Saturday 13 September 2014

Who's on The Civilian Party List?

I received my election pack from the Electoral Commission on Friday, which included the party lists for the election. Expecting The Civilian Party to only have one name (and a pineapple) on their list, I was pleasantly surprised to find eight names on the bit of paper. So let's have a closer look at who these people are, using only the first page of Google to see what we can find (Disclaimer: this is just what Google says, these might be the wrong people or it might be the wrong information. Having said that, Google knows everything right?):

Ben is famous enough to have his own Twitter account, and is the editor of The Civilian Newspaper (on the internet). His bio on that website lists him as a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canterbury (false), married with a six year old daughter (false), and a belief that he is better able to inform the public of the news than the actual news (plausibly true). He was a finalist for the NZ Herald New Zealander of the Year in 2013 and spoke at TEDx Christchurch, where he revealed that he was actually born in Whangarei (formerly known as Wangarei). His degree from the University of Canterbury is in Political Science. He is the public face of the party, appearing on TV a few times, much like Colin Craig for the Conservatives or Peter Dunne for United Future or Winston Peters for NZ First, so they're all pretty much the same.

2 WALSH, Lucy-Jane
Lucy-Jane appears to be a Business Analyst for the Canterbury Earthquake Digital Archive (CEISMIC) at the University of Canterbury. Her degree from the University of Canterbury is in English Literature (with Honours). She was once reported missing with her father while tramping, but they were found two days later safe although hungry and cold. She once commented on a Civilian post on Facebook, saying "brilliant".

3 GOWER, Marcus
Marcus, a former IT Consultant, is currently a Councillor on the Waipa District Council representing the Te Awamutu Ward. His party is listed as "The awesome choice!" His wife was featured in a rather long article in the Daily Mail in 2008 for being "used" by a gay man who was actually in love with their priest and was later married in Britain's first gay church "wedding". Projects that Marcus has worked on within the Council include a cycle strategy, community gardens, and a new library and museum.

4 TOPP, Michael
Michael is a civil engineer working at Harrison Grierson, graduating from the University of Canterbury with an Engineering Honours (2nd Class Division 1) degree in 2013 (according to LinkedIn). He once wrote an open letter to Nick Smith fighting against fracking that was published in the student magazine Canta in the column that was normally written by Ben Uffindell.

5 O'NEILL, Katie
Katie is possibly a photographer in New Plymouth, a mountain biker from Rotorua, a copywriter/project manager in Christchurch, or a racing horse in 1995 from Matamata. On the balance of probabilities I'm going to guess that she's the one with a BA in English and Japanese who enjoys long walks, good friends and travel (but not Oxford commas).

6 BERGER, Harry
A former Wellington College student who earned four Outstanding Scholarships and one Scholarship (making him one of ten Premier Scholars in 2012), Harry is a student at the Victoria University of Wellington where he has a Victoria Excellence Scholarship. He once debated with the Victoria International Leadership Programme (VILP) on "Is inequality natural?" where his team won 49-43. This may or may not be his Twitter account.

7 McLEOD, Tim
There are a number of Tim McLeods on Google, but he is probably the civil engineer who graduated from the University of Canterbury in 2013.

Kim perhaps wins at keeping her life private - all that could be found was an empty LinkedIn profile.

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