How solid are campaign policies and pledges?

A lot of attention is given to policies and pledges and promises and hints during election campaigns. Parties argue for their own ‘if we are in Government’ pitches and examine and criticise opposing parties’ promises.

But how much weight should we put on campaign statements? The way MMP works, especially when there is a balance of power play like now, parties have to compromise, they have to give up some of their own policies and accept others.

Already we have seen that Peters appears to back off Maori seat referendum pledge.

If he stood by that pledge it would rule out governing with Labour (or so Labour have said before negotiations begin) so what would reduce his bargaining power substantially.

The way our MMP works all policies are negotiable after the election.

The cynical amongst us might think that some of the ‘promises’ are made to be broken by a junior party accommodation.

Greens knew that would have to have Labour to get into Government, so would have to give up some of their own policies and accept some of Labour’s.

Even though Labour and Greens had a Memorandum of Understanding to present a combined bid for government a core part of that agreement was to be able to have different policies. Even if Labour+Greens had been able to form a government on their own neither would be able to fulfil all their promises.

Peters has already made an adjustment, and with only 7-7.5% of the total vote will have to accept that many of the NZ First policies won’t (or shouldn’t) hold sway no matter which way they go.

There should always be big caveats considered on all campaign policies and pledges.

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9 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  29th September 2017

    Going by the last 9 years under National=very flexible.Key’s 4 point plan in 2007 to ensure NZ’ers did not become tenants in their own country..i.e that homes became affordable,is a good example.So was wandering around McGehan Close with the young maori girl,talking about addressing poverty.Now we have the …’aspirational targets’…excuse.

    Reply
    • Yes, I’m sure the Global Financial Crisis and the earthquakes in Canterbury had no impact on Key’s ability to fund his pre-election pledges.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  29th September 2017

        so am I.He borrowed 100 billion of course and floated the power companies,halted payments to the SUPER FUND,and TAXED …it! Halved govt Kiwisaver contributions,RAISED G.S.T ,sold off state houses….Found 26mil for a flag referendum(his biggest regret ,that it did not lead to change),11 mil for a Saudi Sheik,10 mil to ‘invest’ with Thiel,tries to turn NZ into a tax haven for a handful of mates.National governance for the …few,not the…many.

        Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  29th September 2017

        Both played into his hand ks. The former because he reaped the inevitable bounce and the latter because it stimulated the domestic economy. A compliant media together with most political commentators fell for keys ‘common touch’ hook line and sinker

        Reply
  2. duperez

     /  29th September 2017

    What solidity do policies and pledges have? Um, the same percentage chance as there is between 12.5% and 15%?

    Reply
  3. Gezza

     /  29th September 2017

    I’m wondering if main parties do any actual budget re-costings when they’re negotiating coalition deals. Or is it more important to get the agreement & all just worry about that later?

    Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  29th September 2017

      Wonder no more G. Coalition negotiations are about survival. All else is irrelevant

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  29th September 2017

        Handy little strategy isn’t it?
        “Hey, it’s not our fault – it’s theirs! Next election vote for us instead & cut out the middle man!”

        Reply
  1. How solid are campaign policies and pledges? — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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