Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > Christchurch will cost National the Election

Christchurch will cost National the Election

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cartoon - parata - I will do my homework

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There are three things that will cost National the election in 2014 (or earlier).

The first is jobs. The Market is simply not creating new jobs as neo-liberal dogma dictates it should. And with National’s Hands Off policy in the economic, their 2011 promise to create 170,000 new jobs (see: “Budget 2011: Govt predicts 170,000 new jobs” ) is something that will be used to beat them over the head more and more as Election Day looms.

The economy. A Hands Off policy in good times, when unemployment is low and growth is reasonably good, can be expected and understood.

In bad times though, taking your hands of the economic tiller poses one question; if government doesn’t act proactively (as other governments are doing around the world) – then what is the point of having a government?

And lastly, events with education-related problems will remain an open, painful sore for the Nats. Whether it’s the quasi-privatisation of education through dodgy “Charter Schools”; the unrelenting Novopay cock-up; or proposed closures/amalgamations of 19 schools in Christchurch – this will be an on-going sign for the public (and voters) that National does not have the co-operation of the community and can ride rough-shod over people’s concerns.

As Colin Espiner wroter in Christchurch’s “The Press” on 19 January,
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“The secret to great comedy, they say, is timing, and if “they” are right, then this Government is not very funny.

With Friday looming as the second anniversary of the most devastating of the Christchurch earthquakes, Education Minister Hekia Parata’s school closures announcement could not have come at a worse time.

I don’t think anyone who wasn’t in the city on that day can truly appreciate the impact it had on the people of Christchurch, and continues to have to this day. Certainly Hekia Parata doesn’t.

I accept that in the wake of the quakes some decisions about the future of schooling in Christchurch needed to be made. Actually I think everyone accepts that.

I also accept that some of those decisions won’t be popular, but needed to be made. As John Key said yesterday, “the Government needs to address this issue for the long-term good of the community”.

But there are ways and means of doing something that isn’t going to be pleasant. Dentists use anaesthetic before drilling a hole in your tooth. And they warn you beforehand.

The manner in which this Government has approached the issue of Christchurch’s post-quake schooling has been woeful. Actually, that’s being too kind. It’s been careless, haphazard, unfeeling and downright incompetent.”

Source:  Timing of school closures couldn’t be worse

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After a while “strong government” becomes arrogant, uncaring government. And that’s when voters rebel.

A recent IPSOS/Fairfax poll, which showed a drop in support for the Nats  at 44.9% (1.3% points down on their previous poll in December) made this interesting obserservation;

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” With the election probably still at least 18 months away, the big battleground will be for undecided voters, who made up 11.1 per cent of those surveyed.

Pollster Duncan Stuart said a breakdown of undecided voters suggested many were “soft” National supporters, who had started looking around. “

Source: National no longer a sure winner – poll

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In other words, we are seeing a re-play of the final two years of the Shipley-led National administration, in 1998 and 1999, when public odium because so strong that voters couldn’t stampede fast enough to the Ballot Booths to vote for Labour and the Alliance. There is only so much “hands off” government the Middle Classes  will tolerate before their ‘comfort zone’ is breeched.

In the late ’90s, the ‘touch paper’ was health.

This time it will be jobs and education.

After two major earthquakes; a loss of 185 lives; thousands of homes and businesses damaged or destroyed; upheavals in peoples’ lives; increasing numbers of homeless living rough; slow processing of insurance claims; and many who have simply quit the quake-ravaged city – the current agenda from National, and implemented by Hekia Parata, is like a rolling, political slow-quake, of additional stress on the city.

Cantabrians must be looking skyward and beseeching the Heavens, “What have we done wrong to earn all this?”

That stress is leading to desperation and behaviour that in other, saner times, good people might never think of doing,

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Dark side of opposition to school mergers

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Source: Dark side of opposition to school mergers

The stress on families, teachers, and others in areas targetted for school closures/amalgamations must be phenomenal.

New Zealanders watching all this, up and down the country, must be secretly sighing relief that they aren’t the one’s in the firing line of  Christchurch’s twin curses of natural disaster and political upheaval.

Yesterday (19 February) National electorate-MP, Nicky Wagner stated on Radio New Zealand,
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“The National MP for Christchurch Central, Nicky Wagner, accepts she may lose votes as a result of the education overhaul. But she says she believes the right decisions are being made. The MP won her seat with a majority of just 47 votes.  
She said,  
‘‘ We need to make really good decisions for Christchurch. We need to make good decisions in education but in all other ones and to make the most of every opportunity, and personally if it’s a matter between a good decision and being voted in again I’d take the good decision any day.’’   “

Source: Radio NZ, 10pm news bulletin, 19 Feb 2013

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Ms Wagner’s  nonchalence in losing her seat in favour of  taking a “good decision any day” may come true sooner than she anticipated.

Cantabrians will be happy to assist.

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Additional

Fairfax media: 71pc want Parata gone – poll

Fairfax media: Parata’s ‘lie-telling’ infuriates principals

 

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  1. dwnats (down with Nats)
    20 February 2013 at 1:31 pm

    …and 4. one more day of listening to the slurred remarks from Keys glib, lying mouth.

  2. 20 February 2013 at 1:35 pm

    We saw him on TV 6PM News last night, rabbitting on about “being cleared” over the Sky City scandal.

    There wasn’t a shred of of integrity in his voice and facial expession.

  3. Budinski
    20 February 2013 at 1:49 pm

    My biggest concern is that National will lose, and Labor will win with a landslide and we will be right back where we started, getting screwed by the right/left paradigm yet again.

    • 20 February 2013 at 1:56 pm

      The polls don’t seem to reflect that, Brandon… (And I wouldn’t want it either.) Though gods only know what will happen on election night.

      I’m hoping for a strong Mana and Green Party presence in Parliament to act as a leftwing conscience for Labour. And a brake on things like the TPPA.

      • Budinski
        20 February 2013 at 2:05 pm

        Yeah I don’t really trust the greens, or mana to be fair. I really want to see new parties with new ideas. I do understand what you mean though Frank. There needs to be some kind of curtailing of main party agendas. What weave seen with the current government has been a complete sellout but the right/centre 3rd parties. They are a disgrace.

      • Budinski
        20 February 2013 at 2:08 pm

        Oh and I wish Peter Dunne would piss off. We don’t need his hypocrisy at all.

  4. Robin Westenra
    20 February 2013 at 1:58 pm

    This headline from yesterday’s Press says it all: “Parata’s ‘lie-telling’ infuriates principals”

    • 20 February 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks for that ‘heads up’, Robin. I’ll look for it and add it to my “Additional” lnks on that blogpost…

  5. dwnats (down with Nats)
    20 February 2013 at 2:13 pm

    And the latest round of benny bashing is being noised about just as Key is in need of a place to hide.

    • 20 February 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Yeah… funny that. What a “co-in-ci-dence”. *rolls eyes*

  6. Denny Weisz
    20 February 2013 at 2:16 pm

    The government’s net debt of $59.1 billion, or 28.4 per cent of gross domestic product a $2 billion dollar loss for every one of the 26 weeks to date , was 2 per cent below the half-year forecast.The National governments performance result for the last six months! More debt and a stagnant economy! The governments accounts released today! Keys an incompetent dickhead. Someone should do a reference check of his work history, seems dodgy!!

  7. BrucetheMoose
    20 February 2013 at 10:23 pm

    “The manner in which this Government has approached the issue of Christchurch’s post-quake schooling has been woeful. Actually, that’s being too kind. It’s been careless, haphazard, unfeeling and downright incompetent.”
    That paragraph there, sums up this government and it’s appointed decision makers overall attitude to the people of Christchurch in general – whether it be the schools, property owners in the Red Zones( both home/commercial owners and those with bare land), those in TC3 areas, the thousands of people caught up in wrangles with insurance companies, the debacle of EQC, not dealing with the housing shortage causing financial stress due to inflated prices and skyrocketing rents, leaving the elderly to fend for themselves, denying commercial owners their rights to their property and it’s value in the “Green Frame”(or should it be Land Bank), the highjacking of the City Plan by a select vested interest group and ignoring the wider community, and the list goes on. We have had two major disasters in the greater Christchurch region – first the earthquakes, second, the government.

    • 21 February 2013 at 12:12 am

      “We have had two major disasters in the greater Christchurch region – first the earthquakes, second, the government.”

      Indeed, Bruce :-(

  8. nznative
    20 February 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Maybe Key will get sky city to rebuild Christchurch in return for a pokie machine in every school tuck shop …

    • 21 February 2013 at 12:11 am

      Shhhh! NZNative, Brownlee may be watching and think that’s a worthwhile plan… :-D

  9. 21 February 2013 at 9:53 am

    I have a cousin in Christchurch who has voted National all her life. But not last time and not next time. Key is alienating National voters.

    • 21 February 2013 at 4:05 pm

      I’ve heard similar from two tradesmen living locally, Frankie. Both were staunch National voters last time.

      One is now using “John Key” as a swear word and I doubt if the Nats will ever get a vote from him again.

      The other is also not very happy and if things carry on as they do now, he’s another lost vote to them. He’ll most likely stay hiome and not bother voting.

  10. uncle charley
    22 February 2013 at 12:52 am

    Yeah I’ve got a brother who voted National last time. But then he’s thick as shit most of the time. Too much booze. At the same time his kids go without because he blows his pay at the TAB and has the cheek to blame benes for everything wrong in the country. Me and my sister help look after his kids, the useless wanker.

  11. Brenda Agnew
    25 February 2013 at 10:06 am

    Indeed!

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