Jill Nicholas: Elections nearly over

By Jill Nicholas

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Within a few hours it'll all be over bar the shouting, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

By the law of mathematical averages there'll be a lot more of the latter than the former.

The 'it' to which I refer is, of course, Election 2013, and naturally it will be the highest-placed candidates who'll be hollering their heads off as they and their supporters applaud what they'll see as well-deserved success.

Some losers will do what good losers do . . . admit they've been consigned to the "also rans" category. However be warned, not all will accept defeat on the day as full and final settlement, so don't count on the election being over quite yet.

If there are candidates who reckon they've been done a wrong in the counting process they, and us, are likely to be subjected to a further period of uncertainty as votes are re-tallied and tallied again.

Some may even go as far as demanding judicial intervention; inevitably this will drag on well after the election's been consigned to the bottom drawer of most electors' memory cabinets.

Sure, if there are only a handful of figures separating the contenders who scraped in ahead of those breathing down their necks, a recount's the only decent - and democratic - thing to do.

But not all candidates squealing 'unfair' will fall into this near-miss category. They'll be the ones who polled way off the mark and wonder why. To them I say get over it, the people have spoken, take their word for it.

There's nothing worse than a sour loser, accept you bombed, a little navel gazing may tell you why.

Don't be tempted to blame an apathetic constituency, that you were up against too many opponents to make an impact, or what, in your eyes, is a flawed voting process. Others did better than you for any number of reasons - acknowledge it and applaud their success. It's the gracious thing to do.

Study what their appeal was that put them ahead of you in the popularity stakes, build a profile, give to your community before expecting your community to place its faith in you.

Now here's a thought. What happens if, by the end of today, there's a tie for any of the district's elected positions?

It won't be the first occasion. Former mayor, Grahame Hall, only became a first-time councillor on the toss of a coin. Old fashioned? Actually no.

A check with the powers-that-be confirm that in this technological age a coin toss or drawing lots is still regarded as the only feasible way to break an impasse.

Now that would put a bit of life back into our flagging post-election spirits, wouldn't it?

Can't you just see illegal bookies coming out of the woodwork to make a sly buck out of wagers placed on the outcome. The odds would be too even for the TAB to tackle.
Levity aside, let's return to the definitive election results for those who've cut the mustard.

There's a huge challenge ahead of you, the time for rhetoric's done, the hard grind starts today. It's what you put your hand up for so do your stuff, prove your voters' faith in you was warranted.

You've got three years to make a fair fist of turning this district's flagging fortunes on their head. Fail and next time around those who gave you your mandate can equally quickly turf you out of office with another judicious pen stroke.

Remember, it's just as easy to be dumped as it is to be elected. It's a process called democracy.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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