It's an election year in Centre Wellington.
The polls don't open until October (and even then I think we vote by mail-in ballot) but already it seems that the campaign is in full swing. The signs are going up, the letters to the editor in the Wellington Advertiser are getting filled with rhetoric and Conservatives, Liberals, New Democrats, Greens, Christians, NIMBY's, special interst groups, lobbyists, bureaucrats, wanabes, hot-heads, lunatics, businesspeople, and councillors are gearing up for what promises to be a long and ugly campaign.
I have a sinking feeling that this election will bring out the "ugly" in a lot of people. We've got some polarising issues this time around, and as much as I'm saddened to say it, theatre may be one of them. I've been deeply hurt by some of what the misinformation already, and if it becomes one of the issues that catches fire in the campaign much of the work I and many others have been doing for the past ten years will go up in smoke.
That being said I want to make something crystal clear: Grinder Productions will NOT be taking a political stand in this election. We won't be using this blog as a prosyletising forum to endorse one particular candidate or deride another. I will delete any partisan comments, and I will not tolerate anyone politic-ing at our shows.
This is a key part of our company's ethics policy - we do not directly or indirectly support any political party, candidate or ideology.
I'm not looking forward to this election. Our last municipal election in 2006 was very nearly a blood sport, and there wasn't nearly as much vitriol flying around at this point in the campaign as there is now. Yes, I will study the issues and the candidate's stands on them very carefully, and yes, I will vote.
But if I have to spend the next four years convincing people all over again, one at a time, that my career and my way of life is not an expensive indulgence but rather one of the under-appreciated drivers of Centre Wellington's economy then we may have to re-think the non-politics of Grinder Productions.