Yesterday we went to the Sandringham Spring Festival. We had to threaten Mum with abandonment to stop her from wearing the National rosette she had picked up on her first visit down there (no joke; she actually votes National, but it actually wouldn't have mattered since we lost her anyway), but Ruben wore his 'No Asset Sales' Labour tshirt so maybe we would have been alright. We are, regrettably, a politically diverse family. I didn't get to meet David Shearer and had to turn my back to avoid the phony hellos Melissa Lee, in her 'I'm A Key Person' tshirt, was giving to anyone unfortunate enough to cross her path. Mt Albert must feel very insulted that National thinks so little of them that it is presenting them with that train-wreck again. David Shearer is a sure thing, but at least Ravi Musuku wasn't detrimental to National (not that I'm complaining that they have put an idiot in his place, except for that fact that I have to see her moronic face, baring its teeth in what I assume to be an attempt at a smile, every time I visit my parents).
Today Vincent introduced me to a new website called The Standard. I haven't had time to do much exploring (too busy catching up on the latest in Suri's Burn Book) but I have already learned some useful statistics to use in my next argument. I was so tired yesterday that when someone began criticising Phil Goff for the usual (not being a ball of slime aka John Key - by ball of slime I don't just mean slimeball, I mean something unable to adhere permanently to anything, just stick long enough to leave its greasy mark), I just had to walk away. It is tiring having to argue with people who don't listen and don't actually have an argument, but I'm not doing the lefties any favours by being known to all my right-wing friends (I regret them, but as the Jenga Queen pointed out yesterday, she can be Melissa Lee's friend and not vote for her. I appreciated the sentiment, and didn't remind her she is a third of the voting age, and that if you sleep with a dog, you rise with fleas. She was on a roll yesterday; on seeing Veruca Salt disappear down the chute while watching Charlie And The Chocolate Factory with her uncle, she asked 'What if the incinerator isn't on but there isn't any other rubbish; will they die when they hit the ground?'.) as a raging socialist and then not always having the necessary facts or energy to stun them. Here are a couple of arrows in my quiver:
1. Under Key, the median household income has fallen by $82 a week after inflation.
2. Under National, government spending has increased by 5% of GDP. Holy shit.
The posts are very short but also frequent; I'll let you know what I think when I've had a better look around.
On the Mana website, I've been reading about how far National plans to go with its reintroduction of Youth Rates. This makes me feel sick. We're so smug about the alleged absence of an exploited immigrant working class; when overseas visitors (usually Americans) complain about the prices at work, I often bring up the fact that we care about paying workers a fair price in NZ. National would make this a lie; it would make young people this exploited group. And which young people will be hurt most by this change? Not the ones from wealthy families.
Mana has some interesting recommendations, including advocating lowering the voting age to 16. I've always thought it a bizarre arrangement that under the law a young person can be charged as an adult at 17 when they can't even vote yet. I want to think about it more, and do a bit of research, but what do you think? I was a bit of a fool at sixteen, but if I'd been old enough to vote I would have cared enough to find out what my options were and not just go with my favourite colour... I hope.
I actually haven't decided who I will vote for in this election. I have strong loyalty to Labour, and I feel like a vote to the left is a vote to the left (unless the polls are wrong and this isn't a sure thing for National). But if it's not, then I think maybe I want to be more to the left; as far left as I can go and still have my vote count. I read this morning (can't remember where, sorry) that a no-vote is a vote for National. Remind your friends of this; I'm ready to smack the colour off the hair of all the idiots saying the point of voting is having the choice of whether or not to do it. We are a nation of fools.