It was with much interest that I watched the leaders debate on Thursday night. I watched with an open mind, always happy to have my opinion changed. Maybe John Key is all the wonderful things that many say about him, had I been missing something? It is always interesting to see our political leaders under pressure and how they perform in that environment.
I couldn’t help noticing pretty quickly the body language of the two. David Cunliffe was relaxed, smiling, comfortable. John Key looked rigid, uncomfortable and rattled. There was a look in his eyes that just didn’t sit well with me, a shifty look. That immediately put me on my guard, it’s an instant put off.
David Cunliffe was clear and concise in his delivery of policy, he had precise facts and figures and used that information to disprove Key’s repetitive party line. Key was busy quoting the National party poster’s that fill up facebook daily, yet when questioned on those quotes he could provide no further breakdown of the figures, he was clearly under prepared. It was clear that due to David Cunliffe’s research and preparation that National have indeed fudged many of those figures. Key was snarky, he was back chatting with smart answers while never actually answering any questions, and he has a habit of pulling faces, wearing his mood on his face.
This debate without doubt was a win for David Cunliffe and I am hopeful that it will lead to more undecided voters getting a good look at what Labour are trying to do and the direction they want to take New Zealand in the future. Personally I find Cunliffe to be more understanding and empathetic than Key, that appeals to me. He has also answered my questions several times, often through personal message, something none of the other party leaders has ever bothered to do. To me, this matters. David Cunliffe has given me the impression that he IS listening, something no amount of money can buy, as John Key carries on ignoring the public consistently to be listened to by the opposition leader is hard to ignore.
My mind was not changed in regard to John Key. I just don’t believe him, I don’t trust him as he’s told too many lies, I am burnt from redundancy from Solid energy and the utter let down of Pike River. I don’t believe in the things he does, our priorities are poles apart. I find him smarmy and slippery, he never answers questions or accepts responsibility for mistakes made. I still saw nothing that persuaded me that National have actually done much at all. It is time for a fresh new thinking, it is time for a more caring and compassionate Government, it is definitely time for change. National have become stale, the cracks are showing thick and fast now and it is time for them to go. In the words of David Cunliffe “He (JK) is the past and we (the left) are the future”. Couldn’t have put it better myself.