My personal congratulations to David Shearer and Grant Robertson, for becoming leader and deputy leader respectively of the Labour Party. The challenge now is to turn a historic low into something more. Labour can do worse, the trick is for these two to dig their heels in and stop the party sliding back any further, then to get the party back on it's feet if they want to get more than 30% in the next election. Like Good Guy Greg, I aim to do constructive criticism, so here's some key points for them (and aspiring Labourites) to watch out for.
Business, Not Bureaucracy
Labour's caucus of union hacks and public sector bureaucrats is no qualification to run the country. Get some experience in the private sector to understand New Zealanders and New Zealand's economy. Most people work for a business, you would help that majority by having the same experience.
Crunch the Numbers
The world is far more concerned with economic responsibility than it has been in a long time, so a good image to project would be one of sound and stable fiscal policy and economic management. The high-spending Clark days are long gone, and Labour will appear competent and responsible by hinting it is ready to make hard decisions, but also to be innovative and creative with the economy. Losing a round of 'show me the money' again puts Labour straight into the toilet.
Social Heart, Economic Brain
This would help them be more centrist, balance social provision with money on the mind. Be careful how much things cost, and see if there is a way to maximize provision while minimizing costs. Hard to argue with that.
Watch the Image
Ensure Shearer has none of the qualities that the public finds fault with John Key. Remember that New Zealand usually votes a prime minister out when they are tired of their leader and they can remember the name of the closest competitor. Shearer needs to have a strong and positive image that is memorable in the minds of the public for good and positive reasons. The party cannot risk appearing economically incompetent or as weak leaders, either lead to political suicide. Unions and union connection are unhelpful, as the largely non-unionized workforce will have little sympathy for this cause. Like National has done well, connections to real New Zealanders working for private businesses and sending their children to public schools will help.
These are points for ALL of the Labour party and their supporters to note. Again, useful information, and worth using.