Well, it’s election time in New Zealand again, and we get a reminder of why voters despair. First of all, the only time you hear from politicians is when they want to renew their job. Somewhat along the lines of the famous saying about bankers: folk who’ll lend you their umbrella but want it back when it starts to rain. Politicans promise anything, kiss babies, hug grandmothers, and spout rhetoric until they’re plain out of spittle. Then their spin doctors will take over in their mission to create holier-than-thou leaders while scouring the streets for dirt on the opposition. Policies? Not really necessary if you can spin it right, or just go hard on condemning the incumbent government.

To be fair, it’s hard to please most people some of the time and nigh on impossible to please everyone, even part of the time – despite our population topping a modest 4.5 million. And, we’re still in a tough recession and have had devasting mining disasters and earthquakes over the past three years, so the incumbent government – while they haven’t performed outstandingly – have made a reasonable fist of it, at least according to the recent polls (around 54% would vote them back in).

All of the major parties’ ideals boil down quite simply though, and it makes for depressing reading:

National – want to flog off the National assets, strip the fat out of Govt departments – then into the flesh
Labour – tax from middle incomes up – then spend – then hope, tall poppy syndromists
Greens – no policies except pollution is evil, “can’t we just all get along?”
ACT – extreme right wing joke
Mana – extreme left wing racist joke, who enjoys labelling 90% of the population “white motherf*ckers”
NZ First – reasonable ideas, run by a liar who’s been caught out over and over again – great at fooling the elderly
Maori – a party mostly campaigning in seats set aside exclusively for Maori. If that’s not racist, what is?
United Future – an old guy (just one) in a party that does whatever he’s told.

The worst part is under MMP there’s a strong chance one or more will get in, and be making policy concessions that many of their voters didn’t want. The result – half-baked, watered-down legislation and direction. MPP is definitely more representative, but the flaws are too substantial.

New Zealand needs a better style of government and voter representation. It needs one that is fair. Where everyone is on the same level playing field.

It is my goal in the next 10 years to document how that might be achieved.

I’m going to do this because our country can’t keep going on this way. Without a decent change New Zealand will implode within the next 20 – 30 years. And I don’t want to have been one of the ones who sat back and did nothing.

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About ohmart

A cartoonist, tinkerer, electronic-er, designer. And left-handed. Right on.

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