Thursday, November 06, 2008

New Zealand lessons

Both major parties have tried to draw comparisons with the results of the US election. The conservative opposition party, the National Party, says it indicates change is in the air and that helps them. Not so, says the centre-left Labour Party, the party of Government. They point out that the US election was a rejection of conservative politics, and they’re closer to being correct. The change was a result of Americans’ repudiation of the policies of the past eight years, which was a conservative government.

When Kevin Rudd’s Australian Labor Party drove the truly vile John Howard from government in Australia, New Zealand politicians similarly claimed comparisons. Oddly, the NZ National Party claimed that election of a Labor Government was somehow indicator of success for them.

The fact is, what happens in elections in other countries has no bearing on what happens in New Zealand elections. It’s a nonsense to suggest otherwise.

I thought it was especially rich for National to try and identify with Barack Obama when the party’s deputy leader, Bill “Loose Lips” English, was caught saying he thought Barack Obama was “moralistic” and that America needed a president who would “pull the trigger”. If Bill reflects National Party ideology, as one assumes a deputy leader does, then it’s the height of chutzpah to claim some positive connection.

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