It strikes me there is a disconnect between what prospective National voters expect it to do in government and what it has actually promised it would do. Some examples:
How much larger do you expect the tax cut National will offer you will be compared to the ones Labour has announced? $5 a week? $10? Hardly any difference. National supporters weren’t satisfied with Labour’s cuts, they’ll want a significant amount more and such puny offerings would make a mockery of National’s endless fixation on cutting tax. Seems to me they’ve got to offer at least $20 a week more or the expectations of potential voters will be disappointed. How are they going to find the $3 billion needed to satisfy this minimal expectation? Not through cutting ‘waste‘.
Reverse the Child Discipline law
The Bradford amendments to Section 59 pf the Crime Act is one of National supporters’ main bugbears. Despite the fact that National voted for the law, Labour is blamed. Surely, then there is a strong expectation that National will reverse the amendments. But it’s not going to happen. John Key says they would change the law if there was evidence good parents were being criminalised and he says that is not happening.
Lower petrol tax
A common refrain from National supporters is that petrol prices are the fault of taxes (in fact, higher fuel prices reduces government tax revenue and raises its costs). Labour is blamed for this over-taxation and they believe electing National will change this. It won’t. National has repeatedly stated it won’t remove or reduce taxation on fuel.
Think power prices are too high? Expect National to lower them? Think again. National has no energy affordability policy. It does, however, have a policy of extracting more profits from SOEs, and the biggest SOEs are Meridian, Genesis, Mercury, and Transpower; National wants power companies to make more profit, from higher prices. It opposes the Electricity Commission, whose reserve generator at Whirinaki gave us a buffer during the recent ‘power crisis’.
It is no coincidence that the expectations of National’s supporters and its actual policies are different. National’s strategy relies on hit and run attacks on the government. This encourages a belief that National has some plan to tackle the problem at isuue when it doesn’t. Securing the votes of people who have expectations that don’t gel with reality, what the Americans call ‘bait and swtich’, underpins National strategy.
So, if you’re thinking of voting National, ask yourself: what do you expect from them and do these expectations match with National’s actual statements? Or are you falling for the bait?