So you're thinking of voting for Labour? After nine years of the same old faces, you don't think it's time for a change?
Well, you're not alone. According to the opinion polls, there are about 750,000 people out there who are thinking what you're thinking.
But before you - the 35 per cent of the electorate contemplating no change to the status quo, the 35 per cent of New Zealanders who make up Labour's core vote, who are happy to let Labour wield unbridled parliamentary power and be free to govern alone for three long years – vote Labour, I would ask you to take a closer look at the people you will be joining.
THE DOLE BLUDGERS: Fallen on hard times; deserving of pity; lazy; ignorant; penniless for good reason.
These are the people who prefer to smoke dope all week at taxpayer expense.
The people who leech off our tax dollars while contributing nothing to society, and still expect to have their education and health care paid for by workers.
The people who have nothing, and aspire to nothing.
The people whose children fill our jails. The people who grow weed, commit burglaries and violent crimes, and still qualify for state assistance. The people who make entire suburbs virtually uninhabitable, and yet rail against the slightest decrease in the money they get for nothing.
These are the people you will be supporting when you vote Labour.
You will also be supporting:
THE CHARDONNAY SOCIALISTS: Well-educated; analysts of policy; robbers of rights; bastardisers of culture; selfish; arrogant; and possessed of an indefatigable sense of moral superiority over everyone who drinks beer or works in the private sector.
These are the people who, with the Resource Management Act, stripped from hundreds of thousands of land-owning New Zealanders the legal rights they had enjoyed for hundreds of years.
The people who pocketed massive salary increases (kindly supplied by their political representatives) even as genuine workers suffered from rampant inflation.
The people who begrudge every last fraction of economic freedom. The people who care only about their preferred 'arts' and 'culture' being subsidised by the taxpayers of New Zealand. The people who regard education principally as a means of preserving their ideology. The people who think our health system wastes far too little money on all the disadvantaged, uneducated and poor people cluttering it up.
These people, too, you will be supporting when you vote Labour.
And then there are:
THE STUDENT POLITICIANS: Defenders of the faith; upholders of 'progressive' Maoist values; sadistic; bigoted; deranged hankerers after a world that - thankfully - passed away in 1989.
The people who think prisons should be abolished. The people who resent having to treat men, heterosexuals, ethnic majorities and the able-bodied as human beings. The people who think anyone who laughs at a politically-incorrect joke is an example of “the oppression of the hegemony”. The people who detonated bombs and assaulted police during the Springbok Tour, thought Vietnam and Iraq were worse than the genocides perpetrated by Pol Pot or Stalin, and support unilateral disarmament and gun control. The people who promote the worst-case-scenarios of climate change in order to handicap New Zealand industry.
Yes, these are the people you will be joining when vote for the status quo. The people who have undertaken every single stupid socialist reform that New Zealand has ever suffered under - yes, every single one.
Of course, no one can stop you joining them.
They're in charge of our semi-free country, after all.
But, please, before you vote, ask yourself: "Is this the company I want to keep?"
Phil Howison firstname.lastname@example.org
With special thanks to Chris Trotter