Response to Kathryn Ryan’s discussion on negotiations (2 October)

Hello Kathryn,

Understanding negotiations to ‘form a government’ must take into account the deeper influences on the voting result or more surprizes (‘post truth’,’donald trump’) could confound you.  The failure of the traditional Kiwi response to three terms of a party, ‘throw the one lot out and bring in the other lot’, is mainly the result of National’s use of the ‘big lie’ technique.  In this case the big lie is that a fundamental shift in cultural and economic views is not required to contain the twin threats of nuclear weapons and climate change.

National was the only party to adopt the big lie technique (state it and never change) in two specific issues.  Namely the so-called hole in Labour’s budget toward the end of the campaign.  You’ve said the hole was widely (universally?) debunked.  And earlier PM English’s claim that he was satisfied after seeing a video of the Afghanistan SAS campaign in Bamyan Province.  No one would be satisfied without starting with the villagers.  English didn’t expect anyone to believe him and no one did.  The point was to show how committed National was to the big lie.

Richard Keller


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