Good news

Jeez, this has been an awful week for my home nation. The Boston Marathon bombing, the Texas fertilizer plant explosion, and now the Senate Republicans’ sneering, in-your-face proof that a 90% American public preference and a 54-vote Senate majority still can’t stop them from blocking even a mostly toothless, watered down compromise gun control bill in service to their paymasters.

I need some good news, so I’m looking at New Zealand.

Yesterday, their Parliament voted on a historic equal marriage rights bill. Soon the news was out: it passed, by a significant majority. But what I didn’t learn until late last night was what happened afterward.

These videos had already gone viral by the time I got up this morning, and I don’t usually post things after they’re this far out of the barn. But they are so damn heartwarming that I’m making an exception.

The first is the announcement of the vote tally in Parliament, a moment met with applause — and a standing ovation by many of the Ministers in acknowledgement of the people watching in the gallery above, most of whom were gay or gay allies. I have never seen such a thing, and it brought a tear to my eye.

That alone makes the video worthwhile, but what comes next is surely a moment for the history books. A voice rings out from the gallery with the opening words of “Pokarekare Ana,” a traditional Maori love song composed during WWI, which has become an unofficial New Zealand anthem. In a wave, the gallery rises to its feet, along with many of the Ministers, and joins the single voice en masse.

It takes a stronger heart than mine to watch this without the screen going all blurry.

The second video is of Pakuranga MP Maurice Williamson responding to the concerns he has heard about the bill from some of his constituents. His use of irony and scathing humor has most of the chamber roaring with laughter, but his points are dead on. I lost it when he got into physics and the nature of burning in hell, and had to go back to hear the parts I’d missed while cracking up.

I want to be a Kiwi. You guys have the best Parliament.

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About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
This entry was posted in politics, video. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Good news

  1. Lisa Shaw says:

    I appreciate your finding the silver lining in recent events. I wanna be a Kiwi too! 😉

  2. Carys says:

    You’re right. That was awesome. Thank you!

  3. M. says:

    Thank you for the news. Indeed watching them sing makes the screen blurry 🙂

  4. xenatuba says:

    And here I thought there was a problem with my laptop making the images blurry… What great news!!

  5. Linda Briganti says:

    Except for your post I don’t think I would have heard about this welcome news. And, what a beautiful song!

  6. Alma says:

    Aww, this is beautiful! Good on ya, Kiwis!
    What really cracked me up, though, was “this is from Deuteronomy – I thought Deuteronomy was a cat out of Cats, but never mind –” because, hey! So did I!

  7. Robyn says:

    New Zealand – a beautiful, progressive country – they were also the first country to give women the vote.

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