Saturday, September 18, 2010

3 STV's and an FPP - 2010 edition

It's that time of the trimester for local body elections and the ballot papers have arrived. Let's get this over and done with. Fortunately, there's less dart-throwing required than last time, largely thanks to this handy little website.

Working from the back of the ballot to the front, first up is Wellington Regional Council. FPP, tick five choices from a field of 12. After a quick look through the Turf Digest, I reckon I'll take a process of elimination on this vote, combined with the form of the existing council. My experiences with the WRC over the last three years have not been positive. The weed control officer was polite but not entirely helpful, whilst bus fares have doubled in three years.

Clearly, the Council must be sent a message. Someone's for the chop. Sally Baber can go, for talking of expanding water supplies without mentioning the leaky public pipes right now, where up to fifty percent of water loss occurs on the way to the ratepayers. Judith Aitken can also go. Cruising on a reputation. Paul Bruce avoids the axe by a whisker, leaving Chris Laidlaw out in the cold.

Fran Wilde and Paul Bruce now need three new faces in there. Two chicks got knocked out of incumbency, and the only other choice a Dianne Buchan, a consultant. That nearly got her kicked off the island. Saved by helping start the Newtown Festival. She's in.

Another consultant, Labour's Daran Pointer, is not so lucky. The B Ark Golgafrinchan quota is now full. He's out. I'm also very wary of local candidates running on large party tickets, especially the way Labour is barricaded right now. However, if I'm going to give Charles Finny a crack, some yin is required. Congratulations to Chris Lipscombe for providing enough information to make an informed guess.

My WRC vote: Paul Bruce, Dianne Buchan, Charles Finny, Chris Lipscombe and Fran Wilde.

Next up, the CCDHB race. Rank seven in order, like a favoured septella (Think of it as the offspring of a trifecta and a quinella). My experiences of the health services and those of my circle over the last three years has been uniformly positive. Therefore, I really don't care enough look for alternative candidates and I'm going to just rank the incumbents in the order presented on the ballot. The Electoral Office saw me coming, and the candidates are helpfully listed in random order. So:

1. Donald Urquhart-Hay, 2. Virginia Hope, 3. Margaret Faulkner, 4. Judith Aitken, 5. Helene Ritchie, 6. Peter Roberts, 7. 7.... Where's Ruth Gotlieb? OK, I'm going to have to pick one. Where did I put my darts... 7. is... Russell Franklin.

OK, only two votes to go, Wellington's Westie Ward and mayor. Both are STV ballots. Now there's a funny lesson I learned from Scoop earlier this year about STV votes. Rank your choices, yeah. But if you DON'T want a candidate to be elected, don't rank them. AT ALL:


Obviously, it is important to make sure the candidates you choose are the ones you prefer – in the order that you prefer them.

Do not put a number next to a candidate who you do not want to vote for, even if it is the lowest vote, it is still a vote, and could be counted as such if all your other candidates reach their quota of votes.

You may think there is not a huge difference between ranking a candidate as your sixth preference or ranking them as your seventh preference, but in a system such as STV, and in an election with such a large amount of candidates, such differences can be hugely significant in terms of results.

Time to pull out my shit list from earlier in the year. No votes for Kerry Prendergast, John Morrison or Jo Coughlin. In Onslow Western, that makes Andy Foster an easy Number 1. Oh dear, with one down and two scratchings, that leaves a field of only four and two spaces to fill. Not picking any more risks Jack Ruben getting back in, so I'm holding my nose and:

Onslow Western Vote - 1. Andy Foster, 2. Ingrid Sage, 3. Sharon Blaikie.

Finally, the mayor. As mentioned earlier, Kerry is on the shit list. Apart from that, I'm tired of her face. I'm tired of every public space within a one block radius of a Rex Nicholls property being ripped up and made over at public expense. It may be an STV vote, but I'm only ranking one candidate. Celia Wade-Brown for mayor.