Monday, 12 May 2014

Poly poly poly politician. . .

Don't be fooled by the simplicity of this song, Politician by Kora.  
There are only two sets of lyrics, with scope for instrumental variations throughout the piece.
I first came into contact with Kora listening to their music when they performed for a New Zealand music awards ceremony. Their music is hard to define (and who needs to define music, apart from the purpose of ensuring people can make connections with their own understandings of music - rather than to judge it).

The word 'politician' stems from the ancient Greek word for city state 'polis'.  So a politician is supposed to be a person who looks out for the needs of the members of a city.
It is election year in Aotearoa and the politicians and their political parties are in overdrive working on their strategies, finding opportunities to refine their party policies and being more connected with the members of their city states.  Another dimension to the word 'polis' is the sense of 'community' that is associated with this term. I have often wondered how in touch some politicians are with their communities - not just the ones who voted them in, but 'potential' voters who could possibly be swayed to vote for them this year.  

Poly poly poly politician
Will you make the right decision
For all of us 
For all of us

The way that 'poly' is spelled above in the lyrics makes me think about the increasing number of Pasifika candidates that are coming to the fore.  As a Pasifika person in Aotearoa, this is great news because it means that we are getting more and more Pasifika people with not only the cultural understanding but the political savvy to navigate pathways of success for Pasifika peoples - to transition their cultural sense of 'communities' to mainstream society for all of us. The devil's advocate would argue - so are you saying that all Pasifika political candidates are great?  The answer is no.  But they aspire to be.  Cultural identity or ethnicity does not define the actions you make or take, but can be part of the equation that informs what you make or take or carry out as an individual for the sake of others.  It is thinking about 'the sake of others' that must remain paramount. 

You can talk the talk
But will you walk the walk
Will you bring us comfort
Will you bring us comfort

What works for Pasifika peoples can work for everyone.  Why do I say this? Because more and more people that I come into contact with - who are non-Pasifika - are seeing the value of understanding that the way Pasifika peoples work and interact with each other - brings social cohesion and can take the momentum of a consensus approach forward.  Where this does not happen - is because there might be individuals who do not want to have social cohesion - but power.

The thing to consider is the hope that whoever you vote for - that they will make the right decision that best represents the interests of the people. 

Can you hear me? Mr. Politician. . .