Author offers advice to young voters
Author and social commentator Gordon McLauchlan is throwing his support behind the Green Party after reading its agricultural policy.
‘‘It is forward-looking and aims to change farming and regional towns in New Zealand for the better by coaxing and with incentives not by edict,’’ he told the Matamata Chronicle this week.
McLauchlan is the former editor of the Matamata Record and also worked for the Te Aroha News for a short time.
He lives in Auckland but has a few friends in the Waikato, including Greens’ Waikato candidate Philippa Stevenson.
The author of of best sellers, The Passionless People and The Farming of New Zealand, presented at a public meeting hosted by the Green Party and Stevenson in Tamahere, in the south of the Waikato electorate.
Over his lifetime, he’d seen some dramatic and desirable advances in human rights from campaigns against homophobia to racism and patronising antifeminism, he told the meeting.
‘‘But in that same time I’ve also seen the abandonment of the human right for people to have a decent home and an adequate income,’’ McLauchlan said.
Home ownership was once a fundamental right endorsed by the National Party but had now been abandoned by both the major parties, he told the audience.
‘‘That’s not progress, it’s regression to the 19th century.’’
Speaking this week, McLauchlan said he did not ‘‘have a tribal mentality’’ when it came to voting. He had never traditionally supported any party.
‘‘The main parties have shifted ground so much they are unrecognisable from their antecedents. When I was young the National Party was a very efficient and caring government during the 1960s. Keith Holyoake was the best PM in my time.
‘‘If you want to check the tone of his ministers, have a look at Jack Marshall’s maiden speech to the House in 1947. It makes Andrew Little sound like the altright.’’
McLauchlan said his advice to Do you have a question you would like to put to any of the political candidates in the Waikato electorate? Please send in your thoughts to reporter Rexine Hawes: firstname.lastname@example.org You can also share your views on our Neighbourly.co.nz page. young voters was to take time to read party policies, consider them seriously, and then look at the people involved.
‘‘We have a third-term ministry, and they are always tired and arrogant no matter which party, that does nothing until it has a problem it can’t wriggle away from.’’
He suggested suicides and domestic violence as two examples, as well as child poverty and homelessness.
‘‘These problems are not easy to fix, so think about which parties have the most daring and inclusive policies. I’m impressed by the young enthusiastic women in the Greens, optimists who really want to rebuild New Zealand as a community.’’
Author and social commentator Gordon McLauchlan and candidate Philippa Stevenson.