NRT on the issue that is most important to Kiwis…
Out of touch
The way the leaders of the two major parties are talking, this election is all about the economy. “Balancing the books”, raising the retirement age, savings, deregulation, growth – other issues have trouble getting a word in edgewise. Given that these parties are chasing our votes, and spend a lot of effort trying to find out what we care about, you’d think therefore that the economy was foremost on our mind, right?
Wrong. According to a 3 News Reid Research poll last night, the most important issue to kiwis this election is the cleanliness and quality of our natural environment. Economic issues come well down the list:
3 News gave 21,000 voters a list of 21 options and asked for a ranking; 10 being most important, 1 being least important.
The environment came out on top at 8.2.
Second equal were food prices and the quality of our schools at 7.9.
Hospital care was third at 7.8.
The price of petrol was fourth at 7.7.
The number of people living in poverty was fifth 7.5.
This isn’t an aberration. The environment consistently beats the economy on surveys such as the New Zealand Values Survey and the Growth and Innovation Advisory Board survey. Our politicians, however, seem absolutely blind to this. For them, its “economy, economy, economy”, with the environment and quality of life issues as an afterthought.
The conclusion? Our major parties are completely out of touch with the electorate. They reflect the interests of their big business donors, not us. The only way this will change is if we vote them out, and replace them with people who do reflect our concerns.