John McCain? Barack Obama? Meh.
Helen Clark, on the other hand. John Key. New Zealand is gearing up for an almost certainly heated election on November 8.
Helen has been our Prime Minister for nine years now. Head of the Labour Government, she stands for slightly left of centre values. I like her. She is one of the few politicians out there who, I am sure, does not have dirty baggage. She actually looks like she's telling the truth. She promises money for students. Her Deputy used to be a historian. However... I'm not so sure I like a few of her policies. And I'm not sure Labour always lives up to the centre left thing. And she's almost certain to go into coalition with a smug greasy old politician called Winston Peters of whom I'd really like to see the last.
John Key is the newbie, the Head of the Opposition, the leader of National. An ex-businessman who made himself a cool multimillion dollars before giving it up for politics. He promises tax cuts for high income earners (something that always makes alarm bells ring in my head and I'm not sure why), he wants to privatise the health system, and I don't trust him. His name rhymes with Donkey. However... is he any worse than Labour? And, maybe, given the recession and all, having someone in power who knows a thing or two about finance wouldn't be so bad a thing. And, if National becomes the leading party, one of my friends has a pretty good chance of getting a job as a policy analyst with one of their leading MPs.
I don't know. Last election, I ended up making my decision based on the rude reception of Helen Clark by the Young Nationals at my university. As soon as she arrived, they started shouting her down. Result: no one who had come to actually HEAR what she had to say had any luck, and Helen had to leave.
And on Saturday night, friends of mine started talking about politics. It's not quite as extreme here as it is in the States with people telling you "if you are Christian you will vote X" but all the same, they tried it out on me. There is nothing that annoys me more. A few years ago, Labour passed into law a civil union bill and a prostitution reform bill, and suddenly a lot of Christians decided Labour was evil. Now these National supporters have the effrontery to tell me that I'm a single-issue voter, because Labour supports students, and that I don't take a moral stance, and that I should vote National. a) Their objections to Labour are based on, er, SINGLE issues, and b) I take a very moral stance. No way am I eager to vote for people that want to give rich people more money and take easy access healthcare from the poor. I don't see how that is any less Christian than their own stance.
If that paragraph didn't make any sense, ignore it.
Anyway, the point being: it seems like every time I vote, I really make an effort to make a cool, calculated, sensible decision. However, I end up deciding who to vote for based on what I don't like about the supporters of other parties. Is this just me?
By the way: thanks very much for the messages of support and the prayers for my nephew. He is doing well and has just gone home from hospital. More details on my other blog if you're interested.