Monday, September 12, 2005

Fate of a nation

There's less than a week to go until the 2005 general election on Saturday, September 17th. I have decided that my vote will go to the Green Party of New Zealand.
Even though I'm a student, I can't bring myself to vote Labour, as their blatant bribery apalls me, especially when at least some of the $7bn. bribery fund could have been put to use in the health and other needy sectors. I like the interest write-off on student loans that they're offering, but the Greens are offering to write off the whole loan amount for each year studied if graduates work a year at home, one-for-one. This would encourage me to stay and work here, at least until my loan is paid off.

Labour has really let students down. I know people who have suffered terrible torment by being the guinea pigs for NCEA joke-cum-experiment, and at the incompetent the hands of the NZQA. In some ways, Labour is lucky that many of last year's high school students will be just short of being able to vote this year!

I like the Greens' policy on energy and public transport, too. The cheap oil has gone. Even if there is still oil to be had, we would do well to end our dependance on oil as soon as possible. Why not, when New Zealand has at its disposal some of the most favourable conditions for renewable generation? It's silly to ignore it, when the National Party are openly advocating burning coal as the alternative. I also think that energy conservation should be pushed, to make the energy generated go further. There's no point throwing away the power. In future, we will not have the luxury.
Aren't New Zealanders supposed to love the outdoors? Get on your bikes then! Start cycling to work. Or walking. (Sorry, Aucklanders. You could always swim...) As far as Kyoto goes, I'm not sure. But we should be a role model for the world, and lead the way. Let's face it - The US considered the Kyoto protocol an economic decision, not an environmental one. Of course they'd never sign it.

The thing that annoys me about the Greens, though, is that they're still pushing for the decriminalisation of cannabis. I am fundamentally opposed to this. If they dropped this policy, I reckon they'd get some traction with more middle-class Kiwis. The Greens will always attract pot-smoking hippie types because of their environmental policies, but many middle-New Zealanders who agree are put off because of the cannabis issue.

Well, it's anyone's guess at the moment. We'll know next week. Get out and vote!

"If you tolerate this, your children will be next" - The Manic Street Preachers


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