A Disenfranchised Public

Why bother voting if you don’t get to have a say?
Non voters are criticized for apathy but I believe it is an active not a passive decision to vote. Most people do what is expected of them by others including society at large most of the time. We have a finely developed social instinct that urges us to participate in such events.
Perhaps non voters may be thinking: “no one represents me”. I don’t believe this is the case as there is so much more political choice today with MMP, yet the results come close to an FPP type election.
“Smell a rat we do”, is the general feeling of the populace.
What we have is brand politics. This was ushered in with the Greens. it is the now entrenched tradition of pandering to the media and the urge to appear savvy and “with-it”. ¬†This has cheapened our political environment. The best (or worst) example is Labour’s Kris Faafoi who stood in Mana to take a safe seat in the 2010 by-election. He was a party staffer and an ex children’s TV presenter. This does not necessarily disqualify him from politics but it detracts from the robustness of our democracy that a stronger more entrenched Labour party member wasn’t put up. You can’t help but feel he was put up because he was politically correct with Tokelauan heritage and “one of the boys” as a party staffer as well. In a way it was inevitable due to the exposed troughing culture, but we are now binning the elder statesmen for the media darrlings.
¬†Then we have the media that embraces this process and promotes slogan politics. The 2008 election was won on the back of a slogan: “time for a change”. The media has to take a lot of the responsibility from this point onwards.
The media doesn’t drill down anymore – it sells papers on cheap labour coining phrases like: “Dunnes dirty deal”(Ohariu) , or “Battle of the Babes:(Auckland Central). ¬†¬†These are potted personality stories and our political system has turned into a Political Soap: ‘Goff’s Landing’.¬†
We know we are not seeing the full picture and it makes us resentful and snide. we either don’t want to engage or¬†we want Winston, we feel at least he stands for something, even if we are not sure what it is.
 

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