Monday, May 09, 2011

What makes some people vote

Yesterday I was having a lengthy conversation with a young man. He pops in to chat at my shop and tells me all sorts of interesting things about his job and day to day experiences. He is a very friendly, open, and hard-working individual. Generally I don't bring up politics with people. That is their prerogative. Suddenly he said, "You were a Green candidate weren't you?". See this comes about because people are vaguely aware that I was involved in elections but as the only other thing they know about me is that I am an artist, they assume I must be a leftie.No, I responded, I stood for ACT. Oh, Ok. Do you like John Key he asked. Yes, I replied. Then he got very enthusiastic. I do too he said. I don't care about how much tax I pay and all that other political stuff. I'm just not interested. But because I like people and I am a friendly person, and because it is really important to me, being friendly and people being friendly back, and that's what John Key is like, I really like him. I love it when I hear him on the radio making people laugh.

Now that is not a stupid reason to vote for someone. This young man has identified his most important value. And he looks for someone who mirrors that. I don't really know why but I found it fascinating witnessing how the Mr Nice Guy persona manifests in votes. And let's face it. There aren't that many people who are very interested in politics. I wasn't at his age either.

While it seems strange to me I need only examine my own attitude to sports. The names I hear about are vaguely familiar but I couldn't tell you whether a particular one waa a league player or netball star. When it comes to sports I tune out. But if I had to vote for a sports star it would be Tana Umaga because I met him and he was very nice and generous. And good looking.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great argument for raising the franchise to 30, plus assets of say $1M, plus income of at least $250K.

These are pretty much the current values of the qualification for the franchise when NZ was established.

Anonymous said...

Next time you see this bloke, ask him what is the capital of NZ. Can he name Wellington, or due to television focus believe our capital to be Auckland.
If Key were a bloke in a pub, then yes I'd most likely enjoy his company. However Key's absence of principles; his economic horrors; his "green" supporting; his over-ruling 500 years of common law (Ref Simon Power)means your nice young man perpetuates the disaster that is Key and his party, because of his abysmal ignorance.