I have put aside a small portion of Tuesday mornings, prior to the Local Body elections, to read Mike Yardley’s current focus the Mayoral election campaign. This paragraph caught my attention last week:
There is unquestionably a whiff of Trump-style disruption to Park’s campaign platform, with a clear intent to seize the agenda, shake things up and lay waste to many pre-existing assumptions. That has been most glaringly manifest in his “zero rates increase” pitch, which he qualifies as not a cast-iron commitment, but a broad-brush intention.
I completely agree with Mike. The arguing of the “zero rates” as a “intention” rather than a “cast-iron commitment” is the sort of clap-trap which makes people tired of politicians. It is meant to encourage people into thinking he knows what he is talking about; which appears to be incorrect. Then Mike writes:
Not only does he lack the energy and punch of Dalziel on the hustings, he’s short on detail.
Voters deserve real meat on the bones of his policy platform. During Radio New Zealand’s mayoral debate, when challenged to pinpoint how he could achieve zero-rates increases by cutting expenditure, his initial reaction was to take aim at community board grants for neighbourhood barbeques.
It was a credibility howler, an absolute clanger, given they are small fry – in every sense.
This debate was the chance for the candidate to assert how he was going to run a Mayoralty. He failed it dismally. I hope he hasn’t given up his day job.
I have been worried about the almost breathless reporting on the election campaign by local media. They seem obsessed by a “contest” rather than focusing on the points being made by the candidates. There has been virtually no coverage of candidates standing for council, community board or Ecan, and no coverage at all on the District Health Board candidates. It does highlight the lack of resources in our local media, a point made to us so many times by Gerard Smyth.
I was reflecting on this lack of coverage as I read a Dallas newspaper this morning where they said:
The real problem is the approach to politics itself. Politics isn’t a sport, but we’re all guilty at some level of treating it that way. A huge portion of our media — mainly in the cable news and talk radio realm — uses politics as a way to keep people tuned in and tuned up.