How does the electorate intuitively see this PM?Posted: September 28, 2015
The Editor, The Sunday Star Times, Auckland
23 September, 2015
Andrea Vance asks whether PM John Key is a ‘genius’ or a ‘clown’ (Rock star or off-Key?, 20 Sept). She suggests that overseas conservatives in what she calls the Anglosphere see John Key as a hero because of his electoral success. But she never really gets around to giving proper credit (actually blame).
John Key has kept the longest ever running popularity in polls in New Zealand because he projects as a clown, not in spite of it. It wouldn’t have always been that way here in NZ but the world has changed fundamentally, primarily because of the challenges of climate change and nuclear weapons, and it is more difficult to deal with reality than ever. The government’s popularity is based mostly on the clear, though fearful, message that they will do nothing serious about climate change. That is a ‘sad clown’ message, the electorate hoping to find in Key a cheery countenance but in action reflecting their own quiet desperation.
published 27 Sept. in truncated form, leaving out the last two sentences (the best part).