ed: there was a good turnout for 2 pm on a rainy/cold sunday afternoon in raglan..
the hall was close to full/extra chairs had to be brought in..
the audience were mainly grey-haired – with a smattering of younger folks..
the set looked like the one used on that first mikey havoc telly show – 70’s sofa/lamps etc…
four parties were represented – the tories had their mp (this is a safe tory seat..)- barbara kuriger – the labour party candidate is hillary humphry – the green candidate is robert moore – and some bloke (allan thompson) was representing the conservative party (more on him later..)
if i had a beef with this exercise it would be the degree of command and control the two moderators used (and it needed two moderators..?..)
the candidates ended up being asked ridiculously complex/multi-faceted questions – and only given a minute to answer – before some over-eager time-keeper rang a bell/made noises to make them stop – the moderators sometimes almost leaping to wrest the microphone from a time-exceeding offender..
i would have preferred something more organic/less minute by minute controlling..with one moderator able to read the room/questions etc..and to react accordingly – not to be ruled by a stop-watch..
that quibble to one side – within those constraints the candidates gave it their best shot..
the incumbant tory mp kuriger seems to be in a high degree of denial on a few subjects..when asked – as an ‘expert’ in the dairy industry(!) – about the economic-impacts on the local dairy industry of soon-to-arrive plant-based meats/milk/cheese etc. – (what is their ‘uber’) she poo-pooed the whole idea – saying people would prefer ‘real meat’..
and so for that deep ignorance/denial of facts – kuriger gets a special head-in-sand-award…
(kuriger does however get some brownie-points for her shout-out to james shaw – saying she hoped to be able to work with him again in the future..)
i asked kuriger about the govt policy of drug-testing beneficiaries – noting that 96,000 drug tests had been done over three years – with only 454 positive results..
that drug-tests cost between $30-$50 each – and taking that lowest figure about $3 million was spent on these tests..
and dividing that cost by the number of drug-tests brings you to a cost of approx $6,666 per test..
i asked kuriger if she thought this was a good use of public money – she never answered – just waffled on for awhile – then did a rant about how bad ‘p’ is (!)..
follow-up questions were not allowed…(note to moderators..)
the labour candidate hillary humphrey was totally competent – and i would be happy to see her as an mp..
but the star of the day/surprise for me was the green party candidate – robert moore (and this was confirmed by the audience – by the applause he frequently received for his matter-of-fact/no-nonsense answers..his clear explanations of green party policy)
he told us this was the third time he had stood for the greens – and the surprise for me there (given how he starred) was the news that he is at number 50 on the green party list – he should be much higher – i can’t believe the greens have 49 candidates who are more all-round fitted for the role..
and as a heads-up! to green party hq – if you don’t know already – you have a candidate in moore who should be much higher on your list – he should be in parliament..
the/any humour to be had was delivered by the candidate for the conservative party – allan thompson – he was like reactionary talkback radio – in the flesh…
he denied climate change – defended dairy farmers (he is one) as the salt of the earth – in all ways..
he banged on about how it is the people who produce ‘who get taxed’ – and that everyone else is a leech..
and he seems to be totally confused with/about these modern times..reduced to inarticulate snarls by much..
all in all he was a hoot – and this was confirmed by the ripples of laughter that greeted many of his answers – a puzzled silence the result of others..
he got applause once – (in a sort of a stopped clock is right once a day way) for saying that all plastics must be recyclable..(good on him..!..)
so..did this meeting change my vote..?..no..but it clarified it for me…
‘cos – y’see..!..i figured out before that the one way i can bite back for the way metiria turei was treated – was to pledge my party vote to the greens…
and in that i have not wavered..
and just going on quality of candidate – i should be giving the greens/robert moore’ the double-tick..
but i am enough of a realist to know that any hope of an upset in this safe tory seat lies with the labour candidate..
so for this reason my seat-vote will be going to the labour candidate..hillary humphrey – as she would be just fine for the job..
and as a final note/aside on the tory-candidate kuriger..
there was pathos to be had from the way kuriger looked at the labour/green candidates as they both received enthusiastic support/applause for the changes they are promising..
that pathos underlined by the fact that kuriger is smart enough to know that the/her tories are pretty much screwed..
and that even if she retains this safe tory seat – the winds of change will soon be blowing her over to the opposition backbenches..
she cannot be a happy camper /that’s gotta hurt –
unless tory incumbant barbara kuriger is also sticking her head in the sand as a reaction to these facts…
and that was the election meet-the-candidates ‘do’ in raglan – on a rainy/windy sunday afternoon..