Sunday, September 21, 2014

Not right now

I’d like to comment on the election last night, but not right now. I don’t really understand what happened, how we could have lost or why it happened. There are numbers to be studied, conclusions to be drawn, but, mostly, distance to be achieved.

The campaign left me physically and emotionally drained (I spent a lot of time asleep today…), so I’m just not up to doing the needed research, not right now. Still, today I started looking at results from previous years as a way of understanding voter behaviour, but there’s more data to come, and until it does, a complete understanding is impossible.

I will say, though, what I said on Facebook:
I know this much right now: I have never been prouder to be a part of any campaign than the campaign we ran in Northcote. It was positive, it was relentlessly focused on policy, and it put people first.

Richard Hills for Northcote was an inspiration as a candidate, someone who led by example, and his example got me to push past exhaustion because he'd pushed well past it himself. His approach was positive even before it was Labour's slogan, because it's who he is. I've never been prouder to work for a candidate.

The team of volunteers we had for Labour in Northcote was outstanding! Each one brought unique skills and abilities that made us all stronger and better. We may not have won on the night, but they have strengthened us so that things will be very different in 2017. The work our team did this year, then, is building for the next election, and I'll be part of that.

More than that, though, they became a sort of extended family. For now, I'll miss our frequent get togethers for a morning coffee on the campaign trail (though I WON'T miss the early morning starts for sign waving!).

The 2017 campaign has already begun, though most people won't see anything of it until much closer to the time. However, if *you* want to read about that, you'll have to check out my blog, because I'm done talking about NZ politics on Facebook (apart from the occasional mentions of the inevitable f-ups that John Key's government will make). Until the next election, that is that.
And so it is. I’ll start talking about NZ politics on this blog again, but not right now. I need more time to reflect.

So, for now, I’ll let our candidate, Richard Hills, have the final word. This is what he posted today on Facebook:
MESSAGE TO YOU: I'm overwhelmed by the amazing messages – I feel like a winner being surrounded by such awesome people of all ages who really truly care our community, the future and care about me. Congrats to Jonathan Coleman & National. The voters have spoken. But I'm really concerned about those who didn't. One million people didn't vote again. Almost 20,000 didn't in Northcote. Politics has to change. We have to fight the issues, keep it positive, stay relevant and really engage with people. Massive change is needed in our democracy and our party. People are sad, distressed and disappointed but let's not blame voters, let's not blame each other. Let's keep working in all corners of the community. Politics is only one piece of the puzzle, it isn't everything. People matter most. But we are better unified. Look after your friends, families and neighbours no matter who they vote for or where they come from. If things get rough it's up to all of us to take responsibility for our communities & stand up for what's right. Congrats to my Labour friends who are now MPs, so sad for those who missed out. Thanks to my volunteers, my family, Leighton my partner, my friends & every voter who put their trust & faith in me. What an exhausting, bizarre and exciting ride, I'm proud of the positive campaign we ran in Northcote. The people I met, the laughs & hearing those tough, upsetting stories will keep me fighting for what's right forever. Massive love to you all.
We'll all be back fighting for all New Zealanders, and the 2017 campaign has, in a sense, already begun. I'll have a lot to say about all that, just not right now.

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