Hello again and welcome to election week. 130 million or more are expected to vote today in the US presidential election. There they have a choice between a cranky old man and a jive brother – I know which one I’d choose. Personally I’d like to see Obama take the pledge next year dressed in a purple pimp suit sporting a particularly enormous afro. Old school.
Back to New Zealand… oh dear. When you compare our elections to those being run in the USofA, what a marked difference! On the one hand you have a young African American with truckloads of charisma, and say what you will about McCain, at least he’s got character. What have we got? A former financial trader with all the personality of a half-dead eel and a woman whose teeth resemble a picket fence that’s had a strong vehicle-based disagreement with a truckular mechanism.
Both our major parties, National (=UK Tories or Republicans) and Labour (=UK Labour or Democrats), are exactly the same. Neither are offering anything remotely different to each other. Both have aimed for those middle ground voters who are regularly willing to change who they vote for. As our most respected of journalists John Campbell (you can’t hear or read the sarcasm, but it’s there I promise you) pointed out the other night, “Why don’t you two just create a grand coalition?” There was much flustering and pontificating. Ultimately they don’t want to work with each other because they hate each other.
It’s all about sound-bites this year as well… “this one’s about trust” (Labour), “it’s time for a change” (National). The only problems with this type of polling is the total lack of vision. What are their plans for the future of New Zealand. Nobody knows, yet we go to the polls on Saturday! It’s ok to have a lack of vision. Obama hasn’t really said much other than the mantra NZ National Party stole off him. He has, however, the charisma and charm to back it up. This year, our election seems to be a charm free zone (see previous paragraphs re metaphors about charm/charisma ie fish and picket fence).
Due to the lack of vision and/or charm from our candidates, it seems hard to pick or indeed trust any of them. All they seem to be doing is trying to get everyone’s vote while trying desperately not to offend anyone. What you end up with is nothing – a political ice-cream where the flake of ideas and vision has been replaced by the poo of cynical media manipulation.
Roll on Saturday.