The good people of Christchurch are presented with a mayoral campaign where there will likely be just one  serious candidate, the corporate-backed Lianne Dalziel.

HAVING APPARENTLY recovered from her 'mental exhaustion', Lianne Dalziel announced on ANZAC Day that she would accept the very kind invitation to be mayor again.

In another front page story in The Press this morning, she said that she 'would not walk away from the city'. Many of us, especially in the quake-wrecked eastern suburbs, say that Dalziel shouldn't really hang around on our account. She has done so little for the Eastside that she wouldn't be missed.

But since the Labour-backed People's Choice are not going to stand a candidate against her, the mayoral job is hers for the asking. Such obvious political support from People's Choice makes a mockery of her claim that she is politically 'independent'.

With the field so heavily tilted in Dalziel's favour, Councillor Paul Lonsdale is in cloud cuckooland or was being deliberately disingenuous when he told The Press that he hoped 'another strong candidate' would put their hand up to challenge Dalziel.
Newstalk ZB's Chris Lynch gets a ticket for using his mobile while driving.

People's Choice have let the good people of Christchurch down badly. They are now supporting a mayor who is committed to the disastrous central city blueprint and who still intends to sell ratepayer owned assets to help pay for it.

But it was only a few months ago that People's Choice were campaigning against asset sales being included in the long term plan - not to mention the massive rates hike. I think I praised the People's Choice councillors for making a principled stand. Now they are supporting the corporate choice for the mayoralty. What a bunch of rogues.

So thanks to what amounts to a political stitch-up contrived at council level, the good people of Christchurch will, in all probability, be presented with no serious alternative to Dalziel. That's local democracy in 2016 - and its on life support.

But a partisan local media won't be asking any serious questions. This morning Newstalk ZB's Chris Lynch managed to avoid asking Dalziel any difficult questions. Dalziel must of appreciated that and will probably be thinking about inviting him on to her election campaign committee.


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