Like many of our friends and colleagues, my wife and l are
very supportive of her attempts to change the topic of conversation leading up
to the next campaign.
It is important that the Opposition Leader is able to do so because it is difficult to challenge a “one trick pony” like the current Prime Minister when she is not being forced by a sycophantic media to step outside her comfort zone and answer for her party’s inept performance during the last 4 years - at least where the subject matter is anything other than the COVID pandemic.
No matter, l predict that the playing field will become more
competitive, once the vaccines have been distributed and the battle focuses on
the party that offers New Zealanders the best plan for the immediate future.
To that end, l would like to add my humble voice to the long
list of experienced political advisers to the Opposition Leader who want to see
her make effective choices regarding the strategies she endorses - particularly
during the next 12 months.
I believe that the moral high ground that is hers for the
taking will be based on the county’s rejection of the racist legislation that
will impose Maori Wards on a populace that has already demonstrated it doesn’t
want a bar of them.
I am old enough to remember Sir Robert Muldoon’s successful
campaign to destroy a seemingly unassailable Labour Party in 1975.
In the end he was able to focus on a single issue that
effected every voter irrespective of race, religion or ideological persuasion -
It just so happens that this time, the equivalent single
issue that will overwhelmingly influence voting patterns should be “the
undemocratic imposition of racist Maori Wards.”
In my opinion, as an observer of politics for more than 50
years, this regrettable gerrymandered law altering has the capacity, like no
other, to change the government within 3 years in spite of the exaggerated
victory of the last election.
One other point that l believe is relevant.
Judith Collins can’t work this miracle on her own but it is
definitely doable with the help and cooperation of the Act Party.
However, Collins has a problem.
She is going to have difficulty holding on to the remnants
of her Party’s loyal supporters and perhaps even some her wavering MPs who
might be enticed to join Act as a perceived more effective home for voters
wanting immediate action on a number of fronts.
As long as any transfer of political allegiance doesn’t
alter the base numbers of the opposition block’s total, there may well be room
for individuals to realign their preferences. In fact, there may be
opportunities for strategic voting in regions that would benefit from this
activity and as a result, see an increase in the total number of MPs who
represent electorates rather than from just being on the Party list.
Either way, the important thing to note is that the
Opposition parties together need to develop a simple message that every voter
will be forced to consider. A concentration on peripheral issues will only
weaken the power of the main thrust which is aimed at the Government’s jugular.
A campaign based on inflicting a mortal wound is the only
one that will surface when trying to unseat an entrenched adversary such as the
current Labour Government.
Anything else will surely result in at least another three
years in opposition.
We can’t afford to allow that to happen.
“We can do this!”
Heard that before somewhere.
And we can be nice while we’re doing it.
Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.