Why I will (probably) vote Labour this weekend

 | 2 min

I'm a swing voter. I've voted Labour in the past, but there are a few things they've done that leave me dissatisfied. National has promised not to do anything really bad during it's first term in office, so I am truly undecided about which party I'd like leading the government.

But today, I came across this quote from John Key in NBR which really annoys me: "I've had nine years of being told what lightbulb I can screw into the house, what shower I can take, what food I can eat, what things I can do, what thoughts I am allowed to have."

None of this is true. Not one bit.

  • Lightbulbs. There is no law about what lightbulbs John Key could use for the past nine years. There have always been consumer regulations about energy efficiency for all sorts of things - the stars on fridges for example. All that's happened is there is a plan to raise the standard on lightbulbs.
  • Showers. For the past nine years there have been no laws governing what showers John Key can take. Unless you count that he probably wouldn't be allowed to walk into a ladies shower block, but I doubt that's what he means. I assume he's referring to the Greens' plan to have low-flow showerheads installed in newly built houses. How is this a problem? The Consumers' Institute has been recommending people switch to them for years as it saves a lot of money with no noticable impact on shower quality.
  • Food. If anyone has ben telling John Key what food he can eat for the past nine years, it wasn't Helen Clark. The government does have food safety regulations, which most people generally consider to be a good thing. It means for instance that he can't choose to eat milk powder with melamine or spinach with E. coli. As far as I know, National has not been arguing that food safety regulations are a bad thing, nor do they have any policies to repeal our food safety laws.
  • Things. Yes, there are certain things that John Key can't do. He can't murder people, steal, beat people up and various other things that are against the law in this country. The only thing I can think of that he can't do now that he perhaps could nine years ago is smack his kids. But National voted for that law also and has no plans to repeal it. Rather than being fewer things he can do, John Key can now do more things than he could nine years ago. He can now sell his sexual services, and he can now enter a Civil union with a man. Or not - it's an option, not a requirement.
  • Thoughts. This is just blatent ridiculous scaremongering. Now, I don't know whether John Key actually believes this. If he truly thinks that the Labour government for the past nine years have been telling him what lightbulbs to use, shower pressure to have, what to eat, do and think then he doesn't have a very firm grasp on reality. If on the other hand he doesn't really believe this then he is just lying in order to gain votes by stoking fear. Playing on and inflating people's fears is the most vile form of dishonesty. Either way, I don't want to vote for him.