Following Key’s ‘I’ll have a hissy fit and quit if you don’t re-elect me’ interview yesterday, the Herald has an interview with Phil Goff. The contrast is stark between smile and wave’s self-centred answers and Goff’s focus on delivering real results for NZ.
In terms of policy formation, where are you looking for inspiration, can we expect surprises and when will we see the results?
We’re looking at active management of the New Zealand economy to perform better for New Zealanders, to lift wages and to create jobs, none of which the Government has done. We are looking at other small countries that have done so much better than New Zealand in their economic development – Denmark, Finland, Singapore, Israel – smart economies. We will be looking at skill development, at R&D, at better savings and investment track records and being a clean, green clever economy, by contrast to what the Government has done. The closer we get to the election, the more you’ll see the detail, but a lot of that will be in the broad campaign period, the last three months.
Smart, green, innovative, hands on. Those are the key words for a successful government’s management of the economy in the peak oil world. Not just for the good of the country but for the electoral durability of the government. If the link between petrol prices and government support continues to hold, then governments will be at the mercy of future oil shocks. A smart party will be focused on lessening Kiwis oil dependency for its own good as well as the country’s.
Your predictions for an election date?
If the Government goes before November it will be a vote of no confidence in the All Blacks and that would be unwise, or a sign of panic that the economy is failing to deliver. So I’m predicting the election should be when it normally should be – at the end of the year.
Nice framing from Goff here (and Farrar’s already bought it too). But, unless Key thinks there’s a good chance he’ll lose and so wants to make the term as long as possible for maximum smiling and waving time, I don’t see why he would wait until November. Going before the World Cup is surely fairer on the public and a safer bet for the incumbent – riding the pre-Cup buoyant mood, rather than risking any backlash if the outcomes go wrong.
Your prediction for the Rugby World Cup?
Are you conflicted in your hopes for the All Blacks, given the potential voters will take a loss out on the Government?
No, no conflict at all. I want the All Blacks to win. I don’t believe we’ve peaked too early.
I think some research has shown that All Blacks results don’t really affect voting but I would think how the event as a whole goes might. Petrol prices will be a bigger element (they’ll also affect how many foreigners come for the Cup and how much discretionary spending they have here)
John Key has predicted you will be rolled before the election. Do you have a prediction for him?
Well, that’s wishful thinking by Mr Key. [For him] that smiling and waving won’t be enough to actually make a difference for New Zealanders in terms of their living standards and hopes for the future.
But… smiling and waving is all he’s got.