters. you got a close race.

    Im from Ohariu but cos I’m studying in Dunedin I’m listed in Dunedin North which is pete hodgsons guaranteed seat. Wish I had enrolled back to Ohariu to get in on the fun.

  39. Chris G 39

    Ari,

    I dont think we qualify as a national/uf ‘Stronghold’

    2005 party votes Ohariu-Belmont:

    Labour: 14,720
    National: 16,042

    However with the boundaries Belmont is now gone and I’m gonna assume their pretty Labour up there. But haven’t they added some parts in Tawa? That tends to be pretty Labour.

  40. tom boyes 40

    Chauvel has worked hard – has run a good campaign so far and has ccertainly been putting the work in. I went to one of the public meetings last week – in Ngaio at the Town Hall – it was packed and he performed well with a good pitch to an economically pretty well-off but socially liberall audience of undecided voters – judging by the comments of those around me. He was easily the most impressive of the candidates. SHanks is unimpressive but the Nats always do well up here anyway. The comments about teh Ministerial BM and the vote for Dunne being one for Key are actually spot on and a lot of us feel that way – if people vote strategically this time there could be a surprise result…

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