Ed Said - Another election lolly scramble
If we consider the American political scene is somewhere between a comedy of errors and a train wreck, then I guess, just a month out from the election, New Zealand politics must also be in that mix with our own version of musical chairs.
Labour’s Andrew Little announced a do-or-die meeting a fortnight ago on the back of a disastrous poll. There was no ‘do’. He said he had considered resigning and once the ‘R’ word is mentioned the only thing left is to follow through.
I recall Helen Clark in a similar situation in 1996. However, she believed she had the goods to make PM. She repelled the challenge and the rest is history, but Andrew Little had no such aspirations or confidence and was summarily replaced by Jacinda Ardern immediately benefitting from a positive knee-jerk reaction that always follows a change of leadership.
However I was a little concerned that Ardern said to the nation ‘I’m here for a good time, not a long time.’ Is that coming from the mouth of someone with aspirations of becoming PM? Never before have I heard of anyone thinking that leading a major political party was a ‘good time.’
The Greens had a great election in 2011 then a disastrous one in 2014, which appears to have continued with co-leader Metiria Turei trying to turn benefit fraud into an art form. She actually began her political life as a member of the McGillicuddy Serious Party, a satirical bunch formed in the late 80s. I saw them once in a street march in Nelson. They ‘marched’ without formation singing and playing a variety of instruments. Some marched backwards, some in serpentine fashion and they dressed like a comedy of the wearable arts. Perhaps Turei was finding those shackles hard to break.
Interesting to see that the Greens wouldn’t reinstate Clendon or Graham because it breached their code of conduct, and yet they wouldn't sack their co-leader. I wonder how the Green Party ‘code of conduct’ actually reads.
The Maori Party are offering an olive branch to Labour with the appointment of Ardern which is really the only way sufficient voting ground is going to be gained for either to play a major part.
Then there’s Winston. I say ‘Winston’ as there has never really been a NZ First ‘party’, there has only ever been Winston. Similarly though there has never been an Act Party, there was only Rodney Hyde, then David Seymour, and the Progressive Party was only ever Jim Anderton.
Though he is our Northland representative Winston hasn’t been seen in Mangawhai since May of last year at a meeting at the golf club when I recall clearly two things he said. Firstly in relation to the Wastewater affair: “Vote for my party at the next election and I’ll get your money back for you, don’t worry about that.” Well, we know that’s never going to happen. Secondly, when asked what can he do for The Kaipara he answered “It’s up to you (the
people) to elect the people you trust and who will do a good job for you.” Ask yourself, what has our representative done for us in 18 months?
Dargaville love him, especially the purple hair, Gold Card brigade. I had a Gold Card tucked into my mobile phone wallet but it fell out about a year ago one day in Mangawhai. I hope whoever found it is getting some value because I could never use it for anything north of Auckland.
Winston is a 72-year-old gambler who well knows that if you keep on throwing the dice, sooner or later they will turn up that elusive double six that opens the jackpot and he is in an ideal position to capitalise on any number of eventualities.
That just leaves National which is relatively coasting and its 44 percent-ish in the polls will probably see it just in or just out of the ruling party but still playing a major part.
At the moment it’s doubtful that any party will be able to govern absolutely but are we going to end up with salt on our chips or egg on our faces? Just my thoughts.