ok, i'm ready to give up now (on the 2008 campaign i mean, it truly is over). i was totally exhausted yesterday after a full day of door-knocking, some phone canvassing and a quick interview on community radio. at night, i was with the ham east team, didn't dare go over to the west as it was a very sad night for them.
i feel so bad for martin gallagher, but even more for his wife. she has been one of the true heroes of this campaign. a mother of four, she has put her life on hold for the last 6 months and done very long hours. if anyone deserved a win, it was this couple. martin is a great electorate MP and i don't think the people of ham west have realised what they've lost. they will though.
my thoughts also go out to the electorate agents who have just lost their jobs. maxine and janine were lovely, hard-working, strong women and i wish them all the best for the future.
i'm also really sad about mark and carol burton who were on a hiding to nothing, once the boundary changes came in for the taupo electorate. mark got a lot of flak in his role as minister of justice, but one of the things he took care of was the setting up of the task forces for action on domestic violence and sexual violence. again, i wish them and their team all the best.
we all knew it was going to be a tough campaign, and winning a fourth term would be extremely difficult. i'm horrified at the result, because national and ACT can now pass all kinds of legislation privatising our prisons, rolling back the compulsory tea breaks and other workplace legislation, introducing competition to ACC thereby basically weakening the whole system. this country is not going to look like a very nice place in 3 years time, even if this new government only legislates those policies it campaigned on.
nonetheless, there's nothing we can do about it but sit and watch, and keep trying to raise issues that continuously get ignored by the mainstream media. tonight tv1 did a little piece about helen clark, and it was the most petty, meanspirited bit of reporting i've seen. the only 2 people they had commenting were the ex PM she rolled (and thank goodness she did) mike moore, and the last national party leader she defeated (and thank goodness she did) dr don brash. their comments were nasty and negative, which was to be expected, but there was nothing at all to balance it out. it's pretty much consistent with the type of media coverage we've had over the past few years. i wonder when they'll get over it.
having said that, there are some MPs that i'm not sorry to see leave. the chief of these is the immigrant-hating immigrant, peter brown. can't say i'm sorry the rt hon winston peters is gone, although sad about the manner of his leaving. also sorry that the people behind the sustained campaign to smear him have come out the winners. yes, i know he made things worse through his own behaviour, but the campaign against him was very well organised and i doubt he could have come through it in any kind of positive fashion. i will, however, really miss doug woolerton who was a salt-of-the-earth type person who made a great contribution.
i certainly won't miss gordon copeland and the kiwi party. surprising that their petition with 390,000 signatures didn't get them more votes. also won't miss taito philip field, nor family first.
best news of the night was seeing grant robertson win wellington central. a well-deserved victory. also nice to see hon nanaia mahuta keep hauraki-waikato, and brendan burns keep christchurch central. and charles chauvel, what a great challeng to hon peter dunne. in 2011, i'm sure that seat will be yours.
it's the end of the clark and cullen era, an era that brought us strong primary health care, working for families, savings for the future through the cullen fund and kiwisaver and so much more. i was as shocked as everyone else to hear miss clark resign last night, but it's the best timing. it gives the party the opportunity to regroup and rebuild quickly. i'm definitely a fan of phil goff and would be quite happy to see him take the leadership. julie would like to see hon maryan street as deputy, but i'd prefer hon annette king who is a formidable performer.
as for myself, i'm glad it's over and glad to have my life back. i'm going to relax for a while and spend some well-earned time with my kids. as to my future in politics, i'll take some time to think about that. in the meantime, there are the various community organisations i'm involved with to keep me busy. i'll be working on the local celebration of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the human rights declaration on 10 december, there's the fifth national interfaith forum coming up in feb next year, and the launch of the asia nz foundation's book on asian muslims in nz. i've got a garage sale and some strategic planning to do for shama by the end of the month, and there's the usual round of end-of-year functions. there's the root canal to be finished off tomorrow (aagh). and the best news i've had in the last week is that my older daughter will be recieving a special award at the school's prize-giving. we don't know what it's for, but there will be one very proud mummy sitting in the audience, cheering for my little girl who has grown up so fast.
life just keeps going on...