How is the campaign going for those opposition parties intent on changing the government (that is Labour, Greens, and Internet-Mana)? On the whole quite well, but Labour has to be more direct in spelling out of its policy.
The Greens are quietly trundling along, likely to be major beneficiaries of the Team Sleaze revelations. Internet-Mana is a hoot, and good for at least 3%. David Cunliffe has handled Team Sleaze adroitly, drawing the sleaze threads together from time-to-time but without tying himself in knots. A good approach: mainly letting Team Sleaze have its tainting effects on John Key’s image and National Party’s credibility; allowing events to take their course, not giving the appearance that Labour is depending on it for gains, and thereby gaining even more.
But where Labour is dipping out is being too roundabout in its spelling out of policy. There’s a lack of vigour and flexibility there – if it has something to offer… spit it out!
If Labour is going to increase pay packets as it says in its ad, spit it out, don’t ask viewers to make the leap, don’t talk abstractly, say – with the raising of the minimum wage, low paid earners will get $4,000 dollars extra a year, and so on; don’t say parents will have more time with their families, spit out the extra maternity hours to be available; don’t say improve education, say, 2000 more teachers, and 200 advisers to help them be even better teachers; don’t say make houses more affordable, say, house buying will be restricted to New Zealanders, the capital gains tax will stop speculation, and whatever number of affordable houses will be built; don’t say improve the economy, say, manufacturing will be increased with special tax incentives, research investment doubled, a high level digital policy pursued, and a banning of land purchases by non-New Zealanders; don’t say protect the environment, say clean up the rivers.
Come on David…. spit it out!
The Labour ad was OK but didn’t spit it out!
As well, want a cheap extra couple of percentage points? After six years, it is an election staple for opposition parties to say – It’s time for a change. Those extra points are there for the taking, and with Team Sleaze now very much an issue, the timing for it would be perfect.
And another couple percentage points (related indirectly to above): having an ad with David Cunliffe face on to the camera promising honest, ethical government, policies without hidden agendas, numbers you can trust, and open government allowing people to speak out without fear (this needs to be done with a light touch, airily).
Oh, and by the way, speak out for the arts – getting the arts people on side can be most useful – by definition they are articulate and persuasive.
Oh, and another by the way – the education policies are not between teacher quality and more teachers but an unproved way to improve the same number of teachers and a proved way to improve significantly more teachers.
Then there is National’s ad, quite effective in its imagery, but why wasn’t someone smart enough to change viewer perception so that different imagery leapt out at the viewer? It should have been pointed out that, that was not the National Party out in front with Opposition parties in disarray, but National’s wealthy friends, all white, mainly men, in a racing boat, with no opposition in sight – those behind, the poor, provided with a boat that had no chance of competing.