Bryce Edwards: The Increasing speculation about Jacinda Ardern quitting

Bryce Edwards writes:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern flies to Antarctica today, and her media spin doctors will be hoping for some good photo opportunities to lift the leader’s popularity. But they will be asking a lot.

Tomorrow it will be five years since Ardern was sworn in as Prime Minister. At that time she was incredibly popular, and her support kept rising, hitting its heights in 2020.

That tide has certainly turned in recent months, and there are signs that Ardern is headed for a very difficult time as Prime Minister in the near future. Economic and social factors may get much worse. And the prospect of Labour’s popularity declining further is possible, especially as difficult reforms throw up problems. Re-election in 2023 has never seemed more in doubt.

Unsurprisingly, there has been an upswing in speculation about how long Ardern will stay on as leader and prime minister. The idea of her stepping down before the next election is gaining traction, despite there being no obvious candidate in the Labour Party who could do a better job than her. Continue reading “Bryce Edwards: The Increasing speculation about Jacinda Ardern quitting”

Bryce Edwards: Can NZ First once again fill the vacuum at the centre of politics

DR BRYCE EDWARDS,  director of the Democracy Project, looks into support for New Zealand First in opinion polls, the politicking of Winston Peters and the party’s 2023 general election prospects.  

They don’t get much media coverage at the moment, but the New Zealand First party could be central to the next year in politics and determine the shape of the next government.
 
The latest opinion survey out yesterday – leaked from Labour-aligned pollsters Talbot-Mills – has New Zealand First on 4.4 per cent. The party has been edging up in the polls all year. The last few Kantar-1News polls have had the party on 3 per cent.
 
This level of support is relatively high for the party, which tends to do poorly between election years and then have a surge of support during campaigns. So, it’s certainly not out of the question that Winston Peters’ party could soon register 5 per cent and suddenly become a real force in next year’s election.
 
This would change everything. Continue reading “Bryce Edwards: Can NZ First once again fill the vacuum at the centre of politics”

Bryce Edwards:  Why Faafoi’s lobbying position should be illegal

DR BRYCE EDWARDS,  director of the Democracy Project, looks into Kris Faafoi’s entry into the lobbying business within a few weeks of his retirement as a cabinet minister and why this is allowed in New Zealand whereas it is illegal in many overseas democracies… 

Probably the most corrupt and broken part of the New Zealand political system is the role of corporate lobbyists influencing policy decisions of governments on behalf of vested interests. This is a group of political insiders – usually former politicians, party staffers or senior Beehive officials – who work at the centre of power and then depart with inside knowledge and networks that they can leverage to help corporate clients influence government policy.

It’s known as a “revolving door” in which corporate interests can prosper through having insiders who move backwards and forwards in and out of the Beehive and other positions of influence. It’s a growth industry in Wellington.

The extraordinary thing is New Zealand is unique in having no regulations on this part of the policy process. Corporate lobbyists profit greatly from a “wild west” setting, in a country where Government decisions are often made to benefit the wealthy. Continue reading “Bryce Edwards:  Why Faafoi’s lobbying position should be illegal”

Bryce Edwards draws attention to the time the PM has devoted (it’s not much, apparently) to her Child Poverty Reduction duties

A reader of Lindsay Mitchell’s blog has prompted an article– headed PM spends 0.2 percent of her time on Child Poverty Reduction? – which draws attention to the time Jacinda Ardern apparently devotes to her child poverty portfolio.

The blog reader seized on something Bryce Edwards wrote for The Democracy Project in an article (published by the BFD) headed Labour has given up on the poor.

Edwards drew attention to the mounting evidence that, under Labour’s watch, the problem of wealth and income inequality is spiralling.

He says he sees signs that Labour ministers have put this crisis into the “too hard basket”, then references recent reports on the topic. Continue reading “Bryce Edwards draws attention to the time the PM has devoted (it’s not much, apparently) to her Child Poverty Reduction duties”

2019 – when Ardern dished up bangers to Colbert and mash to NZ voters

Two fellow bloggers have referenced an article in Britain’s The Guardian,  by Wellington-based political commentator and analyst Bryce Edwards, which critically examines the PM’s performance last year.

Political performance, not TV performance.

The article was headed New Zealand’s year of style over substance.

Edwards noted that the year just passed was supposed to be the Ardern government’s “Year of Delivery”

“ … or so Ardern declared to the press at the beginning of 2019. It was a neat line, because 2018 had been the ‘year of the working group’ in which little reform was carried out, on the promise that the experts would hand the government some major new policies to implement. Continue reading “2019 – when Ardern dished up bangers to Colbert and mash to NZ voters”