Thakur Ranjit Singh
Chakravyuh battle is a labyrinth or web and refers to an army formation in which one can enter but cannot exit easily. We have a parallel here. New Zealand First has entered this labyrinth, with the campaign slogan: “Had Enough? Party Vote New Zealand First.”
They have entered, seeking change. They cannot exit, without losing its credibility, honesty, morality and standing in society, if they decide to choose status quo. They would be accused of treachery by voters, who had enough, and abandoned National to join them.
Can Winston Peters come out of this web unscathed? Sure can, if he chooses to side with those who were also seeking change - Labour and Greens.
Labour, Greens and New Zealand First fought the election to remove the current National Government. NZ First were most emphatic. They enticed people to shift to them if they needed change. It would be hypocritical, deceitful, unethical and insincere if now they decide to support the Government they campaigned to remove.
Therefore, if NZ First were to follow through their slogan for change, then they need to walk their talk and work with like-minded parties who campaigned on the same objective - CHANGE.
It, however is understandable for them to wait until the remaining 384,000 votes are counted, as this may further change their political fortunes.
Among others, policies of Labour, Greens and NZ First agree fundamentally on at least the following issues:
TPP opposition, Pike River entry, Reserve Bank changes, Immigration, Housing, Retirement age and Shift of Auckland Port. Therefore they have more similarities than differences.
Despite many economic success stories told by National, spiced with lies, majority of New Zealand population has passed a clear message. And that is that they need more than a strong economy - they needed a change. And this has been overwhelmingly said by Maori who are at the receiving end of National’s neglect. Their party has been annihilated by Labour as a punishment for siding with the party which has ignored their plight for long.
Winston Peters will be confronted, among others, with such “achievements” of National:
The veteran politician enjoys being the King-maker, deciding whether to click right (National ) or left (Labour). Who knows, for a change, he may be known as the Queen-maker! (Source: NZ Herald cartoon)
Sale of land and water to overseas interests, foreign control on NZ, increase in homeless people, “houseful” signs in hospitals, degeneration of education and health services, increasing poverty and mental illness, stagnant wages , sale of social housing, people sleeping in cars, motels and Marae, uncontrolled immigration stressing and rising income inequality.
For somebody who has been pushed out of Tauranga and now Northland and who has been habitually humiliated, latest in leaking of superannuation details by National, he needs to tread extremely gingerly.
While his European blood in him will urge him to click right to support a party working for the rich, interests of largely businesses, the affluent and white people, his Maori ancestor genes will urge their son from North to click left, to right the wrongs on forgotten people of his homeland.
Whichever way Peters goes, you cannot remove the fact that a frail lady’s entrance changed the sum, put a fright on the right, and transformed the political landscape of Aotearoa.
Jacindamania has ensured that even National has to shift left and do better for the ignored vulnerable population.
Hence ultimately, whichever way the dice falls, the final decision delivers well for all.
What Jacindamania has done to National is a medical miracle - it has given them a heart.
[Thakur Ranjit Singh is a political observer, a media commentator and journalist. He runs his blog, FIJI PUNDIT, and lives in Auckland]