It is not often I agree with someone from Red Radio, but Brent Edwards has got this one right:
The unexpected victory of Donald Trump in last week’s United States presidential election has been compared to Brexit – the vote in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
Some commentators are suggesting this political “revolution” in the US and the UK is a signal of change to come in other Western countries, including New Zealand.
Should this country worry about or look forward to a Trump-like figure emerging here to turn politics on its head? Probably not.
Aspects of Mr Trump’s approach have been and are already here, although not in the blatantly misogynist and racist guise that has so upset so many in the US and around the world. But elements of his approach are not unusual in this country.
New Zealand has had its Brexit moment as well. Mr Trump’s success and Brexit could both be said to represent segments of the UK and US electorates saying “a pox on both your houses” to the two major parties. That happened here in 1993 when a majority voted for MMP.
MMP has allowed the opportunity to give voice to the disenchanted – those who President-elect Trump referred to as the “forgotten men and women” of the US.
Many of those responded to Mr Trump’s railings against immigration and globalisation.
They responded to his message that most of their woes, including unemployment or stagnant incomes, were the result of rampant immigration and free trade exporting American jobs to overseas markets.
Last week on RNZ’s Morning Report, the New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters, reminded listeners he and his party had been raising worries about immigration and free trade for the past 20 years.
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