New Zealand: Republican wonderland

22:55, Nov 07 2012

A couple of interesting things happened yesterday. First, the 3 News website quoted a post I made on Facebook to the Gay Red Shirt Day page, thereby revealing to the world that I buy clothes at The Warehouse. And a guy got elected president of some small, podunk country that no one's ever heard of.

As you're no doubt aware, Barack Obama, a Democrat, was successful yesterday in his bid for re-election. This makes Republicans sad. So much so that a number of them took to Twitter yesterday stating that they were now ready to pack their bags and move to New Zealand. There was even a hashtag for it. My personal favourite of these sorrowful tweets is one in which the author seems to have a lack of understanding about what you can and can't bring into the country with you.

This tweet and others like it caused the Kiwi Twitter whanau to collectively go "whaaaat?!" in a combination of bemusement that ship-deserting Republicans would consider our own Aotearoa a suitable "back-up" country and fear that some of them might actually go through with it. What is it about our small but perfectly formed nation that Republicans might find so inviting? It can't all be about Hobbits, surely.

So assuming that at least a handful of these grieving Romney-fans are good to their word, here's my breakdown of the Republican delights that await them here, in Middle Earth New Zealand.

We have fewer Democrats than the US - Truth be told we have fewer of every kind of person with the possible exception of Maori (kia ora!) and people who play bagpipes. But we do have a whole heap of Liberals. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Land of the free, home of the brave - Understandably you'll miss some things from your homeland if you come here but guess what? We have freedom and bravery here too! And democracy! We're the 5th ranked country in the world in terms of how democratic we are (and the only one that's not in Scandinavia). America only comes in at 19th. Other things you may be pleased to know that we have include: Dunkin' Donuts, McDonald's, Burger King, X Factor USA and James Cameron. Wait, no, he's from Canada. Does anyone know if Aja Rock still lives here?


We have a Right Government - By which I don't mean "correct all the time". They're probably not as far right as you'd like, but don't worry! We have John Ansell for that.

Land of the long green fairway - In my head Republicans are really keen on golf and golf clubs. We have heaps of those here. One for every 10,000 or so people. Only Scotland has a better golf-course-to-person ratio than us and they should, they invented it.

Hobbits - I don't know, I just get the sense that if the Shire were a state in the US it would be a red one, what with the bucolic way of life and insular "hobbits don't travel but when they do they cause a  lot of ruckus" thing. There's a good argument could be made for Hobbits being Republicans.

God - If you believe in God then he's everywhere including places that don't get HBO. We have God here in New Zealand too but here we refer to him as "Willie Apiata".

Giving immigrants a hard time - This seems to be a Republican hobby and you'll be pleased to know that we have immigrants here who are ready and eager to be told to "go back to where they came from". In fact, you'll be one of them! So if you're keen for a bit of self-loathing and don't mind being accused of "stealing our jobs and eyeing up our women", come on over!

What do you think Obama-fleeing Republicans should know about New Zealand before they get here? Would you welcome disappointed Romney supporters with open arms?

» Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.