i have a couple of posts up at the hand mirror. unfortunately i couldn't contain my exuberance at news of the resignation of the broadcaster who shall not be named. hardly dignified on my part and i'm not normally one to rejoice at the misfortune of others, but there are some actions that should have consequences. this was one of them, and long overdue as far as i'm concerned.
it's been a fantastic weekend, not only because of the above news but also because of the very excellent local body election results this weekend. very happy to see len brown and a leftie council elected for the supercity in auckland. glad to see a leftward swing across the country really, which means that people do realise there is more to life than tax cuts (or rates cuts in this case).
i've put up a more detailed post of my thoughts on the results in hamilton at the hand mirror. i'd just like to expand a little on one theme: the influence of the waikato times on the election results. it's not healthy. as far as i'm concerned, the media is there to report the news, not to create it or influence. i can understand a paper taking an editorial stance on certain issues, but that stance should stay firmly on the opinion page & it shouldn't be used to promote or demote candidates.
unfortunately the times has a tendency to use the power of the press in a way that, to my mind, is clearly wrong. the paper basically campaigned against the vote to change the city council voting system to STV; they had a huge impact on the mayoral race between michael redman & martin elliot; and i believe the way they reported had a significant impact on the demise of bob simcock.
now don't get me wrong, i'm happy that mr simcock is no longer our mayor. but i still believe that unbiased reporting is crucial for democracy to function correctly. really, we don't need assessments of the candidates' appearance & fashion sense, we don't need them rated out of 10 by times reporters. what we need is straight reporting on what they had to say on key policy issues. we're perfectly capable of making up our own minds as to which position we'd like to support. and if we wanted to make judgements about appearance, we'd turn up at candidates meetings and do so for ourselves.
so a big thumbs down to the times for this kind of coverage. stay out of the campaign & let the people decide.