Kiwibuild: Jacinda’s ‘Kevin’ day of reckoning nears

Photoshopped image credit: Lushington

Jacinda Ardern may be riding high in the opinion polls, but she would be wise to hold her nose and read the entrails of the festering corpse of Kevin Rudd?s political career ? and be very, very nervous.

I?ve written before about the parallels between Ardern and Rudd, and a recent Whaleoil post reminded readers of the often-synchronicities to politics on either side of the Tasman. Like Ardern, Rudd swept into national politics as a newcomer breathing fresh air into the political scene and soared straight to the top of the polls. In government, the gloss only got shinier as polls reached record highs ? at first. For the first two years of his term, Rudd seemed invulnerable.

But the problem for Rudd was that his Camelot was a house of cards. It only took a few puffs of air, and the whole lot collapsed around his ears. Within the third year, Rudd was dumped by his colleagues. History has been even harsher: the man who still holds the record for opinion poll approval is now ranked at almost the bottom of Australia?s 30 prime ministers.

Ardern is starting to feel the first breaths of what may well be the chill wind of political ignominy. Quote:

Public faith is fading in the Government’s promise to deliver 100,000 affordable homes, with the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll finding the majority of New Zealanders expect the KiwiBuild target will fall short. End of quote.

No such political comparisons mirror each other perfectly, of course. I?m certainly not going to argue that the careers of Rudd and Ardern will track each other, point for point. But the parallels are often startling: especially that their careers are starting to wobble over tax reform and big-spending government housing projects. For Rudd, it was pink batts, for Ardern it?s Kiwibuild. Quote.

The scheme has had numerous issues, with the interim target of 1000 KiwiBuild homes to be built by July scrapped and the Government now only delivering 300.

Those polled were asked if they think the Government would achieve its target of building 100,000 homes in 10 years.

Sixty-nine per cent said they did not think the Government would meet the target, 20 per cent thought the target would be achieved and 10 per cent did not know. End of quote.

Like Ardern, Rudd was addicted to crowd-pleasing rhetoric and big-spending, grandiose schemes. But as the gap between his rhetoric and reality became glaringly obvious, voters? faith in Saint Kevin began to falter. The furious reaction to the money-grabbing Mining Resource Rent Tax turned the wobbles into an earthquake. Rudd?s popularity plunged; and so did his government?s. From there on, it was all a matter of time.

As opposition to Ardern?s Capital Gains Tax likewise grows, she may be the next to get the shakes.

On the opposition benches, the Coalition tried two weak, hapless leaders in a row and, as National have under Bridges, they floundered to get traction against the government. After the Coalition in Australia elected Abbott the political bruiser to the leadership, Labor were toast. Is there a National politician in the wings with Abbott?s head-kicking political mongrel? Quote:

National Party housing spokesperson Judith Collins said the results were a “big wake up call for the Government”.

“This tells me that even the vast majority of Labour Party voters don’t believe it, and there’s probably only a few Greens left that do.” End of quote.