In about twelve months New Zealanders are going to have to decide who to vote for in the General Election. I’ve decided to go with Jacinda. Let me explain why.

The Negative

Beware of the right. I know many will say what happens in the United States has no bearing on how the right wing of New Zealand politics will behave. Don’t believe that for a minute. Remember this.

  • Previous leader of the National Party, Todd Muller, was determined to display a Donald Trump hat in pride of place in his Beehive office. The National Party wanted a Trump clone to be their leader.
  • The current leader of the National Party, Chris Luxon, has joined the mob waving supporter’s flags and cheering on ultra-right American politician, Ted Cruz. Luxon learned his political views at a Ted Cruz rally. The National Party has chosen an admitted American right-wing sycophant as its leader.  
  • There are 33 National Party MPs in parliament. 17 (52%) of those are bigots who voted against New Zealand’s liberal abortion laws. They called the legislation worse than the Holocaust and tantamount to murder. They welcomed the American Supreme Court decision to ban abortions. They called it “a great day”.
  •  Listen to National Party supporters, Mike Hosking and Heather du Plessis-Allan. Their views are hand in glove with their vile American twins, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. Every day they tear at the fabric of civil New Zealand society. The National Party love them for it. The rest of us tremble at our fate.

The Positive and Negative

  • The National Party refers to the Labour Party’s vision for New Zealand as the “Nanny State” – a country where the government provide services from “the cradle to the grave”.
  • The National Party prefers a more capitalist vision where each person is expected to provide for themselves. They say the incentive of money makes us all more efficient. It provides a cutting competitive edge.  
  • And that vision is why, in the United States, the Supreme Court can strip central government of the right to protect abortion rights, can do away with central government’s power to control green-house gasses and can make national health care illegal. For the National Party these decisions are for individuals to decide – nothing to do with governments.
  • If you like that choice the National Party is for you.
  • However, if you prefer a more caring society, where the ringing of cash machines does not dominate every hospital visit. Where the average cost paid by a mother to her hospital for having a baby is $10,808. If you like a transport network that does not charge a toll every 20 kilometers. If you enjoy free tuition in the first year at university. If you appreciate help towards paying for winter electricity. If you benefit from Universal Superannuation, or ACC, or a dozen other social benefits. Then the Nanny State should get your vote.
  • The National Party can scream, “Nanny State” as long as it likes. But as for me, I call it caring for those who live here. And there is nothing wrong with that.     

The Positive

  • The leader of the Labour Party, Jacinda Ardern, is positive, progressive and non-judgmental Prime Minister.
  • The Deputy Leader, Grant Robertson, is equally positive, progressive and non-judgmental. Together they form a team trying to build the socialist, egalitarian society we like to call home. Sure, our wages might be a little lower than in Australia. Our house prices might be higher. Some items in Countdown may even cost a bit more. But with Jacinda and Grant we are in this boat together, working to improve.
  • In their current five years in power, the Labour Party has dramatically reformed health, foreign trade with free trade deals signed with Australia, the UK and the EU, foreign speculation in the housing market, a comprehensive Families Package, first year fees-free education, and ended new offshore oil and gas exploration. Legislation on education, unemployment, social insurance and tenant protection has also been passed.
  • New Zealand may not have the wealth of central New York or Monte Carlo, but we are in the process of becoming more of a socialist, egalitarian and comfortable society.

For those like Hosking and du Plessis-Allan and members of the National Party who want a different, divided, them and us racist New Zealand – go to the US, go to Australia. Find what you are looking for there. In the meantime, do not tear apart our social experiment. We do not want the black hole chaos of disappearing women’s rights, racial intolerance, electoral dishonesty and capitalist health that are the inevitable products of your Party’s vision.

There is no place for you here. Do not destroy what we are about. New Zealand has many imperfections. But it is our home, just the way we want it. If you don’t like it here, go find the evil you want somewhere else.

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