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NRT on the most important issue

Written By: - Date published: 12:50 pm, November 2nd, 2011 - 39 comments
Categories: economy, Environment, polls - Tags: , ,

NRT on the issue that is most important to Kiwis…

Out of touch

The way the leaders of the two major parties are talking, this election is all about the economy. “Balancing the books”, raising the retirement age, savings, deregulation, growth – other issues have trouble getting a word in edgewise. Given that these parties are chasing our votes, and spend a lot of effort trying to find out what we care about, you’d think therefore that the economy was foremost on our mind, right?

Wrong. According to a 3 News Reid Research poll last night, the most important issue to kiwis this election is the cleanliness and quality of our natural environment. Economic issues come well down the list:

3 News gave 21,000 voters a list of 21 options and asked for a ranking; 10 being most important, 1 being least important.

The environment came out on top at 8.2.

Second equal were food prices and the quality of our schools at 7.9.

Hospital care was third at 7.8.

The price of petrol was fourth at 7.7.

The number of people living in poverty was fifth 7.5.

This isn’t an aberration. The environment consistently beats the economy on surveys such as the New Zealand Values Survey and the Growth and Innovation Advisory Board survey. Our politicians, however, seem absolutely blind to this. For them, its “economy, economy, economy”, with the environment and quality of life issues as an afterthought.

The conclusion? Our major parties are completely out of touch with the electorate. They reflect the interests of their big business donors, not us. The only way this will change is if we vote them out, and replace them with people who do reflect our concerns.

39 comments on “NRT on the most important issue”

  1. vto 1

    Yeah, Vote Them Out !

  2. clandestino 2

    It seems though that what people say in one survey doesn’t impact another poll, with National still above 50%.

    • Ari 2.1

      Given that polls only get people on landlines who they can ring at a convenient time, it’s no surprise National is doing well in them, but- much like the Greens- they’ve never achieved a result anywhere near as high as polling has suggested.

      Besides, National NEEDS almost 50% to win anyway, at best they can rely on three MPs to go into coalition with them. Five percent less and they’re toast.

  3. Afewknowthetruth 3

    David Suzuki put it so well. It’s time to put ECO back into economy.

    What are currently enduring is a gross distortion of the Greek origin of the word; it is simply a system for looting the planet and transferring wealth to corporations and greedy, psychotic sociopaths at the top.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwxedZG21ZE
    Dr. David Suzuki – Message to The World_from Occupy Vancouver

    Actually, the present economic system and protection of the environment are mutually exclusive concepts, so at some point people will have to choose whether they want a planet for their children to live on or contination of the consumerism which is ‘killing’ it for a little while longer.

    At the moment, despite surveys, people still want consumerism.

    Ask how many NZers want shopping malls to close, overseas holidays to cease and there to be no more use gas barbeques and leaf blowers.

  4. Curious 4

    I guess that’s why most people vote for the Green party

    • Ari 4.1

      A little glib, but you have a good point- sadly for many people voting is about who they think they are, not about what they care about and want for their country. If people genuinely voted on policies alone, we’d have probably had a Green government with a Labour opposition by now.

  5. The Southland Times has made the state of our local rivers the main election priority even before the results of this poll. It is amazing the power of the media when they put public good before profit and gossip.
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.com/2011/11/clean-rivers-green-priority.html

  6. I guess that’s why most people will vote for the Green party, Curious, once they choose, as AFKTT says “whether they want a planet for their children to live on or contination of the consumerism which is ‘killing’ it for a little while longer.”

  7. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7

    That may be what people say but it rather avoids the basic truth that you cannot have first class services if your economy is fucked.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      So why is Brand Key so determined to fuck it then?

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.1.1

        You seriously believe he is setting out to fuck it, don’t you? In the world you inhabit, everyone knows what ought to be done, but one group deliberately sets out to do the opposite because they are sadists.

        And this is why you feel obliged to be so beastly to me, and me to you.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          Hey Ole, shall we get out there and make life harder for a bunch of solo mums?

          It’ll be fun I promise, they’re powerless and weak and don’t have much resources to fight back, so they are good for the moral majority like us to lay into.

          Bring your steel capped boots, you’ll enjoy it more.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.2

          Name one country anywhere in the world where the policies Brand Key espouses have improved the lot of the citizens. Just one. Everywhere you look, the countries that follow these policies are failing.
          One example: National Standards – failed everywhere in the world they’ve been tried, all the places that have tried them are throwing them out. Brand Key’s own advisor, John Hattie, said as much.
          So what’s your excuse for them? You might accuse the left of being soft on crime (itself another malicious lie) but I say you’re soft on incompetence.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.1.1.2.1

            He’s following pretty much the same policies as the last Labour government in New Zealand. Success or failure, ya reckon?

            • Dave Kennedy 7.1.1.2.1.1

              National desperately wants to emulate the US who have taken capitalism to the ultimate conclusion.

              During the Rogernomic years we actually even led the US in capitalist, Neo liberal thinking and I loved a Tom Scott cartoon of an IMF official talking to a New Zealand official in a whispering aside “So you’ve implemented everything we recommend………….does it work?

              Well it doesn’t, it never has and National will never learn.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      The environment is the economy – NAct are for destroying it altogether, Labour are for destroying it a little less.

  8. Craig 8

    I suspect that given the Rena disaster, there would always be a stronger focus on National’s woeful attitude toward environmental protection and risk at this election.

  9. Rusty Shackleford 9

    Richer countries have better environments. So, yea, economic growth is still kind of the main factor.

    • Afewknowthetruth 9.1

      RS.

      ‘Richer countries have better environments’

      Yep, like Japan, with 127 million people crammed onto a small group of islands, one of which is radioactive. Meanwhile, the economy is slowly caving in.

      http://au.finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=%5EN225&t=my&l=on&z=l&q=l&c=

      Yep. like the US, where fracking is poisoning water tables, where they no longer bother mining for coal -they just blow the tops off mountains, where the last of the topsoil is being used to grow crops to keep SUVs polluting the air, and much of the ewnvironment is collapsing, due to the year-long drought.

      http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

      Meanwhile, the US economy is slowly caving in.

      Yep, like Britain, which has a population overshoot of around 50 million and native mammals and birds that are disappearing so quickly they’ll be gone in a generation. Meanwhile, the economy is caving in.

      Yep, like Canada, which is ripping the top soil off Alberta to get to the tar sands while beetle infestations chew through boreal forests. (As far as I know the economy is not yet caving in because there are still resources to be looted.)

      Yep, like the PIIGS of Europe that cannot pay the interest on their loans and are almost totally dependent on oil imports to keep their populations fed because traditional agriculture was decimated decades ago.

      Need I continue?

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      Richer countries have better environments. So, yea, economic growth is still kind of the main factor.

      That’s because they export entropy to places like Nigeria, Alberta and the Amazon, fuck them up to extract the resources which the west needs to keep itself rich and clean.

      So yeah thats one big reason why the west is environmentally cleaner and typically free of sweatshops.

      They get wealthy by positioning that stuff elsewhere.

    • mik e 9.3

      Rusty your steel plate in your head is causing your memory to rust people I know in Japan have to use an oxygen mask to breath Tokyo’s atmosphere as you can’t call it air. besides half the population glow in the darken even though their govt tells them lies .

  10. Bill 10

    The only way this will change is if we vote them out, and replace them with people who do reflect our concerns.

    Not going to happen. All goverments, regardless of their make up, will serve the market, either willingly or through various mechanisms of financial compulsion.

    You want change? Stop placing authority for making social, political and economic decisions in the hands of those relative few who inhabit the higher echelons of those various hierarchies.

    Take it (the authority) back and in doing so, be the change we collectively need.

    • Afewknowthetruth 10.1

      Bill.

      Excellent point.

      The only problem is, so few people are awake to reality that whatever action they take will make negligible difference.

      Take the ‘Occupy’ movement in NZ, for instance. Most people did nothing to support it, but they will undoubtedly all be grizzling when the next phase of auterity is introduced.

      • Bill 10.1.1

        Unfortunately, ‘Occupy’ has been about talking rather than taking.

        If, in my mind, the talking had focussed on how to develop genuinely empowering decision making processes, and through reasoned calculation or small scale experimentation workied out how well they would translate as decisions around identified executable actions that would have a real and immediate effect in peoples lives, then ‘occupy’ could have been the beginnings of change.

        But, so far, I’ve seen little to suggest that any ‘occupies’ are moving beyond the position of ‘negative protest’ to positions of ‘affirmative action’…ie assuming control in the stead of recognised authorities in neighbourhoods etc. (I mention neighbourhoods, because it would seem to be the least problematic sphere to begin in. Much easier than in, say, places of education or in workplaces etc)

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1

          Time and encouragement. Remember, for it to work we need to get the majority behind the movement.

          • Bill 10.1.1.1.1

            Remember, for it to work we need to get the majority behind the movement.

            Which means tapping into the general sentiments of (whether we like it or not) the middle class. Or more correctly, the middle class ( and ‘everyone’ else) tapping into their own sentiments and then seeking to articulate them in thought and action. Which is all a matter of timing. From discussions I’ve had of late with fairly successful ‘go-getters’, (a fair number) there is an instinctive knowledge that things have pretty well ‘had it’. But, they are of the persuasion that they have room for manouveuere and may be able to be avoid the worst of what’s to come. In that respect they are not going to gather around any nodes of discontent that pop up.

            Which is a somewhat crucial aspect of movements. It’s not useful to convince people to join a movement because of this, that or the other political argument. It’s only useful if people gravitate to them on the basis of what they themselves feel or think. And it is only after they have engaged to some degree or other, that articulations of grievances and solutions can be the subject of further development. And the articulations of those grievances and the exploration of possible solutions will be multifarious and inevitably contradictory.

            And that’s why it’s necessary to have screeds of information and analyses available in such a fashion as to allow people to find their own position or comfort zone within a movement. And sure, envelopes are pushed. But they are pushed by individual people exploring available information on their own terms and challenging their own assumptions based on that material. People or organisations ‘standing over’ others pushing ‘correct thoughts’ isn’t useful and leads to disengagement.

            Working ‘to get the majority behind the movement’ is an excercise in ‘conversion’. Not useful. The very fact that particular arguments will be used, narrows the range of possible entry points into a movement and tends to be counter productive. In short, if a person ascribes or is convinced by a particular argument, they’re ‘in’. And if they don’t they’re not…and probably won’t be in the future because, to them, the movement has been defined and limited in such a way as to exclude their voice.

            Movements can only offer up opportunities for people to engage. In that respect they are passive. If they seek to push themselves on people then they are pushing prescriptions on people and the core element of what makes a movement a movement as opposed to ‘just another protest’ that will make demands before fading away, is lost.

            • Lisa 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Very astute, Bill. I have voiced my concerns to the Occupy Auckland movement that they are behaving in an exclusionary fashion (many people who are sympathetic to their overall message feel the same way) but they have not responded to my concerns at all. They have remained absolutely silent. Perhaps because I am not converting enough by voicing these concerns.

              • Bill

                If the environment has characteristics that create barriers/obstacles to more widespread participation, or that present closed doors where open ones would be preferable; and if people are unwilling or unable to acknowledge those charcteristics/dynamics and take corrective measures, then it’s not so much a case of ‘converting’ them, as disengaging from that environment and creating an inclusive one that is freed from their destructive or limiting dynamics.

                This is precisely what happened in Wall Street. The original ‘Occupy’ embraced top/down organisational structures and the established organisations that employ such structures as a matter of course. There was argument, followed by disengagement on the part of those who wanted a more empowering and inclusive environment. And it was they who set up at Zuccotti Park.

                Given the length of time that some ‘Occupies’ have been running on exclusive dynamics, it’s probably fair to say that the damage has been done and any reformation of such ‘Occupies’ is too late; that esrtwhile prospective supporters have become, in many cases, somewhat resolutely disengaged and that such ‘Occupies’ have become too heavily identified with partisan interest groups and their politics to recover any meaningful semblance of a movement.

                • Lisa

                  So what do the disengaged do? There are a lot of people who want to work towards structural change in a more collective environment, but don’t even know where to begin to create such an environment. Yes, there needs to be something far more inclusive and far less hierarchical, exclusionary and “holier-than-thou” than Occupy, especially if, in your opinion, the Occupies have gone past the point of no return, but I have no idea how. I would be interested to hear your thoughts, Bill.

                  • Bill

                    My thoughts at this point of time, for what they’re worth, are that those who can identify one another as being drawn towards horizontal and inclusive organisational strategies get together and begin (where necessary) to figure out how to create such an environment and how to safe-guard it from the influences of traditional forms of organisation/organising.

                    I don’t think it can be about launching a movement. The timing’s all wrong for that. But it can be about being better prepared for any future organisational opportunities, ensuring that they espouse genuine democratic characteristics and being in a position to ‘hit the ground running’.

                    In other words, the cynically disengaged can get down to work. The casually disengaged being by the by for now.

                    There are valuable lessons to be learned from the experiences and shortcomings of the various ‘Occupy’s’… for those with an inclination to learn. And it might still be worthwhile making suggestions to present Occupations….with no expectations that a movement forms or takes root. A little something here or there might be picked up on and lessons learned about the efficacy of particular suggestions and ideas about how they might be better honed in the future.

                    • Lisa

                      Thanks for sharing your insights, Bill. Yes, there are plenty of lessons to be learned from the Occupy movement. It’s a shame, though, that the movement is stonewalling those who are making suggestions – it’s hard to engage when there is no response.

                      I guess, looking past Occupy, many people are practising their politics every day, and so if Occupy won’t genuinely include them, then they will keep on fighting on their own as they have done for a long time. If anything, perhaps Occupy has started a dialogue amongst many I know about how exclusionary such activism can get sometimes, and sparked more sustained thinking around how to avoid Occupy’s pitfalls, which can only be a good thing.

                      I’m curious about why you think the timing is wrong to launch a movement?

  11. Terry 11

    People are rightly very concerned about the environment. Yet they seem to have short memories. This is the time to issue reminders of what the Tories wanted to do to our conservation land, tear it to pieces for filthy wealth. Remember? Remember that for once victory came to the people, probably the only time National backed down due to that tremendous march. Any government that could have wrecked the environment as it wanted, is capable of just about anything! Yes, think about the environment for sure. And remember.

  12. Drakula 12

    Anyone who can’t see that the economy is very much dependent on the environment is an absolute imbecile!! But we do have them don’t we?

    Unfortunately they are running the country!!!!!!!

  13. Afewknowthetruth 13

    In his Portland speech, Mike Ruppert clearly elucidates the argument that “until we change the way money works, we change nothing”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbiyCldxG8s

    The first few minutes are a ‘slow’ but Mike then gets to the heart of the matter and is very thought-provoking..

    He points out what many of us have known for years, that Fractional Reserve Banking, in combination with Compound Interest, is a fraudulent, omnicidal, suicidal system which requires the environment to be destroyed in order that the system can persist.

    That is one of the many reasons why the election of a Labour government will make almost no difference to to downward trajectory NZ is on (along with the rest of the world). As has been pointed out on numerous occasions, governments are the agents of money-lenders and corporations and simply WILL NOT tackle the nub of the predicament we are in.

    There is also the matter of the failure of so many so-called Christians to be good custodians of the Earth -prefering to have dominion over it and ravage it in order to feed the materialism they have become slaves to.

    Therefore, the downward trajectory will continue (whoever forms the next government) until conditions become intolerable for a large sector of the populace, at which point anything could happen.

    Of course, the situation in many countries is far worse than in NZ (and deteriorating rapidly), so it is exceedingly likely NZ will get caught up in some kind of global meltdown well before the end of 2015 which may trigger ‘something big’ here.

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