By Duncan Garner, RadioLIVE Drive host Follow @Garner_Live
There’s a reason why Kim Dotcom, Brendan Horan and Colin Craig are getting so many headlines right now: All the other politicians are on holiday, and simply don’t give a stuff.
They’re either at their beach houses or overseas, and politics is the last thing on their mind. This has happened for years.
The political year kicks off when politicians pretend to care about the Ratana Church celebrations at the end of January and when the first Cabinet meeting takes place. Parliament doesn’t actually sit until February.
So, right now those three are taking their chances with the media, but they will soon have to compete with the big boys and girls for space. It will get that much harder.
Colin Craig can only say so many crazy things and may have shot his load already. But I’m picking he’ll get into Parliament under some kind of deal with National and John Key.
Kim Dotcom will stay in the headlines because his party launch was, as David Farrar puts it, a cluster-fudge. There are some that are genuinely interested in what this party may offer – that makes it truly unique.
An internet party got seven percent in Germany, so his Internet Party can’t be written off. But it’s had a woeful start with a hopelessly organised failed launch. Still, it kept him on the front page, I suppose.
The Internet Party will be a place to put your protest vote against John Key, the spies, the establishment and the ruling elite. It could well be a party for those that feel disconnected to the mainstream, disconnected to politics and disenfranchised overall. That makes it a potential threat. But what will it ever achieve? Who will lead it? If Bomber Bradbury is its main advisor – where the hell is it heading?
More than 800,000 Kiwis didn’t vote last election, so if Dotcom can pick up some of them, he may have a chance. He’ll need 140,000 votes to crack five percent - it’s actually a very difficult ask, I think it will be a step too far – but who really knows? It’s such early days. I think his support is largely in Auckland Central – do Hawke's Bay, Taranaki and Southland care for him? I doubt it.
Then there’s Brendan Horan and, well, who really cares? In 10 months his picture goes on the dart-board beside Alamein Kopu. If he gets back, I’ll run down Queen Street with not much on.
So to the big boys. John Key will cruise back into town shortly, saying the economy is in great shape and why put it all at risk with the Greens and Labour at the helm? It could be a compelling message, especially if unemployment continues to drop and workers start to enjoy pay increases.
David Cunliffe has his state of the nation speech on Monday. He will need to present something that grabs the attention of the public because the landscape is getting crowded. Cunliffe needs to dial it back a bit this year on the presentation. He’s hard to take seriously at times. He lacks authenticity and needs to be careful how he comes across.
The Greens will need to be careful they don’t lose some of their youth vote to Kim Dotcom. Actually, Dotcom could lose the left the election this year if he takes left wing votes and they are wasted. It’s why John Key will make sure Colin Craig’s three or four percent is not wasted. He’ll look after him.
Winston Peters? Who knows. Ask Grey Power – but he’ll be in the mix.
ACT? Well, if John Boscawen is the answer, it was a stupid question to start with. The Maori Party are a shadow of its former self. And Hone: Has he returned from South Africa yet?
Which leaves us with Peter Dunne and surely this year will be better than last. You can’t have two mid-life crises two years running can you? But if Key gives Dunne’s electorate the nod – he’ll return.
My pick is a late November election. It will be decided by a single vote and not all of those I’ve mentioned will make it. Thank heavens for small mercies.
Happy New Year.
Duncan Garner hosts RadioLIVE Drive
source: data archive