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Low value votes in local body election

  • September 19th, 2010

We had a family voting session this evening. Between us we could just about muster enough personal knowledge of candidates to get through the Council voting with confidence, but even drawing heavily on the candidate profile booklet I feel cheapened by the few votes cast for DHB and Regional Council candidates.

There is no reliable media coverage of the performance of individuals on those bodies. One only hears accidentally about who are the passengers on those bodies, or even the nutters.

There is something deeply wrong with a system that pretends there is value in votes cast for or against people of whom one has never heard, or if you have heard, of whom you have no recollection whether it was favourably or otherwise. Yet I suspect that I would be among those most likely to know or to have heard of candidates.

The money spent on encouraging low grade votes in local authority elections is even more wasted than money spent for the purpose in central government elections.

We are lucky nevertheless in Wellington's Lambton Ward. There are enough high calibre candidates to cast at least three votes without regret. Ian McKinnon was obvious, and John Bishop and Adam Cunningham have both impressed me in candidate presentations. I know John and believe he would make a good councillor. I've heard similar praise for Adam.

If they had not been there I might even have cast a vote for Iona Pannett, just as a thank you for sticking up for dog owners. But the risk of impoverishing ourselves with nutty Green sentiment for  trains ('light rail') ruled it out.



Ian McKinnon is enormously hardworking and a wonderful councillor. The coverage of the Lambton Ward in the Wellingtonian was a travesty of accurate and impartial journalism. The idea that Iona Pannet led while Ian assisted is just a gratuitious insult. Ian doesn't endorse me or any other candidate, but I am certainly free to endorse him and I do so wholeheartedly


There is a developing trend down here in Canterbury for Candidates to stand for various positions.
That is stand for Mayor, Council, Health board, local ward.  The idea is that the voter gets familiar with the candidate when reading profiles. It seems to work. A person not in the running for Mayor gets higher ranking below.
I notice Farrar in his column says that we should restrict multiple option candidacy. That is Mayor candidate can not stand for Council and so on.
the idea i
The idea is that  

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