OPINION: Re-elected Mayor Len Brown's call to introduce electronic voting, to increase the turnout at Auckland's next local body elections, must be considered nationwide.
However, there are still a few simple souls left, such as myself, who like to pay their bills by cheque or in person because they don't trust online banking payments.
This year I voted in plenty of time and felt relieved of my civic burden as soon as I heard the thud of the envelope, smugly noting I can now whine forever and a day about them at council , while those who did not raise a biro to tick the boxes must to keep their cakeholes shut for another term - which of course they won't.
Yes, getting decent candidates to stand is always difficult and knowing what their honest intentions and capabilities really are is an impossibility.
I must admit a moment of madness there, when reading the dreary scant paragraphs in the instructions and candidate information booklet provided, I was nearly overwhelmed by a terrible impulse to vote for Kyle Chapman from The Resistance Party.
Not because I am sympathetic to his allegiances with the ghastly National Front or White Pride cause, but because of his boast that he is currently active in street patrols, his blunt opening sentence gambit: "I'm well-known round here, I have a voice and I use it. I will not bow down".
It reminded me of AA Milne's poem about Bad Sir Brian Botany who had a, "battleaxe with great big knobs on. He went among the villagers and blipped them on the head. On Wednesday and Saturday but mostly on the latter day. He called upon all the cottages and this is what he said: I am Sir Brian! (Ting-ling!) I am Sir Brian (Rat-tat!) I am Sir Brian as bold as a lion. Take that and that and that."
Candidate Tubby Hansen, who stood unsuccessfully for mayor, council and a community board and is from Electronic Schizophrenia, also stood out from the common candidate herd. Hansen vowed to be a "take it easy, completely obnoxious and sneaky Mayor working between 10am and 6pm, accepting no food or drink", and wanted a state-funded Christchurch Metropolitan police force who would arrest people getting into candidates' homes with drugs, bugs and using cancer machines (whatever they are?).
Hansen, born in the year of the rooster, crowed that there was no such thing as schizophrenia or aural dysfunction, that it was a Left-wing political racket, and called for "all schizophrenics to be released from hospital and paid $4000 in compensation and given some sort of pardon".
Imagining what a council would be with these two in it was alarming and comic in equal amounts but needs must, duty called.
I made sensible but boring choices, voting for people who did not set my heart or mind on fire but who will hopefully, with a bit wind at their backs, common sense, and putting all their differences aside, steer us to an enlightened and brighter future.
Good luck to the new entrants.
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