I am well and truly sick of reading the opinion of Ngaire of Tawa who thinks John Key is “DonKey” and Bruce of New Plymouth who thinks David Cunliffe is a “****”.
If you vote based on personality, you are worse than most of those who slime in on the bottom of the Party lists (yes, Rajen Prasad, I’m talking about you).
I vote based on policy. What’s best for the country as a whole and secondly what suits me.
I think those who abuse various politicians – particularly the leaders – ignore exactly what a prick of a job being an electorate MP is. Since 1993, I’ve watched electorate MPs of all stripes get hell from constituents because
- The District Health Board won’t advance them to get an ingrown toenail removed (this muppet actually had a letter to the editor published, bringing much opprobrium from their fellow voters)
- After overstaying for seven years, their MP wouldn’t tell the Immigration Minister that it was a case of mistaken identity, so the overstayer shat on their doorstep and was deported anyway
- A dog (not the MP’s dog) regularly pooed on their lawn.
Those are the mild ones. I’ve sat in electorate MPs’ houses on a Sunday night and heard them deal with someone on the phone for over an hour because the local council has no after hours number. I’ve watched them get berated by school teachers who have caused a teacher-only day but who stop protesting and are then happy to eat the pikelets the MP has made for them as their issues amazingly dissipate. Being an electorate MP is a shit job with barely OK pay for the 24/7 role. List MPs, on the other hand…don’t start me.
But, as usual, I digress. I don’t particularly like being directed to go to dinner with people I don’t know (there’s a psychological term for it), but I look at the politicians the way I would look at a dinner party with them.
As much as I disagree with the policies of most of the parties, I think you could have a jolly good craic sitting around the table with the leaders. Even
Monty Burns Colin Craig.
If we started talking politics, I’m sure, in the usual Kiwi dinner party style, we’d have a robust discussion and then laugh that we’d run out of Lion Red/pinot noir/snakebites, thus shifting the conversation on to another topic.
Yet (other than Hone Harawira, who I wouldn’t invite because he isn’t a leader and Kim Dotcom because he’s got impulse control issues and he is German), I’m sure personality-wise, we’d have a great old time. Having given some thought to it, with enough booze and the right food, the chat would be good enough to carry through without anyone calling taxi before 1am.
I’ve dreaded enduring dinner conversation with a table of John Keys, Metiria Tureis, Peter Dunnes, Te Ururoa Flavells and Colin Craigs and actually had a bloody great time in reality.
I remember sitting down with Richard Prebble at a table with Michael Cullen, his minion and Rod Donald and other Greens and thinking “fuck me, what are we in for here?” It was a cracking night, one of the best, Chartreuse aside.
Politics should never be about personality unless it is pertinent (Don Brash is a case in point). It should always be about policy. Yet we continue to be served a diet of personality over policy by a lazy news media.
If you haven’t voted yet, don’t vote for a person you don’t know, vote for what they stand for. Vote for your values. But do your research. Most MPs, apart from Maryann Street, work hard like you. They, apart from Trevor Mallard, want what is best for everyone, even if some parties might be misguided. But a lot of what you are seeing in the media lacks detail. For example, how will taking GST off food affect all of us? Will Coca-Cola or Kelloggs get a bottom line benefit and increase their prices as a result?
Does $100 million fencing off waterways really benefit the greater good?
Don’t vote for a soundbite. Vote for something you believe in and you know is rational. Do your research.
And don’t vote for Pedro. He’s Mexican.