There’s something profoundly disappointing, a mere three days after the historic American election seemed to usher in a truly revolutionary new dawn in the country’s history, that New Zealand then trundles to the polls, looks down at its collective ballot paper containing the most vapid array of selections imaginable, and dutifully elects a party with no vision, no ideology, no genuine ideas about how to make New Zealand even semi-competitive in the world, no clue about how to make New Zealand feel like the best place to live in the world again.
That National won isn’t the disappointing thing, though. The thing that gets me, the thing that really left me feeling a little numb and pessimistic this morning, is that I could have written the paragraph above for any of the parties, both large (read:centre) and small (read: personality driven), had they won. New Zealand politics is pretty much what you’d expect from a smallish country that has been lucky enough to be pretty much left to its own devices for 150 years – petty, homogenous, navel-gazing and childish. We as citizens deserve better. Perhaps it would help if we started demanding it.