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February 14, 2008 | by  | in Online Only | [ssba]

Leadership Looms Large

Before I go on with the rest of my post. I apologise for my abhorrent spelling, and would like to acknowledge my flagrant disrespect for the English language. I do however believe that there is a message behind the words that are written, no how badly they are spelt.

But carrying on from the last post about the diminishing policy gap between the two major parties, I would like to introduce leadership as one of the defining factors in this years election. It is fair to assume that this will be an important factor when people are choosing who to vote for weather it is here or in the US.

New Zealand’s political scene for the past 10 years has becoming increasing presidential, and focused on the actions of the leaders. Clark VS. Brash, Clark VS. Key, Winston VS. Clarkson, Rodney, Peter and Jim’s attempts at personality cults, the Greens and Maori Party providing strong stable leadership through their co-leaders…. No matter what party you vote for leadership is probably going to be one of the most important factors, because it can be one of the defining traits of a party.

Small party’s are especially wary about the importance of leadership for the image and opinion of the party. In some cases – cough – New Zealand First, Progressive, United, ACT – cough – the leader is the only reason why the Party has a public profile. Personality cults around small party leaders seem, to be a common feature in NZ politics. Jim Anderton’s campaign last election lead the Progressives to rename themselves after their leader, and most of their advertising collateral focused on the fact that “Jim gets things done.” NZ First has always been about Winnie, with Peters smiling face shining down unto the population from bill boards since 1993.

This is not to say that those parties do not have strong and or effective leadership practises, because NZ First has been a relatively stable party for the past two election cycles and Jim has always gotten his way, even if it means breaking laws he urged be put in place.

ACT and United are what happens when leadership cults go bad….

The Greens were one of the first really successful parties in NZ to adopt a shared leadership position. The complementing personalities of Jeanette and Rod worked well, and Russell Norman being co-leader outside of Parliament has bought the Green Party as a whole closer together. Something similar can be said about Tariana and Pita’s contrasting personalities.

As for the two major parties leadership is something that needs to be seriously considered. Helen is by far the most experienced of the two leaders. With over 20 years parliamentary experience and 9 years at the helm of a government, it undeniably provides a few pluses in on the Helen for PM side, but she is getting old, and her iron grip isn’t quite as strong as it used to be. John Key is the new kid on the block, but he has done quite well for himself after 6 years in Parliament. He has also proven himself as a manager in his career before entering parliament.


About the Author ()

The editor of this fine rag for 2009.

Comments (4)

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  1. Martli says:

    I read the first sentence of your article and didn’t read any more. NEVER apologise at the start of a piece, it makes you look like an idiot and an incompetent writer. If your spelling is that bad then FIX IT, or at least get someone to look over it before you post it. No one wants to read self-loathing bullshit; they want to read good writing.

  2. Hammond says:

    Agreed ~

  3. peteremcc says:

    Fuck up Hammond

  4. peteremcc says:

    again, not me commenting…

    if farrar has a blog stalking his blog, and i have a commenter stalking my comments… does that make me almost as cool as farrar?

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