Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Good People of Epsom

There's a lot of talk about the campaign for my electorate, Epsom. Both Cameron Slater (WhaleOil) and David Farrar (Kiwiblog) have covered this extensively, so I have little to add, other than a local perspective.

As I've mentioned to a certain Curwen Rolinson (leader of New Zealand First on Campus and self-proclaimed candidate for Epsom, as NZF hasn't verified this), I am already a pretty typical Epsom voter; supporting ACT and National, white and middle class, totally disinterested in NZF. The point is, like most people here, I don't want Phil Goff to be PM either.

The dirty tactics of Labour making a scandalous lie out of a donation to the ACT party from the Sensible Sentencing Trust, a Young Labour (probably Princes Street) executive adding their own illegal tactics, and a failing attempt to undermine the ACT party is starting to look like crap. Where I live, there are defaced billboards everywhere. 

Such as this one of Labour's David Parker - "Vote Banks and get both dopes" - Which reads "Authorized by David Parker, Parliament Buildings, Wellington" underneath.

And even what's-his-name from the Conservative party have showed up.

Epsom is well known as the white well-to-do seat, covering Auckland's prestigious suburbs including Parnell, Grafton, Remuera, and Newmarket. The people here are supposed to be too smart to be subject to gerrymandering and party politics. However, national did make agreements about allowing Rodney Hide to take the right wing vote and carry ACT list MPs to provide National with a coalition partner. The question of course, is that National may no longer need a coalition partner, meaning the leniency towards ACT is no longer necessary.

But do Epsom voters really get manipulated? This time it seems they see Paul Goldsmith (Nat-39 Epsom) as their man for the job, even though he doesn't want the job! Goldsmith is campaigning for party votes!

Epsom could well be the most manipulated and most played electorate from both sides, with the National-ACT deal and the ineffective lefty tactics that allow Keith Locke to run directly against Rodney Hide, or David Parker taking the whole left vote. But the people themselves aren't manipulated, they're not stupid! Credit where credit is due, and the people of Epsom are not half-wits that will do as they are told. They understand party politics and vote strategically, they have their own ideas, but the the powers that be like to take away a lot of their choice. 

The election results according to iPredict have shown New Zealand First getting 6 seats, with ACT getting 5. Good news for ACT, bad news for everyone as a whole if we get Winston First and his cronies in the House. We also have suspicions the (insert derogatory statement here) Curwen Rolinson has invested his own money in the website to manipulate stocks, seeing how cheap they were before. The stocks have returned to normal, so nothing to fear folks!

More party politics, more gerrymandering, more manipulation. With 40% or more still undecided, it will come down to the day. At least John Banks is campaigning on his own honesty and integrity, regardless of the silly games. 

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