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Berger tops list thanks to National ideology

by 18 Sep 2016Berger for the board, Local, Local board, Youth voting0 comments

Tessa Berger on Fletch, Vaughan and Megan

Tessa Berger Tsunami: What the tsunami of mainstream media coverage beautifully illustrated is that Tessa Berger is naturally telegenic and a powerful communicator—exactly the qualities necessary if a person is to achieve great things in public office, for the people she represents. And Tessa is no one-trick pony—the day following this interview, she inspired and energised a class of Mahurangi College students for their Kids Voting programme, and this Monday met with Watercare representatives to explore the possibility that the proposed wastewater main from Warkworth to the Mahurangi Peninsula might do double service as a walk and cycleway to Snells Beach. image Fletch, Vaughan and Megan

Tessa Berger’s bonanza of national media coverage began locally, with the Rodney Times sending out its reporter Jay Boreham to interview Tessa in respect to her eye-catching billboards, one of which by then had been removed.

Given evidence of its reasonably careful removal, and the fact no remnants remained on site, the likelihood was that it was souvenired. From a Rodney Times story, it instantly became a national one, through the paper’s owner’s national online platform Stuff, from where it was picked up by Seven Sharp, Breakfast and Fletch, Vaughan and Megan, even the New Zealand Herald.

That was the upside. The downside was that candidates competing for the Warkworth subdivision of the Rodney Local Board accused the Rodney Times of favouritism, in covering the story of Tessa’s irresistibly eye-catching billboards, resulting in its refusal to cover the subsequent quite separate one on how she succeeded in getting her old college to participate, for the first time in 25 years, in Kids Voting.

Given the record poor turnout in 2013, particularly in the Auckland region where barely more than one in three of those registered voted, it is the duty of the mainstream media to minutely scrutinise what is different, if anything, this time around. That other candidates failed to get a local college involved, and students fired up for Kids Voting, is not news; that Tessa Berger did, is. And at the risk of reiterating the theme of the last three Mahurangi Magazine articles published once too often, participatory experience in voting in schools is the only evidence-based route to reversing, long term, the worldwide decline in turnout. Even the lacklustre 2013 Justice and Electoral Committee reported:

Tessa Berger’s 35-metre goal

Tessa Berger’s Amazing 35-Metre Goal: The absurdly high skill level and absolute focus required for Tessa Berger to make this lofty 35-metre goal, which would have needed a Manuel Neuer to prevent, and leadership required to capitalise on it to win the women’s cup from the team that had held it for the last three years, should leave no one in doubt that the Rodney Local Board would be galvanised by this ‘it’s cool to be kind’ 22-year-old. Here Tessa has just got her kick away—despite an opposing player charging onto her—with the ball on its way to blasting in from altitude, passing over the head of the hapless in-position goalkeeper and just under the bar. image The Top Story NZ

Evidence shows programmes that are experiential, for example simulations and field trips, are generally more effective. Some of us would like to see a central government agency with overall responsibility for civics education.
[emphasis added]

Charged with inquiring into methods of increasing voter participation in local authority elections, the apparently conflicted committee, rather than reviewing the current civics programmes and making concrete recommendations, kicked for touch:

We recommend to the Government that it review the available teaching material in civics education and investigate the commissioning of research into the impact of civics education in New Zealand on voter turnout and voter behaviour.

The government’s response to the sum of the committee’s recommendations could be likened to a condescending pat on the head, all-too-amply typified by its response to the specific civics recommendation:

Work is already underway within the Ministry of Education, with input from the Electoral Commission, on incorporating and resourcing civics education in the social sciences / tikanga ā-Iwi learning areas; this is an ongoing and iterative piece of work as The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa are regularly reviewed and updated.

The Government does not consider that funding research into the impact of civics education in New Zealand on voter behaviour should be a key priority at present. Instead the Government will work with that [sic] LGNZ, SOLGM and other local council organisations to encourage the provision of experiential learning opportunities for schools.

Rodney Local Board Warkworth subdivision ballot paper

Danger – This is a First-Past-the-Post Election: Unfairly accused of being favoured by the mainstream media, Tessa Berger does, however, enjoy a unfair slight advantage due to the National-led government’s dogmatic refusal to heed its own inquiry and force councils to list candidates randomly rather than alphabetically. Worse, however, is the failure to warn voters that they risk voting against their own first preference, should they tick more than one candidate in a multi-seat contest, such as for the Warkworth subdivision of the Rodney Local Board. The solution, of course, is preference voting, and the long-overdue abolition of first-past-the-post. image Auckland Council

Exactly when a government might consider the impact of civics education on voter behaviour to be a key priority, other than following a record-low voter turnout, is mind boggling, except perhaps for the terminally cynical. The National-led government’s lack of motivation is probably entirely explainable by the expanded form of Sod’s law—sods, Sod’s law, and underperforming sods—and not part of a Machiavellian plot to keep the masses subjugated as uncomplaining consumers sleepwalking into a future devoid of even a survivable climate. But governments would have every reason to fear, was experiential democracy to become a core curriculum activity, that not only would students soon be flooding to the polls demanding immediate meaningful action on climate, but that they would not wait until reaching the age of enfranchisement before demanding changes in their own schools, such as no child be left behind, on account of being provided with neither breakfast nor lunch.

So, while the government plays pass-the-parcel with Local Government New Zealand, the New Zealand Society of Local Government Managers and ‘other local council organisations’, Tessa Berger has rolled her sleeves up and owned the urgent need for the evidence-based Kids Voting programme to be made available to more than just a lucky few. Following her Mahurangi College visit, ahead of a lunch break, students were reluctant to drag themselves away, for the playground. On Friday she was invited to meet students of the Snells Beach School, and was literally mobbed by them.

Carbon dioxide 10,000 BC to August 2016

Trust the Young to Comprehend Carbon Dioxide: With awareness of the need for decisive climate action the almost exclusive domain of the young, reinvigorating democracy, beginning with the young, which is the only evidence-based place to begin, is the only strategy left after 28 years of consistent warnings and zero meaningful response from the generations responsible for permanently putting paid to the ice ages. Comprehension of the enormity of anthropogenic global warming is inversely proportional to age. image Mahurangi Magazine

Starting a movement with the potential of turning around the world-wide decline in voter turnout, beginning in Aotearoa, may be news that Tessa’s political rivals would inadvertently see supressed during an election, that their own lack of newsworthiness go unpunished by the mainstream media, but the fourth-estate is supposed to be the bastion of freedom and democracy.

The Mahurangi Magazine, unbeholden to bullies, encourages readers see past the likes of those who pedal the arrant fiction that Rodney ratepayers, of all the ratepayers in all of the Auckland region, are somehow being short-changed, and…

vote with one tick only, for the first, best, brightest and youngest candidate on the list:



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