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David Shearer:

Future Prime Minister of New Zealand? Jarred Williamson

He’s making many political commentators and analysts scratch their heads and ask, “who is this guy and what is his vision?” In fact, they’re giving him a pretty hard time. He’s certainly not your usual politician and he most certainly lacks political polish and oratory ability unlike leadership contender, David Cunliffe. As I write this, I too am interested in this man, David Shearer. He is the newly elected Leader of the Opposition and Labour leader – at least he has been for the past few months. However, in that length of time, surely the man would have gone to great lengths to stamp his identity and cry, “I, David Shearer, am here!”

He’s making many political commentators and analysts scratch their heads and ask, “who is this guy and what is his vision?” In fact, they’re giving him a pretty hard time. He’s certainly not your usual politician and he most certainly lacks political polish and oratory ability unlike leadership contender, David Cunliffe.

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So what do we actually know of David Shearer?

Background: He’s quite clearly different from predecessor Goff in that Shearer is not a career politician who has graced the House of Representatives with his voice for 30 plus years. We do know he has worked with the United Nations in many war torn countries – there was this crazy comparison going around that John Key went overseas and made 50 million and David Shearer went overseas and saved 50 million lives. However, Shearer commented that he did not directly save lives. On TV3 during the ‘leadership race’ between Shearer and Cunliffe, he admitted he’d taken a large pay cut to come back home. A Saint? Well, I think that might be jumping the gun a bit.

Political ideals: This is the part that most people do not understand. There has yet to be a comment or speech that fully outlines what Mr. Shearer believes in politically. He’s admitted to a New Zealand Herald reporter that his first vote as an enrolled voter in his youth went to National and even now some family members vote blue, yet he is now the leader of the Labour party (not such a great admission to make I think). Article after article about Mr. Shearer has always made the comment that he has not yet made firm comments on political issues. For a Labour leader, I am surprised at the lack of comment on the Ports of Auckland strike – no photo opportunities shaking hands with the wharfies. Hence so much head scratching. The lack of stance is interesting to any political nerd (like many people think I am); at present, I would say he is quite centrist. Yes, he’s made opposing comments to assetsales, but lacked passion in his delivery like Goff and Cunliffe. With no speech presented yet as to Labour’s policy direction under Shearer, it’s all the makings of a bit of a ‘political bisexual’ as Sebastian Mackay (debate contributor and Communications student) would put it – his ideas could go either way.

debate issue 3 2012  
debate issue 3 2012  

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