Trusty, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind . . .
These are the character traits a Scout or Guide is supposed to demonstrate. They are also essential character traits for a good MP.
Local MPs haven’t been so local anymore since that MMP has decreased the number of electorates and thereby increased their size but that makes availability and commitment to the electorate and its people even more important.
All of this makes me wonder what the people of Northland are thinking if the TV3 poll is right and 54% of them want Winston Peters as their MP when 48% don’t trust him and 9% don’t know if they trust him.
Why would people vote for someone they don’t trust, who doesn’t live in the electorate, who will be at least as interested in courting the rest of New Zealand as party leader as he is in the people of Northland and who is coming to the end of a political career distinguished at least as much by controversy as accomplishment?
Contrast that with National’s candidate Mark Osborne who lives in the electorate, is in partnership with his wife in a business in the electorate, has children at school in the electorate and as a backbench MP at the start of a political career would have the time and commitment to serve the people of the electorate.
It is even more puzzling when getting Peters as a part-time electorate MP would give more power to both Peter Dunne and the Maori Party.
. . .Those who vote in Northland tomorrow will not remove National from power whatever happens, but they could shift the balance of power in Parliament from Epsom’s David Seymour, who is safely in National’s pocket, to Peter Dunne and the Maori Party. They will be the real winners if Northland elects Winston Peters. . .
And the losers will be all of New Zealand which needs a strong, stable government and the people of Northland who need a good local MP.