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Monday, November 10, 2008

Beating the Post-Election Hangover

The sad thing is I didn't even drink on Saturday night. It's the result that has given me a headache.

Here's my rant. I need to get it out of my system, so I can move onto nicer things like Chocolate Muffins and Roast Lamb (again).

So, faced with the most dire economic and environmental crises of our times, New Zealand chose greed over restraint and continued ecological degradation over stewardship for future generations. A majority of NZ voters chose a parliament which represents exactly the policies and practices of the governments so recently ousted in Australia and the US because their citizens had the collective wisdom to see the folly of their policies. New Zealand voted in a leader, no less, who trained and worked in one of the very banking institutions that have brought the world economy to its knees. To make matters worse, the party with the plurality but not the majority (National) is now relying on a party even further right of itself (Act) to guarantee their power. We have elected a government that is pro-war, pro-nuclear, anti-environment and anti-democracy, haunted not only by the ghosts of the 90s era National Government, but also the disastrous economic reforms of the 1980s in the form of Roger Douglas (No, I'm sorry, I refuse to attribute the man his title). At a time when we need bold action from both the grass roots and at a policy level to protect our planet and our food supply, the voices that have been so dedicated to preserving these things have now been shut out. We ought to be ashamed.

Knowing what we know about National's support of GE technology and their policies of propping up big businesses at the expense of people's health and well-being, now would be the time to get out in the garden and take control of your own food supply. You can be sure that National-Act will do nothing to protect you from the vultures of the food production world over the coming three years.

But here's the worst thing: Act are the only party in the NZ political spectrum who continue to deny the fact of Climate Change. And rumour has it that in return for supporting the National Party into government, Act leader Rodney Hide could well be given the portfolio of Minister for the Environment.

That would be a kick in the guts, as well as an oxymoron.

There is a silver lining, however. The Green party vote is up on last election, giving them more MPs in the House, even if they are in opposition. And with the departure of Helen Clark and Michael Cullen from the front ranks (Cullen may have retired from politics, but I'm not sure), Labour has a chance to shed its dead wood and reinvigorate themselves for the battle to come.

In one of the ironies of the election, however, we can see that Green MPs won a lot of the electorate vote even though they didn't get any electorate seats. Several of Labour's stronghold seats were lost to National, but a quick look at the voting numbers shows that this was because the voting left were split between Labour and the Greens. Perhaps the left-leaning constituency has something to learn about strategic voting that the right has mastered. Not that it would have made a difference to the overall representation, as far as I can tell (but other more qualified commentators may tell me different).

But enough politics. When looking down the barrel of three years of right wing rule, the best thing you can do is indulge. No recipes here, just pictures of how we enjoyed a quiet Sunday with friends.

Breakfast: Crispy Waffles
Whipping the eggs - like morning sun on the roof of the world.

Waffles with banana, cream and syrup.

Lunch: Salad Sandwiches
On fresh homemade bread, with salad fresh from the market on Saturday.

Dinner: The Electric BBQ
It would've been a nice day for a BBQ, but we still haven't filled the gas bottle. So we did it the old fashioned way, grilled chicken drumsticks and fried sausages with fresh bread, salad, new potatoes in butter and beer-fried onions.

There were also beers and rum, because what else would you do on a day like that?

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