Tag: Elections – 2014

The Prime Minister on the Next Three Years

Well Make That Six

 

Last night John Campbell on Campbell Live gave a full show length interview with re-elected Prime Minister John Key.

An extract of the interview below:

John Key’s outlook, goals for the next three years

Monday 22 Sep 2014 8:38 p.m.

Just 48 hours after New Zealand’s general election, John Key sat down with John Campbell in Wellington after he was elected for another three years as Prime Minister.

“I will lead a Government that will govern for all New Zealanders” was a quote from Mr Key’s acceptance speech that stood out for many.

“I wrote the speech that was delivered on Saturday night because I wanted them to be my words and it was how I felt,” says Mr Key.

Mr Key says he believes he has made a difference over the past six years, though he knows he has his critics.

“There will be some New Zealanders who say, ‘Well, he may have made a difference, but not positively to my life.”

To them Mr Key says “[We in National] have certainly tried our best to do that”.

But he knows he must now carve his legacy.

“Helen Clarke will be remembered for the Cullen Fund or the Working For Families,” he says. “If it all ends on Saturday night, I would like to be remembered for leadership around the Christchurch earthquakes and [getting through] the global financial crisis.”

Robert Muldoon’s ambition, “to leave the country in no worse shape than I found it”, Mr Key describes as having an incredibly low ambition.

“I want to leave the country in better shape than I found it,” he says.

……

He also wants to harness some of the lessons learned from the campaign to improve the next three years, and look at what poor voter turnout says about New Zealanders.

“I think something people think that their individual vote won’t influence anything,” says Mr Key. “Nationally, if you look at the trend [of voting] it’s reducing, which is very sad.”

He sees the drop in turnout as especially bad for democracy, as it “means that people aren’t quite as engaged as they should be or they don’t believe that their political leaders can make a difference when they absolutely can”.

Mr Key was quick to brush off criticism surrounding New Zealand’s growing housing crisis, saying housing will always be a struggle in New Zealand.

“Everyone borrows too much, spends too much and has higher expectation than they can deliver for their first home.

“But you can get people in their [first home] and I actually do think that Homestart as a programme is good because it’s highly efficient,” say Mr Key. “You can literally go into Homestart, be with your partner in KiwiSaver for five years and pull out what’s going to be the better part of a $50,000 deposit.”

He believes the Government’s job is to get on top of the land release and the building sector.

Read more (and see the video): http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/campbelllive/keys-outlook-goals-for-the-next-three-years-2014092220#ixzz3E59F2e00

————–

 

What I found from the interview was a couple of things.

First was the Prime Minister’s composure in spelling out his vision while for three years it could easily go down for six years – that elusive fourth term which only National’s Holyoake did from 1960-1972 (NZ’s Golden Years). That vision looked of one that will portray the Common Good (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_good) which also encompasses Social Liberalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_liberalism). Now given Key leads a Centre Right Government that would naturally dabble more in Neo Conservatism and Neo Liberalism it will be interesting to see if he does reach over the Centre and towards the Left where Social Liberalism and the Common Good naturally sit.

Given the first third of the interview and most likely the Prime Minister’s talks with Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Bill English I do expect a Centre Right agenda to go through. HOWEVER; if Key and English are looking at that lasting legacy and want that fourth term then something tells me that the Government will sit around the Centre and reach both directions left and right and whether that will be tempered by conservatism

It will be interesting when Budget 2015 comes around to see which way the Government will swing. For the rest of the interview it descended into a confusing buggers muddle apart from the housing section which the Government is looking at more Special Housing Areas and reforms to the Resource Management Act. Both to be controversial and large changes.

 

As for the opposition? Well we don’t have one at the moment unless they can unite and get their collective acts together.

The next three if not six years got interesting indeed.

 

National’s Road to Redemption

Long, slow and painful but can be done

 

Disclaimer: I am a member of the National Party and have been since 2003.

 

And so on the back of the Prime Minister’s disastrous interview on Radio NZ this morning (Listen to the full interview with John Key on Morning Report) (also see my Muldoon quip below) which got even worse after contradicting claims some 90mins later on TVNZ one would think how National would up right itself and get going again. Oh John Key insinuating the All Blacks would look at the Wallabies Game Plan (we have the next Bledisole Match at Eden Park this weekend) if the coach left it on the table is rather off-key!

 

The situation we have in relation to the Colmar Brunton poll shows the following (which is of high note):

  1. 12% said they are more likely to vote in this years election (so we could see an increased voter turn out from the predicted 74%)
  2. 4% said the Hager revelations would be giving National a more positive outlook
  3. 9% said the Hager revelations would give National a more negative outlook

Now an increased voter turnout is more likely to hurt National and benefit the Centre Left in any means. But a net 5% negative swing against National (especially if this translates out on election day) is fatal to the Party wanting its third term. I have theorised that even a negative 2% swing against National (so minus the revelations) would be harmful especially if the Conservatives get around 4% and not into Parliament (so that 4% is a wasted vote that could have gone to National).

It is yet to be seen if the negative 2% or 5% swing will happen, or whether voter turn out gets above the predicted 74%.

 

Now then in light of the Hager revelations and the Prime Minister’s double shocker today the question is can National redeem itself in the eyes of the electorate? The answer is technically yes but some stuff will need to be done including some blood-letting.

Before I go on these are my own thoughts and opinions

Road and Train to redemption

  1. Demote Judith Collins to the back bench if National wins a third term and “retire her” at the 2017 elections. Now this is going to cause a spat and some serious bloodletting in National between the Tea Party faction and the combined Liberal and Conservative factions. However, it should be short, sharp and fast with long damage negligible to the Party in the long-term (post 2017). Once the Tea Party faction has been “retired” from the Party the Liberal and traditional Conservative factions will band together with mops, and buckets full of water and chlorine bleach. to clean up the mess. Sure it will take three years but nothing of great benefit was achieved overnight.
  2. Have the candidates, incumbent MP’s, the Young Nats and Steven Joyce continue running the lines as they are now (whether you agree with them or not). There is a reason behind this I shall explain in a moment
  3. Tell Bill English to open the cheque book and spread some pork around. Everyone loves a bit of pork and National is going to need just a little bit of the wonder stuff to lend some assistance. Now nothing too fancy with the pork and I see National have been busy with the pork spreading in the last few hours as I write this post. It is the pork I will be referring to.
    1. The Urban Cycleways announcement is a nice piece of “pork.” Not as bold as The Greens but remember National are trying to be touted as ‘Fiscal Conservatives’ here
    2. AMETI Stage II (the Bus way from Panmure Interchange (where Stage 1 is) to Pakuranga Town Centre got a $29m boost from NZTA and Auckland Transport to advance design concepts for the bus way. Now I was talking on Twitter today about AMETI Stages One and Two stalling and National needing to give it a tickle. Well National just did with Stage II
    3. Continue to play up the significance of the Southern Motorway upgrade which is well received in Southern Auckland. The BCR alone was going above 4 (think it was 6.3 from memory) so it is deemed a worthy investment on the BCR side alone. Now I know I have sent an email on the bus lanes for the Takanini Interchange but for the moment this is about National not me
    4. DO NOT fast track the City Rail Link any earlier than 2017. Council has not got itself sorted (recent blog posts picked that up) and the recent research paper commissioned by the Ministry of Transport (that I am covering in a series) also raises some issues with the Auckland Plan (which influences the CRL). From my own analysis (as a Geographer) I would review the Auckland Plan with a fine tooth comb before advancing the City Rail Link around the 2017/18 date. However, if National wants to play the Fiscal Muppetry card and bring the CRL forward to immediate then they might as well do the full works and build both the North Shore Line and Airport Line at the same time.
    5. Upgrade a rail line whether it be the North Auckland Line to Northland or the East Main Trunk Line from Port of Tauranga to Hamilton. Quick win here and will keep businesses and electorates happy
  4. Find a better Media Trainer for the PM NOW
  5. C&R need a full gut out and rebuilt if it either wants to contest Auckland Council elections properly again (most likely 2019 at this rate). The Hager revelations are too damaging on Guilty by Association charges at the minimum.
  6. Most of all stay on message

 

So the question is why the above especially in relation to bullet points two and three?

First of all bullet point two is for keeping Party Members and traditional voters from swinging. Remember we have a net 5% negative swing potential already and we don’t need traditional supporters or Party Members going for a swing because they are seriously pissed off with this entire affair (and believe me they are pissed off). So what Joyce and co are doing is soothing the traditionalists which is needed for if they bail well yeah we don’t need a repeat of Labour’s factionalisation.

Bullet point three is about the Pork. At the end of the day we all like the Pork when sprinkled our way. Now overdoing the pork will blow out of the water National’s fiscal conservative mantra that Bill English has nurtured (whether it be reality or perception). Overdoing the pork would also seem overtly cynical in vote-buying. But just a wee bit of pork there and there (the $212m regional roads package was an example of NOT HOW to do the pork)  would keep the traditional voters happy as well as the swinging voters as well. It would go some distance in negating that 5% negative swing that is threatening at the moment.

 

Now this is not a comprehensive list and most likely that I have mentioned it someone in the opposition would negate it 😛

But at the end of the day National does not need another performance like it received this morning from the PM. Performances it does need to receive were like universal reception on the Urban Cycleways policy announcement. Sure not as far as some would like but most were pretty happy that it is something (of worth).

Thoughts and comments are welcome. Trolls are not.

 

That Colmar Brunton poll

 

Campaign Strategy?

There is a reason why I don’t like the term Non Partisan

 

Mainly because when it is used in the USA it will usually refer to some Neo Conservative Think tank with strong ties one way or the other to the Republican Party.

Well it seems (after someone forgot to make a shared Google Document private rather than open for the World to see) we could have an issue with the Non Partisan term here in New Zealand as we draw close to the 20th September national elections.

I stumbled across this early this which comes from the Rock Enrol campaign team:

 

The Rock Enrol campaign is designed to get the youth vote maximised as it is stubbornly low in New Zealand.

 

I do not have issues with third parties getting out there advocating and giving people a nudge in doing their civic duties. I do it in a round about way with the blog on Auckland issues.

What I do take issue to is when the Non Partisan term is used but could be very clouded owing to where support or resources are coming from. Put it this way to be non-partisan to the point actually being Bi-Partisan (which the Americans are good at) Rock Enrol should have asked for help from (and as an example) the Employers and Manufacturers Association. At the end of the day the EMA represents business that hire youth and are no doubt keen to offer their insight as well as a low voter turn out is not that great for business (let alone Unions and so on).

As for my own political affiliations? I have had it always in the open and it is on my LinkedIn profile. Yes since 2003 I have been member of the National Party.

 

I will leave the rest to your interpretations.