Minor Parties are Smelling The Blood

Democracy may be inconvenient at times but to work it has to be used by all.

Bruce Welsh

The pending departure of Paul Eagle from the Labour stronghold of Rongatai electorate in Wellington has prompted New Conservative stalwart, Bruce Welsh into early election action.

New Conservative’s confrontations with mainstream media are a regular event, resulting in a court case in the 2020 campaign, so a punch at the media is not unexpected.

With the current political turmoil and dissatisfaction, the Wellington architect may have a point, though.

“It actually takes a lot of courage and usually cost to stand publicly as a candidate and this should be respected by both the media and community groups.”

The value in a democracy, Welsh says, “is that anyone can put themselves forward to represent their community or present their viewpoint.”

He goes on to say, “We are seeing a growing trend among both media outlets and community groups to pre-select our options in democratic debates and elections.”

Reflecting on this year’s Local Body Campaign, particularly in Auckland and Wellington and the recent Hamilton West By-election, Welsh outlined his party‚Äôs policy:

New Conservative believe that every candidate should be treated equally and given equal opportunity in the media and public arena to present their case. 

The question here may be whether party politics with the help of our msm media has displaced electorate representation to the extent that electorate campaigns and local news outlets no longer provide the important balance that previously existed.

“There should be no pre-selection where only a limited group of candidates are given an opportunity to speak or are profiled in the media.” Said, Welsh.

Realistically, some issues present themselves by virtue of necessity at election time, as education will next year or naturally by controversy as is the case with the surreptitious progression of 3 Waters.

Looking at the co-governance brigade protesting in Kaipara it may also be said that the integrity of local body democracy is suffering from that dominating perspective.

So, in the end it may point to a lack of understanding, trust and participation in a system, that as Welsh says, “Needs to be used by all.”

Source: New Conservative Press Release 16.12 2022

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By-election for Hamilton West

it started with a dustup over bullying in the Labour Party’s Caucus and Gustav Sharma making a loud exit from parliament with his resignation and expulsion.

The by-election campaign has been a mute affair with the government paying little attention to a vote it had no chance of being successful in.

It’s highly unusual for a political party to show such indifference to any election let along hide behind the distractions it has mounted.

There are two obvious reasons. First is the government languishing in current polls to a low not seen since last century and secondly a prime minister in a desperate struggle to maintain respectability against a continuing failure to delivery much more than ideological successes for party factions.

The loss of the electorate seat for the government, inevitable and anyone else other than National winning almost impossible.

The voter turnout will be abysmal and a reflection of electoral discontent but I wouldn’t think it will be any indication on how the general election might play out – there has been no contest of issues while parliament settles its dust before Christmas.

While we’re in this unusual pretence of an election already under way, the by-election essentially becomes a non event with the transition of one MP from Labour to National.

That really does nothing for our democratic integrity.

What could have been different? Labour accepting its inadequate performance, particularly on undisclosed issues from the last election, the by-election should have been bypassed for an election earlier in 2023.

The candidates

The turnout was abysmal and the results.