For those who are looking to the Beehive to bring some single minded focus to the current situation Labour finds themselves in, this article from Rod Oram at the begining of the month reads like a good starting point (SSTimes, 3 Feb 2008). He raises what the challenges for Labour are:
If it wants to be credible enough to win a fourth term, Labour has to be more objective in its analysis, more persuasive about what it has achieved, more honest about what it hasn’t and more articulate about what it would hope to do for the economy.
but he also highlights some of the weaknesses in National’s positioning:
In his state of the nation speech, John Key asked nine questions which he said the prime minister should answer before asking voters for another three years in power. They are all good questions to ask and, indeed, to fight the election on, as Key said he would. But in doing so he has dug his own deep economic hole. He has tabled some issues that no government regardless of ideology, policies or competence can hope to have much impact on.
While policies such as greater investment in infrastructure and Kiwisaver go some way to addressing the long term issues he goes onto say:
…progress is nowhere as big, fast, wide-scale or confident as it has to be to address the issues Key raised. So the onus is on him and his party to make a compelling case that they can do better. Their work to date, however, is disappointing…hopefully English and Key will start giving more and better speeches on the economy as they try to make the case they should be New Zealand’s next finance minister and prime minister.
We keep hearing that Mr Key says what people want to hear. Maybe we need a louder chorus asking for some concrete “how to” plans.
Rod Oram’s full text is here.