Saturday was a symbolically important day for me- the first time I voted in a National election.The last time one came around, I was only just 17 so I missed the boat. However, quite a few people in my year were already 18 so they got to vote. It's not that big a deal, but it's a symbolic thing. So that was quite an experience; it does make you feel quite grown up! The weather was nice enough and the voting station was close enough for me to be able to walk there, which was quite cool!
Speaking of the weather though, there was a rather farcical situation that emerged here just leading up to the election. The electoral commission advised users of social media that they would have to comply with their rules concerning statements made on election day. This meant no bagging or promoting candidates, no saying who you voted for, and in one case, it was advised that you not mention what the weather was like in case it had an adverse effect on potential voters. Now that is just ridiculous.
Fortunately the issue cropped up very late in the piece and not too much was made of it. It could have been quite a storm in a teacup but it didn't get much exposure. It's rather typical of this country; we just can't do politics seriously. It seemed that the election campaigns rapidly descended into personal battles and, quite literally, a storm in a teacup. But that's what I love about our country; we're too far removed from the real nutjobs and the corruption. Sure we could be a lot more progressive at times but we're not any worse than anyone. If Winston Peters is the worst our political landscape can produce, we're not too bad off.
For the record, I was happy with the result. I really don't think the National government did anything to warrant getting kicked out; I personally admire John Key because he's such a plain-speaking, ordinary guy. There's a lot of transparency there which is great for politicians. My middle-class upbringing has me naturally geared towards a National government, and I don't have a problem with getting some money out of our assets, so generally I'm quite happy. As for Winston, I think he's a bit of a laugh. He's just going to be a nagging voice and he really can't do too much, so I'm not too worried.
It's good to see the Greens getting some more votes as they move towards a more mainstream public image. There's only so far a 'hippy' culture look can get you. The ACT party is a bit of a joke and everyone knows it; they really don't seem to know what they're doing. I'm not a fan of John Banks for the things he is on record saying against gays, but my family has had dealings with him in the past and he's not that bad a guy. Again though, it's personalities not policies in the end. I'm pretty sure guys like Chris Fa'afoi got more votes because their name is known outside of politics.
Anyway, I have always sworn myself off politics. With my brain and a like for rhetoric, some people have suggested I should be involved, but it's just such a terrible profession (says a lawyer-to-be!) that I don't want to be involved in it. I'm not a fan of the people who get so involved in it it's off-putting, and unfortunately, those are the sorts that go on to be in parliament. Ah well, it's New Zealand and it's all much of a muchness anyway.