Will your vote be about the here and now? How far ahead are you prepared to look?
If you are at the end of your time in high school, are you thinking about cheaper fees at university and about interest fee student loans?
If you are retired and have grandchildren, do you wonder whether NZ will be as clean and as green for them as it was for you?
If you are in your middle years, what kind of health system do you look forward to for you, and what kind of education system for the young people you care about?
If you care about New Zealand's place in the world, do you value our independent thinking and action in foreign policy? Or would you cast it aside in favour of mysterious and uncertain future rewards?
National is all about short-term thinking, the tax-cut now at the expense of the running down our infrastructure and public services. What's made Labour such a good government is that they have taken the long view. Their restoration of social services isn't based on living beyond our means, but is affordable. The return to universal public health care is affordable. The investment in children through Working For Families, and the middle-aged through the Cullen Fund is affordable. Even their no-interest student loans policy is affordable. National's plan to borrow for tax cuts puts all of that at risk.
But the part which resonated most, and which most clearly defined the election for me, is this bit:
In the final one-on-one debate last night, Don Brash was asked who was not mainstream. Don Brash said that Helen Clark was not a mainstream New Zealander. And he said that anybody who shares her vision for a vibrant, diverse, progressive New Zealand was also not mainstream.
What this election is all about is a battle for cultural control between those who continue to believe in this mythical mainstream, and those of us who have accepted - in the words of Nandor - that
there no longer is a mainstream. We have become a braided river.
The believers in the mainstream - dead white males, all - refuse to accept that the "good old days" when New Zealand culture was defined by white, middle aged, straight farmers, are gone. They refuse to accept the changes wrought by urbanisation, immigration, globalisation, generational and demographic change, even (judging by their dark mutterings on women holding power) feminism. They refuse to accept that we are becoming a Pacific nation. In short, they are in denial. But that denial could cost us dearly, and make New Zealand a nastier, angrier, and far less comfortable place to live. I don't want that, and I don't think anyone whose views belong to the twentieth (rather than nineteenth) century does.
That's what's at stake here, that's what we're voting about. And I urge all of you to cast your votes for the future rather than the past.