Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

An Unknown Quality

An Unknown Quality

By Matthew Neumann
28 August, 2014

During its two terms, National have accumulated a record of sporadic—right of centre—success. Their crowning achievement is balancing the books, and credit where credits due, it is an achievement worthy of some recognition. Two other noteworthy achievements are the lowering of the once exorbitant corporate tax rate, and making elective surgery more accessible.

However they also abolished the tax-less bracket for those receiving a very low income, increased GST, a regressive tax—impacts everyone equally, from poor to wealthy—made it more difficult for some to obtain higher education by doing away with allowances for postgraduate students and introducing student loan limits, and proposed a series of education policies—some of which are not in line with the general consensus amongst education specialists as to what education systems should be offering. All are policies that may well precipitate the widening of the socio-economic gap—something that various datum suggests is in fact happening. Add to this the scandals and accusations of corruption, and it becomes unclear why National are so popular, dominating the polls with incredible consistency.

There is a good a chance they will win the upcoming election, but why? Do New Zealanders genuinely think the National government is a good one? Or are they merely content with what they perceive as adequacy? Obviously both reasons are true to varying degrees, but I think one other reason holds as much weight as either – Labour represents an unknown. Many of the stalwart figures we came to know during Labour’s last stint in power have gone, and those who have taken their places have the distinction of being untested products; they may be brilliant, but we can’t know their quality for sure. In contrast, National are tried and tested. Though National’s record is in no way singular, tried and tested is perhaps more appealing than a gamble on something new at a time when cynicism about politics appears high. The fact that the smaller parties, rather than Labour, have benefited from National’s recent fall in polls, is perhaps evidence of this.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 


Philip Temple: Hang On A Minute, Mate
Peter Dunne quietly omits some salient facts when arguing for retention of MMP’s coat-tailing provision that allows a party to add list seats if it wins one electorate and achieves more than 1% or so of the party vote... More>>


Cheap Grace And Climate Change: Australia And COP26

It was not for everybody, but the shock advertising tactics of the Australian comedian Dan Ilic made an appropriate point. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a famed coal hugger, has vacillated about whether to even go to the climate conference in Glasgow. Having himself turned the country’s prime ministerial office into an extended advertising agency, Ilic was speaking his language... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Funeral Rites For COVID Zero
It was such a noble public health dream, even if rather hazy to begin with. Run down SARS-CoV-2. Suppress it. Crush it. Or just “flatten the curve”, which could have meant versions of all the above. This created a climate of numerical sensitivity: a few case infections here, a few cases there, would warrant immediate, sharp lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, the closure of all non-vital service outlets... More>>


Dunne Speaks: Labour's High Water Mark
If I were still a member of the Labour Party I would be feeling a little concerned after this week’s Colmar Brunton public opinion poll. Not because the poll suggested Labour is going to lose office any time soon – it did not – nor because it showed other parties doing better – they are not... More>>



Our Man In Washington: Morrison’s Tour Of Deception

It was startling and even shocking. Away from the thrust and cut of domestic politics, not to mention noisy discord within his government’s ranks, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison could breathe a sign of relief. Perhaps no one would notice in Washington that Australia remains prehistoric in approaching climate change relative to its counterparts... More>>



Binoy Kampmark: Melbourne Quake: Shaken, Not Stirred

It began just after a news interview. Time: a quarter past nine. Morning of September 22, and yet to take a sip from the brewed Turkish coffee, its light thin surface foam inviting. The Australian city of Melbourne in its sixth lockdown, its residents fatigued and ravaged by regulations. Rising COVID-19 numbers, seemingly inexorable... More>>