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Viva New Zealand!

Lackluster hurricane responses and evasive Supreme Court nominee responses got you down? Why not take a break and celebrate the Kiwis this weekend.
 
 
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You might not exactly be on the edge of your seat about the New Zealand elections this weekend, but they're a good reminder of our very friendly, really nice neighbor to the far south.

In Helen Clark's two terms in office as prime minister, unemployment is at a 30-year low of 3.7 percent, and the budget has grown each year she's been in office. She also refused to send troops to the Iraq war (although she did later dispatch army engineers to help rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan), has continued the country's 20-year long anti-nuclear policy, and supports indigenous rights. Oh, they also support same-sex unions, have a fairly reasonable immigration policy, and some of the most beautiful mountain country on the planet.

Clark is in a neck-in-neck battle with a crass guy named Brash who wants to basically undo all that peace-loving goodness and light that Clark has created.

As Americans, we can't vote (despite what our President may think about us running the world), but we certainly can raise a glass to what Clark has done the last two terms and hope New Zealenders learn from our mistakes.

Rachel Neumann is Rights & Liberties Editor at AlterNet.