Is it a case of ‘the less said, the better’ for Labour? The next election is a long way out but the trends are all looking promising for David Shearer to become the next prime minister. Apart from the class size controversy, which Shearer and Labour can take credit for seizing on early and exploiting efficiently, the Greens and National have probably had more impact on Labour’s poll ratings. While Shearer has promised to eventually reveal his grand vision, the temptation now must be to revert to that tried and tested formula of being as bland and uncommitted as possible. This is the way most elections that change governments are won – as epitomised by National’s 2008 victory when it posed as ‘Labour-lite’. Playing safe will have it’s own consequences though. Voters may well wonder exactly what sort of government Shearer is likely to lead. Certainly leftwing bloggers Danyl Mclauchlan (The vision vacuum) and Robert Winter (Polls turning; now, where's Labour's vision?) think Shearer still needs to present a coherent programme to inspire voters. Just getting Labour supporters to even turn out on election day is becoming a challenge – see the No Right Turn blogpost, Choice and turnout. [Read more below]
Clearly, as the Chris Trotter vs Josie Pagani spat shows, there is still much debate to be had at a fundamental level between those: 1) on the left and right of the party, 2) those dissatisfied and satisfied with David Shearer’s leadership, and 3) focusing on substance versus style. David Cunliffe is trying to fill the vacuum by invoking the heroic deeds of past Keynsian policies see The Standard’s Cunliffe attacks Nats’ crony capitalism. Yet while Cunliffe glowingly describes the impressive list of infrastructure built in spite of (and specifically to cure) the great depression, apart from some more R&D funding there are no commitments to anything approaching that scale and vision from ‘modern’ Labour.
Labour’s cautious and bland approach will play into the Greens’ hands, allowing them to range far and wide and continue to project themselves as the fresh thinkers with integrity and bold ideas. So, for example, Clayton Cosgrove siding with National’s Tim Groser to defend the Trans Pacific Partnership is the type of gift to the Greens that Labour can’t afford to make too often – see: 'Sell out' accusations follow leaked paper. Almost every country that has completed a trade deal with the US has counted their fingers after shaking on the deal and come up with less than five.
An attempt to coast to victory also puts your fate in other’s hands – in this case it means relying on National’s fumbling appendages to keep dropping the ball. Such a strategy might seem a reasonably safe bet in 2012, but another earthquake, a boatload of refugees, horrific crime or a Waitangi claim legal victory could easily be exploited to paint Labour as ‘soft on [insert Paula Bennett’s latest target here]’. Indeed, if the poll trends continue Labour should count on it.
The biggest threat to Shearer’s Premier House dreams may be Winston Peters, whose party is holding their annual conference in Palmerston North this weekend – see: Peters wants more party members. With no deputy leader, or even parliamentary whip, the issue of leadership succession for NZ First is obviously far from being settled and clearly shows that Peters is looking for another run in government so that he can go out in style. Playing third fiddle to a Labour/Greens dominated government will be very unappealing compared to what a desperate National party might be willing to offer in 2014.
Card carrying National Party member Cameron Slater is looking to that party’s future as well in a very practical way – see: Which National caucus members will still be in parliament in 2022 and What will the national party look like in 2022?. Slater is also giving free online advice to prospective National candidates about how to get selected even if the party HQ is against you. Also, Nick Smith looks likely to be recalled to broaden National’s appeal to voters of a blue-green tinge says Chris Keall in Key will recall Nick Smith in bid for blue-green vote – pundit. And on the topic of John Key’s eventual replacement, The Standard puts forward some useful analysis: The Nats’ succession problem.
Other important or interesting political items today include:
- Judith Collins is still in Andrew Little’s sights over her involvement in ACC’s police complaint – see: Little demands ACC answers and Patrick Gower reports that the ACC minister’s recall is less than perfect – see: Collins' memory back over ACC police calls.
- Dire warnings about political fallout are being given by opposition parties – see: Adam Bennett’s Assets sales 'going ahead' despite storm clouds.
- With the demise of TVNZ7, Russell Brown is celebrating that Media7 will soon be Media3.
- There is almost a political consensus now that there will eventually need to be major changes to National Superannuation. But, based on the latest analysis from the University of Auckland's Retirement Policy and Research Centre, the No Right Turn blog asks: What superannuation crisis?.
- While there’s been a lot of self-congratulations going on during the celebrations of 25 years of New Zealand being nuclear-free, Gordon Campbell raises some inconvenient truths about New Zealand’s real role in the global nuclear non-proliferation struggle – see his Wellingtonian column, Playing politics on the nuclear issue.
Unfortunately I don't have time today to add in the links to the items online.
Danyl Mclauchlan (The Dim Post): The vision vacuum
Chris Keall (NBR): Key will recall Nick Smith in bid for blue-green vote – pundit
No Right Turn: Choice and turnout
Cameron Slater (Whaleoil): National selection FAQ, ctd
Cameron Slater (Whaleoil): National selection FAQ, ctd
Cameron Slater (Whaleoil): Which National caucus members will still be in parliament in 2022
Cameron Slater (Whaleoil): What will the national party look like in 2022?
Cameron Slater (Whaleoil): National selection FAQ
James Henderson (Standard): Cunliffe attacks Nats’ crony capitalism
Chris Trotter (Bowalley Road): Despising The Working Class: A Reply To Josie Pagani
Josie Pagani (Progress Report): Chris Trotter doesn’t like modern social democracy
Jordan Carter (Just Left): Spats in Cyberspace: Pagani, Trotter & Labour
Chris Trotter: In Praise of Heresy
Rob Hosking (Idealog): Steven Joyce: NZ’s Mr Fix-it?
Andrea Vance (Stuff): Little demands ACC answers
Patrick Gower (TV3): Collins' memory back over ACC police calls
Press: Editorial: ACC's culture change
Kate Shuttleworth (Herald): ACC board backs outgoing chief executive
TV3: ACC: The buck stops where
TV3: Judith Collins speaks about ACC
Patrick Gower (TV3): ACC boss says goodbye not sorry
RNZ: PM standing by ACC Minister
TVNZ: Collins must 'refocus' ACC - lobby group
Dom Post: Editorial: ACC accountability starts at top
ODT: A series of 'accidents'?
Waikato Times: Where to now for ACC?
Peter Wilson (Newswire): Collins vows to fix ACC's reputation
Kate Shuttleworth (Herald): ACC Minister did not tell chief to quit
Adam Bennett and Newstalk ZB: Labour: Stop filthy fleecing of ACC claimants
Andrea Vance (Stuff): ACC turmoil focus shifts to Collins
Jane Clifton (Stuff): The Little dog that lost its bark
No Right Turn: A bloodbath
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Silliness from Little
Jim Hopkins (Herald): Why we need managers to manage
Vernon Small (Dom Post): Accelerating ACC crisis demands attention
Greg Presland (Waitakere News): ACC in turmoil - Judge and two directors to go
Adam Bennett (Herald): Assets sales 'going ahead' despite storm clouds
Duncan Garner (TV3): Protests and deal sweeteners over asset sales
TVNZ: First SOE sale in 16 weeks, if 'markets permit' – Ryall
Katie Bradford-Crozier (Newstalk ZB): National could end up in 'political wilderness'
RadioLive: Dunne's asset sale silence criticised
The Standard: How much will you pay for a assets ‘loyalty scheme’?
TVNZ: Opposition pledge to delay asset-sale process
Danya Levy (Stuff): Asset sales legislation clears another hurdle
RNZ: Asset sales bill passes second reading
Peter Wilson (Newswire): Govt ponders asset sale loyalty scheme
No Right Turn: No privatisation without a public vote
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Purchased momentum
David Farrar (Herald): The double-edged audit sword
Adam Bennett (Herald): Govt eyes caution in future SkyCity deal talks
Herald: Editorial: Probe should clear air on SkyCity deal
David Fisher and Adam Bennett (Herald): Centre talks press on despite probe
John Armstrong (Herald): Stakes higher with PM's reputation on the line
John Hartevelt (Stuff): Inquiry no obstacle to Sky City deal
Isaac Davison (Herald): Other bidders not worried
Tova O’Brien (TV3): Serious questions over Sky City deal
Peter Wilson and Laura McQuillan: (Newswire): Legal woes could cloud Sky City deal
TVNZ: SkyCity shares edge down after proposal probe announcement
RNZ: SkyCity shares may come under further pressure
RNZ: SkyCity Entertainment shares fall nearly 3.5%
TVNZ: Key welcomes SkyCity deal probe
Adam Bennett (Herald): Convention centre probe: Govt accused of arrogance
Katie Bradford-Crozier (Newstalk ZB): Govt not taking inquiry process seriously – Greens
RNZ: Govt denies being arrogance over Sky City deal
Stuff: iPredict crashes after SkyCity probe, ACC
Jason Krupp (Stuff): 'Sell out' accusations follow leaked paper
Herald: TPP: Australia odd man out over disputes
RNZ: Groser mis-leading public over TPP – Greens
Allied Press: Greens accuse Groser of misleading public over TPP
Peter Wilson (TV3): TPP worries textile workers
TV3: Fears TPP could derail alcohol reform
Jason Krupp (Stuff): CTU seeks answers over trade agreement
Audrey Young (Herald): Leaked draft of trade deal exposes risks – professor
Newswire: Groser rejects TPP concerns
Anna Cross (Newstalk ZB): Leaked TPP draft reveals concerns
Robert Winter (Idle Thoughts): Fish hooks in the TPP: Beware of ministers with forked tongues
David Kennedy (Local Bodies): TPP Fears Realized in Leak
Ele Ludemann (Homepaddock): US dairy offer not up to scratch – Groser
Andrea Bower (Scoop): Food, Farmers and the TPP
No Right Turn: National lies to us over the TPPA
Business Desk: Fur flies in NZ over secret trade negotiations
Toby Manhire (Listener): “100% Pure? 100% selling out more like it”
Claire Browning (Dom Post): Conservation is NZ's greatest hope
David Caygill (Press): Managing water use for everyone
Pattrick Smellie (Stuff): Fish-hooks in EEZ governance
Stephen Franks: Maimai reflections – RMA reform remote
Isaac Davison (Herald): Pokie bill would bring community sport to knees: coalition
Denise Roche (Frogblog): Time to clean up the gambling industry
Sandra Kirby (Dom Post): Good works rely on pokie funds
John Minto (Dom Post): Our strugglers benefit most from smaller class sizes
Herald: Editorial: Key's clumsy backdown an insult to us all
Chris Trotter (Press): Treasury's latest victim
Denis Welch (Opposable thumb): Lost in transmission
Mark Blackham (Political Business): Anatomy of the class size crisis
Kate Shuttleworth (Herald): Fees for charter school working group released
Toby Manhire (Listener): NZ minister of education struggles with maths
No Right Turn: What superannuation crisis?
Taranaki Daily News: Editorial - Pressure mounting on retirement age
Don Brash (Herald): Don Brash: Super scheme cannot continue in present form
RNZ: NZers able to draw on KiwiSaver accounts from July
Jacinda Ardern (RadioLive): Saving Superannuation must be enacted now
Brian Fallow (Herald): English not shifting on pension age of 65
John Drinnan (Herald): One's news gurus on block
Russell Brown (Hard News): Media7 will soon be Media3
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): As I have been saying for months
Stuff: Media 7 finds a new home on TV3
Idealog: Media7 thrown a lifeline by MediaWorks
Claire Trevett (Herald): Waiting for that Marmite moment
Toby Manhire (Listener): John Key’s worst week as PM
Newswire: Peters wants more party members
Vaughan Milner (Press): Housing people should take priority
Press: Editorial: Sutton stands tall
Northern Advocate: Iwi leader: resignation a tragedy
Tahu Potiki (Press): Tame Iti's defiance ingrained in Tuhoe history
Andrea Fox (Stuff): Landcorp 'indifferent' to Crafar ownership
Matt Stewart (Stuff): Cost of the big one: $20b
John Gibb (ODT): Forum addresses updating the law
Andrea Fox (Stuff): Rural populations forecast to shrink
RNZ: Christchurch rebuild could unearth taonga
Claire Trevett (Herald): Plan to avert annual outcry over MPs' pay
Kate Shuttleworth (Herald): Bennett preaches 'tough love' to youth on benefit
Bernard Hickey (Interest): Wonders how New Zealand will break its investment drought
Vernon Small (Stuff): Surplus date pushed out
Paul Casserly (Herald): The court of public opinion
Stuff: Today in politics: Friday, June 15
Stuff: Today in politics: Thursday, June 14
Danya Levy (Stuff): Key wants US Coast Guard visit
Audrey Young (Herald): Marines' visit cements ties with US
Peter Creswell (Not PC): Cunliffe fails history again
Bernard Hickey (Interest): Nine questions
Robert Winter (Idle thoughts): The Knives out for Joyce
Danya Levy (Stuff): Housing NZ call centre failures horrify expert
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Jail and kill your political opponents
Claire Trevett (Herald): Govt revamp job schemes for young people
Newswire: Key hails US Marines' WW2 NZ contribution
Cameron Slater (Whaleoil): Roy Morgan poll
RNZ: Tribal group soon to have 1st right on Crown property deals
The Standard: The Nats’ succession problem
Olivia Carville (Press): Village camps to house rebuild labour
Daniel Adams (Stuff): Super mayors' election worries
Dom Post Editorial: Paying the price for domestic disputes
Chris Barton (Herald): Beyond charity: The business of philanthropy
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Labour on road charges
Eric Crampton (Interest): Christchurch City Council is making it illegal to help getting more housing available quickly
Carla Penman (Wellingtonian): Back Benches show goes on despite fire
Newswire: Local governments have 'low level' of debt
Danya Levy (Stuff): Housing NZ cuts call centre waiting times
Peter Creswell (Not PC): No power? How about no Greens.
Eric Crampton (Offsetting behaviour): Deterrent?
Hana Garrett-Walker (APNZ): NZ's major cities becoming more expensive - global survey
Timaru Herald Editorial: Lean option best option
Morgan Godfery (Maui St): Revisiting the GC
Paul Little (Herald): Aussies in glass houses are throwing stones
Don Franks (Redline): Where to now for Judy McGregor’s rest home workmates?
Corin Dann (TVNZ): National's winter of discontent?
No Right Turn: Inconsistent
Holly Walker (Frogblog): Attorney-General report on Lobbying Disclosure Bill
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Bill of Rights report on the Lobbying Disclosure Bill
Parliament: The Making of Quality Legislation seminar
Toby Manhire (Listener): The night Rob Muldoon called a snap election
Mark Blackham (Political business): Politicians and their rental castles
Queen of thorns: Ready your bingo cards: antichoice opinion in the Southland Times
No Right Turn: Another crony appointment
Toby Manhire (Listener): In the new Listener, on sale June 16, 2012
Joanna Norris (Dom Post): The crisis facing journalism and what we're doing about it
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