National has announced it has dropped its opposition to the Kyoto protocol and will cut climate change emissions by 50% by 2050. Well I hope it keeps its word. Apart from the fact it probably won't be in government much of that period now that we have a well established MMP electoral system, many of us won't be alive in 2050. Rhetoric, John, rhetoric! With countries like Australia and the US who didn't support the Kyoto protocol initially, now having to support policies to cut climate change emissions.
So National finally has a leader who has overtaken an overworked Labour prime minister, Helen Clark, in the polls. She should have been struggling for quite a while now, considering the flack the government has taken on a variety of fronts.The only real poll comes on election day, and this government, led by New Zealand's best prime minister in decades,doesn't govern by popularity polls.
Just how many times will Key and National get away with their backflipping on the Kyoto protocol, Kiwisaver, income- related State Housing rents, and most likely, student loans. The Government has to deal with the anti-smacking debate, interest rates, the high dollar and now, with tax cuts because Australia has done so in its election budget. I have confidence in Michael Cullen's econonomic management and his reasons why a small tax cut will do little to help Kiwi workers. The Working for Family policy is working its way through the economy now and will help most families more than some small tax cuts. I say small because that is all National has given in the past and would be able to give in the future if NZ voters were stupid enough to vote them into power.
The National Party cannot position itself in the middle of the political spectrum in New Zealand politics because it is still a strongly right wing party. John Key simply does not have a credible vehicle to drive to electoral victory. Look at the people he is surrounded by - all previously badly defeated New Right economic, social and industrial relations apologists. All I can say to John Key is to make the most of his little political honeymoon because future polls will be questioning his credibility. It will take the pressure off Helen Clark a little, and let her concentrate on working for the New Zealand people, not the little gnomes and gnomelets who have prospered since market economics became established in Newe Zealand.