Tuesday, March 7, 2017

John gone, Jacinda in

Jacinda and Grant would have been great
So a bit of good local political news as the US sinks deeper into the political darklands of state-sanctioned patriarchal bullshit and bigotry.

Here in NZ the young, savvy and hugely popular female MP Jacinda Ardern has just been elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, giving the left-wing a chance of election after three terms of the right-wing under that previously popular political person with a name starting with J (John Key). Hurrah!

I wager Jacinda will ultimately replace John (who stepped down recently when he smelt the whiff of defeat) in the political popularity stakes, as she has that same all-round appeal - even if a female version, which for now at least seems likely not to equal the male equivalent for mainstream voters - but she actually cares about the people she represents, especially those who need - and deserve - political help. And ultimately I think Jacinda and her ilk will surpass the popularity of the 'old' white male on either side of the political spectrum.

A while back I voted for Jacinda to deputy lead with Grant Robertson as leader of the Labour Party, but the team of Andrew Little and his then deputy Annette King were elected to lead instead. Grant is gay and that seemed to be why the party voted for his blander, safer (not gay) colleague Andrew, which was disappointing and quite possibly politically disastrous. Grant is an awesome debater with a lively wit, much more so than Andrew, who is comparatively dull and ordinary. Grant and Jacinda would have been a dynamic, progressive and winning team, I think, with the exception of those voters, on both sides of the political spectrum, who remain sexist and homophobic.

But those old patriarchal prejudices are dying out and politics can only be improved when they do finally leave the world to be run by the broader of mind and more diverse of experience. A lot of men have a very narrow, black and white way of looking at problems, and politics has been limited and undermined by that narrow view for far too long.

We're not out of the woods yet, certainly not in the US, but here in NZ the election of Jacinda Ardern is a substantial step in the right direction so that is something to celebrate.

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