Sunday, September 21, 2014

A trifecta of electoral suck

This week has been a trifecta of electoral suck. First, Fiji voted for dictatorship. Then Scotland voted to remain subjugated to Westminster. And finally, New Zealand voted for a third-term majority National government.

The last boggles me. Not the fact of National's victory - that was expected, despite my hopes. But the fact that their vote went up, and delivered them an absolute majority on election night. The public appears to have endorsed National's dirty politics. And that's horrifying.

With a third term and an absolute majority (or, if they loose a seat on the specials, a de facto one from their ACT poodle), I doubt National will feel constrained by the moderation it has been forced to practice thus far. We've seen privatisation and assaults on the education system, the RMA and worker's rights. We can expect more. And we can expect the cuts to social support and working for families National has always wanted to make. Its not going to be pleasant to be poor or even middle class in New Zealand for the next three years. But it'll be great to be a millionaire banker like the Prime Minister. We won't get action on climate change. We won't get action on inequality and child poverty. We won't get measures to deflate the housing bubble and allow kiwis to own their own homes again. But the rich will get a tax cut in 2017, funded by increased misery for the poor. Because at the end of the day, that's what National stands for.

I don't expect Labour to provide credible opposition to this. They've had an influx of right-wing cuckoo electorate MPs to add to the usual suspects, and so they'll spend the next three years engaged in the same division and backbiting they've wasted the last three on. Instead, the heavy lifting will be left - again - to the Greens. They underperformed as well this election, but at least have held their own against the landslide. So they'll spend another three years winning the argument and reshaping the policy landscape in their image. Its not change, but it lays the foundations for the future. And hopefully, one day, we'll get to see those policies in action.

Still, every cloud has a silver lining: a majority National government means that I get three more years of easy bloggage. I'd rather I didn't though.