Drip fed policies adding to the confusion

This has been a maniacal election campaign that has been punctuated by some major changes, with three party leaders stepping down, and one new leader turning the election upside down.

That has created a confused political landscape, but also contributing to the mayhem has been the perpetual drip feeding of policies.

With just eight days until election day parties are still drip feeding policies – with significant adjustments as recently as yesterday (by Labour) and possibly by Winston Peters but it’s hard to know with him due to his bluster and vagueness.

Feeding the uncertainty on a daily basis is the drip drip drip feeding of policies and positions on issues. National, Labour and the Greens are all guilty of this. They are all announcing new or rehashed policies

In reaction to pressure and polls Labour made a major backdown on their tax policy yesterday – see Labour lose their nerve on tax.

That was on top of a regular policy of the day announced by Jacinda Ardern:  Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity

Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.

“Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, where people from all around the country know that they are valued, and know that they can make a valuable contribution to New Zealand’s social and economic life.

A fairly vague vision but that’s typical of Ardern’s campaign, a lot of icing but in reality not much cake.

National were still in bribe overdrive yesterday, still abusing their position of being the incumbent government – they have often dressed up normal government spending as lollies in the scramble for votes. Their announcements yesterday:

$44,000 to help support school teens play sport

Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman has awarded a number of grants to enable high school students around the country to play sport. “Participating in sport is a key…

That looks like a clear conflict of interest, using Ministry funds in a campaign.

$2 million to make cycle trails safer

Associate Tourism Minister Nicky Wagner today announced a funding boost of more than $2 million for safety improvements on four Great Rides in Waikato, East Coast, Hawke’s Bay and West…

Another conflict. Ministerial announcements should be banned from the campaign period.

New Antarctic Science Platform announced

Minister of Foreign Affairs Gerry Brownlee and Minister of Science and Innovation Paul Goldsmith have today announced that Antarctica New Zealand, in partnership with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and…

More abuse of a Minister’s position.

National will invest in the East Coast’s future

National will re-invest $24 million over 10 years in Gisborne’s road network to support strong growth in the district’s forestry sector, Economic Development and Transport spokesperson Simon Bridges says. “National…

And more.

Young farming families able to buy Landcorp farms

A National Government will help young families into their first farms by allowing young farmers to buy state owned farms after they’ve worked the land for five to ten years….

One actual policy announcement plus four bribes by Ministers.

Greens don’t have a media announcement from yesterday, their latest is from Wednesday:

Green Party announces a better deal for students

The Green Party announced today that, in government, it will provide genuine support for students by bringing in a universal post-graduate student allowance and increasing allowance rates for all students.

That’s a major announcement at a late stage of the campaign. Claiming “in government, it will provide” is fanciful, if Greens get into government (if they even get back into Parliament) they will first have to get Labour and possibly the Maori Party or NZ First to agree.

The only certainty is Greens won’t get to implement anywhere near all of their policies. Labour have already committed just about every available dollar for their own policies, NZ First have ‘promised’ many more, so there is simply not enough to pay for all their largesse.

NZ First had their promises exposed in The Peters-Espiner interview.

Winston Peters was in Dunedin: SPEECH: After the election the old parties will forget you – we won’t

Winston can’t even remember his own policies or costs of policies.

I’ve generally given up trying to keep up with the deluge of policies and bribes being drip fed daily, still.

Advance voting has already probably about 200,000 people who have voted, and they don’t know what they are voting for.

This campaign has been a mad large scale confusion, and this has been added to by the daily drip feeding of policies.

It all seems designed to feed the media, chasing the daily headline. Most people just see a mess of mediocrity. No wonder the polls aren’t settled.

I am in no position to judge the parties on their packages of policies. I have given up trying to keep up.

I’m going to wait until next Saturday before I vote, and before I decide who to vote for.

I’ve just realised that I haven’t even looked at who my local candidates are and how they are promoting themselves. A presumably safe electorate gets next to no national attention.

I was over this election some time ago and am just hanging in until the end of the confusion.

 

12 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  September 15, 2017

    Seriously, Pete? You don’t know yet who you will vote for??

    • No. The polls suggest I’m far from alone on that. It’s fairly normal outside the party bubbles for people to be undecided until they have to make up their minds.

      I have always waited until election day before deciding who to vote for, and I’m less sure this election than any other election this century.

      • I special voted in a NZ embassy today. Six of us went in. All of us voted blue. The two who were waverers/floaters announced that in the end there was too much uncertainty about Labour’s taxation, ( even though they had the flip/flop news). They decided at the last minute it was worth waiting another cycle and seeing whether National could be more Progressive with ” all the money available”. We’ve not discussed it further, so not sure what they meant. Probably waterways and stuff I think.

        • Blazer

           /  September 15, 2017

          they decided it was worth waiting 12 years to see if National would…come…right!Bol.

  2. Trevors_elbow

     /  September 15, 2017

    Dear Labour…. the West Coasts traditional strengths are in Primary and Extractive infustries…. you know like Mining! You know the industry your party arose from……..

    Abandoning your roots much?

  3. PDB

     /  September 15, 2017

    PG: “Winston can’t even remember his own policies or costs of policies.”

    If Winston chooses the govt the ‘winner’s will actually end up the long-term losers.

    He has always been toxic but now he’s almost incoherent.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  September 15, 2017

      Peters is National’s only chance of getting back into power perhaps you should vote Labour for a Labour/Green government and save us all.

      • PDB

         /  September 15, 2017

        We could equally say everybody vote National for the same result.

  4. Ray

     /  September 15, 2017

    Well if you haven’t made up your mind PG and are prepared to vote for one of the major players, think on this.
    Labour came in under Andrew Little saying “no new taxes” cue change of leadership surge of support and they had a tax for anybody who wasn’t a supporter.
    New poll, new strategy, no new taxes other than those we have mentioned.
    Can you trust these people to run the country to everybody’s advantage? Or are they “poll driven fruitcakes” to quote an ex Labor PM

    • Blazer

       /  September 15, 2017

      National under Key…said…’no more asset sales’…and are now selling off state houses and buying motels!.Now the announcement of giving away/selling 140 Landcorp farms,that belong to NZ’ers.Then ,you will remember Key ruling out a G.S.T increase.So when it comes to integrity Ray,the evidence is…clear.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  September 15, 2017

      Are you suggesting all poll driven parties are fruitcake or just the ones you disagree with. On that basis we have been lead by a fruitcake government for nine years. Key wouldn’t open his mouth without consulting his trust oracle over at Kiwiblog.