Saturday, November 08, 2008

Election Commentary

Warning: this is a pretty dull post, even though I do get a bit drunk in the middle.

I would like to kick off my blow-by-blow election coverage with a quote, but I can't remember how it goes. It's something along the lines of how Americans line up for hours to vote and cry when their new president is elected, whereas New Zealanders sleep in, have brunch and go, "oh, I think there's something I've got to do today."

It is probably a bad thing that I am more excited about the new range of saucepans from Tefal than I am about our election. So far the saucepan ad has been better viewing than anything I've seen on the election coverage (although John Campbell did say "There's not a bugger there!" about the Labour party, um, party and I was mildly scandalised). He was right though, there wasn't a bugger there apart from the chubby political reporter, who is one of the lucky ones who's at a major party party. (Poor old Sia Aston's stuck in the NZ First camp.)

7.30 - 8

Mike McRoberts is excited because he's hanging out with the Greens, and they have (vegetarian) pizza. Cue jokes about lack of blue vegetables. John Campbell (who shall henceforth be referred to as JC) is excited about the graphs and charts and things that he's going to be referring to throughout the night. Crossing now to Tristram Thingy, who has the job of standing outside Helen Clark's house and waiting to see if she comes out. He is excited about Helen's architecture. "Is it a villa?" "I think technically it's a bungalow." Another reporter is now 'marvelling' (her word, not mine) about John Key's shrubbery. The box hedges, to be precise. "Not a flaw in any of them...the last person to go into the house was carrying ten pizzas, so things are obviously ratcheting up."


So these saucepans from Tefal (slogan: 'Ideas you Can't Live Without') are pretty cool, although I can live (and am in fact living) without them. It's a set of about six saucepans of varying sizes, with one detachable handle that fits onto all of them - allowing you to stack them neatly in the cupboard like, you know, bowls, rather than having to create an architectural oddity that attempts to defy the laws of space and time, and falls over (or, as we architects say, 'loses structural integrity') every time you open the kitchen cupboard. If I needed saucepans, I would buy these ones.

Ok, that's enough about saucepans, back to the election!

Oh. Nothing has happened.


A whopping 5% of votes have come in. I have bought some beer. JC has said 'bugger' again.

Reporter currently having the most fun: a tie between Mike McRoberts, who seems to have caught the rather peppy vibe in the Green camp, and the reporter dedicated to Act, who has just declared with no little satisfaction that the Act party party is "just round the corner from his house" and that he can walk home afterwards.

Went out last night (don't worry, you're not missing any exciting election news, just that Steven Parker, at the Maori party party, is a Noddy No-Mates (thank you, JC)) with workmates & ended up having a really fun night. (I thought that story was going to be more exciting when I started it.)

One of the reporters is waving a fish. I'm not sure why. It's a flounder. Perhaps it is a political metaphor? JC has just said "he's such a big man" about an immensely fat MP, and then tried to fix it by saying "it's a huge electorate, he works very hard."

Back to the increasingly excited Tristram outside Helen's house! Tristram is fast becoming my favourite reporter for his remarkable tenacity and powers of observation. "First of all we had an Indian gentleman who parked and then walked to the front door with a large box...he was delivering home-made samosas and savouries. Shortly after that we had...boxes and boxes of all manner of salads. Fruit salads...I saw some mango in there." JC, blatantly lying- "We look forward to coming back to you later in the evening."


I have eaten beans on toast and undone the button on my pants. Speaking of eating -"One way we can tell the difference between the parties is what they eat on election night. I think we should have a competition and try to tell which one is which!" Nice to know JC is as bored as I am. The election would probably be more interesting if I were drunk. Have decided to play the Bill & Ben Party Election Night Drinking Game. ( Have been to the supermarket - up to 30% of votes in. Still nothing exciting happening.


JC: "It is proving to be a fascinating evening." LIE. They are talking about John Key's "state of the art hedge" again. National are in the lead. I am wondering if perhaps I should have voted. I am also playing the drinking game in earnest and may be slightly tipsy.

OK so the election is boring. Oh God JC has just said 'bugger' again and now I have to consume my vessel. It looks rather like the Maori Party supporters have been doing the same - while all of the other party parties are rather restrained affairs, with sit-down dinners and small jazz groups, every time they cross to the Maori Party party a group of supporters jump up and down hooting. Everyone keeps saying 'fascinating.'


64% of votes counted. National still in the lead, but much prattle from JC about how the big urban electorates haven't come in yet and these are normally Labour strongholds yada yada. The Maori Party are winning Maori seats - no-one is surprised. JC has just interrupted the Maori Party co-leader because he saw a taxi - "These are live pictures of a Corporate cab! This is very exciting, we haven't seen one of these all evening! We believe John Key is inside." A couple of minutes later - "I always get excited when I see a corporate cab." The Maori Party co-leader has been apologised to & we are back to the boring prattle.

Oh, only about 46% of the votes have been counted, the others are just 'in.' This is going to go on bloody forever. Feel like I should watch election as part of being a responsible citizen, which is ridiculous as I didn't even vote as part of being a responsible citizen. Perhaps I am trying to influence the election with the power of my MIND.

Reporter currently having the most fun: a tie between the younger one hanging out with the Maori Party, who looks a bit pissed, and the one minding the Act party, who was just caught unaware he was live on air and is now asking random questions about whether or not Bob Dylan would vote for Act. Also looks a bit pissed.


I am now completely sick of the election. Why am I watching this? I am tired. Maybe I should have a nap and come back for the end.

Ooh, Winston Peters appears to be disbanding his party! (Due to lack of interest.) He is giving quite the gracious speech. "It's not about winning or losing in parliament, it's about winning as a country...those people who voted for NZ First, your cause is not over...I have nothing but gratitude for the support that we've had, and the work that we've done." Inspiring, but...kind of sad. And, in places, slightly nonsensical - "Others will pick up the cudgels in the future...including ourselves."

Would now be totally anticlimactic if they did get in.


Insanely bored. I could never be a political commentator. Haven't seen any of the reporters in ages, is all serious political musings, interviews and the like. Even JC appears to be taking things semi-seriously. Maybe this would be more interesting if I knew more about politics. We are now listening to someone rather old and codgerish whose name I didn't catch and who appears to have made his way into Parliament. Made this point to friend I am talking to online, and he said "Actually he is making some very insightful comments." Well, I guess I am just uneducated then.

Am trying to explain the election to VB. This would be easier if a) I knew more about it and b) he wasn't drunk.

Looks like National will be the major political party in power. This means basically nothing to me on a day-to-day basis, but it does annoy me - I just don't like the National leader. He comes across as rather spineless and too meek to lead a country into the future. Also, he's not a good public speaker - the last time I saw him on TV was in a breakfast TV interview, and the interviewer bullied him mercilessly, and he stammered and avoided the question. I think people have voted for the 'change' buzzword and tax cuts. Which is fair enough - the current party has been in for 9 years, and will probably be back in in 3. I have had enough politics for one evening - I am going to watch the leaders' speeches and go to bed.

(Apologies for dull and increasingly cranky commentary.)

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