On the campaign trail in Dunedin North with Victor Billot

Alliance Party blog

Posts Tagged ‘results

How the dice fall

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Well, it has been a big few months. Last night’s result was a mixed one. It’s great news if you are a millionaire living in a gated community but bad news if you are a worker, student, or beneficiary.

An economic recession is on us, caused by the irresponsible actions of an unregulated global finance system, and we have elected one of these speculator parasites as our leader. Curious but true.

The result was no big surprise of course. Here’s my take on the parties:

National

Obviously a big deal in the middle class suburbs of Auckland but no one seemed to be celebrating in Dunedin. Key is as shallow as a bird bath and is a bad choice for Prime Minister. His background is based around self-interest and personal wealth accumulation, positive traits for a currency trader but not for a leader of a nation. They have benefited from a swing to the right, which brings us to  . . . 

Labour

The big surprise is Clark and Cullen packing it in. They neglected their core support, a party of the left has to rely on a sense of class identity amongst workers, and Labour were busy trying to dissolve this over the last nine years and appeal to middle class liberals.
The next stage will be blood letting as the careerists trample on each other to reposition themselves in a new Goff-led Liberal (Labour) Party.

Greens

A reasonable showing but their commitment to across the board income tax cuts and “resource taxes” indicate an essentially right wing approach to economics.
Jeanette and Russell always seemed to be saying we are not left or right, when I hear this I recall the old union saying “no politics is bosses politics.” 
The Greens have their place as an environmentalist niche party. However they cannot fill the need for a principled, democratic socialist party in New Zealand politics. 

New Zealand First, Jim Anderton Supporters Club, Peter Dunne, Douglas

Winston’s demise indicates the beginning of the end for his generation. Anderton and Dunne now look like men out of time, in the wrong century, and the return of Douglas is a freakish aberration that will harm ACT.
Minor parties based on personality cults have been the great weakness of MMP, but that is a poor reflection of our politics rather than our electoral system. In three years time, will any of these actors still be on the stage?

Maori Party

Politically all over the place, the Maori Party have entered a dangerous time as they position themselves to cut deals with the Nationalists. Could get ugly.

Where to from here?

The National Government in coalition with ACT will be forced to make a call on whether they reduce the tax cuts or honour their promise not to attack core social services. Of course as the recession starts to bite, they will return to form as the “bosses party” and protect the interests of the wealthy and powerful by simply reneging on their commitments as they did in the 1990s.

Those who suffer will be the most vulnerable – the young, the old, the working class in casual jobs, the ill, the poor.

The big question is whether this will result in a response of dazed acceptance and surrender, or whether the left can provide the leadership to focus and generate an alternative to the politics of greed and fear.

I believe we can and I look forward to being part of that movement.

More thoughts to follow!

Written by Victor

November 9, 2008 at 2:07 am

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