The National Party's Slide into Oblivion
In a post titled "The Well-being Budget that Sank", National Party Pollster David Farrar has judged on KiwiBlog the Labour government's "well-being" approach to be nothing more than "a slogan". It's becoming clear that the Nats should start preparing for their 3rd election loss and to disappear as a major political party as well.
Why? The Kiwi public know the truth. Near the beginning of last year, as the coronavirus crisis started to escalate, the Ardern government made the decision to close borders to protect the health and well-being of NZ'ers, even though we all knew it would come at great economic cost. At the start of February, NZ closed borders with China. The Chinese Ambassador disagreed with this decision.
The Leader of the National Party at the time chimed in with the lines, "That's a regrettable position to have our largest trading partner making those sort of comments". Newshub also reported that "Bridges believes the Government's 'flip-flop' with China is one 'we wouldn't want to see' because it's a large trading partner .... He said the economic impacts will "undoubtedly have an effect in NZ ... We look at NZ, there are many sectors that are already feeling the effects. Top of that list has to be tourist operators".
The perception quickly became that the National Party was putting money, trade, profits and economics ahead of human lives whereas Labour was focusing on "health and well-being". That phrase gained real content as 2020 began to unfold. It was no marketing gimmick. No slogan. The public knows it. We all know it. It's the fundamental reason why National suffered an historic election loss. They lost the trust of the nation. It seems they still don't get it and their position remains that the "health and well-being" approach is a PR stunt.
The Nats strategy should be to embrace the well-being objective whole-heartedly, but try persuading the public they have the superior competency to deliver on that objective.