Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Tim Dower: We're now at the point where the election campaign is limping into a petty bidding war

You know you're getting down to the rats and mice when you've got a major political party promising to change speed limits, if only we'll vote for them.

Now I'm not saying National's wrong about a lot of those 30k zones especially, some of them are probably really daft but others might make sense.

I guess the point is we're down to fairly trivial stuff now and the election campaign is limping into a petty bidding war.

Where is the meaningful debate about political ideas? Where is the serious discussion about where we see ourselves in five, ten years from now?

Where is the vision of a better New Zealand for our children, our grandchildren?

I guess we only have ourselves to blame, because when it comes to ticking the box on the day, what's going to motivate most of us?

I'll go out on a limb and say it's money.

Most of us are going to vote for the party which will either improve our lot in life, or at least not make it any worse.

Some of us may be contemplating what we're leaving for the kids, some may even think a little more broadly than that: what's going to make for a better New Zealand overall?

I don't know that changing speed limits, or even how many new state houses are coming will figure that high in the calculation. 

National ditches Labour's 'anti-car ideology'- promises to restore speed limits

And I guess the political parties know how fickle we are, and how easily swayed.

So in case you missed it, this is actually a really important election.

But it's not about speed limits or public housing or special visas for overstayers or how much we spend getting gang tatts off prisoners' faces.

It's about two distinctly different directions we could take the country in.

Do we go further down the disastrous track we've been on this past six years: dismantling law and order, widening dependency on the state, dishing out favours based on race?

Or do we hope it's not too late to fix some of the problems and try to turn this ship around?

This election should not – and hopefully will not – come down to who lets us drive fastest.

Tim Dower is a New Zealand journalist who works for Newstalk ZB as a newsreader and substitutes talkback announcer. This article was first published HERE


Colin said...

We should have "Policy Day". Three weeks from election day, all parties should table their policies. After that it becomes illegal to announce anything new. This gives everyone time to consider what is being offered and to debate the merits, or otherwise, of each policy. This would help avoid a bidding war too.

Anonymous said...

It's bizarre isn't it. This election is all about tribal law vs democracy and yet people don't even know and will vote on the small stuff.

Grumpy said...

I agree with Colin. At this late stage in the pre-election phase there should be a stop to further promises. An exemption might apply should a significant event occur, such as a leader's death, or something resulting in a major shift being required by all candidates.
Finally, just on all these promises we are being bombarded with - where's the accountability that should follow automatically?

JamesA said...

Where is the meaningful debate about political ideas? Where is the serious discussion about where we see ourselves in five, ten years from now?

Tim, David Seymour has spoken at length about our traditional Kiwi culture, what it has become, what it should be, and most importantly, how we fix it.

But sadly the lame left-leaning MSM are not interested. They get their infantile thrills by highlighting gotcha moments and purposefully misinforming the public.

Anonymous said...

Dead right, both James A and Anon @8.35 and, while I also don't disagree with Colin and Grumpy, the real issue confronting NZ is whether we have and want a true democracy, or some form of He Puapua? You can turn a blind eye like National, or you can confront it head on.
However, there is nothing more certain than, like a boil, the more this issue is left to fester, the worse it will become. It will destroy this nation unless those with a spine step up and lance it. So let's all get to it, before it's too late.

And if you do nothing else, listen to the first 2 minutes 9 seconds of the following:
from someone who knows more than almost ANYONE CURRENTLY ALIVE.

robert Arthur said...

Hopefully when they have their security guards firmly in place the new lwders will address the real issues like defining Treaty limits, dialling back the Tribunal, and restoring democracy. It seems to me with maori so interbred it would not be inappropriate to decree the Treaty circumstances so chnged as to be no longer applicable.