Voters sent Labour a message in last year’s election by either voting for other parties or not voting at all.
But has the party got it? Trans Tasman doesn’t think so:
Shearer is still feeling his way forward as Opposition leader, and those who are eager to detect signs Labour has absorbed the lessons of its thrashing at the polls last November have yet to be convinced it has done so.
NZ is living in a very different world from where it stood just a decade ago. The limitations of state power in an era of global financial constraint have become clearer to even the most indifferent citizen. There is no longer any conviction Govts can find, and deliver, an easy path to prosperity. New Zealanders are able to see only too clearly in the fate of countries like Greece that the penalties of using debt to achieve prosperity can be catastrophic. The painful lesson from the first decade of this century is there are no silver bullets in the political armoury, particularly when the nation has to deal with a disaster as big as the Canterbury earthquakes.
Businesses and households have got the message.
The government is very clear it has got the message and most of the public service has got it too.
But there is no clear evidence that Labour has really got it yet and there is another big sector of the economy that isn’t yet showing it’s got the message and that’s local government.