The Dummy’s Guide To Saving Devonport

Posted by on Oct 02, 2010 | Leave a Comment

The Speculator's previous volume in the "Dummy" series was well received

The Speculator's previous volume in the "Dummy" series was well received, although much of the advice contained therein was ignored.

Most of us will have some idea that there is an election thingy coming up, but quite a few of us will have little a) knowledge or b) interest in participating.

The Speculator is here to rescue you from your a) ignorance and b) apathy, by providing you with a handy quick guide to those tedious forms you will have received in the post.

If you are fluent in the skills required to participate in the democratic process (ie you already know what elections are coming up and who you are going to vote for) then read no further.

The Speculator’s 20 Step Guide To Voting With Substance (and Style)

Step 1: Find the letter from the council. Do NOT throw out the letter (it’ll have “VOTING DOCUMENT ENCLOSED”) on the envelope;

Step 2: Put the letter by your bed.

Well done! You’ve achieved enough for the moment, so take a break until this evening!

Step 3: After putting the kids to bed and lightly sedating your wife/ husband, pour yourself a glass of wine,  move the rubbish bin from your bedroom out into the hall and close the door. Do not drink any wine until advised to do so by this guide.

Step 4: Retrieve the letter from your bedside table and open it.  It contains three things: a) another envelope, b) a yellow booklet and c) your voting paper. Yes, it feels like junk mail doesn’t it? RESIST the temptation to file any of these in the bin, which we have already safely removed from within throwing range;

Step 5: Appreciate the following: your voting paper requires you to vote in FOUR different elections. We’ll deal with each in turn.

Step 6: We  can quickly dispense with the Waitemata Health Board election. You can select up to THIRTY TWO candidates in order of preference. That’s a bit silly isn’t it? So – identify the seven candidates listed as independents (including the “Totally Independent” one) and place the numbers from 1 to 7 randomly in the boxes next to their names. This will keep idealogues out of the practical business of keeping people alive.

Wohay! That was the hard one! It’s all downhill from here! So send a sip of that wine downhill too!

Step  7 : The Mayoral Election: This is easy too. There’s a good chance you may have already heard of some of the candidates, which means you may be in the position of having an opinion on who to vote for. Good. You may even be in the glorious position of knowing something about some of the candidates. Excellent! If this is the case, take another sip of wine, safe in the knowledge that you are in an informed elite.

There are three main candidates: John Banks, Len Brown and Andrew Williams.

Banks used to be a somewhat extreme right wing, racist homophobe. But he says he’s changed. If you don’t believe him, avoid this candidate. If you do believe him and you generally vote National, he’s probably the one for you. If you do believe him but don’t vote National, keep reading.

Brown is the Leftie candidate, although as Lefties go, he’s fairly moderate. If you normally vote Labour, or normally vote National but don’t trust Banks, this guy could be your man. While there have been some concerns about his health, he put in a lively performance at the recent mayoral debate in the Town Hall.

Williams is currently the North Shore Mayor. He had previously been considered a steady hand; this had been noted partly from his handling of council affairs, but primarily from an unfortunate incident in which he was observed urinating on a tree in Takapuna, impressively accomplished with a minimum of splash and no staining. This is in stark contrast to some of the ceremonial beheadings and mass cullings that have occurred during his reign however, which has been a little er, divisive.

Step 8: On the voting paper, under where it says “ELECTING THE MAYOR”, tick the circle next to the name of your choice. Yes, now. If you delay, the bin will have the last laugh. Don’t think too hard….. done?

Tres bien! Sample that wine again!

Step 9: Now we move to the Auckland Council’s governing body. This will be made up of TWENTY eager beavers who will represent the entire Auckland Super City region. You can help elect TWO of these, from the North Shore ward.

Step 10: On the voting paper (next to the mayoral section), you will see a list of names under the heading “ELECTING 2 COUNCILLORS.” Yes, the list is long isn’t it? Don’t worry, we can dispense with most of this riff raff quite quickly.

Remember, you can vote for TWO candidates.

If we assume Devonport-based candidates are preferable to those from the wastelands of Takapuna and beyond, that leaves Chris Darby and Joel Cayford, although Grant Gillon is also a reasonably safe bet. This is quite convenient, as Joel is an independent while Chris has thrown his hat in with a party called Shore Voice (SV), which has been established to counter the right wing Citizens and Ratepayers. However this means young Mr Darby has had to team up with some Enemies Of Devonport From Takapuna (EDEOTS), such as the vituperative Fay Freeman, who is also on the SV ticket (along with some other Takapunies). Young Nat Joseph Bergin is also in SV, meaning it has broad coverage across the political spectrum.

So – the Speculator might consider one vote for a local, independent candidate (Joel Cayford ) and a vote for the marginally bifurcated Chris Darby of Shore Voice; the former being a vote to keep SV’s wings clipped, the latter to vote for an experienced Devonportian candidate. If you don’t like the concept of SV, Grant Gillon is also an independent with a feel for Devonport.

Or if you’re a bit silly, you might like to vote for Citizens and Ratepayers.

Step 11: Two ticks in two ticks. Go!

Three down! Now – the glass!

Now – you calloused veterans of the democratic process; the climax. Standing between you and showing your ceiling that glass’s ass, are six ticks. However, these ticks carry some considerable significance. Yes, that’s right, we’ve just been warming you up.

One of the worst outcomes for Devonport in the whole super city thing was the fact that we have been lumped into a local board with Takapuna. Two more different areas you can hardly imagine. One is a new, developing suburb, the other an old, stable community. So this is where your vote really counts.

Of that big list of shiny-eyed hopefuls, only SIX get elected to the board. You have SIX votes.  Once the results are in, Devonport could have either zero, zilcho representatives, or it could have six. Well, if there were six who were true blue Devo-tees, but there ain’t. So let’s get the obvious ones done first.

Step 12: Mike Cohen, Chris Darby, Gay Richards and Dianne Hale might be your first four ticks. These guys are all passionate about Devonport, but also understand the need for some things to change; primarily to find ways to stimulate local businesses, and to seriously consider public transport options as potential solutions for our traffic issues.

You’re two ticks away from the end! Now, as we’ve told you, the boy Darby is SV. Well, so’s Dianne Hale. Ergo, we need some decent independents in there to remind them that ultimately we all voted for them because of their Devonport pedigree, not this SV flimflam. However, SV don’t have political whips (which means they are not obliged to vote for SV’s official policy on any issue), so we could maybe sneak in one more .

Step 13: The last two ticks are not quite as easy; but consider SV’s  Joseph Bergin (young, smart, passionate but inexperienced) and Wenda Morton, an industrious activist who has taken on decent community causes in the past. Fresh blood is always a good thing. However, these last two ticks are yours to express your rash individuality, so go crazy. Just steer clear of the Takapunies.

Step 14: Put down the pen.

Step 15: Stretch luxuriantly. But don’t touch the wine. Yet.

Step 16: Take the pre-paid envelope in one hand, the now completed voting paper in the other, and combine in the traditional manner, ensuring the address is visible through the window.

Step 17: Lick it (enjoying the taste of glue), seal it, take it from your bedroom out into the hall and place it ready for posting on the hall table.

Step 18: Return to your bedroom.

Step 19: Repeat the entire process for your spouse’s voting paper, remembering to return the rubbish bin to its original position to avoid any difficult questions in the morning. The wine is the only witness. There is an aftertaste of glue in your mouth. You and the glass of wine are alone.

Step 20: You know what to do.

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