Dunedin Election Blog
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Last Post . . . for a while anyway
Now the election is over, I'll be returning to my general Victor Billot blog.

I'm going to keep this Dunedin election blog alive though: who knows, there might even be another election sometime.

I'll keep mixing in the political posts in my VB blog, however I thought I would just fill people in on where things are at.

The Alliance didn't poll well on Saturday night: in fact very low. The main reason I think is that a lot of those who agreed with our ideas chose to support Labour/Greens: in a sense, the election was a vote against National more than an uncritical vote for Labour.

Also the Alliance has had a bumpy ride over the last few years, with some bad decisions taken by former leaders. Now, despite all the hassles, I am actually quite happy with the party we have. There is a range of views, but we seem to be a party that has a strong member-driven organization. The party is well run by volunteers.

The Alliance is the voice of the principled left in New Zealand.

A large team helped out on the campaign in Dunedin: we actually got extensive media coverage and overcame the view that we were no longer around. A note of thanks to all the local crew who did the volunteer work:
Julie, Chris, Eunice and Harry, Marvin, Robert G., Kay, Jim, Bob and Jean, Les, Andrew W., Norm and the rest of the Oamaru crew, Dave M., Mark Baxter, Sam M., Gail and Keith, Sandy, Jen, Andrew G., Sheri H. and Mark M. at Port Chalmers, Ryan, David T. for the ute, Jimmy, Don, the International Socialists, OUSA and OPSA for inviting us to the forums, the Mystirtron guys, the local journalists who gave us a fair go and fair coverage, the Maritime Union Port Chalmers branch for sponsoring me with a generous donation, the forum organizers who included us – CTU, Forest and Bird, Church Groups amongst others. Hope I haven't forgotten anyone – I will have.

If anyone would like more information about where we are going from here on in, please get in touch via my website.

Saturday, September 17, 2005
11pm on the big night
Just past 11pm on election night and the result is very close. Looks like Labour have the numbers but who knows. A hijacked plane threatened to fly into the Sky Tower and crashed into Auckland harbour. Jenny Shipley appeared on TV with chunky black specs, a leopard skin coat, and purple hair. It has been another strange evening.

I am proud to say I think I may have got the highest number of electorate votes of any Alliance candidate (251) in Dunedin North. Chris Ford came second for the electorate vote in NZ with 177.

The Alliance vote was tiny nationally. This is not surprising; with all the talk of tactical voting I think many of our voters went to Labour and Greens.

We've been having a small party round at my parents which has seen the local team come round for a few drinks to watch the fun. Thanks to Julie, Eunice, Harry, Chris, Kay, Marvin, Robert, Gail, Keith, David, Elaine, and the students from Mystertron Logan, Dan and David. As Logan said, a lot more people agree with our ideas than voted for us, simply because of the close election.

Good on all the team for keeping the voice of the true left alive. The Alliance was the only party to highlight casualization, the need for public control of electricity, and free education.

The next year will be a very interesting time. Bird flu, the collapse of the American economy, or oil hitting $9000 a barrel: whoever gets to be Government will be dealing with some very strange currents. All the more need for a principled voice on the left.

Friday, September 16, 2005
And just a few final words . . .
The last few days have gone in something of a blur as the last newsletters are delivered and final meetings are held.

Today was largely concentrated on ensuring all the signs came down on time around town; small teams from all parties were to be seen around town retrieving their signage, or at least that which had survived the vandal attacks.

After tomorrow, I'll probably take the opportunity to make some analysis of the results and where things are heading, before moving back to my non-election blog.

Just a few thoughts before the Big Day:

So many things about this election have been defined by the right wing. The left is still in conservative mode, and this approach over the last six years has made us vulnerable to exactly the type of appeal to mindless, short term greed that the right thrives on. We need to start setting the agenda: people and planet, not corporate profits.

The only vote that is "wasted" is a vote wasted on something you don't believe in.

Let's vote for each other, for justice, democracy, respect and tolerance for all. Let's vote for a positive future. Let's take back the world off the greedheads and give it back to the rest of us who have to live in the mess they're creating.

See you at the polling booth.

Thursday, September 15, 2005
TV story on Dunedin North electorate
Dunedin North electorate story on Channel 9 here

It has an interesting shot of me waving my arms behind the Progressive candidate, which Meteria Turei seems to find funny. But that's about as mean as politics gets in friendly old Dunedin.

Media guerilla
You can see Dr Cullen being haunted by an Alliance sign (carried by myself) on Channel 9

Also today at 10.45 I will be on Radio One – check out the live stream here.

Not forgetting the last forum at Otago University at 12.30 today at the University Union – the small parties faceoff.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005
It's getting close to the line, the pressure is on and the campaign is hotting up.

Actually, around Dunedin I've been surprised at the quietness of meetings and appearances by politicians. Today at Otago University a mild mannered crowd enjoyed a mild mannered speech by Dr Cullen, which I felt dutybound to razz up a little bit with some questions. And I managed to get on Channel 9 news apparently.

A union-organized forum tonight saw National MP Katherine Rich not turn up (surprise!). As a result poor old Mark Peters got a roasting from the freezing workers about United Future's policies as he was the next best thing. Mind you, United's policies are right wing, and their weasly deal cutting approach is no longer getting the desired response from the punters. My advice to Mark is next election, try to understand that what is wrecking the family is the capitalist free market system, not social engineering.

Here is a photo of life on the campaign trail, talking to the students at Otago University.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005
University Forum Thursday – last chance to hear it live
Confirmed speakers for Thursday 15 September 12.30pm at the Otago University Union are:

Victor Billot (Alliance)
James Boyack (Progresive)
Alan Heward (New Zealand First)
Willy Martin (Act)
Mark Peters (United First)
Metiria Turei (Greens)
Bob Warren (Demcrats for Social Credit)

The general topic will be the part your party will play in
the new government, what your policy priorities will be and
who you'd be prepared to work with to achieve them. There'll
be questions from the audience too, which could be on
anything and everything.

Monday, September 12, 2005
If 100 000 people realized this, then life would never be the same again . . . it would be very much better.
Excerpt from an email received today from an overseas voter enrolled in Dunedin North:

"On Politics: I have to admit, I had (until recently) been thinking of voting for Hodgson again, but your email has helped solidify my choice against him. I didn't want to 'waste' my vote (you know what I mean) by voting further left than I think the electorate will go, but a light just dawned on me: that is exactly what I am supposed to think!

I AM left. So I am bloody-well gunna vote left. Stuff them.

I respect and thank you for getting back to me, and for your committed and eloquent ideals."

North Poll
Not forgetting the result of the Critic non-scientific poll for Dunedin North

I don't believe in polls anyway.

Media mayhem part 17
Notorious Dunedin tabloid Critic have run their own candidate reviews for Dunedin North this week.

And local TV station Channel 9 is running candidate forums at 4.45pm today which Chris Ford and myself are appearing on.

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