There is a candidate debate being hosted tonight in Christchurch East. I’m not sure how many there have been – at least two previously. This one is being hosted by community group WeCan – but Matthew Doocey clearly doesn’t think that one of the most prominent voices in the East is worthy of his vote:

WeCan has invited the Christchurch East By-Election Candidates to attend a hosted meeting. Key focus will be the recovery of the eastern suburbs. We are disappointed the National candidate is unable to come and talk about the vital issues of earthquake recovery on the east.

This is pretty bizarre behavior for a candidate who would surely be looking for as much exposure as possible. Maybe he thinks that WeCan – a group that have been vocal in their opposition to many of the things Gerry has been doing – might be hostile. But the other candidates are all going, and have gone to other meetings which didn’t really favour them. The debate yesterday was held by the Sensible Sentencing Trust, and the one a couple of weeks ago was held by a group that wants a new school in the North of the electorate, and who have strong connections with Aaron Gilmore. You would think that if you really wanted to win this election, going to all of the candidate debates would be a bare minimum. Maybe Gilmore was right – that Doocey isn’t cut out for this shit.