Getting it off my chest

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It has now been about two weeks and three days since election night, so plenty of time to reflect, recuperate and ignore my blog. It really is time to do what I’ve been avoiding and record my post election-musings.

First things first. Me. It was the first general election for me that I could vote in (after having made up my mind a long time ago) and the first time I ran as a candidate. I felt it had to be done. Not to get into Parliament – it’s far too soon for a serious run like that – but to increase the Green Party Party Vote, creatively vent my frustration at lack of youth participation and representation in politics, and I guess have a good time, learn a lot and see whether it was a role I could see myself in in the future – as either a lowly-ranked candidate again and/or a serious candidate.

I felt I did make a difference, and most importantly for myself, felt I did as much as I could have hoped to do to increase the Green’s Party Vote. I had a good time. I learnt things across the board, from creating event ideas, organising them and organising media to honing my public speaking skills (something I really enjoy) and talking to strangers one on one about issues that they’re passionate about, and I’m passionate about. I’ll tell you the biggest thing I’ve noticed since November 8 though. I thought that I might burn myself out on the election trail and then go on hiatus for a little while afterward. But that’s not the case. It’s put a fire in my belly that’s stronger than ever before, and it’s not going out. And every time Rodney Hide says climate change is a hoax, or John Key champions the free market over simple social and environmental logic it will only get stronger. Because if there was ever a time to dither over climate solutions, it is not now – I think there’s been enough of that since Kyoto was signed in 1997.

Which brings me on to my next subject for my pre-bed muse. The election result. Boy was I nervous on election day – the worst I’d felt the whole campaign. I’m learning to trust my instincts a little more now, and my nervousness gradually morphed into the inevitable disappointment as the results rolled in. I said a few months ago that I would be disappointed with anything less than 8% for the Green Party, and so I was disappointed. I also wasn’t expecting the result to be so decisive for National.

So what happened? Well Labour were punished for running such a crappy campaign. Weren’t they watching the US elections, and seeing how John McCain was punished for running such a negative campaign against someone who was running such a positive and inspiring one? Labour gave us plenty of reasons not to vote National, and to vote for Labour in the last three elections, but I still haven’t figured out what they would have done if they were elected again (other than go into coalition with the Green Party and implement a whole bunch of our brilliant ideas because they had none and ours are so intellegent and needed). Nationals campaign wasn’t very inspiring either, but at least they offered something, which was change, some positive messages and a nice guy as their front man. Since Brash disappeared, Key got better and better at saying either “Don’t worry, we’ll keep what Labour did” or “We’ll keep what they did, just change it a bit” which completely took the wind out of Labour’s sails. Then he just had to come up with a few issues that struck a chord with the public and voila, he romped home in the end.

As for the Green Party, I think we can count it as a pretty successful campaign. It’s so difficult to sell our message when we got so little media coverage compared to the big parties, given that our message is a whole new way of looking at things. But of course, it is a very necessary and logical way, we just need to keep working on getting it accross. We had by far the best billboards and advertising campaign, which got to the heart of our message and our voters. And so we increased our vote against what was a big swing towards a National-led Government. We now have 9 MPs, solidifying our place in Parliament as the third largest Party and a major political force. This is a great base to build on. But the challenges ahead are immense – for both the Green Party and every citizen of Earth. We, along with all the groups and individuals fighting on our side, are the only ones that have the solutions for the future. But we do have the solutions, so we’re half way there. All we have to do is make sure the left side of the brain wakes up the right side so that we can all move forward – not just those with the same ideologies. We’re all in the same boat.

In the meantime, ponder this: What were those things that National promised to do before the election again?

(PS You’re hoping for an explanation about the photo right? Well, on the final day of the campaign we had a bit a fun with some sumo suits. Can you guess what their underpants might be a symbol of? Anyway, after the two fought it out in many battles it turns out they both fall over time and time again whenever faced with a challenge. When it comes to having a positive long term vision that everyone should be a part of, the Green Party was the winner of the day – the only ones that could stand on their own two feet. Below is some more of the action.)

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Original post on Zackarate Island.

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This entry was posted in Auckland, Ecological wisdom, Election 08, Social responsibility by zacharydorner. Bookmark the permalink.

About zacharydorner

I'm an 18 year old running as a candidate for the Green Party this election. This is because I care deeply about the world around us - the planet and the people who live on it. I also care deeply about the fact that young people - especially those under 18 - are so poorly represented in our "democratic" institutions. My personal blog is zackarateisland.blogspot.com, but I will contribute here as I see relevant to keep all you beautiful readers of gblog informed.

4 thoughts on “Getting it off my chest

  1. What about the greens decision to indicate a clear preference for Labour pre polling day. Do you still support that decision?

    P

  2. Lovely pix, Zach!

    That looks like a cathartic thing to be doing on the final day of campaigning; good on you.

    Yes, I felt sick to my stomach on election night, too, eventually giving up after seeing DPF’s ugly visage splashed all over the tv presentation, crowing about Nat’s win. Took me a couple of days to bounce back, but I was very tired, as well.

    Now I feel a lot better about our efforts – it’s not our fault that Labour shot themselves in the foot; nor that National made capital of the poor campaigning decisions made by their major rival.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how much Obama copying we see from Brash. The headlines yesterday in the Dompost were a carbon-copy of Obama’s previous statements about ‘no quick fixes’ for the local economy, in the frame of a global recession – which began up to 18 months ago, if anyone was counting; but no-one would admit that the trouble was beginning, citing ‘business confidence’ – yeah, the business con-men stopped innocent families from getting their investments out before the corporate busts happened.

    Shame on the bankers, shame on the share traders.
    Same story as the ’87 crash, when insiders knew it was coming but wouldn’t let investors in on the joke, as they cleaned up on marginal trades and investments in the last months before the crash.
    Shame also on the newspapers, whose business pages continued to sing ‘nothing to look at here’, even as the sub-prime markets were collapsing in the USA.

    Lessons to learn? Don’t buy the Dompost, and read widely, via the internet, in any language you have access to, any news that has been published outside NZ.

  3. Godder,

    I still support the decision of the Green Party to announce it’s position to voters before election day so that they knew what they were voting for. I still think the decision was robust, after a lot of consultation within the Party, as well as policy analysis of the two major Parties. We will still work with National, but on an issue-by-issue basis, rather than by supporting their Government through confidence and supply.

    I do however believe there will be a big debate within the Green Party about the political positioning (as is always healthy within such a democratic body), which I will watch and participate in with interest. I support the decision this time, but don’t believe that we can’t do things differently and better next time.

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