Mayoral hopefuls reveal their taste
How much can you really tell about a mayoral candidate from their policies? Surely you could learn more if you discovered what movies they love, the books they read and the TV shows they watch. Ahead of next week's Christchurch mayoral elections, Charlie Gates asks the candidates about their cultural mores.
It's Quentin Tarantino versus Mike Leigh, Coldplay versus Nick Cave, or Dune versus Catch 22.
The mayoral contest between Lianne Dalziel and Paul Lonsdale has been cast in many ways; the city versus the suburbs, politics versus business and the novice versus the seasoned MP.
But what about their different cultural tastes? The Press asked all the mayoral candidates about their favourite books, websites, video games and movies to give voters a fresh perspective come election day.
The answers perhaps reveal more about the differences between the two leading candidates than anything they could say about their policies or political background.
Let's start with their taste in film. Lonsdale's favourite is hip 1990s classic True Romance, scripted by Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott, while Dalziel's top film is Mike Leigh's Secret and Lies because it's "one of those gutsy films that tackles hard issues in a very realistic way".
So it's Dalziel's gritty kitchen sink drama with an emphasis on social conscience versus Lonsdale's glossy, smart and cineliterate crime drama. Should we be worried that Lonsdale has chosen a movie where the hero takes advice on matters of conscience from the ghost of Elvis Presley? Or should we be worried that a politician has chosen a film called Secrets and Lies?
Then we move on to the smaller screen. What television shows do the two candidates enjoy?
Dalziel favours sanctimonious but compelling smugfest The Newsroom and noughties courtroom drama Boston Legal.
"Boston Legal is the lawyer coming out in me, but I love the Alan Shaw summations and Danny Crane just being Danny."
Danny Crane? I think she means Denny Crane.
But Lonsdale can't even name a favourite TV show.
He fares better when it comes to music, which is clearly his favoured artform.
"I like everything from Tchaikovsky to Radiohead. Recent favourites are Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Push the Sky Away, and The National Trouble Will Find Me."
Dalziel also has eclectic but perhaps more middle-of-the-road tastes, referencing KD Lang, Coldplay and Pearl Jam as favourites.
Sadly, neither candidate plays video games, although Lonsdale was keen to point out that he plays guitar. Lonsdale played in a band called The Solatudes in early 1980s Christchurch. But Dalziel was quick to hit back, bragging about the time she sang backing vocals on a record.
Lonsdale's choice of favourite painting, Woman with Mandolin by Picasso, is also a little bit rock 'n' roll.
Dalziel goes local with her choice of painting, naming Kiwi artist John Coley and making a campaign promise to boot.
"My favourite single work of art is Red Square in the People's Republic of Christchurch by John Coley, which my husband and I own, and which I will display at the council offices if I am successful in my bid to be mayor."
So, there you go.
Perhaps this insight into the cultural tastes of our future leader will help when it comes to filling in your voting papers.
Tarantino or Mike Leigh? The choice is yours.
THE OTHER CANDIDATES
But, what about the other candidates?
Well, far-Right candidate Kyle Chapman doesn't read fiction, but loves computer games Dawn of War and Modern Warfare.
Peter Wakeman's favourite book is The Three Little Pigs, while Hugo Kristinsson goes a bit more highbrow with One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Bradley Maxwell chooses Titanic as his favourite film and has quite a unique reason for doing so.
"Having spent seven-plus years as a cruise ship steward with P&O in the late 1970s, the movie I connect with the most, and have seen more than once, is Titanic. The tragedy of the night and the fact I spent my 21st birthday fighting a fire on board a ship and going to emergency stations in the dead of night, has real significance for me."
Voting papers were sent out last month and need to be returned by Wednesday to be included in the preliminary result announced on Saturday, October 12.
Voting papers can be handed in at the civic building on Hereford St, Shirley Service Centre on Marshland Rd and Akaroa Service Centre on Rue Jolie until noon on Saturday, October 12.
* Mayoral candidates Victor Cattermole, Sammy Harris, Blair Anderson and Robin McCarthy, did not respond in time to be included in our online graphic. Michael Hansen could not be reached. Apologies also for the candidates not being listed in alphabetical order, despite being stated as such.
- © Fairfax NZ News