Friday, June 05, 2009

Politics matters

Over on PA System, a comment caught my eye. After talking about how they are "not really passionate about politics", Rik goes on to say:

I'm happier with John Key steering the ship than I was with Helen Clark.

You, obviously, are not.

But that's cool - I patiently waited for Labour to get the boot and now you can do the same with National.

But nothing really changes at the end of the day.

Yes it does. Labour changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders in its time in government by repeatedly raising the minimum wage, re-universalising the public health system (well, almost), introducing paid parental leave and working for families, and ensuring that the Reserve Bank encouraged employment rather than its opposite. National will change the lives of hundreds of thousands more with its tax cuts for the rich and failure to protect jobs (this list is shorter because they have only been in power for six months; I'm sure it will expand in the fullness of time)

What goes on in Wellington is not some amusing sideshow for the entertainment of the "beltway" elite, or some tiresome distraction from the "real" business of farming mate - it matters. It directly affects people's lives for good or ill, on everything from whether they have enough to eat to whether they can beat their children.

People who don't care about it are simply fools.

(Yes, I'm repeating my response on PA System, but it deserved a wider audience)