I am adrift. After 9 years of supporting New Zealand First and 7 years of being a member, I think I can safely say that I do not identify with the party at this time. And as I look out across the ocean of New Zealand politics, I wonder whether I should try to rejoin whilst I am not too distant, but the dismissal of the Capital Gains Tax, the betrayal of party members on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and a desire to try other things are pushing me further out to sea.
That cuts me adrift. Bobbing along among the waves of the big open sea with no real clue about who to support in the immediate future, where do I go? I am too conservative for the Greens whose defence, justice and foreign policies do not match mine. Also, some of their Members of Parliament seem to be averse to accepting that it is okay to be a man. At a time when we are supposed to be helping the MeToo movement address abuse of women, listening to some members
The big red island out there in the distance is Labour. It looks bright and vivid like their immediate future, but I am reminded that underneath, Labour still have work to do in returning to being a party of the centre-left and not the centre. It looks like some kind of party is going on there and that anyone is welcome, but what is it actually doing?
What about The Opportunities Party, or the Social Democrats?
Whilst I like the looks of the Democratic Party for Social Credit (a.k.a. Democrats for Social Credit) policy platform, the party has a major problem. It is – without significant time and effort – unlikely to win any seats in Parliament. It is then going to have the problem all new parties to Parliament will have: no experience in the rules, procedures, Parliamentary debating and so forth. Of course it has to start somewhere, but for the next while its priority would have to be simply building up a base of supporters for any future attempt at Parliament.
I have to be honest that The Opportunities Party did not initially appeal to me, not so much because of policy, but because of the personal politics of its original founder Gareth Morgan. Calling then Labour leader/Leader of the Opposition and now Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern “lipstick on a pig”, is rank and file misogyny right there. Mr Morgan has since left the Party altogether and it is now run by Geoff Simmons.
There are two parties that know right now they can count on me not voting for them. National and A.C.T. I am philosophically opposed to market economics, especially now in a resource hungry world generating much waste that it is failing to recycle, despite the technology and the know how existing. As the Government does not wish to be accused of rigging a market, it tends to stay out when it could provide leadership by enacting policy or financial measures to steer certain aspects in a different direction. National and A.C.T.’s tendency to adopt Americanized policies such as Three Strikes, supporting U.S. led wars – good or bad – instead of developing home grown policy I also find hugely troubling. And the nail in of the coffin of both parties in terms of getting my vote or support is a lack of regard around human rights, which I think they view as “nice to have”.