Don’t be a fence sitter and do nothing

October 12 2020 by Scott Stevens

Don’t be a fence sitter and do nothing

Is it really election day this Saturday? It seems this very important detail has been overlooked by most. Despite the billboards, media coverage and for our electorate at least an interesting and worthy cast of candidates, the election of our next government has taken a backseat to getting on with life. It has been a disruptive and quite frankly overwhelming 6 months. Not your usual set of circumstances leading into a general election.

So, let’s focus people and do the right thing. The right thing is not voting for red, green, yellow or blue, it is the simple democratic act of voting. The right to vote is a hard-fought privilege and more important now than ever before. Not since the British first stuck a flag in the sands of Russell has the rulers of this land exercised such absolute power in controlling our lives. Expect this to continue whoever wins the election on Saturday night.

We might have been willing to accept this absolute government control under lockdown level 4 such was the need for a united pandemic response. But now is the time for recovery and the decisions of our next government will be critical to the future wellbeing of this country. A huge responsibility. I doubt the next government will find us quite so willing to close our workplaces and everything else that makes life tick. Schools, recreation, and freedom of travel should another outbreak occur. Convincing us they have a pathway back from the brink and into a better future will require an exceptional sales pitch. They need to have the intelligence and tact to act as advertised. To survive three years as the next government with reputations intact will take a very special bunch of politicians indeed. Do any of the hopefuls have said credentials? That is your call to make. My job is to encourage you to at least look and make an educated guess.

Tick a box, make that 4 boxes. One for the Southland electorate MP. Probably the one that will have the most meaning for the Wakatipu as this individual will be directly representing this community. They will be the person we reach out to in the hope of some government help. Should we need it. Second tick the party vote. Who has the policy that aligns with your principles the best? For a bit of fun and to get a potential surprise on exactly which party you align with best, try an online survey like www.votecompass.tvnz.co.nz

Then there are the two referendum questions. End of life choice and legalise cannabis. Not exactly small decisions to make and very hard ones when not equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision. Either way we the people of New Zealand need to cast our votes. Do not be a fence sitter and do nothing. Get out and vote this Saturday. Win, lose or draw, it is your social responsibility to participate and be counted.

Scott Stevens

- Scott Stevens
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