Really good television is about the full range of emotions. Campbell Live delivered that, night after night. Joy, wonder, fear, shock, surprise, anger, sadness, pathos, love. Often all in the same story.
That’s why it has our hearts.
Rob's right. There's been a bit more attention this week, and will be next, but because this has been a collegial contest it's lacked spark.
Isaac Davidson has done an excellent job of capturing the state of the contest in its final week. What you see below is as close as there has been to open criticism.
Mr Shaw has spent much of his energy in the leadership meetings trying to dispel two criticisms - that he is a National MP in disguise, and that he lacks experience. The first issue partly stems from his slick, business-friendly reputation, which comes from his past work in making mega-brands such as BP and Coca-Cola more sustainable and green. But it can mostly be blamed on National MPs and commentators who have goaded him, describing him as National-lite. It annoys him, he says, because it suggests that National "has a lock on every single business person".
He feels economic credibility is a key barrier to voting Green, and wants his party to develop an economic front bench of four or five MPs.
Mr Hague is sceptical of Mr Shaw's leadership credentials. He says the MP was only one part of the Greens' popularity in Wellington, and his recipe for success does not translate to South Auckland, suburban areas and provincial centres. Would he be at home speaking on a marae, to farmers or to trade unionists, Mr Hague asked, and could the wider population relate to a Wellington-based, metrosexual MP who doesn't drive?
One thing that has come from this is greater unity and strength. Having four men hold around 50 meetings to talk about ideas and vision has connected them with their membership, and tested their stamina.
(Oh, unless their Hippie Magick actually works and they can organise by telepathy. That must be it).
Danyl is organising for James Shaw's campaign, and knows that there are semi-organised groups who think that the party should move in various different political directions and give more or less attention to different things. These people talk to each other and work together. There is also a degree of geographic segmentation, personality based politics, and minor levels of patronage. None of these are terrible things, and none of them are pronounced to the degree that they are in some other parties. But they do affect outcomes.
I’m saying they don’t have the same factional control over selection processes
Are you sure?
Mythologising any of New Zealand's (or Britain's) political parties isn't helpful. They all have faults. These faults are either constraints, or things they succeed in spite of. For parties which are rejected by 9 in 10 voters it's probably the latter.
Here’s an example. A range of changes are proposed to New Zealand’s workplaces, which are intended to make our lives healthier and less accident prone. I am not an expert in this area but assume that it will go some way towards this objective.
This will improve lives and decrease the cost to New Zealand. It will also impose some cost on employers. That cost has been lobbied against vigorously, and MPs including Judith Collins are now publicly asking for the bill to be weakened.
I am quite confident that this weakening will occur. I am also confident that it will come at no political cost to the Government. Opposition parties will deliver speeches in Parliament, unions will make press releases and statements, and none of this will create more than ripples. More New Zealanders will be injured and experience worse health, and some employers will have more money than they would otherwise.
What would you do differently? How would Waitakere Man / Waikanae Woman be convinced that this is an issue worthy of their emotional energy, and then that this emotional energy should be directed against the Government and for a particular opposition party?
your #3 does not apply to the Greens, right?
Agree with most of what Danyl has said, but not this:
Whereas left-wing parties are still engaged in the endless wing civil-war over ideological purism. MPs get safe seats – or list positions – based on fealty to factions within the party or affiliates, like the unions, instead of their ability to win electorates or get voters to vote for their parties.
Ideological coherence typically has little to do with those who emerge from the unions or within Parliament (staffers, insiders) and who are selected as candidates.
I'll also put this out there; it's been on David Farrar's puddle and Rob Salmond's blog, and deserves another showing. Worth the hour of your life, if you do any kind of political campaigning, or want to understand those people who do. It's basically a documentary.
I think Matthew is fundamentally right. Most New Zealanders are happy with their lives. If they; are white, older, own their dwelling, or earn $70 or more, then they are even more likely to be satisfied with their lives. Most people live good lives – even if a large minority do not.
All politics is essentially the perception that things could be ‘better’, and that it is possible to make it so.
It has been interesting to watch child poverty rise to the top of the political agenda. It was initially a fringe issue, with people like Sue Bradford and Hone Harawira the loudest voices. In the last two years organisations such as CPAG and UNICEF have gained considerable traction, as Campbell Live put the issue in the living rooms of hundreds of thousands of other New Zealanders, and the Greens were able to mainstream the issue through posing it as central to the legitimacy of the government. It was starting to pose a problem to the Government, but had not gained sufficient coherence as a ‘political’ issue to move votes. Pre-budget Labour was still on 25%, the Greens on 10%.
That’s the challenge: how to put large and serious issues in which the government is failing or underperforming – on any objective measure – to the public in such a way that they are presented not as petty politicking but as issues of general concern. And then bring that attention back to the political parties that presented the issue in the first place.