#election #nz: a vote for change

Most of us like “smaller government” until the government is too small for us personally. The reality is that for most of my friends and colleagues, another 3 years of National-led government won’t create hardship. We own our homes, have well paying jobs, have completed our educations, and live in communities where we can draw on the assets (or capital, if you prefer) of others when in need.

We are, alas, atypical. Now is a good time to remember this.

When I vote in today’s advance poll (I’m flying out to Canada tomorrow so can’t vote on election day) I will not be voting only for myself. I’m also voting for those men in the south who will needlessly die from prostate cancer (after waiting almost a year for surgery), those kids in Mangere whose school keeps losing science teachers (because of the cost of living in Auckland and the meagre wages of teachers), for the person in Christchurch living with PTSD after the earthquakes (but who cannot find or cannot afford mental health care), and for the young couple in Auckland having to choose between having children or owning their own home.

Unsurprisingly the National Party is now rolling out policies to address these issues. Issues this government, have had 9 years to sort these things out. I remain unconvinced they will do so.

I could say “a thousand bucks in lower taxes” would be nice. But I’m not saying that. I don’t need that $1,000. And I am convinced that those “savings” are resulting in higher costs for healthcare, education and the criminal justice system, as yet another generation of poor Kiwi kids grows up hungry. No child in this country should grow up hungry, whatever their parents have or have not done. This government’s obsession with “benefit fraud” while blithely ignoring tax avoidance and tax fraud says a lot to me.

I’m voting two ticks forĀ New Zealand Labour Party. I’m voting for change. I’m voting for the chance to address