GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Why I’m voting this election



It is so easy and satisfying to rail against the inadequacies of our current government.

285,000 of our kids live in poverty. More than half of our rivers are deemed unsafe for swimming. Essential funding has been cut from our health and education services. Our deep waters have been opened up to oil companies who will accept no responsibility for the grave risks while happily pocketing 80-95% of the profits they gain. Our state assets have been flogged for less than they are worth and it cost us taxpayers $440 million for the pleasure. Our government debt has risen from $10 billion to over $60 billion while National insists that they are the protectors of our economy. Our public submissions and street protests have been ignored by our Prime Minister who is supposed to represent us. This same Prime Minister has been proven to lie too many times to count. He lied to us when he promised he would never lie to us.

This barely touches on the multitude of reasons why I am voting against a National-led government in September.

But these reasons are not enough to inspire other people to get out and vote in this election. This is a problem because if we do not vote then we run the very real risk of allowing National to win by default again. In this third term they could be even more damaging with ACT and the Conservatives in tow, not to mention a heightened sense of their own “mandate” to do what they will for another three long years.

Only 74% of eligible voters participated in our most recent general election. This is our lowest voter turnout in our history since 1887, before women had the right to vote. If more of us had shown up at the polling booths in 2011 then perhaps our government and country would have a very different look now.

Why did people not bother to vote last time? Was it because the mainstream media lulled people into apathy by suggesting it was a done deal for National? Was it because people didn’t know enough about the issues to care enough to change it? Was it because they felt no confidence in any political party? Or was it because politics is fucking boring and what happens in Parliament is too disconnected from what’s happening in our streets and in our homes?

The answer can probably be found in all of the above. The frightening thing is that nothing has changed. Yet.

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A friend of mine told me last week that he probably wasn’t going to bother voting in the elections. He is a tertiary educated professional with a social and environmental conscience. He has moved back to his whanau land in the far north because he wants to stay connected with his roots and work to alleviate the problems that face his community and wider iwi. And yet there is no leader or party that he feels really inspires him.

A political activist I know told me last night that I am an idiot for trying to encourage people to get out and vote. He said that we need to focus on building a revolution and not vote for the capitalist Labour and Green Parties. According to him we cannot work with political parties if we want real change.

A student I teach told me that she won’t vote in the elections when she is 18 because no one in Parliament represents her so why should she bother.

A university student told me that he just plain didn’t care because “they” didn’t care about him. He said if they did care about him then they would stop fighting and calling each other names and that they would make it easier for young people like him to understand what the real issues are. He isn’t apathetic in the traditional sense of the word. He has just given up on our politicians doing the job that our taxes pay for them to do.

A number of people have told me that they cannot watch the news nor waste energy worrying about what’s happening in Wellington because they have too much to think about already as they juggle their studies, work and family lives.

They are just a few of the many who feel disengaged from our democratic processes.

I understand all of these views to a point because I feel the same frustration with the mud-slinging and pettiness in Parliament, especially among the Left who should be working together. The anarchist in me also wants to give the finger to a system that doesn’t really represent us all. My own comfortable personal life probably will not change that much by a move from centre-right to centre-left, so I wonder if I should not bother voting either.

But I know that not voting isn’t rebellion, it is surrender.  Even if the parties on offer don’t fit perfectly within our own ideologies, we need to get over ourselves and work together towards an actually brighter future for our environment and people on all fronts. Even if our personal lives might not be that affected by a change in government, there are many more lives that will be improved under a progressive government. Even if ticking two boxes every three years does not change enough, it is better than doing nothing and changing nothing.

We need to have something to vote for, not just something to vote against.

This is what I am voting for.

I am voting for all of our children who need to be cared for and supported, regardless of the position they were born in or the choices of their parents. I am voting for our new generations that have to find new solutions to the problems created by 20th century neo-liberal greed and extreme individualism. I am voting for our environment that has sustained us despite the damage that we have inflicted upon it in our unsustainable thirst for oil and hunger for resources. I am voting for our teachers who work bloody hard to give their students a good education despite the daily obstacles they tackle, many of which have been made more complex by National and Act’s policies. I am voting for our academics who should be leading research into new and greener technologies and ways of living. I am voting for our tupuna that we can be so proud of in our historical role of leading the world at the forefront of progressive change. I am voting for our indigenous people who have been dispossessed of so much and yet still have such a strong part to play in our country. I am voting for our Christchurch friends who are still living in uninhabitable houses that are not eligible for insurance cover. I am voting for our LGBT community that is finally finding a place of greater acceptance. I am voting for our economy that should be more future-focused and aimed at lessening the gap between our rich and poor. I am voting for our workers who toil long hours for little pay and recognition. I am voting for our farmers who would like to have cleaner practices but need government support to change. I am voting for everyone who has been unduly fired after their 90 day contract terminated. I am voting for our university students who are graduating with a piece of paper that is worth little of the debt they have incurred. I am voting for beneficiaries who struggle on the dole and face prejudice because of their current situations. I am voting for our health professionals who have to work under tougher conditions caring for the well being of our people. I am voting for everyone who cannot go to the polls on election day because their lives are too busy and stressful to have that luxury.

I am voting for you.

I am voting for myself because I will be deeply regretful if I get to the end of my life and remember that I didn’t even bother to do something so simple as vote.


Miriam Pierard has been an activist since her high school days. She was most recently the spokesperson for Aotearoa is Not for Sale.


    • Why hang on to something that’s clearly not working. Really intellectual that is. Precisely why the country is in a mess. It is the system that needs changing. A new system to meet the needs and requirements of today a system wherein the power lies with the people not with a handful of people whose interest are purely self serving. 78% voted to maintain the status quo but not 78% support those in government. Dissension is increasing the time has come for change before the country descends into social chaos which is generally followed by anarchy. Open your eyes and look around the world the people are screaming for change. And who are suffering from the ignorance of the adults children again as usual.

      • Look, I am sorry Aerahoki – I’m unsure whether I have understood your point.

        Are you saying that because there are hordes of people gathering and about to have a revolution that we don’t need to vote?

        I don’t live in a city. Are there thousands on the street protesting?
        Are the media hiding it by not reporting it?

        Cos unless there is going to be a revolution between now and September – I really don’t see the point in not voting – it just allows the chances of the current sellouts to get in and do more damage.

        Isn’t it better to vote whilst the revolution forms?

        Why not vote?

        Not voting seems like such a pointless thing to do.

        • I agree whole heartedly Blue Leopard. I’d go so far as to question the motives of anonymous commentators like Aerahoki and wonder just why they are encouraging a Non-Vote?

          Considering this is primarily a left-wing blogsite, it is read mostly (I’m guessing) by leftists.

          99% of National supporters won’t read this. Therefore, Aerahoki’s exhortation NOT TO VOTE can only be directed at us. Not National voters. So, Aerahoki, is that your end game here? To do your neo-liberal masters dirty work for them?

          Screw that. I’m voting and I’ll be door-knocking around my apartment block to make sure that all Labour/Green/Mana supporters get out there and vote.

          • Im all for voting, but real change will come from telling the truth to people. If the media devoted just 1 hour to telling the truth about how the world works there would be a revolution.

            It doesn’t really matter if you vote left or right, the political spectrum will continue shifting rightwards unless people put pressure on powerful institutions.

            • The media are only interested in sensational headlines. They want to sell papers etc. The present political system encourages the non-vote. All of us need to do everything we can to get the non-voters to Vote. It is now more important than ever.

      • If we don’t like the present system of politics then we have to change it! And the first thing to do is to vote, if we don’t vote we lose, to the Right wing politics. If the non-voters voted we would have a different government.

  1. Why can I not be convinced by such a compelling argument? The motive for voting is laudable, but there is simply nobody who can deliver even a handful of those social needs … let alone all. Show me even one person who shares those aspirations and I will gladly vote for them. Unfortunately this nation has sleepwalked into a no-win situation and without viable options all I can see is a battleground forming. We didn’t start the fire … but it is set to explode out onto our streets in a few short years, maybe less. God save NZ … he’s the only one who can.

    • @ Murray Smith

      Can you not see the difference between a Labour/Green government and a National one?

      Surely you can see – even if Labour/Greens don’t supply you with your ideal government – such a government is light-years better than the sellout-everything government that National provides?

      If you do see the difference – that Labour/Greens provide better governing – and don’t vote out of a sense that even Labour/Greens aren’t perfect, that is one non-vote that helps the worst option -a National-sell-outs government- to get in.

      You absolutely can’t avoid this effect of not voting – no matter what way you look at it – nor how much you wish it wasn’t the case.

      If many people hold views such as yourself and don’t vote – the sell-outs get back in.

      • Hi BL

        Read the blog by Susan St John today and tell me how I can believe in a labour party that votes to support this legislation. Labour needs to demonstrate its shift to the left in voting chamber. I was truly inspired to return to voting upon the election of David Cunliff but hell this is just wrong and labour seem too scared to oppose it.

        • Hi Andrew Murray,

          Same here, I was very inspired and have had my moments of disappointment, (and other moments of inspiration!)

          I think the thing to do is if you wish for a Labour government that is stronger left – vote Mana or the Greens. If lots of people feel that way and they do the same, these two parties get more say and this gives a clear message to Labour that this is the way people want the government to go. Politicians need a strong message and backing to make moves, especially leftwing ones because their opponents seem to have a very loud voice and can make things very difficult for them propaganda-wise – I think for the politicians to know they have numbers behind their cause it helps them stay stronger.

          I suspect Labour are having to be rather tactical at present and hopefully it will become clear where they stand – I do like what Cunliffe has to say and yet feel that Labour are in a very tricky position at present and are kind of damned if they do and damned if they don’t on a lot of matters currently. I think this has to do with being a large party and somehow having to appeal to a rather diverse range of people.

          I have to say that from observation in parliament over the last few years – Greens are clearly more passionate about the real issues facing those who are poor and/or on welfare than Labour members (some of Labour are too – but the trend is for Greens to speak out more assertively and passionately on the subject.) From observation of Harawira out of parliament – he is too. So if that is something that you feel strongly about – choose one of those parties.

          Let the government-in-waiting know what you want by the way you vote.

          If you don’t mind having a sell-out government or, for some strange reason, want one don’t vote or vote National, if you want a strongly left wing government vote Mana or Greens and if Labour shape up and it becomes clear where they stand and you like what they are saying – vote Labour. That is the way I am approaching it.

    • Nothing is going to explode. There is no revolution in the offing. The fascists rely on the discontented to wail against the system and then DO NOTHING. The diminishing voter turn out is one of the great triumphs of the neo-liberal take over. They WANT you to think there is some alternative about to arrive on the scene and wash the bullies and the greedy into the sea. But there isn’t. There is just hard work and vigilance.There are plenty of candidates worthy of support. There are a couple of Parties with vision and integrity. Once elected they will require YOU to keep them honest and work hard to ensure that vision can become at least in part a reality. You live in a democracy. A hard won democracy. Vote you dicks.

  2. Beautifully written. It captures the very essence of why we must vote.

    Interesting how so many have rationalised why they feel no need to vote.

    It’s almost as if, under this government, politics has been de-politicised.

    It’s as if we are living under a One Party state (and yes, I have).

    When sufficient people feel that voting or not voting will no difference in their lives, something is very, very wrong.

    • As a young person being born into the neoliberal era, it is an extremely rational thing not to vote. Why would it make sense to vote when nothing important ever changes, and you know none of the political parties represent you? I am voting btw, for the small difference it will make. But anyone who thinks that elections are more than a minor importance are just irrational.

  3. A colleague of mine just read this and sent me this message:

    “I heard an interview on the BBC the other night, recorded in 1960 with a then very elderly (but compis mentis) Suffragette, who was imprisoned 9 times: They force-fed those who were on hunger strike in prison, and many had broken teeth because they rammed the feeding tubes through them in prison. She said her teeth were tough so they fed her through her nose – sat on her to immobilise her etc while they did it. She said you could hear the sound of all those young women retching as the tubes were forced down their throats- it made me think again what a privilege it is to be able to vote, and what an abrogation of duty it is not to do so.”

    I wanted to talk about the importance of women voting in this blog, especially considering we were the first country in which we won the right to vote. I think it is worth dedicating a whole article to it though!

    • Congratulations on your blog. And on pointing out the fight women had to get the vote. Party politics may be disillusioning but surely we can take the time to get to know each party’s policies and try and make an informed decision – the best decision we can. We owe it to those who fought for the vote to do so. We can’t resile from trying to make a fairer, more egalitarian society where everyone again has opportunity.

  4. “85,000 kids in poverty … rivers are deemed unsafe for swimming … essential funding cut from health and education … deep waters opened to oil companies … state assets flogged … debt risen from $10 to $60 billion … public submissions and street protests ignored …”

    It’s a country in crisis, simple as that.

  5. Anyone who says they’re not voting because of any reason apart from being happy with the Key regime had better be prepared to say what they personally are doing to change the system they hate so much is fooling themselves. They might think it was cool when Russell Brand said it, but to me it’s the worst idea since Mr. and Mrs. File thought Peter was a great name for their new son. Stick to faking orgasms during masturbation please. You’re not fooling anyone else.

  6. Anyone who thinks that the way to bring about change is by “opting out” needs to wake up ! No vote = a vote for National, pure and simple. Their supporters will all be out on Sept 20th to ensure that their cosy little status quo is maintained. Vote Mana, vote Green, vote Labour – just vote!

    Otherwise, a revolution may be a bit of a stretch in the next National term when they ban protests and public gatherings, and fully implement a security state in which we are all constantly monitored and controlled.

  7. Little fluffy kittens …. little fluffy kittens ….

    This is a crisis situation and we need compulsory voting .

    Kittens … Little and fluffy .

    Seriously , little fucking fluffy fucking kittens .

    … and axes . Little fluffy axes .

    … is that jonkeys neck ?

    … Little fluffy kitten-axes … ?

    Mad ?

    Yep .

    Mad as .

    I’m mad as hell and I just can’t take it any more . aka ‘ Network ‘ .

  8. It’s not the mud slinging, or the lies or the corruption that get me. It’s that the system is broken, it is mad house where we reward the most amoral and bash the poor. It’s the hate and deriding of anyone who brings up class war. The middle classes blame the poor for everything wrong, and then go drink themselves to a stupor every night.

    It’s the armchair political types who rant, then blame people for not voting as the biggest sin ever committed – Not the wholesale sell out of working people by the labour party when it embraced neoliberalism and the corporate elites. No it’s the people who didn’t vote in the last election are the real enemy. What a bunch of drivel.

    So if people vote in this election and the liberal elites sell them out again… So what then? What do the greens and labour offer except to cut you off at the knee instead of the hip. Wow what a great victory – I’m so inspired, is it not great to be on the left.

    Stop bitching about non-voters, stop being reactionary, and most of all stop being so weak. Why the same tired lines over and over about needing to get people to vote. It’s getting people to participate I want, being involved, being active, fighting guerrilla warfare against government departments. People being social and embracing each other as real people.

    But no, the left will slag of non-voter, and be smug about it. Well guess what I believe, there is class warfare going on. The elites are all sociopaths (if not in thought, then definitely in action) who are so amoral it makes me puke. Voting for any liberal party (I mean as in having their ideas based on liberalism) is a waste of time. So give some of the non-voters some credit, liberalism was the winner on the day, no matter who voted.

    • I don’t see that anyone is ‘slagging off’ non-voters or being ‘smug’ about it. Miriam’s post acknowledges the issues raised amongst non-voters she knows and actually acknowledges she has [at least some] agreement with these concerns.

      Apart from the guerilla warfare part I agree with you re “It’s getting people to participate I want, being involved, being active, fighting guerrilla warfare against government departments. People being social and embracing each other as real people. ”

      [If things carry on as they have been I might even agree about the guerrilla warfare bit- but for me that is the very final resort and most unfortunate if that is the only way we will achieve real positive change.]

      When you refer to ‘class warfare’ I do wonder what classes you are referring to – as a person who has spent a fair few years on welfare – it has been very clear that there are serious differences between rightwing and left wing governments – I would suggest that due to similar types of observations – those who are the poorest and the richest are best positioned to see the differences between the governments and those in the middle are most likely to be of the view that ‘it makes no difference which government are in’.

      To those people who hold such views I would plead – as I read Miriam was doing (not blaming, not slagging off) that you please consider voting.

      This election we have the leader of the largest party in opposition, Mr Cunliffe, admitting that neo-liberalism has failed and that we need to move on from this failed economic ideology – this is a watershed despite the media ignoring it as such.

      The only reason this watershed was possible was thanks to many people in Labour – people – being active politically, who took time to change the rules that allowed this leader to get in. This wouldn’t have occurred had there not been activists acting for a better option for the rest of us.

      It seem a crying shame if you frame those asking you to vote for such a person as them slagging you off or blaming you for the failed ideologies and policies of successive governments because I really do not think this the case.

      I do acknowledge it is easy to view the pressure being applied to non voters as blame and could well tip to being blame in some peoples mind and therefore it is a good point to raise.

      • Correction: “It seem a crying shame if you frame those asking you to vote for such a person “

        Not every left-wing inclined person pleading non-voters to vote want people to vote Labour – Greens & Mana are just as good options if not better! 🙂

        Cunliffe is the most likely to be PM with those other party votes though, so I thought it relevant to pass on information re his views and how he got to be in the position of being next PM.

    • Adam – sorry, but your attempt at validating your apathy is self-indulgent crap. If you can’t be arsed voting, what the fuck are you doing here? Go live in a cave and leave the fight to the rest of us.

      By not voting you are helping the neo-liberals you rant against. You’re a fellow traveller for National and Act and you don’t even understand it!

      • Blue, I was talking about the people commenting not the author, and I apologise for not making that clear. I was not saying not vote, although a part of me does feel that the working class will not vote because they are pissed at the liberal elites. And I think they are more than justified by that belief.

        What labour did and those aspects of internal party politics mean bugger all to people who are not engaged in politics. They need big messages and positive answers. I don’t see to much of that coming from labour. You may think it is Blue, but it’s just another round of vote buying and nice words – or as my mates who I had a beer in the pub with last night said. “Same shit, different bowl”

        I think also watershed – gone long gone. The traditional politics we assume will work won’t, the 5 labour government proved once and for all – labour and national are parties of liberalism in either a hard or softer guise. Both are willing to do fuck all to help the working, class, both are interested in their self interest and again it’s degrees of pain from national and labour.

        Labour will only cut you off at the knees -‘aren’t we great! Where as national will take us from the hip – oh and guess what and an election is only three years away and the hip cutter are coming, the hip cutters are coming. So we roll on, with a weak left who won’t don’t stand up and expect the ballot box to be the solution.

        Priss what fight – voting – woohoo!! how bloody revolutionary of you. Every vote for liberalism is an attack on the working class, so you will excuse me if your support of liberalism is something I can’t agree with. But then again, I’ve thought the issue through – have you. Maybe not by your reactionary comments – what are you doing? Anything? Apart from bitching about those who think the system is broken and are doing something to keep people alive? Oh and the fellow traveller comment, McCarthyism much…

        • Dearest Adam, you have mates? You drink beer? How very proletariat of you…ahem.. but how also how awfully rude of you to bring your little diatribes about ‘the revolution’ right into the middle of a post written by a woman. Edit yourself.

        • Thanks for the clarification Adam,

          If we are talking about people who in principle don’t vote because they think the system needs changing – I don’t see why it has to be an ‘either/or’ option – why not vote AND act to change the system.

          If we are talking about people who are disengaged politically – disenfranchised – I actually do think what has recently occurred within the Labour party might interest them – it shows that the membership aren’t simply a ‘machine’ – that there are intelligent people out there with heart who are actively taking the time and energy to try to improve things within the system – that this isn’t simply an institutionalized machine and that people actually do effect this system when they put their minds to it. This is a very important understanding for all to realise and a message that the wealthiest and most powerful do not want anyone to realise.

          I know I have found it extremely heartening and especially reading the comments on the Standard from these very people (some have disclosed they are active Labour members). It can really feel that noone out there has heart anymore when you are in poor circumstances. I find it motivating and inspiring to know that there are – it encourages me to take a more active part.

          It is my understanding that the weakest part of NZ society is that non-willingness to speak out and join in – or apathy. I know this from activist people I have met who always comment on that(!)- the biggest problem is the inability to get people actively backing the causes that are needed to improve things. Representatives need to know that there are numbers of people behind them too.

          This sad fact is also the reason that I wouldn’t expect a revolution in the very near future – perhaps it is that NZers don’t like to ‘complain’ or ‘stick their necks out’ they most certainly don’t like to ‘rock the boat’ and therefore don’t we have to keep aiming at the very least to get people to toddle down to a local voting box and draw 2 ticks in a manner that that stops the National-sell-outs from getting in – at the very least. I really am of the view that this Labour team will make a lot of improvements (in attitudes as well as policies) over that very low aim (of simply removing the worst).

        • You can wait till your precious “revolution” starts Adam

          I’ll be working to throw out this government in the the meantime.

          Isn’t that what religions promise the workers? Suffer now with the promise of the Afterlife later??

          Your promise of a Revolution is the same thing.

  9. The National party are the conflict of interest in this country! We are just turnips not of any interest to that bunch of wrecking balls. Wouldn’t it be awesome to show them what the real New Zealanders are made of, it’s like having Dennis Connor running the show, doesn’t matter about anything as long as he wins. Lets face it John Key has nothing else to do but play politics and ego maniac. He doesn’t need to work, doesn’t stand for anything to do with the peoples wants/needs. he has probably sat on his piles of money counting it and recounting it, got bored and now plays games with our lives, and plays golf with Obama just for his awesome photo album. For these arse holes being poor is like a dirty disease you must have deserved by having a bad thought or being lazy… Look at Henry, Hoskins, Key, Collins all self obsessed narcissists. Speculating in housing and making money from Rest Homes is all revolting, New Zealanders need a home it is gross running a game of portfolios and shafting people out of the ‘market’, or worse shafting the poor people in the market so they can’t afford power or food or something rather necessary to life in a western country. Or just get left at the bottom of the ‘ladder’, because your boss is paying minimum wages because the leader of the pack has made this kind of ‘torture’ normalised for the working class, what a sick joke. Time to win this war, get the All Blacks mentality, just get rid of the tricKey Johnny and his pack of wolves, (I love wolves but not the human kind).

  10. First of all I would like to offer my unbridled solidarity to Miriam! Again wise and astute with your words . I am humbled every time you share the amazing wisdom and insight!
    Kia Ora!

    Here is how i see it in this fowl year of our darker neo liberal present 2014.

    I’m Generation X and proud and have seen this curse of “governance ” and free falling social services , low wages , extreme levels of poverty , the supreme fundamental nation of the “self” and the rise of mind numbing apathy inducing American pop culture and infotainment luring the masses with a unhealthy , heaping dosing of chemical laced food (cough) poison whilst the masses stare at there smart devices and forever spiral down into a brain dead culture.

    I have seen waves of activism come and go and the echo chamber of the MSM denounce and dethrone the architects of dissent .
    Then “The Smiling Assassin” darkened our door (again) armed with the hyperbolic spectacle of the RWC and the masses slept in pools of high drama , beer and mince pies .However not all of us were in our comfy beds of nationalism fast asleep while dreams of All Blacks danced in our heads and smiling visions “change” and borrowed election campaigns of O’Bomber lured us a massive step to the right …(place your hands on your hips)

    I was in the trenches , digging in deep , “down in the basement , mixing up some medicine , also on the pavement, talking about how to dislodge the neo liberal government”

    Whilst we were talking about revolutionary politics . We were also talking about voting .
    This is something that I have done all my adult life with much interest , all be it in my perfect world we would as it was once mentioned on the steps of parliament “that we should rise and tear down the houses of parliament brick by brick to achieve real change in our country” (sic)

    When I hear activists and the youth say things like “nah I’m not voting” or “I don’t believe in any of the parties! they don’t have what it takes” I get very sad indeed..
    It makes me so annoyed that we have this innate sense of apathy . I see that this is a construct and the complicit architects of our vernacular and the state on the right have won in their quest to push us closer to the service nation that they desire that will ultimately line the pockets of the rich while we -the rest of society suffer .

    It is of my belief that this election is and will be the most important election of a generation!
    This one is for keeps brothers and sisters! there is no doubt about it!

    We must engage in our democratic process we must enlighten those around us who are caught in the web of apathy!

    I feel that what we have seen over the last 2 terms of this “darker present” is just the beginning of “Neo Liberalism-the end game”
    Get out and vote! agitate in your electorate! lets take the power back!
    I want to see this black cloud of injustice start to lift from our nation on the 21/09/14 and for all of us to take to the streets and celebrate that the best, the smiling assassin and his crony capitalist mates in the national party are dead!
    However failing this! if by chance the unholy trinity of National , Act and the Conservatives get in! Jeebus/Allah/Buddha help us if they do ! We must engage in politics of the street! We must take to the streets and stay there and not leave until we win!


  11. In retrospect I see that there are some ideas I could either have explained more clearly or expanded on, but I am really glad to see the conversations that have arisen from the article so thank you for engaging with it. I’m pressed for time right now but will reply in greater length this evening, but in the mean time I want to leave this with you. A friend of mine just posted this on facebook in response to Tony Benn’s passing, and I absolutely tautoko it:

    People must always remember that most of the people who aren’t politically engaged, who are apathetic, and who are oblivious to a lot of the bad things happening aren’t ‘sheeple’ or drones.

    They are poor, they have been demoralised, and are in debt, so shaking up the boat is scary, and an engagement with politics is almost a luxury for some of them. Most of the mainstream information is simply a commodity designed to make money, so it’s completely unreliable and biased (as we all know).

    So we shouldn’t be angry with them for reacting exactly how they are meant to react by a system that has demoralised them intentionally. We should encourage them with kindness and support that they are the difference, and that they won’t be punished for wanting something else.

    Some people just don’t care either way, and they’re a lost cause. But we should love our brothers and sisters who are disengaged and are disengaged because that’s the way the system wants them to be. And like we do here (and I hear stories of it every day from the people in this group (John Key has Let Down New Zealand) and it warms my heart), we can inform them of the reality, and encourage them to make a difference, and that’s how we’ll start to wrestle back control into our favour, and honour the legacy of of our forefathers and foremothers that fought for us.

  12. Vote,”Fluffy Dogs,,”’Welcome from the gates of hell holocaust,,” The killing fields,,In essence Nazi Germany – The conditions in this City do not have to be identical to Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 40s for Christchurch to be in a policed and fasist dictatorship ,,”If we examine the essence of a policed genocidal City –”Destruction of constitutional rights ,genocidal mental murders of the people by capitalist predators deliberate the criminal acts on our old people by government officals ,”Then this City in the twenty -first century is unquestionably in a genocidal mode ,,We have indeed reached the crossroads since September 2010 and it shows from that point forward ,”We left behide any semblance of constitutional government and entered into a militaristic City where all the citizens are suspects and genocidal security trumps freedom to rebuild ,,Certainly a time when government operate off their -self serving playbook with little in the way of checks and balances,,While citizens are subjected to all manner of indignities and violations with little hope of defending themselfs ,,”We has moved beyond the era of representative government and entered into a age of insurance cartels ,,”The term insurance and political corruption will go further to pertain and form of abuse of power or deviation from a sound government system,,,Boom,,,Shake shake ,,,Full insurance ,, ((”Suncorp Brisbane vero,))((EQC)),((Lumley)),,”((Brokers ,Benson and Westpac Banking )),,2010 ,,2015 ,,Closing ,Where the hell are they,, If you see them on the way to vote ..We need help…Noah,,

  13. Farmers don’t need government support for anything. They don’t want government support for anything. Government support is the last thing most small business owners want. To accept government support is to allow the government to dictate the terms on how we do business.

    Most farmers (if not all) want the right to quiet enjoyment enforced….that is, they want the right to do what they want on their own land in their own way as long as it doesn’t encroach on the rights of others to do the same.

    If farmers, or anybody else for that matter, can see merit, profit or peace of mind in making change to “cleaner methods” or whatever, they are perfectly capable of making the change on their own. Change instigated by the landowner is always preferable to government enforced change as it offers buy-in of the idea and a better level of commitment from the individual.

  14. Every cycle of 6 or 9 yrs we vote them out and get in the **left** ( not really left just nact lite imo) and it continues to go round & round in this cycle ……

    I think its time for a Greens /Mana/Labour led GOVT , as we have never had a Govt in this form, how can these rightwing fuk nuts know it will be bad? They cant cos its all shit.
    The Govt & their backers are rich old white men who will do anything to hold onto their fukin ELITIST builshit * I’m rich and im a better class of citizen

  15. These are excellent things to vote for…. these are also issues those further left …. from centre left …. have been voting and advocating for….. for many decades…

  16. I spoke to a Nat-voting relation last night. She said she didn’t give a hoot if people didn’t vote as she knew most would be Labour, Green, Mana supporters. She said every person who didn’t vote increased the power of her own vote.

    Something for the naysayers to consider maybe.

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