Not all about winning
IN every race someone has to finish second, but in last weekend’s general election some candidates finished more second than others.
Of the hundreds of candidates who stood for the 71 electorate seats in the House of Representatives, 22 had fewer than 50 people vote for them. Three candidates received fewer than 30 votes.
One of those three was Dunedin North independent candidate Stan Lusby, who had 29 people put a tick beside his name.
Mr Lusby, about to turn 77, is a veteran of political knockbacks.
He first stood for election in 1984. He has been on the ballot several times since, but is yet to make it past 100 votes.
‘‘I’ll stand (in 2020) even if I get two votes,’’ Mr Lusby said.
‘‘I’m not just somebody who craps out all the time . . . I didn’t expect 32 years later to still be pushing it uphill, but here we are.’’
Mr Lusby has been doggedly advancing two policies during his political career.
Firstly, he wants to see Hansard establish a ‘‘demographic processing unit’’ to track the opinions of registered voters.
People would use an app on their mobile devices to register their opinions on upcoming votes in Parliament, and MPs would then be guided by that information — and provide ‘‘an audit on our democracy’’.
Secondly, tax should be deducted at a fixed, agreed rate when it exits bank accounts, which Mr Lusby estimates would provide enough income for New Zealand to do away with both income tax and GST.
‘‘It’s hard if people don’t hear you,’’ Mr Lusby said, lamenting that he had been unable to get much media coverage, and that invitations to candidates meetings had also been hard to come by.
‘‘There is a certain level of interest in what I say . . . but I’m not someone who has masses of money coming in. ‘‘That’s why I don’t get anywhere.’’ Dunedin North voters also snubbed pharmacist Adrian Graamans, who polled just 87 votes for his independent candidacy.
‘‘I’m always realistic about it: I never expected to be in Wellington on Monday,’’ Mr Graamans said.
This was the second time Mr Graamans had run for office.
He previously stood unsuccessfully for the Southern District Health Board.
Standing for election in Dunedin North meant Mr Graamans was able to convey his views to Labour’s health spokesman David Clark and National Cabinet minister Michael Woodhouse, a former hospital administrator, as well as to the wider public.
‘‘I think that by participating I achieved more than it might appear,’’ Mr Graamans said.
‘‘I am strongly involved in health, and that was my key area where I thought I would like to get a bit of air time.’’
Dr Clark provisionally won Dunedin North electorate on Saturday with 18,037 of the 31,038 votes counted.
There is still hope for Messrs Lusby and Graamans and co though — special votes are yet to be counted.
Consensus . . . Stan Lusby relaxes at his Moeraki home yesterday.
Health advocate . . . Adrian Graamans in his pharmacy.