Shrinking, atomised working class reshapes politics

Today in The Australian

Tomorrow “Jacindamania” could propel Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Labour Party’s 37-year-old leader, into the prime ministership. No doubt local factors will play a role: having been in gov­ernment almost a decade, the ­National Party, despite a solid ­record, has struggled to convince voters it has much to offer.

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
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14 Responses to Shrinking, atomised working class reshapes politics

  1. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Jacinda’s regret: I needed more time

    Jamie Walker,Auckland
    The Australian
    12:00AM September 22, 2017

    As the political fairytale of an epic upset in the New Zealand election ebbed away, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said she had only one regret: that Kiwi voters didn’t have more time to get to know her.

    Ms Ardern’s exhilarating campaign hit the wall after opinion polls showed Labour’s vote had collapsed during a week in which Prime Minister Bill English punched holes in her tax plan and she came across as “rattled” during their final fact-to-face encounter of the campaign.

    A Newshub-Reid Research poll confirmed last night that the momentum had shifted to Mr Eng­lish, positioning his National Party to win a historic fourth term tomorrow, a feat no government in nearly 50 years has achieved in New ­Zealand.

    The National’s 45.8 per cent share of the vote would deliver 56 seats, down four on its present roster but close to a majority in the 120-place Beehive with the three projected seats of partners ACT and the Maori Party.

    Labour was still in with a fighting chance when its projected 45 seats were added to the nine that the Greens are expected to pick up.

    The poll affirmed that maverick former deputy PM Winston Peters would be kingmaker: Neither the Nationals nor Labour could form government without the nine seats tipped to go to his populist New Zealand First party.

    From the Oz. Perhaps the New Zealanders looked across the ditch?

  2. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Typical socialists, throw a woman at the job like adding sugar to bad medicine, in the hope gullible voters chose a good socialist style rogering.

  3. Trudeau, Macron; maybe people are becoming wary of child prime ministers and presidents.

  4. Snoopy

    There’s nothing wrong with me. I want to see the wunderbint cry on election night.

  5. RobK

    And she had solid backing from the ABC!

  6. John Bayley

    Well, she has been dubbed “Kevin Rudd in skirts” for a reason”!
    I actually think that had she had “more time” for voters to get to know her, she would bomb out entirely. The Kiwis don’t tend to be much smarter than us when it comes to their liking for “free sh*t”, but nevertheless her calling people “comrade” and the proposals to significantly increase spending, lift all sorts of taxes and even introduce a capital gains tax (yes, NZ does not have one, nor does it have stamp duty, and yet somehow their government has balanced the budget – Turnbull & Shorten take note!) must have swayed even some of the dimmer voters out there.
    Further good news includes the fact that if things keep going as they have so far, the Greens may be wiped out entirely!
    Perhaps that undercover Kiwi, Ludlam, should go over there to help?

  7. H B Bear

    Australia had it’s own kingmaker too. The fraudulent, cowardly bozos who gave us a second helping of R-G-R incompetence and waste.

    Let’s wait and see. My faith in democracy is at a near cyclical low.

  8. Robber Baron

    The legacy of the left leans hard. Kiwis saw the Australian flirtation with left. The Rudd/Gillard/Rudd/Turnbull era is frightening and expensive.

  9. struth


    When your propaganda machine (the MSM) do what they do these days and not try to even appear unbiased, you get this crap.

    Journalists (rabid left wing fools) attempt free market style marketing of their product crying but wait there is more, a free set of steak knives…………………………………….

    I reckon I should look up sports bet odds.

  10. Roger

    …the ­National Party, despite a solid ­record, has struggled to convince voters it has much to offer.

    Apart from reasonably stable and fiscally responsible government.

    Here’s hoping they consider Australia’s experiment with certain a “charismatic” Labor leader.

    In any case, Winston Peters is likely to be the kingmaker.

  11. mareeS

    Kiwis have had a long learning curve about instability and nutters like Helen of the Teeth.

    We have lots of family between here and there, and we are just a wee way behind the cousins in recognising the value of political stability.

  12. John Constantine

    “Happy jacindamania, it is just so exciting it makes you feel excited and it is her turn and you are excited for her and feel sad when the racist nazis hate her and it is just so exciting and it is her turn.”

    Bait and switch, Comrades.

    How many people really believe that the Australian filth going to the next election with filth-shorten up front is their Plan A?.

  13. Tim Neilson

    How many people really believe that the Australian filth going to the next election with filth-shorten up front is their Plan A?.

    As long as the 2pp stays at Full Strength Labor 53% Labor Lite 47%, Peanut Head’s faction will probably retain enough control for him to hang on.

    But if there’s any real concern that they may miss out on the winners’ trough, yes, Peanut Head will be toast.

  14. Yohan

    Exactly what happened in 2007 with the Howard government, and recently Harper in Canada. It’s time for change, let Labor have a go.

    And the first thing the lefties do after winning such an election is delude themselves they have a mandate to implement far left progressive policies. Ramp up spending, which results in lower growth over time. Increase deficits, run up the debt, re-regulate the economy. Signal about climate change and gay marriage as if they are 1st order issues.

    NZ is now in for fun times like the rest of the anglo world.

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