Hi! I've switched over to a more awesome blog on Wordpress and you are being taken there now! :) If you aren't redirected in the next 10 seconds click here - https://wastelesswanderess.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/nz-politicsI've been asked to stop posting so much political stuff on Facebook.....
So I'm writing a blog post about it.
Brief summary of the NZ political system - MMP system, two votes, party vote decides how many seats in the house of representatives each party gets (so if a party gets 50% of the party vote they get half the seats, there are 121 seats). The electoral vote helps decide which specific party members get a seat. Politicians will stand for an electorate seat and you choose which one you believe will best represent your electorate (kind of like a region).
There are 3 big parties - National, Labour, and Green.
National is right wing, slightly conservative, lead by John 'a foul stench surrounds his name' Key.
Labour is left wing, liberal, has very strong social policies and is lead by nobody at this point. (The last leader resigned after the worst defeat Labour has had ever, and there is way too much competition for the next one, splitting the party even further.)
Green is more left wing, liberal, and as the name suggests - very environmentally focused. In recent years they have grown drastically as left wing voters give up on Labour until they sort their stuff out.
Overall, I love NZ, its a great place that looks after its people far better than Namibia does. I am very grateful that I live in this amazing country and that is one of the reasons I get so vocal about politics here. The National government keeps making changes that make New Zealand more like Namibia, and other third world countries. This frustrates me something terrible and I struggle to contain myself when people tell me that politics doesn't bother them.
When National refuses to increase minimum wage - that affects everyone.
When they invite Petrobras into our oceans to look for oil (even though NZ has been offered an outrageously small cut of profits compared to other countries Petrobras operate in) - that affects everyone.
When National refuses to increase the minimum amount that you have to earn to have student loan repayments deducted from your salary - that affects everyone.
When National give tax cuts to the top tax bracket - that affects everyone.
When National decides to subsidise buying houses instead of building them after an earthquake caused a massive housing shortage - that affects everyone.
When National takes money away from public schools to give to private schools - that affects everyone.
And most recently - when National decides to give employers 'flexibility' in whether or not they give you breaks during your shift - that affects everyone too.
Needless to say - I did not vote for national.
Something that strikes me every time National release a new policy is that it seems like they are actually trying to make it more like Namibia. Taking money away from public schools and increasing class sizes forcing people to look at private schools. Reducing public healthcare funding so people need to start paying for private health insurance if they want treatment in the next year. Reducing worker breaks. Not keeping the minimum wage in line with inflation. Dirty politics and colluding with criminals. Trying to exploit the land in any way possible to make a buck, regardless of the number of animals and plants we make extinct in the process (see Maui's Dolphin).
So, lets make ourselves a third world country..... yay.....
I think the fact that I grew up in a country where you could never be sure if your vote would even be counted, if you managed to get to one of the voting booths which some people had to walk for hours and hours to get to, gives me a greater sense of responsibility than many Kiwis. Here there was very little fighting for independence and elections were introduced very early on. New Zealand was even the first country in the world to give Women the vote.
In the last election over a million people didn't vote. Even a tenth of those voters could have changed the ruling party. They stayed home instead.
Now all we can do is cross our fingers and hope that Labour pull their thumbs out of their asses and get a good party together before next election and that National doesn't manage to do too much completely irreversible damage.