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Monday, September 19, 2005

I Should've Bet Money

The election was funny. And it was good because I won a lunch. I should've bet money. Oh well, hidesight eh?

I bet that ACT would remain in Parliament.

It was one of those things I was positive about - not because of any political analysis or paying attention to the campaigns/news/country. It was just one of those very strong feelings I sometimes get. And there was a convenient friend aghast at my cruelty and selfishness in being a potential ACT voter and at my stupidity for thinking about wasting my vote on ACT (because apparently there was no way they would either pass the 5% threshold or win Epsom). So a friendly bet seemed like the ideal solution to my irritation.

If I had realised that everyone else thought ACT was doomed then I would've bet real money on it. I didn't realise anything of the sort because I have a relatively media free life, which led to a relatively media free election.

Here are some statistics for my media-starved lead up to the election (from about March this year which is when I realised there was going to be an election):

Number of pamphlets received: 0
Number of pamplets read: 2 The John Keys pamphlet and the Exclusive Brethren pamphlet (and that was only because I read Zen's blog).
Number of television ads seen: 1/2 I saw half of the one with the children with big eyes. It was offensive so I turned it off before I could figure out which party it belonged to.
Number of debates/ political tv programmes seen: 0
Number of political news items seen: 0
Number of political emails received: 0
Number of phone calls received: 0
Number of politicians seen in real life: 0
No door knocking or anything. Disappointing. That's what I miss about the suburbs...no Seventh Day Adventists (?) trying to convert me.
Number of billboards seen: Numerous. Too many to count. Mostly the amusing online piss-takes though.
Number of ACT buses seen: 2 I hate that bus (or whatever it is) but I only saw it after I made my bet.


I did visit the party websites and keep track of some of the political blogs. And I did lots of political spectrum type quizzes. That's about it though. I guess that's why I didn't get why a few friends hated Don Brash's personality so much that they wouldn't even consider voting for National.

Oh and I skimmed the news headlines every few days.

PS I am accepting donations of political propaganda (ie pamphlets) for a project.


Comments:
I enjoyed reading this post. Great stuff. I didn't bet money on ACT, but I bet my vote. It wasn't wasted, no matter the outcome. But being in 1.5% of the population almost puts me in a fringe lunatic group.

Oh, why are we ACT voters shunned and despised by the mainstream and the radical left?? I don't even want to convert people...

...I have no idea why I blog...
 
Zen,I'm glad you blog.

I'm also glad I'm not the only one despised and shunned :) Even if it IS friendly shunning it is a little disconcerting. I try not to shun people no matter what they do.

I was rather taken aback by people's reactions. Very few people asked why I disagreed with them and even fewer actually listened when I told them.

The absolutely annoying thing is when people KNOW that you are wrong and they are right. And they KNOW beyond doubt that ACT/National are selfish and cruel and that Labour is the only way everyone in NZ will be looked after. This is especially annoying if they also blindly accept what they are told and don't think or question.

It is not their support of Labour and dislike of the right wing that annoys me. It is the unwillingness to listen to different ideas that annoys me. I guess it's a personality thing though and not a political thing.
 
I guess that's why I didn't get why a few friends hated Don Brash's personality so much that they wouldn't even consider voting for National.

Presumedly they're the sort of people who get embarrassed over holding certain opinions?
 
Al: I'm not sure they're embarrased by their opinions. I just think that they want a leader who is someone they would like in real life and who "won't embarrass NZ" (ie who won't embarrass them). Which is fair enough if "niceness" and non-embarrassment is the most important thing. And I think it is to many people because "niceness" and non-embarrassment is an important part of their everyday lives.

Apparently Don Brash is not as good a public speaker as Helen Clark? Bad public speakers make whoever is listening to them feel uncomfortable and embarrassed, which is a horrible feeling. So if he spoke badly (I don't know I wasn't watching) then he would turn people off no matter what he said.

That's my theory anyway.
 
Bad public speakers make whoever is listening to them feel uncomfortable and embarrassed, which is a horrible feeling.

If so then thats a very shallow determinant of leadership qualities. It also means such people are at the mercy of the broadcast media and however they choose to portray a person. The one time Brash did shine was in the one-on-one debate with Clark, a time when naff trollish media questions (they call that 'asking the hard questions') and ignorant reporters aren't a factor.
 
I think a lot of it would be subconscious. If every time you see Don Brash you feel uncomfortable and embarrassed, that will probably affect you subconsciously.

I think that most people are at the mercy of the media. Not just wrt to politics. Haven't we had this discussion before?
 
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