Is National ‘Labour Lite’?
I have to agree with Rodney Hide that the only thing that Labour and National disagree on is who should be Prime Minister.
Labour have played a clever game, they can claim that such and such policy will be dumped by National leaving it’s beneficiaries disadvantaged and it is the cold heartless right wing National party that will do this as part of it’s secret agenda to gut social welfare provisions and other social benefits introduced by Labour.
This puts National in a position where it has to deny this, and then support whatever policy it is being accused of planning to cull, and then National outlines how it will actually improve the policy, usually by appending more money on it…
Who’s the winner with this strategy, well Labour, because it means they are calling the shots. They also don’t have to announce any new policies (notice there is nothing new from them, just calls for National to release policy) Labour in effect wins endorsement for its policies and this leads to National looking like Labour Lite.
National can’t risk releasing policy too early, previous elections they have and it has cost them dearly as it has allowed Labour to spend months picking holes in them and forced National into damage control, by the time the dust settles Labour as assimilated the policy and can claim that National is weak and useless with no thought out policies.
I guess this shows what a formidable team Helen and Mike are, they have been in the game a long time and whether you like them or not, you have to agree they are smooth operators often running circles around the Nat’s.
National needs to take control of the debate and relying on polls isn’t going to do it. Maybe National needs to shift the debate away from specific policies and focus on other issues all together, issues that do set National and Labour apart… and one way would be to use the Peter’s fiasco to their advantage.
Most people are sick and tired of Peters, the majority of voters think is a clown. National could take the moral high ground and say they want to clean up politics (maybe take a leaf out of Obama’s book) and they won’t be doing business with Winston Peters. This would for a change put Labour in a difficult position where it would have to start explaining itself for a change.
Until National shows it has the skills to gain the high ground in the political debate and can start to clearly demonstrate to the public how it is different from Labour, then the label of Labour Lite is going to stick, and that will have voters starting to wonder why they would bother with a team that is inexperienced and only different from Labour in style rather than substance.