Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'Election 2011'

Random thoughts on why Labour did so poorly in the election

 

Josie Pagani, Labour’s candidate for Rangitiki in the last election and, incidentally, my researcher for two years on Top of the Morning, has penned an interesting opinion piece in today’s Herald  which the paper has headed “Workers lose faith in party with glum message”. Her theme is essentially that making people feel miserable about their lives is not a good way of getting them to vote for you. Helen Clark sometimes used the term ‘”shroud waving” to convey a similar message.

I think Josie has a point, though it’s difficult for an opposition Labour Party during an election to avoid talking about poverty, unemployment, kids going to school without breakfast, the minimum wage and the appalling and widening gap between rich and poor in this country.

Josie’s column led me to thinking of some other reasons why Labour did so poorly in the election. Some can be summarised in just a few words:

  • The extreme improbability of any political party in New Zealand being voted out after just one term in office;
  • The nation’s love affair with John Key, without doubt the greatest exponent of the photo opportunity and ‘skinetics’ in the history of New Zealand politics;
  • The relative lack of voter enthusiasm for Phil Goff;
  • Earthquakes, mining and shipping disasters which, in media terms, disadvantage those not in power and unable to influence events;
  • The Rugby World Cup, a convenient distraction for National shortly before the election;
  • The general euphoria that winning the Cup produced;
  • Widespread voter disengagement from politics, particularly on the Left.
  • The self-fulfilling nature of three  years of polls branding Key and National  sure-fire winners and Goff and Labour sure-fire losers.
  • Labour’s courage in advancing policies that made long-term economic sense, but were highly unattractive to voters in the short term: a capital gains tax and raising the age of eligibility for the pension.    Read the rest of this entry »

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The Post-Election Happiness Index – Find out where you belong.

 

I got to thinking who would be happy and who unhappy after yesterday’s election result. So I started to make a list. It’s not a complete list by any means, and you’re invited to nominate additional groups.

People happy after yesterday’s election result:

  • the rich
  • people earning over $150,000 per annum
  • speculators
  • profiteers
  • employers
  • farmers
  • polluters
  • mining companies
  • oil companies
  • foreign investors
  • people who want to sell state assets

 People unhappy after yesterday’s election result:

  • the poor
  • beneficiaries
  • the unemployed
  • food banks
  • wage and salary earners
  • public servants
  • families
  • household shoppers
  • teachers
  • nurses
  • state house tenants
  • kids branded ‘non-achievers’ under National Standards
  • conservationists
  • people who own state assets (that’s you)

People not entitled to have a view:

  • the one-in-three Kiwis who couldn’t be bothered getting off their arses to vote

 Please add to the lists!

 

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“I AM NOW FOREIGN OWNED” (after Colin McCahon)

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Bored with your Monaco millions? Why not buy an election?

 

On The Nation this weekend, ex-pat Owen G. Glenn magnanimously offered to pour over $100 million into youth initiatives after the election. Here are a couple of extracts from the interview:

Q: Are you giving any money this election to any political party, or just advice?

A: Well, I’m giving everybody advice, aren’t I? I’m coming back in October and I’m going to hold a press conference. And I’m going to announce some pretty major initiatives.

Q: Is that money going to be spent here?

A: In New Zealand.

Q: For?

A: Mainly for New Zealand youth. I’m going to put my money where my mouth is. Then I’ll be happy to answer any questions you want to ask me. [laughs]

Q: Well, let’s explore it. And I’m not going to ask you to shoot your bolt right here and now…

A: It’s  not ready…

Q: So we’re talking about hundreds of millions invested in New Zealand youth?

A: Let’s say at least a hundred.  …..

Q: Does it matter who wins the election as to whether or not you proceed with the plan?

A: I think very much so.

Q: So you would think about not doing this initiative…

A: Well look, let’s put it in perspective. I think National has a better shot at it, particularly if ACT is part of it. Because, if I say ACT goes a little bit hard on the Right, if there is temper [?] there, they’re not bad people, actually very good people.

Q: OK. Can I ask you then: you’re prepared to invest hundreds of millions in New Zealand education, for young people…

A: I said at least a hundred million…

Q: … if National and ACT win the next election?

A: That’s correct.

When we’re strapped for cash, performing dentistry on a gift horse could be regarded as bad form. Never mind that  $100 million is a drop in the bucket compared with Government’s spending – it’s a very large drop in a very small bucket.

The problem is that the generous Mr Glenn has probably committed an offence under the Electoral Act 1993 by tagging on the proviso that he will give the money only if National/ACT win the election in November: Read the rest of this entry »

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