07 October 2013

General local election voting guide

Given what a pain it was to vote for three different entities in Wellington, I thought I'd give my general approach to the local elections cross New Zealand.

1.  Anyone who claims affiliation to the Greens, Mana, Labour or City Vision is beyond the pale.  They all want more of your money, and want to control your property and your lives through intrusive bylaws.  Ignore them.

2.  Affordable City candidates want to control rates, give you more control over your property and leave peaceful people alone.  There are candidates in Auckland, Masterton, Porirua, Hutt City, Wellington and Invercargill.  In Auckland, select Stephen Berry for Mayor.  Tell your friends he isn't a typical candidate.  He doesn't have Parliamentary political party, business or union affiliations. 

3.  Anyone who advocates a big project funded by your rates should be ignored.

4.  Anyone who considers climate change, poverty or international issues as a priority should be ignored, they are not part of what local government should be involved in.

5. In some cases you are justified in voting for someone you wouldn't otherwise support to avoid evil and incompetence.  Unfortunately, in some cases you can't.  Cathy Casey's competitors are either watered down clones or lunatics.  However, the vile Richard Northey can be removed by voting for Denise Krum.  In Wellington, Helene Ritchie in the Northern Ward, has a record of appearing to act like a hysterical lunatic. Fortunately, you can tick not only Reagan Cutting, but Justin Lester and Jacob Toner to avoid her.  Peter Gilberd wants to do too much and Malcolm Sparrow wants amalgamation.

Christchurch I pity, because whilst the odious Bob Parker is not standing for Mayor, the choice is far from inspiring.  Lianne Dalziel is probably front runner, but it looks like Christchurch's earthquake has brought out the mad people, like Tubby Hansen.  

Finally, don't worry too much if you don't have anyone worth voting for.  Don't vote if you like.  The less electoral mandate this collection of petty fascists and control freaks have the better.  It is a legitimate decision in a liberal democracy to say "to hell with the lot of you", then when the leftwing local demagogues talk about how they "represent" the community, you can say they don't represent you.

Of course, if it gets you that wound up, then maybe next  time you should stand for Affordable City?

Wellington local election guide: Capital and Coast District Health Board

Of course I'd abolish it, and there are plenty of candidates for 7 places.

So there needs to be a strategy here.

1.  Avoid evil.  In this case Helene Ritchie, a leftwing harpy who is destructive, and Sue Kedgley (concealing her Green moniker for some reason) deserve to be avoided.

2.  Avoid the less than competent.

3. Avoid rent-seekers from unions or professional monopoly trade associations.

4.  Avoid those who don't understand the role of the DHB. Including those in the sector with apparent axes to grind.

5.  Select the analytically competent.

03 October 2013

Wellington local election voting guide: Regional Council

There are five councillors to be drawn from eight candidates in the Wellington constituency of the Wellington Regional Council, unfortunately.  I say unfortunately, because there are more than three candidates who are unelectable.  What I want from the regional council is to keep rates under control, more protection for property rights, minimal compliance costs, effective stewardship of waterways, cost-effective management of public transport and resistance to a supercity.  

I wont get that, at all.  To me it is a fair option to leave the whole lot blank, but that will give some succour to the amalgamation enthusiasts.  However, there is no decent anti-amalgamation ticket.  The candidacy is full of leftwing candidates, barring one, with the only matter as to whether you want to create a dysfunctional Regional Council full of nutters, or want to mitigate damage by keeping out the worst candidates.  I

What I'll get are...

Judith Aitken:  "committed to the long-term purposes of the RMA", "wants a comprehensive, integrated approach to development planning and energy-efficient urban design", "active support for insulating at least another 5000 homes" "support for young people in creative, high-tech start-up businesses".  She isn't the worst candidate.  She supports fare increases over rates increases for public transport.  WCC Watch thinks this is hypocrisy because of her "Gold Card" (but I don't see anyone on the left canning that).  Aitken was with Labour once.   From a harm mitigation point of view, rank her 2nd.   Yes, you've reached nearly the best candidate! Rank 2 or just give up now....

Paul Bruce: Like I said yesterday, eco-loon, who bikes everywhere and admits he is in the Green Party. He gets credit from me for two things, one is that he practices what he preaches (unlike the motorist Sue Kedgley) and the other is that he is genuinely an amiable chap.  However, as an eco-loon he is a light rail fetishist, would cover many of our roads with speed bumps and 30km/h speed limits, clog buses with people carrying bikes, somehow shift more freight onto rail and shipping (no, he can't do that), is anti-fracking and deep-sea oil exploration, and wants "community owned energy projects".  He wont control rates and his enthusiasm for banning things and regulating make him beyond the pale.  However, he is not singing the praises of local body amalgamation. Could I rank him?  No.  No Ranking.  I just can't endorse him.

Mike Fleming:  His great interest is future proofing infrastructure for an earthquake.  Fine, keeps him out of implementing the RMA, grand public transport schemes (he supports public transport, with larger park and ride railway stations, which is fine) and trying to save the planet by regulating Wellington.  Easily wins Rank 1

Sue Kedgley: Don't let this woman near power ever again. Fiction peddling, publicity seeking control freak. Vote for Paul Bruce over her any day.  Her parody Twitter account (@SueKedgleyMP) can't be too far from what she thinks.

Chris Laidlaw:  Says he is independent, but is Labour and one of the shortest term Labour MPs I know of, as he won the 1992 by-election when Fran Wilde stood down as Wellington Central MP, only to lose it to (then) National's Pauline Gardiner in 1993.  Awful, simpering, left-wing Marxist "liberal", who I was told is remarkably lazy.  The only reason to vote for him is to keep the two Greens out, so hold your nose, turn away and Rank 5

Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati:  As a Member of the Mana Party she probably thinks I'm being racist by rejecting her candidacy.  She wants to use more trolleybusses (sic) although it would help if she could spell. She doesn't like people paying for water ("it's a right" which of course means she wants to force everyone to pay for water, regardless of how much or little you use).  Free public transport for kids, which will increase obesity.  She wants to pay people more, regardless of performance, except for councillors and management. She wants to stop the Regional Council borrowing from banks, finally she wants to "nationalise" public transport, killing off the private sector so the Regional Council has a nice cozy monopoly of highly-paid unionised providers. Socialist, representing an avowedly racist party.  Don't rank

Daran Ponter: Incumbent councillor, ex. public servant who I met a couple of times.  Hard working and bright, but very much on the left.  He wants a referendum on a super city.  Good! He wants lower public transport fares, implying higher rates.  Bad!  He seems anti-Basin Reserve flyover which is a bit predictably childish (the last Labour Government funded umpteen flyovers).  However, for the greater good of keeping out the Greens, and because he is honest about his party affiliation I'm going to hold my nose and Rank 4.

Fran Wilde: We all know Fran was Labour, so why doesn't she admit it? I'm a bit bemused as to why she still cites homosexual law reform as part of her record.  Yes it is, and was perhaps her proudest achievement and justifiably so, but it WAS 1985 and has nothing to do with the Regional Council.  She supports a mega-city, which is a big reason to not give her first place, so Rank 3 because she is less left wing than Ponter or Laidlaw, but Fleming and Aitken need your vote more.

Now go have a stiff drink, and a bath.  You'll need it.

02 October 2013

Wellington local election voting guide; Onslow-Western Ward

3 councillors are to be elected from this ward, there are 12 to choose from.  So surely someone must be decent?

Well that is true.

Phil Howison deserves your positive vote to be ranked number 1.  He is on the Affordable Wellington ticket and is both intelligent and a thoroughly approachable, thoughtful, hard working and polite young man who is focused on keeping spending down by focusing the Council on its core services.  He wants processes streamlined and is opposed to "unnecessary restrictions" on businesses and residents.  Yes he was an active member of Libertarianz and was a candidate, but he's watered down his views somewhat (in fact rather too much, I'd like to see Phil push much harder for cutting rates and cutting local government).  Notwithstanding that, I endorse him as someone who has a clear position on ensuring Council minimises costs upon ratepayers and residents, and concentrates on doing its core business well.  Rank 1

The rest? Hmmm well...

01 October 2013

Wellington local election voting guide: Mayor

Yes, I get to vote in the local elections.  Better my vote than, well anyone else's really (look if you can't be arrogant about your own vote then don't bother).

So here's my run-down of the motley lot that are standing, and a motley lot it is.  I can't get enthused about almost any of the candidates.  So I figured since blogs are about venting one's opinion, I'd do a bit of my own.  Of course because voting is by STV you get to rank the candidates, which means you don't need to rank anyone you find particularly loathsome (after all being ranked 8th is worth more than not being ranked at all).

Remember, one of the most important things for Wellingtonians should be remembering what happened in Christchurch could happen again.  Wellington needs a Mayor and Council that can take on central government bureaucracy and be for private property rights.  It's a shame it doesn't have enough standing who do.