Thursday, 8 December 2011

Voters!!! (fist-shaking edition)

It's not surprising, but still depressing, that the kind of people who would vote for Winston Peters are also the kind of people who didn't realize that, if NZ First got 5%, Peters would bring a coterie in with him. Writes talkback radio host Kerry Woodham, who presumably is better placed than most folks to not be surprised about the bottom tail of the voter distribution (HT: @LewStoddart , @SamJBonner):
The post mortem after the election has been interesting on the radio this week.

The number of people who called to say they didn't realise that voting for Winston would mean other people would get in has been teeth-grindingly extraordinary.

"Sooooo," I've been asking, "when you ticked New Zealand First as your party of choice, what did you want to happen?"

"I just wanted Winston to get in to keep the Government honest," they reply.
"And what about the other members of New Zealand First? Did you know who was on the party list?"

"No," they replied as one. "We just thought we'd be getting Winston."

"I was very surprised to see Andrew Williams get in," one exclaimed. "What's he doing there?" she asked.
Here's just one of the winners these folks helped bring to Parliament, courtesy of the Internet WayBack Machine (he's since deleted his homepage).


Brendan first brought sunshine into New Zealand homes as the 'Weather Man' for the national news on TVNZ's Channel One.
Frequently referred to as "Mr Sunshine" or "Mr Personality", Brendan's handsome and cheerful disposition enamored the New Zealand public and set a great many feminine hearts a flutter.
Since leaving his day job on national television Brendan has gone on to carve out a successful career as an MC, Public Speaker and Entertainer.

He has won the praise of some of NZ's greatest personalities including testimonials from our Olympic Champions, Politicians, A-list NZ corporations and other top class entertainers.

The former male swimsuit model and athlete ‘Brendan who has modeled with Kathy Ireland, Pauline Polinsky and Elle McPherson for 'Sports Illustrated' Magazine, possesses an endearing romantic voice with a casual ‘beach’ charm which is sure to warm hearts. His wonderful onstage charisma will alight fans aglow with comparisons to the ‘big voices’ of Sinatra, Presley and Tom Jones as he brings on the sunshine.
Ah, candidates that set feminine hearts aflutter. Or "a flutter". Either one is just nifty and high praise for our electoral system. I really hope he brings his delightful song stylings to Question Period. I miss hearing John Crosbie sing responses to Shiela Copps in the Canadian Parliament.

Meanwhile, in other belated election campaign fun, I loved the Christchurch Press piece where party leaders were asked about their favourite books and movies. I can't find it now, but a few years back there was a great piece on what people try to signal about themselves when listing their favourite books: learnedness, inquisitiveness, cosmopolitanism, and so on. So a top ten book list was replaced instead with a checklist: "In this spot I will place a book showing I know the canon"; "In this spot I will place a book showing my cultural broad-mindedness" and so on.

So I discounted that the leaders questioned were truthfully revealing anything about their cultural preferences; it was mostly signalling. And, the Press's Charlie Gates seemed to have made similar judgment. I just can't believe that John Key's favourite movie is Johnny English. It can't be. The consequences are too horrifying to contemplate. But, it could be worse; Mitt Romney's favourite book is Battlefield Earth.


  1. I assume you've seen the profiles of one of NZ First's rising stars:

  2. Oh, wow. So that's the source of all the Prosser talk in my TweetStream. Knew it couldn't be the guy in HHGTTG who took Arthur Dent's place in front of the bulldozer.

    Am ambivalent on his policy views on easing firearms regs; no great evidence it would here do harm, but neither is there any particularly large crime problem that would thereby be solved. Mandatory arming of cabbies is mildly insane though. And the rest gets rather worse.

  3. "Mitt Romney's favourite book is Battlefield Earth."

    Great movie.