By Trevor Ammundsen.
NZ Labour Party – RIP
The NZ Labour Party is as good as dead, all we are waiting for is the coup de grace on election night. I say this for two reasons; first their lack of performance over the last fifteen years and secondly, they are just not needed.
Their lack of performance is easy for us to see. Since 2005, when they made a narrow victory over the National Party, Labour will have lost five elections (presumes 2023 will also be lost), their only victory being the 2020 Covid Election which would have been won by any incumbent Government. During this period, in addition to the 2020 “gimme” election win, they managed to secure the Government benches once, through politicians’ deceit, not voters’ preference. Their performance has obviously not been good enough to earn the confidence of the voters.
This lack of electoral performance is backed up, probably caused by, a lack of achievement when they have been given the chance to show us what they can do for the people. Since 2005, they have governed us twice and have smashed our economy twice, sending us into recession in 2008 and in 2023. They have also come up with a myriad of unpopular ‘Nana’ policies; curly light bulbs, low pressure showers, telling us how to bring up children, lowering speed limits and so on.
Not content with this, they have caused huge damage to our country, all in the name of saving the planet. Whole industries have been virtually wiped out, only to have the products they produced replaced by costly, inferior imported products. Our prime earner, the farming industry, has been put under incredible pressure, in fiscal and mental health terms, yet no improvement to the planet has been recorded, total government failure.
The lack of performance is obvious for all but let us consider if they are needed or not. We have a centrist party who generally attract the more pragmatic and aspirational people. The Labour Party likes to portray itself as progressive and transformational, but it seems they struggle with what this means, and when election doom threatens, they burst into copycat mode and quickly announce replica policies to their opponents. Policies such as roading whereby they dusted off the previous National Government’s second Roads of Significance programme, which Labour cancelled in 2017, and announced most of this as policy. There are plenty of other examples, in areas such as education, which all indicate their lack of competence and general pointlessness.
You should not presume from this negative picture I paint of the Labour Government that I am a rabid National supporter. Far from it, their main advantage I see is that they have better people and focus but are still quite boring and unimaginative. Possibly this makes them the perfect centrist party. Which all brings me to the point, we only need one centrist party.
MMP as a system would work better with one centrist party, along with some tweaks to the system as described in a previous editorial. Our government would always be a coalition, of centre and business interests, the next time ‘centre’ and Greens, or ‘centre’ and Maori. Other parties could rise giving other flavours to the mix. The point is the centrist party would always be involved and the parties on the extreme would have to learn to get on with, and consider, the ‘centre’ if they wanted to make policy advancements. Having the one centrist party would also give us consistency in the development of infrastructure and prime policies such as education.
If you are a Labour supporter, I am sorry if I have upset you, but I encourage you to see the sense in what I am saying and cast your vote with the future in mind. Don’t feel regret, Labour will still get enough votes to perform as a minor Union representative party in future elections.