Thursday, 12 October 2023 09:55

Voting no laughing matter

Written by  Farmer's Chaplain Colin Miller

OPINION: For a brief, humorous trip down memory lane, I recently caught some old video clips of the late Billy T James and also Kiwi icon and rural favourite, the late Fred Dagg.

I'm not sure how they both would go down in today's world: they'd have a rather long list of apologies to make their way through, would be my guess! I'm sure someone somewhere would come up with something to be offended by.

Election 'season' used to be a great opportunity for good Kiwi humour to come to the fore. I remember Fred Dagg informing us there were a bunch of job opportunities coming up in Wellington shortly, so keep your eye on the Situations Vacant section in the paper. He explained that the job paid rather well, no qualifications were necessary - so get yourself organised for a crack at the job!

Laughing at ourselves is a much healthier option than getting so easily offended at every possible opportunity. It surely is much more therapeutic for the soul.

It's so obviously election season at the moment. It's more of the same old, same old. Promises and still more promises. Freebies and still more freebies. I'm struggling to think of any other 'job' where you get to spend other people's money so flippantly!

It's all seemingly without restraint, especially if your personal ideology calls for it. If what you have already got access to is not enough, what an easy fix - just pass a new law to increase your take!

For me, the term 'political promises' is really a classic oxymoron. After all, as I have mentioned before in my column, survey after survey has politicians fighting it out for the bottom spot when it come to the people we trust the most. Promises? Yeah, right!

A great question has been asked in different settings: "Who would you want in your foxhole with you when the shooting starts?" For me, not a single politician comes to mind, sorry! I have seen too much.

And the freebies? The truth is they are really vote catchers, and they're not free either. Somebody gets to pay for it. So, guess what. It will be funded from the taxpayer's purse. Yep, we the people will get to pay for it yet again!

I have to admit it took me a while to get my brain around the MMP thing. I got the two votes thing - one for your electorate choice and then one for your party choice. What I didn't fully appreciate is that if your party of choice does not make it into Parliament then your party vote goes to another party who does make it in.

To illustrate, in the 2020 election around 225,000 party votes went to parties that did not make it into the Beehive. Those votes do not get scrubbed, or mysteriously disappear into the outer galaxies. They simply got redistributed among the parties who did get in.

Of course, those with the bigger share of the party vote from the elections get a bigger percentage of the 225,000. These 'votes' benefit them the most.

If you don't understand that, then I fail to see how you can vote intelligently.

Yes, I think it's important to get out and vote. It's a fleeting opportunity that comes our way once every three years, so let's take advantage of it.

Again, I am so thankful that my future is in the hands of one I truly trust.

God Bless.

To contact Colin email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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