I must say New Zealand is quite pleasant. For a start, there are no ex–PMs completely ignoring the fact that they were so out of touch with popular opinion that they were voted out of their position (in one case by his own electorate; in others by their own party), and lecturing me on what I should be thinking. But leaving politics aside, the weather has been nice, the fush and chups have been tasty and the people don’t make fun of my accent.
Sitting here with the benefit of distance, I must say the Coalition look even more absurd than they do when I’m at home. I mean, I’ve grown used to the idea that they can attack the Labor/Wilkie deal for self-imposed limits on poker machine losses as the nanny state gone mad, yet turn around in government and introduce a cashless welfare card without any of them expressing similar concerns.
And, I can accept that, even for the Liberal Party, Tony Abbott is an outlier. Who else could come up with the idea of a vote on marriage equality, insist that any debate will be civil and to suggest otherwise is to insult the Australian people, only to turn around and say that we all must vote “No” because the debate has turned ugly.
No, looking at the green hills as I drove to Napier, I couldn’t help noticing a wind farm and I thought would any NZder – apart from Barnaby – think that a coal mine would be less intrusive. The newspapers aren’t filled with the idea that without coal civilisation as we know it will be destroyed. And Labour (yes, New Zealand Labour still includes “u”) is written about as they’re an alternative government, not some illegitimate group of rabble-rousers. Even The Greens seem to regarded as people with a point of view which may differ from other parties, but isn’t that what democracy is all about?
Ok, it might be different if I lived here and started to pick up the intricacies, but it does seem more mature than the attempts by the Liberals to win political arguments by coming up with alliterative nicknames for their opponents.
So, greetings from New Zealand. I presume that Barnaby is still Deputy PM, and that Malcolm is still impersonating Tony in the hope that the part won’t dump him before the next election. Although from what someone told me, Turnbull is completely safe until it’s closer to the next election when the theory is that they can dump him and hope that the new leader’s honeymoon period will win them enough votes back to make it close.