By-Elections are good for democracy

Too often we send people to parliament that we do not really know. Some are scum list MPs and some are electorate MPs who no one knows because they do not face the scrutiny of the media.

By-elections can be positive for candidates, but more often they are negative. Melissa Lee will struggle to be taken seriously after her performance in Mt Albert. Jonathan Coleman got a black mark for National’s hopeless campaign, and another black mark for taking it on at such a late stage where he had little influence over the outcome. He should have said his missus wanted him home more, or gone and got himself over stressed pissed beaten up for blowing smoke into someone’s face or something similar to protect his reputation.

In Mana, Phil Goff’s hand picked candidate, Kris Fa’afoi’s political career is a mess. Like Melissa will always be known for her hammering in Mt Albert, Kris is going to be known as a liar for his stories about growing up in Mana and his recovered memory of the opening of McDonalds at Porirua.

Hekia Parata took the easy path and stuck her hand out wanting contributions from other electorates to cover her campaign costs, instead of seeking donations or funding her own campaign. Going by the comments coming through from members of the party and caucus this tax on electorates has really pissed people off.

The fundraising gap in 2002 is worth thinking about. English’s inept policy direction and party organisation failed to raise enough money to campaign. Hekia’s well known desire to become the first maori prime minister has taken a big hit, because if you can’t bring money into the party you can’t win votes.

That is why this blog has a lot of admiration for David Shearer. He is the type of guy we need in the Labour party, someone that has been a success off shore, not just a union hack or a member of the rainbow coalition. His sensible views on public private partnerships in security might be counter to Labour policy, but they are far more likely to work than liberal elite angst ridden policies from the looney left.

David handled the pressure in Mt Albert and came out looking good. Compare him to the others. Or compare him to any number of other list MPs we don’t really know and wonder how they would cope with the scrutiny of a by election.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.