I was chatting with some friendly folk and they were saying how much the Labour leadership contest is making Key look like a lame-duck PM.
All the media is about appointing his successor.
There’s been a National agenda to use this contest to continue their narrative of how divided and dysfunctional Labour is, and there’s been a cast of willing journalists looking for that opening. But barring Clare Curran’s small brain-fart there’s not been any opportunity. Instead the contest is a brilliant display of democratically anointing a new PM-in-waiting (while adding 15-20% more activists to the cause).
As we get back to the real world next week we’ll get to continue with this as Key (despite his “massive” 2011 victory…) is unable to get one of his core manifesto pledges through – the RMA reforms. Then Key’s got to fight to make sure that all his socially conservative MPs / MPs from socially conservative areas continue to back a massive increase in gambling and social harm for the net gain of 18 jobs with the Sky City Bill.. (campaign for Sam Lotu-Iiga here…)
Of course the Labour whanau (and that’s more than MPs) have to play their part too, and display some unity behind whomever is the new leader so that National can’t get traction with their old narrative of division; but with a new democratically elected leader, then a Labour Lenslide in Auckland / Dalzieluge in Christchurch, followed by a good by-election in Christchurch East* the rest of this year has the potential to get a real roll-on…
* we’ll find out today if he got it, but apparently one of National’s 2 candidates going through their not-very-democratic board interview to stand in the by-election is David Carter’s nephew.