Saturday, November 08, 2008

Labour looses

Well National/ACT and maybe the Maori party have won the election.

New Zealand is a liberal country and the Labour party had a big advantage. So Big that after one of the worst campaigns ever they still come within a few percentage points of being able to form a government.
So how did they loose?

1) the anti smacking bill
parties need to know that the electorate forgets some things in the voting booth but others it doesn't forget - this is one of the things it doesn't forget. Parents are reminded of this issue every day. Not that it matters - but I don't smack the child in my photo.

2) Strategy of attacking Key
If you have a neutron bomb this can be a good strategy - but they didn't and they should have known it. If you have nothing of substance then al this does is advertise the other leader and help the public get to know that he DOESN'T have any evil secrets. It also resulted in them puting out ads like this. What a irritating add.

This has a secondary problme if allowing national to look like it hasa vision and Labour to look like at best a protest party against National. I note that some people I know just stayed home because they could not find a party to vote for.

3) keeping Winston on side
Now Helen didn't need to sack Winston, she didn't need to do much at all except to not stitch up the privileges committee and not to go out of her way to defend him. That is unless he WAS blackmailing her.
It was going overboard on defending Winston that brought Owen glen back to NZ and actually sunk Winston's boat.

4) the electoral finance act
If you are going to design a law like this it needs to be very well designed. Instead we had hundreds of amendments and it had parts that looked like they were specifically designed to keep a labour party in power.

5) Getting strategy wrong where it mattered
Its hard for labour to throw maori seats or to suggest some people vote for winston - because there would be internal political costs but some slightly less subtle hints / dog whistles could have been put out to get winston over 5% (he only needed another .7%) and to throw another maori seat or two. Or they could have tried the opposite strategy of trying to wipe winston out. This could be via more asertations he doesn't have a show of helping labour much earlier.

6) Kees Keiser
the tape scandal was good for one release - but to drip feed it to the public lets us wise up to the fact that we are being manipulated.

7) Mike Williams
he is the president of the labour party. he is effective in many ways - but no one likes him - so you should hide him under the bed somwhere during a political campaign.

Also picking the good bits from Whoar
they also failed in selling michael cullen as the person to guide us through the upcoming economic shit-storms..
a slightly risky strategy but better than just attacking key.
and in the vein of some of my points
..that ‘bomb’ has been spoken of for months..why the fuck wasn’t it checked out..?
..clark/ their focus on key..also failed to expose the williamsons/smiths/mccullys..

What I don't think is a meaningful reason is the following
Dr Raymond Miller says
Labour lost because experience proved less appealing than the mood for change.
That just begs the question why thee was a mood for change and why the public did not choose experience over it. Simple answer is that Labour seriously annoyed a lot of people. Why they overlooked experience was because the national team doesn't strike the public as a weak team for a financial crisis.


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