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July 15, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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The March of Progress

As you’ve been on holiday, hitting refresh on myVic, eating your parents’ food and doing bugger all else, the gears of the political machine have ground on. For our political friends, it has been a winter of discontent with rolling, retracting, reversing and resigning galore. Here’s what you missed:

Peter Dunne had an even worse winter than those who sat the LAWS121 exam. In one week he found himself embroiled in a leaking scandal and found his party had been leaking members so rapidly that it was no longer a party. Dunne wasn’t the only parliamentary Peter to pity this winter, with Pita Sharples also falling on his sword. After a predictably poor performance in the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by-election by the Māori Party, and after months of leadership speculation, Pita stood down as co-leader. He can’t have been expected to fall victim to the poor result, but his leadership had somewhat pita’d out, and it seems that he saw it as convenient timing to let Te Ururoa and Tariana take the bow of the waka.

Across the Tasman, the Australian Labor Party went full circle when Kevin Rudd rolled Julia Gillard and was reinstated as Prime Minister. While Gillard-backers and political sceptics criticised the proximity of the challenge to the election, it seems that Rudd is gaining momentum, with it now looking like a Labor victory is at least within the realms of possibility. No word yet on whether Gillard intends to distribute the ALP Burn Book through the halls of Canberra, but we live in hope.

The winter break also saw a very significant reversal in policy by the Government on the Auckland Rail Link, which it had rubbished as too expensive for years. Labour and the Greens, who have campaigned on building the link for several years, managed to leak the story early, which forced Key to announce it two days prior to the planned event. The announcement came around the same time that the Government signed a dirty deal which allows Skycity to operate more pokies in exchange for their construction of a convention centre.

Meanwhile, a media frenzy ensued following the announcement that Labour was considering a “man-ban” policy when selecting candidates. This, combined with the popularity of The Pakeha Party on Facebook, brought out the uglier side of New Zealand public opinion, and once again reminded us that people can be real, real dumb. Being of a charitable nature, I like to think that these people would come to the liberal light after five minutes of actually thinking about the topic, but Colin Craig exists, so what’re you gonna do?

Perhaps most importantly though, Kimye spawned. Welcome, North West; we expect great things.

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