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Matt Heath 's Opinion

Matt Heath is a radio host on Radio Hauraki and Herald columnist

Matt Heath: Let's create a supreme leader

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I vote that we need a genetically-engineered benevolent dictator.

A dictator wouldn't be much more than twice as un-voted for as our democratically elected leaders, writes Matt Heath. Photo / Thinkstock
A dictator wouldn't be much more than twice as un-voted for as our democratically elected leaders, writes Matt Heath. Photo / Thinkstock

It's election time again. We've got bombshell books, burning effigies and debates about debates. Whilst our three-yearly decision process is reasonably entertaining, it's also messy and wasteful.

I've gone off democracy.

I'm warming to the benevolent dictator model. The "vote once for the right person and move on" method. Obviously I am not the first person to spout these views. The concept pops up in columns all the time.

I think it's worth raising again.

We have a pile of baby boomers who plan to bankrupt us with their old age, a housing crisis and an economy in desperate need of diversification. These issues are hard for a government to deal with and also get re-elected.

Take the Super problem. Everyone knows that the age of entitlement has to go up. Sadly we are dealing with baby boomers, a generation who have voted selfishly for decades.

Nearly every problem we have is a result of poor boomer election choices. There's currently so many of them left that it's political suicide to piss them off.

A benevolent dictator could just wave his or her hand and yell: "Silence boomers - you had your go!"

It's clear by recent voter numbers that democracy isn't as popular as it used to be. Maybe that's because it doesn't work for everyone. Election percentages normally end up with the early-50s to one bloc, late-40s to the other. Even if 100 per cent of us vote, close to half still lose out. That's a lot of unhappy people every three years.

A dictator wouldn't be much more than twice as un-voted for as our democratically elected leaders.

It's not like all votes are equal anyway. When I was 18 I was lured to the corner of George St and Dundas St in Dunedin by a sausage sizzle. Before I knew it I was in a van being delivered to a polling booth. Half-cut and keen to get back to the pub, I cast my vote for the candidate with the stupidest name. What good is a democracy that allows morons like me to vote?

I am older and wiser now. I read heavily and have formed some strong, reasoned opinions. For example, I no longer support democracy.

Currently New Zealand governments have 12 months to make the world a better place before entering a two-year re-election campaign. That's a poor doing-things to greasing-up ratio.

The benevolent dictator could comfortably spend decades making the changes we need. Hand him or her power once and forget about it. Let the supreme leader get on with the job.

Of course the problem with dictators is their tendency to go completely insane, build mansions of pure gold and kill anyone who looks at them funny.

The type of person who strives for complete power is generally a complete psycho.

Mostly they murder, extort and bully their way to the top. I can't get behind a leader like that.

But what if we randomly handed control to someone like myself? I have never craved power, I've never murdered anyone, and I love my mum. If New Zealand made me dictator, would I cover my hypothetical Bentley in diamonds then set death squads on anyone who complained about it? Probably.

But what if science could grow the perfect leader; a being with the precise intellectual, genetic and psychological make up to do the right thing; a superior human incapable of going mental and killing us all. Surely that would be our ideal leader.

We could sleep easy knowing the best person was on the job. They may not get it right every time but at least you would know the genetically-engineered dictator has their heart in the right place. Science would put it in the right place for us.

In the end it's academic. The science isn't there yet and a love of democracy is too ingrained in the New Zealand psyche.

I'm sensing no mood for change towards a genetically-engineered benevolent dictator. It would take some kind of bloody coup to get it across the line and that would defeat the purpose. For now happy tyranny is just a dream.

While we are stuck with democracy let's just hope idiots like my 18-year-old self keep their pointless votes out of the booths.

- NZ Herald

Matt Heath

Matt Heath is a radio host on Radio Hauraki and Herald columnist

Matt Heath is a breakfast radio host on Radio Hauraki, and a television producer, writer and director. He made a name for himself with Back of The Y Masterpiece Television, Balls of Steel UK and the feature film The Devil Dared Me To. Matt was guitarist and singer for the band Deja Voodoo which released two top twenty albums. He is currently a producer on Best Bits, a cricket commentator for The Alternative Commentary Collective, and the director of Vinewood Motion Graphics. Matt is a father of two living in Auckland City.

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