Archives for posts with tag: Aaron Gilmore

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.

Aaron Gilmore has stepped out from the shadowy world of accountancy to offer his opinion on the Christchurch East by-election, and in his view, it’s not good for National:

He said National’s campaign for the by-election was “not being run right and I don’t think the candidate is right .¬†They could have won with the right person and the right campaign. The major parties should have selected a well-known, local, successful person to make the result more clear-cut. People are annoyed no good local person put their name up.”

It’s hard to know what to think of this – does one discredit Gilmore because of his failure as a politician, or give some credence to a man who got 10,225 votes in the electorate last election? Either way, it shows that there has been no love lost between Gilmore and the National Party, which is one of the risks when you cut someone loose from the party, Chris Carter-style. From what I’ve seen of Matthew Doocey, he looks completely out of his depth; his performance at the first candidate debate could either be put down to nervousness, or an inability to comprehend basic English sentence structure. While the by-election on Saturday will ultimately come down to voter turn-out on the day, this has raised a potential embarrassing situation for John Key and National: that Aaron Gilmore was right.