Monday, 17 November 2008

Election results

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Well, the US and NZ elections have both delivered the results I was expecting and, with reservations, hoping for. I'm reasonably confident that both Barack Obama and John Key will produce some notable screwups during their term of office, but in both cases I preferred them - again, with reservations - to the alternatives. I'll be interested to see what happens, in a "waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop" kind of way.

I was, as I think I said, hoping for an outcome where National needed the Maori Party to govern. They don't, strictly speaking, need them, but they're inviting them into the coalition anyway (presumably insurance to keep ACT in line in case they go over the top with their ideology), and that creates a much-needed balance and a direct connection to people who are likely to suffer from economic upheavals and the unintended consequences of government policy.

So here are my three main worries about each of the election results.

I worry that Barack Obama:
  1. Despite the smooth running of his campaign suggesting that he can pick good staff, will pick the wrong people for the jobs that need to be done, as George Bush did in some - though not all - cases, and that this will, as with Bush, lead to his intended changes either being hijacked or failing to be executed properly.
  2. Will splash money around without accountability on how it is spent or control of the consequences. We're seeing, potentially, the first example of this with the bailout for the auto industry.
  3. Will disperse the goodwill and popularity he has by enacting radical policies that the electorate generally doesn't support.
I worry that John Key's National-led government:
  1. Will pursue a hard-line economic ideology at the expense of real people and in the face of evidence that it isn't working.
  2. Will be a chameleon which tries to be everything to all people and ends up being nothing to anybody.
  3. Will turn around and be just as paternalistic and interfering as Labour was, though possibly about different issues.
It will be interesting to watch.

No comments: