Will the royal tour influence the election?

I don’t see why it would, but some see it as yet another thing stacked against their election chances. Some typical comments on this at The Standard:

Halfcrown

The only comment I would like to make about the visit by the Windsors is this. I understood a constitutional monarch was not allowed to get involved in politics. Black Rod and all that medieval crap. Why is it then they are opening the controversial Velodrome in Cambridge hosted by Wardell (he will get a knighthood for playing at life) where 80% of the ratepayers were against having rate payers money used to fund it, but the regional council aided and abetted by Keys pack of shits ignored what the ratepayers said and went ahead with it.

I think this sets a precedent, the Royals are being used politically by Key during an election year.

Anne

We knew that from the day it was announced they were coming.

But there were challenges to these views:

srylands

How are they being used politically? There are no conventions in New Zealand about royal visits in election year. Visits in 1981 and 2002 were both within 6 months of the elections in those years.

In 2002, the Queen visited Team New Zealand. Many on the Left and the Right had opposed funding for the Americas Cup. Was that the “royals being used politically” by the then Labour Government? No, of course not.

Tracey

Labour has never been averse to the royal effect. Although Clark did break protocol and wear slacks to a dinner with the queen…

Felix Marwick, Chief Political Reporter at Newstalk ZB, sums up my views well in The Soap Box: Royal tour a complete waste… 

 A colossal waste of time, energy, and money. 

I’m sorry, as a Republican, I just can’t develop any enthusiasm or regard for the Royal Visit that kicks off in Wellington today and will run until the middle next week. 

Their Royal Highnesses, better known to the tabloid savvy as Wills and Kate along with their son Prince George, will be dominating the news agenda for the next 10 days as their rather mundane trip around the country will be breathlessly reported on 24 seven. 

Forgive me if I’m not terribly enthusiastic about any of this. 

I’ve never been enthusiastic about about royal visits. I doubt I would have been regardless but my view wasn’t helped by a Queen Mother visit while I was at school. I was part of a small town turnout (Cromwell) where we lined the main street with planned meet, greet and speeches.

But the motorcade was running a couple of hours late and didn’t have time to stop. I can’t even remember if we waited long enough for the cars to whiz by, I don’t remember actually seeing anything so I may have had to go to catch the school bus home.

And when we went to the ‘pictures’ we were supposed to stand for “God Save the Queen” at the start – not being in to gods or queens I always thought that was weird. As I got older it became a chance to defy authority (custom) by remaining seated.

But the thought of having to follow the scions of aristocratic privilege around the country as they partake in such earth shattering events as riding in jet boats, visiting a police college, and yachting on Auckland harbour, bores me to tears. 

The only reason any of this has any consequence whatsoever is because of who they are. Descendants of a royal lineage whose relevance to New Zealand lessens with every passing year. 

What do we really get out of this trip other than a hefty expenses bill that’ll no doubt run into the millions of dollars? 

Not a lot. Rich people look at stuff. And by the way they have a baby. There’s your headline. 

Look, I’m sure the royal couple are lovely people. And I have a certain sympathy for their life in a gilded cage, always under the microscope, and never being able to say anything controversial. Thought the trappings of wealth and aristocracy probably aren’t a bad compensation. 

But what, in the quantum of human affairs do they contribute to New Zealand other than represent a vestigial tie to our colonial past. Bar symbolism this visit is an expensive waste of time, has limited news value, and does little, if anything, for the country. 

My ancestors, and I know I’m not alone in this, came to New Zealand to get away from Britain’s oppressive class system. To escape the poverty trap that constrained those who were not of the right social class. So why are we celebrating and endorsing the royals when they represent the very system our great great grand parents escaped from? 

I’ve got nothing personal against the royals but they’re an expensive irrelevance and we really should be looking forwards, not backwards. 

If they want to visit, that’s fine. But let them carry the tab. I’m almost positive they can afford it.   

I know it’s not a waste of time for a sizable number of people who enjoy celebrity visits. But I don’t care about it, apart from the saturation of media coverage I’ll have to try and avoid.

Back to the original question – I see no reason whatsoever how this tour will influence the election that’s four and a half months away, except that it might give us a short reprieve from politicians electioneering, they may want to avoid making fools of themselves in the international media spotlight.

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