The Political Future – National Leadership

Picking leaders ten years out is pretty hard when there are so many variables and the last two National leaders had no length of tenure in parliament. What is possible is to think about the problems New Zealand will face, and the type of people in the National caucus.

New Zealand will be facing massive problems with government spending, especially superannuation. It is unlikely that enough progress will be made to solve super after John Key goes, so we will all still be funding super in an environment where continued economic mismanagement has kept New Zealand’s growth rate lower than our major trading partners.

The National caucus newer intakes are getting progressively more fiscally conservative. They grew up in the Douglas era, understanding the benefits of the free market. Most did not sign up to the National Party to borrow $300m a week, and most do not like the fact that Bill English and Steven Joyce cannot explain why it is necessary and good for New Zealand, when they would prefer to be cutting the state sector and benefits.

The same applies to the likely new MPs who will come in over the next three elections. I know most of them, and they are fiscal conservatives. There isn’t a wet among them, and if they are wet they will be lonely in a dry caucus.

This puts potential leaders in a difficult position. Do they support the current wet regime wholeheartedly, and if they are in cabinet do they promote wet policies that will alienate their peers? Will being branded as a wet mean that future leadership chances are non existent? Being a wet may make you popular in cabinet now, but will a fiscally conservative caucus vote for a wet in the future?


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  • Adolf Fiinkensein

    They can be as fiscally conservative as they like.  It won’t help them in opposition.  Perhaps you are forgetting there is more to the country than the National Party?

    The country as a whole (the electorate) is distinctly centre LEFT, not centre right.

    Superannuation is vastly over estimated as a ‘problem.’  Means testing and abatement will remove most of the issues being debated at present.  Even a slight but consistent improvement in GDP changes the whole fiscal picture and what is not political possible today becomes politically pragmatic tomorrow.

    In other words, it is a mistake to judge what might apply ten years from now, based on assumptions which hold true today.

    In short, I think you’re wrong.  Your view is too narrow.

    • Johnbronkhorst

      So if we are a centre left country why, in my lifetime have we had 33.5 years of National govt. and 18 years of labour?

      • Apolonia

        Blue Labour and red Labour are both left wing. Both believe in “big government” and “borrow and hope” economics.

      • JeffW2

         I make that 51.5 years of Centre-Left, minus of course Roger Douglas’ brave time saving the country.


      the problem with the left NZ is most are loosers who cant be bothered doing anything – so are they truely left of just lazy ?

  • Guest2

    How about the owl as minister of internal affairs!

  • nasska

    It doesn’t take a great deal of political expertise to see that National must hold on to the fickle centre vote if its goal is Government rather than opposition.  Witness the squabbling by ACT & the Conservatives over the 4% of the voters who can be described as right wing & tell us where else National is going to pick up sufficient support to ever get a majority in the House.

    Throughout Western democracies the entire political spectrum has moved left….. it’s not phenomenon peculiar to NZ.  If National doesn’t move accordingly it stuffed as a political party.

  • Phronesis

    Super and Health really need to be considered together. We keep paying more to keep those on Super alive and collecting. While it is likely that means testing will be politically acceptable in the near future for super it is unlikely to be so for health. The admission that the state has decided to let those who can’t afford private healthcare to die is going to be hard for any politician. Of course this whole problem is essentially just the chickens coming home to roost for socialism.

  • Goldie

    “So if we are a centre left country why, in my lifetime have we had 33.5 years of National govt. and 18 years of labour?”

    Which means we have had 51.5 years of centre-left governments.

  • Whafe

    I don’t at all buy into the theory that NZer’s are by in large left. That is BS… I don’t deny at all that there has been some movement to the left, but is this not a societal movement in some respect? More being offered living costs for doing next to nothing… Or less being accountable for their actions etc etc…

    If anything the western world needs to move more to the right, or else the whole place well go broke, faster than a fast thing….. Simple for me, the left leaning like to spend more than they have coming in, that fundamentally will never work… If it can, please let me know the recipe.

    I also feel that those with good ethic would rather not get into politics, they overall level of standard is in the toilet, so who would want to join them…. 

    Something totally new needs to come out of the woodwork…

    • nasska

      …”If anything the western world needs to move more to the right”…..

      True….but politics is the art of the possible & pragmatic in nature.  A political party that does not reflect the current views of the electorate can only obtain power by misrepresentation & bullshit.  They can then change anything they collectively feel like but if the people don’t like it, out they go for six or nine years.

      Nirvana it ain’t but if NZ is going to be mismanaged into the financial shitter let’s have National do the job……at least it will take them longer to stuff the country!

      • Whafe

        Totally agree with your last paragraph……

        It is very scary when in some form or another, a pinko has some of the same gene’s as sphincter, that scares the shit out of me….. Give me strength…

        All I want is not to be punished for working hard……. 

  • le sphincter

    If you make Collins your next leader, you will be in opposition for a long time.

     Remember how Ruth Richardson  was sacked after her 3 years, because she nearly  blew away  the biggest majority in a generation.

    Look what happened to ACT. If there really was a  public following they would be at 10% plus like the greens