Saturday, September 30, 2017

ELECTION 2017 - The Battle’s won, but the War is far from over for National

Thakur Ranjit Singh

Those with knowledge of Mahabharat (The Great Hindu War) would know about the Chakravyuh battle that was won by Kauravas, but the war was ultimately won by Pandavas. We have a similar case here - National has won the battle, but…… 

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.

Both Bill English (left) and Jacinda Ardern (centre) are waiting for decision of Winston Peters (right) to support whosoever he thinks is fit to rule the country. But Peters cannot be accused of holding the country to ransom before he gets the COMPLETE results. If people question suitability of MMP, they should also question the time it takes to finalise the remaining 15 % special votes.

Campaign objective
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.

Similar Policies
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.

Final Act
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.

This has been NZ First campaign billboard. Now, will  NZ First voters, who have had enough of National's rule for three terms and voted for a change, will agree to statu-quo? Would not it be hypocritical, deceitful, unethical and insincere if NZ First now decides to sleep with the Government they party campaigned to remove?

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]

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