Something about elections

There's something about election hoardings that make the people whose photos stalk us round the town look like someone who has just escaped the lunatic asylum.

Perhaps it's the determined grins emanating stalwart trustworthiness and wholesome values or the faultless hair and the leaning forward posture or the pensive pose which could signal warmth but somehow suggests something more sinister. Who are these people with the fulsome grins?

And, more importantly _ why should they get our vote? Like many people dog-paddling hard against the current economic climate, I haven't had a lot of time to carefully analyse exactly who is offering the best dance card for the next few years or who I want putting their face forward to the rest of the country to represent me.

So I did what can only be described as politically irresponsible and invited some friends over plied them with alcohol and food and asked them who I should vote for.

The results were varied and entirely without any rational base as could only be expected. There were mutterings of the importance of delivering on infrastructural improvements. I had no idea what that meant except it caused the other side of the table to erupt in boring outbursts which included phrases such as `not at the expense of putting rate-payers in debt for the next 50 years' thereby restricting, apparently, the options on what we can do with our poo. Yawn. Then there was the contingent who insisted that Whangarei needed to concentrate on the 4 F's. This was met with lots of silly and fairly lewd suggestions until it was established that this meant: forestry, fishing, fruit and foreigners. We needed a mayor who would have some kind of vision which included this, rather than one who'd go haring off after oil or mineral resources _ unless the local populace was going to get a decent slice of the pie by being offered better work options_ at which everyone laughed cynically. Sigh. Someone suggested it would be nice to have Mayors who did not confuse public good with their own good or have trouble with differentiating legality from morality. The conversation was going nowhere fast and my cunning plan to forsake any kind of decision making and follow my lunatic friends’ voting behaviour thereby safely abdicating on any form of politically responsible role- taking was in danger of being abandoned entirely. It was at this point that we decided to play `Breakfast Cereal' whereby you say a name and then decide if that Mayoral Candidate were in fact a breakfast cereal which one they would be. I know. Immature, irresponsible, highly unlikely to produce any form of a sensible outcome, yet entirely diverting. My favourite kind of game. Unfortunately New Zealand’s libel laws suffer from a serious lack of a sense of humour which prevents me from printing the conversation that ensued. I’ll therefore leave you to decide which mayoral candidate, if they were a breakfast, would be ‘Hair of the Dog’? Who then, was the honey puff? Who was weet-bix and who, according to over two thirds of the table – was a certified fruit loop? And who – if you are going to wake up to them in the morning – would you want for breakfast? For the next few years? Someone wanted the fruit loop because at least he wasn’t boring and could be counted on for colourfully arbitrary quotes. Someone else wanted ‘Hair of the dog’ because it’s never a good idea to get sober too quickly and as far as he was concerned this political party was just getting started. Someone else wanted to know what happens to honey puffs if someone else was mean to them. Would they stay fresh, stay crisp, stay good all the time?

Bugger. My friends are obviously morons. There’s only one thing for it. I’m going to have to go and listen to the candidates and make up my own mind.

I just hope that while I’m being submitted to the power of fulsome grins and posing pensiveness that I won’t be singing ‘keep looking for that funny honey bee.. honey puffs are yours and mine’ while I’m trying to come to some sensible sort of a decision.

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