It has become an alarming problem that you can’t get a job in many job fields without having a long paper trail of qualifications to your name.
I can remember arguing with some staunch Labour supporters not so long ago about the problem of overemphasising pieces of paper (or qualifications). They believed having a teaching qualification was no different to being a qualified driver. They came up short for words when I asked why it isn’t a prerequisite for university professors and graduates to get teaching qualifications. I should have asked the same question about why they don't have qualification requirements for politicians.
We pump out hundreds of ‘qualified teachers’ every year who have neither a passion nor a desire to be an effective teacher. Completely competent and able people are robbed of the opportunity to educate the up and coming generation because they are missing a piece of paper to their name.
Yet, provided they tick a few small requirements, anyone who wishes to do so can become a politician. They don’t need to be qualified in anything and don’t need to know much about our country’s history. As long as they have a bit of charisma and are willing to toe the line for their party, they can run.
After spending many months covering this year’s election I have realised that the best qualification anybody running for a political office can have is years of experience and the honesty to admit wrongdoing. Sadly these are two things which New Zealand politics lack.
Cam is no Conservative
Say what you like about Nick Hager’s book Dirty Politics. It provides an insight into nothing we already knew. I would like to address the claim made by Hager and other media outlets are making that Whale Oil Blogger Cam Slater is a right wing blogger. In light of recent events around the book, left wing media outlets have branded him as some kind of champion for conservative causes. For one, Slater has strong ties to the National party, always quick to praise them and ready to attack anyone who sees fault in them. Two, Slater happily supported same sex marriage, using the same arguments any liberal bigot churns out. Whale Oil also happens to have aimed many fiery arrows towards Conservative Party leader Colin Craig; while some attacks are justified quite a few are not, like the belief blocking foreign land sales is a left leaning policy (when it is more anti-liberterian than anything else).
Where’s the accountability Christine?
It is difficult to make a call on Christine Rankin’s decision to run in the Epsom electorate. The hardnosed Chief Executive of the Conservative Party certainly believes in the party’s four key policies. However her assertion that “we have allowed some of our children to become victims of drugs” seems laughable. As horrible as modern peer pressure may be, those "children" must take accountability for their actions. It was not the drugs which ruined them, it was poor decision making. The Government (as limp wristed as it is on drug laws) cannot be blamed for all the poor choices individuals make.
The Internet Mana Party has been very busy bribing young people with the promise of cheap high speed internet and free tertiary education; so far they are doing a very good job at it. Be very skeptical of them though. Digitalising a country will not fix our nation's problems; nor will showing preference towards a particular race.
I'm surprised these passionate voters haven't bothered to take a closer look at their other policies. Quite a few of their promises are not so great (see Justice and Education), while some are simply impossible (see Full Employment).
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