September 26, 2008 12:14 PM   Subscribe

It's election season, and the stakes are high. The incumbent party is looking a little frayed, and people are looking for change. The opposition leader (a young chap, who despite being neither gifted, nor black, has likened himself to someone of that definition) is accused of profiting from parliamentary questions about undeclared shareholdings. And forget about your $700 Billion, this election has been rocked by scandal over an undeclared NZ$100,000 donation. Some would suggest that the state of the nation can be read largely through sales of doggy chew toys.
posted by pivotal (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Selling dog chew toys in the image of the party leaders is inspired genius. I need to see if can source some of those around here... Also, great post! It's complete trans-national election madness!
posted by GuyZero at 12:32 PM on September 26, 2008

It's election season ...

Is it now?
posted by grabbingsand at 12:43 PM on September 26, 2008

There's got to be a better choice than Helen Clark!

One of my NZ friends tells me that when HC flies, the jet she's in is referred to by air traffic controllers as "Broomstick 1".
posted by Class Goat at 1:10 PM on September 26, 2008

You mean Clarke presumably? And if anyone should take the mantle of Obama surely it's Winston...
posted by Kiwi at 1:20 PM on September 26, 2008

It's election season?

Who can we shoot?
posted by Dr-Baa at 1:43 PM on September 26, 2008

couldn't this post have had something about Australian politics in it?
posted by Hat Maui at 1:46 PM on September 26, 2008

Hat Maui, I think Aussie are still two years out from their election. The NZ election is on November the 8th.

And no, it was John Key, the right-wing party leader that likened himself to Obama. Totally hilarious.
posted by pivotal at 1:51 PM on September 26, 2008

36-year-old mother Susan Hainsworth, a blood technician in Palmerston North, spoke for many when she said: "I'm not saying we need to do anything different, just a fresh approach."

Right. So you want a government that will do things the same as Labour. So that's why you'll vote for National.

Susan Hainsworth: proud product of the Palmerston North educational system.
posted by dydecker at 2:06 PM on September 26, 2008

Actually you were right, it's Clark a/out the 'e'. I'm so fucking embarrassed. Can we delete this thread yet?
posted by Kiwi at 2:45 PM on September 26, 2008

NZ$100000 = $42.50
posted by mattoxic at 5:06 PM on September 26, 2008

The RNZAF no longer owns any combat jets. Helen Clark decided NZ didn't need an air force and sold them off.
posted by Class Goat at 6:26 PM on September 26, 2008

Well, to be fair, they were A4 Skyhawks, which being 51 years old and all at the time of sale were a little, um, beside the point?
posted by Sonny Jim at 7:48 PM on September 26, 2008

I believe she also sold off their F-16's.
posted by Class Goat at 9:44 PM on September 26, 2008

No. The outgoing National government made a deal with the US in its final months to buy a squadron of F-16s for something like $700 million. These were, IIRC, left over from a US arms deal with Taiwan that had fallen through, and weren't to local specifications. The Clark government simply cancelled the order when it came into power in 1999.
posted by Sonny Jim at 10:10 PM on September 26, 2008

I began writing this:
I LOVE Westminister-style election-systems. Everything just works (tm), as opposed to a certain other clusterfuck-election-system that dominates our news headlines these days.
It is only when I pressed preview that I realized the irony.
posted by the cydonian at 4:36 AM on September 27, 2008

Wow, Class Goat, your grasp of New Zealand politics is truly remarkable. Other than "hurf durf chicks shouldn't be in power" and being wrong, I'm sure you can add something to the discussion.
posted by rodgerd at 10:14 PM on September 27, 2008

proud product of the Palmerston North educational system
Also being a proud product of the PN educational system, I can say that Sarah's ability to form a sentence that was mostly grammatically correct puts her a cut above the rest.

From what I can tell, people want to vote against Labour not because of any objection to its policies or what it has done for the country or any scandals or lack of confidence. They're just bored and want something new.
posted by Paragon at 12:15 AM on September 28, 2008

Oh to live in a country where my primary voting concern was bordom...
posted by teishu at 11:49 AM on September 28, 2008

Paragon: I don't think it is a case of boredom so much as peoples innate recognition of Lord Acton's dictum ""Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." Whatever the undoubted merits of Helen Clark and her government, many feel it is time for a change (incidentally a slogan Labour Party historians will recognise from 1972). Dissing those who express this viewpoint with snide remarks about Palmerston North, an admittedly easy target, doesn't add to the debate.
posted by vac2003 at 3:01 PM on September 28, 2008

I guess that's a frustration with the nature of politics, that it's too often based on slogans and gut feelings. And I agree that people want 'change', but it seems to be 'change from' and not 'change to' - 'different' government rather than 'better' government. Hence my characterisation of it as boredom. There seems to be very little discussion of the policies of the National party, and very little discussion of the policies of the Labour party, just these kinds of hand-waving statements of vague dissatisfaction.

Now, to be fair, that's probably because Labour has very effectively captured the middle ground with their Third Way approach, and they've always had the advantage in coalition partners, so it's tough to differentiate. National seems to be focusing on educational refom (NCEA being such a mess), plus the usual "tough on crime" and "welfare dependency" canards, but none of them really show the kind of broad distinctions in politics that capture the heart.

Incidentally, my other comment was not intended to add to the debate - I'm born and raised Palmy, and I thought Dydecker's comment was funny.
posted by Paragon at 6:03 PM on September 28, 2008

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