I have ‘survived’ many election cycles in my lifetime; my memories going back as far as the election of the late 1950’s when I remember the ‘Black Budget,’ and the consequent loss by Labour in the following election. I guess I have always been aware of the ‘ups and downs’ re political fortunes; the winners and losers, but what I find the hardest to stomach is the manner in which politicians ‘take it to one another,’ whereby the biggest loser is honesty and the promulgation of policies.
2014 is shaping up to be an election fought on personalities and insults; on ‘finding the dirt’ on political opponents. Voters are already weary of what they have heard so far. Amongst this there is some policy emerging and it is this that we as voters want to see more of; not the childish never-ending accusations of political graft, influence and name-calling. There can never be a winner in such battles, because the loser is always going to find ways of getting back at those who have thrown the ‘filth’ at them. I know that such actions have always been part of the political battlefield but New Zealand is at a crossroad where we need to look at many serious issues; nit the least being the increasing gap between rich and poor, the effect of climate change and the old perennials like health and education.
How do the stupid scenes we witness every night on TV, whereby various parties are trying to diminish the ‘worth’ of their opponents,’ contribute to a better NZ? They don’t! They are merely diversions from the real questions. It is not too late for our politicians to bring the debate back to something resembling a forum in which New Zealanders can decide who is best equipped to answer the questions and address issues that matter.
Let us see a little more dignity in what will be a battle---but let it be a battle of policies, not one that should be consigned to a rubbish bin!