New brooms, same old dust by Trevor Plumbly

Political bigamy Fine words are always spoken prior to elections. That’s certainly no different down here in NZ, nor is what follows. Stentorian rhetoric gets watered down by the appeasement that comes with the MMP system.* The leader needs to ‘consult’ with two other leaders before actually ‘leading’. It’s ironic that a system touting broader representation looks like poisoning itself with its own prescription. Courtship At the ballot box, we were swept up in a flurry of expectation; our new prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, was all we’d been dreaming of: young, idealistic… Read More

The Confessions of a Sunken Voter by Trevor Plumbly

I quite like Australians but they’ve got some strange habits. Like compulsory voting. Regardless of their sensitivities, Sheila, Bruce et al are required by law to endorse someone’s path to power. Things are a bit more considerate of human frailty here in the gentle green hills of NZ: we get to choose. We can either take a punt at whose particular brand of snake oil we want to try, or simply not bother to vote at all, which, on the face of it, is probably the best option. It avoids the pain… Read More