Friday, June 13, 2014

Countdown to Election 2014 – What is real?

NZ Herald made some assessments of the political parties in the landscape in the lead up to the election this year. Hilariously ACT gets higher points than Internet-Mana Party. I realize that people have very strong feelings about the Internet-Mana deal and I’m not going to re-litigate those positions but I struggle to see how ACT deservers a 6 out of 10. Herald states their “flat tax” policy as if it could be real thing. It’s couldn’t be. Flat tax is not a real economic policy. Anyone who entertains such ridiculous notions needs to go back to school and learn how economics actually operates in real life. No, they need to go back and learn basic arithmetic. 

National is apparently riding high on polling over 50% and the left is fragmented. This is also not real. National has just as much of a “stitch up” government as would a center left one. Both of its support party Ministers have had to resign at various times with Banks having to resign from Parliament all together because of a criminal conviction! While I realize that there are no contentious bills that National is technically relying on, that doesn’t mean that it didn’t technically rely on Banks’ vote all this time. A person with a criminal conviction surely lacks integrity deserving of serving as a representation in the Parliament. Surely that is real. 

Apparently the National-Conservative deal is not real. However, remember, John Key waited pretty late in the game to have his little tea party with Banks during the 2011 election. I wouldn’t be ruling anything out – Joyce must be furiously doing the numbers and Fairfax's Hamish Rutherford paints a scenario of how that would work. I honestly don’t see the appeal of Colin Craig though, even trying to look at it from a conservative point of view – I don’t see what he has to offer. Family values? His views are so incredibly outdated and archaic that even those who agree with him must see which way the tide is turning. I just can't believe that he is real. 

The Greens score a very high score in the eyes of the Herald. No doubt they relish pitting them against Labour knowing that in a Labour-Greens coalition, Labour will have far more governing power. However, to give credit where credit is due, the Greens have not made any knee-jerk comments on immigration and their willingness to tackle climate change with a tax policy makes them a party of integrity because climate change is real. A real threat. 

Labour have so far made some fairly strong policy announcements but they are also competing heavily with Greens and other smaller parties for "attention". And apart from Greens, the attention isn't necessarily policy focused. Where National can get away with a few well positioned photos of John Key, Labour needs much more than "good policy ideas" in a media landscape where Parliamentarians are being convicted of electoral fraud and small parties are banding together to make optimum use of 'holes' in the electoral law. That is political reality. And on that note, my final thought is if a political party were to be a product and constituents the consumers, what would be Labour's brand? Those who fall broadly in the left and those who do not necessarily want to vote for National have no choice but to rely on Labour for leadership. That is real.  

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