Well, it’s the season when we see the often-mysterious and shy politicians emerging from the dark places within the Beehive. Most of them squint into the sunlight and follow their leader, nodding their heads at the right time when the camera is rolling.
Of course, some politicians love the limelight and attention. They wish elections could happen every year, so people could listen to their wise words of insight.
But the majority of them would prefer being back inside, away from the people, eating their club sandwiches and making decisions that would never be detrimental to themselves. That would be crazy! But too bad for the public.
And so the charade begins as in years past. The smiles, promises, meeting the people, billboards, and yes, the TV ads… actually, it will more likely be the social media ads if they can figure out that darn technology.
They promise the world, hopefully taking our attention away from their inaction, mistakes, and basic incompetence. They spin words better than an old-timer evangelist and the faithful lap up their words, while the sceptics roll their eyes.
The young get excited to vote for the first time because they want to make a difference, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their social life mostly online these days. I can’t imagine the world they see.
The politicians’ debate against one another to see which words create the best response in their listeners. Who can forget that famous worm that propelled Peter Dunne into the offices of power? I can’t remember anything he actually did, other than wear bowties and keep his parliamentary seat safe for a lifetime of monetary income afterward.
But we know deep down that the politicians do not really run the country. The bureaucrats do. Regardless of which party is in power, these bureaucrats don’t need to worry about being elected. They just need to ensure the politicians know how essential they are. Because, let’s face it, how many politicians truly know what’s happening in their portfolio(s)? They get told the “facts” and what to say, and if they don’t they quickly dematerialise to the back bench, with the other outcasts, newbies and those there just for their vote.
Our history shows we like to sway between National and Labour, give them each a couple of terms until they run out of ideas, and then give the other guys a go.
They proclaim how they have all the answers, and how the problems are from the past actions when the opposition party was in power. That’s why they couldn’t really do all they could in government, because they were stopping the leaks. How long does it take to stop the leaks, anyway?
Yet, we still lap it up. Reporters become experts on everything political, able to clearly see the faults and failings in those whom they don’t like. The reporters are more than happy to give you their opinion, which hopefully becomes your opinion too. Their best friend is the poll. Numbers are everything. Who’s the popular leader this week?
There is so much smiling and handshaking, promises and lies (I mean unforeseen circumstances that changed things, which we had no control or responsibility for). Not to mention the occasional embarrassment. Who can forget Don Brash walking the plank or trying to fold his ridged frame into a race car? Enjoy the show. We can either laugh or cry. Just remember, politicians won’t save you, even if they say they can.