For a start, every defeat you can walk away from has at least one silver lining. In fact there are a number of lessons the left can learn from the 2014 election, but most importantly I think is that unity and discipline is needed when interacting with a biased and corporatised mainstream media.
Journalists, many of whom have been badly tarnished by their association with attack blogger Cameron Slater, are clearly in the pocket of the current government. This is perhaps the biggest hurdle the left wing faces…an unfair media and their toothless watchdogs that aren't just concerned with helping John Key to win, but also with demoralizing the opposition and their supporters.
The name calling and underhanded attacks to that effect during the campaign trail has been unprecedented, and shows that our political system in New Zealand has become a more adversarial contest of smear campaigns instead of a contest of actual ideas. Let's be honest about it, highlighting government corruption isn't a bad thing unless you're the government, and Nicky Hager certainly isn't the boogeyman they want to make him out to be. Furthermore, the right wing blaming events like the Moment of Truth for a decline in left wing support, when there's no evidence apart from the polling to show that was the case, is an attempt to make people feel bad and create disunity, which is unfortunately the left wings biggest Achilles heel.
There is no question that the National party has adopted a US style of politics, whereby large amounts of money and a biased media are used to sway voters along with a negative attack wing that attempts to destroy competing candidates or anybody else who speaks out against their regime. That's what has really turned voters away from making the right choice. In fact, judging by just how corrupt the system has become and how much advertising the National party has undertaken this election, it's pretty clear that they will have to do some very creative accounting to make the numbers stack up.
That brings me onto the next topic. National, who have mismanaged New Zealand into an astronomical $65 billion debt, will have a very hard time making the books work in their third term. With further cuts in social spending likely, there will be more inequality and childhood poverty that will become harder to ignore. That's what makes the result really difficult to fathom, that a large group of Kiwis voted to further persecute the poor.
There is also the issue of dwindling resources because of a failure by National to properly plan ahead, falling commodity prices for our exports and a slowing rebuild in Christchurch. These will all factor in a steady decline in our GDP and National's ability to service government debt.
Such failings will also reduce John Key's support over the next three years, provided the legal ramifications of their dirty politics don't end his reign a bit sooner. I'm sure however that his henchmen will be working hard to undermine the Ombudsmen and our judicial process further in the hope that their Dirty Politics will be allowed to reign supreme.