For as long as I can remember since the introduction of MMP, National has insisted on promoting “Party Vote National”. Discuss this strategy with any National Party MP or member and you get the same answer: “To change the government, people need to vote National.” If they’re in power, they change that to “To keep the government…….”

They tend to hold the view that the smaller parties are nothing more than a distraction. This is rich given the deal they’ve had with Act in Epsom since 2008, where they’ve actively encouraged voters to vote strategically for the ACT electorate candidate.

Traditionally, the New Zealand electorate doesn’t elect a new government, it tosses a sitting government out. The current government is a sitter for being tossed out. No government in living memory has made more cock ups than this lot and the list of failures grows daily.

Despite the high popularity of the Prime Minister, other than a couple of moderately passable colleagues, the government is pretty much a vacant lot and the electorate is becoming more aware of this daily.

National needs to take a strong position on certain key subjects (including strategic voting) to swing a change of government.

But no, they keep on bumbling down the same old pathway with the same old worn out slogans.

“Strong Team” doesn’t cut it. There are some strengths (certainly compared with the other side) but the figureheads of leader and deputy just don’t cut it with the word strong. They have bumbled since day one and there has been no improvement.

“More Jobs” doesn’t cut it either and this isn’t helped by stories of people advertising jobs all over the place and getting no applicants. Be in touch with what’s really happening out there. We have plenty of available hands but they’re not interested in doing anything. I wonder why? It’s not about providing more jobs and by the way, just what’s the plan for doing that?

“Better Economy” is an abysmal, meaningless platitude and a total fail. Better than what? A strong team with strong leadership would offer something way stronger than that.

“Party Vote National” ……… Probably not – for the reasons above.

For goodness sake National – stand for something – anything.

MMP is a clusterwhatsit of a system by virtue of its many complexities. Too complex for the average person to be bothered even trying to understand, it flounders about, creating a mixture of reasonably good outcomes or total disasters. It’s what happens when you throw together a group of people with widely divergent philosophies and force them to negotiate policies. Everything ends up being a compromise watered down to complete ineffectualness.

Propose a change to ensure we never get a repeat of what we’ve got.

Look at the qualifications we currently demand of our politicians: NONE.

Becoming a Member of Parliament requires no life skills, no qualifications, no examination passes, no proof of performance, no previous record of any kind. A great big ZERO of anything. Just being there and looking OK or being a member of the ‘right’ party in the ‘right’ electorate can get you elected.

Make our politicians relevant. Do some homework and come up with some proposals on qualifications for prospective MPs.

A large and significant slice of the electorate wants a change of government despite the polls and the media sprinkling fairy dust everywhere. Middle New Zealand (the silent majority) doesn’t like what’s been dished up and a change is hanging about looking for somewhere to happen.

So far, National is offering only some very good reasons for voters to stay at home.

Of course we will all resist that depressing thought, but the decision this year is going to be a tough one between two groups of equal ineptitude and a bunch of half arsed wannabes with a few outstanding options around the fringes.

I hope the woodwork opens to release something outstanding before September.

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I've worked in media and business for many years and share my views here to generate discussion and debate. I once leaned towards National politically and actually served on an electorate committee once, but the party lost its way and is still lost in the wilderness. Nearly voted Labour once when Roger Douglas was Minister of Finance. I could never see my way clear to voting for NZ First for many reasons but I'm far from committed to one party or one set of views. Years ago I supported Bob Jones and the New Zealand Party and a quest for change and I have voted for Act more than once. Today, politically I don't have a natural home - so I have an open mind.