Friday, 7 November 2008

Slight impending sense of doom

This has been a strange election campaign for me. I've largely sat on the sidelines, other than the online bits and pieces I've done through The Hand Mirror, although the flurry of activity in our house has been non-stop, as the HQ for the local Labour electorate campaign. This is the least I've done for an election since 1993, when I was too young to vote.

And weirdly this year I have the most at stake personally. For our family a change of Government could mean we both lose our (union) jobs at a time when we have one non-productive unit* in the house and are already squeezed tight to manage the associated increased costs that go with that. Other family members, and good friends, are quite reliant on many of the initiatives the Labour-led government has brought in since 1999, or vulnerable to changes that a National-Act coalition might want to make, such as benefit cuts, decreasing Government subsidies for visits to the doctor or childcare, scrapping apprenticeships, culling the public service, or allowing employers to insist that they trade away their fourth week of annual leave. I could go on a fair bit, but I'll stop myself there because it gets too depressing.

Tomorrow I'm going to put aside some serious time to think about possible silver linings of a National-led Government. There will be some. Janet's already commented about a few over at The Standard.

And talking of The Standard I'll be guest live blogging at their place tomorrow night. Not sure how that'll go, but I'm also hoping to do a bit of posting here, as time allows, about some of the key electorate battles involving women candidates and anything else I notice in the coverage that might be of particular pertinence to our readers.

* As Act might say ;-)

9 comments:

Hugh said...

Tomorrow I'm going to put aside some serious time to think about possible silver linings of a National-led Government.

Just to pre-empt the easy answer, "It'll make people see how awful the Tories are, and they'll never vote for them again" isn't really a silver lining.

Julie said...

Yeah that's about the best I've come up with so far. Must try harder.

glosoli said...

A good purge of Labour party MPs would be welcome in my household, that is the only silver-lining I see.

Julie said...

IMHO the ones that most need to go are in safe South Auckland seats and not even on the List, eg Hawkins. Their victories will only mean less good people get in on the list. So that lining is looking pretty bronzey to my eye ;-)

Hugh said...

A National victory will mean that National's deadwood 90s era MPs such as Lockwood Smith, Murray McCully etc stick around to enjoy their newfound ministerial leather, thus weakening the party long term. If National loses, this lot are likely to start thinking about retirement, and might be replaced by more vigorous, electorally appealing, and thus dangerous National MPs.

Tui said...

@Hugh: I don't know. Isn't that still basically "see how awful the Tories are"? OK, it's more "remember how awful *these specific* Tories are, who we ALREADY voted out of Cabinet in the 90s - wow, do we have a short political memory, or what?" but still. ;) I think you're reaching.

Hugh said...

@Hugh: I don't know. Isn't that still basically "see how awful the Tories are"?

Yes, I suppose so.

Wow, do we have a short political memory, or what?"

Definitely. It's often occurred to me that John Key would be quite happy for people to believe the National Party was founded in 2003 by Don Brash. That being said, I'm pretty sure Labour in 1999 were happy not to be associated with the last Labour government, so it cuts both ways.

Tui said...

True, but I think the Labour party has done a reasonably decent job of changing their party line since the 80s, whereas I do not think National has changed at all since the 90s.

Hugh said...

That's true. I specifically remember some time before the 1996 election Helen Clark explicitly rejected the legacy of the Lange government.

Of course, the key difference is, the fourth Labour government was alienating to Labour's core vote in a way that the fourth National government wasn't to National's core vote.