In the post-mortems on Don Brash’s time as Leader of the Opposition, one word keeps surfacing: gentleman. That Don Brash, say the media, was too much of a gentleman to confront the major-asshole comments of the likes of Dr Michael Cullen. In fact, Cullen said much the same thing, without referring to himself as an asshole.
This is very sad. Most of New Zealand society is gentle, so if this is a democracy, Don Brash should not be the exception in being a polite fellow—yet he was. Even if I complain about him, at least I found afﬁnity with this aspect of his character. I imagine many New Zealanders did, and wish there were more people with a sense of civility in Parliament.
Our only solution is to bear this in mind at the 2008 General Election, or even the 2007 local body elections. Who, we should ask, represents our character? Yes, even I might go on about charisma, but our choice should be the person who best reﬂects not just our policies (for these provide little guidance to what someone does when they are actually in power), but our character and manner. And perhaps even our mana—Māori concepts often go further than Anglo ones.
Maybe then we can create a Parliament built around respect, civility and public duty—something sorely lacking with this present administration, and the smugness of the likes of the less than competent Finance Minister and the Foreign Minister-outside-Cabinet. Posted by Jack Yan, 11:59
Comments: Post a Comment
Links to this post:
NoteEntries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.
Individual JY&A and Medinge Group blogs
DonateIf you wish to help with my hosting costs, please feel free to donate.
Copyright ©200210 by Jack Yan & Associates. All rights reserved. Photograph of Jack Yan by Chelfyn Baxter.