The singularly most disappointingly thing about being in Vancouver and finally getting internet connection to listen to National Radio, is the position in society that we have bestowed upon our politicians.
Be it a media driven beat up, or the self belief in their importance (politicians) or the publics fault, the simple fact of the matter is that we give these buggers way too much of our time. Now I am a political creature, in fact I delight in all manifestations of the political sphere (to paraphrase Monty Python). However, the politician, as opposed to the political has become the issue. Politicians are placed upon some media driven pedestal as if they are some sort of political deity.
I didn’t make this somewhat belated (others have been on about this for years) revelation until I had spent the first couple of weeks of our trip to Vancouver spending very little time on the web catching up with news from home, all the while trying to get up to speed on all things local. Vancouver has 4 main newspapers, two local and two national. Being newspapers, each has their own political agendas and editorial styles. All 4 have their strengths and weaknesses, however none of the news media that I watch/listen or read here place as much emphasis on the personal in political events. The only time that politicians are singled out is if they are bust, causing a business to go bust or have fiddled with someone.
In NZ however we are obsessed with politics, in a very very unhealthy way. Polls that come out 28 months before an election are picked apart (how much use is a weather reports that far out). We talk day in and day out about the goings on in the Beehive, and to tell the truth it’s a very narrow approach to understanding our world. The press gallery have too much power (excuse the pun) and there just simply isn’t enough news about NZ.
It is so refreshing over here to see stories in the news that aren’t about Violence, Politicians, The Dollar, but about life, it’s still news. Politicians and their actions get more coverage in NZ than Posh and Becks, too much of either is a bad thing.
Come on the media in NZ, there are other stories out there and Polls every other week are just not interesting. they may be to the press gallery and the few people that give a dam in WGTN.
We have a very unhealthy obsession with Politics in NZ and I’m starting to think it’s dangerous.