The media and the blogosphere have been alight with the by-election in Mt Albert and the selection of candidates. To this frenzy, I must add a small voice of dissent. The by-election fills me with deep torpor – and I don’t mean the town in the middle of North Island (no matter what the TVNZ news-readers think).
I’m sorry, but I find it hard to get excited about an election that will make absolutely no significant difference to the current make up of parliament. I realise that people will use it as a bell-weather for the prevailing political winds, but the interpretation of the results is likely to be heavily coloured by one’s political persuasions and, in the final analysis, not very definitive.
I work in the Mount Albert area on occasion and I can tell you that the sense of anticipation is underwhelming. Hopefully it will pick up closer to the election date, otherwise the turnout will be on par with council elections.
If I was actually voting, given the absence of any relevance to the result, I would probably vote for David Shearer. Since that is a seriously weird thing for an old Tory like me to say, let me explain:
Firstly, the obvious. Shearer is in fact the only candidate who is not already in parliament. Voting for him seems marginally less futile than voting for another candidate. Admittedly, that is a purely subjective take. No doubt others could give me many logical reasons to vote for their candidates, but at least this one is slightly less frivolous than voting for Melissa because she is pretty, or Russell because he is handsome or John because he kicks ass…
The second reason is that it effectively emasculates the dumb Labour meme of privatisation. I am heartily sick of it. If only, I say. If only National would privatise ACC, Rail, Electricity, Health, Prisons (Cue deep frenzying from the Left…). And the army (go, David, go…) – just kidding about that last one.
The third reason is that it might save Phil. Why save Phil? Because the longer Labour is lead by the thrill of Phil, the longer it will take for them to do the necessary reorganizing and regeneration that they need to do. As it is probably going to take until 2020 to undo the damage of a decade of creeping socialism, the longer it takes for Labour to become an effective opposition, the better. There is also delicious irony in disabling the “enemy” with one of its own paratroopers.
My, what an intensely cynical political post from one who says that this election is terminally boring…