Friday, 12 September 2008

Nov 8: The Parties' Response

While PM Cluck's announcement of November 8th for the NZ General Election surprised few, the timing of her Friday morning release did catch some people off guard.

Many commentators have suggested she did it to distract the media (and general public) from the continuing NZ First saga, with Labour personalities like Mike Williams becoming part of the drama in recent days.

Cluck's long announcement speech seems to suggest Labour will run a negative campaign, focusing on the flip-flops and "secret agenda" of John Key and his National Party front bench.

The 'popular and competent' PM claimed the election campaign will be "about trust", which to many is one of Labour's biggest failings under her leadership!
In response, Key promised to run "a positive, forward-looking campaign", and isn't interested in a "fear factor campaign which is all the Labour Party is planning". Key said National's tax policy will be released in the first week of the real campaign (which probably means early October).

Embattled NZ First leader Winston Peters says he's "ready to fight for the party's policies the length and breadth of the country", and again blamed the media for his many troubles.
ACT leader Rodney Hide is raring to go, and says the election can't come soon enough. ACT is in good spirits and confident of doubling its caucus at the very least. The party's mystery "#5 spot" personality has now been confirmed, and will be announced sometime over the next few weeks.

The party has already been on the road, with former Labour Finance Minister Roger Douglas explaining the party's "20 point plan", aimed at creating "a safer, stronger and more prosperous New Zealand that can foot it with Australia."

United Future meanwhile believes the election with give the party "a new mandate and a fresh start", and leader Peter "sensible" Dunne says they'll keep the next government "on track and honest".
The Maori Party is confident of doing better than its current 4 MPs in the next Parliament (by taking more of the separatist Maori electorates off the Labour Party, rather than increasing its party vote substantially).

The "Greens" are pleased the date has been set, after the party released its election materials last week. However Jeanette Fitzsimons is keen to see a fixed election date for New Zealand in the future.

While many opinion polls have the Greens as the largest minor party at the moment, they have traditionally done worse on election day than polling might have indicated.
Some of that has to do with the fact that much of their vote is simply a "protest vote" against the Government and major Opposition options, rather than a ringing endorsement of the Green's socialist policies... and thankfully voter apathy wins out on the day.

Currently, 250,000 people have still not enrolled to vote, with electoral rolls due to close off on October 8.

100,000 of these are young people, who strangely seem to lean towards the 'Red-Greens' in higher numbers than the general population... possibly due to all that socialist brainwashing mandated at high schools and Universities.

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