As New Zealand’s politicians contemplate a September election, are there lessons for them from the successes of right of centre parties in Australia, the US and UK – and their failure in Canada?
Caution is needed in drawing conclusions, given a few well-placed ballots can be the margin between radiant success and crushing failure. Reference the election of Donald Trump with fewer votes than Hilary Clinton in 2016, and last year’s defeat of Andrew Scheer’s Canadian Conservatives despite winning more votes than Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party.
But one thing to reflect on is what right of centre parties stand for – and what the median voter thinks they stand for. Continue reading “How centre right parties win and lose elections these days”
Back in September, when the NZ Herald issued its supplement “Mood of the Boardroom”, Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi featured as the politician who most impressed top chief executives on ministerial performance.
The newspaper reported it was the first time in the history of the Mood of the Boardroom survey that a minister ranked towards the tail-end of Cabinet (at 17th) and who had been in the position only since January, had substantially outranked his colleagues.
Faafoi headed not only the PM, Jacinda Ardern, and deputy PM Winston Peters, but other senior ministers Grant Robertson, Andrew Little and David Parker.
Last week Faafoi was engaged in a rather different exercise, receiving what he described as a “stern talking to” from the Prime Minister after it was disclosed he had promised to “speed things up” in an immigration case for Opshop singer Jason Kerrison. Continue reading “Faafoi’s folly – his confession to saying dumb things should put focus on his portfolio and the future of fuel prices”
Sometimes it’s a great job being a news editor. Like the BBC staffer putting together the national news for radio on Tuesday morning. Continue reading “The BBC seems unsure if law and order is an issue in Britain’s election”
Kris Faafoi, ranked 17th in Cabinet, emerged as the politician who most impressed top chief executives for ministerial performance in this year’s NZ Herald CEOs survey.
It is the first time in the history of the Mood of the Boardroom survey that a minister ranked towards the tailend of Cabinet, and who had been in the position only since January, had substantially outranked his colleagues.
Fran O’Sullivan reported Faafoi is seen as an engaging politician with a safe pair of hands. She quoted one business leader finding Faafoi displaying “real understanding, energy and integrity”.
Faafoi’s key portfolio, so far as the business leaders are concerned, is Commerce, but he also holds Broadcasting, Communications, and Digital Media As well he carries the Associate Housing responsibility.
And it is in one of those portfolios where Faafoi’s mettle as a minister is being seriously tested. Continue reading “He’s business bosses’ favourite politician but broadcasting challenge will put Faafoi’s mettle to the test”
The views of political philosopher John Gray can defy description. His Wikipedia entry notes – with a touch of his own elegance – “Gray’s political thought is noted for its mobility across the political spectrum over the years”.
But few suggest that the author of ‘The Delusions of Global Capitalism’ is boring. And there is much to be gained from his latest essay in the New Statesman. Curiously, while entitled ‘The Closing of the Conservative Mind: Politics and the Art of War’, by the end it appears to justify a somewhat different conclusion. Continue reading “Political philosopher John Gray is often wrong but sometimes very right”
A little-known London autumn ritual is the culling of the deer herd in Richmond Park. It’s done at night, which helps avoid unwelcome publicity.
At the other end of the SW postcode, Boris is weeding out the Conservative party – but more publicly. His former Work and Pensions minister, Amber Rudd, announced she was leaving Parliament – for now – and was then told that she was not going to be readmitted to the party ranks anyway. Continue reading “Boris’s enemies caught in the headlights”
Fresh calls for PM Jacinda Ardern to sack Transport Minister Phil Twyford have followed accusations the minister has misled Parliament.
Twyford is on record in Parliament as saying no one from the previous NZ Transport Agency Board asked to stay on before all were axed in September. Now he has conceded at least one board member did so.
National’s Chris Bishop says misleading Parliament is yet another nail in the very badly damaged coffin that has Phil Twyford’s name on it.
“He has repeatedly stood by his claim that all five NZTA board members walked willingly out the door. It wasn’t until media backed him into a corner that he admitted some were shown the exit”.
On TV news shows, Twyford is labelled a laughing stock, as they list his failures with KiwiBuild and the Auckland light rail project, two key Labour policies in its 2017 election programme. Continue reading “Phil’s failure to fix things prompts further calls for his firing – but there’s an electoral case for Nats to hope he stays”