Editorial: Taking another one for the team

By Kim Gillespie

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Paul Goldsmith
Paul Goldsmith

Who'd be a National candidate in Epsom?

Paul Goldsmith, that's who.

He's the sorry soul who has to grin and bear it as his party again looks likely to offer up his electorate in sacrifice to the Act Party to ensure National can rely on its presence and support in Parliament.

Oh I'm sure when the National rankings are finalised the weekend after next Mr Goldsmith will be ranked high enough up the party list to make it back in come this election - he was ranked 39 last time.

But any candidate must surely value a seat won by the popular vote of their hometown supporters over a seat won by virtue of the nationwide party vote and a list ranking high enough to work.

There is some high level support for Mr Goldsmith to win his seat. It comes in the unlikely form of his Labour rival Michael Wood.

Oh great, now Labour's playing games.

Mr Wood is urging voters to "end the Act party rort in Epsom" - ie vote for the National candidate.

Meanwhile, I think we know what we can expect in United Future leader Peter Dunne's Ohariu electorate.

But elsewhere, will National make way for the Conservative Party to win a seat and enter Parliament below the party vote threshhold? Reports say the Prime Minister, John Key, has hinted at it.

Of course that plan would depend on the existence of an (admittedly National-leaning) electorate that would choose Conservative leader Colin Craig to be their MP.

In each of these electorates will be a political hopeful who will take one for the team.

But these stand-aside MPs aren't the real victims here. That title goes to constituents whose votes are toyed with for the sake of political party manoeuvrings, whose electorate MPs' most important roles involve propping up a major party, not supporting constituents' causes.

Combine these shenanigans with the Internet-Mana combo, and it's looking to be a very interesting election.

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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