A tale of two voters

This is just information, anecdotes from a day of visits yesterday to ordinary Aucklanders.

My first stop was to my prickle doctor (acupuncturist). She is trying to release the paralysis I still suffer on my face from the illness that began in December that is still with me. I had Bells Palsy and she is helping with the nerve damage. We generally don’t talk about politics except in a broad sense about policy and ideals.

Today, as she was jabbing needles in my face, she told me about her dilemma.   

She’s a Green voter, has been for years. She’s a lovely environmental person, someone who thinks about waste, clean air, clean rivers, clean lakes. On this we both agree. She told me that she can no longer vote for the Green party and that presented her with a dilemma.

I asked her why not?

She said that Metiria Turei admitting to and essentially rubbing taxpayers faces in the fact that she had committed fraud and stolen money she was not entitled to was so bad as to put doubt in her mind about voting for a party led by a thief. Worse than that she thought James Shaw agreeing with it and supporting Turei was showing lack of leadership. Therefore her vote was gone from the Greens. Hence the dilemma.

The dilemma is because she views voting as important, and she must vote, but who should she vote for? She said she has never been a Labour supporter, and even if she was she couldn’t bring herself to vote for a party with Andrew Little as the leader. She is self-employed and views Labour as hostile to self-employed people. On top of that Andrew Little has said he’d have Metiria Turei in cabinet. So Labour is out.

She can’t vote for National but might have if John Key was still around. She doesn’t trust Bill English. So National is out.

I asked about Gareth Morgan. Her response was laughter. “He’s a dickhead”. She then said that leaves Winston Peters. She said that even though he is a ratbag, at least he will make whoever he goes with behave with less arrogance, so it is likely she will vote NZ First.

I never pushed any agenda, I just let her talk. My face was full of needles at the time.

Voter number two was a guy I’ve met a couple of times. We were chewing the fat in his upstairs office about things other than politics, mostly to do with firearms.

He said to me that despite years of supporting both ACT and National, this time around, he couldn’t bring himself to vote for either. He lives in East Auckland and so isn’t an Epsom voter.

He said Bill English and National have become arrogant and don’t deserve his support. Labour is anti-guns and led by “a muppet”, so they were out.

He then said, that despite never voting NZ First ever before he was now in a position where he thought that even though Winston Peters was a ratbag at least he will teach whoever he goes with a good hard lesson in humility. So his vote will likely go to NZ First as well.

Both of these people are not at all political, but these conversations show me that the main parties are missing the boat. National is suffering third term arrogance, but surviving only because Andrew Little and Labour are so unbelievably dreadful.

They are prepared to suffer Winston Peters to teach all the others a big hard lesson.

I have never experienced this sort of feed back before, and from people usually disinterested in politics.

I suspect we are going to see Labour eclipsed at this election, though I am far from predicting this. I am just treating conversations like these as important anecdotal data.

Remove all emotion, remove tribal politics and remove sycophancy and look at what people are saying…I think something big is going to happen here.

We will certainly know by 9pm on 23 September what happened. Meanwhile, I will collect more data points.

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