Virtual Hustings Meeting – Question 8
Voter turnout : How do we motivate more people to vote?
Question : To win the next election we need to motivate people to vote and win some of the swing voters in the middle. Share one strategy that you think would be most effective in achieving this?
Submitted by : Dalene Mactier, Southbridge
Explanatory Note: From September 10th to 14th 2013 as part of the official selection process for a new leader the New Zealand Labour Party is holding a “Virtual Hustings Meeting” hosted by Red Alert and organised by Scoop Amplifier. Over 7 days questions were solicited from eligible voters in the election. The questions and answers are now being posted as a set of 14 posts at the Red Alert Labour Party Blog. This started Tuesday 10th September, and continues till Friday 13th September. At Red Alert all-comers are welcome to discuss the answers in the comment section of the blog. The candidates are expected to participate in these discussions at times over the five days till Saturday 14th September.
LABOUR LEADERSHIP CANDIDATES’ ANSWERS
Answer from David Cunliffe
We need three things: strategy, unity and urgency. At the last election more than 800,000 people didn’t vote. At the 2011 election, Labour failed to persuade enough New Zealanders that it was a credible alternative.
When National was telling them that they would cut them off at the knees, they don’t want to hear from Labour that it would too, just a little nearer to the ankles and with more anaesthetic.
I will lead a true red Labour Party, not a pale blue one. I will lead a team that is a clear alternative to John Key.
Voters will understand the difference between Labour and National and how we will build a fairer, more inclusive New Zealand.
We must be united to win. Voters disengage when there is disunity.
Everyone in Labour must put the interests of the party and the country first. We also need to be ready to win now.
We have less than a year to lift our numbers. John Key will spend billions to get re-elected. He is battle-ready and has the best spin money can buy.
New Zealanders need us to win so that they can get back on the ladder to success.
Answer from Shane Jones
Voter turnout is essential.
I am confident I can reconnect the Party with a broader range of voters. I am able to deal with the reasons why 800,000 kiwis chose not to vote in 2011.
A significant percentage of them are in the provinces.
I believe I can broaden the appeal of the Party to these people.
There is no single silver bullet.
However a robust organisation on the ground with vivid messages will work.
Answer from Grant Robertson
We need to be talking to people about the things that matter in their lives – how can they afford their first home, what opportunities are there for their kids when the leave school and university, are there decent jobs out there for them?
If we talk to people about the issues that matter to them, they will see that Labour has the vision and the policies to make a difference in to their lives.
I don’t think for a minute that middle New Zealand is better off under a National Government.
Under National their wages are stagnant, their power bills are growing and our public schools are getting shafted.
I will unite Labour so we can focus on selling our policies to New Zealanders and if we can do that we’ll win.