Gareth Morgan is not a politician.
He has a speech impediment. He wears black sweaters instead of suits. He answers simple questions about voter apathy with 13-minute rants that switch from superannuation reform to drug legalisation and everything in between.
But he’s not that kind of non-politician – the kind lighting up the Western world, the populists, the nationalists. He’s an elitist, pure and simple; a technocratic policy snob who brooks no disagreement with ideas that he sees as self-evident.
That is Gareth’s weakness. He seems to think there is only one solution to an issue – his solution.
So can a non-populist non-politician actually get the five per cent of votes for his fledgling The Opportunities Party (TOP) – what he would need to win seats and so make any difference in Parliament? Or will he just do what some in the Greens and Labour are privately worried about: take one or two percentage points of the Left vote and completely waste it.
4% would be good!
At a packed 350-seat roadshow in Wellington on Monday night, that 5 per cent certainly seemed possible, even if millionaire Morgan hadn’t stumped up to cover the bar.
Hell I’d go along if Gareth is shouting.
Rowan voted for the Mana Party in the last election, and other left-leaning parties before that, but is strongly considering TOP this time.
His father, Michael, 61, voted for the Greens last time and is considering switching too.
“It’s good to hear a politician actually talking about taking action and actually making changes. Because I don’t think any of the current policies have any kind of long-term future,” he said.
I encourage all Labour, Green, Mana voters to vote TOP!