There’s no doubt the National Party under John Key surfed a wave of support unprecedented in MMP times—riding polls that showed them over the journey easily able to govern alone, if they wanted to.
Key’s own personal popularity with the electorate bought the Party enormous political capital, enough popularity to allow Key and Co to climb out from under a series of mini-scandals with little more than a smile and wave.
If you’ve been a National Party supporter, it’s been a great ride.
I, those five years of power however, I wonder whether they’ve spent all that political capital wisely.
I wonder if National Party supporters wonder that too?
They took power, they had a whole country looking to them for answers, they acquired the political capital that comes with widespread popular support, but what of long-lasting importance did they actually do with it all?
Given that the National Party now looks to have begun its inevitable electoral decline—these things generally and inevitably being cyclical—and having few supporting parties to bail it out electorally—even to the desperate levels of cobbling together support that the ragtag Shipley parliament managed—I reckon that’s a question National Party supporters should start asking themselves wow their tide is going out:
Did they spend all that political capital wisely?
In other words, and this is what I’d like National Party supporters reading this to answer, if they will, is to reflect on what fundamental changes this National Government they’ve supported has achieved, and whether they National Government they’ve supported has spent the enormous political capital of the Key era wisely.
What did the Key Government do with all that support?
What did they buy with that political capital that made New Zealand a better place?
What real long-lasting achievements can they point to?
What permanent, concrete changes can you point to?
And did they, in the end, deserve your support?
Please. Tell us.