The most important election in decades

New Zealand’s upcoming election is, without question, one of the most important the country has held in decades.

It isn’t just a matter of policies to manoeuvre the country through the churning waters of Covid-19. It’s more fundamental. The neo-liberal paradigm that has essentially been the governmental ‘operating system’ since the 1980s is well past its use-by date. Strains are clear in society; and the options are to either keep going and wait until something breaks – or to start changing to a new paradigm. To me the choices seem fairly clear:

 Option A: “Let’s be kind and support each other to build a better future.”

Option B: “Contrary to our last promise, we’ll slash taxes and give the rich $52 a week. The poor get $8. BOW DOWN, MINIONS, BEFORE THE MIGHTY POWER OF THE ALL-DESTROYING CRUSHER! MUAHAHA! Oh, wait, we cocked up by $4 billion. Sorry. $8 billion. Ooh! Look over there! Bridge!”

Which way will the country go? I guess we’ll know after 17 October.

Meanwhile, here’s my list of the top five NZ politicians from history. They’re on it because their priority was organising – or supporting the organisation of – systems to support those whose misfortune was no fault of their own, uplifting those in need. Humanity has no higher cause. Here are their names:

Michael Joseph Savage
  1. Michael Joseph Savage
  2. Peter Fraser
  3. Sir Walter Nash
  4. Robert Semple
  5. Norman Eric Kirk

I do hope New Zealand makes a sensible choice this election.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2020

3 thoughts on “The most important election in decades

  1. Oh wow….I had no idea New Zealand was coming up for an election so soon. Seems like just yesterday that Jacinda Ardern did the impossible and won.

    To an outsider like me, her actions warrant being placed on your list, but I wonder how those others fared, politically? Were they appreciated by the voters, or were they bundled out when the opposition offered a sweet treat?

    That’s really the question isn’t it? To outsiders, Ardern is the leader we’d all like to have, but do New Zealanders see her as the one who saved them from covid? Or do they resent the restrictions she imposed in order to save them?

    Sadly, humans seem to be incapable of appreciating the bullet they dodged. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a historical list. Of them, Savage died in office in 1940 and was mourned by a nation that had lost its saviour. So did Kirk – he died in 1974. I still wonder what NZ might have become had he lived. Fraser, Savage’s deputy, stayed in power until 1949 when he lost an election for reasons that still occasionally raise historical questions. Semple was the Minister of Works under Savage. Nash lost the 1960 election after his minister of finance increased taxes on beer and tobacco. All of them were members of the Labour party, as is Ardern.

      Technically Ardern has a commanding lead – the opposition leader, Crusher Collins, sits at about 18 percent, which makes her less popular than Trump. However, what worries me is (a) NZ’s MMP system tends to kick out odd results, in which minority parties together could cobble up a government; and (b) Kiwi voters, alas, tend not to know what’s better in the long term and run with some promise of the moment that promises an immediate gratification. There’s a story of the government that fell in the 1960 election because of a minor tax added to beer… So yeah, it worries me a bit that the Crusher might end up running things. There are reasons why she has that nickname.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Trust me, after our 2018 election result, I lost faith in the ability of the voting public to see beyond their collective wallet. I think Ardern will be remembered as one of the greats. Fingers crossed that she gets to keep NZ on an even keep for a few more years.

        Liked by 1 person

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