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Ed Said - New game show coming

dadIt’s called ‘The Election’. There’s a sequal every three years – same format, different cast mostly, but the plot is the same each time. The show only consists of one episode but social and mainstream media maintain a barrage of comment and criticism about the cast and the plot for the following three years until it runs again. It’s the nearest thing we’ll ever see to perpetual motion. With about 90 days before it airs it’s surprising there have been no trailers to date.

I tend to view it with the same enthusiasm I have for The Simpsons. Great fun. I think Bart is the modern day Dennis The Menace so likewise I can’t really take our elections seriously. The potential ‘actors’ audition on a countrywide stage. The press make sure we see them smiling, scowling, surprised, horrified, their good side and their bad side and whatever other moods the camera shutter can snap.

They then have to deliver their lines to the public but not from a set script, rather in the form of hopes and promises, some with strength, conviction and determination, others with an earnest pleading somehow believing they can make our lives, our country and the world a better place for having them in the lead role.

Some come across really well. Not unlike our local body elections in that some really believe what they recite, failing to realise or grasp the reality that most of what they promise cannot be achieved through being either illegal, immoral, unworkable or unaffordable.

Following some of my past editorials I’ve been accused of wearing my political heart on my sleeve (whatever that means) and being a blind Nat supporter. Fact is from memory I’ve only ever voted in one general election in my life. Apart from feeling decidedly uncomfortable during Rogernomics of the late 80s in having to bear the weight of up to 30 percent mortgage interest on a small farm, no government has ever made a significant difference to my life or that of my family.

With bank loans available currently from about 4.5 percent, can you possibly imagine a situation where a large percentage of home owners with mortgages in the $600k range accrued over the past three or so years suddenly became burdened with 30 percent interest? The outcome really doesn’t bear thinking about.

But general elections can promise lots of fun. We follow and scrutinise the possible outcomes like sports fans obsessing about an All Blacks test match. If we happen to catch the polls on the six o’clock news we analyse trends and do SWOT tests on the candidates. We recall threats that promised to derail previous elections but never made an ounce of difference to the outcome, like Kim Dotcom throwing piles of money at the Mana Party which, in the end, did more harm than good, or Nicky Hager’s book release which was touted to deliver a ‘bombshell’ but which only really delivered the ‘shell’ without the bomb.

Sure, National’s Todd Barclay will be gone but at 24 years of age he has done little more than act like an idiot. He’ll get over it fairly quickly I would think and his leaving can be seen as little more than collateral damage – happens regularly with one party or another.

For Labour, Andrew Little is boring. If Labour doesn’t lift its game what might the future hold for their leader whose popularity has been eroded somewhat through the surge of Jacinda Ardern, a serious though inexperienced contender for leadership and a possibility even before the election.

The Greens don’t really want to work with Labour and NZ First leader Winston Peters is wiley yet predictable in his political opportunism, plus three’s a crowd and those three parties together will still struggle to head off the Nats. Anyway, what if they do? What’s going to change? Oh, and then there’s Gareth Morgan. Well, I’m not a great cat lover anyway – ‘nuff said.

Sure, I’ll watch the result with interest as it’s quite entertaining to see who are the winners and losers because there are always surprises – just as there are in a game show.

Just my opinion.

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