No “fair go” for Cheel in Northcote
From: Stephnie de Ruyter, Party Leader
Subject: No “fair go” for Cheel in Northcote
Northcote Democrats for Social Credit Party members were astounded that organisers of the Beach Haven Birkdale Residents’ Association meeting last week initially opted to hear only from candidates of the four parties with existing representation in Parliament.
Organisers did relent, eventually, and tacked on a token
allocation of time for other candidates. But it was too
little, too late to give those candidates a fair go.
Ironically, the meeting was a far cry from last year when the RA was the only such organisation to host a meeting in the Northcote electorate where all candidates were given equal time to speak.
Tricia Cheel, the Democrats for Social Credit Party candidate, was particularly aggrieved to be excluded since her catch cry is “If you want change you have to vote for it” - a call not likely to be heard if she has no voice at public meetings.
Cheel is asking Northcote voters to give her their protest vote, and must now add bias and prejudice to her growing list of wrongs to be rectified.
In a democracy, voters have a right to hear the views of all parties’ candidates during an election campaign - including those of smaller parties who don’t have the massive taxpayer-funded advantages enjoyed by candidates for the parties currently in parliament.
How can voters exercise a fully informed choice in voting when they’re presented only with the status quo? It becomes even more problematic and confusing for voters when media articles about meetings consistently report incorrect candidate and party names.
This lacklustre, lazy approach to democracy’s demands is unacceptable.
Representative community groups (such as the Beach Haven Birkdale Residents’ Association) have an obligation to take a strong stand against the erosion of the principles on which NZ’s democracy are founded. Only by doing so can they truly serve the interests and expectations of those they represent.
- Stephnie de Ruyter, Leader, NZ Democrats for Social Credit Party