You’d hardly know there was a local body election campaign aside from election hoardings up around the place.
Besides the widespread disillusionment with politics and politicians (“They’re all shit” said one woman to me at the Otara market yesterday) there are other media driven circuses which offer more entertainment such as the America’s Cup, the rugby tests and the Labour leadership contest each of which has been given copious coverage well in excess of any democratic local body debate.
In the case of the Auckland mayoralty where (declaration of interest – I’m standing as the Mana Movement candidate) the campaign has been dominated by a vacuum of intelligent debate.
As I see it, and as the public increasingly perceives it, the campaign is very much a battle between Len Brown’s record as a worthy representative of the 1% and Mana’s big bold ideas to challenge inequality and make a dramatic difference to the lives of families in low and middle income communities.
To illustrate the point I’ll leave you to consider this comparison:
In a John Minto led council
In a Len Brown led council
|Free buses and trains, no new roads, an end to traffic congestion||Expensive buses and trains, more roads, more traffic congestion|
|Build 20,000 affordable council rental homes||Build 39,000 unaffordable homes|
|Rent Controls – affordable housing||Market rents – unaffordable housing|
|Glen Innes: Stop the redevelopment – housing for low-income families||Glen Innes: Evict low-income families -more housing for the wealthy|
|Living wage for all council employees and in all council contracts||Living wage “in principle” for council employees|
|End contracting of council services – cut out the middle men||Keep contracting council services – more money to the middle men|
|Council initiatives to provide jobs||No council initiatives on jobs|
|Standing with the port workers||Standing with the port company bully|
|Income related rates – fair to everyone||Property based rates – unfair to people on fixed incomes|
|Scrap council charges||Keep hammering low-income families with water, rubbish and universal charges|
|No more pokies for the casino||230 more pokies and 40 more gaming tables|
|Rates burden reduced on low and fixed income families||Rates burden increased on low and middle income families – lower rates for businesses|
|Community power to close pokies, liquor, fast food and loan-shark operations||Community “consultation” but no community power.|
|Sustainable community renewal||Unsustainable growth – one million more people in next 30 years.|
|Palestinian solidarity – end Veolia contract||No Palestinian solidarity – keep Transdev contract|
|A Mayor for the people||A Mayor for big business|
Authorised by John Minto, 4 Ethel Street, Morningside, Auckland.