Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton is a man untrammelled by self-doubt.
In a political career that stretches back 45 years to his days on Manukau City Council, he has been a member of four political parties and fallen out with virtually every high-profile figure he has worked with. Never does it appear to have occurred to him that he could be in the wrong.
Former Labour Party colleague Michael Bassett once recalled a warning given to Labour politicians by former Cardinal Reginald Delargey shortly after Mr Anderton rejoined the party in the early 1970s. The gist of the cardinal's advice was: beware. When Mr Anderton had worked for the Catholic Church, he had continually put the church hierarchy in the position of having to choose between himself and the Pope.
Hence it comes as no surprise that Mr Anderton believes he can perform the roles of MP for Wigram and Christchurch mayor at the same time. He is mistaken.
They are both fulltime positions. One is based in Christchurch; the other is split between Christchurch and Wellington. Both carry fulltime salaries. Mr Anderton's promise to donate the mayoral salary of $163,113 to community groups if he wins the mayoralty does not resolve the fundamental incompatibility of the two positions. Christchurch ratepayers are paying good money to be represented by a mayor who devotes his energies to advancing the city's interests. He cannot perform that role if he is spending several days a week in Wellington.
Taxpayers are paying good money to Mr Anderton to represent the interests of his electorate in Parliament. He cannot perform that role from the mayoral chambers.
We couldn't agree more with those sentiments. And after suggesting, as we have done, that Anderton resign from Parliament now, the leader writer duly notes:
Wigram residents deserve an MP who wants to represent them in Parliament. Christchurch ratepayers deserve a mayor who has the time to do the job.
Mr Anderton appears to believe that either the position he holds at present or the one he is seeking is a part-time position that can be done in his spare time. Taxpayers and ratepayers will beg to differ.
Mr Anderton must choose between Parliament and the mayoralty. He cannot do both jobs well.
Once again, we agree wholeheartedly. Jim Anderton is seriously deluded if he believes that at 72 years old he can work at two demanding, fulltime jobs, and perform both roles effectively. Offering to donate his mayoral salary to charity is a red herring.
So is his claim that he is saving the taxpayer the cost of a by-election by staying on in the role. Democracy comes at a price, and we are sure that the voters of Wigram would regard the cost of a by-election as justified if it were to guarantee them effective representation in Parliament.
We applaud the Dom-Post's editorial staff for taking this stand, especially after Vernon Small's puff-piece at the weekend. Let's hope that other media follow the blogosphere's lead, and send the message to Jim Anderton that he has must, as the Bible would say "choose this day whom he will serve". He cannot serve two masters.