As long as there has been elections, there has been campaigning.

New Zealand's Opposition Leader Key, of the National Party, greets supporters at Nelson Airport

Prime Ministers such as Michael Joseph Savage would be amazed at how campaigning has changed from his day.  Radio then television radically changed election campaigning, today elections are fought on the internet, and through other social media devices.  All political parties are continuously on the campaign trail, they never stop campaigning even when they are in government.

Political parties have essentially become businesses, and as a business you need to sell your product.  Election campaigns have become polished and professional.  Political parties from the left and right, have in the last few years employed overseas advertising agencies to run their election campaigns. As 2014 is an election year it will be interesting to see how the parties conduct their campaigns.  Possibly National will scaremonger the voters about Labour and the Greens taking power.

Bryce Edwards suggests that National will campaign on the platform, that only they can keep New Zealand in the great economic times we are enjoying now

“National will seek to demonstrate its economic management credentials by attaining a return to surplus in this year’s budget – however slight it might be. According to Patrick Gower ‘It will be an absolute central plank of National’s election campaign next year, and English has delivered. National wants to say “Labour and the Greens will put it all at risk – we won’t.” It is going to be an attack campaign – and English has put the bullets in the gun’ – see: Politician of the Year – Bill English.” (Edwards 2014)

National possibly will argue that Labour and the Greens will spend ‘hard earned tax payers money’ on projects the country can’t afford.  National might point out that in a Labour led government there will be Green Party ministers in cabinet who will take New Zealand back to the dark ages with their green policies.

National may also argue that they are the only political party that can be trusted to run the country and balance the books.  National is a party that is starting to look old and tired, they have been in government for six years, and seem to be beginning to unravel, so this year’s campaign will be one of not much substance with John Key as their secret weapon.

If I was in John Key’s position I would be seriously worried, as his party is looking very much out of touch with middle New Zealand and the poor.  National M.Ps are dropping like flies in various scandals, involving dirty money, and abuse of position.

Patrick Gower argues

“Now more than ever, Judith Collins is a political liability for John Key. She is damaging the National Government” (Gower 2014).

They are beginning to look like a party that is only worried about money and position and if you have neither then they are not interested.

Much of National success is due to John Keys popularity as Prime minister, there’s no ignoring that fact.  However it now seems that the National party’s tenure has run its course.  National as a Party has no new ideas to campaign on going into the 2014 election, examples of this is the recent policy of ‘Nit Picking’

“The country’s “nits epidemic” is under attack with the introduction of free head lice treatment to families in low decile schools, the Government says.

Funding of nearly $1 million is being provided by the Ministry of Social Development to tackle the troublesome parasite, minister Paula Bennett said today.” (The New Zealand Herald 2014)

If the past term and is any indication it is possible that National will fight this election negatively.  Should campaigning on historical triumphs, with no new policy and economic direction be enough to give National another term.

The Labour party on the other hand has learned that negative campaigns get you nowhere.  After two terms on the cross benches they are looking more revitalised than National with new economic and social ideas to campaign on.  Labour are releasing new strategies on the most vulnerable children in this country by giving extra money to young families and free early childcare education.

For more information on these incentives go to http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9652164/Labour-promises-60-a-week-for-new-babies

Labour has just recently released its new policy to control interest rates and fight inflation.  It is a radical policy for New Zealand, as it involves giving the Reserve Bank the power to remove money out of circulation by increasing people’s savings by putting that money into their Kiwisaver.

(for further information see http://www.nzherald.co.nz/personal-finance/news/article.cfm?c_id=12&objectid=11246172 )

Political parties this election need to show substance; solutions for child poverty; and inequality.

The issues surrounding housing affordability, and availability are shaping up to be a main campaign

“The rocketing cost of housing in Auckland is a major economic problem contributing to higher interest rates, a higher NZ dollar and mortgage restrictions that are being felt from Kaitaia to Bluff.” (Hickey 2014)

This one issue alone could mean the winning and losing of the election.  For the average New Zealander owning a house has been a right, but sadly this dream has slipped away from most people with house prices sky rocketing.  If I was a Labour strategist, I would do what Robert Muldoon did when housing was out of reach of most families in the 1970s.  Muldoon campaigned under the policy that Housing Corp. would lend money at low-interest, and the normal deposit be lowered to make it more affordable for first time buyers, on this platform he won that election.

But for all the election campaigning by Labour and positive policy changes, if New Zealanders are not over their love affair with John Key then I think National will take a third term.

 

Bibliography

 

Edwards, Bryce. Bryce Edwards: Political roundup: What will happen in 2014? January 7th, 2014. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11182540 (accessed May 10th, 2014).

Fallow , Brian. Brian Fallow: Labour’s plan looks good. April 29th, 2014. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/personal-finance/news/article.cfm?c_id=12&objectid=11246172 (accessed May 10th, 2014).

Gower, Patrick. Opinion: Collin’s gutter politics a liability for Key. May 5th, 2014. http://www.3news.co.nz/Opinion-Collins-gutter-politics-a-liability-for-Key/tabid/1382/articleID/342808/Default.aspx (accessed May 10th, 2014).

Hickey, Bernard. Bernard Hickey: City too thin for comfort. May 11, 2014. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/transport/news/article.cfm?c_id=97&objectid=11252950 (accessed May 12, 2014).

Small, Vernon. Labour promises $60 a week for new babies. February 27th, 2014. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9652164/Labour-promises-60-a-week-for-new-babies (accessed May 10th, 2014).

The New Zealand Herald. Free head lice treatment attacks ‘nits epidemic’. May 8, 2014. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11251883 (accessed May 12, 2014).

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