Thursday, August 28, 2014

Leader debate - quick impression

My political history is ACT/Libertarianz. John Key has drawn my ire in the past. I remember writing a  letter criticising Key policy which was published in the DomPost and one of his people emailing me a response. But I am closer to centre right than left and would prefer a National government.

Tonight David Cunliffe put up a pleasant persona. One I am unfamiliar with. He lost the smugness and nastiness previously on offer. How he managed is fascinating of itself. Who the real Cunliffe is exercises me.

Key was less smiley and relaxed than normal. At moments he seemed less forceful and personable than the 'tonight' David Cunliffe. That surprised me. But these affairs must be exceedingly difficult to handle in  a psychological sense.

I think there is a jungle drum murmur that National is getting arrogant like Clark did after 3 terms, which Key may well be aware of and downplayed any impression that would confirm that. He wasn't ultra-confident. But that made him more vulnerable - also not a necessarily losing position.

There were moments of utter denial on both sides, "That's not true ", "That's wrong". For people with little economic or social knowledge this kind of stand-off must be very frustrating. For instance, Cunliffe said there are 32,000 more people unemployed since National took office. Key denied it.

It's true by the HLFS measure. But contrast the economic circumstances, or population size, or get into the vagaries and minutiae of labour force measures and it's not statistically significant. As Key said, our unemployment rate is now amongst the lower in the OECD. NZ's weathering of the GFC is admirable and even Cunliffe acknowledged that.

I did send a text for best performance and voted for Key. Because ultimately his performance best matches what I want to hear. No clamp down on land sales, or immigration. Yes to free trade and foreign investment. No to capital gains tax.

Was Hosking unbiased? Ummm. Even-handed in his tough treatment of both but tending towards subjects he knows and has an opinion on, which generally fall in favour of National (gleaned from listening to NewstalkZB in the mornings.)

The (my) big subjects not raised:

Super qualifying age
Child poverty


Anonymous said...

Was Hosking unbiased?

Absolutely not!

Two really big reasons:

1. Hosking agreed to host the debate between the leader of the only major party - and a minor party leader. That's undemocratic right there.

2. Hosking bought into the smear campaign being run by the extreme Maoist left - via Hager - against Key. That should have disqualified him from the start.

Anonymous said...

Hard to sort out whop said what. there was too much talking over one another including Hoskings.

Thought it was pretty poor.

Anonymous said...

Key came across as tired and weak, Cunliffe with a winning edge.
Boring overall, and Hosking was average.

Anonymous said...

Cunliffe had better hair!

Anonymous said...

Hosking went o.k.Key looked tense and nervous.Oh the irony of 'bringing NZ through the GFC'!He was one of those who caused it.Unless he was deaf,dumb and blind,how could he have not noticed all the money laundering,fraud and sharp practice Merrill were brought to task for under O'Neal and his successor.

Jigsaw said...

I was especially interested in Cunnliffe's body language and in particular his stance-legs wide apart - a very aggressive look. I didn't watch much of the 'debate' as I think it's a format that doesn't produce much of any use anyway. I doubt anyone learned much from the programme or that anyone changed their mind

Jamie said...

Grrr!!! When are you commentators and journo's gonna click.
This is a fixed fight...DUH.
These two will put on a good performance for the punters. They'll dance around, shadow each other, and throw a few punches.
But at the end of the day Cunliffe's already been paid to take the fall(hello $$$ offshore bank account)