The 2020 election is turning into a farce and is becoming totally undemocratic, according to Alan Simmons, co-leader of the NZ outdoors party.
“Every step of the electoral system, media coverage and fund allocation is designed to protect the status quo and the existing parties. Elected representatives are paid well for their time and have paid researches and media teams, free travel and good media access. Small parties such as the NZ Outdoors Party rely on a team of volunteers and have to work hard for any publicity” he said in a press release.
“The NZ Outdoors Party relies on public meetings to gain exposure and share our innovative policies justice, well-being, localism and regenerative farming policies. Now with covid the more established parties are citing lock down restrictions as an excuse for cancelling meetings. Even in Nelson where there have been no cases of Covid for many months, level.2 restrictions have led to Labour and Greens refusing to attend and meetings being cancelled,” said Alan Simmons. “We are unsure whether they know something that we don’t know, about a delay in the elections, or whether they are happy to take any excuse to avoid fronting to the public. “Otherwise why would they cancel these important public meetings”?
Even when meetings are arranged the smaller parties were often excluded.
“Nelson is a case in point, where the NZ Outdoors Party co-leader Sue Grey has a real chance at beating the incumbent Nick Smith, and yet she and some other candidates have been excluded from public debates arranged by the Nelson Weekly,” he said. “Grey Power also has arranged meetings for Labour and NZ First but refused opportunities for their members to meet independent candidates or candidates from other parties. This makes a mockery of the whole democratic process.”
“The public and commentators often complained about the lack of innovative policy in existing parties. The new smaller parties have some brilliant policies but we are not getting the chance to get explain them to the public. With over 30 candidates and a huge membership backing the New Zealand Outdoors Party deserves to have its ideas put before the people. Sadly this current government seems determined to squash any party that threatens their hold on power,” said Alan Simmons.