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Tim Dower: We're now at the point where the election campaign is limping into a petty bidding war

Author
Tim Dower,
Publish Date
Mon, 25 Sep 2023, 9:02am
Photo / NZ Herald
Photo / NZ Herald

Tim Dower: We're now at the point where the election campaign is limping into a petty bidding war

Author
Tim Dower,
Publish Date
Mon, 25 Sep 2023, 9:02am

You know you're getting down to the rats and mice when you've got a major political party promising to change speed limits, if only we'll vote for them. 

Now I'm not saying National's wrong about a lot of those 30k zones especially, some of them are probably really daft but others might make sense. 

I guess the point is we're down to fairly trivial stuff now and the election campaign is limping into a petty bidding war. 

Where is the meaningful debate about political ideas? Where is the serious discussion about where we see ourselves in five, ten years from now? 

Where is the vision of a better New Zealand for our children, our grandchildren? 

I guess we only have ourselves to blame, because when it comes to ticking the box on the day, what's going to motivate most of us? 

I'll go out on a limb and say it's money. 

Most of us are going to vote for the party which will either improve our lot in life, or at least not make it any worse. 

Some of us may be contemplating what we're leaving for the kids, some may even think a little more broadly than that: what's going to make for a better New Zealand overall? 

I don't know that changing speed limits, or even how many new state houses are coming will figure that high in the calculation. 

And I guess the political parties know how fickle we are, and how easily swayed. 

So in case you missed it, this is actually a really important election. 

But it's not about speed limits or public housing or special visas for overstayers or how much we spend getting gang tatts off prisoners' faces. 

It's about two distinctly different directions we could take the country in. 

Do we go further down the disastrous track we've been on this past six years: dismantling law and order, widening dependency on the state, dishing out favours based on race? 

Or do we hope it's not too late to fix some of the problems and try to turn this ship around? 

This election should not – and hopefully will not – come down to who lets us drive fastest. 

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