On opposing an electoral systemI quite like MMP. And I believe that, in an open democracy, people should be allowed to support MMP, or oppose it - and join related groups. Running a campaign or standing for office, however, is a different matter and background checks are often done.
Martyn Bradbury’s outing of Alex Fogerty, a founding member of anti-MMP group Vote for Change, as a man who has supported white supremist websites in the past, is a case of googling a whole bunch of members of a group that is on the other side of the political fence to dig dirt and publicise it – purely because of their political beliefs. It’s the sort of stuff we have come to expect from Pete Hodgson.
I was aware of Fogerty’s links. I can use Google too. I just didn’t think it was worthwhile publicising these links.
Fogerty, who has links to the National Party, has now been told to resign from Vote for Change. He had no role in the organisation apart from signing up as a founding member. Bradbury incorrectly maintained he had an “active” role. While his name has been deleted from the Vote for Change Website, he is still a founding member and his name is on the documents on the Company Office's website. [ update So is former Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey but he has resigned as well - but is still listed as a supporter on the Vote for Change web site.]
Dunedin North’s Labour candidate David Clark is more shocked that Fogerty is Facebook friends with Dunedin-based National list MP Michael Woodhouse. (They are not now). He wants an explanation. Presumably he’d like to know why Fogerty is facebook friends with Ceila Wade-Brown also, and the rest of his friends.
It’s fair to say I abhor white supremist views, and disagree with Fogerty’s opinions on most things, but I still maintain he should be able to voice political opinions on an electoral system and join groups that encompass these views.
However groups such as Vote for Change that know they are to receive media attention should ensure that their founding members withstand public scrutiny.
The Campaign for MMP has not commented on this – they’d rather play the ball, not the man.