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  • rmacculloch

For Goodness Sakes, Some People You Just Can't Help

For an entire week, this Blog has been focused on one issue - the false claim made by the PM that NZ's GDP growth rate is better "than every country, other than Japan" which he made to Hosking on Newstalk ZB. I saw it as crucial to the election campaign, which centers on economic credibility and in particular cost-of-living issues. The latest IMF figures, released two days ago, put NZ close to bottom on GDP growth - we're on track to be 180th out of 189 countries next year (and way down this year as well). I've checked the OECD Quarterly Growth Figures - since the PM inferred at one stage it maybe these numbers he's talking about - and NZ is certainly not 2nd after Japan there either.

So my point is that I've tried like a dog to put the truth out there - and I know many MPs receive this Blog - and thousands of folks have been reading it the past week and re-posting. But then in the Leaders Debate last night, the PM repeated his claim that NZ is beating every country other than Japan on the GDP numbers... and Luxon let it go.

How could he? His opponent was stating that Labour is a superior economic manager to National based on our GDP performance and it is not true. How on earth could Luxon not challenge him on the most crucial issue of economic competence? Luxon could've won the debate hands-down and the election in that one moment - by showing off a command of economic matters, like the OECD & IMF numbers, and calling Hipkins' out as deceptive. Once the PM knew he could get away with that, he knew could get away with anything.

My political analyst friends in the US say folks expected John Kerry to lose the Presidential Election in 2004 when he got labelled a coward by George Bush & the Republican Party for not helping his fellow soldiers more in Vietnam when they came under enemy attack, even though Kerry had received three Purple Heart military medals when George Bush had been serving in the National Guard in Texas and dodging the draft. They said that for Bush to win the debate & label Kerry a coward when Bush had not served proved Kerry could not win a debate even when he held all the cards.

It seems to me that National has held all the cards on the economy and should have easily won these debates on the GDP growth numbers & cost-of-living since they're so clearly in tatters. To not win easily winnable debates with all the numbers on your side, and when Bloggers like me have handed them the evidence on a plate, beggars belief.



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