Is Key a subscriber to ‘canoe theory’?

Todd S. Purdum looks at California’s Governor Jerry Brown:

Brown’s politics have long been tough to pigeonhole. He is personally ascetic, like the Jesuit seminarian he once was, and in his first term famously drove a plebeian Plymouth. He has always been a bit of a fiscal skinflint and now bucks liberal orthodoxy on questions like legalizing marijuana. His long-standing credo has been the “canoe theory” — that the best way to head in a straight line is to paddle a little to the left and then to the right. In contrast to a Legislature widely seen as left of center, he is viewed as middle of the road.

It is hard to argue when reading that description of Jerry Brown that it doesn’t also fit John Key perfectly.

John Key sits squarely in the middle, with little paddles to the left, and then little paddles to the right. So far he has got the balance in the canoe just right.

But all it takes to tip a canoe over is a rogue wave, or a boat to speed past or the canoe to spring a leak.  

It is then that the poll driven fruit cakes get flummoxed. They don’t know which way to paddle and furiously start back paddling in many instances.

The key to understanding how to unseat politicians like John Key is to be disruptive. And by disruptive I don’t mean act like dicks like the Labour party or the Green party.

I mean disruptive in the sense of doing things differently.

It doesn’t have to be by much, even just a few percentage points different is enough

The problem in NZ politics is we pretty much now know what John Key won’t do, stuff all about what he will do, and the same goes for the opposition.

There is simply no compelling reason for voters to move from the so far safe, warm embrace of John Key and his bland government.

But eventually the canoe will tip and no amount of paddling is going to save him. There are only so many people in your caucus that you can lie to about their prospects before they start thinking that their prospects would be better served working for someone else.


– Politico

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.