Well, like many people, I was wrong. Hillary Clinton did not win strongly or even at all. So what can explain it?
Was it misogyny so voters – including women voters – own unconscious bias against Hillary? Or Trump’s clearer communication? In which case sexism and simplicity won the US presidency.
Or is it something more worrying for New Zealand. As an UG I studied the rise of the maverick candidate Ross Perot in 1992. I explored what factors were present when he, and other independents or mavericks, succeeded in beating the US’s strong two party establishment. I found that they rose when the two major parties both ignored major dissatisfaction amongst voters. When they failed to connect. So is this the problem with Clinton and the more mainstream Republican primary candidates who lost to Trump?
If so, NZ has to watch out. Right now the Labour opposition is failing to convince voters it is responsive enough and can offer a credible alternative government. And the National government, whilst seen as capable of governing, is increasingly out of touch on important issues like buying and renting a place to live and travelling to work. Key doesn’t accept there is an issue, saying traffic in Auckland has got a bit slower. So the seeds of discontent have been sown. And Winston is ready to harvest them (see his Facebook post) [attached]. So this is a warning to John Key: get your act together and start acknowledging the problems or not only will you risk losing, but New Zealand society as a whole.