Thoughts: Local Government Elections

It’s all over bar the shouting. I’ve found this election interesting and not for the usual reasons.

Firstly, I’d like to acknowledge the passion and desire of those who stood for office. Secondly, it was nice seeing friends of my youth get a Mayoralty, achieve Council and Board positions. (There’s something special seeing people get ahead when you feel like you’re standing still, eh?).

I didn’t get to vote. (And yes, I could have made a supreme effort to cast a special vote, but I wanted to see how this played out). 

Let me explain. I registered online with my address details at both the Elections website and also updated my RealMe profile. I received acknowledgements that all was good in the world. Did my voting papers arrive? They did not. I checked my details a week out from deadline, they were all correct. Days passed. Still no papers. 

Saturday came and went.

At 9:30am on Sunday (today) we received a knock on the door by a guy from the Electoral Commission to tell us that there were no registered voters at this address… A little too late one would think.

Given my experience, and indeed the experience of the residents of Crummer Road, Grey Lynn, I suspect that the organisation of this Electoral cycle was FUBAR.

Aside from the technical difficulties experienced, I was also interested in the people standing, and how they presented themselves. I’m usually a Centre-Right voter, and I have to say that the options I had to choose from were poor. I can’t believe how badly organised the ‘Right’ was. Labour was organised at the grass roots and succeeded, but National clearly took their eyes off the ball. 

I heard several of the Candidates speak. And I wasn’t impressed. Yes, they were keen on being elected. And yes, they were putting themselves out there. But there was a lack of depth to their thinking (in my opinion of course) and they were really talking in soundbytes, making unaffordable promises, and in some cases bagging people who worked hard to deliver on the promises of the preceding Leaders. 

Still, Auckland now has a Mayor that I probably would have voted for, given that he at least understands bureaucracy and political BS. The others simply weren’t ready.

Thoughts: The US Presidential Elections

I love the business end of the US electoral cycle. It’s so fun. Tribalism, machinations, manipulations. It’s a goldmine.

I recognise that as a New Zealander my opinion has no bearing whatsoever on the outcome, but I’m loving the show.

When Trump put his hat in the ring, I noted the public outcry. There was a definite predisposition across the Media and various commentators that it was Hillary’s game. Trump was a distraction.

I begged to differ.

Trump is not playing politics. The idea he’s sticking to is that if you’re in the game and the rules aren’t favourable, change them. 

I also have a long held opinion based on years of conversations, observations and interactions with Americans, that Trump may be, in fact, precisely what America needs right now.

My rationale is that America has been operating as an Empire for quite a few decades and as such has over-extended itself. In terms of territory, influence, people and finances. Trump’s language has been about refocusing on America. It will be interesting to see what happens should he get the top job.

Hillary is also interesting. She is no longer a shoe-in. Yesterday’s collapse and resulting media coverup (many news channels have edited the clip so they show the wobble but not Hillary going down). I don’t believe she’s well at all. More than ‘pneumonia’. 

Which of course creates many other interesting possibilities. Will she withdraw? Who will the Democrats replace her with? Can the election be postponed?

And more importantly, if this occurs, what do the American people have to say about it? Will they be presented a new candidate as a fait accompli? Bypassing the democratic process? 

Very interesting times indeed.