Sunday, November 09, 2008

And The Award For Ruling The Country For The Next Four Years Goes To....

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.

6 comments:

langtry said...

Lucky you, Kate!

Here in The States, if Barack Obama is any indication, candidates will be identifying themselves in one-to-two years. We might not have commercials until 3 years from now, but we're sure to have show-boating and self-aggrandizing publicity stunts.

tinman18 said...

I came across an accident like that once. All the girls in the car were crying & bleeding but my taxi driver and I realised that it was all just from superficial cuts from the car glass, so we kept cleaning them up and re-assuring them while we waited for the ambulance.

Then they kept going on about the guy in the middle of the back seat whose forehead was covered in blood, so I said "no, he's fine, look, it'll all wash off", so I wiped it & discovered he'd a huge hole in his forehead where he'd hit the gear-stick.

Like you, I felt absolutely useless. Thankfully, the ambulance arrived then, and I looked in the paper over the next few days and there was no report of anyone dying in a car-crash, so I'm hoping he was Ok.

Cheerful, eh? Anyway, no election for 4 years? Lucky you.

laughykate said...

Ack! In a world ruled by me, there would be a ban on election campaigning until the the week before the election.Maybe ten days, make it like the Olympics.

laughykate said...

Oh and Mr Tin, I was being an idiot when I wrote that and thought we were 'Merica.But we're not, we're Noo Ziland and we are cursed with them every three years.

And that accident sounds perfectly hideous.

Medbh said...

Kate, that reminds me of the creepy car accident from "Wild at Heart" when they happen upon the girl and watch her die.
Horrible.
He's fucking lucky he didn't hurt anyone else.

laughykate said...

OH I had forgotten about that scene. But, yeah.

It was really awful. They were bloody lucky. I reckon it was a 'Darwin almost smiled' scenarios.