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Farrar in an act of pure vanity…

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, May 1st, 2011 - 64 comments
Categories: blogs, dpf - Tags: , ,

In an act of pure vanity, David Farrar is whining about the a by-election that will probably be held in July – less than three months before the House dissolves for the election.

Farrar even points out the relevant law

Parliament can only resolve not to have a by-election if the resignation occurs within six months of Parliament automatiically dissolving (22 May) or the announced election date (26 May).

So this particular electoral case has been envisaged by parliament and put into statute. So what is Farrar whining about?

As a comment here by Thomas Farrow put it.

Yes its interesting reading the attack lines on Kiwiblog
Apparently its OK to force a by election a year out from an election as was the case with a certain Maori co leader, but not OK when its 7 months, I wonder which , 8 9 10 or 11 months would be acceptable?
I guess that is why we have a law that gives an exact time, namely 6 months.

Indeed.

Looks to me like Farrar is merely stroking his ego or something. If it was such a democratic problem then he always has the option seeking to change the law – using the democratic process. What Farrar failed to argue about was the advantages or disadvantages of having such a by-election on the person that was causing it to happen or for any other political considerations.

For the Mana party like any new political party the advantages are obvious. It allows a shakedown of the nascent campaigning organisation,  whilst getting a renewed mandate from the electorate who voted for a member of a different party. After all the gradual disassociation of Hone Harawira from his former party has been going on for quite some time. Effectively this will give the voters up North a chance to express the opinion on that. But probably more importantly for the Mana party, they will be able to generate free publicity prior to the actual election campaign starting off.

The big risk for the Mana party will be if they don’t get a clear unambiguous mandate.

None of these political topics were canvassed by Farrar. You’d have to say that what he was doing was a simple dog-whistle for the rabid participants of the sewer. That interpretation is supported by the other dog-whistle topics raised in the post as asides. Whining about something that parliament has specifically made provision for just makes him look like a political dork.

On the the other main right blogger, I did like Fran O’Sullivan’s article about the Brash hostile takeover.

When I revealed on March 12 that Brash and Banks were looking at either starting a new right-of-centre party or taking over Act, blogger Cameron Slater commented:

“I am also pretty sure that Banks and Brash know that electorally they are rat poison as candidates. They are both pensioners, with Brash over 70. They also both know that their best years politically are behind them.”

This time around, Brash’s strategists let Slater into the play: the direct onslaught was “open and honest but not fair”. And as for The Don’s age – don’t mention it.

Indeed. Which Farrar gleefully points to. But these two bloggers often feel like Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

From Wikipedia:-

Carroll, having introduced two fat little men named Tweedledum and Tweedledee, quotes the nursery rhyme, which the two brothers then go on to enact. They agree to have a battle, but never have one. When they see a monstrous black crow swooping down, they take to their heels. The Tweedle brothers never contradict each other, even when one of them, according to the rhyme, “agrees to have a battle”. Rather, they complement each other’s words. This fact has led Tenniel to assume that they are twins also physically, and Gardner goes so far as to claim that Carroll intended them to be enantiomorphs, i.e., three-dimensional mirror images. Evidence for these assumptions cannot be found in any of Lewis Carroll’s writings.[4]

They most often appear to me to be a mirrored sock-puppets lending their use to various right factions. Their erstwhile ‘differences’ are orientated more to trying to control the political framing between themselves. I find that when I look at their political writing with that perspective in mind, the machinations become pretty obvious and quite tediously boring.

64 comments on “Farrar in an act of pure vanity…”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    Good call on the dueling Carrollists.

    And key doesn’t even need to change the law to avoid a by-election. If the cost of Hone testing his mandate is so damnably high, all Key needs to do is inform parliament in writing that he is bringing the general election forward, and with a 75% vote, Hone’s seat can be left empty.

    The solution is there, in the law. If National and Labour really want to have that political fight about finance vs democracy, the tools are there for them to bring it on.

  2. PeteG 2

    The normal democratic way to do it would have been for Harawira to have fulfilled his three year responsibilities to his electorate and party (without whom he would not be an MP), and then stood with a new party in the general election, or stood down.

    • Blighty 2.1

      no because normally when current MPs start a new party they go to their electorate for a mandate. That’s the normal practice – Peters, Turia are examples. Your counter-example: Peter Dunne, wow.

      • PeteG 2.1.1

        Blighty, it shouldn’t be normal practice to cop out part way through a three year contract just because your personal ambitions have changed. When candidates stand they are offering themselves for three years. Exceptional circumstances aside they should stay the distance – all of them, no matter what party.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1

          But when an MP decides that they can no longer support the party under whose banner they were elected, that is an exceptional circumstance.

          • PeteG 2.1.1.1.1

            It’s not, it’s simply a choice.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.1.1

              A choice based on the fact that he feels that the mP no longer stands for what he does; that he can longer serve the mP given what it is doing, that the mP is not a vehicle he can support.

              Given those facts about what he feels, the circumstances are such that testing his mandate is a perfectly appropriate thing to do. It may be that his electorate disagrees with him.

        • Daveosaurus 2.1.1.2

          You should tell that to Richard Worth or Pansy Wong, then.

        • Roger 2.1.1.3

          I don’t think his personal ambitions have changed, he has been relatively consistent about where he stands. He saw the Maori Party as having changed position from what he expected.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.2

      Pete, if Hone wouldn’t have been an MP without the party, and if he can no longer in good conscience support the party, then retesting his mandate is exactly what he should be doing democratically speaking.

    • Colonial Viper 2.3

      PeteG you are talking to us about what is democratic and what is not?

      That somehow Harawira continuing to tow the line for a party which has turned its back on the principles and policies it was voted in on is, in your imagination, the more democratic thing to do?

      Especially compared to going out to seek a new electoral mandate?

      That’s a strange idea of democracy my man, its like a non-democratic idea of democracy.

  3. todd 3

    The hypocrisy expressed by Farrar and cohorts is simply disgusting!

    I agree on not funding the America’s Cup bid but sadly the last Labour Government signed a contract forcusing us to do so.

    Is forcusing even a word? Does it mean the lead up to actual cussing or perhaps a description of the shit forecasting Farrar has undertaken in prematurely predicting the next election results. Can Farrar even focus on his diabolical spelling in that post?

    The $500,000 costs may be on the light side. As this is a Maori seat, they will need many more polling places than in a general seat by-election.

    Is this an attempt at nonchalant racism perhaps?

    • felix 3.1

      Farrar isn’t even trying to hide his ugly racist nature anymore.

      I can only assume that by “Maori seat” he really means “geographically large seat”.

      But that wouldn’t stir up as much anti-Maori filth in the comments, would it?

      • QoT 3.1.1

        [Agh, the comment box is being weird but hopefully it shows up in the right place]

        At an eyeballing on elections.org.nz, felix, West Coast-Tasman, Kaikoura and Clutha-Southland are similar in geographic area. So I’d say Farrar is indeed being dogwhistlingly specific.

  4. I sincerely hope Hone succeeds with his new party because the left certainly needs a chakeup (though I’d rather the shaker have been Matt McCarten). I see Nandor spoke, and I particularly hope that indicates a return to politics by him, or at least a higher profile of some sort.

    But not at a cost of $500,000. Yes, there’s the six month rule and he’s within it. And forcing a by-election will give Mana campaign training, publicity etc.

    But (would-be) political leaders are regularly called on to exercise judgement. One of the messages any new party needs to campaign on is restraint where presently we have waste (particularly, though symbolically in terms of actual numbers, the expense of Parliament and its MPs. Isn’t this very blog pointing out the waste of money sending Key to primp and pose in the UK?).

    Someone on the average wage would take around 500 weeks to earn $500,000. Spending it on a politician’s gaming – any politician’s gaming but especially one claiming concern for the poorest sectors of society – is tactically stupid.

    He’ll get his mandate. Better to point out that he could have wasted half a million but chose to trust the judgement of his voters to acknowledge that come the General Election.

    • felix 4.1

      I don’t understand the point of the six-month rule then. What use is it?

      • The six month rule is there to provide an MP with a right to resign and seek a new mandate up to six months out from an election.

        But just because you have a right doesn’t mean you have to exercise it… that’s where the judgement part comes in.

        I could be wrong, but I think his likely support base will hear “$500,000″ and start thinking how else that could have been spent.

        Of course it wouldn’t have been spent to their benefit in any way whatsoever, but that’s not the way people think when they hear “MP + large sum of money”. The outcome of that equation is, in most people’s minds, “rort” or “waste”, thanks to a long and ignoble history of both.

        • felix 4.1.1.1

          So when would it have been acceptable to you for him to exercise this right? How far out from the election would constitute good judgement in your book?

          • Rex Widerstrom 4.1.1.1.1

            Given that Hone could credibly argue it was the other Maori Party MPs who’d deviated from the mandate upon which they were elected, any time after the point at which the PM had announced a firm date for the election.

            It’d be different, I think, if he’d suddenly decided he wanted to be Maoridom’s answer to Don Brash. But to claim you need a new mandate when you’re sticking to the old one is a tad disingenuous.

            There are mechanisms (ranging from hui to the internet) through which he could have taken soundings of his electorate and ensured they weren’t of a mind to sack him. If they’d come back negative, or ambiguous, then at least he’d have a basis on which to claim he felt the measure was necessary.

            As I said, I hope he succeeds, as I once hoped the Maori party succeeded (primarily, from a personal perspective, because I was optimistic as to what Pita Sharples might do about imprisonment. That’s two politicians I’ve been suckered by).

            I just think this is a bad look for a party claiming to represent some of the most dispossessed people in an increasingly divided society.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      But (would-be) political leaders are regularly called on to exercise judgement. One of the messages any new party needs to campaign on is restraint where presently we have waste

      Quite right.

      But sometimes also spending a few hundred $K in order to save multiple $B’s down the track could also be considered a very, very good investment.

      • PeteG 4.2.1

        If more MPs resigned and had separate by-elections would that save even more? Or will just the Mana Party who will be campaigning on cost saving? Actually I haven’t seen that part of their policy yet, only the policies that will cost a lot more.

      • spending a few hundred $K in order to save multiple $B’s down the track

        I’m not sure I follow your logic there CV. Are you saying that getting more non-Nact MPs into Parliament will save us money? But then if Hone wins, it’s the status quo. Or is there some other cost saving I’ve missed?

    • MrSmith 4.3

      This is politics, anyone that thinks National wouldn’t do the same thing given half the chance are dreaming. Get the fuck over it “they are the rules” .

      I like the way Mana are playing the game. Hopefully they can motivate the percentage of the population that don’t normally vote too vote, believe me this is the Nacts greatest fear . Power to the people.

      SAY NO TO ASSET SALES.

      • Get the fuck over it “they are the rules”

        These are the same “rules” that let an unelected megalomaniac dictate to an elected PM who should be in his Cabinet on the basis that the party he’s just executed a putsch upon might win 5% at the next election.

        So we just STFU and don’t question the “rules” then. Would you like a salute with that?

    • swordfish 4.4

      @ Rex

      “Though I’d rather the shaker have been Matt McCarten..”

      Absolutely agree. But, still, looks like he’s gonna be playing an important role behind the scenes.

      “I see Nandor spoke, and I particularly hope that indicates a return to politics by him…”

      Strangely enough, I seem to remember Nandor was the key proponent of a closer Green relationship with the Nats – or, at least, a move away from a clear Centre-Left alignment.

    • Rex, it says a lot about the state of our democracy if spending on a by-election is seen as a ‘waste’. To me, $500,000 is not too much to ensure that the electors in that electorate continue to have their preferred candidate in parliament for the remainder of this parliamentary term – and performing electorate work. They may, after all, have changed their mind about their representative (for better or worse) since he left the MP.

      Frankly, I also think we hear more than enough of ‘economic efficiency’ arguments – at the expense of other values – in our political discourse. It is particularly dangerous when it starts to be applied to the electoral process itself. Would it show leadership, for example, to advocate that the MMP referendum – or any other citizens initiated referenda – not be held because of these ‘straightened times’?

      To clarify, I’m all for doing things ‘cost-effectively’ where possible in the electoral process but I’m not for financial arguments determining whether or not an electoral process occurs. The six month rule seems to be a reasonable compromise.

      • They may, after all, have changed their mind about their representative (for better or worse) since he left the MP.

        Lots of people change their mind about the choice they made once they see their MP in action. Changing parties is just one reason. If ever an MP said “Hold on, these aren’t the policies we went to the election on, I’d better test my mandate part way through the term” I might be a little less cynical about this exercise.

        If I had my way, people could change their mind about their MP mid-way through a term (recall, recoverable proxy) without such expense. And exercise more control over the bastards as well (binding citizens initiated referenda).

        Does anyone really believe that Hone – or anyone else who’s trodden the same path previously – is truly that committed to democracy that their decisions to run up the cost of a by-election has been about anything other than political advantage?!

        If they were such champions of democracy, then measures such as those mentioned would be amongst their policies… then I might believe them.

        • Colonial Viper 4.5.1.1

          Dunno if the Left should be shy about using the machinery to their advantage. The Right certainly have no qualms whatsoever about it.

  5. infused 5

    Because he’s doing it for one reason only, free advertising. Can’t wait till the party goes down in flames. I give it two years.

    • Free advertising? I thought it cost parties to contest by-elections. Wasn’t that one of the claims made about Labour’s finances and its ability to contest by-elections?

      • PeteG 5.1.1

        They will generate free publicity, but the campaign will cost them. Having resigned Harawira won’t get his parliamentary wages or travel allowances. Maybe that’s why he clocked up so much travel in the last three months.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          Yes, Hone’s put his MP’s income and his MP’s perks on the line. Many tens of thousands of dollars worth of salary he could have simply collected between now and end of Nov.

          Gutsy.

          More gutsy than Rodney Hide, anyways.

    • lprent 5.2

      Because he’s doing it for one reason only, free advertising.

      Huh? It isn’t free to run a election campaign. The parties have to pay for their advertising.

      They will get free publicity – but that is a quite different thing. You sound as confused as Farrar does about actual politics (ie not the myths of the RWNJ’s).

      • infused 5.2.1

        I’m not confused at all. I know exactly what he’s doing.

        • lprent 5.2.1.1

          Yes you might have known what you were thinking. However precision is required when communicating these ideas to other people. Otherwise you simply look confused to other people (and other people will probably think that you are actually confused)..

          I’d suggest some remediation to learn to look less confused.

  6. FromTheSidelines 6

    Unlikely, but possible – Once Harawira HAS resigned, Key could bring the Election forward 6 weeks then Hone would be without any income for a much longer period than if a by-election was held.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Hone is undoubtedly risking is own income and his MP’s perks here.

      But he’s made the call that he will do so because he wants to seek a fresh democratic mandate from his electorate now that he has left the turncoat Maori Party.

      • higherstandard 6.1.1

        Nah he’s taking a fairly safe bet that he’ll be returned and this time on a party leader’s salary as per the inveterate troughers Dunne, Anderton and Hide

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Well HS, I believe the applicable Righty Principle is “take the risk, take the reward” :)

    • PeteG 6.2

      This is an unintended consequence of fixing the election date so far out – under the old way of leaving the announcement as long as possible Harawira may have moved sooner or not risked resigning at all.

      Harawira is forcing a by-election for convenience rather than on the principle of seeking a mandate once his position changed – otherwise he would have resigned when he left the Maori Party, which was in February.

      • Pascal's bookie 6.2.1

        peeeeep!!!

        Mind reading foul, scrummit here, brown ball.

        Hone announced that he formed a new party, and said he was going to test his mandate to continue as an mp for that party.

  7. The Voice of Reason 7

    What happens if they hold a by-election and nobody comes? If the only candidate is Hone and no other party stands, what would constitute a mandate? A simple majority? What if the turnout is, say, 30%, is that a ringing endorsement?

    I can see the other parties not wanting to waste money and time on this stunt and leaving it till November to run a proper campaign. Which would leave Hone blowing half a million bucks for no good reason, aye?

    • todd 7.1

      Perhaps you agree with Farrar’s Quote of the Day:

      http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/05/quote_of_the_day-6.html

      Danyl at Dim-Post:

      Sometimes I just want to strap the entire spectrum of left-wing politicians into dentists chairs and patiently explain to them – using chisels and barbed wire – that most the state’s wealth comes from ordinary people working hard and then giving a huge chunk of their income to the government, so spending it is a sacred trust not an endless opportunity to squander it all on gimmicks and whims and political stunts.

      This is in relation to the $500,000 to be wasted on a by-election.

      Advocating the torture of people who hold differing views from yours is something better suited to Nazi Germany. The right wing is clearly unhinged and requires some intervention to ensure they do not act on these compulsions. The ideas they are expressing are not as bad as what they are actually thinking, which is a sobering thought indeed. Things like the statement above by Danyl and the support it received from Farrar puts them into the dangerous psychopathic category. Most psychologists would agree with this diagnosis.

      What I really think is strange is that when it’s a left wing or Maori person who receives funds to democratically pursue a course of action that can only be undertaken with a voting process, the right wingers jump up and down like their arses are on fire. But when private enterprises receive millions and billions of tax dollars, they are silent about how much this costs the country.

      Your hypothesis VOR that nobody will vote or that there will be no competition smacks of desperation to discredit the Mana party. Similarly the hypocrisy exuding from hacks such as Farrar is pungently overwhelming. It’s a well known fact that psychopaths smell bad and I hope he receives the help he obviously requires, before it is too late.

      • Todd, obviously you have never heard of the term satire before, or come to think of it, humour. Stop your hand-wringing and get a life.

        You are attacking the man and not the ball (pot, kettle, black, yes I know it’s very nice Yeastie Boys brew). What do you actually think about the point he is making?!?
        And not just the money that Hone is wasting (making an ironic ersatz-hipster-like statement), but all the other money on all the other ideas & schemes that this Government and previous ones have had?

        • felix 7.1.1.1

          Seamonkey Madness,

          1. Democracy costs money. In the long run it’s worth it, given the alternatives.

          2. Farrar has never given a crap about working people before, and it’s a bit fucking late for him to start pretending to now.

          3. The quote from Danyl isn’t really an example of satire, it’s better described as hyperbole.

        • todd 7.1.1.2

          I think felix effectively answered your post there Seamonkey. I would probably describe what Danyl wrote as shit though. I don’t believe you can describe what I wrote as hand wringing either. Clearly my post was highlighting just how pathetic and stupid Farrar is. Being that I have expressed my views shows that I do in fact have a life.

          I’m attacking the man and the ball. I was not aware of any blogging rules and if you ask me, Farrar and his little minions deserve all the disrespect we can give them. You’re asking me to have a constructive debate with cretins who are calling for the torture of people who do not share their views. The best I can do is highlight such and give an opinion. Debating idiots like Farrar and Danyl will not be constructive.

          As for the waste of money that National undertakes, I can only say that this is a matter of opinion. If I worked for AMI, Mediaworks or South Canterbury Finance I would think such funds were great! As I am a New Zealand citizen who pays taxes and requires a robust democracy, I find it acceptable that taxes go towards ensuring the population is properly represented in Parliament.

          • Seamonkey Madness 7.1.1.2.1

            I’m an equal-opportunities commenter. I hate both sides for their “gimmicks and whims and political stunts”. Hone’s is just the latest and quite possibly, given the timing, the most ridiculous. Cobbling together a who’s-who of political has-beens is similar to, but in my eyes worse than, running a Government party from outside of Parliament.

            Wetting your panties about what Danyl wrote and comparing him to a Nazi is horrendous, and then you claim he is actually thinking worse! We KNOW is a piss-taker in the extreme, so why would you believe verbatim what he writes?

            I’ll say it again. Grow a sense of humour.

            Or to follow on from Labour’s negative-in-all-aspects, dropkick online campaign – let’s not. You’ll spoil it for the others.

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.2.1.1

              I’ll say it again. Grow a sense of humour.

              Why don;t you take your own advice.

              Or to follow on from Labour’s negative-in-all-aspects, dropkick online campaign – let’s not.

              I like that campaign.

              Its easy because National is digging NZ into a hole, and wailing on their lack of a plan is child’s play.

              • Fantastic retort Viper old chap. Gold star for that one.

                Great campaign, except for the fact that Labour is probably breaking the Electoral Act (again) by not having a name and address on each billboard.
                Take a look at some of the gems that snuck through the Helen Clark© Censor-matic for an example how much people love Labour.

                At least they aren’t shaped like a Give Way sign an they’re telling people to put them on the side of the road (and pay them $10 for the pleasure).

            • lprent 7.1.1.2.1.2

              Cobbling together a who’s-who of political has-beens

              Read some history. Almost every political party in NZ (and everywhere else) starts that way. You only have to read the wikipedia entries on the early history of each political party to understand that. Look at the early history of the National and Labour parties

      • Advocating the torture of people who hold differing views from yours is something better suited to Nazi Germany.

        Comparing a paragraph of hyperbole to Nazi Germany is just like the Rape of Nanking.

        • todd 7.1.2.1

          Comparing my description to the Rape of Nanking is about as stupid as saying John Key is honest.

  8. PeteG 8

    What sort of mandate does Harawira want?

    The Maori Party is expected to decide within days whether it will challenge Hone Harawira in the byelection he is forcing in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate, even though the MP claims it assured him it would not.

    Mr Harawira said the Maori Party president had confirmed it would not stand against him, in accordance with the agreement reached when he left the party in February.

    A mandate without any competition from the biggest opposition???

    Dr Sharples also said on TVNZ’s Q+A that the decision to call a byelection had broken the truce between the two parties.

    He also disputed that Mr Harawira could claim to have a mandate from Maori if the Maori Party did not stand against him.

    So Sharples sees it like that too.

    National have not stood a candidate in Te Tai Tokerau since 2002 so could easily not bother for a by-election.

    So Harawira wants to contest the by-election just with Labour and Legalise Cannabis (who polled higher than ACT in 2008)? An odd sort of mandate. Labour could stay out of it too. If no one else stands that would save $500k.

    • felix 8.1

      Sorry but that’s utter bollocks.

      If the maori party think they have a chance of winning they’ll contest the seat. Obviously.

      If the National party thought they had a chance of winning they’d contest it too. Obviously.

      That they (National) don’t indicates a stronger mandate for Hone if anything, and the same applies to the maori party if they choose not to stand.

  9. ZeeBop 9

    Harawira claimed that the Maori Party were head hunting a replacement Maori party candidate. Sure Harawira knows that everyone in his electorate that voted Maori voted for him not the party! Yeah right. There are always some who would not go with Harawira and so would have communicated that to their party to seek a new representative. Harawira could not expect Sharple and the other Maori Party MPs to be able to make promises for every Maori party member in the electorate (unless the Maori party was run like ACT is, without grass root representation). So the pack not to stand a Maori candidate wasn’t worth diddly squat against the independent Harawira, as it was the local party that would decide that.
    Given Harawira’s message and standing among his constitutes is was more a statement of fact that the Maori Party would not get much return on their investment putting up an alternative
    and likely push the local Maori party to not put up a candidate.

    As for the future, my guess is parliament will stop the byelection, and come the election the Maori and Mana parties will have one MP each and Labour will have romp home unless Maori and Mana parties divvy up the seats which would not be mana enhancing for either party.
    Loyalist will stay with Maori Party, those feeling the cold winds of National will jump ship to Mana and the Labour block will trounce them both. caveat, that Labour platform is competitive.

    • felix 9.1

      So what if people are approaching the maori party wanting to run for them?

      The truce was that the maori party wouldn’t accept such offers.

      Moot anyway, as both sides blame the other for breaking the truce and it’s all on.

      • PeteG 9.1.1

        If there’s going to be a by-election, and Harawira wants to seek a meaningful mandate, then it shouldn’t exclude members and supporters and voters of the Maori Party. So yes, it should be all on, and Harawira should welcome that if he wants to be seen as being more interested in a democratic mandate than having an easy path to getting the added benefits of being a party leader.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          and Harawira should welcome that if he wants to be seen as being more interested in a democratic mandate

          I suspect that he does welcome this development. Very much in fact.

          • PeteG 9.1.1.1.1

            Quite possible, but if so he’s not being honest about it.

            • felix 9.1.1.1.1.1

              He can’t force the maori party to run against him, Pete.

              If they pike (like National) it’s on their heads, not his.

              Your pro-democratic sentiments are better addressed to National and the maori party.

              • PeteG

                I get the impression Harawira’s trying to manoevre the MP into standing against him in the by-election and to blame them for breaking their agreement.

                Both sides have been talking about the flimsiness of the agreement since it was made so I don’t think it matters who gets that blame, both sides didn’t seem to be particularly committed to it.

  10. randal 10

    national and act ratcheted up the stakes in New Zealand politics by plumping for the permanent campaign a la the tea party republican style of US politicking. when the cost gets too much then they whinge.if a by election is the cost of doing politics in NZ then it is up to them to make it a more meaningful experieince for everyone.
    (hey I picked up that last phrase from the random nonsense generator but you konw what I mean. Doncha?)

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  • The ICJ orders Australia to stop interfering with witnesses
    Last year, in what was clearly the actions of a guilty government, the Australian government detained a former ASIS agent who was going to testify against them over their bugging of the government of East Timor, raiding his house and...
    No Right Turn | 24-04
  • Here’s what a real bloke sounds like
    Kelvin Davis3 hrs ·...
    Pundit | 24-04
  • So long Shane, thanks for all the ‘fush’
    So Shane Jones is off. Retired from politics he says. Couldn’t give 100 percent to the cause so he did what he thought was best for the Party.Shane Jones has always been a polarising figure and never more so when...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 24-04
  • The benefits of transparency
    Ministerial expenses were released today, and as usual, I spent an hour trawling through the credit card statements hoping to find evidence of Ministers rorting us. So what did I find? Nothing. No $1,000 a night luxury hotel rooms. No...
    No Right Turn | 24-04
  • Christchurch to use Auckland’s old trains?
    As the new electric trains roll out over the coming year or so, a question we don’t know the answer to is what will happen to the old diesel trains Auckland no longer needs. Of course we will need to...
    Transport Blog | 24-04
  • Access: Defective, deficient, deviant and delinquent
    As many NZ babies do, I developed eczema and asthma. My mother took me to various clinicians. I have vague impressions of kindly doctors with strange accents. In retrospect they were probably part of the Jewish diaspora - educated at...
    Public Address | 23-04
  • An FPP politician in an MMP world
    So, now that Shane Jones has gone, he's come clean about the reason: he didn't want to work alongside Russel Norman and the Greens. Which I think emphasises just how much of a throwback Jones was, and how unsuited he...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: News from talented women
    As I may have noted once or twice, Janine and the Mixtape's Dark Mind EP is one of last year's overlooked local gems. Or perhaps not-so-overlooked now, given that her new video for 'Hold Me' was premiered this week on...
    Public Address | 23-04
  • Focus on housing costs, raise wages not interest rates
    "The increase in the Reserve Bank's interest rate, while expected, shows little imagination and will raise mortgage costs for home owners," says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “The focus should be on getting housing costs down, and raising wages to make...
    CTU | 23-04
  • One year on: progress made to prevent another Rana Plaza tragedy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 24, 2014Body:  An official from one of the two global union bodies that negotiated the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, currently visiting New Zealand, says that the Accord continues to make big steps forward to ensure...
    First Union Media | 23-04
  • Update from Dr.Gevil
    We wanted to share with you a little fun....
    Gareth’s World | 23-04
  • Matauri Bay: There are certain stories that get under your skin
    There are certain stories that get under your skin, stories that no matter how many times you hear them somehow strike you in a way that you never forget, stories that become a very part of you. The story of...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-04
  • Anit-fluoridation advertising deceptive
     Looks like the scientific fight-back against the misinformation coming from anti-fluoridation groups is having some success. This press release from the on-line Making Sense of Fluoride group. Anti Fluoridation Advertisements Rejected by The Advertising Complaints Authority Over the past week,...
    Open Parachute | 23-04
  • The Art of Letting Go
    via Porcupine Farm   While the big news with regard to the rebuild has been the scaling back of the Arts Precinct, this is just one part of a wider narrative that sees the grand plan unravelling. Since I wrote...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 23-04
  • Joyce tells Otago to ship in more students
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 11 Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is using threatened changes to university councils to bully the University of Otago to take more international students, says TEU national secretary Sharn...
    TEU | 23-04
  • New money for Māori innovation won’t cover cuts to Māori research
    Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori centre of research excellence is welcoming the  government’s decision to invest up to $2.5 million a year over the next two years in Māori-led science and...
    TEU | 23-04
  • UCOL staff given holiday but not pay rise
    UCOL staff got two extra days’ holiday they did not bargain for this week between Easter and Anzac Day, but what they really want is a pay rise. The polytechnic’s chief executive Paul McIlroy said...
    TEU | 23-04
  • Workers Memorial Day 2014
    Please be advised that there are three events planned to commemorate Workers Memorial Day (28 April) in Wellington. The media are invited to attend all three events.What When Photo:  ...
    CTU | 23-04
  • Shane Jones speaks out
    On 3news last night, Shane Jones gave a staged interview where he got some things off his chest. Not exactly a graceful exit, but there you go. Two of the things he said were especially interesting to me. Shane said:...
    Polity | 23-04
  • No Economic Rationale for $760m Warkworth Toll Road
    This is the fifth in a series of posts based on the Campaign for Better Transport’s submission to the Puhoi to Warkworth Board of Inquiry. The full presentation is over at bettertransport.org.nz In this post we look at the economic...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • iPredict Ltd 2014 Election Update #15
    Column – iPredict iPredicts 7000 registered traders continue to believe Winston Peters NZ First party will hold the balance of power after the election and allow National to govern. There has been a small gain to Act and the Conservatives...
    Its our future | 23-04
  • Photo of the day – Vulcan Lane
    Vulcan Lane alive with people Photo is credited to oh.yes.melbourne...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • Have your say on what Internet rights should look like
    Today I launched my Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill – NZ’s first ever bill crowdsourced by a political party. The launch happened live on Reddit, and I was joined in my office Joy Liddicoat (former Human Rights Commissioner and present...
    frogblog | 23-04
  • Michael Porter on Social Progress
    via CNN, Fareed Zakaria has a fascinating interview with Harvard's Michael Porter, architect of the Social Progress Index that was launched to great fanfare a little while back. New Zealand won the top rank in that index, and Porter's main...
    Polity | 23-04
  • Time running out to save uni councils
    There’s only a week left to have your say on the Government’s changes to university and wānanga councils. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has put forward dramatic changes to the way uni and wānanga councils are made up – removing...
    frogblog | 23-04
  • Another reason why we need an enforceable BORA
    Back in 2003, the then-Labour government, faced with the "threat" of an unpopular child-sex offender being released from prison at the end of their sentance, enacted the Parole (Extended Supervision) and Sentencing Amendment Act, allowing them to be detained for...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Attack of the Return of the Revenge of the Night of Boris Johnson
    The Great White Shark is circling closer and closer ...Boris Johnson is to announce he will stand for Parliament at next year’s election – to avoid speculation on his future overshadowing the Tory campaign.Friends of the London Mayor say he...
    Left hand palm | 23-04
  • The Greens’ "internet bill of rights"
    Today the Green party released their draft Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill. The bill is a response to government interference in cyberspace via the GCSB Act, TICS, and the Skynet law, and is intended to limit government control. Interestingly, they're...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Tweet FA
    It’s nothing new for politicians (and would-be politicians) to fall foul of the odd misplaced tweet, or some other social media own goal, so much that there is even a website to highlight deleted tweets. A politician speaking without thinking...
    recess monkey | 23-04
  • The two-sided density dividend: Agglomeration economies in *consumption*
    Why are people – both in NZ and around the world – increasingly choosing to live in cities? The answer usually advanced in response to this question, at least from an economic perspective, is “agglomeration economies”. In this post I...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • "Shoulder-tapping" vs public service values
    Another angle to the Shane Jones resignation: Mr Jones said he would leave Parliament next month after he was shoulder tapped by Foreign Minister Murray McCully for a new role as a roving economic ambassador across the Pacific. This is...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Good news, but enemies remain within the party
    Shane Jones’ decision to leave Labour is to be celebrated. But we must be on our guard, because others within the party hold similar views. Now is not the time to be complacent!...
    Imperator Fish | 22-04
  • Some "democracy"
    The UK calls itself a democracy. But if you try and present a petition to your local representative, their constituency staff will call the police on you:David Cameron’s constituency office has come under fire for calling the police on the...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Good riddance
    Last night, Shane Jones dropped the bombshell that he would be quitting Parliament and the Labour party to work as a "roving ambassador" for Murray McCully. Good riddance. While pegged from the beginning as a "future leader" and "high performer",...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Hard News: Jones: The contender leaves
    Like John Tamihere before him, Shane Jones entered Parliament burdened with the promise that he might be first Maori Prime Minister. That promise had probably left him before it emerged yesterday evening that he was walking away from politics, but...
    Public Address | 22-04
  • Gordon Campbell on the Shane Jones departure
    Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-04
  • Exit Jones, stage north
    I will miss having Shane Jones in the Labour tent. That isn't because I agree with him on everything. Disagreeing with people is part and parcel of party politics, especially in a party that aspires to be a broad church...
    Polity | 22-04
  • World News Brief, Wednesday April 23
    Top of the AgendaObama Begins Asia Trip to Reassert Pivot...
    Pundit | 22-04