Some thoughts on the election, many of which you’ll probably see elsewhere too.
- An impressive result, one which cements National as the center party. Key is not stupid, and he learned well from Helen Clark – something that cannot be said for Cunliffe.
- In hindsight, should have considered stepping back in Napier. But no real damage done, so no biggie.
- The “Dirty Politics” book was a tough time, but it was handled well and ended up helping a lot more than it hurt.
- Getting rid of Collins was the right thing to do. There was a perception beginning that nothing would see her go, actually firing her was actually quite refreshing.
- I really liked their closing statement. It was professional and didn’t pretend to be something it wasn’t.
- Cunilffe’s best move would have been to resign, and in doing so unite the party under a new leader.
- Their closing statement was a professionally produced bad joke. No one believes those were members of the public asking questions. Tip: if you really want to go down this road, chose a few more people who don’t look like they burned their bras in the 60’s.
- 4 list MPs is a disaster, as is having Mallard winning Hutt South. [huge grin]
- Labour is seriously factionalised. It’s possible that their long-standing nature may help them recover in the long term, but this isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Those factions will continue to fight each other, driving away the center.
As an aside, let’s not make the mistake that the center are people who believe in moderation between the left and the right. Really, the center are people who have no political leanings, and will simply vote on who looks like will make a better government, and can be trusted to hold power. Political boffins can find these people hard to understand, and the more political you are, the harder it is to understand these people.
- Labour have a lot of very political people in their activist base. While the leadership contest focused on what these people wanted, middle New Zealand was not impressed. If the party is to recover, they need to restructure their party so these people are kept in the background, if not driven away.
- Labour have serious issues in South Auckland. They lost the pacifica vote, and they will continue to lose more of it as long as their party pays lip service to that community. You cannot expect people to support you if you aggressively push policy which is the antithesis of what they believe. But again, that would involve pushing their activist base into the background, and it’s hard to see how anyone can do that.
- The “Dirty Politics” book hurt Labour in two ways. First, it took eyes off them, and onto the National party. Second, they were running around smugly stating “we would never do anything like that”, while the man on the street knows full well that all politcans are the same. Worse, the boffins knew full well that Labour is actually worse in that they have bloggers directly on the payroll. It seems the result was that they only fooled themselves.
- Let’s face it, Cunliffe is crap. He just can’t pull off being a serious and credible, yet likable, party leader. He may get one or two of those, but never all three. Key can, and does it as easily as breathing.
- While the party said they were running a positive campaign, they didn’t. They can’t. You can’t take a bunch of people who honestly believe their opponents are the devil incarnate and run a positive campaign. That’s not to say they didn’t try, it’s just that reasonable debate isn’t in the DNA of the far left and it shows.
- I actually clicked on a Labour party link once this past week, on a whim. I was honestly expecting something I would like, but I didn’t. They’ve been quite dishonest, particularly in their claims of costing their policies – you can’t claim that you’ve costed policies when you specifically got rid of the guy who could have done a credible job of doing it.
I’m as shocked as anyone that Labour’s lost vote didn’t translate to the Greens. However…
- I realise in hindsight, that I was giving their billboards too much credit. I didn’t see what they were trying to say, and it appears that no one else could too.
- It appears that a number of people who like their “help the poor” ethos were seriously put-off by their extreme abortion policy. Not something I would have expected, but that’s what I’m hearing.
- The Greens have to decide whether they are an environmental party, or an extreme left party. At the moment, they’re the latter and we already have Labour for that.
- They should also stop talking about a “green economy”. It’s been done, it didn’t work.
- They’re quite lucky that most New Zealanders have swallowed their line about rivers. Those sorts of big lies can really backfire badly. Stick to the truth.
- Finally, how many stories did we have uncritically showing a green leader introducing a policy? Seems that the public are not so fussed on media darlings.
- There are some principles you just shouldn’t break. The Kiwi Party should not have joined up with Field, and Mana should have avoided Kim the German criminal.
- Good riddance, one of the big positives of this election!
- If there were any justice in this world Lilia Hare would be shamed out of public life in New Zealand. However, the far left are sufficiently unprincipled that she’s unlikely to suffer any lasting harm.
- Perhaps it’d be a good time for Kim to just get on a plane and fly to the US. Go to the courts, put up your defense, and take your punishment (if any) like the man you allegedly are. By all accounts, he’s a really talented guy and I’m quite sure he would do very well in life if he decided to own up to what he’s done.
- Act needs a rebuild. They’ve started, but there is a lot of work to go. I suggests a 2:3 lose coalition with the conservatives – both could have gained had they done that this election (see my later comments however).
- Also, find someone who can produce professional videos. Seriously, what’s wrong with you?
New Zealand First
- New Zealand first continues to be a joke party. However, the joke is on us as they gained several seats.
- So many times during the campaign, Winston was on the radio making one claim or the other, and when asked for details he’d abuse the interviewer. In other words, he was telling fibs, and really obvious ones.
- It will be interesting to see how long he can keep up the pace.
- Have done well with National, but their constituency can’t shake that feeling that they should really be going with Labour. Well, I’m glad it’s not my problem!
- Conservatives did well, and built their base.
- They looked a lot better later on in their campaign.
- They had some seriously impressive people on their list.
- They were clearly getting under Cunliffe’s skin – his open abuse of them in the last debate was quite telling. (Vote positive anyone?)
- A little bird tells me that Colin’s “take no s$$t” attitude is actually helping dampen what would otherwise be the open season that usually happens when a party smells llike it might be religious conservative.
- They didn’t get in
- They grew during the campaign, but ran out of time. They really had to have a few poll results above 5% in order to not have people withdraw for fear of “wasting” their vote.
- Their policy platform left something to be desired. This needs tided up.
- The music in their closing statement was awful, and far too loud.
- Colin needs time to build a better image, with the media but also with the grassroots.
- The lawsuit with Norman, while well-founded will attract unwelcome attention whether it’s followed through or dropped.
- I’m hoping that he’ll take the next 3 years and return for the next election with a sharp, professional team, one that can be taken seriously and contribute seriously. They’re not quite there yet but the potential is certainly showing.