Random thoughts on Prostate Cancer, Voluntary Euthanasia, Local Shared Ministry, and other miscellaneous interests.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Last Past the Post
My two bits’ worth in the Mixed Member Proportional debate would have been that it MMP isn’t perfect and needs some adjusting in obvious areas. But I am gratified that there is no strong support for the suggestion of returning to First Past the Post.
Up until MMP came in, I never cast a meaningful vote in my life. I was always in electorates where there was no way that my vote was going to change anything. In rural electorates my vote would never have got my candidate past the post and in urban electorates my vote would have contributed only to the overweening sense of importance that some high-majority partliamentarians displayed.
It was on such a nominal event that I took Paul, aged ten, into the booth with me, and let him vote; he’d studied the issues at school and his vote didn’t change anything more than mine would have.
In those days it only mattered to vote if you were in a marginal electorate. Those were the voters who swept governments in and out. Sometimes a swing of a handful of percentage points in key electorates across the country made a huge change in the balance of parliament. Often we lost skilled and experienced politicians in the carnage.
In the 1970s I proposed on radio a reform which turned out to be almost exactly what we got in MMP a good few years later. I still think mine was better, but then - and now - anything would be better than going back to FFP.
Retired Presbyter of Methodist Church of New Zealand. Passionate pioneer in Local Shared Ministry, consultant in small churches, publisher of niche market books, producer of prosumer video, deviser of murder mystery dinners and former private pilot.
I trained for the Methodist Ministry at Trinity Theological College and eventually completed MA, Dip Ed as well.
Bev and I married just before my first appointment in Ngatea where our two children arrived. We went on to Panmure and Taumarunui. Longer terms followed at Dunedin Central Mission and the Theological College. During this time I was also involved as co-founder and second national President of Family Budgeting Services and adviser to the (government) Minister of Social Welfare.
My final four years were part-time, developing the first Presbyterian or Methodist Local Shared Ministry unit in this country and promoting the concept overseas.
Retirement has brought a whole lot more opportunities and challenges. We are now living in our own villa in Hibiscus Coast Residential Village.