Matt McCarten on politics
Matt McCarten is a Herald on Sunday political columnist

Matt McCarten: New Year resolutions don't always go to plan

Winston Peters' improbable resurrection makes him the politician of 2011. Photo / APN
Winston Peters' improbable resurrection makes him the politician of 2011. Photo / APN

If you are sane you'll be reading this column with your feet up. The last thing you'll want to be thinking about is last year. You'll be full of renewed purpose and new beginnings.

This morning you'll be pretending with your significant others how you are going to be better this year by not drinking or eating too much; spending more quality time with your family and friends; getting more organised and focused; and taking steps to improve your career and money prospects.

Without wanting to rain on your parade, I'm picking that you have made these promises - or similar ones - every year for as long as you can remember.

But then we've all made promises last year that didn't come off. Many of the politicos did, too.

Here's a list of 10 notable resolutions made this time last year that didn't happen either.

1 Phil Goff

Resolution: Be the Prime Minister or at least lead the Labour Party to win more than 36 per cent of the vote in the general election.
Result: Led party to its biggest defeat in modern history; sits on the second bench on the Opposition side of parliament. Looking for a new job.

2 John Key

Resolution: Lead the National Party to a record majority without a need for coalition partners.
Result: A few less votes in Christchurch would have put him on the Opposition benches and out of Parliament. Only propped up by cynical rorts in Epsom and Ohariu.

3 Rodney Hide

Resolution: Win Epsom and lead Act to more than 10 per cent election result.
Result: dumped as leader and candidate. Unemployed.

4 Don Brash

Resolution: Become Act leader and lead the party to 15 per cent of the vote.
Result: Killed the entire Act caucus and had his party spend almost a million bucks to get fewer votes than Hone Harawira, who spent $1000. Its sole MP is more of a National MP than John Key.

5 David Cunliffe

Resolution: Keep my head down; keep my mouth shut; and after Goff loses the election, the Labour Party leadership will fall into my hands.
Result: The Labour loss was so bad they had to go with someone completely new. Lost finance portfolio and moved two places down the Parliamentary front bench.

6 David Parker

Resolution: Move to Auckland; stand in Epsom; come through the middle and win the seat; consequently become the boy genius of Labour and humbly accept the anointment as leader.
Result: Slaughtered in Epsom and blamed for assisting John Banks to victory by not telling Labour supporters to vote tactically. Got the finance portfolio in compensation, although limps back to Dunedin a wiser man.

7 Kelvin Davis

Resolution: Win Tai Tokerau back and take on the mantle of Maori supremo in the Labour Party.
Result: Lost to Harawira and not high enough on his party list so he's out of Parliament. He says it's the end of his political career and looking for a new job.

8 Andrew Little

Resolution: Resign as Labour Party president to become the union movement's great white hope by winning a crucial provincial seat.
Result: Thumped by a nobody in New Plymouth. Not ranked in the new Labour line-up and learning to eat humble pie by starting at the bottom.

9 The Political

Establishment Resolution: Kill Winston Peters. Who amongst the elites hadn't signed up to this campaign?
Result: Houdini does it again. No victory can be sweeter for the old bodgie. The politician of the year.

10 David Shearer

Resolution: Get promoted to the second bench with the science portfolio.
Result: Got the science portfolio in Labour's new lineup - and the party leadership too.

Look at that last one - some resolutions come true.

To cover yourself, I suggest you make 10 promises to yourself, so at least one will come true.

Today our former and new parliamentarians will be making theirs too. Many of them who had jobs this time last year no longer do. It's a new year in every sense for them, and I wish them well.

- Herald on Sunday

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 23 Jan 2017 10:50:41 Processing Time: 726ms