Labour needs to spit it out – and other election pointers

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.

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7 Responses to Labour needs to spit it out – and other election pointers

  1. You have hit the nail on the head Kelvin – pity they didn’t employ you to advise on their campaign! In a recent Herald article on opinions of a number of younger people one said none of the parties had a “cogent narrative” – we need a good story, to be able to picture the scenario. Too wiffly waffly so far.

  2. Evans says:

    An apt appraisal here. We want to vote positive but no more fluffy ducks, please Labour. This goes for David Cunliffe and all the spokesperson. Chris Hipkins by way of example is an eager young beaver, and he is keeping it positive. But I am positive that there will be no change of government unless 2 things happen:
    (a) “Spit it out!” Exactly what is the agenda? Details!
    (b) Debunk the government! With “Dirty Tricks” in the open, we know the National Party’s game and they will have to pull back. Now is your chance Chris!! Tell us how you are going to lift the morale of our stressed out teaching force. Tell us how you are going to make the government agencies a showpiece rather than what they are now.

    Kelvin, more of these messages please! Word will get round

  3. Rhys Kempen says:

    Well I hope that like Kim Dotcom and Internet Mana waiting until the 15th to have Glen Greenwald issue a statement on John Key exposing his lies, Labour will wait until closer to the election to come out with a bang…

    For a long time Labour have been considered boring, a non event, and while all this ‘dirty politics’ etc is in the limelight it is a good time to remain that way…

    The attention spans of people are very short these days, I beleive one can peak to early in a poll before an election and with a bit of luck a coalition or Labour, Green, and Internet Mana might come through and topple this obviously corrupt National disaster.

    John Key and his cronies know this and is why the ‘put up or shut up’ comments were made, it would have been better for them for the damning evidence to come out back then so they would have time to come up with some retort to dismantle the doubt… 5 days before the election there will not be the time for people to forget.

    I think Internet Mana might be able to conjure up more than 3% and I support them wholeheartedly, I like the greens and have voted for them and Labour in the past. I think there might be a strategic pause on releasing ‘the good stuff’.

    Let’s hope so.

  4. Juan says:

    Cunliffe is too much the diplomat, they should have stuck with Shearer.

  5. Kym Lenihan says:

    People need to take the opportunity to get out and listen to David Cunliffe – rather than criticise him. He is a very clever clever man, a wonderful public speaker – hilarious, without being nasty, amazing head for figures and knows what’s happening where and to whom and yes he does know what he’s doing . He is constantly talking families, jobs and homes – those are his policies. A government working for the greater good of New Zealanders – valuing people. Watch this space!!!!

  6. John Carrodus says:

    I think the public have hung up the phone Kelvin. Education is ( in my opine) slipping off the public radar, helped by a Quiet Earth approach by National right now. Education has suddenly become a cause without a rebel- politically speaking. ( present company accepted of course! )

  7. Kelvin says:

    Be patient John – yes, education off the radar, people don’t know who to believe. PPTA supporting National has helped in this. The polls will swing around a bit – for National and Labour, probably about right, but the Herald poll tomorrow has bad news for Conservatives. Labour still has a chance despite people’s preferences at the moment and how they view Labour and Cunliffe. A situation very complex and full of vagaries. Labour and Greens actually closer to National in yesterday’s poll. I believe Labour has to somehow get to about 32% to draw Winston in.

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