Don't play the Political Blame Game

Not buying into the political "blame game" means taking responsibility.

We all seem to be blaming others
  • Blame the farmers for polluted rivers. 
  • Blame the Chinese for high house prices in Auckland. 
  • Blame the immigrants for low wage growth.
  • Blame the baby-boomers for our unaffordable national superannuation scheme.
  • Blame the government (or the government before the current one) for everything that's not working properly.
  • Blame the millenials for whining about their lot - which is actually pretty good, compared to what "we" went through.
This word "blame" seems to be flung around a lot during this election campaign.  Maybe it was always so, but I don't remember it being used as much in past elections

Policy issues can be complex, abstract, and difficult to understand.  They are easier to grasp when we see real life examples and hear personal stories on the news.  But that makes it all too easy to blame people for being the authors of their own misfortunes.

When we look for the root cause of social and economic issues, it easier to attribute the problem to groups of people who are not like us (whoever "we" are), rather than to take responsibility for our own actions.

Three Fingers Point Back
When we point the finger of blame at others, three fingers point back at us.

We live in a democracy, so the root cause of our current problems is always us, and only us:

  • It's the parties that We voted for.  
  • It's the leaders We believed in. 
  • It's their promises, which pandered to Our interests, and desires, and prejudices. 
  • It's because We found the whole election process confusing that We disengaged and couldn't be bothered voting.

Taking responsibility for our own actions is awkward and discomforting. But it is a necessary part of being a citizen in a democracy.

If you don't like the outcome of this election, don't blame me. Don't blame the media. Don't blame the polls.

And most of all: don't blame your fellow citizens.  Don't fall prey to the politics of difference and division. Don't play the blame game.

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