There are times when your political ideals force you into uncomfortable corners. I strongly dislike Peter Dunne (as a politician, of course, not personally) and I very much want him to be voted out of Parliament. He is way, way past his use-by date and he has elevated troughing off the taxpayer to an art form. If he had any sense of honour left at all, he would wind up his phoney political party but of course that would cost him the perks of being a party ‘leader’, as well as perpetual Minister of Nothing Important, and he doesn’t want to give up all the free lunches and limos and other benefits of selling his soul to the highest political bidder.
Labour and the Greens share my aspiration of dumping Dunne and for that I have to applaud them. I am not a supporter of Labour and I have never voted for them. I am not a supporter of the Greens either, though I have voted for them. I am not a supporter of any political party as I believe they all have a corrupting influence on democracy. I prefer to support ideas and to place my vote where the best ones are. There isn’t a great deal of real choice in New Zealand, so my party vote is often by necessity a protest vote.
Labour and the Greens have now agreed to collude to increase their prospects of finally dislodging the Member for Life. I doubt he will go quietly. The problem is, in order to do this, Labour and the Greens have abandoned the principles that are supposed to distinguish them from, say, National and (horrors) United Future. They are undermining the spirit of MMP with a cosy deal designed to game the system, just like Peter Dunne, so they can get their way in an election. Of course they deny this. James Shaw especially denies it. ‘I’m not a hypocrite,’ he says. ‘It is okay if we do it, because we do it for the right reasons.’ Or something like that.
So yet another politician is cynical and unprincipled. Where is the surprise in that? In fact, it doesn’t surprise me at all and that is one reason I don’t support any political party. But it does present me with a problem. All other things being equal, I probably would have voted for the Greens again this time for lack of anything better, though I preferred Russel Norman. But now I can’t. And it is unlikely that Labour would ever have such a good idea that I would be able to vote for them. To my mind they are just an inferior version of National, and I don’t have much time for either.
I guess I will have to vote for the cannabis party again. If there is a big enough swing in their direction, maybe whatever government we end up with will take notice. At least it won’t have Peter Dunne in it.