Monday, 25 September 2017

Political poachers. . .

One more player to deal. . . 
A blog post I started on election night. . and then couldn't finish until now. . . 

Someone told me you got to be free
Someone told me to stand in the rear
Keep on searchin for kings in the street
Keep on cryin' for something that's clear

It is election day in Aotearoa New Zealand.
People have been warned all week that only registered voters are able to vote today.
This is probably the first time in history where so many advance votes and special votes were cast.  This year also marked the 124th anniversary of women's suffrage.  It's pretty significant.  New Zealand was the first country to grant women the power to vote in elections.  We take that for granted sometimes; that we live in a country that gives its citizens the freedom to have a voice in who they want to govern and speak for its people.  Granted there are winners and losers in elections. but you would like to think that people that are elected serve the interests of those who elected them there and not their own.

You are one more posse to pass in the night
One more con to conceal 
One more tiger to paint on a stripe
One more player to deal

There are so many posses around during election season.
Political parties spend their time on the campaign trail, making speeches and promises in the hopes of being elected. When I finally go to sleep tonight, there will be new leaders elected (fingers crossed).  If our country has learned anything from America regarding elections - none of us are taking this for granted.  People have been out in full force holding signs in the streets and encouraging others to vote for the faces featured on their signs.  There have been the usual debates and comments thrown back and forth in attempts to discredit opposition parties.  It's going to be a really tough race to see who will be the major party in power, but thankfully to the electoral system we have here called MMP (mixed member proportional), it means that we can also split our votes.  We have a choice of a party vote and a candidate vote.  This means you don't need to necessarily vote for the same party as the one who is represented by your candidate vote.  This means you can give your party vote to a smaller party and vote for a candidate of a larger party if you wanted to (or vice versa). 

Political poachers push plump packages
Past pacified places
Concerned citizens cry cruel conduct
'Cause Captain Command

The alliteration really struck me in this song and I wasn't sure whether it had something to do with the fact that the slogans that we hear political parties spout, include such devices, to ensure that people remember punch slogans.  Of course too much alliteration can make words sound like nonsense after a while and I'm not sure whether this is deliberate on the part of the band to include lyrics like this.  When I started this blog post - the election results had not been finalised.  46% of the country who voted - wanted to keep the current government in place.  We have increasing homelessness, low home ownership, polluted rivers, a declining welfare system and the least amount of national assets we have ever had in any generation in this country.

Don't do dreams do dream drivel dive
Doctor daddy divine
Prize shipment tonight, tomorrow tame tempers
To touch tender time

I don't know what the prize shipment tonight will bring.

Now that was the last sentence I wrote on election night.
As the events unfolded, I couldn't bring myself to finish what I had started.
Granted we have until the 12th October before a major player in a certain minority party is able to make a decision whether to form a right wing or left wing government - the rest of the country waits with bated breath.  If he chooses the right - we will be plunged into a darkness from which we might never emerge.  If he chooses the left - there might be some semblance of humanity that still lives within the man to try and bring back compassion, integrity and hope to our small nation.

You are one more posse to pass in the night
One more con to conceal
One more tiger to paint on a stripe
One more player to deal

In the meantime what constructive and productive things can we do while we wait for a definitive decision?
We might have to continue working and ensure that whatever happens in parliament that we cannot (seemingly) control, we can at least focus on what we can control to some degree - our own damn selves.  I cannot imagine the difficult conversations and backroom deals that our major party leaders will have to make with this kingpin.  It might seem absurd that one man has the power to decide the direction in which a country may head in for 3 years (until the next election) but it is a necessary decision to make.  Whichever way it goes - whoever it benefits, we cannot lose sight of our most vulnerable.  If they can't look after themselves and we have the means and the power to do so - yet refuse our collective responsibility - what is the point of elections?  There must surely some baseline non-negotiables in place - the common decency of ensuring that everyone who is without - will at least have access to the support they need - and not feel persecuted for having to ask.

It takes one more moment of time in your life
One more light to reveal
One more place in the sun to turn ripe
One more kingdom to feel

I hope that we can all, in our own way, take at least one more moment of time in our own lives to do something selfless for others.  Are you doing something incredible for someone else?  It doesn't need to be a huge gesture - but special enough for someone to know that you thought about them, before you.  What light will you reveal?  I think it's important to let your inner light shine for others so that they are able to see what true hope looks like. that they understand what it means to know love that has been sent to us to deliver for others.  How can we help other take their place in the sun so that they can turn ripe too?  Something to think about when we go to put our faith in these political poachers. . .