Play your hand! by underground

A Fairfax-Nielsen poll has found New Zealanders are becoming increasingly impatient with National’s delay releasing detailed policy, with 55 per cent of respondents asking for policy to be released now. Even National supporters are keen to find out more about the party they plan to put a tick beside on election day, with 49 per cent wanting detailed policy now, against 47 per cent who for some reason don’t mind waiting. As the Dominion Post article says, the National party has come under increasing scrutiny for not releasing detailed policy and Labour has clawed back some support in the latest Fairfax poll. According to the Dom Post,  party strategists suggest that with the election stll some months away, there are few signs the wider electorate is keen for National to play their hand. National maintains that it will  wait until the first week of the campaign before releasing detailed policy, arguing doing so earlier gives Labour an advantage.

Is National delaying engaging in detailed debate with Labour because of weaknesses within their policies? Does National fear that Labour will pull their policies apart in debates? Until they release the details of their much celebrated tax policy, how can National claim to trump Labour in this area? I, among others, eagerly await Key’s announced future releases on health, education and social welfare. What will be the cost of National’s tax cuts?

While I am not sure what advantage National releasing some policy details may have for Labour, It would definitely give the voters an advantage, in that they would actually be able to engage in informed debate. I have been amazed with the way people have flocked to National without knowing the details of their policies. Yet supporters are still keen to debate the merits of the party and what it can do for the New Zealand.

Labour can take some heart in that, because people have clearly moved towards National not because of who they are, but who they are not. Voters may possibly be unimpressed when the party finally shows its hand, and return to Labour.  Polls currently represent the voters displeasure with Labour, as they opt to support National to punish Labour, not the electorate’s support over one parties’ policies over the other. Still Labour will do well to change the perceptions there are of them and will no doubt have to roll out some impressive policy themselves and, dare I say it, bribe the electorate.


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Labour will be employing typical electioneering strategy.
1- Lay out the policies
2- Wait for the opposition’s policy dossier to come out
3- Make informed debate concerning them
4- Maybe tweak their own policies/ “re-phrase them
5- Take the gloves off and vehemently ridicule the opposition
6- Portray that the opposition are indeed devil spawn and that voting for them will indeed undermine everything that Labour have stodd for.

I have seen that Helen Clark has included some new List candidates to inject new energy into a Labour party whose leadership appears tired and uninspired. I sure hope it works, since the loss of Steve Mahoney no doubt is severe to the senior echelons of the Labour Party although I believe he will return (maybe its tactical) to lead anew the party in a few elections time (Pheonix from the ashes).

And yes the National party will make it hard on people – as shown by Key’s comments
“John Key’s announcement that the National Party will abolish Labour’s fee maxima policy and allow tertiary institutions to charge whatever they like”

Comment by JL

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