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Friday, April 13, 2012

Greens say no to National and the Shearer reshuffle shuffle

Two political earthquakes quietly passed with little notice today, the first is the official end to the Green Party and National Party flirting and the second is the sudden ending of Stuart Nash as David Shearer's version of Heather Simpson.

There were serious attempts by some within the National camp to explore the possible relationship with the Greens if the ACT ploy failed and Dunne lost his seat. While the mainstream media confidently claimed National over 50% with their flawed landline poll methodology, insiders knew the election would be far closer than predicted. In the end it was a one seat majority and National need to find a new coalition partner by 2014 or they are will be the no mates opposition.

The problems for National 2014 will be the same they faced in 2011, except steeper. Dunne and Bank's ability to hold onto their seats to create the majority math will still be the main strategic issue while the Maori Party's tactic of sitting at Key's table swallowing dead rat after dead better pay some huge dividends or risk ending up being overtaken by MANA.

Collectively this spells trouble for National's attempt to find coalition partners. With more public service cut backs than ever before, the Ohariu electorate with it's highest percentage of public servants may be terribly sick of Dunne by 2014 and ACT are so toxic now it's difficult to see them returned if the tide is going out against the Government. National could cut an Epsom deal with the Conservatives in Rodney to ensure a coalition partner or they could with Key leaving allow a thawing with NZ First and cut a deal with them. It was Key who said he couldn't cut a deal with Winston, National will cut a deal with anyone if it means power.

On the other side of the political spectrum, it looks like Shearer's 'don't-do-much' faction have lost control of the agenda with the sudden ending of Stuart Nash as the new Heather Simpson. The strategy to date has been that Shearer would take Labour to the centre right to gain voters from National rather than inspire the million enrolled voters who didn't bother to vote. This strategy inadvertently allows political space for the Greens and MANA to pick up the slack and impact on the Parliamentary math, but this lack of direction on values Labourites hold dear has been met with woe by Party faithful who have also been dismayed by Shearer's lackluster media performances.

The problem is balancing Labour so as not to spook their existing members while attracting centrist voters. Labour should be trying to show that they, the Greens and MANA are the next Government so Labour can be left by association rather than trying to out left the Greens or MANA with policy likely to scare centrists. Labour have to start looking at total numbers rather than the maximum they can gain if they want to change the Government in 2014.

With the Greens ruling out working with National, David Shearer should seize the moment now and call on the Greens to meet and work out what policy they can agree on and how they can assist each other in the election rather than vote split electorate seats.

That way Labour look like they are doing more than sitting on their hands and waiting for Key to just screw it all up.



At 13/4/12 4:55 pm, Blogger CAS said...

It's going to be an absolute bitch for National to get back into government for a third term even if Banks retains the Epsom seat, running ACT as National Junior, which - let's not mince words here, Bomber - is what they are.
I doubt they'll get anywhere near the number they had in 2011 and saying they'll get 40% is probably being a bit generous to them. It won't be a 2002-level disaster, but there'll probably be a significant drop in the number of party votes they get. I wonder if they'll even manage to retain all of their electorate seats as well.
Since I doubt neither UF nor ACT will come close to the 5% threshold, this then puts focus on the Conservative Party. Honestly, I doubt they'll get a seat and I'm sure they'll fail to reach the 5% threshold as well though.

I can see the Maori Party maybe just barely surviving through 1 or 2 seats, but it they're very much likely dead in the water.

As for Labour and the left, I can see Labour taking somewhere between 35~40% and I wouldn't be particularly surprised if the Greens get somewhere around 13~15%.

Labour will probably win the next election - at the moment it looks like they'll be in government because National lost the election, rather than them winning it, if you know what I mean, but there's still a lot of days and sessions in Parliament before campaigning starts in 2014. There's a lot of room for improvement, sure, but they're doing a lot better than they were this time 4 years ago in polls and in performance. I think we'll start to hear them making a lot more noise at around June or July next year and it's probably going to determine if it'll be a Labour/Green coalition government, maybe with a touch of Winston, or a Labour government with Green and probably Winston getting cabinet positions. Either way, I'm expecting to see the Greens getting a bigger say and Labour making some concessions to them, making it a centre-left government.

At 15/4/12 10:59 am, Blogger DebsisDead said...

Nash may have gone but the bourgeois instincts of labour MPs haven't changed. In a world where increasing numbers of voters are attuned to social democrat parties and the ratchet effect (in a nutshell the ratchet effect is the tendency of pseudo left parties to retain the rightwing policies they decried in opposition once they achieve government) I just can't see the million disaffected voters suddenly 'seeing the light' and voting Labour, particularly not when the Labourites are led by such a wishy washy character as The Honourable Whatshisname.

The hard core labourites are dying out just as the hard core Nats did, yet Labour political structures haven't altered to reflect this. If the young voters who couldn't be roused to vote in '11 do get off their arses in '14, it won't be to go for more of the same.

I stand by what I have said before, the death of both Labour & national parties is inevitable. As long as people are remain convinced that ensuring social justice is tantamount to bribing voters, the new split in mainstream political philosophy will be a schism on sustainability, with a sprinkling of populist anarchy. ie "Why does guvmint need to spy on us and tax us for the privilege". Both thinking & poorer voters will support a green party or a humanist party which attempts to restrain the egregious actions of capitalism and its enablers; the forces of 'law & order'.

That will be in a dog eat dog world though. Those tendencies are counter to everything bourgeois labourites stand for. They want to feed the poor while they spy on them and restrain them from scaring middle class voters such as nurses & school teachers, both of whom are gonna get sliced and diced by jonkey corp over the next two years.
Incidentally it was among the nurses & school teachers that Labour lost so much ground in 2008 & 2011. They had looked after the members of the two 'allowed trade unions' so well during the noughties that those types forgot the hand that fed em and started moaning about 'waste & welfare' as their new higher incomes pushed them up the tax brackets.
These greedy and increasingly incompetent ingrates are gonna get split down the middle with a new 'incentivised' pay structure pulling from one side and 'efficiencies' pulling from the other. By the time the nats have finished there won't be a reinforced concrete structure (ie govt supported trade union) for them to scuttle back in to shelter from the shitstorm.
Since their union officials have become as corrupted as they, putting self interest ahead of social good, they will be easy marks trading off their members' entitlements for continued subsidised travel to consultations and the like. Then once the union is broken, jonkey will take back those remaining carrots he bought the officials off with. Of course the smartest of them will be long gone.
Teachers aren't wharfies - they'll be fucked & so will Labour.


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