• The Political Fallout from the Crisis

    As the “protest” in Wellington draws to its close, and middle New Zealand begins to re-assert itself, the question arises – what will be the political fallout from this unhappy episode?

    Many commentators will already have concluded, as much of the media have constantly suggested, that the government will have suffered some damage in the voters’ minds from the scenes in Wellington, but the opposite may well be the case.

    To see highlighted the stark contrast between a responsible and democratically elected government on the one hand, and the violence, anarchism and extremism of their critics on the other, may well have worked in the government’s favour; if that is the choice we must make, the ordinary voter may say, we have no hesitation in firming up our support for democracy and law and order.

    Nor is it the case that other political groupings will have done themselves much good. David Seymour, gadfly that he is, has tried to ingratiate himself with the demonstrators. He is, after all, entirely poll-driven, and is terrified of being outflanked on the right. He will happily abandon sensible middle opinion if that is what is needed to hang on to the support he hopes to gain from the extreme right.

    Nor has Christoper Luxon, for the National party, cut a particularly impressive figure. He has hoped to profit from the government’s difficulties and has therefore refrained from helping them by appealing to traditional New Zealand values – the values that National is supposed to represent. On the other hand, he has recognised that to be seen to be condoning the actions and threats of the demonstrators would be electoral suicide.

    As a consequence, he has been left to flap his hands ineffectually – a mere spectator rather a contributor to a solution. There was little sign here of the ability, shown in spades by the Prime Minister, to stay calm and hold the line in the face of the most extreme pressure.

1 Comment

  1. Concerned Citizen says: February 21, 2022 at 1:48 pmReply

    Luckily for De Luxon, foreign citizens with voting rights in No Zealand will give him a tick or two. Not even Canada allows non-citizens to vote in national elections.

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