Friday, November 25, 2011

New Zealand election live blogging

Having written my guides to voting (they are the most popular posts), and noting Not PC's excellent rival guide, the time for politicking is over.  A few million people will be making some ticks to choose people to govern them.  I did my special vote days ago at the New Zealand High Commission at Haymarket, London.

I will be blogging and tweeting live about the election when results start appearing - as I listen/watch NZ media from London.

I secretly like psephology so I will find it a fun way to spend a chilly Saturday morning in London.  I can combine it with having a drink everytime someone I like wins, and be sure I will remain sober the rest of the day.   Politics at election time is extremely hard work for those who do it, but don't empathise with them.  Bob Jones once wrote how he refused to talk at a "leadership forum" for young people, on the grounds that the last thing he wanted to encourage was people to lead others, and that New Zealand's problems at the time (early 1980s) were in large part due to a man who epitomised that.  Politicians have been working hard to gain power.  Most of you work hard to earn a crust.  I know which group I have more time for.

Yet, despite what you might think of any of the parties and politicians, today there are thousands of Syrians fighting with their lives, many in prison, some being tortured, trying to evict a 41 year old hereditary one-party dictatorship. Too many take for granted their right to live their lives in relative peace and freedom the way they wish. Saturday is your chance to say whether you agree with the current lot or want the government to do more or less, in different shades and you don't face the army aiming guns at you for your views (or the secret police rounding you up to a rally to cheer the thugs on).

I spent a week in a totalitarian state last year (no, not China), seeing and meeting people who all lived in constant fear of saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing - value the freedom you have, for only when you don't have it, do you realise how precious it really is.

3 comments:

Redbaiter said...

"seeing and meeting people who all lived in constant fear of saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing"

..and that doesn't happen in NZ?

There are gulags here, just of a different kind.

Kiwiwit said...

We should, indeed, be grateful for the freedom we have but we must also be vigilant against those who aim to take our freedom away. Such people are often well-intentioned (these days usually in cause of "social justice" or environmentalism) but inevitably they tend towards less benign ways of imposing their beliefs on the rest of us. Should a reminder of the fragilty of freedom be necessary, one need only recall the appalling sight of troops and armoured vehicles on the streets of Christchurch earlier this year.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Looking forward to it. Re leadership, if only more people would lead themselves.