When I look at who got in, and who did not, I don’t feel I need to be disappointed.  Several candidates that I rated highly got in.  I gave two votes for mayor.  I think I put Cull as my second choice.  He got in without my vote getting counted.  Despite what his critics say he has a substantial majority.  My first candidate also got onto council.  I’m pleased with that and wait to see if my choice will be effective.

I rated Neville Peat and Benson-Pope highly in their presence at Opoho Church’s Candidate Meeting.  Both are also present at the council chamber.

Nearly all the new candidates ran visible campaigns with posters around the city.  Hilary Calvert was the most popular candidate.  I’ve heard it that she cornered the women’s vote.  Her poster was in a number of empty properties around the central business district.  I thought that would have been sufficiently indicative.  Her career in parliament, along with Benson-Pope’s, seems to have been forgotten.

Business candidates came across to me as strong on balancing the books, and with no vision of growing business in Dunedin.  As a group they did not attract my attention.  They are present around the council table which is going to create an interesting balance.  I want to keep an eye on this.  If they act like scoundrels then I expect the next election in three years’ time will rectify this.  There is still a chance that some of these councillors can be put to good use.

Dunedin has one big electoral ward which covers the urban part of the Dunedin district.  There is talk that with interested voters now down to below 50% that the rural wards will be absorbed into this.  I am not convinced that this will galvanise the electorate to vote.  If anything the candidates are already distanced from the citizenship of Dunedin and this suggestion will continue the disaffection.  My own preference is to reverse the trend and restore urban Dunedin to smaller wards again.  The councillors need to be out there and talking to people.

Already some commentators are talking about doing away with local body elections out of the lack of interest.  Central government can then appoint the right people to run local government.  I don’t think that we are basket cases yet to ruled by technocrats like Italy, Greece and Cyprus.

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