Saturday, November 12, 2016
Lately, there have been few instances where the Labour Party is appearing to be "disoriented" in the full glare of public eyes.
Last week Labour leader Andrew Little was seen publically on the receiving end of a media probing on the accuracy of "numbers" provided along with their recently announced "work-ready" policy for the nation in 2017.
The most recent one happened last week in a public debate for the Mt Roskill by-elections organized by Central Leader between the Labour candidate Michael Wood and National's candidate Dr Parmjeet Parmar.
Michael Wood has taken an exception to an alleged comment from a National Party supporter about his wife who is the chairwoman of the Puketapapa local board for the Auckland Council, during the debate itself "warning" that if he hears anything again then "there might be some problems after this meeting."
Apparently, there was a "flare-up" after the end of the public debate between the Labour candidate and the National Party supporter, who turned out to National candidate Dr Parmjeet Parmar's husband.
Since then there have been claims and counter-claims about the "extent" of the flare up.
Since it is no ordinary time - as the next general elections are not too far, if not just round the corner - and Mt Roskill by-elections are scheduled for next month, where the party has lot at stake, therefore the party will do well to do a thorough introspection about how best to present themselves as "job-ready" after the next general elections.
The Labour Party has a lot at stake in this by-election as they not only have to retain a seat considered safe for the Labours but also have to set a positive momentum for themselves for the next general elections in November 2017.
Having said that, it is not to condone or buttress National Party in any way about the Labour Party's seeming "bushwhack" in the public eyes. Till the writing of this opinion piece, the claim of "manhandling" alleged to made by a National Party member and incorrectly attributed to the Party in media reports, appears to be in "cold waters" as per the raw footage made available to the public.
Instead, it is to suggest that if Labour Party has the goal to win next year, if that is a goal at all, then the responsibility to move forward towards that goal confidently, lies squarely with the party.
No one has promised them that their journey is supposed to be easy and devoid of any baited traps.
The Labour Party will do well to "choose" their battles rather than get allured into every insignificant battle and be seen publically "rattled."
National Party candidate for Mt Roskill by-elections Dr Parmjeet Parmar appears to be correct, however momentarily, that Labour Party candidate was "rattled."
"My opposition was a bit rattled. It looks like he couldn't take the heat of the debate, I wonder how he's going to take the heat of the debating chamber," she said.
Equally important observation is about the post-Trump world's reality check on the mainstream media.
The American media has received a flak for missing the mark widely in the recently concluded elections allegedly because of "self-indulgence."
The indictment of American media is a reflection of the shortcoming of the global mainstream media in falling short of comprehending the dynamic changes going on in our world accurately.
The reported attempts of our mainstream media in finding "New Zealand's Trump" is the kind of self-indulgence that has been recently rejected in the US.
Our world is facing a collective public disdain towards the establishment, the status quo, and elitism, generally imposed on a reluctant masses around the world, and New Zealand is not too far away from the global mainland to risk ignoring "learning" somewhere else.
Similarly, the reporting of alleged "flare up" after the finishing of by-elections public debate is not a service to the public cause.
This is after we have been told that the public debate could not give space to other contestants in this by-election on the pretext of being not significant enough to attract space in the mainstream media - a case of maintaining the "status quo" and "elitism."
Having said that all, it does not absolve the Labour Party from their responsibility to choose their battles in a way that they do not appear disoriented in the public eyes.
Similarly, there is nothing extraordinary for the National's to take away from this by-elections public debate apart from the fact that the debate was robustly contested.
To what extent the public attending the debate were convinced remains to be seen in future.