Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Christchurch Candidates, at least two offer some policy

Candidates list policy planks for campaign (some thoughts are added, courtesy of a second tilt, third way candidate, whom the PRESS probably wont go near, unless readers insist!)

Christchurch mayoral candidates Bob Parker and Megan Woods have unveiled their early policy ideas as their campaigns for the October elections shift up a gear. The two candidates are preparing for the final three months of the mayoral race.

Woods has attacked proposals for a $100 million civic building, while Parker has focused on tackling crime. (both noticeably offering expert opinions, absent any numerate or cost-benefit analysis... do they think voters are idiots?)

Their campaigning styles differ, with Parker commissioning advertising agencies and public relations firms and Woods relying on support from political alliance Christchurch 2021.

Parker has so far commissioned Harvey Cameron Advertising, public relations company The Agency Communications and polling firm Buzz the People to help in his campaign. (Are voters voting for agency's or the man?)

Woods' website was designed by a friend and her polling was conducted informally at community group meetings. (Good on you Megan, I like low cost campaigns, mine usually cost about 20 dollars, but I do my research, watch this space!)

Parker officially launched his campaign last week with a pledge card outlining his campaign priorities.

One of his main priorities is to tackle crime with more security cameras, better lighting and more community engagement in central Christchurch.

(there is no evidence that security cameras reduce crime... anywhere. They just move it along, while creating a false perception of security at a cost to both liberty and enjoyment of the right to privacy. Disturbingly there is evidence that it teaches young people that no one has any self-will. That adults cannot be trusted. Not a good sign that this is going to be anything but a populist campaign.... Voting for whats popular dumbs down the debate - that is, when they are ready to have it. When will candidates for civic office say "I'm prepared to risk my position and my standing on evidence of results?" Elsewise all this tough on crime stuff is a sham.)

"There is a feeling of real insecurity, especially at night. That is not the way it used to be. The crime figures are at a reasonably high level, there are some real examples of violence and intimidation, but it is about perception," Parker said. (what complete waffle, and from an experienced waffler at that, spot the middle of the road, sitting on the fence dribble!)

Woods is targeting the proposed $100m civic building as a major campaign issue and says it is an example of the council "not respecting the rates dollar".

She has consulted building experts to look for cheaper options and is considering a decentralised approach, where council offices would be spread across the city.

(Now here is a good idea being spoiled... not original, but the core idea is good. Lets see if Megan can come up with the right reasons, the test is, is Megan capable of original thought in the heat of debate?.)

"One option we are looking at is a decentralised model where you put council back into the community and use the holdings already owned by the council. (How about enhancing existing holdings and functions with real communications, real networking and taking a disciplined systems approach from both nature and military CCC [command, control, communicate] models. At the very least this writer brings these skills to the table. )

"You would have to make sure different aspects of council were clustered together so people do not have to drive across town for a meeting." (see above)

Parker rounded on political opponents making election issues out of the recent 7.35 per cent rates rise and the civic building. (this looks so much like when one cannot defend the indefensible, attack the messenger... we'll see where this argument moves to over the next 12 or so weeks)

"I would challenge anyone who says the rates can be lower to not just take the popular, easy rhetoric, but to convince us how they will do it," he said. "They should not just throw around that they will not have a civic building. To reiterate the same old, tired rhetoric just to get into council is a sad indictment." (Hmmmm, Mr Parker is throwing me some bait... assuredly there will not be the same old tired rhetoric 'yadda yadda' from this quarter. [wide smile all round])

Parker favours a civic building in the city centre as a way to regenerate and enliven life within the four avenues. (from a man who voted for cars and truck in 'our' malls and who is prepared to circumvent due process to do it. The inner city is not just for Mr Parker's inner city development friends, he needs to broaden his outlook and consult more widely, and properly.)

Woods is also focusing on making the council more accessible and tackling youth safety issues after the Edgeware Road tragedy, while Parker is targeting basic services like sewerage, roads and traffic congestion. (Ms Woods needs to understand this Edgeware issue from a youth justice perspective before she appeals to voters. The Town Hall meeting was simplistic and will solve nothing. )

Both have pledged to protect heritage buildings and tackle water pollution. (and mother milk, no doubt. Heritage buildings must have purpose and an economic future. Water pollution has never lent itself to being 'tackled'. The law provides remedy. It is a question of the will to use that remedy. Curiously I ask, when did Megan or Bob last kayak the Avon or Healthcote? )

23/09/06 (the day after river clean up day, this all from the botanical garden loop.)

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