I worry. I worry that your postie has heard the call of the public bar and dropped his sack in a wheelie bin and in consequence you have not received the little booklet of candidate profiles for the local government elections. At three in the morning, that awful hour when fears swell and hope shrivels, I lie awake and worry for your participation in local democracy.
Specifically I worry that without candidate information you will join the apathetic two thirds of the population who already don't bother to vote in the local elections, who say that it makes no difference who's elected, who declare that all candidates spout the same trite nonsense and do nothing when they get into office. And that would be tragic.
So I have decided to do something about it. Here in Lyttelton we are blessed with a reliable postie so I have received my booklet of candidate profiles. And I am going to share the essential ones with you. That way you will have some information on which to base your vote. Please don't bother to thank me. It is the least I can do. Long live the power of the people.
(Of course, I realise that many of you don't live in my electorate, so I've left off the candidates' names. All you have to do is to insert the names of your local candidates as appropriate. And behold you will be informed.)
Candidate 1. Hi, you may recognise my name from the 2016 mayoral election. And from the 2013, 2010, 2007 and 2004 mayoral elections. No one else can claim such a record of standing for mayor and I feel that the 50 or so votes I get validate my life. I am still proudly standing on a platform of abolishing overhead electric cables, compulsory Tai Chi and altering the number 47 bus route to go along Weatherall St.
Candidate 2. Hi, I'm standing to be your mayor again on a platform of name recognition since I've been your mayor for the past three years. And once again I am basing my campaign on a battery of outstanding abstract nouns. I'm for continuity and sustainability. I'm for resilience and transparency. And above all I'm for amnesia, confident you will forget the massive rate increases that have happened every year I've been your mayor.
Candidate 3. Hi, I'm standing for mayor because it's time the council returned to business principles. I am old, white and male. I am on the board of directors of several companies so I know what I am talking about when I say that all council assets must be sold off immediately to old white male investors and all council functions must be put out to tender with companies run by old white male leaders of business. We need to focus once again on common sense.
Bless you: String theory and sneezing, what do they have in common?
Candidate 4. Hi, I'm standing for council in your ward because I am a local. Since announcing my candidacy I have been constantly seen about the ward on posters and the side of a van that I keep moving about the ward. Because I am local I know the issues that matter to you. Indeed every issue that matters to you matters to me even more. So I will be your voice on council. Feel free to casually stop me on the street or in the local shops that I shall be prominently patronising between now and the election and tell me your name and I shall keep repeating mine.
Candidate 5. Hi, I'm standing for the local community board because I'm a bit shy to try for the council where the big boys go. I am community-minded. My background in community development will be useful in developing the community. I believe that the community has all the skills, the creativity and the energy it needs to achieve community goals and I will be a champion for community goal setting and problem solving by a collaborative process within the community.
Candidate 6. Hi, I am standing for the District Health Board. I know you have no interest in the District Health Board. You don't know what it does and you don't care who is on it. But you get one vote for it and my surname begins with A. If elected I promise not to affect your life in any way or to make any sort of contact with you until three years from now.
There, you are informed. Go forth and practise local democracy.