Assistance for the Apathetic
Wed, 6 Oct 2004
Assistance for the Apathetic: Statist Ratings for the Candidates
Libertarianz Mayoral Candidate Stephen Berry blames a narrow approach from mainstream media for lack of knowledge about the different options in the Auckland Mayoral Elections, and consequent voter apathy . Berry says, "Reports show only a race with three candidates - there seems to be a situation of 'picking favourites' when there is in fact smorgasbord of options on offer."
"When an election is presented as a three-horse race it should not surprise anyone that more than half the voters take no interest," says Berry, who argues that if voters were served up the whole platter of options they'd be more willing to browse the possibilities and participate.
He pooints out for example that "for the first time in an Auckland Mayoral election, a candidate with an alternative to expanding government is running for Mayor." Libertarianz' Stephen Berry is, he says, the only candidate advocating a reduction in local government. As such, he has compiled a "helpful analysis of all the mayoral hopefuls in order to display the difference between himself and the rest of the pack and hopefully to inform those who have missed the rest of the line-up." ******************************************************************* A "statist rating" has been included for each candidate - no stars indicates a commitment to rolling back local government as fars as legally possible; five stars indicates a committment to enormous expansion.
John Banks - Perhaps the 'lesser-evil' of the statist pack. Banks has kept rate rises below inflation, eliminated council debt and sold pensioner housing and Auckland Airport shares, but he has yet to tackle his council's thuggish administration of the Resource Management Act. He has also been a major force for conservatism with for example his support for massive restrictions on prostitution, and as a leading advocate of liquor bans. Statist Rating ***
Stephen Berry, Libertarianz - "Because you are the owner of your own life, you have the right to live it as you see fit on the condition you respect the right of others to do the same. I support voluntary interaction among individuals, individual freedom and personal responsibility. I am committed to slashing rates, council spending and the bylaws that restrict personal soveriegnty. I am opposed to public funding of the Eastern Motorway, support letting prostitutes run their business like any other, and I respect the right of property owners to do what they wish with their land without violating the ownership rights of others." Statist Rating -
Felicity Coggan, Communist League - Coggan advocates a 'government of farmers and workers,' the abolition of capitalism and a revolution modelled on Cuba's. This would equate to the state controlling your day-to-day activities and imprisoning dissenters, and the residents of Auckland boiling up stones for soup. Statist Rating: *****+
Christine Fletcher - Floundering round in a morass of 'consensus politics', Fletcher tries to please everyone and ends ip pleasing no-one. Fletcher wants to sink ratepayer funds into public transport not currently wanted by the public; to maintain public ownership of assets; and to fund an assortment of events in the name of 'diversity.' Specifics not being her strong suit, she gives no specific indication of potential rate rises, but they'd need to be large to accomodate her plans. Statist Rating ****
Dick Hubbard - Despite being a poll leader and the campaign now nearing its conclusion, like the rest of Auckland (and probably Hubbard himself) I have little idea what Hubbard stands for. He claims to be an 'unashamed futurist' with a 'vision' for Auckland in 50 years. One can only assume that government will expand on futuristic proportions to accomodate his vision. Also a Helen Clark toady, and a member of the hand-wringing Sustainable Business Network. Statist rating ****
Phil O'Connor, Christians Against Abortion - It's always been a matter of confusion to me why CAA only seems to show up in the local body contests where they cannot stop abortion. O'Connor's faith that 'with Jesus, all may be achieved,' explains his failure to attempt a high profile campaign, and pretty much describes his theocratic aspirations. Statist Rating ****
John Osborne, Aotearoa Tenants Party - Hard to tell whether this guy is serious or not. Basically a supporter of the status quo with a few pet projects to satisfy his enthusiasms for playing trains. Oddly, no mention of tenants. Statist Rating ***
Daphna Whitmore, Anti-Capitalist Alliance - The looniest offering, even with all the competition further up the list. With all the fashionable hatreds of the unwashed 'anti-movement,' Whitmore espouses economic stagnancy, an all-powerful militant unionism and a tight grip on every form of enterprise. Statist Rating *****
Berry concludes, "I hope this guide will be useful for some of those who haven't yet put pen to ballot and those who are looking for an alternative to the constant expansion of council. I certainly hope this guide makes very clear who is standing for your freedom and who is just a different shade of sprawling statism."