The tactics behind Shearer's speech: Building the progressive majority
Political blogger: 'Labour driving me away'
Labour stalwart Brian Edwards says the party's move to the political centre, which was further hinted at in new leader David Shearer's speech last week, is driving him away from the party and into the arms of the Greens.
In my opinion, the tactics behind Shearer's move to the centre represents the first strategic understanding of the mechanics of MMP Labour have ever exhibited and Brian Edward's response is the exact sort of thing Labour tacticians would hope for.
The upper middle class audience Shearer pitched to were as important as the faint dog whistles Pagani built into his speech. Shearer has a long way to move core Labour to the centre and his upcoming speeches trying to re-oriantate Labour's perception to being National lite will require much louder dog whistles.
Labour will aim at an Orewa speech in Ponsonby, and by publicly denying any belief in 'gotcha' politics, Shearer side steps the predictable outcry of him playing 'gotcha' politics these up coming speeches will generate.
The challenge for the left as Labour concedes to a smaller party strategy by moving to the center, is how the other two party's on the left respond. MANA and the Greens now have real movement to expand their voter base, and the challenge for them is to chase that left vote effectively.
The left have to wise up to MMP and start building the progressive majority of Labour, the Greens and MANA. The brutal math of Parliament was the reason I first argued for the formation of a political party to the left of the Greens using Hone's electorate seat, and the left is going to have to accept Labour's move to the center as a means of winning that brutal math equation.
The Greens have to have respect from Labour post any 2014 election with real gains in Cabinet and MANA should be given more freedom to move in the Maori electorates against the Maori Party.
David Shearer can go as far to the center as he likes, as long as he has strong allies like the Greens and MANA to drag him all the way back to the left once elected to create NZ's first truly left wing Government.