Posts Tagged ‘Helen Clark’

Did SFO tip off Key?

September 1, 2008

Prime Minister Clark aired her suspicions this morning on TV One’s Breakfast programme that the Serious Fraud Office tipped off the National Party last week about its intention to investigate NZ First:

“I find the National Party’s statement and timing interesting because I would say it’s almost certain they got a tip from the Serious Fraud Office that it was about to move.”

It’s a fair point. That exact same thought occurred to me last week. The timing, as with the whole series of revelations about donations to Winston Peters, was just too neatly timed. In the real world you expect a little messiness. But messiness detracts from PR impact (as John McCain is finding to his cost this week).

Clark’s “challenged Key and the SFO “directly to come clean because I think it’s a very serious thing if an agency like the SFO is leaking to the Opposition.”


Explaining the polls

June 30, 2008

Yesterday’s HoS piece by Keith Ng adds another possible reason for Labour’s slump in the polls. Ng cites VUW political scientist Jon Johansson:

“The real weakness of Clark is that there is no over-arching explanation as to what the purpose of her government is. We’ve seen this right through the three terms”

I just can’t agree with this. Most people I talk to — not a random sample of the entire population, I know, but including some moderately conservative types — speak warmly of Labour’s first & second terms.


Change for change sake? Is that it?

June 9, 2008

Friends who deal daily with myriad “ordinary voters” assure me that there is not the anger with the Government that there was in 1990. How then to explain the persistent gap between Labour and National, which appears to be widening if anything?

TV3 News thought to find out with some vox pops. One woman summed up the views of many, “I think we’re really fickle, the LCD is old and we want the new Sony Bravia…” Concluded 3News, “People appear to want change, but many are not sure why or to what.”

There is undoubtedly widespread ‘Helen-fatigue’. Even the most charismatic leader would find maintaining her popularity after 9 years in charge a hard ask, and charisma is not a quality normally associated with Clark. Helen-fatigue first popped up in my experience a couple of years ago when a colleague, whose opinion I respect, admitted that he might vote National simply because he had grown “tired” of Clark and wanted a change. But there’s more to it than that.