The Rugby World Cup obviously takes precedence this year over that other well-loved Kiwi-event of old, the general election. You'd hardly think there was going to be one on this year; there is no colour abound so far. When do the electorate MPs get out into their communities to start meeting their potential voters? When does the balloon-giving and hand-shaking start? I'm looking forward to the TV debates, but I don't agree with Key and Goff's co-joint decision not to be involved in the wider party debates. This is a cynical move in my view, especially on the part of Key. A measure of complacency and arrogance even, Holier than Thau.
Rather, audiences should be given the chance to see all the leaders in debate mode, not just the waiters-in-the-wings. A chance to measure the answers, to ask the qustions, to weigh up the options. Politics has been turned into media-sound bites these days, a sign of the times, I guess.
Bring back the days of the old community-hall meetings, the cake-stalls etc, the foot-soldiers going from house to house, meeting their constituents face to face. The days when the PM was not made into a major celebrity (talking Key here more than anyone else), the days when NZ politics had a gritty reality, Kiwi reality about it. Now it all seems so stage-managed and distant, not to mention media-run and overly glossed-up. Bring back the right stuff.
As for the RWC, this will be an interesting diversion. Let the games begin, but I for one, am looking forward to the November scramble for power far more!
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