So we went, we voted, we booted the ruling red party out of parliament and the other guys in. The Sunday paper informs me that it was always going to happen, a government hasn't secured a fourth term in New Zealand for nearly forty years. Anyway, guess that means one thing - they are going to be needing a lot of masking tape and cardboard boxes in Parliament this week.
I tried to not watch the election, I really did and it worked for, oh, about three minutes. It was kind of like watching a telethon. But it took a while to get started.
The coverage on TV1, 'I'm coming to you live from the National Party headquarters in wherever they are, and so far there's a strong media contingent and a big empty room with blue ribbons and balloons.'
Over on the other channel a teensy bit later, 'We're at the National Party HQ where John Key is expected to turn up at about 10.30. Not too many people here, TVNZ is over there and that's about it so far.' Empty rooms tend to be rather dull, until the party arrives.
I remember working an election, so fresh out of journalism school that the paint hadn't even dried and, at the end of the night, filing a report from the women's toilets of the community centre to the local radio station. Oh glamorous times. I attended both party's knees-ups to get comment from candidates and seem to remember the Labour Party party was a hell of a lot more lively. And they'd lost.
And it was mildly amusing turning on the tele last night and seeing one of the print journos who was also covering the area at the time(he'd done the journo course the year before me) was being employed as a political commentator for the night. Who'd a thought all those years ago, eh? Where we'd end up? Him being asked to politically commentate this election and me, um,.....pass the nuts. Oh, I really must stop being so ambitious.
But what stayed with me from that night was coming across a car accident on the way back to work. It was on the open road and there was just one car and it was upside down. The journo in the car ahead of me immediately went to the car, and I rang 111. Then a bleeding drunk guy asked to use my phone, I had to dial it for him cause that was beyond him at that stage. He radiated alcohol and his words kept colliding into each other. He also he did a sensational job of getting blood all over the work truck, which was white.
The people in the car weren't seriously hurt but they were moaning, drunk and trapped.
In what seemed like an age (but I am sure was only about ten minutes) people in vehicles with sirens and flashing lights arrived, and we were able to leave the scene.
I would be really happy if that is the only time in my life that I am one of the first on the scene of a car accident. It was really horrible, and there are two things I will never forget about that accident, the fear that people were going to be seriously hurt and that I wouldn't be able to do anything to help them.(Yup it's all about me). I think it is an innate human instinct to want to help another human in distress and it is really disempowering and scary to not be able to help. And I will never forget that smell of burning metal.
Anyway, back to what I started talking about. That's another election done and dusted. And you know what that means? We don't have to suffer through dreary political campaigns for three more years. Yip-freaking-yee.