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.)