Key’s departure “will leave Parliament exposed”

Geoff Miller and Mark Blackham suggest in an NBR article that when John Key leaves Parliament (he has indicated he will stand again next year) the inadequacies of Parliament will become clearer to voters and leave it more exposed to a Trump like reaction.

Key is insulating New Zealand from growing discontent around the world with status democratic systems.

It could also be argued that democracy and government in New Zealand isn’t in as dire a situation as in the UK or the US, where voters have revolted against the same old.

Mr Key is our own populist politician. Like Trump, he is wealthy and not a career politician.

Mr Key’s inherent anti-political nature frequently motivates him to behave in ways which we would not previously have expected from a prime minister.

In some cases, such as in the ponytail affair, MrKey has gone too far and ended up apologising for his actions. But generally, his non-conventional style and willingness to make fun of himself have helped him to stay astonishingly popular – despite being eight years into the top job.

 

Much to the annoyance and frustration of his opponents and especially of left wing activists.

When Mr Key leaves, his populist touch will go with him, exposing the public to a parliament awash with careerist politicians who play it safe, deal in slogans and spin and have no way to forge a genuine bond with voters as Key has done.

The question for many of New Zealand’s MPs ahead of the 2017 election is whether they will heed the lessons of 2016’s Brexit and Trump political earthquakes.

If politicians dish up election campaigns that keep to the stale and uninspiring establishment recipe, they will guarantee and intensify voter backlash.

With Key still in play this may not happen directly in next year’s election, it may still come down to the economy and the Government’s handling of it versus the alternative that looks like it will need to be Labour+Greens+NZ First. Many voters are scared by Labour+Greens let alone the triumverate.

But if National don’t start to show that they recognise real problems with the current way of doing democracy and make genuine and significant moves to address it they could be setting themselves up for a major fall when Key steps down.

Key’s departure may well leave new Zealand exposed to a voters’ revolt.

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14 Comments

  1. PDB

     /  21st November 2016

    No doubt the Key-English combo gives New Zealand confidence which has been reflected in an excellent economic performance, however it is hard to see where the next leader/minister of finance will come from either side of the house.

    Reply
  2. duperez

     /  21st November 2016

    The shock, the horror of seeing, “Key’s departure will leave Parliament exposed” and learning that we will be in the hands of those who “deal in slogans and spin.”

    Oh the tragedy! Oh the humanity! Earthquakes have nothing on this.

    Reply
  3. Gezza

     /  21st November 2016

    An Al Jazeera reporter in a news item on the TPP this morning referred to the New Zealand Prime Minister’s pragmatic suggestion that the TPP could simply continue without the US’s participation.

    Reply
  4. The idea that Key alone holds together ‘status democraticus’ in Aotearoa NZ is ludicrous …

    Perhaps we might have a look at our his/herstory?

    When was the last time voters in New Zealand ‘revolted’?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  21st November 2016

      I think when Geoff Palmer got the boot. I always considered that a revolt against the Rogernomics changes. Times have moved on since though.

      Reply
      • “Historians have tended to paint the 1990 election results as a whitewash for [against?] the Left. The truth is very different … the new Moore-Clark Labour leadership was interpreted by members as continuing the move away from Rogernomics … those who were unsure spread their votes between New Labour and the Greens. The Left vote in 1990, at 47.15%, was 4.15% higher than it had been in 1984 and only 0.85% lower than 1987.

        When all votes were counted on 27 October 1990 just two-thirds of one percentage point separated National’s vote tally from that of Labour, the Greens and NLP combined”

        FPP triumphed again … not the people of this nation …

        Within a few days Bolger had got his “phone call from Treasury” and the railway wagon or more correctly ‘road train’ of Ruthanasia was set in motion …

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  21st November 2016

          I saw it as a revolt against Labour, specifically, but admittedly I haven’t tried to find out the numbers. What happened to the Labour vote compared to the previous election?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  21st November 2016

            It was a revolt against Lange’s cup of tea but has been spun as a revolt against Rogernomics despite it leading straight into reform of the labour rackets that Labour’s union bosses had been running.

            Reply
        • PDB

           /  21st November 2016

          PZ: “FPP triumphed again … not the people of this nation …”

          What a nonsense. National still got a bigger % of votes then your cobbled mish-mash of 3x lefty parties in the 1990 election so how is the election result against the voters wishes?? If it was an MMP election the result would have been completely different. It’s like saying Clinton should be president because she got the most votes overall but that ignores the fact the electioneering would have been vastly different if that was goal at the start of the campaign.

          For the record Labour dropped just under 13% of it’s vote in 1990 from the 1987 election.

          Reply
  5. There’s no revolt in the UK. Brexit is going ahead and Teresa May seems to enjoy wide support. Certainly I’ve not heard anyone asking for Liz and Co to be put back in charge.

    Reply
  6. Gezza, while I note your point, I consider there was so much angst built up over the Helen Clare tenure the silent majority revolted and an unknown John Key was elected. Thus showing the way to the US and the UK as to what is possible when a disaffected majority have had enough. Helen Clarke is still a curse word in my household!

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  21st November 2016

      Yeah, after considering that comment I think I would agree with that Bj. John Key was elected on the vaguest of policy platforms as I recall. Helen Clark (no e) & maybe the acerbic Sir Michael finally managed to personally annoy enough voters by their last term that Key managed to sell the “we need to get rid of the nanny-state, I’ll be terrific” message & got in. In the end I didn’t like or trust her and I thought she was a dictatorial liar. Key’s administration is still doing ok, even if I don’t like his privatisation measures for prisons and power companies and the health system – which they are underfunding, as they are the police, and I still think housing is a patchy, unholy mess. Still room for improvement though. In some ways National seem a bit directionless.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  21st November 2016

        I think Key/English have made a pragmatic decision to focus on what they can change with the current configuration in Parliament and settled on education and welfare reforms. But they are doing it in a low-key fashion so not to alarm the horses since both areas are heavily stuffed with manic loony Lefties. This is what gives the impression of quietly coasting.

        Reply
  7. Gee the down tick fairy is busy. How wonderful…

    Reply

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