As Helen Clark and John Key continue to jockey for top spot as preferred PM, Mao Zedong has made his first appearance in a Herald Digipoll.
Media commentators are pointing to this as evidence that these polls are largely worthless.
National aren’t so philosophical. Insiders indicate that National are far from happy with Mao’s appearance in the poll. Mao clearly has a stronger leadership record than John Key and it could hardly be said that anybody ever thought of him as “slippery” when it came to his beliefs – on his day Mao could be pretty photogenic too.
National are pointing the finger squarely at their pet blogger David Farrar and his mates at the “Free Speech (as long as it’s ours) Coalition” for Mao’s strong showing. You may remember the coalition from such posts here on The Standard as “Farrar’s billboard fiasco” (video below) and “Billboard donors unmasked“.
The coalition (Farrar, Whaleoil and a handful of the rabid Kiwiblog right) have run a series of billboards in protest at the Electoral Finance Act’s restrictions on National’s attempt to rort democracy by buying as much electoral advertising as their back-room backers can afford.
The billboards which attack Helen Clark, Winston Peters and Peter Dunne – likening them to a variety of dictators – were widely criticised for their off-base comparisons and cryptic messages. Nine out of ten people we polled had no idea what the billboards were about.
Rumor has it that the coalition’s John Ansell-designed billboards were also a personal bid to recapture at least a little of his former Iwi/Kiwi “glory”.
Strike two, I guess.