Radio interview with Philip Ferguson on not voting in the 2017 general election

FreeFM Hamilton’s community radio station interview with Philip Ferguson

Interview starts at 18.39 min

19.20  Discussing the lesser evil position on Labour vs National. Someone who was generally critical of Labour had said they would vote Labour as it was for light rail in Christchurch. On that basis beneficiaries should vote National as they raised benefits where Labour didn’t; pensioners should vote NZFirst because they are the most pensioner-friendly party!

21.50 National is a lot less xenophobic than Labour. Intern scandal – a fraudulent vote for change ‘non-partisan’ campaign really a front for Labour.

25.00 There’s lots of pressure on people to vote as if not voting makes one responsible for something bad happening. Were people who voted Labour in 1984 responsible for that government? Why give your vote for something you don’t agree with or don’t trust?

27.00 Not voting is actually making a statement. A lot of people not voting says something quite powerful. “They are all basically the same, how do we choose”.

  1. 00 Murray Horton in the early 1990s said National are the front stabbers and Labour are the back stabbers. That is the key difference between them

30.00 The trouble with the other parties is they are appendages to National and Labour.

31.00 Donations to Labour, small donors vs corporate donors.

32.00 The transformation of political parties in the 1980s and state funding. The parties are mainly funded by the state.  Why parties don’t require mass membership and activists. The domination of parliament by middle class professionals. The working class on a political level doesn’t have a  voice any more.

34.00 In NZ we need a new movement for workers by workers. The working class needs to find its own voice.

35.00 Jeremy Corbyn and the British experience. A thirst for politics and change in Britain.

37.45 The successful struggle in the south of Ireland over water tax. Labour’s demise in the southern parliament following their imposing austerity.

41.00 A step forward if unions broke links with Labour.

44.00 The base of the Labour Party is urban, liberal, middle class and not representative of the working class. Organising in local communities and looking at alternatives to the system rather than be mesmerised by parliament.

47.00 Do something pleasant on election day!


See further reading:

by Philip Ferguson Over the past few weeks a position has crystallised at Redline in terms of not voting in the 2014 election and advocating that others make a positive decision not to vote. This position is shared by a layer of comrades in AWSM (Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement) and a layer of independent left […]

Not Voting is a Political Act

Posted: September 9, 2014

  A Redline supporter and occasional contributor, Andy Warren, has set up a Facebook page called Not Voting is a Political Act. You can check it out at: Join in the discussion there, and here. And, if you’re down south, don’t forget the meeting: Saturday evening, September 13, 7pm Dunedin Community House, 283 Moray […]

by Don Franks A popular bumper sticker argues, “If you skip voting it’s not rebellion – it’s surrender”. I don’t think it’s either of those things. This election I won’t be voting, because, after considering all the options, none of them do it for me. Although this time round I did consider the possibility of […]




  1. I was actually probably a bit soft on the early LP right at the end of the interview. Read the pamphlet Daphna Whitmore and I wrote for a sharper critique of the early LP. Or check out Labour’s Racist Roots, also on Redline.

  2. Hi Phil,

    Finally got a chance to listen to this. Excellent interview. You did a great job of explaining the real social basis of the Labour Party and the need for and power of mass working class organizing. Plus the bankruptcy of lesser evilism. Nice job of raising the real significance of the Corbyn phenomenon along with some basic criticism of his politics without sidetracking the discussion.

    But the host never heard Bob Dylan doing Maggies’ Farm but knows the Rage Against the Machine version? I guess we all have our own range of experience.


    Phil Passen Some Come to Tarry, 2016 Tramp, Tramp, Tramp: Music of the Civil War, 2011 Cold Frosty Morning, 2008 Swinging on a Gate, 2001

    Sent from my iPad


Comments are closed.