Despite all the claims of “centrist” and “centre-right” none other than the the Wall Street Journal has pointed out that John Key’s government is very much a hard-right neo-liberal outfit:
Mr. Key is returning the country to a formula for prosperity that’s worked in the past. As in Britain, the U.S. and Australia in the 1980s, New Zealand’s government implemented a wide-ranging program of economic liberalization, including deep reductions in tariffs and subsidies, and privatization of state-run industries. The plan, nicknamed “Rogernomics” after then-Finance Minister (now Sir) Roger Douglas, was akin to Reaganomics, and the island nation grew smartly.
Of course the WSJ, being the free market cheerleader it is, totally approves of this approach (yes, despite the current economic situation and its causes- one can only imagine what it would take to shake such faith).
But this is the government that got voted in on the Labour-lite ticket, not the return to the neo-liberal project ticket. So how will the electorate feel once they find out? And how long until they and the media rumble what’s going on?
My bet is about two years. But I reckon National thinks it’s got longer as it really has stepped up its efforts to make hay while the polls shine.