Personally, I'd vote for W(h)anganui in the Most Obviously Stupid Voters In New Zealand Championships. (Sorry Tauranga). Seriously, why would you want Laws as your Mayor? Why? God, why?
Everything seems to have been blocked off on the Listener's site now. One can only hope that they've done this from concern at falling circulation numbers.
Jeremy, I was just trying to suggest that a lot of Winston's support comes from those, (particularly elderly), voters who feel unsettled by the influx of different cultures to this country. I wasn't trying to excuse them or his pandering to their fears, but rather raising the idea that their concerns were legitimate and deserved a fair hearing.
Whoops, instead of the coose above, please mentally insert choose.
No, you're all wrong and I'm right. (Sorry, I was channelling Winston when I wrote that).
The thing is, Winston does pander to a (wide) racist streak in the NZ electorate. It's despicable, but the fact is that it's there. (And no-one can tell me that Brash in his time or Key, now, doesn't go the same way more subtly).
Arguing that Winston alone is responsible for distorting and bastardising public debate in this country is stretching things, I think.
And yes, he is pompous, (list me the MP's who aren't please).
But you guys' arguing that his voters deserve someone better to represent them gives me the willies, frankly. It's THEIR decision. What would you do, give them a list of suitable candidates to coose from?
Also, Craig, my pinky finger aside was a joke. I got your reference the first time. It makes me smug that you didn't get mine.
Craig, I'm going to guess you have your pinky finger extended because you're precious, (just like the other boomers).
My point is that 5% of NZ voters DID vote for NZ First. You can't ignore that large a proportion of the voting public. It's not like they're the National Front, with 200 members. (Members. Sounds about right).
You say you take serious people seriously? Well, how do you get off calling Winston Peters a psychotic racist and then expect me to take you seriously? (Cards on the table, I can't stand the man. What a pompous git he is. And Ron Mark? He really needs a good talking to, that man).
Nevertheless, Peters deserves to be in Parliament. He articulates the concerns of many people, and ignoring or dismissing those concerns would do more harm than allowing them a national forum and addressing them in a fair and understanding way.
Also, I'm more scared of the tyranny of the majority than I am of the disgruntlement of Winston's minority. And I will ever continue to insist that they (and he) occasionally have some valid arguments that deserve attention.
I'm just saying: God loves all his Children. And so should a democracy. And no, I don't think we really can cut the elderly from Winston's (you say pathology, I say legitimate electoral base). They are the ones voting for him.
In my opinion, better the elderly, who deserve our consideration and compassion, than the whiny and selfish boomers who seem to make up National's voter base.
I'm not going to defend Winston's methods, which are undoubtedly too confrontational and ultimately counter-productive.
But I will say this: he articulates what an awful lot of people are feeling; that 'the bastards*' are out to 'screw the little guy', and whether or not this is justified, (and I personally think it has some weight), NO-ONE can say that the voting block he taps into don't deserve to have their opinions expressed in the House.
It's too easy to say "Well, these people are ignorant, suspicious, reactionary, and it's just downright dangerous to let them have a say in the agenda of Government." I tend to think that if you CAN'T find them a place in your Government, then your Government isn't doing it's job properly. We need Winston, because he represents a big part of the we.
*Duncan Garner, Colin Espiner, etc, Lawyers and Politically Correct Historians, Finance Companies, Politicians, Foreign Owned Banks, and the Patels who own the fruit shop on the corner. Also anyone else who doesn't look, sound or smell like me.
Also, if I were an MP, I would also find it pretty hard not to slap Duncan Garner. The guy really seems like a bit of a dick.