Sunday, 9 November 2008

winners & losers

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...


Deborah said...

Take a deep breath, Anjum, and another one, and then another.

I so hope that you will stand again in 2011. The NZ parliament needs you, your wisdom, your strong voice, your courage.

Kia kaha.

zANavAShi said...

Ditto to what Deb said.

I feel a bit sucky that this is the first time I have commented on your blog Anjum, since I've spent so many hours lurking here this year.

In my defence I will say that I find so many of your posts so deeply moving on so many personal and spiritual levels that I am at a loss for words that would adequately express the impact yours have had on me at times.

You are an amazing inspiring woman and I wish you all the best in whatever path you choose for your future, look forward to your ongoing blogging here at stargazer, and would very much enjoy meeting you IRL one day should our activist paths ever cross.

Peace, love and light,

stargazer said...

thanx so much for these comments.

i'm sure that i will continue to be a political activist, and i'm certainly not planning to jump ship just because the party has lost. i'm not as fickle as that!

but trying to become a candidate in an electable position takes a huge emotional and physical toll, and i'm feeling really tired right now. hence, the need for time out and some recouperation and reflection. i have to find a level of involvement that is sustainable for me. and i'd have to gauge what support i have within the party to figure out if it's worth having another go in 2011.

i'm in no hurry to make those decisions right now. and there will be a lot of rebuilding work to be done, which i hope to be a part of.

Julie said...

Anjum, meeting you at the Suffrage Eve debate, and your performance in said debate, was one of the highlights of the campaign for me. I hope you do stick around and contest the list again in 2011, when you might get a fairer deal internally.
Ka kite ano e hoa

Ben R said...

I'm surprised you call Peter Brown an immigrant hater, but don't say the same about Winston! I thought Winston was actually lucky that Labour, for whatever reason, decided to support him regardless of what the privileges committee found, and even tried to talk the Maori Party into doing the same for political reasons.

Winston had his moments & was an entertaining character who did a
pretty good job as Foreign Minister but I'm not sorry to see him go!

stargazer said...

i've already said i also wasn't sorry to see him go, ben. also, i was more trying to highlight the hypocrisy of mr brown's position, not trying to ignore mr peters similar views.

incidentally, mr peters was found innocent by all independent bodies that investigated him. it was actually only the politcal institution of the privileges committee that had found he had done anything wrong.

nonetheless, i won't be missing him.

Ben R said...

"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."

I think that Key is sensible enough to realise that anything too right wing will result in his bunch being turfed out in 3 years. I don't think he wants just one term!

Well done on your own campaigning, I enjoyed reading your campaign updates throughout.

stargazer said...

but ben, these are the policies they campaigned on. if they don't do these things, they will have lied to the electorate.

stargazer said...

oops, and thanks for your comments about my blog. nice to know that you drop by regularly and take the trouble to leave comments (even though i end up disagreeing with most of them!)