Can we do politics better?

Better voter turnout? Better party participation? Better candidates? Better MPs? Better parties? Better political behaviour? Are these all linked?

The political arena needs to have robust debate, it needs to have keenly contested ideas and ideals, policies and personalities.

But we have a problem. Our politics often seems dominated by deception and lies, attacks and smears, attempts to destroy opponents and governments. And domination of the dirty dishonest dark arts of politics results in widespread disappointment and disillusionment, and that’s what we have.

Record numbers of people don’t vote. A number of MPs are frustrated and annoyed at the poor standards of behaviour in Parliament and in the wider political sphere. It’s difficult to attract women into politics, and advance them in politics, and keep them in politics, because of male dominated poor behaviour.

Some MPs, some party employees and some journalists seem dominate with agendas, diversions, attacks, with a sordid and sensationalist approach. Unfortunately their loud voices and over the top actions get a disproportionate amount of attention. The same applies to political forums in social media.

Can we do better? If enough people want better and don’t remain passive, pissed off and turned off, yes.

There will always be politicians and activists who think that anyone who disagrees with their aims and ideals is an enemy who should be dealt to and if possible destroyed. It’s ingrained in their nature, as if they are intoxicated by a quest for power. In a way similar to drunken thugs who think it proves their strength and dominance, or think it’s fun to smash people.

To diminish the dominance of dirty politics it needs to be confronted. And better alternatives need to be established.

Most MPs are decent people wanting to do better for New Zealand. They have different ideas on how to make things better but they want things to be better.

They need to be held to account if they make mistakes or do things they shouldn’t.

They also need the help and support of decent people who want better from our politicians and our Parliament.

I decided to become involved in politics because I wanted better politics. I’ve become involved in many things, I’ve gained useful experience. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve made friends. It seems that I’ve enemies. That’s inevitable in politics.

I now want to focus most on my original goal, doing politics and doing democracy better. I believe we can and we should. To succeed it needs a number of people with a common aim. There’s many people who wish for better out there. We need to stand up more, speak up more, act more positively.

I’m prepared to reach out to people with similar aims and work together. Some will see it as a threat to their petty, pissy and destructive way of doing things. So be it.

We can do politics better if enough of us want to, and if we make it happen.

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