Be bold. Be brave. Step outside your comfort zone.
Be bold: In the 2020 General Election I am being bold. The party I have chosen to support is Prosperity Party of New Zealand. Prosperity Party is led by Helen Peterson, J.P. Mrs Peterson and her husband Dave launched Prosperity in January 2020. Prosperity is a centrist party that is seeking to balance economic development with environmental protection, and to which end have a number of interesting ideas that I will mention later in this article.
Some will argue that I am throwing my vote away by voting for an out of Parliament Party. I could argue back that a vote for National or Labour is a vote for same-old same-old. In the next few weeks I am going to do pamphlet drops for Prosperity Party in Ilam.
Got out of the comfort zone: I am stepping outside mine. Under other circumstances I would have been happy to support a party in Parliament on the simple grounds that they will probably be back. I would be overlooking the fact that Parliamentary parties tend to be quite conservative in their policy making, but also political parties can become stale with time. One only has to look at National or Labour to see how those parties are frightened to rock the boat with a bold change in direction.
Whilst I like Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in terms of her leadership style, the unfortunate fact of the matter is unless done from the leaders office, or with caucus on board, turning National or Labour around is probably akin to turning a Cook Strait-going ferry around at short notice.
Having met Mrs Peterson across several New Zealand First meetings and being struck by her drive to work on behalf of vulnerable/disabled/disadvantaged people in New Zealand, I have concluded I have nothing to lose. Coming from a background of having severe hand eye co-ordination problems when I was a child, and having friends who have Aspergers and find daily situations confusing, I see a need for this community to have a political champion.
The depth of Prosperity’s policy platform is impressive for a party not in Parliament. In terms of policies Mrs Peterson’s party it advocates for:
- A Kiwi Fund that is protected and ensures the health and well being of New Zealanders is protected
- Renationalising the electricity sector
- Restoration of Public Trust as a means of providing legal support for poor and vulnerable people
This is not to say I expect to Prosperity in Parliament in this election. It would be a feat not achieved by any New Zealand party to go from new born to having Parliamentary seats in the same election cycle. Getting past the 5% threshold of the Party vote is a formidable exercise in its own right, and of the Parliamentary parties to exit Parliament only New Zealand First on the back of its leader Winston Peters, has returned.