Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerry Woodham: Vote for Winston and you get other NZ First members? Really?

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Voters were 'surprised' to see Andrew Williams get in. Photo / Natalie Slade
Voters were 'surprised' to see Andrew Williams get in. Photo / Natalie Slade

The post mortem after the election has been interesting on the radio this week.

The number of people who called to say they didn't realise that voting for Winston would mean other people would get in has been teeth-grindingly extraordinary.

"Sooooo," I've been asking, "when you ticked New Zealand First as your party of choice, what did you want to happen?"

"I just wanted Winston to get in to keep the Government honest," they reply.

"And what about the other members of New Zealand First? Did you know who was on the party list?"

"No," they replied as one. "We just thought we'd be getting Winston."

"I was very surprised to see Andrew Williams get in," one exclaimed. "What's he doing there?" she asked.

I'm sure there are New Zealand First voters who knew exactly what they were doing and what they would be getting but an alarming number think of New Zealand First as a one-man, Winston Peters band.

They all said they thought John Key had been very rude and arrogant about Winston which had swayed them and that backs up what I said last week - although, as a member of the media, I'm also to blame, because they all felt Winston hadn't been given a fair deal by journalists either.

Ah, the cult of personality.

Mind you, the Labour and Greens attack on National over asset sales also seems to have worked. I had a number of people who phoned to say that they'd voted Labour because they didn't want National selling off all our country.

One worked for Air New Zealand and he said he and his colleagues were concerned about what would happen to their jobs when the airline was sold.

"It's only a partial sale," I said. "The Government maintains the controlling share." That was news to him - as it was to a number of other callers.

Maybe it's time to make political studies compulsory at school to see if we can get an informed electorate. But then, really, we wouldn't get the results we get now and where's the fun in that?

- Herald on Sunday

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