Friday, September 16, 2005

Candidate roundup

It's the eve of Election '05. If political parties were going to provide the interested public with web site pictures and profiles of their candidates, they should have done so by now. I grade each political party according to how well they have achieved this simple task.

99 MP **
The 99 MP Party has only two candidates, but they don't tell us who their candidates are or say anything about them. But you will find pictures of both if you're prepared to look.

ACT ***
A nice new web site which is good in parts. The good parts are where they have pictures and profiles of their electorate candidates on their electorate pages. The bad parts are where they have no picture, no profile, and the candidate is not named or is incorrectly named or pictured. Taranaki-King Country candidate Richard Steele, for example, is a group of cows. North Shore? "Your ACT candidates are Deborah Coddington MP and Nick Kearney," says ACT. In fact, Deborah Coddington isn't standing.

ALCP ***
The ALCP have got their act together, sort of, in time for the election. Their web site has a nice new look and feel, and features pictures and profiles of their six electorate candidates. For the seven remaining list only candidates, "profiles and photos in progress," promises the ALCP.

Alliance *
The Alliance has a list of its electorate and list candidates. No candidate profiles. There are a handful of candidate photos on the "Spokespeople" page, which is broken, as it has been for months.
"Warning: mysql_close(): 6 is not a valid MySQL-Link resource in /home/www/alliance/displayinfo.php3 on line 15," says the Alliance.

Anti-Capitalist Alliance *
The Anti-Capitalist Alliance have a web site, last updated 12/06/05. No candidate profiles, no candidate pictures. No incentive.

Christian Heritage ***
Christian Heritage have pictures and profiles for all their candidates. Can't have been too difficult, they have only 6 candidates this time. Good effort.

Communist League
Two candidates, no web site. Poor collective effort.

Democrats **
Twenty nine candidates, a short blurb about each one, only two candidate photos on a different page. Their "official Web Portal" is not as impressive as it sounds.

Destiny NZ *****
Forty two candidates, forty two profiles, forty two pictures. Identical suits and identical head tilt angles. Excellent work.

Direct Democracy ***
32 candidates, 22 candidate photos, 11 candidate profiles. Prize for the candidate with the best middle name: Thankyoufornotbreeding.

Equal Values
One candidate, no party list, no photo, no profile.

Green ****
A good effort. 55 out of 57 candidates pictured. Prize for the candidate with the best wild, staring eyes.

Human Rights
Two candidates, no party list, no web site.

Labour ****
Pictures of all 81 Labour candidates. And, to swell the surplus even further, featured on Labour's new candidates page are 7 "candidates" who are neither on the party list nor standing for an electorate: Grant Duffy, Erin Ebborn-Gillespie, Ghazala Anwar, Kelly-Ann Harvey, Ai Lian Su, Paul Gibson, Camille Nakhid.

Libertarianz ****
28 candidates, 23 pictures, 22 profiles. Hmm, not bad.

Maori ***
53 candidates, 30 pictures, 22 profiles. Hmm, not good. Prize for the candidate with the smallest picture.

National *****
65 candidates, 65 pictures, 65 profiles. Top stuff.

Economic Euthenics
One candidate, no party list, no web site.

NZ First **
There's a party list, but profiles and pictures only of the 13 existing MPs. Hey, what did you expect? It's all about Winston. It's not about Brent.

NZ Family Rights
18 candidates, a party list, but no web site.

NZ Republicans ****
2 candidates, 2 pictures, 2 profiles. Excellence on a small scale.

One NZ *
6 candidates, a party list, 2 pictures, no profiles. Feeble.

Progressive *****
54 candidates, 51 pictures, 54 profiles. "No fuss, no trouble, just getting the job done and getting results," says Jim.

Rangitikei First
One candidate, no party list, no web site.

Republic of NZ
6 candidates (or 7, if you count the mysterious Gray Phillips), a party list, no pictures, no profiles. Big zero.

Restore All Things In Christ
One candidate, no party list, no web site.

United Future ***
67 candidates, 55 pictures, 55 profiles. Could do better. Prize for the candidate with the greenest hair.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Wellington Central

I went to meet the candidates at the Aro Valley Community Centre.
What a great night's entertainment. The Wellington Central candidates - Stephen Franks (ACT), Michael Appleby (ALCP), Kane O'Connell (Alliance), Stephen Hay (Anti-Capitalist Alliance), Sue Kedgeley (Greens), Marion Hobbs (Labour), Bernard Darnton (Libertarianz), Mark Blumsky (National), David Somerset (Progressive) and Fiona McKenzie (United Future) - and party representatives Morrie Love (Maori) and Coralie Leyland (Democrats) - each spoke for 4 minutes on their respective party's policies.

Heckling and humour were the order of the evening. My favourite line was in response to Progressive candidate David Somerset talking about the Wellington inner city bypass. He described it as "a dinosaur from another era" - to which a wit in the audience quipped, "like your party's leader".

Audience questions were plentiful. The last two questions of the night were revealing: "If your party did not exist, which party would you vote for?" and (to the Wellington Central candidates only) "If you weren't standing, which candidate would you vote for?"

Candidates (in speaking order) and their answers are below.
(Ever wondered why the Greens like STV? Now you know!)

Sue Kedgeley (Green)Party vote:
Candidate vote:
Marion Hobbs
Coralie Leyland (Democrats)Party vote:
Fiona McKenzie (United Future)Party vote:
Candidate vote:
Marion Hobbs
David Somerset (Progressive)Party vote:
Candidate vote:
Michael Appleby
Mark Blumsky (National)Party vote:
United Future
Candidate vote:
Stephen Franks
Kane O'Connell (Alliance)Party vote:
Candidate vote:
Stephen Hay
Marian Hobbs (Labour)Party vote:
Candidate vote:
Sue Kedgeley
Stephen Hay (Anti-Capitalist Alliance)Party vote:
Candidate vote:
Kane O'Connell
Bernard Darnton (Libertarianz)Party vote:
Candidate vote:
Stephen Franks (ACT)Party vote:
Candidate vote:
Bernard Darnton
Morrie Love (Maori)Party vote:
Michael Appleby (ALCP)Party vote:
Candidate vote:
Sue Kedgeley