Monday, October 10, 2016

Local body roundup

Local body election results were announced on Saturday, and Labour seems to have had a good run, capturing the mayoralty of our three largest cities. So, I guess we can expect Nick Smith to threaten them with dictatorship then. Locally, morally bankrupt rugby meathead Grant Smith was re-elected by a landslide, capturing 95% of valid ballots. Note the valid there - his only competitor, convicted child-beater and Robert Chambers parody Ross Barber was outpolled by those who submitted blank ballots. Which I guess shows that a reasonable chunk of Palmerston North want real competition in their mayoral elections.

For city council, the real winner was Green Party candidate Brent Barrett, who came second in the poll and was elected in the first round. He deserved to - his people doorknocked 2,500 homes (including me, twice). His was the only campaign which knocked on my door, and if that reflects a difference in overall campaign strategies, I guess it paid off. Meanwhile, Labour got only one of their four official candidates elected, but there's another couple who simply didn't campaign openly. So, not a bad run for the left in Palmerston North.

For Horizons (aka the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council), anti-fluroide nutter Rachel Keedwell topped the poll. I guess people were willing to overlook that for her strong stance on a clean river. She was joined by Wiremu Te Awe Awe, another clean water candidate, but the two useless incumbents got re-elected. Bugger.

Elsewhere, Christchurch elected four clean water candidates to ECan. That's great, but due to government gerrymandering and an only part-elected council, they'll be outvoted by un-elected pollution advocates appointed by Nick Smith. It also looks like good news in Hawke's Bay, where disputes over the Ruataniwha dam have seen an anti-dam majority elected. Hopefully this means that stupid, polluting project will finally be buried.

Many of the results were distorted by outdated and unfair election systems like the block-vote. The time window for getting STV in place for the next election is rather narrow - around 6 months by petition, or 18 by motion - so if you want to organise a local bush for a better voting system in your area, I'd advise starting now.