Editorial: Courage lacking in leaflets

By Michele Hunter

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Stuart Crosby is unimpressed by a 'venomous' batch of pamphlets.
Stuart Crosby is unimpressed by a 'venomous' batch of pamphlets.

A child's opinion on the performance of current and former city councillors wouldn't be taken very seriously by the voting public, and I expect a leaflet slating councillors will be given the same weight.

Childhood is the last time I remember anonymous notes full of spiteful, mean comments being circulated - usually by bullies too gutless to put a face to their jibes.

How are voters expected to take the content of a leaflet - which slams the performance and personalities of nine candidates and the city's mayor - seriously when the writer hasn't put their name to it?

The insults include arrogant, abusive, financially naive and, in the mayor's case, an utter failure. The leaflets, circulated in two of the three city wards, call for the current councillors, and two former, who are vying for re-election to be voted out in favour of newcomers.

The writer's reasons range from opposition to tsunami sirens to support for the Southern Pipeline but the fact none of the opinions are owned throws the credibility of them into question for voters.

Politics is always going to be a hunt for dirty laundry to air and long-hidden skeletons in closets but in this case the writer hasn't dug up anything that isn't already common knowledge, or easily accessible to anyone who wants to know about it.

The councillors named in the leaflet have strong suspicions about who is behind it but aren't prepared to say without proof.

For the author to speak so passionately it seems they must have a deep interest in local politics - which, with an 11 per cent return rate on voting papers, means they are part of a very small group.

As a voter I would disregard any opinion without a name and face attached to it and expect a lot of others will feel the same way.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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