Nats hold poll lead (Campbell) – 2012Posted: November 9, 2012
22 May, 2012
Joseph Romanos, editor, The Wellingtonian
Gordon Campbell in Talking Politics (17 May) sees striking similarities between the current National government and the late Clark Labour government, which in both cases, he says, hit the second term blues. Except, he admits, the current National government is still holding its lofty status in the polls unlike Clark’s Labour government.
Campbell gives examples of how the perception of competence is what guides the Kiwi voter. Except, he finds it hard to see just what was the tipping point for the sudden third term drop in the polls of the Clark government which always had a hard-edged competence. Hind sight proves not to be quite 20-20 in this case.
Campbell then goes on with a prediction, always more difficult since predictions lack the benefit of hind sight. He says sooner or later the Key government’s easy-going manner will be seen as a mask for an inner, empty complacency without competence, and National will drop away. (Not yet, though, he observes.)
I suggest Campbell should take a look at the wider historical context which is now producing a new political landscape. It was my observation that the Clark Labour government got into trouble with the high profile and international Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Cutting CO2 emissions is one of the greatest global needs of our time. The ETS, however, always emphasized opportunities for trading much more than the need to cut CO2 emissions. The Kiwi voter could be OK with that until the horror of all shocks came along. The first calculations presented by the Labour government showed NZ would receive a large payout from the scheme illustrating what is deeply engrained in Kiwi culture, that NZ is a green country with a green lifestyle. When the corrected calculations came out next, NZ was going to owe heaps. This contradicted that cultural notion of being green. That was, as any cultural shock of that magnitude would be, an unforgivable revelation and Labour was doomed. Only an easy going know-nothing like John Key will now do.
Sincerely, Richard Keller