In response to the above view posted in Tumeke!, here is my opinion as to who performed well and who had an epic public failure.
Russell Norman was the only one to provide an intellectual response to the questions asked, remained composed and had a likeable presence, therefore, he was the winner on the night. Tumeke! reviewed him as performing only third best, but there is an apparent Labour bias in the analysis. Arguably, I could be said to have a Green party bias given my posts of late, however, my bias is not with any particular party, but it clearly and unambiguously leans towards the left.
Winston Peters at second on the basis that he pulled Nikki Kaye and David Shearer into line for having nothing useful to say, his usual humour (whether your laughing with him or at him) shone through and he had the balls to say what others would not - that the transport infrastructure is going to cost a crap load more than any party wishes to admit.
Shearer at third, but marginally and Kaye the epic public failure. The difference between Kaye and Shearer - Kaye allowed her frustration to cloud her ability to provide reasoned answers, any answers she did give or tried to give were clearly manufactured by the National Party political spin team, which hampered her ability to engage with what was being asked, whilst Shearer was surprisingly cocky considering his lack of new ideas and inability or in fact unwillingness to answer a question posed by Kaye as to whether Labour would back a rail from from Auckland airport into the city.
Following Backbenches on Dateline last night a piece on the Greek crisis helped me draw some comparisons to NZ. The Greeks are tending toward more radical parties on both the left and the right as the major parties battle it out for centre stage and fail to actually represent those who voted them in, essentially those empowering them. NZ is no different.
Labour are in no better position this morning than they were yesterday morning because of Shearer's supposed standout performance. Labours idea of good policy appears to be to disagree with everything that National says, and when the mind is blank borrow policies form smaller parties, slightly tweak it and claim it as your own. Labour will only get through the election next time round with new, creative robust policy that represents the people who they want to vote for them. Put your left foot in Labour, before its amputated.