Councils Promoting Elections

Saw this in the news today.

A Dunedin City Council advertisement about council services has been ordered off air after a complaint by “outraged” councillors.

Several councillors had objected to the radio advertisement which featured a family debating the upcoming October elections and suggesting anyone unhappy with the Forsyth Barr stadium or inner-city parking should be enrolled to vote.

The councillors complained the advertisement “comes across like it’s anti the current council” prompting council chief executive Jim Harland to order the advertisement to be taken off the air early.

Now, in Dunedin the stadium is a very contentious issue, and a lot of people are opposing the reelection of the current council because of their support for it. Even so, it’s a very poor look.

The current council have acted in their self-interest and removed the advertisement.

Now, contrast that with this complaint from the previous local body elections.

Mr Quax, one of 11 candidates vying to succeed long-serving Mayor Sir Barry Curtis, thought a Manukau City Council ad was trying to influence voters.

A radio advertisement on Mai FM and FLAVA stations said “having things like free youth events could change, depending who gets voted on to our local council”.

Mr Quax said that was an overtly political statement aimed at getting the listener to vote for candidates who would provide “free youth events”.

To my mind, that’s much more blatant. It’s encouraging turnout by scaremongering about what changes in direction might mean. Yet, it wasn’t removed.

Guess who it benefited?

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