How to secure a vote (just not mine)

Last updated 05:00 15/05/2014

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What issues will get your vote?

Politicians, here's what matters to a Kiwi Tax tweaks needn't be taxing Politicians, show us the money! Vote for the greater good What's happened to our pioneer spirit? Keep legal highs gone for good A vote for my family Where are the youth-friendly policies? New Zealand 'cannot afford Auckland' How to secure a vote (just not mine)

With the general election coming up this September, will you be heading off to the polling booth to cast your vote? I hope you will, it's an important part of our political system and does actually make a difference to our country. But what this assignment is really about is an important point, politicians often seem to forget. It's not just the eyes of the current voters that are on the eyes of the politicians, it's also the eyes of the voter's children. Believe it or not most children do have empathy for others, particularly their carers. So when you create a political stuff-up that makes parents lose their jobs, the children won't be looking favourably upon you or your party. A big enough stuff-up and you've just lost face with a generation of voters, some of which are watching very, VERY carefully.

If you've watched the political satire Thick of It or its movie spin-off In The Loop, you'll know that the foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker knows best, and one of the many thing Mr Tucker knows is that if you've just mutilated your political career, it's best to take it on the chin, suck it up and go out quietly. This rather rudimentary piece of knowledge is something many politicians (not just in New Zealand) fail to realise. I know that for many people it is hard to admit fault, I'm one of them, but you really will retain some honour and pave yourself a path to re-entering the game. If you want my vote and respect for the coming elections make sure you and your party act with integrity and of course, a little bit of showmanship. It's naive but it really does make you more appealing.

Another important factor when looking for my vote is to think of everyone when you make a decision. We need empathetic, practical people to lead this country. I understand the urge to sign that billion dollar deal but remember that the majority of voters aren't the CEO of an oil drilling company. You may not like the masses but you sure do need the votes. True, the billion dollar deal could help the needy and if that's the case, sign it. But remember, everyone is watching.

Be transparent. About everything. There's nothing worse than an MP getting fired for claiming a hairdryer on expenses and trying to cover it up; it's just not worth it. It is also unbecoming if you don't declare an election policy until after the election. Of particular concern about our government's transparency is the recent Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement. For some very suspicious reason, the negotiators didn't allow any public input or involvement when discussing the agreement. No wonder people are protesting in the streets.

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Make necessities affordable. You may not like the idea of taxing your rich friends - but I'm sure they'll handle a tax increase better than a citizen living off welfare will handle getting kicked onto the street because they couldn't afford the rent. I'm no bleeding heart, but shouldn't everyone be given food, water, healthcare and shelter regardless of how messed up they are. "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

Finally, please, please, please don't bicker about pointless things. There are better things to do than argue about whether or not there are toilets on "Planet Key". It makes you sound like children and frankly if you're going bald, you shouldn't be doing that. I would rather go blind than listen to any more of your petty nonsense. Enough said.

So, on September 20th I hope you head off to cast your vote and make a difference. However, I have to make a confession. I won't be voting. Why? I'm not old enough. I'm not 18 yet. Now isn't that a conundrum for all the people that seem to think teenagers aren't interested in politics? They aren't teenagers and to be frank, probably weren't interested in politics as kids anyway. In an increasingly unstable world I believe the people that are going to have to clean up the mess need to be aware of modern politics right from the word go. But of course my opinion doesn't matter, I'm not voting.

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