R0b and Bill have declared their political preferences, R0b going with Labour and Bill with the Greens, two ticks both times.
I thought I should do the same.
I will not surprise anyone by saying that I am ticking red both times.
Well electorate wise it was really easy. Deborah Russell will be a significant addition to the Labour caucus and her skills will be well used. If you are going to run the country you need people who can do the job.
Her main opponent, Pablo Garcia, is an unusual candidate with some strange views. He is also a lightweight and would contribute nothing to our Parliament. The Greens candidate Leilani Tamu is someone who has some great talents and abilities and someone I have a great amount of respect for but her job is to win party votes not the seat.
My party vote was more difficult and I avoided the temptation to vote early.
When I do one of those “which party most closely matches your world view” tests I get told that Green or sometimes Mana are the parties that most closely match my preferred policies.
Climate change is the most important issue the human race is facing. And the environment is our most important asset. These should be at the forefront of our politics.
And the Greens’ position on these areas is strong and principled.
So I gave serious thought to voting Green.
There were two scenarios where I thought that I would vote Green:
As to 1 it appears that the Green vote has rallied and they are safe.
And New Zealand First is wilting. I am not surprised. Winston Peters is showing that he no longer has his former drawing power. One benefit is that it appears that Shane Jones will not make it.
But my tribal preference holds strong sway and I have deep respect for the Kaupapa of the Labour Party. So it is tick red.
Because of its commitment to the trade union movement and to improving the plight of ordinary Kiwis. The emphasis on education so that all kids can achieve their potential. The acknowledgment of the importance of Maori and the Treaty, the historic partnership between Micky Savage and the Ratana Church being a strong and lasting partnership.
The commitment to multiculturalism and the celebration of diversity. This is something that National has done recently when it realised there were political benefits in doing so but this has been a core belief of Labour’s for a long time.
The independent world view. I find it so upsetting when our Government obsequiously follows America or England into insane wars or in support of idiot positions. I cheered loudly when David Lange declared New Zealand nuclear free and stood up and proclaimed how this was the right and moral thing to do.
And there is some serious talent in Labour’s list. Right now Labour may get some really great people into Parliament. People such as Liz Craig, Anahila Kanongata’a Suisuiki, Lemauga Lydia Sosene and on a good night Romy Udanga. Every party vote Labour gets improves their prospects of being elected.
And to complete the analysis could I vote National? They are not as bad as they were in the past, the 1970s and 1980s version was a redneck conservative coalition of anti progressives. The 1990s version was a cruel ideological blinkered version that almost wrecked our country and we are still paying the price now.
The John Key-Bill English version perfected the ability to sound reasonable and pretend they were Labour lite. They still did the ideological stuff, the selling of our power shares being one of their most stupid decisions.
But they are a pale imitation of past versions. And their cost accounting approach to running something as complex as a country and their complete indifference to human misery unless it is showing up in the opinion polls when it is then met with the weakest of incremental responses means they have to be voted out.
And their style is very undemocratic. Their abuse of the Official Information laws and their micro managing the flow of information for political advantage are particular features that mean they should not be trusted with Government.
And I think Jacinda is extraordinary. She could be right up there with Norm Kirk, David Lange, Helen Clark and yes even Micky Savage if she gets the chance.
So two ticks red. But I will be cheering the Greens on and hope they are returned in numbers.