Thoughts on the election

Last night’s election result was a huge disappointment. We’re set for another three years of National slowly eroding the public service, doing nothing on climate change and child poverty, and letting the New Zealand economy continue producing low value primary products.

There’s been a lot of recriminations already about how exactly this happened. I think it’s important to keep in mind that noone really knows why National has done so well. It’s impossible to have proper answers, and professional pundits are clutching at straws like the rest of us. Solid analysis will come with time and hindsight. With these provisos about the difficulty of saying anything about the election, I just want to suggest a few points about how we can come to terms with what has happened.

What I think is important to remember is that overall the fundamentals were always in National’s favour in terms of both inertia and the economy. People tend to stick with the status quo: “National has done okay in two terms, why not give them another?” The so-called ‘rock star’ economy is also a major selling point for the Nats. Things are looking okay at the moment — and the left’s message that it’s not going to be that great in the future is a pretty subtle message to sell. With those general points in mind, I’m also going to delve into a few other specific questions. Continue reading “Thoughts on the election”