I am pleased to announce that, after much consideration, I will be casting my electorate vote in Palmerston North for Mr Iain Lees-Galloway.
Deciding on my party vote proved much harder.
In 2002 and 2005, I voted for the Alliance - the first time in the hope of putting a couple of left wing MPs into parliament if Harre won Waitakere electorate (she didn't), and the second time out of sheer perversity, as I abhorred the direction the Labour Party was taking.
In 2008, I refused to cast a meaningful vote at all, defacing my ballot paper. At the time, Labour's Free trade Agreement with China was enraging me; and no party that would support a government that endorsed it would receive my vote.
In 2011, I voted Mana, as I agreed with Harawira's relentless focus on child poverty. I hope the new party might muster enough support to put two MPs into parliament and I wanted to signal my dis-satisfaction with the continued vacillations of the main leftwing parties.
This year, the situation was complicated by the Mana-Internet Party link up. Put bluntly, Kim Dotcom is not one of us. He is not on our side. Everything about him - the flamboyant lifestyle, the massive mansion, the transparent attempts to buy influence, jars hideously with the core Mana message of eradicating child poverty. This man has no interest in that. He is interested only in himself, and everything he touches is tainted by the contact. I tried to ignore all this and focus on the positives - Harawira, Sykes, Minto, Harre ... but it wasn't enough. Sorry guys. I told you at the time it was a bad idea.
Labour appealed, largely out of a sense of pity and a defiant urge to do the opposite of whatever Key, Ede, Slater and the rest of the corrupt Dirty Politics scum-bags wanted me to do. They didn't want me to vote Labour, so it seemed like a good idea to do that. Also, I felt that they deserved every iota of support going after the Dirty Politics revelations. What better way to signal opposition for everything John Key has come to represent, the corruption, the venality, the gross indecency masquerading as honest comment, the glib, superficial and deeply cynical and nasty attitude, than by voting for the party most likely to replace him? But Labour proved impossible to love. They are far better at mutilating their chances of victory than National. From Cunliffe's performances in the debates, which consisted of waving his hands about weirdly and trying to talk over Key (when the sensible strategy would have been to stand back, shake his head and look prime ministerial) to the hopelessly clueless decision to announce the promising New Zealand Inc policy on the same fucking day as Dotcom's big reveal, everything they have done has been clueless. Hell, given three years notice of how Key would attack the (sane and sensible) Capital gains Tax policy, they were still flat-footed. So a vote for Labour would be endorsing that inebriated stumbling performance. ANd I couldn't do that.
Which left me with the Greens. Who I have never voted for before, here or in Britain - largely because I do prioritise social issues over environmental ones (thought they are all social issues in the end). But this year they offered the sanest policy I have ever heard in New Zealand politics - a new top rate of tax targeting income over $140,000. And they wanted to use the money from it to tackle child poverty. And on top of that, they have run the most sure-footed campaign of any of the left-wing parties.
So in 2014 I'll be giving my party vote to the Greens.
So that's that. Russel and Meteria for joint PMs. You can all calm down, I have decided ... What, you mean the rest of you lot get a vote as well? What sort of fool system is this?