Salient. Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 26, No. 1. Monday, February 25, 1963
The Royal visit affords political observers an exceptional opportunity to appreciate the real differences between our political parties. Both the conservatives of National and the classless society exponents of Labour were both out in strength to greet the very personification of a class society. A paradox? Perhaps, but only one of many.
Once more the electors of New Zealand are faced with a choice. On one hand are the seemingly straightforward reactionaries of National, on the other the compromised hypocrites of Labour. And this is democracy!
Once every three years the electors have their moment of freedom. Then back to three years of obedience. How far removed from the tyranny of the so-called Communists? There, too, the people vote—admittedly between candidates of the same party.
Here we choose between candidates of two parties, both solidly pledged to maintaining society as it is.
A leading characteristic of the political scene is what Dr Gupta, one-time Victoria lecturer, termed New Zealand's colonial status This largely stems from the determination of the Government to exclude "coloured" people from the country and a consequent "solididarity" with the "white" powers of the West.
Few issues call for the degree of honesty necessary to determine what human justice demands as does this one. In none are the political parties so blatantly dishonest. Nash was asked by reporters in Japan if he would advocate immigration from there. Mouthing about the "basic equality of all races," his reply was "settle your problems where you are."
Last year Shand refused a Chinese seaman the three months' convalescence in New Zealand deemed necessary for his recovery. Later he refused a New Zealander permission to bring his fiancee from Fiji, He further asserted that if the marriage took place in Fiji no permit would be issued to allow the wife entry to this country.
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Every year roughly £30,000.000 of our money is thrown down the drain by our politicians in the pursuit of our defence. That nuclear warfare has made all other weapons obsolete, and has done as much for war due to the obvious world suicide involved, never occurs to our leaders. Obsessed with Seato and Anzus, they think only of the glories of the two World Wars.
This further holy cow only keeps us in the rat race of international rivalry. The broad vision of world peace is never shown to the people in a perspective of world unity.
Professor Toynbee's assertion that "man's loyalty today lies with humanity as a whole" is put down as the outlook of the impractical man.
But what could be more impractical than the powers of the world denying the people of the world the prosperity that could be theirs if only the tremendous waste on armaments could be changed to meeting humanity's needs.
In conclusion I assert that elections in New Zealand are a fraud. All the real issues are never discussed. Those who do discuss and challenge them are branded communists and subversives.
If Joe Soap refuses to vote he may not be as dumb as the politicians would brand him. He may be waking up to the futility of voting when he has no real participation in the affairs of his life.
voting with one's feet is one of the few actions by which the ordinary citizen can voice his resentment against a system which uses him as a mere pawn.
(Two cinema seats are awarded to the best "Attack" item each issue).