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This leads back to my point about the unknown factor to David Shearer: he’s broken so many political rules and norms that he is either crazy or he is playing a new strategy that could be a big hit for him and Labour or the beginning of the end. To his defense, Shearer has said in many interviews that he will go at his own pace and won’t be pushed into things. We also know that he is currently receiving some well-needed media training. I still think that after 3 months a new leader would have made more of an impact than Shearer has in profile, policy and polling.

“he’s broken so many political rules and norms that he is either crazy or he is playing a new strategy that could be a big hit for him and Labour or the beginning of the end.”

A fresh look for Labour Upon his election to leader, Shearer has kept pushing the clichéd terms “Fresh faces” and “Fresh start” in small speeches about the direction Labour would be taking; words sound nice but the policy needs to back this. In a move that skeptics could call symbolic, Shearer has put a lot of Labour’s younger faces on the front bench and in top 10 list rankings, Jacinda Ardern being the big winner and now Labour’s number four. Yes, it could be cheesy, but I liked this move in a way, as it is no secret to New Zealand that future talent and future leaders weren’t able to flourish under the Clark and Goff leaderships. Therefore, Labour has progressed in someway, but still a long way off from challenging National. John Armstrong from the New Zealand Herald has reported that Shearer is due to give a speech potentially outlining policy direction for Labour in the next week or two. I think this is crucial for Shearer; he needs to be firm and show New Zealanders what he believes in and where he believes Labour should be heading. All going well, I could see a slight boost in the polls but if it turns out to be a fizzer, I don’t see Labour going far. I have put in this article’s heading “Future Prime Minister?” because every leader’s goal is to lead a government. Certainly this is Shearer’s goal for 2014. He is at the bottom of Everest in that goal: There is yet to be many political storms of scandal testing a leaders strength, he is yet to face the long and slow climb that is increasing poll results and finally the stamina test of standing up to one of New Zealand’s most popular Prime Minsters, John Key.

Shearer has his work cut out for him. Now is the right opportunity for Labour to renew direction properly and freshen itself up. New Zealand has grown tired of the usual old Labour. Can Shearer be Prime Minister? Well if he comes of the fence and announces political direction and if National really makes a mistake, then yes he has a fair chance. I also have this feeling that Shearer won’t be Labour’s next Prime Minister. I have a feeling that he will be a leader that injects momentum and inspiration for future change, leaving a new leader to take over and take the party to government. That may be in six years, nine years or who knows, but only time will tell. First, we have to find out what Shearer wants.

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debate issue 3 2012  
debate issue 3 2012  

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