We have 4 great Leftie contenders, who all want to take Aotearoa where we want it to go. Whomever wins, I’ll back them to the hilt. But I have a vote and a voice, and I’m backing Grant Robertson – here’s why.
The main reasons I’m backing Grant are his affability and his instincts.
To get elected it’s important people like you. And Grant has a great way with people. And goes well on TV. He presents a good argument, leads well, and leaves you liking him for it. These are important skills to get us into power, and to keep us there.
His instincts are great because he is Labour through and through. In his first term he was promoted to the front bench and was made Health spokesperson in a reshuffle. He got the role in the afternoon, and was on Checkpoint with ‘scary’ Mary Wilson at drive-time. He hadn’t a chance to learn the intricate details of Labour’s take on the Health portfolio, so he had to rely on his instincts. Prevention is better than cure; fund primary care, to save on secondary and tertiary; get out into the community and keep people healthy. And turns out, that was Labour policy – National may believe in putting off costs and being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, but Grant’s Labour, and his instincts are Labour.
And those instincts mean he knows when to keep his mouth shut, and what sound-bite to give that won’t get spun badly. These are also essential with our gotcha media.
He has the front bench experience to go with those instincts, which I think is very valuable – being Leader will be a new experience for any of them, without any training period.
There are lots of other people endorsing Grant – Michael Cullen, Darien Fenton, living wage campaigners, unionists, and so on. I find myself agreeing with their views.
David Parker will be my number 2. As a geek I tend to see ‘policy wonk’ as a compliment, not the insult I suspect the media mean by it. And I’ve had some great discussions with him a while back, and he’s definitely the sort of person I’d like to see running the country – I just have that bit more faith in Grant to get us into power in the first place.