Posted by BE on January 29th, 2013
In her post yesterday first-class honours graduand in Political Studies, JC, explained the rules for next week’s confidence vote on the Labour Party leadership and for the selection process which will be automatically triggered if David Shearer fails to win 60% plus one (or 22 out of 34 Caucus members) support for his leadership.
If Shearer doesn’t get those 22 votes in Caucus, it seems highly unlikely that he will survive a leadership contest a month or so later, in which Caucus, the party membership and union affiliates have a 40/40/20 say. Failure to gain the required numbers in next week’s Caucus vote would itself be corrosive of confidence and support.
On the other hand, Shearer’s chances of getting those numbers have been enhanced by his improved showing in the polls following his Labour Party Conference speech last November and his axing of David Cunliffe from Labour’s front bench. And it is the polls which will decide Shearer’s ultimate fate. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by BE on August 23rd, 2011
Is John Key such an inspirational leader that he deserves to enjoy the support of 57% of New Zealand voters? Is Phil Goff such a hopeless leader that he deserves the support of only 8% of New Zealand voters? Has the National Party’s record in office been so impressive that it deserves to enjoy the support of 56% of New Zealand voters, including one might surmise, a significant number of Labour defectors? And has the Labour opposition been so feeble that it deserves the support of only 30% of New Zealand voters?
Well, if the polls are right – and there is no great difference between one and another – then the answer to all of these questions would seem to be Yes. But are they right? The extremity of their findings – the adulation of John Key and the seeming invisibility of Phil Goff; National having twice as much support as Labour – seems curious, given the parlous state of the economy, the high level of unemployment and the near-Third-World conditions in which so many of our citizens, both adults and children, are currently living.
As a nation we seem to have closed our eyes to these realities, so dazzled are we by the luminance of the Prime Minister. The mirror image of ourselves as a people which the polls present seems to me less than flattering. Are we really a nation more impressed by style than substance? Are we really that shallow? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by BE on July 18th, 2011
People prefer winners. So, if possible, start at the top. But if that isn’t possible, follow these 15 simple guidelines:
- There is very little point in being seen with people less famous, less popular, less successful or less beautiful than yourself. Remember the Second Law of Thermodynamics: ‘Heat won’t pass from the cooler to the hotter.’
- There is very little point in being with people more famous, more popular, more successful or more beautiful than yourself and not being seen with them. Reflected glory still shines.
- A photo-opportunity is worth a thousand words.
- A thousand words is probably 900 too many.
- But a thousand photo-ops is a bloody good start.
- Travel broadens the opportunity for photo-ops.
- You can’t fool all of the people all of the time. But you can fool a majority for just long enough.
- To paraphrase Mencken, no-one ever lost an election underestimating the intelligence of the voters.
- Even if they shouldn’t, most people judge a book by its cover. Work on your cover.
- When your opponents are wrong, crow; when they are right, sneer.
- If you must have a socially responsible policy, keep it to yourself.
- Perception is everything.
- Seeming nice beats being nice.
- Always give people what they want, never what’s good for them.
- Every night, before you go to sleep, read a few chapters of Niccolo Machiavelli. Here’s a sample: ‘And if, to be sure, sometimes you need to conceal a fact with words, do it in such a way that it does not become known, or, if it does become known, that you have a ready and quick defence.’
- Alternatively, put a call through to Crosby/Textor in Sydney.
Simple, isn’t it? Why, just by reading these few basic instructions you can feel your poll ratings rising through the roof. And you thought you needed responsible, well-thought-out policies and principles. Silly you!