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We the people: disappointment & renewal

24 Sep

It’s difficult times, grappling with a major defeat to NZ’s political left.  It’s a time for reflection, and drawing on some personal capabilities and strengths.  This is aided when we have strong connections with family, friends and community.  Various forms of communication, creativity and cultural practices are a major way we draw on these internal strengths and our connections with others, our environment, and the world around us.

Tina on the Non-Plastic Māori blog, writes of her reflections following last weekend. In ‘Tirohia whakaroto‘ she writes from her position within her whanau and Ngāti Porou.  It’s necessary to read all of her post, to sense the spiritual power she gains from her place in the world.

The post begins with reflections on the tangi for “a skilled leader, orator, activist, advocate, ambassador and tohunga Amster Reedy”.  Then it goes on to the treasure of a new life, which resulted in a rendition of this waiata composed by Ngoi Pewhairangi.

 It’s a waiata that speaks to whakapapa, to past and future generations, to fears and possible solutions.

Tina’s reflections move onto the contemplation of the disappointment of  NZ’s election result – then onto other struggles and other disappointments: the struggles of  “our indigenous whānau in Hawai’i, in Turtle Island, and elsewhere”; the struggle for Scottish independence; and the struggle to engage with non-voters.

Themes of disillusionment and hope danced about in my roro and so I sat with Ngoi to make some sense of it all….

There’s something weird going on around the world – it’s totally not playing along with my idea of what’s RIGHT. There’s a glimmer of hope for change… and then it’s dashed down.

Tina writes convincingly of how politics provides some temporary solutions and disillusionment. It’s important to vote, and to win some elections in order to make some positive changes: to retrieve and protect the natural environment; and to make things better for those with least. Nevertheless, the political power that enables progressive changes, will always be vulnerable and temporary.

In the longer term, we need to work with our collective strengths: for a left wing government to be possible, it needs to be buoyed by a strong flax roots movement.  Our strength is in ourselves, our personal connections, our creativity and the campaigning we will continue to do.

Marama Davidson did not make it into the House as a Green MP this time round.

Marama Davidson twitter otara

She responded to defeat with a renewed commitment to the Green vision, as expressed in her post.

I am not leaving this fight. Striving for a fairer society is too important.

With her family, she celebrated the privileges of her life and renewed her belief in their values.

Morgan Godfery also responded to the aftermath of the election. I agree with most of his post.  However, I’m not sure that I would describe Key’s government as “Third Way”.  It may present as such, but, as Dirty Politics has shown, behind the facade, is something far less palatable.  There were many others who did not vote at all: people who have given up on the whole process. Those people are in our communities, and we need to connect with them.

The strength of the left or progressives, is always in the people, our relationships, and collaboration with each other: in the communities; and the ways we communicate and share our experiences and understandings of our place in the world.

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