Local Attention

Toby Fitzsimmons
Insights Newsletter
27 September, 2019

“In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve,” said the 19th century French philosopher Joseph de Maistre.

Looking at the mayoral candidates in New Zealand, it is hard to fathom what Kiwis have done to deserve this year’s contenders.

The election seems to be a gag at least for one candidate. On Auckland Council’s website, Fiona, says she will give “running the city a good go.” While the can-do attitude is admirable, one wonders whether comedian Tom Sainsbury’s alter ego has the necessary experience, having never “worked a job, per se.”

Nonetheless, Fiona promises to draw on her practised belief that “wine is the key to true happiness” to create policy. Plastic straws will be banned and replaced with glass straws because they “help with wine-drinking so that you don’t get lipstick on your teeth.”

Fiona will also “tackle the housing crisis.” Who knows, anything is better than KiwiBuild.

From comedy to the intellectual. Don Newt McDonald, running to be Wellington’s mayor, wrote this in his statement: “Even 1 (1/2) (1/3 1/4) ... (5'6'7'8'.) Annually.
Convergent Series 1.5 .5.5 nudge infinity.”

Don’s mathematical genius is well beyond the comprehension of voters.

A “plain talk” candidate, Don will tackle Wellington’s economic problems. After all, “Resource exhausted 1-2-3. Nothing left… Mind spend$$g. Growth so bad xWgtn mayor.” Maybe Don has political experience. He must be writing Trump’s tweets.

Some candidates’ ideas are more articulate, even if a bit ambiguous.

Tricia Cheel wants to integrate welfare for the homeless and defence by getting the military to create 24/7 ‘caring hubs.’ Apparently, these hubs would mainly organise carpooling.

A candidate for Waikato District Council, Andrew Anderson believes “the Government needs to create a Nazi nation.” What would this involve – invading Australia for Lebensraum?

Apparently, the demand for a Nazi nation just means a radical stance against income inequality.

Hamilton candidate Lisa Lewis is famous for streaking at an All Blacks game in 2006.

No drama this time, though. Her bio on her campaign website is boringly about how, in 2003, she “balanced part-time study studying Spanish and Photography part-time at Dallas Community College,” while living with her then husband and stepson.

Not all mayoral candidates have streaked publicly, but most are putting attention-seeking above good policy.

Unlike in other countries, these candidates will not become president, but Kiwis deserve better.

Stay in the loop: Subscribe to updates