Friday, August 29, 2014

An empty void at the heart of the election

Its election time. The blog should be humming. Its not. Why? Because there's not enough policy to comment on.

Note that this is not a complaint about Dirty Politics. How power is exercised and the ethics displayed in doing so is absolutely a legitimate election issue, and something we should talk about a lot more. But I've basically said what I want to say on that, so absent new developments, there's nothing there.

No, the problem lies with our political parties - and specifically, the government. The major opposition parties - the Greens and Labour - are releasing comprehensive policy. Its nice and chewy and the sort of thing I love to post about. Unfortunately, much of it has been pre-announced to prevent surprises, while Labour are dumping policies due to spending constants. Meanwhile, from the government, the election has been a policy-free zone. Their "policy" is to keep everything the same as it is, so they have nothing new to announce. So instead we get a boat going backwards while claiming everything is going forwards, pictures of John Key, some obligatory non-committal teasing about tax cuts, more John Key, and did I mention the John Key? There is an empty void at the heart of this election, in the form of a government with no ideas and no plan, just a desire to cling to power and their fat ministerial salaries. And they are desperately trying to paper over it with smiling pictures of the Prime Minister.

A competent opposition should be able to do something about that.