On the campaign trail in Dunedin North with Victor Billot

Alliance Party blog

Posts Tagged ‘Unions

And the winner on the night . . . was apathy

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A low turnout. Despite the creditable organizing efforts of local CTU volunteers to get the meeting together, there was a smaller crowd than in the 2005 forum, of around 30 or so local unionists. The Labour Party should take this as a warning sign. If the pro-Labour unions can only summon up this kind of audience, then it is a bad omen for them.

Unlike Christchurch or Wellington, the Otago CTU invited the Alliance to speak. I still can’t believe that ACT was invited to workers forums elsewhere and the Alliance were turned away. Incredible.

Anyway to be honest there was a flat vibe and it only moved into second gear towards the end. However I will for the sake of thoroughness review the other candidates performance. As always I will not rank myself, in the interests of fairness.

Mr Smooth, AKA Michael Woodhouse (National, Dunedin North) impressed with an oleaginous performance. He pitched perfectly to the crowd, dropping in a few welltimed sentimental notes about his family origins, defusing any sign of conflict with a paced patter, and is already developing a trademark device to smother tough questions, which is to pose one back to the audience. 

The Technocrat, AKA Pete Hodgson (Labour, Dunedin North), is approaching this election devoid of any sense of urgency. Dry monotone like the rustling of autumn leaves, the audience was transfixed with boredom.

The Earnest Liberal, AKA Clare Curran (Labour, Dunedin South) used her public relations background to accurately point out how Mr Smooth was manipulating language to present a nice, friendly version of the National Party. However she was doing the same thing about the Labour Party, which kind of undermined her good point.

Save the Snail, AKA Shane Montague-Gallagher (Greens, Dunedin South) spent the entire meeting nervously going over his policies after a challenge from the floor flumoxxed him. However he kindly kept pouring everyone glasses of water which says something for him, probably that he is a new candidate. I didn’t bother to point out the glasses were non-recyclable plastic. 

All in all a pretty tepid night. National continues to sleep walk to victory with no policies and a banal smirk for a leader.

Written by Victor

October 7, 2008 at 9:12 am

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