Political parties pile on inducements

19:33, Jun 01 2014

Town planners of the future will have to set aside lots of land for dementia wards if the latest research by a Finnish doctor is to be taken seriously.

According to Dr Anna-Maiga Tolppanen's findings, cynical people with distrust for others are three times more likely to develop dementia than those who have a sunnier take on life.

Fifteen hundred people aged 71 were followed over an eight-year period and were asked questions such as: Do you think most people lie to get ahead? And: Is it safer to trust nobody? The result from the batch studied: 46 people were diagnosed with dementia.

While those questions are only two from the survey, it would be extremely difficult in the current global political climate for anyone not to be cynical about a world where politicians, to lift part of another question from the survey, "will use somewhat unfair reasons to gain profit or advantage".

To remain Pollyanna-ish in the face of wholesale takeovers by corporate greed, while the gap between the rich and the poor grows wider, and global wealth has been captured by a tiny per cent, surely it is the stick-your-head-in-the-sand optimists who are the fools?

One would imagine it would be easier for elderly Scandinavians to be optimistic because their hefty taxes have delivered them a better education system, enlightened childcare (16 months of paid parental leave per couple in Sweden), more caring old people's homes, nicer nuthouses, fewer fatties, and a justice system that favours rehabilitation.


However, one must not forget their high suicide rates, a statistic that we with our mean, lean welfare system share with them, coming at a cost mostly to our young. If this Scandinavian survey was trialled on our youth, then investment in wide-scale dementia housing would be the canny money shot of the future. If I was a young person, a Gen Me-er, I would be feeling pretty good right now. It is nice to be courted and sought after, to become the It Girl and Boy of the moment because in this general election they have got something everybody wants.

They have been identified as a group and found app-ealing.

To find out which way they will be voting come September, the pollsters will be adapting their data-gathering methods to electronically entice them into responding to their surveys and they can thank Princess Leia and the Barrage Balloon (Laila Harre and Kim Dotcom) for that.

Internet-Mana is looking at reinstating free tertiary education; the Greens will make their trips to the doctor when they are at the voting age of 18 free; the Nats will give them three Ks to go Christchurch where they can work on trial for 90 days; and Labour will pay employers the equivalent of the dole to take them on as an apprentice. But there will be more, in a stampede to claim that untapped 800,000 to a mill lethargic voting mob who failed to grace a booth back in 2011.

The last time young people took an interest in politics was back in the 1970s when there was a war on (Vietnam) and the catchcry, borrowed from a film, was: "What if there was a war on and nobody came?" In subsequent decades the word war was replaced with election. Wouldn't it be something if in 2014 there was an election on and everyone showed up?

The Press