Friday, October 19, 2018

One Indian Worth More Than Bridges' & Ross' Brainpower Combined

"Two Chinese would be more valuable than two Indians" - The National Party.

Now while, to be sure, it is possible that this may have been meant as a direct comment on how National's two Indian MPs are seen within the party as individuals ... I think given the surrounding context of the conversation that it is quite clear the National Party does not see the Indian communities within New Zealand in a particularly positive light.

At best, they seem to look upon representation as a 'bidding war' between different demographics - who can contribute how much cash to the campaign war-chest; rather than who'd make the best Representatives in the House (not, of course, that National MPs appear to be allowed to do much thinking for themselves, so maybe individual quality is a moot value for them) - or, for that matter, how to bring a broader swathe of New Zealand's voices into their Caucus tent.

From my observations over the years, the Indian 'community' (and it is fundamentally fallacious to monolithicize it into a single unit) has always been livelily split in any number of different directions when it comes to NZ politics. I've seen - and often known personally - Indian candidates for every party presently in our Parliament. And witnessed the significant community backing and support that many of them have attracted.

I therefore think it entirely uncontroversial to assert that NZ's Indian communities are probably some of the most politically active and politically diverse of any of the predominantly migrant demographics here.

Now, I am not so well acquainted with the Chinese community here. And at the risk of running from arms-length or camera-lense pre-conceptions, it has generally seemed to me that - with some outliers - they've mostly clustered around National, ACT, and with some support for Labour.

I mention this not to disparage the Chinese community. We are all, after all, entitled to our own democratic choices - and in any case, as I have said, it would be entirely unfair upon those persons in said community who *don't* vote for National or ACT to tarnish them with the same brush applied to those who do.

But rather - as a matter of political strategy, it seems most curious for National's er .. "brains trust", to effectively be prioritizing a community they *already* have significant investiture in (and, it appears, literal investment *from*), over another which is very much a 'battleground' between a number of political parties and most especially with Labour.

That is, presuming that National's outright priority of Chinese candidacies and outreach over those toward the Indian communities of New Zealand, has much to do with votes ... and not some other motivations entirely.

I wouldn't know about that, though. Perhaps we'll be hearing about it in next week's tape...

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