Today we have a new government, I’m delighted with it but a lot of people won’t be and they have my sympathy because I’ve been there at the last three elections.
The worst of those was 2002, I was National’s Otago electorate chair and we lost the seat. I cried on the night and I cried again the next morning when I realised the full extent of the loss.
That loss isn’t just the loss of a job for MPs, their staff lose their jobs too.
Parliament, Mps and staff are a numerically small part of the political process and the loss of an election is also a loss for many thousands of members and supporters who give their time, energy and commitment to their parties and candidates.
While the winners celebrate on election night and wake, tired (over tired in fact, here) but happy, those on the other side have a subdued night and the morning after may not be any brighter.
These people have my sympathy, and I really mean that, because the longer I’m involved in the grassroots of politics the more I come to respect the others who are too, regardless of which part of the political spectrum they inhabit.
Almost all of us share the desire to get to a common destination, we just differ on the best vehicle and route to get us there.
So I offer them my sympathy and also some comfort.
A lot of things happen in spite of who is in government, there are no miracles when the party you support wins and generally there are no absolute disasters when the a party or parties you don’t support are in power.
They might do things you oppose and even abhor, but if and when they do, they help motivate you for the next election – and that’s only a thousand and something sleeps away.