Over the last 21 days, we have had some supporters of Geordie Rodgers and some Karl Tiefenbacher supporters make contact with us requesting we hold a special It's in the Ballot, as they didn't appear on It's in the Ballot and were assumed we did not invited them to participate. Since we opened the offer to both Geordie and Karl along with Zan Rye Gyaw who all 3 chose to decline, we will not be opening another special debate simply because they declined and might have regretted their decision. Situation where a special replacement show would apply, would be if we had technical issues stopping them from participating as happened in 2022 with Upper Hutt District at Large part 2 with our remote connections unable to join in after a server glitch with our broadcasting provider, this is where they wanted to but we weren't able to deliver and in fairness give them that equal shot.
This isn't the case in Pukehinau/Lambton Ward and candidates were also given the questions whether they chose to come or not, as some candidates might actually change their mind, and in the case of Geordie Rodgers, he hadn't even replied with a commitment till the morning of the show where he declined his commitment. Our format is for all candidates to be along with each other on the same equal playing field rather than putting certain candidates above others as the media has done With Geordie and Karl. We also give candidates the options of, appearing in studio, appearing remotely and putting in a substitution in their place, to ensure their campaign is represented even if they aren't available. Some candidates often incumbents and front runners decide that our format isn't for them and choose to be not represented rather than choosing 1 of the other options, an example in 2022, Nicola Young, Iona Pannett and Tamatha Paul chose to sit out of the Pukehinau/Lambton Ward show as incumbents. If a candidate chooses to not participate, they give those that do choose to partake an opportunity to answer more questions and let the voters know more of where the participating candidates stand on the issues most important to the Pukehinau/Lambton Voters.
It's in the Ballot is a platform to give all candidates, incumbents or not, party affiliated or independent, high cash resourced or low/no campaign resource funds, an equal opportunity to debate their challengers standing for the same position, an equal playing field who give all candidates, the same chance to answer all questions either through the boxes or hard hitting questions while providing viewers, a more comedic way of delivery quality information to viewers from all walks of life, including shift workers who can't make it to a meet the candidates, members with Limited Mobility and can not leave home to get to a public meeting, member isolating from public particularly covid and those not informed enough and want to know more before casting their vote.
Also please note, no member from Geordie Rodgers or Karl Tiefenbacher campaign team has requested or asked for us to do a special show for them, only supporters asking us directly via complaints about us not inviting them or not including them.
Please also note we had requests/complaints from Labour Party supporters why we didn't invite their Candidate to the show. Our response is, Labour didn't endorse a candidate for this by-election and no candidate is running under the Labour Party affiliation. We would have no problem inviting them if Labour nominated a candidate and would have if they nominated a candidate in the first place. We also do not include participants who are not confirmed candidates by Wellington City Council, as their candidacy isn't available for voters to vote for. That is a condition to appear on It’s in the Ballot is being a confirmed candidate.
We Also offered to Inner-City Wellington to livestream their meet the candidates as we were concerned voters will not be able to see what all candidates who are standing for if they choose to decline our offer. Inner-City Wellington Accepted our offered and have been sharing both livestreams to their members and affiliated residents associations
For our It’s in the Ballot Show
For Inner-City Wellingtons
Voting closes 12pm Saturday 17th February. 10 Days away, last day to post them on Tuesday 13th February