Monday, June 06, 2011

MMP Referendum

So there's going to be a referendum this election as to whether we want to keep MMP or switch to another voting system.

I'm by no means an expert on political voting systems, and I'm really not even an informed political commentator. It's one of those subjects about which everyone has an opinion, and it's actually the nature of the beast that nobody really knows the truth because it is the job of political commentators to obfuscate. The better the obfuscation the more effective the spin.

I am, however, an average Joe. And as an average Joe, I listen daily to the stupidity, the arrogance, the lies, and the petty back-biting that is New Zealand politics.

When average Joes everywhere voted to change from first-past-the-post to MMP, I reckon they didn't want a change of voting system as much as they wanted at least a change of attitude. And in many cases they wanted a change in personnel.

The thing that amused me the most was that the day after the election of MMP, the same people were in charge. All the arrogant, smarmy politicians who ruled under FPP were still in charge under MMP. By and large. There were a few Nandor and Sue. And we know what they did for New Zealand politics!

But all the big players were still there - Clark, Cullen, Mallard, English, Anderton, Goff, Smith et al. There they all were. Still there doing the same thing - screwing middle New Zealand and feathering their own nests, saying exactly the same things they were saying the day before.

Since then, what's happened? Nothing. Well, not nothing, but the same. Nothing new. For average Joe nothing changed from the old system. Taxes still went up; prices went up; wages stayed still. Politicians perks changed, but were still pretty impressive and still on the back of the good old New Zealand taxpayer.

So, now that it's probably likely that the gullible New Zealand public will go back to FPP, thinking things might change, the conservative spin doctors will be out in force, talking it up.

But nothing will change. A few faces might appear or disappear. But all the old personalities will still be there, plotting against one another, back-biting and obfuscating on the really important stuff, increasing their pecuniary interests, sucking the New Zealand taxpayer dry.

It's not a change in voting system we need or want. We need a change in attitude. We need a switch from the self-serving arrogance that is the backbone of the New Zealand political system. We need genuine policies that serve all New Zealanders, not just the loudest special-interest groups with the best lobby. We need honest politicians who genuinely care about average Joes, politicians who aren't so out of touch with AJ that it's embarrassing. We need a welfare system that actually takes care of people according to need, not some faceless, meaningless formula that invites corruption and abuse. We need an education system that doesn't categorise children according to the wealth of their parents, but teaches self-respect and innovation and genuine respect for others. We need a justice system that isn't a laughable contradiction. We need to feel secure in our homes and on our streets.

We don't need another expensive exercise in futility that will have politicians crowing that they're actually doing something for New Zealand.

Oh, and if FPP can somehow arrange for these bloody earthquakes to stop, then that would be a bonus too!

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