The Lineup
B.I.R. Column Of Fame
Man of Steel... Wood... and Mud: Bear Grylls
Rock Legend: Tom Morello

League Gods: The Emperor and Alfie

Str-8 Shoota: Malcolm X

Str-8 Shoota: Zack de la Rocha

Super Bad mofo's

Comrade Hillary

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Politicians and the "average family" 

Further to discussions below, and the perception or allegation that Helen Clark and some others in the Cabinet perhaps can't relate to "the average family", here's a few thoughts....

Mike Moore had no children (for medical reasons I believe)

Jim Bolger had far more children than average (7 if I recall)

John Howard lived at home well into his 30s

Tony Blair has more children than average, including one fathered in his late 40s - early 50s(?)

Francois Mitterand had two families

John Paul II was a bachelor

Now, if we're talking about someone who has no idea of what it's like to have an "ordinary" family, with the usual time and money struggles, how about the son of a certain oil baron/CIA director/former US Pres who currently occupies the White House.

I also recall reading that the Bolger Cabinet of the early 90s contained no one who wasn't already a millionaire ... hardly representative of the populace, eh?

DC: I don't dispute your examples, but I believe the perception in society is somewhat different.

To play devil's advocate, aside from all those poltiicans being men, they each can be seperated (or for you lawyers 'distinguished') from HC.

On your examples:

Mike Moore - Mike Moore and his wife Yvonne were (at least from my memory) quite close and often seen together in public. If there reasons for not having children were for it is for medical reasons then I think that might even invoke sympathy from many people. Whereas with HC it appears that the reason she doesn't have children is because of lifestyle reasons - I could be wrong on this.

Jim - Despite the several children, I think the image of him as being a man from a rural area still gives of the impression as a typical NZ male and not making this an issue. With his wife (Joan ?) around and the fact by the time he came to power most (if not all) of his children were grown up by then.

Howard - But I think even people in Australia who don't like Howard would say he has the appearnce of a 'typical Australian bloke'. Look at Australian cricketing/sporting milestone and Howard is always the first to comment on it. The wfie and 3 children then just add to it.

Blair - I think the ppl who have negative feelings about HC would probably be neutral about Blair recently having a child. I haven't heard any negative press about it. Then, you have the ppl who buy thoe women's magazines who probably think it makes him appear as more of sensitive guy.

I also think people can't relate to HC as easily as what they can with other politicians. I think her background as an academic plays a part in this.

Many people who didn't think HC fits part of the average NZ family will be hetrosexual men themselves and perhaps 40+ generation (yes, I know a sweeping generalisation and not everyone over 40 thinks that, but I am sure you have met ppl who did think like this and for me the ones who I have met are all over 40). Now, some of these ppl might fit the role of a traditional Labour supporter, ie blue collar, union worker living in the city with their family and still might vote Labour, but they feel uneasy about having a women as leader. Then the fact that she is childless adds to this. There is another reason and that is her relationship with her husband doesn't give the impression of the "happy family" (I remember one of the first TV images I saw of Shipley when was PM was with her husband and their children). I don't get that same feeling from HC.

I met and talked to her husband, Prof Davis, 2 years ago and I found him a really nice guy. At that time, I was in fairly close proxmity to both of them over a 2-3 day period and I saw some interaction between HC and her husband. She apears to dominate the relationship (not that that is a bad thing) because Prof Davis is relatively quiet. I think many people, particularly men, don't like this.

When you add all these things up and JT's statements bringing them to the forefront, it becomes an issue again. It just adds to the perception.

Yamis here again (won't let me sign in properly) I can't say I've ever givena fuck about HC's private life nor really noticed it being much of an issue with the general public. She is after all the preffered PM for NZ and has been for years.

HC does regularly go on 'physical pursuits' around the world such as hiking, skiing or whatever the fuck and this IS something that NZers can relate to.

However you have as your leader they will be represntative of some common traits in society and not of others.

She might not have children but she also isn't black, disabled, Asian, a hippy, cross dressing, vegetarian, skinhead either.

I really don't think it matters all that much and to the people it does matter to... well they are dumb fucks and can't be helped. Let them vote for Winston, National and ACT like they always have.
wiremu1306 says.....there's bugger all in any Cabinet who can relate to the "average family", whatever that is. Most politicians forget all that crap as soon as they get their backside on the Cabinet chair.

Anybody who thinks that any politician is representative of the "average family/bloke/woman", and any politician who claims to be, has rocks in their head.

As a nation we should grow up. Who or what they are is not important. What they stand for, and what they want to foist onto the rest of us, is the issue.

Said my bit.

Cheer, wiremu1306
Fair points all, except for the bit about the Bolger cabinet all being millionaires.

I remember that raised at the time (I think by Mallard, but may be wrong) and it gained a bit of traction and folklore for a while.

But the Independent then took it up and found that there were 3; that mushroom guy from Canterbury, Banks and one other....

Still, it was funny while it lasted.

Take the point W1306 ... have to say that in terms of being able to *talk* with the common person (say, at some hypothetical BBQ where you have to make small talk) I'd wager that HC would be a more lively conversationalist than DB. She could also talk about league a fair bit, I'd wager, so there's that connection with the common man (a la Howard).

Yamis - as you suggest, with about 60% support as preferred PM, HC doesn't have too much to worry about.

Dinkas - in the end, doesn't the woman always dominate the relationship? She says jump and I say how high (and apologise for not realizing the need to jump without being asked first)
Seemoan - cheers, long time no comment. I didn't realize the Bolger millionaire thing was an urban legend. I guess it might depend a bit on whether you counted the value of all their farms. :) In any case, they're millionaires by the time they finish I guess.
dc: Don't tell my wife that she will get the wrong idea!

I take your point about DB. He is not the best example in comparision with HC. However, I hated Bill English and see DB as a better choice.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

The New
Blogging it Real supports the following sporting organisations