Jones is required reading, in spite of his hit & miss columns for the Herald, they never fail to entertain
Given today’s diminished public interest in politics, there is, in lieu, an increased focus on the leader. Critically, he or she must be likeable.
John Key epitomises this. He’s an easy-going natural smiler, which is a rare attribute, and National would be swamped in this year’s election if he wasn’t there. Winston has been in Parliament since the Boer War ended, but survives on that x-factor. There’s a million-dollar prize if anyone can provide a coherent philosophic raison d’etre for his party, or even name any of his ever-changing MPs, but the fact is people like him. Even most MPs do. Why? Because, like Key, he’s a natural smiler; indeed, he’s better than that, having the rare ability to laugh at himself.
Appearance is particularly a factor with some women voters. A politics professor friend told me recently of her astonishment at finding that – literally without exception – all of her women friends, including many life-long lefties, say they won’t vote Labour this year because they don’t like David Cunliffe’s face.
The same thing happened when Stephen Franks jumped Act’s ship to contest a winnable seat for National. He lost heavily. A National Party activist told me its subsequent surveys showed a collapse in female support because they didn’t like Stephen’s face. ¬† Read more »