Why I will not vote National
What issues will get your vote?
The reasons I will not vote for National, under the current regime, are many.
Firstly, before the usual suspects start making their "typical Leftie" or "typical Labour supporter" - or even "typical bludger" replies, I should state I am an ex-National voter, I am a health professional and have never been on a benefit.
Secondly, I vote for the party that has the policies that benefit most of the general public - rather than sticking to one specific party "because Mummy and Daddy always vote for them".
Let me tell you some of my reasoning, and please have your common sense, rationalising, and intelligence buttons in the "on" position, and your arrogance, and rudeness buttons in the "off" position before reading.
1) When National took power, they told us stories of doom and gloom, that due to the recession and other factors there was no money to spend, and it was time we all started learning different ways to cook and eat grass (preferably not using electricity, as the prices were about to go crazy).
Then, incredibly, within months they announced reasonable size tax cuts, mostly benefiting the high-income earners.
The reason was, the "trickle-down effect", which was a surprising reason as most evidence shows this effect simply does not work in regards to fixing a struggling economy.
National told us there was little money and then proceeded to give what little money there was to the wealthy, who didn't need it, and left those struggling still struggling.
2) The lapses of memory, aka "brain fades" or as John Key likes to put it "I can't remember" incidents. These are so numerous I can't list them here. But as a taster we had the casino meetings, the BMWs fiasco, and many others leading to Key's "I can't remember" about whether he supported the South African Rugby tour during the apartheid era or whether he was against it.
Now it is not my place to state that often people who "can't remember" certain comments, meetings or other events are more victim to "not wanting to remember" rather than a neurological issue causing memory lapses. But either way I have huge concerns that we have a prime minister who struggles with fairly major memory problems running our country.
Also falling into this category are their comments about "Hiring an extra 3000 nurses", when reality is we have (reportedly) hospitals struggling to fill current vacancies due to lack of funds, while still having about 1000 unemployed nurses.
In other words, maybe if National actually did employ an extra 3000 nurses, they should put them mostly into neurological services, to help them with their "brain fades".
3) Then we have their claims of masterful economic management. I, like many overseas financial experts, am scratching my head with this one.
Since National came to power they have tripled overseas debt, which means they have been borrowing to run the country since they took power, and still are.
This fact of course runs into unusual problems with National's supporters about "National has made us debt-free", and "National are trying to get us out of all that debt the Labour Party left us with", and the good old classic "National are selling assets to pay off debt".
As the billboards say - yeah, right.
Before the usual suspects start with "heard of the recession" and "heard of the Christchurch earthquakes", I say "heard of the EQC fund" and "heard of cutting costs, not making tax cuts, assisting manufacturers and exporters to sell more to increase the tax take?"
4) The continual unbelievable incompetence of the general management of government departments. So many examples: to start with, Novopay - which yes, is still a nightmare. So far tens of millions of dollars have been given to rather ironically named Talent2, to supposedly fix the payroll software.
Some argue that Labour took out that contract, but the problem is National still had to sign it off, and sign it off they did, despite being told it was full of hundreds of issues.
Now any even half-decent business would have given a software company already paid a reported sum of around $60 million (before the tens of millions of more payments to help "fix it") an order to fix it or lose the contract.
But no, National just kept on, and keeps on pumping in millions upon millions into it. Why?
5) Then we have the good old state asset sales; oh, let me get that right "partial privatisation". This one really puzzles me - it puzzles me why so many are so not very bright when it comes to the basics of economics.
Now when you have some businesses that are bringing you in regular income, year after year, why would you sell them to get some quick money and lose 49 per cent of that regular income every year forever?
National's answer to that question raises even more questions. To start with they dismiss the loss of income by saying "we will be paying off debt, so that is much less interest we will pay, so that is why losing that income is negated".
Unfortunately, the voters didn't really like that idea that much, so they started changing the answer to the good old favourite vote-securing one of "we are using that money to build schools and hospitals".
So - you are losing regular income forever, income that could have been used to build schools and hospitals again and again, because you need quick easy money to build schools and hospitals? Um, eh?
6) You will be glad to know this is my last, though definitely not my least reason why I will not vote National this election. Their arrogance and their ignorance. Their arrogance is demonstrated in the debating chamber each and every day that it is in action.
Have a listen to them yourself. They almost never answer valid questions and concerns put to them, in a serious way.
At least 75 per cent (OK - I am estimating here) of the time they answer serious questions by simply making jokes or belittling the person or party who asks the question.
I still remember Key giving the cut-throat gesture in Parliament and getting away with it. I also have firmly embedded in my memory, Key telling everyone he was selling only certain assets, because "there is nothing else left worth selling".
Now how less patriotic, less reassuring, less proud a comment could a leader of a country make, and get away with it. But he did, always has, probably will continue to.
Their ignorance is demonstrated by being determined to pour money into Auckland and (admittedly needed) Christchurch, and ignore other centres. This despite Auckland bursting at its seams and Christchurch facing at least another 15 years of rebuilding. Why? Because nearly 50 per cent of the vote is in Auckland and Canterbury - so make the people happy, and face a greater chance of winning the election.
So who should you vote for? Simple really, vote for a party that has policies that will benefit most, rather than just the wealthy and associates of large corporations, which is the population currently "owning" the National Government.
Personally, I like NZ First, their policies are sound, and they have everyone's interests at heart.
You, make your own mind up, but don't simply vote National because someone down the street does or you always have done.
If you do, you may go down in history as one of those who put in place a government for a third term, who all but destroyed New Zealand's future of being a decent, successful, and caring country to live in.
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