Meet the Candidates meetings

Two “Meet the Candidates” meetings this week I will be attending:

  • Wednesday 29 October, 7:30pm, Lincoln Community Centre, Lincoln
    Selwyn electorate
  • Thursday 30 October, 7:30pm, Cracroft Community Centre, Old Stone House, Shalamar Drive
    Wigram electorate

Feel free to come along, it would be great to meet you.

On the campaign trail

Amy Adams, David Coates and myself had a productive time today talking to people at the Hororata Fair. Well I know I and Amy Adams did, Coates wasn’t wearing any badge (although he had a red tie) so was not recognisable as a candidate unless you already knew him, and I didn’t see him talking to too many people. Strong National heartland though so he can be expected to have little luck!

I was the only candidate that had taken the initiative to get prior approval to attend and advertise there from the organisers, and purchase a stall, which as it turned out was bang in the centre of the entire fair, so from nearly any position if you looked round my truck (with billboards) was plainly seen. I can only thank the organisers for selecting an excellent location for me.

I had a good response and talked to a lot of people, many of whom were interested in the party. Plenty of people are intending to vote National or Act too, which is encouraging as it all points towards a change of government – but this is to be expected in a rural area.

Drinking age

In the minor parties debate tonight, Tariana Turia, Winston Peters and Jim Anderton supported raising the drinking age back to 20. Rodney Hide did not support this, nor did Peter Dunne or Jeanette Fitzsimons, who both pointed out that the problem binge-drinkers are the 13-year-olds, for whom alcohol is illegal anyway. In their opinion changing the drinking age would not affect this at all.

I disagree. Where are these 13-year-olds getting their alcohol from? Sometimes their parents, but not normally enough to really get them into trouble. I would suspect they are primarily getting it from 18-year-old friends.

Raising the age from 18 to 20 won’t stop 18-year-olds drinking. They have always been able to obtain alcohol from their older friends. But it will make it a lot harder for 13-year-olds to obtain alcohol, because they will usually have fewer 20-year-old friends. So raising the drinking age should be an effective way of combatting teenage alcohol abuse.

Jeanette Fitzsimons and Referenda

I noted that when Jeanette Fitzsimons was asked if the Greens would honour the result of a referendum on MMP, she indicated that of course they would.

So I assume, to be consistent, she will also honour the will of the people next year when we have a referendum on the smacking law?

Fat chance of that, but you can always dream.