The ant and the grasshopper have been around for a while. But now, Grasshopper is eligible to vote …
The ANT and the GRASSHOPPER
Traditional Version:Ant works hard all summer long in the withering heat and rain, building his house and laying in supplies for the winter. Grasshopper thinks Ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
Come winter, Ant is warm and well fed.
Grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.
MORAL OF THE OLD STORY:
Work hard, think ahead, and be responsible for yourself!
The 2014 NZ Election Version:
Ant works hard all summer long in the withering heat and rain, building his house and laying in supplies for the winter. Grasshopper thinks Ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
Come winter, shivering Grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why Ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.
TV1, 2 & 3 News, and Campbell Live show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of Ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food,
The country is stunned by the sharp contrast. Simon Collins looks for other grasshoppers and writes a dreary series of Herald articles on the explosion of grasshopper poverty, Major Campbell Roberts is quoted on the increase in food parcels going to grasshoppers, and Hone Harawira declares it appalling that young grasshoppers are going to school without breakfast.
How can this be, they ask, that in a country of such wealth, poor grasshoppers are allowed to suffer so?
Sue Bradford appears on Campbell Live with Grasshopper and everybody cries. The Green Party stages a demonstration in front of Ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, 'We shall overcome.'
Green Party Leader Metiria Turei condemns Ant and blames John Key, Rob Muldoon, Jamie Whyte, capitalism, global warming and the ant class for the grasshopper's plight. And John Minto shows up with a rent-a-crowd chanting that Ant has got rich off the back of Grasshopper, and calling for an immediate tax hike on all ants to make them pay their fair share.
Finally, in pursuit of votes, John Key drafts and passes under urgency the Economic Equity & Grasshopper Preference Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer, and takes Grasshopper north on a trip to Waitangi.
After a hearing in which Grasshopper reads his Statement of Exploitation to a packed and emotional courtroom, Ant is fined for failing to consider how his hard work and preparation has affected Grasshopper’s mana and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated under the Government Land Reappropriation Act and given to Grasshopper.
The story ends as we see Grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of Ant's food while the government-confiscated house he is in (which, as you recall, just happens to be Ant’s old house) crumbles around them because Grasshopper doesn't maintain it.
Ant has now disappeared to Australia, never to be seen again.
Grasshopper is found dead in a drugs-related incident.
The mother’s of grasshopper’s children sue the builder of Ant’s house for its deterioration.
And the house itself, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of Homeboy spiders who terrorise the once prosperous and peaceful neighbourhood while lodging grant applications to NZ on Air for their gangster rap posse.
MORAL OF THE ELECTION 2014 STORY:
Be careful what you vote for.