National’s election strategy is pretty much fully-laid out. It shows that National is very much dependent on Brand Key. The Budget is their economic vision, or rather lack of vision. The rapid-fire release of major policies following the Budget laid out the rest of the platform, and show National doesn’t believe its policies are vote-winners.
If they thought that their policies were vote winners they would have given them some decent airtime. Instead, they slammed them all out in a couple of days right in the shadow of the Budget – benefit cuts, attacks on workers’ rights, asset sales, Kiwisaver cuts, service cuts. They are already largely forgotten. And that’s the objective.
The platform out, National is now trying to tell us what a great guy John Key is. He has had puff pieces in the North and South and the Dom this week, not to mention the excruciating Plunket hearts Key interview on The Nation.
Expect much more of these media appearances and for Key to take little ownership of National’s policies.
National will try as hard as possible not to talk about substance this election. None of its big policies are vote winners. Instead, it will try to convince us that a few policies we don’t like are worth it to keep “the Nice Man Mr Key” on as our smiling and waving leader.
It’s up to the Left to keep the focus on the stuff that matters.