A response to campaign critics.

Ooookay, this got written as a response to a bunch of spinning over on frogblog, from whingers who wanted to discount our efforts to be intelligible to voters. It got me grumpy, and I don’t even have a hangover! (BTW, it was a great partee last night in Wellington Central …)

As far as getting our message out goes, we spend less on advertising in print media than most other parties. The editorial bias came out promptly.

Have you noticed the two-party bias in the media over the past 3 – 4 weeks? Right down to the TV channels not running a leaders’ debate with leaders from all parties?

I went to a lot of candidates’ fora in Wellington; these were routinely not reported in media, even though media attended. Hearing from their own mouths what other parties’ candidates espoused in the way of policy and core values was very educational.

Shame most of the electorate missed out on hearing about that, ‘cos apart from one sarcastic & condescendingly reported piece in the Dompost, only Capital Times regularly did a round-up question to all the candidates.

Most of the green membership are engaged & capable of recognising, and dismissing, this bias; but mere citizens going about their daily lives, who are not political insiders, didn’t stand a chance of evaluating the ‘minor’ parties in this election race. It says a lot about the media self-selecting ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ early on, and hammering home points to the anxieties of the electorate.

The fourth estate has taken on pretensions of ruling/kingmaking in other countries, this is something we have avoided here up ’til now-ish, but I ‘m concerned that a pattern has been set that will be continued.

In my experience of campaigning for Green electorates, this has been one of the best election campaigns in the past decade. We’ve grown the vote by 33%, added 2 MP’s (and maybe 3) to Parliament, and mobilised a huge force of young campaigners and young voters. All of these seem like good outcomes to me!

For those outcomes, much kudos must go to Gary Reese, the National Campaign manager, and Pete Huggins, his assistant. I’m hoping they both had a huge sleep-in today, and don’t come near the net for a while; but shout-outs, if you’re reading this, guys! 😉

Arohanui ki a koutou katoa, nga kakariki, e hoa maa.

And, in my usual form, here’s some crowd shots from the night:

The Craftsman Bar, from the pavement

The Craftsman Bar, from the pavement

A view of the crush inside ...

A view of the crush inside ...

Umm, there’s more pix up on FB, for those who can find the Green Party event page…