In many places in this great, impenetrable Anglosphere of ours, voters and non-voters alike are increasingly dissatisfied with their political choices.
They’ve realised that by continuing to vote for the same handful of parties over and over, all they’re doing is reaching reasonable compromises any functioning society needs to make if it’s to bring the disparate opinions of millions into something that will actually achieve meaningful though at times frustratingly incremental progress.
Instead, younger generations have gradually reached the epiphany that the more socially responsible thing to do is to embrace a crude and lazy reductionism that paints ever-moving and necessarily binary political parties as rigid institutions that never change, and that the appropriate response to this is to sit at home, not vote, and then blame everybody who did. God bless you Russell Brand.
Fortunately, in New Zealand, we don’t have that problem. Not sure why we were even talking about any of that. Because in New Zealand, we love our political parties, and we’re perfectly satisfied with them.
Every one of them has its own extraordinary merits, and over the next several weeks and months, The Civilian will be leading up to this year’s election by profiling each of them individually.
This week: The Green Party, Parliament’s upmarket tinny house.
Do you work in a coal-heated workspace but still take great pride in riding your bicycle there? Do you have a neatly-trimmed beard or own any item of clothing that contains more than 4 colours? Have you watched a whole episode of Last Week Tonight at any point in the last week? Are you afraid of your tomatoes? Do you often neglect to vote? Have you ever said something like “Oh I get my news from John Oliver and satire websites because it’s often more accurate and insightful than the real thing”? Do you have a throbbing pain in your urethra that only gets better when you put on old Live 8 concerts?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should vote Green. If you answered yes to the last question, you should see a doctor. Urgently.
The Green Party was formed in 1990, after the Electoral Commission accepted six joints and a gift box of colloidal silver and spring water in lieu of 500 paid financial memberships.
Seriously, though, if you did answer yes to that last question, see a doctor. Like, a real one. Not that holistic one that prescribes you fair trade Arabica beans.
Green voters consider their support for the party a badge of honour, one which they wear for two and a half years between elections.
Yes, Green voters are somewhat like a mirage; the closer you get to election day, the more they vanish into nothingness.
But don’t let that fool you into thinking the Greens aren’t a great party. They’re such a great party, that they have not one, but two leaders: One man, and one woman. This is presumably a statement about what marriage should be, because the Green Party believes the country can only be properly raised by a mix of gender influences.
This rule makes sure that no matter what happens, no matter the political circumstances or pool of leadership they have to draw from, there will always be a man in leadership; because men deserve a voice, and have important perspectives that are often ignored, in the workplace, in the boardroom, and in politics.
Thank God for the Greens for ensuring there’ll always be a man at the top to make sure the woman one knows what she’s doing.
Some might ask what happens if the Greens inherit the office of the Prime Minister or any other single important post: who will get the job? It doesn’t matter. That’ll never happen.
So what do the Greens stand for? It’s not just medicinal weed for 5-year-olds and giving trees the right to vote. It’s also other stuff, like medicinal weed for trees and giving 5-year-olds the right to vote.
The Greens believe in living within our means, and preserving the planet for future generations to enjoy and destroy.
The Greens are the party of science. Unlike some, they believe in the science of climate change, and while we haven’t checked, we can only assume they also believe in the science establishing the safety of GMO foods. That’s basically a given because they’re the party of science.
The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, as they are officially known, prides itself on the advocacy of the country’s poor and minority communities, particularly Maori. This is something reflected in their ethnically diverse caucus:
“So I take it poor and afflicted minorities must be amongst the Green Party’s core constituencies, then?”
Oh, no. No, no, no. Just white people.
So, if you’re a white person who’s been privileged enough to have the Government pay your way through university, consider voting Green this election. It’ll make you feel good, and like you’ve helped people who aren’t like you, while still being able to vote for people exactly like you.
Green Party: Fast Facts
Key policies: Endangered birds get a cut of your salary. Replace all police cars with police bicycles. Cars wired to explode if driven somewhere a bus route could’ve taken you.
Biggest asset: Huge untapped constituency could provide massive boost to party if only it knew how to vote.
Biggest liability: Out of touch with the rural community.
Best MP: Kennedy Graham: The Silver Fox.
Worst MP: Steffan Browning.
Consider voting if: You’ve seen FernGully: The Last Rainforest.
Do not vote if: Money.