Outbreak Of Democracy Concerns Government

Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast has lashed out at the voting system that saw her lose the Wellington mayoralty to Celia Wade-Brown.

“It’s outrageous that the will of the majority of right-leaning voters has been disregarded,” said Prendergast.

She has called on the Government to look at reforming the way local election voting occurs.

Political expert Dr Roy Stanislov of Otago University said the voting system used in Wellington’s election was quite widespread.

“The voting system they use is called ‘democracy’. It’s been quite controversial in some countries, particularly in the Middle East and some parts of Asia, where there have been all sorts of problems.

“Clearly something isn’t working right if we can’t always be certain a conservative business-friendly mayor will win the race.”

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide agreed there was a problem.

“In Auckland we’ve seen a noticeable move to the left. We set the Supercity up so this wouldn’t happen, but it looks as if we may have more work to do.”

However, Mr Hide said that he did not support legislation in Parliament to amend election rules.

“We don’t need more red tape. The Government can already pass an order in council under the Canterbury emergency legislation to fix this outbreak of democracy, and that’s what we’ll be looking at doing.

“I’m a big fan of one man one vote, but things have got out of hand. Did you know that they even let women vote now? Look at the trouble women have caused my own party.”

Hide said that it was probably time to consider introducing a greater degree of scrutiny over who has the right to vote.

“Perhaps it’s time we introduced a property qualification for voters. If you’re careless or lazy enough not to own several share portfolios and rental properties, then why should you get a say in how your town or city is run?

“And an educational qualification ought to be introduced, to ensure the right people are in charge of deciding who gets elected. If you can’t list the main characters in at least one of Ayn Rand’s books, you’re clearly not the sort of person we can rely on to vote sensibly.”