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Mike Hosking: Of course Kiwis are smart enough for three votes at election

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 18 Nov 2019, 2:22PM
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Mike Hosking: Of course Kiwis are smart enough for three votes at election

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 18 Nov 2019, 2:22PM

I am reading with some alarm the increasing amount of commentary, involving both journalists and academics, who have decided we might not be up to voting for three different things next year.

Even the Justice Minister, who appears deeply interested in having his own Ministry in some way shape or form monitor us and what we say, has announced next year could get ugly.

The problem with the chattering classes is they are driven by the broad belief that they are right, the rest of us are most likely wrong, if not a bit dim. Hence the concern over having to tackle three comparatively emotive, if not detailed, subjects in one go.

Cannabis, death and government, not a bad selection.

It is, of course, fantastically condescending.  I'd love to know if those who think three things might overwhelm us whether they'd be happier with two. Could we handle two do you think?

In some respects it's why people like Donald Trump have succeeded. They have tapped into the frustration, if not anger, that has been built up over the years from what you'd loosely call middle America, or middle anywhere. It's what Scott Morrison called the "quiet Australians." Just regular, ordinary, and everyday people with a job, kids, and some aspiration for a good and decent life.

The woke and the placard wavers get all the attention. The unions, downtrodden, and agenda driven activists get all the headlines.

But the bulk of any population get largely ignored until election time when it's decided we need to be spoon fed a bit of whatever needs to be sold to us, in order for the chattering classes to be given another mandate to carry on.

What they're worried about, of course, is their message will be diluted. Where as normally it's them, and them alone front and centre. But this time they're sharing the spotlight with campaigners for and against a couple of highly charged issues, with the potential for the information to be so voluminous we either get overwhelmed or turned off.

But the thought we can't take, what is more than a year to work our own way through a bit of detail on three separate items is farcical.

Other countries do it all the time, referenda are common place. California is full of them. In fact, it's so full of them, you probably can mount a far more effective argument there that they have too much to vote on.

And let's be honest, the two votes next year on euthanasia and cannabis, are you honestly telling me we haven't already by-in-large decided? The issues weren't invented yesterday, the details aren't new, the for and against isn't a revelation.  

I know how I am voting. I know how I would vote on a whole bunch of stuff if it ever got put to a vote. There will, of course, be a few that waiver, that you would loosely call undecided.

But you'll have far more of those in the main election than you will on well established, hashed over arguments around the right to die and drugs.

You either believe in democracy, or you don’t. And democracy is far from perfect but it beats the alternatives. So three votes is to be celebrated and embraced, not fretted over by pointy heads.   

ON AIR: Sunday Night Talk

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