Dunedin Election Blog
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Otago Daily Times covers Dunedin Alliance campaign
Some good coverage for the local campaign appeared in the Otago Daily Times on Monday 28 March. I can't put in a link as the ODT has an odd online interface, so hopefully no one minds me posting the full article here.
Poor children missing out, Alliance says
Dunedin candidates selected
by Tom McKinlay
The Alliance Party's Dunedin candidates for this year's General Election expect to find support among the party's traditional left-wing constituency, with a message that the poor are missing out on the good economic times.
The party has selected self-employed writer Chris Ford (34), to contest Dunedin South, while Maritime Union communications manager Victor Billot (32) will fly the flag in Dunedin North.
"There is currently still widespread poverty," Mr Ford, a University of Otago politics graduate, said.
"For example, the Government's Working For Families package doesn't cover beneficiaries at all, just those in the workforce. It discriminates against the children of the poor," he said.
Mr Billot said the party occupied a distinct part of the political spectrum.
"Dunedin North is an interesting seat. I am quite looking forward to having a crack at Pete Hodgson and Katherine Rich. I think we definitely have a different brand to those two," he said.
"There's no other party in our part of the political spectrum."
The Alliance would be concentrating its efforts in the urban centres this year, running about a dozen candidates in all, but mainly targeting the list vote, he said.
Mr Ford said the party nationally might yet top the 5% threshold, but was realistically looking to register a "credible result", perhaps achieving between 1% and 3% of the party vote.
That would give the party a base on which to build for the following election, he said.
Mr Ford operates a small business providing writing and journalism services to customers in New Zealand and offshore.
Mr Billot is also a University of Otago politics graduate and a journalist, having previously worked as editor of the student newspaper Critic.
While the Alliance was bundled out of Parliament at the last election after a disastrous internal rift left it with little more than 1% of the national list vote, it has previously polled more than 10% of the party vote in both Dunedin electorates.
Former Alliance President Matt McCarten has been reported as setting up a new party of the left, the Aotearoa Party, but neither Mr Ford nor Mr Billot expected it to trouble the Alliance vote this year.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Last Thursday night I was selected as Dunedin North candidate for the Alliance Party in the 2005 election.
I am going to be keeping a regular record of the campaign at this blog.
It's going to be an interesting six months . . .