[New material is placed at the bottom, be it noted.]
It was election week, September 2014, and polling booths were open every day (in the Museum in the city, and in an abandoned bridal-gown shop in Summerhill, where I live). I was in George Street, outside the Palmerston North Public Library and next to Bruce McKenzie's esteemed bookshop, watching a passing parade in which everyone was dressed in blue. A pack of photographers (making still and moving pictures) were in tow. I saw that Mayor Jono Naylor was up front, but I did not notice that John Key was accompanying him. I learned later from Bruce that the Prime Minister had come to town again, to give Jono his constant blessing and to entice voters away from the incumbent Labour candidate. It was only later that I realized that I was wearing red and green, unintentionally at the time, but that is indeed how I voted in the end (should I write that in bold script so that the internet-spying-collecter of mass personal data can spot it more easily?).
In the campaign there had been sideshows set up by bullish bullying bloggers. The term BLOG may be defined as a 'belligerent load of gossip"; but blog is said to be derived from weblog (yes, we all do it), and in New Zealand the blog "Wail All" ( or whatever) has been a noxious political balaena log, full of cetaceous blubbering, with posts equivalent to old-style poison-pen letters. Its owner is called Sleighter, a name redolent of dirty tricks and deception (it is surely not Slater, a crawly bug I see in my compost bin mingling with slimy worms).
ALL WHYTE party, led by a philosopher who tried to counsel the leader, but this is fatal, as Seneca found when he made suggestions to Nero. [PS Jamie Whyte has resigned from the leadership.]
The win by the National party was a foregone conclusion: the All Blacks have been unbeaten for a long stretch, so the government was safe.
John Key (rhymes with Don Key) was certainly the key player in the contest. He has one of those Moses noses, stemming from his Jewish genes (I also have some in my makeup) which does not permit the Pinocchio test for mendacity.
Since the election (which is not finalised till the 4th of October) there has been weeping and wailing in the LABOUR camp, over their election result, described as disastrous and dismal. But I do not see it that way.
This is what happened: a coalition of three parties gained an overall majority over three opposition parties who just fell short of forming a government together. The Maori party is ambidextrous and could go with the left or the right.
I am reading the new biography of Norman Kirk, and I can see that Labour and National alike have had big ups and downs in previous elections.
The National Party itself is a conglomeration of factions, and this will become apparent when personal ambitions (remember Judith Collins) start to be asserted; it is unlikely that the leadership will be contested, but the power and pay of ministerial appointments will be coveted, especially seats in the Cabinet.
But we are still waiting for the special votes to be counted and added to all the totals. Citizens overseas should not be allowed to vote, if they are not willing to live in the country. What kind of people are they? Former students escaping from repayment of their loans, feeling guilty, and therefore voting Green? Dissidents who have left because they do not like the National Government, who will accordingly vote Labour or similar?
That is precisely how it turned out in the end, and the Parliament looks much the same as previously.
National: 47.04 (60 seats) Act Party: 0.69 (1) United Future: 0.22 (1) [62 seats]
Labour: 25.13 (32) Green: 10.70 (14) New Zealand First: 8.66 (11) [57 seats]
Maori Party: 1.32 (2)
Conservative: 3.97 (0) Internet Mana: 1.42 (0)
The governing National Party lost a seat and their overall majority (61/120) evaporated; they are now down to 60 and reliant on ACT (1 member in a seat that rightfully belongs to National) and United (1single united member). The Maori Party might tag along again with the government.
Hone Harawira's Mana Party (and its ragbag addition, not to say ratbag edition) got more party votes than Maori, but he will need to find another home now.
The Conservative Party was justly complaining that it had more than 4% and had scored more highly than ACT and UNITED, who were nowhere near the required 5%, which should be 4% anyway; but now with 3.97% they have not crossed over either of those hurdles.
The Green Party gained an additional seat (14) as happened last time.
The Labour Party (32) has a host of likely lads lining up for the leadership. Andrew Little of Taranaki has long been touted and groomed for that role, was not sitting pretty on the night but he is now safely sit-u-ated inside the debating chamber.
So we still have a Jewish Führer in New Zealand (Germany has a female Führer, or Führerin, 'leadress'; that word führer is in the Oxford English dictionary with the meaning 'leader', possibly implying a tyrant, but not in the case of John Key, who said he wants to be the Prime Minister for all New Zealanders, not just those who voted for him, but also those who did not choose him, not to mention the million who voted for nobody. He is certainly the preferred PM, and he is a capable representative of our interests (and flagbearer, but which flag?) when dealing with foreign leaders (such as Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth).
If it has to be a National Party coalition government here, it is bearable with a pragmatist in charge.
These are my former musings on politics (collected here so that I can find them if I ever need them):