Spectators Never Win in Political Decision-making

Opinion by Charles Baycroft

There are two ways to regard government:-
1. “The Government”, which is what most people talk about when often saying “The Government Should or Should not ———“
You hear most people talking about this all the time because they do not understand how the system of politics and government actually works.
2. “Our Government” is what a very small minority of the people have because they have figured out how to operate the system. 

The only difference between those “the Government” people (most of us as spectators) and the “our Government” people (the clever minority) is understanding the importance of involvement, effort and influence.
Government is nothing more or less than the current small group of people that achieve the social positions in which they are allowed to make decisions that affect everyone else.
They get these positions by understanding and learning how to play a game called “politics” in which there are many players and teams.
In most societies there are two main teams because human beings are basically binary.and do not manage multiple options very well.
The political teams in the game are much like consumer brands which people have an emotional attachment to (just like Coke and Pepsi).
Our two main political team brands are called National and Labour and it would be very difficult for a new brand to displace either of them. That is why forming new political parties is not a very effective strategy.
Anyone who wants to successfully compete in the game of politics needs to become part of one of the teams and it would be better to join one of the ones that is likely to win.
Who is a politician? 
A politician is someone who convinces the people in one of the teams to select them as their representative
Spectator Voters
The rest of the people in the team then develop a strategy and tactics and implement it in order to persuade the people that do not understand the system mor participate to vote for their representative.
Most voters are just spectators in the game. 
They might be loyal to one team or another and they collectively pay for the game to be played but they have no real influence in the game.
Spectators watch the game, judge the players in the game, make a lot of  comments and criticisms and think they are involved in the game but they are not.
In the game of politics the spectators/voters talk about the government. 
Spectators never win because they do not participate in the game. They are losers.
, Spectators Never Win in Political Decision-making

If anyone wants to be a winner in the game of politics and government he or she, needs to join one of the teams and become a player.
The clever people (very few) understand that they should join one or the other of the two big brand teams.  They join the National or Labour Party and became players not spectators,.
They participate in the game by becoming active and attending the local meetings with the other active team members.
They also participate in planning, policy decisions and the selection of their representatives and get out promoting their representatives in election campaigns.
Their government
When the players are successful and get their representatives elected it is their government.
The spectators only see and are aware of the chosen representatives of the teams because they have no idea of how the game is played or even who these politicians are chosen by and have to be accountable to.
The lesson from understanding the game and system called politics and government is 
You are always going to be a loser unless you join a team and get in the game.
What about the smaller parties?
Some people with political dreams who cannot make it as members of the 2 big teams start new political parties so they can be big fish in little ponds just as some business people try to compete with the major brands in any other market.
These small team players might appeal to a certain segment in the market but they will never displace the main brands because of the binary way that most people think and act.
To summarise:-
If we think and speak about the government we need to realise that we are spectators that have no real influence and do not really matter.
If we want to have representation, influence and respect from the people that are currently in our government we have to join one of the two main teams and get in the game.
Don’t just watch, get out on the field and play!

, Spectators Never Win in Political Decision-making

This entry was posted in Articles. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Spectators Never Win in Political Decision-making

  1. Rob says:

    There are some interesting things going on and, I hope, some changes in the air. This is happening because of some stuff going on that rankles with thinking New Zealanders. The sort of things I’m talking about are totally undemocratic and undiscussed (in public) decisions by our current government and prime minister. These out-of-the-blue decisions were never suggested honestly before, or during, the elections but now those elected to govern are off on what seems like a weird agenda of their own. Their decisions, which the great majority of citizens certainly find unacceptable, are being imposed with no opportunity for the ordinary citizens to choose. There are a number of totally unfair impositions so I could go on at length but I will mention just one as an example. Many of the others are just as outrageous or even, unbelievably, more so. The example I will mention is the imposition of unelected people (who claim to at least one ancestor of a certain race) to hold a paid place on local body councils, alongside of properly elected members of that council and with full voting rights in all decisions of the council. They may not have ever paid any rates for that district and never will yet these people can interfere and influence decisions which will affect all the spending of rates which have been charged on legitimate rate-paying residents. Oh yes, and they get paid for it, by the long-suffering ratepayers. Wherever is the fairness or democracy in this? There was no public discussion about this; no referendum of citizens entitled to vote. Yet this has been imposed on the whole country by the current government. This and all other improper impositions will need to be thrown out, along with the current government, at the next election. Who will pay to put this right? Yeah, well, you and I will have to … and it might pay to remember forever just who caused this mess.

  2. Tony Orman says:

    Realistic and very sound advice Charles. It may be of interest that in 2013, I wrote a paper for NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers in which I said:- “Join a Party!
    Get involved politically. Minority group “infiltrate’ political parties to telling effect even getting new laws passed. Which party it is, is of no consequence or significance. Ideally trout fishing and outdoor interests should seek to be within every political party particularly under MMP and its coalition governments. Within parties, much influence can be exerted by putting forward remits for party national conferences, from which party policies are developed.”

  3. John Gornall says:

    There only two statements made by Charles Baycroft with which I agree. One of them is, ‘Our government is… a very small majority…they have figured how to operate the system.’ The other is, ‘Most of us are spectators of the game.’

    It is Society, fluctuations and changes in perception – that no politician can create – provide opportunities for individuals to lead a political movement. It is ultimately the ‘majority…spectators waiting for something to happen…’who provide a ‘Wave’ that sweeps a would be politician to shore, like a surf-board rider. Politicians are opportunists.

    In the 19th Century Massey led a Reform Party servicing an agrarian economy. He was displaced by the wave of agitation of industrial workers following the advance of technology – refrigerated shipping, railways, port facilities, road construction. Out of the social unrest emerged the Liberal Party – Balance, Stout and Seddon.

    The Great War provided another wave of political opportunity. The Liberal Party was eroding, and from ex-Liberal dissidents and militant socialists, emerged the Political Labour League; finally the Labour Party, winning 8 seats 1919. The mass of the population were not party members but voted for those who could best provide for their needs.

    So it continued until the Great Depression – this was the Wave that swept into existence present the predominantly two-Party dominance – with the creation of the National Party from remnants of the Liberal and United Parties.

    Out of New Zealand’s nearly 5,000,000 population, how many are political party members? Very few I surmise. Are this vast majority all ‘losers’ because they are not party members? Charles Baycroft thinks they are.

    There is a tendency for political party members to be loyal – right or wrong – conformity, loyalty is demanded. We have seen in recent years – the Green Party – long-standing and respected party members being forced into resignation for criticizing party leadership over the misuse of social benefits.
    One is inclined to the view that party-stalwarts would vote for a ‘pig’ rather than be disloyal by voting elsewhere.

    It is ultimately the ‘majority…spectators waiting for something to happen…’ not as Baycroft asserts, ‘those who become part of one of the winning teams.’

    It is the uncommitted – the floating voters ‘the bystanders who watch to see what is to happen,’ who owes no party any allegiance – who wields the greatest influence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 80 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here