The most boring election known to human kind is over, and it’s been a sprawling failure for democracy (barely 40% voted) and it’s been the dullest (nothing much will really change).
Local Government NZ spent 8 months trying to get the participation rate up, they failed. Sack the lot of them alongside the clowns at the Electoral Commission.
The voting system is rigged against poor people, I’ve pointed this out a thousand bloody times, (you can read how our electoral system stops poor people from voting and the solutions here) and the same reasons generating apathy are impacting local elections.
Without a major rethink of how we are keeping the poor out of the voting process, our electoral participation rates will continue to meltdown and the rich will continue to pass policy that enables the powerful. This is an issues that only burns bright for 2 weeks after the results are in and is then forgotten until the next 3 years.
Goff won (of course), Minto built a good core group of activists for the 2017 election, the forgettable Labour bloke in Wellington is the Mayor of a dying city (who cares who runs bloody Wellington) and the Spinoff and Transport Blog will be crying into their soy latte’s that Mike Lee won. Showing their true political colours too early was a strategic mistake for The Spinoff. Their charm only lasts if you think they aren’t right wing. Poorly played by the blue millennials, that will come to bite them in the arse in their political coverage of the election next year.
The Left have spanked the Right across the country not because the Left were far better organised but because the Right were so greedy and more keen on fighting each other for power than working together. It seems the constant winning in the national political arena has breed an arrogance that is fuelling regional political frustrations in local politics. The fact that there were 3 right wing candidates standing in Auckland highlights how vicious the internal power struggles have become.
Chloe Swarbrick of course is the real winner here. Utterly ignored by the media until Wallace Chapman and Waatea 5th Estate started interviewing her, Swarbrick has shown to be an incredible candidate and a real new voice for progressive politics. Radio NZ, The Nation, Q+A and the NZ bloody Herald should all hang their heads in shame over the way they censored and cut Chloe Swarbrick out of the early political process. The Herald hysterically even did a piece called ‘what next for Chloe Swarbrick‘ – the Herald hadn’t even included her in their break down of candidates until they were embarrassed into giving her some coverage.
First thing the local councillors should do is demand real power. One of the reasons not voting in local elections is justified is because our actual democratic representatives have bugger all real power when it comes to local government. This means the old boys network of vested interest land bankers call the shots. without real power the democratic process is just a facade.