Post-election changes

As the election has gone now I am no longer “The Family Party candidate for Selwyn”, so have changed the blog heading. Sorry if this causes any problems with feed readers and the like. I have added a logo instead that links through to the party website.

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Electorate analysis – Selwyn

I will discuss other electorates after talking to the team up north. But here are the main results from Selwyn, for parties gaining over 100 votes (full results are here). Last elections results for Rakaia (now Selwyn) are here for comparison.

Parties Candidates
National Party 18,339 ADAMS, Amy NAT 20,076
Labour Party 8,536 COATES, David LAB 9,830
Family Party 122 DENNIS, Samuel FAM 441
Jim Anderton’s Progressive 634 MAIN, Philippa JAP 1,197
United Future 376 NORMAN, Victoria UFNZ 227
ACT New Zealand 1,245 WATSON, Ivor ACT 480
Kiwi Party 172 WILLIAMSON, Eleanor KIWI 264
WOODS, Bill IND 528
Green Party 2,390
Mäori Party 127
New Zealand First Party 1,036
The Bill and Ben Party 171
Party Informals 147 Candidate Informals 367
TOTAL 33,412 TOTAL 33,410

Selwyn is a National seat, and always has been. Quite a few National voters have moved to Act this year however, due primarily to the Emissions Trading Scheme (Act had 869 votes in 05). There has always been Labour support here, but it has dropped significantly this election (from 11,338 in 05), apparantly moving to National, Green and Progressive. It is hard to compare however due to boundary changes and the fact that there was a higher turnout in 2005.

The higher number of informal candidate votes than party votes suggests people are fairly sure which party they want to vote for, but less certain about which candidate they prefer. On the other hand, it could just mean that those who wanted to waste their vote had a joke party to go with (B&B), but no joke candidate, so many B&B voters just spoilt their candidate vote, as those numbers pretty exactly make up the difference…

I received 319 votes from non-Family Party voters (assuming all Family Party voters voted for myself, not necessarily correct). From what I gather speaking to voters, I expect most of these voters gave National their party vote. Those voters I have spoken to wished to secure a change of government, and didn’t want to waste their party vote, but they preferred Family Party policy to that of National.

Bill Woods didn’t do that well, despite being the former mayor, but he had little publicity.

I am very pleased with my votes for a first try, being ahead of the United Future and Kiwi candidates, and close behind the Act candidate and Bill Woods. It will take a lot of work to topple Amy Adams, but that will be a job for the next election now that my name is out there! I was about the most local candidate on offer, most others being recent imports into the area, and I think this gives me a good base to work from.

There is a lot of misunderstanding out there around MMP, and around the policies National had on offer. Many people I spoke to wanted to fix the smacking law, and get rid of the ETS. However they were under the impression that National would do those things, and were surprised to find National policy was to keep them. Some wouldn’t believe me, I’ll have to carry National policy documents with me on my rounds next time! There was a strong faith that National would provide change and fix the policies that annoyed everyone, but few voters had actually looked into their policy. Furthermore, most people thought voting for Amy Adams would help National in some way, not realising that this was a wasted vote as she’d be in on the list regardless. It could be argued that it would actually be better for National to even vote in Coates, as he would have kicked out a more experienced Labour MP, providing National with some advantages in the house!

To take this electorate in future will be a lot of work, as you first have to teach people how MMP works, then teach them National policy, before you can even get on to your own. But it is certainly doable, as National always places a good candidate here that is reasonably high on the list, this being regarded a safe seat – this was Ruth Richardson’s electorate, and Jenny Shipley’s. Logically, it makes little sense to vote for the National candidate here. But to persuade 15,000 voters, half the electorate, will be an interesting challenge for next election.

Election result

Great result for the country, we finally have a change of government.

It was very interesting to see Clark announce she is standing down, it isn’t surprising she would decide to do that but it is surprising she would announce it immediately. Talk about trust, all these people who voted Labour because they like Helen Clark (and I have found many people in that category while campaigning) will be very disappointed. They obviously couldn’t trust her to stick round and do what she felt was best for the country, rather she just wanted the top job and when she didn’t get it she was gone. Now she’ll force a by-election in her electorate just because she didn’t get quite what she wanted (she is hardly going to stick round as a lowly MP), she obviously has little regard for all the people who voted for her wanting her as their local MP. We don’t always get what we want, and most of us were taught that when we were young with a good smack on the buttocks.

It is good to see National could rule with just Act, and although they may involve Dunne and the Maori Party too, having just the two parties would make for a simple government.

The result was disappointing for the Family Party, but the change of government helps to soften that disappointment. As I said earlier, we don’t always get what we want, but I have no intention of quitting like Clark just because things didn’t go quite how we wanted. It is very hard for parties outside parliament to get in, and this just reinforces that fact. I would like to thank Jerry Filipaina especially for the excellent work he put into Mangere attempting to take that seat, it is very disappointing that that did not eventuate. Paul Adams also did an excellent job in ECB, being our highest polling candidate, but unfortunately missing out too.

I received 441 electorate votes, which I am very pleased with for my first time standing, far higher than the United Future and Kiwi candidates and close behind the Act candidate and Bill Woods. Although this was of course not anywhere near enough to take out the electorate, considering I never actually asked for electorate votes in my campaign (apart from possibly off-hand at one “meet the candidates” event), only asking for party votes, and was standing for a party most people had never heard of, I am very pleased with the result. It is a very encouraging level of support that I should be able to build on in future years should I stand again.

I would like to thank everyone who voted for me or any other candidate, or for the party, for your support. Unfortunately we didn’t gain enough support this time round, it is hard to get your message to enough of the country in your first election, but there’s always another election – try convince your mates to vote for us as well next time!

This new government will not solve the most serious issue in our country today, which in my opinion is our abortion-on-demand culture. We can lobby them for improvements, but to really fix this we’ll need more conservative representation in the next election. So the result is far from perfect, but is a massive improvement over the current situation.

With National in government, more representation from Act, and Helen Clark stepping down, I am certain we can look forward to a better country over the next three years.

Candidates for Selwyn

The full candidate list for Selwyn is out:

ADAMS, Amy National Party
COATES, David Labour Party
DENNIS, Samuel Family Party
MAIN, Philippa Jim Anderton’s Progressive
NORMAN, Victoria United Future
WATSON, Ivor ACT New Zealand
WILLIAMSON, Eleanor Kiwi Party
WOODS, Bill Independent

The most notable names on that list are

  • Amy Adams, the National candidate in an electorate National has held for decades.
  • Bill Woods, former Selwyn District Council mayor and very well known in the area.
  • Samuel Dennis, a local man who has lived in the electorate virtually all his life, whose family have been here since 1868, who has a lot to offer the electorate, and who is writing this post!

I do not recognise any other names from before the campaign, although I have met Ivor Watson, David Coates and Eleanor Williamson now.

Everyone expects this to be won by Amy Adams, National could stand a dead hedgehog in this seat and they’d have a chance, so despite all her good qualities (which I expect are considerable), her greatest one is the fact that she is wearing a National rosette. Bill Woods however is a very strong opponent. He is a long-time NZ First man however, which could work against him in the current political climate, but as he is standing as an independent few people will realise this. So it will be an interesting campaign, being up against these two strong candidates.

I don’t know much about the others. As far as I can gather (from the Malvern News, websites, the White Pages etc):

  • Ivor Watson moved to Christchurch in 2005, and has just recently come into the electorate with the latest boundary change.
  • Eleanor Williamson appears to live in Westmorland, so is also a Christchurch resident that happens to be just within the new boundary. It does not sound like she has lived here for long based on the Kiwi Party website.
  • David Coates has lived in Darfield for 6 years.
  • Philippa Main lives in Rolleston, I have no idea how long they have been here.
  • Victoria Norman has only been in NZ for 7 years, some of which has been in Wellington, so she can’t have been in Canterbury long. I have no idea where she lives.

So Watson, Williamson, Coates and Norman appear to be newcomers to the area who are unlikely to be known widely. The most well-known candidate will be Bill Woods, probably followed by Amy Adams (due primarily to National’s popularity) and myself.

If you know anything about the candidates I may find useful, please comment.

Would slaughter stock rather than pay tax

It has taken me a while to post on this one, sorry about that. On September 9, Straight Furrow published an article on Gavin King, a Selwyn sheep and beef farmer who has done the sums and worked out that the ETS passed by Labour (and which will be kept by National) is completely unaffordable – in fact he would rather slaughter his sheep and cattle than pay for it. A few quotes:

Many farms would fall over depending on the final tax rate and it would severely hurt service industries, he said. …

“They have evolved over thousands of years burping and farting and to think we can change that in a short time is stupid. Several hundred years ago there would probably have been more animals than today.” …

King has 8840 sheep stock units and 1595 cattle stock units, so his yearly tax could range from $93,525 to $187,050, he said. …

Meat & Wool estimates that about 82% of sheep and beef farms would be uneconomic if the carbon tax is passed.

This is damning. I have known the Kings for years and would hate to see them go out of business, but this is the situation faced by every farmer in the country, including my own family. Farmers are already struggling and cannot afford another cost, especially one as pointless as this, because even Greenpeace states that the ETS:

“will deliver no significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions”

This legislation is a disaster for farmers. But National, who most farmers have traditionally voted for, will keep it, with a few tweaks. These tweaks may make it slightly more affordable but as a result will make it do even less for the environment, so it will still be completely pointless.

Only The Family Party will repeal this legislation and commit to basing future legislation on science and economics. It is crazy that an Auckland-based party is now the one direction farmers can turn if they wish to stay in business, with National betraying them, but if that is the way NZ politics is going so be it.