NZ Election

I’m a New Zealand citizen, and I vote there. The election is coming up, and they had a televised debate between the two main party leaders, one the current prime minister and the other the new head of the National party.

To make a somewhat more informed decision, I found and replayed the debate on YouTube. After five minutes or so of the traditional media audio/ video with military-like snare paradiddles, portentous horn choruses, flag waving and the other trappings of electioneering invoking preparation for battle that seem directly imported from the US (why not bird calls, beach noises, video of Mt Cook, stuff that tells the viewer “this is NZ?”) the aggressive “moderator” starts in with questions about the government’s handling of the pandemic.

About three minutes in, the question is basically “what would you do differently with an outbreak”. Ardern makes the case for handling it exactly as she did, operating from the best information from public health science. Her opponent says she’d do it a little differently, not elevating the alert level for the country outside the afflicted city-wide area for “economic reasons”.

I shut the video off, having learned all I need to know to make my decision. The existing government will do what’s required to save the most lives, given the best information they have. The opposition is willing to risk more cases, and more deaths, so that the economy isn’t hit as hard. That completely disqualifies them from governing, imho, and I will be voting straight Labour.

I live in a country where the authorities have basically made this trade off, and we have 20% of the world’s casualties with 5% of the world’s population, and a refusal to support those afflicted beyond requiring them to get back to work if they want to stay housed and have food for their families. I’m not going to support that kind of thinking with a vote.

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