BIG NEWS

Sunday, November 14, 2010

More on Mana

It’s becoming clear to many Labour supporters that Kris Fa’afoi is not the best candidate on the left for Mana in the coming by-election. Jan Logie has a better connection to the electorate and Matt McCarten sounds a lot more principled.

I think Labour could have put up a better candidate, and if Fa’afoi does win the by-election, many in the Mana electorate will be asking why they are being represented by someone who is not from the electorate, who has criticised others such as Matt McCarten for not being from the electorate, when Hekia Parata is currently working in the electorate.

Liz Tanielu heads the Teaaomanino Trust. It is the biggest Pacific Island service provider in Mana, and Tanielu has voted Labour. But Tanielu supports Parata. Tanielu took part in a debate at a fundraising auction earlier this year, organised primarily by Parata's Mana office, and raised more than $30,000 for Mana youth. So Tanielu is no bystander, she is involved in the community and has seen what Parata can do as an MP. She has also seen what Laban did as an MP and doesn't appear to think that Fa'afoi measures up.

In a by election, you should be voting for the person you want to represent you. You should not be voting for an MP based on the party he or she belongs to, not whether that person represents the left or the right of politics. That’s what Liz Tanielu is advocating for. However it appears that those who vote Fa’afoi wil be voting him because he is Labour, those who vote for Parata will be voting for her because she is Hekia Parata. Those who vote for Matt McCarten will be voting him because he is Matt McCarten. Therefore this race should be between McCarten and Parata, it’s just a pity that Logie appears squeezed out by the bigger names. And it is also a shame that Fa’afoi is even standing, because he is the wrong candidate for Mana.

If Labour wins this by-election, Logie will still be living in Mana, McCarten will return to the place from whence he came, and many will consider Parata the de facto electorate MP even though she will still be a list MP.

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