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Politics by numbers

Written By: - Date published: 7:57 pm, April 13th, 2014 - 125 comments
Categories: greens, labour, nz first - Tags:

The first rule of politics is learn how to count. And, as much as we would all like to see Labour and the Greens govern by themselves, 13 and 32 don’t add up to 50

That’ll be why, when the Greens came to Labour with a plan to campaign together, Labour said no.

But John Armstong’s claims that this is a deliberate slap in the face to the Greens are silly. Firstly this was a confidential meeting so Labour wasn’t exactly making a spectacle of saying no. Secondly, whether we like it or not Labour are going to have to grow their vote to at least the mid-thirties and even then they (and the Greens) will need New Zealand First if they want to govern.

I don’t think the Greens proposal would have helped achieved either of those things. And it looks like Labour didn’t either.

In fact Labour and the Greens campaigning together might have hindered Labour from cutting into National’s big soft vote and would have signaled to Winston that he wasn’t welcome.

Indeed, I’d bet the farm that Labour and the Greens are still talking. There’s no way either of them are going to be at the Cabinet table without the other and they know it.

What Labour and Green supporters need to do is quit the gnashing and the wailing and doing the work of the right, and instead focus on doing what we’ve always done and work together on the ground to grow both the Green and the Red vote as much as possible.

In an ideal world Labour and the Greens could campaign together and win. But we’re not in an ideal world (which is kind of why we need to win government and change things), and if working with Winston is what it takes to undo neoliberalisim then that’s absolutely what we need do.

And here’s a novel thought, it might help if Russel and Winston could put aside their differences and work together a bit more too.

Update: numbers updated to latest poll (Roy Morgan). My point still stands.

125 comments on “Politics by numbers”

  1. Sacha 1

    “And here’s a novel thought, it might help if Russel and Winston could put aside their differences and work together a bit more too.”

    It’s pretty clear the animosity has been one-way traffic. Mr Norman and his predecessors never tried to exclude Winston First from government, and nor have I heard of any personal beef.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      That presupposed Winston’s backers haven’t brought that possibility off the table. i.e. kick the Greens and you’ll get funds.

    • Indeed. The offer of pre-election coalition even included a joint strategy on how to engage with NZF as part of the terms- clearly the Greens have no objection to being in coalition with Winston, if it’s necessary to form a Government.

  2. srylands 2

    I don’t get the reference to neoliberalism being rolled back. Are you seriously suggesting that free markets, free trade, and deregulation are bad things? Neoliberalism has advanced prosperity and improved the lives of the poor throughout the world. It is never going to be rolled back. It will advance relentlessly. Are you going to turn it off in little New Zealand? No. Both major parties have adopted the tenants of neoliberalism for 30 years because (a) it is the right thing and (b) there is no alternative.

    • Sacha 2.1

      “improved the lives of the poor throughout the world”

      good, I needed a laugh.

      • Weepu's beard 2.1.1

        Yep, I can see neoliberalists working night and day to better the lives of the poor all over the world. And haven’t they done well! There’s just no poor people anymore, according to Paula Bennett.

    • McFlock 2.2

      I really don’t get how long it takes for you to learn something, SSpylands.
      At the very least, are you really so slow that you haven’t yet gathered that quite a few commenters here suggest exactly that. Repeatedly. In tiny words that even you should be able to understand.

      And your catechism that it “will advance relentlessly” are little more than a profession of [a dying] faith. If things were as cut and dried as you suggest, you wouldn’t have to keep bleating like this.

    • Hamish 2.3

      truly insipid inspirational stuff, sslands. I can almost feel my little boat being lifted…

    • Stuart Munro 2.4

      ACT isn’t on 0% because of its new ‘family friendly’ policy – that’s untested – it’s on 0% because neo-liberalism made New Zealand poor.

    • karol 2.5

      Maybe you need to read “the comprehensive activist guide to dismantling neoliberalism”

      It starts oultining the ways neoliebralism has failed.

      How many times do we have to witness deep economic declines, before realizing corruption and greed are intimately connected to an economic system based on individual advancement?

      Another common refrain is that of “trickle-down economics” or the idea that money will “trickle-down” from rich individuals and corporations to everyone else.

      However, this “trickle-down” doesn’t actually happen to a great extent, wealth accumulates in “pools” for the rich.

      So as long as neoliberals continue to ignore the realities of their program, they will continue to ignore the deeply negative implications of their policies.
      […]
      Action 1: Undermining neoliberal frames with the truth. As I wrote above some of the neoliberal beliefs (e.g.the market economy is “natural” and “self-regulating,” “free market” = a “free society,” etc.) just don’t actually have any basis in fact.

      • McFlock 2.5.1

        Serendipity is a wonderful thing: article in the guardian on a new book that seems to be breaking waves. Topic: why capitalism is doomed.

      • e 2.5.2

        Karol, neo liberalism has not failed. Where the hell did you get that silly idea from? It has been enormously successful, lets face it, it is the modus operandi and de facto standard across the world for three decades. it frames our reference to everything….highly successful.

        The question is, “Successful for whom?” A little list:
        * the 1%ers.
        * banksters
        * currency / forex traders
        * anybody with a large share portfolio
        * mortgage free middle classes
        * speculators
        * corporate managers
        * the bloated NZ middle classes…
        * Treasury zealots
        * hoards of former public service managers now turned “consultants”
        * etc etc etc etc ad infinitum

        One might add another list of those neo liberalism has failed…the rest of us.

    • vto 2.6

      Srylands, you are a troll. You throw out these big huge calls, with spurious evidence, and then only very rarely reply to anyone.

      Good example is your evidence / reasons above, namely: “it is the right thing” and “there is no alternative”. That is nothing, zero, nada …. it doesn’t make it as far as pathetic.

      And as for this “Are you seriously suggesting that free markets, free trade, and deregulation are bad things?”

      Free markets give us ever-lowering wage rates…
      Deregulation gave us 29 dead men at Pike River….
      There is a huge amount of evidence that the application of those things you bow down to have worsened the plight of most people. Those things have some merit, but absolutely not in the manner in which they have been applied over the last 30 years. Proof for this incorrect application is the 29 dead men at Pike River. Proof-perfect. So piss off with your big round claims and start engaging and providing some evidence, and replying to those who provide evidence of the opposite.

      Otherwise you just come across as a troll ….

      Neoliberalism killed 29 men dead at Pike River.

    • DS 2.7

      Neo-liberalism is the reincarnation of free-market nineteenth century liberalism. That’s why it’s called “neo”.

      However, your much adored liberalism died out in the early 1930s. Because, you know, it failed at dealing with mass unemployment and poverty. It was then consigned to the trash can until the 1970s, when a generation of politicians and economists who couldn’t remember 1929 decided that it’d be awesome to do away with the regulations that protected capitalism from itself.

      If liberalism has died once, it can certainly die again, for the same reasons.

      • geoff 2.7.1

        Very nicely said.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.7.2

        It would have died in 2008 except that governments around the world pumped trillions of dollars of our wealth at the rich to keep it going.

        • aerobubble 2.7.2.1

          Petroleum spurred growth, whatever capitalist party was to be in power. It was the financial sector that saw it coming first and the financial sector that recommended the policies necessary to grow the financial sector (and so lower their productivity, i.e. hundred thousand dollars a week salaries) to the legislators). Leave it to them they said, trust us. And so behold it became true, that

          ….(a) it is the right thing and (b) there is no alternative.

      • vto 2.7.3

        That is very well said DS – worthy of a post all of its own.

        Srylands? Any comment? Or just running for cover per usual … foolish man ….

      • Tracey 2.7.4

        slylands confuses wanting to keep ssomething with having to keep it.

    • Arthur 2.8

      Tenants? Tenets?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.9

      Are you seriously suggesting that free markets, free trade, and deregulation are bad things?

      When applied to everything, yes. Markets work at a micro level but even then they need to be well regulated. They don’t work at all on a macro level.

      Neoliberalism has advanced prosperity and improved the lives of the poor throughout the world.

      Lies.

      It is never going to be rolled back.

      Yes it will. The same way we rolled back the last go at feudalism if necessary.

      Both major parties have adopted the tenants of neoliberalism for 30 years because (a) it is the right thing and (b) there is no alternative.

      Yes they have and that would be because a) Labour is stupid and b) National is psychopathic. And there are alternatives.

      • Matthew Hooton 2.9.1

        “Markets work at a micro level but even then they need to be well regulated. They don’t work at all on a macro level.”

        What does that mean? What is the “macro level”?

        • geoff 2.9.1.1

          I would guess that by macro, DTB means the longer term, large scale effects of a deregulated market economy. Which leads to wealth inequalities etc.

          BTW, Have you heard of/read Thomas Piketty’s book, Capital in the Twenty First Century, Matthew?

          • aerobubble 2.9.1.1.1

            Labour voters aren’t adverse to higher taxes on the rich, unfortuately Williams hasn’t worked this out.

            If true, the tax switch that was fiscally neutral would be fiscally neutral if reversed, that lower GST and increases taxes on the wealthiest would also be fine. Of course the lie is that
            they were neutral.

            Nine-to-Noon essential argument is that tax cuts are always wrong, as long as the wealthy people invited to the show ignore the effects of a rise in GST.

            Now Hooten said Greens are the only party that are predictable, there’s no chance for them
            to legislate neo-liberal Douglas changes. And this is a bad thing having principles because it stops politics. This is about as stupid as saying there’s no chance Labour and Green could form a government together.

            Or the even bigger porky that in now political scenario that Greens could not form a National-green government. That’s just plain ludicirous if the numbers fall right. And
            then there’s the National party splitting…

            To understand the Greens you have to understand the next statement….

            We have built windmills to heat homes.

            Fathom the reality, the inevitability to Green economics, the oil will run out, the hydrocarbons will run out, the climate is warming due to them.

            The reason why Greens can’t work with National are the same reason why National can split, its the same stress. That National have dug themselves into a corner on climate change… …oh yeah, they still have a carbon tax, yeah thats like saying their tax switch was all about the GFC.

            I know another lie peddled by economists. Or shall I say on particular one on Nine-to-Noon when discussing inequality.

            Why we have inequality… …well an economist makes the
            claim that the tax cuts National brought in (that it was
            going to anyway) hasn’t recouped them for the richests
            for their lost incomes from interest and profits.

            Now that’s not an argument for
            no change in inequality, when there are going numbers lining
            up at food banks, when unemployment is up so incomes down,
            when petrol costs rise people spend everything have, that
            they didn’t before the GFC. So wtf is brian easton on NR
            nine to noon saying talking about tax cuts, that would have
            increased inequality, and where petrol prices still
            hurt the poorest the most as a percentage of their income
            that goes immediately out the door!!!!

            You see its a blatant lie to say the tax switch was neutral
            and not reversible. That the tax switch would not have increased
            inequality when they have. That just because the wealth didn’t make
            as much money that inequality isn’t a problem, just child poverty.

            Inequality will continue to be a growing problem when the
            hatchet men of the right continue to lie so openly and bald face-ly.
            Once upon a time economists used to feel some integrity enough
            to not press home partisan talking points that were so blatantly lies.

            Hooten only use is his delusional reality that makes him like the
            bird down the cold mine crossed with the village idiot.

            • Tracey 2.9.1.1.1.1

              HootOn points out it is only the Treasury prediction of tax take that is down by alot, but he omits to tell the listeners that it is those predictions which form the basis of the comedy that is the govt’s blinkered desire to get surplus.

              And if we get to ten dollars of surplus, and the nats trumpet the success, will anyone bother to ask them how much of a dent the 410 surplus put on the interest on the 60 billion borrowed, and how much less it will borrow the very next day?

              Not HootOn and NOT Mike Williams

              • Draco T Bastard

                The $60 billion borrowed needs to be applied negatively to any surplus that the Nats produce.

                • Tracey

                  not in mr hooton.. mr williams or the medias eys.

                  • aerobubble

                    Indeed. Debt has jumped due to the tax switch, which based on the economic illiterates in power, tax revenues shrink when we cut taxes. Only in a world of lowering energy prices and growing availability of them will revenue rise with a cut in taxes (i.e. a era of growth). And the abusive absurdity of the growth debate, when the GFC was a response to the end of cheap energy, that somehow Green will cause a loss of growth. When has building the new infrastructure not cost growth and not returning it in multipliers. If we continue on Key’s disasters path we will have even smaller growth and a loss of opportunity.

                    Greens are the only growth option at the moment

        • Draco T Bastard 2.9.1.2

          Micro is individual to individual. Macro is pretty much anything above that (local communities, national state). The fact that you didn’t know that indicates you’re total ignorance of economics as taught in schools and universities.

          • McFlock 2.9.1.2.1

            particularly ignorant of macroeconomics…

          • thatguynz 2.9.1.2.2

            “economics as taught in schools and universities” which regrettably are also total bollocks.

            Does nobody wonder why Treasury (for example) churn out the usual predictable bullshit – it is because they have been educated to do so. The economic theories which underpin all economic study and have unfortunately been propagated into practice are model based, not reality based. When a model ignores Maslow’s hierarchy of needs then it is pre-determined to fail. Yet, we still get the same simpleton ideologues such as srylands touting it as the second coming of christ.

            Here’s one for you srylands – cite me ONE example of a true and successful free market economy ANYWHERE in the world. Shouldn’t be that hard right?

            • Draco T Bastard 2.9.1.2.2.1

              The economic theories which underpin all economic study and have unfortunately been propagated into practice are model based, not reality based.

              No, they’re not model based at all. They’re based upon hypothesise that attempt to explain reality. Any hypothesis has a number of assumptions where actual knowledge is missing. Unfortunately for economics almost all of the underlying assumptions are wrong and no one’s trying to find out what the actual missing information is.

              • thatguynz

                OK, we’re arguing the same point from marginally different angles but the gist is still accurate. Whether the model “validates” the hypothesis or vice versa means little in the sense of the disconnect from reality :)

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The models are based up the hypotheses, the hypotheses aren’t based upon the model. It’s a very important distinction.

            • Tracey 2.9.1.2.2.2

              bill english is a career bureaucrat. he used to work for treasury. he has been dependant on the tax payer all his working life. I hope this helps.

              • thatguynz

                Bingo :)

                • Tracey

                  if he were not in national he would be villified for never working in the real world. being a cossetted civil servant. instead he is called a farmer…

                  when he double dipped he was kind of a deceptive low life stealing from the tax payer… bennett needs to drug test him

        • RedBaronCV 2.9.1.3

          Thats the differnce between Eco101 and Eco102

    • Mike S 2.10

      “Are you seriously suggesting that free markets, free trade, and deregulation are bad things?”

      Hmmm let’s see. Deregulation was possibly a major contributor to the ‘world financial crisis’.

      Please explain how free trade agreements help ordinary New Zealander’s as opposed to a select small group of businesses and their owners. How is importing goods which require unskilled workers to produce a good thing for unskilled workers wages in New Zealand?

      Free markets have never been ‘free’ and never can be while we have in place the current central bank monetary system or monopoly price setting global oil cartels or banks and other businesses which should be allowed to fail but are instead bailed out, or the huge numbers of rent seekers be they corporations or individuals who harp on about and worship the ‘free market’ whilst holding their hand out for government subsidies and buying state assets at below fair market prices, etc, etc, etc.

      But that aside, can you show me any instances in free market economic calculations or measures where the welfare and stability of society are part of the calculation; or where the family and their ability to survive are considered relevant in terms of inputs into calculations?

      Please explain how the three things mentioned are not ‘bad things’ in terms of all three of them being huge contributors to inequality which is one of the biggest problems facing our country and it’s social cohesion today.

    • North 2.11

      It’s either Freudian slip or the defective ears of a dimmish, aggressively mouthy regurgitater of the right wing mantra. At 2 above from the delightful SSLands – noted Gold Coast economist, onetime diplomat, general VIP of yore and always specious fool –

      “Both major parties have adopted the TENANTS of neoliberalism for 30 years………”

      Get it right SSLands – TENETS………TENETS !

      Neoliberalism having no tenets of value indeed focuses on the creation of tenants.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.12

      The IMF and World Bank et al got the memo months ago, true believers like S Rylands will soon face a stark choice: recognise reality or become unemployable :lol:

    • thatguynz 2.13

      And again.. fucking idiot.

    • Tracey 2.14

      ” New Zealand inflation probably accelerated in the first quarter, keeping on track expectations that the Reserve Bank will lift the official cash rate again next week to mitigate the effects of strong demand growth in coming years. ”

      so to counter strong growth up go interest rates…. so up go rents and down goes disposable income of the lower incomes…

    • gnomic 2.15

      ‘Both major parties have adopted the tenants of neoliberalism for 30 years,’

      I expect the word that mess of slime inside your skull (assuming you are a human and not a robot or android) is groping for is ‘tenets’.

      Can you not just go away? Forever please. You are lowering the tone.

  3. greywarbler 3

    I think that sounds a very plausible stratagem – I feel better about the way things are going Greens and Labour now and I agree with your views on Greens and Winston. Comment about Mana and the Internet Party?

    • geoff 3.1

      If Mana and the Internet party can get a good turnout then that would be fantastic for the Left.

      There are people concerned because of dotcom but I think the pros of a substantial voter turnout would far far outweigh the cons of being associated with someone who thought giving $50k and a chopper ride to John Banks was a good idea.

      • The Lone Haranguer 3.1.1

        “If Mana and the Internet party can get a good turnout then that would be fantastic for the Left.”

        Beware what you ask for there. Do not be concerned with what Dotcom has done in the past regarding Banks etc, but be far more concerned about what he may do in the future. His constituency is not the poor, but the freedom of Dotcom alone.

        So vote for his party if you think it will be the end of Keys government, but be 100% aware that it may well bite you on the arse in time to come

  4. Clemgeopin 4

    Excellent post,Geoff! I thoroughly agree.

    A formal alliance before the election, if at all desirable, can only be considered if the current polls suggest the two parties have pretty close proximity in party vote figures such as 20 to 30 (or 25 to 35) and are over 50% combined. At the moment that is not indicated as it is around 33 Lab to 11 Greens.

    It is also possible that NZF may win around 7 to 10% and Mana.Dom alliance, if it goes ahead, around 5% This complicates pre election alliances between Labour and Greens as the alliance will favour the Greens far in excess to Labour and the other potential coalition partners and hamper post election coalition negations with other parties if needed.

    In such a situation, a pre election alliance is counter productive.

    Since there is very little realistic chance of the Greens winning an electoral seat, it would make more sense if the Green voters who constitute about 11% of voters, vote for the Labour candidates and give their party vote to the Greens. Greens voting for their own candidates will be a wasted vote for practical purposes.

    In the case of the Labour voters, it will be sensible for them to give both votes to Labour : Candidate and party, in order to ensure Labour has sufficient MPs in case there are some (or many) electorate candidate defeats by stronger National candidates. This way we will have more Labour elected MPs than the Nats.

    In fact, not just the Greens, but all the other parties that are opposed to National should adopt this strategy for the good of the Left block and for a better chance of forming a Labour led coalition Government.

    I think that if the strategy I have suggested above is not followed, it will be harder to form a Labour led left government that many of us want and we may actually end up with a National led government that will wreck with no-holds-barred-havoc with the country for the primary benefit of the wealthy and the corporates.

    • nadis 4.1

      I think you need to go back and understand how MMP works. In particular the difference between electorate and list votes.

      • aerobubble 4.1.1

        Yes. Greens and NZF are list parties. So voters can still votee National or Labour in the constituency, but analysis would be too hard for the talk media heads so they make
        outrageously stupid generalizations (else they wouldn’t get an invite on to TV and radio).

        My guess is the election will come down to how effective Labour is at convincing its
        potential voters that tax rises for the rich won’t effect them. Because there are more
        of those doing it hard than there are doing well under Key. Once they realize a
        vote for Labour isn’t a vote for harder times (geez the National machine really has
        got that smear pretty much nailed down in the popular media mind) rather it means
        RELIEF (although not to spend on petrol).

        The wealthiest pretty much are advised that growing inequality harms their wealth
        security, and future profits, so I would be very surprised that ACT had any doners left.
        But then wealth and stupid are symbiotic, since wealth is accumulated and stupid
        have always spent it in very odd ways i.e. if you don’t have it how else does
        stupid gets brought.

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    The flaw in this reasoning is to treat these numbers as firm, when they are in fact volatile, and the ones you’ve chosen are towards the low end of the current range.

    The strategy of gaming MMP based on mystery policy from Winston is inferior.

    It isolates two groups – the activist left – who are expected to campaign for this somehow, though they see nothing to hope for from the compromise. (Lose 3-5%)

    The persuadable swinging voter is similarly deterred – “I’m gonna vote Labour because I’ve got absolutely no idea what they’ll do…” is not a very credible statement. (Lose half of current total undecided ~ 8% or so minimum).

    The line in the sand should have been drawn for Winston. He should make his decisions on policy by a month pre-election or be left in the cold. Many compromises are possible but capitulation to Winston’s unspecified convenience is a disservice to established voters. And the party will be punished for it.

    Put him on the spot though and you can campaign vigorously on policy. If he were a solid partner things might be very different, but he’s as mercurial as they come. Voting isn’t supposed to be like buying lotto.

    • geoff 5.1

      The line in the sand should have been drawn for Winston. He should make his decisions on policy by a month pre-election or be left in the cold.

      Sounds great for an ideal world but I just don’t think that’s practical given the numbers Greens & Labour are polling, even in the favourable Roy Morgan ones.

      • Stuart Munro 5.1.1

        I accept that a five percent gap is scary, and looks like a ‘Winston sized hole’.

        But not accounting for the other effects of the decision doesn’t make them go away. Undecideds do tend to fall in the election vote, and typically the left gets a more than equal share of them. But unattractive leadership, squabbles like the Rudd/Gillard one in Oz, confusing policy or policy that is perceived as dishonest will stunt that growth. Do you suppose Labour will not be ruthlessly vilified by RWNJ agitprop for this decision?

        It would be tolerable but invidious if this investment had bought Winston – but if he simply chooses to be a spoiler the game was lost for nothing.

        If the Greens and Labour play a straight game 5% is doable, and Winston may not actually make it. By bowing to Winston’s chief condition early, without acquiring any tangible benefit you alienate and weaken those two supporter groups, quite possibly for nothing.

    • geoff 5.2

      I’ve updated the numbers to the Roy Morgan results now.

  6. Jrobin 6

    Srylands learn to spell, perhaps take up reading too. Tenets of Neo liberalism, not tenants slight difference here. The tenants are the people Nick Smith is kicking out of State Houses to try to make it look like he’s doing something about the housing shortage. Oh just another example of neocons helping the poor? More Inspirational policy from the National Party to encourage the poor to feel grateful for all the help they’ve had from this Government.

  7. lurgee 7

    Neck on neck (if you add the Green’s neck onto Labour’s) and Winston as the kingmaker. Wo’dathunkedit?

    National will have more baubles to offer Winston and his hangers on, as Labour will already have given a basketful to the Greens.

  8. In fact Labour and the Greens campaigning together might have hindered Labour from cutting into National’s big soft vote and would have signaled to Winston that he wasn’t welcome.

    This strikes me as just wrong. For one thing, most voters can count and will be able to figure out for themselves that a Labour government will involve a coalition with the Greens. Are there really voters so fundamentally stupid that they won’t notice that fact unless Labour draws their attention to it by making a formal agreement?

    For another, Winston shouldn’t be welcome. His ‘party,’ if you can call it that, is a conservative one. To the extent that it has aims beyond getting Winston some baubles of office, those aims will conflict with a Labour/Greens government.

    And for yet another, if Winston gets to play kingmaker, National will offer him a better deal – because he’d be the second-biggest participant in a Nat coalition, as opposed to third-biggest in a Lab/Green one.

    They’d be better off making Labour/Greens look like a potential coalition government than pretending Winston First is a potential coalition partner.

    • quartz 8.1

      I think that on social policy Winston is conservative but on economic policy he’s a lot closer to the Greens than he is to National.

  9. Nick 9

    Looking at the latest Roy Morgan figures Labour + Greens = 45% National = 43%. I think there is some value in getting that message across clearly.

    We all know that it will take Labour and the Greens together to form a new government – saying so openly starts getting the discussion formed around how that block is doing against National. With both blocks then needing to top up the difference with NZ First or whoever else is around. I think part of the reason for a low turnout last election was the perception of the result being a forgone conclusion.

    If you look at just Labour vs National a lot of people will think the same about this election and dismiss Labour’s chances.

    The other thing, not the just maths, is presenting a united vision of what the next government will look like. People could well be looking at Labour’s policies and thinking – they sound good but Labour doesn’t have a chance to govern on its own, what’s it going to sell out to the Greens in order to get in. Something that National is going to do some scaremongering around as well. Putting together a united vision, showing clearly where they are policies they can work together on and providing some indication of what compromises are on the table I think will win voters who like tranparency and those who find out the vision for the next government is better than the fears they might otherwise have.

    Discussions might’ve been better on the quiet but I really think that Labour should be looking at doing some campaigning with the Greens in an open and honest way. It leaves too much room for apathy (looking at the polls) or FUD (propogated by the right) to campaign separately and say that we’ll only get ANY idea of the next government after the election.

    From National’s point of view its going to be the biggest partner of a right block coalition with the next biggest likely to be less than 10% of its caucus size. Labour is looking at its partner being 30% or more – this hasn’t happened before and clarifying what a government like that would look like will help voters feel more comfortable in accepting it.

    • Enough is Enough 9.1

      The Key Nick is never take a poll in isolation, good or bad.

      I think Labour could be using stronger language then it currently is. They should clearly acknowledge that their first preference is a progressive Labour/Green governmnet. If those numbers don’t stack up (we are in a lot of trouble if they don’t), then David and Russel will together reach out to Winston, Hone, or anyone else who is will to be part of a progressive government.

      We need to look like a government in waiting. The public needs to see and get a feel for what the new governmet will look like and stand for.

      We can’t do that by giving up weak lines about playing with the cards we are dealt.

    • Tracey 9.2

      doesnt campaigning together make seat gifting more palatable or less?

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    That’ll be why, when the Greens came to Labour with a plan to campaign together, Labour said no.

    Looks like one dimensional thinking to me.

    A joint campaign would actually be a game changer and a strategy suited to the MMP environment. It would give all left leaning voters a simple objective – to get the LAB/GR team in and to push National out.

    Choosing a status quo campaigning approach means that the Left’s numbers are going to stay stuck to close to where they are now.

    • Enough is Enough 10.1

      Exactly CV – It means Labour will be fighting Green for the same people rather than dragging those swingers who have voted National in essentially the last three elections.

    • Tracey 10.2

      agree

  11. Jenny 11

    The Left need to campaign Left.

    Cunliffe needs to dump his support for deep sea oil drilling. 80% of the population are opposed to it.

    Cunliffe needs to overturn his reversal on Labour’s promised $1.5 billion in tax cuts to the poor that would have been delivered by removing GST off fresh fruit and veges and the first $5000 of income. (He can keep his measly $520 million ACT inspired “targeted support” if he likes).

    Cunliffe needs to announce that Labour will reverse the huge income tax cuts given to the wealthy by National. (and Labour).

    Cunliffe needs to promise to keep the age of Super entitlement at 65.

    These are just some of the minimum Left demands that Labour need to champion to lift their poll ratings.

    • Populuxe1 11.1

      No they don’t – not if they want to get in. While (hopefully) a majority of New Zealanders would vote for policies that are ostensibly left wing, only a tiny fraction identify as of the left.

      • Stuart Munro 11.1.1

        Self-identity though, is the lowest criteria for left leaning.

        Many want state provision of essential public goods like transport, electricity, education and health, a fair society, jobs and housing. They’d take these from the market, but unregulated markets are only vehicles for crude accumulation – they don’t deliver public goods.

        So these folk look to the left – and find that the left is in disarray.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2

        Apparently, 80% of people would vote for the Greens policies if they weren’t being confused by party politics.

    • Wyndham, George 11.2

      I hope Cunliffe does not listen to advice like Jenny’s. Knee-jerk reactions to perceived problem of the week or the last polls is what damaged Labour under Goff and Shearer. Cunliffe hopefully has cleared out all those who jerked and jumped and scurried and replaced them with people of the Left with strategic minds and concreted stomachs.

      Stick with your guns, David Cunliffe. You are heading on the right direction and there is no looking back.

      • Jenny 11.2.1

        “Stick with your guns, David Cunliffe. You are heading on the right direction and there is no looking back.”
        Wyndham, George

        That’s a shame

  12. Chooky 12

    The most important thing is that the Left wins and John Key’s NACT is defeated…nothing else matters

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/04/14/what-do-the-nz-left-want-to-do-in-election-2014-replace-john-key-or-sit-in-opposition-for-3-years/

    • geoff 12.1

      +1 Chooky, I totally agree.

    • Monty 12.2

      I have not been over here for a while.
      Defeating National at any price. Be careful what you wish for. The reason why so many people continue to support national is because of the alternate which labour should be somewhat weary of. A coalition of the left made up of labour! greens! mana, dotcom, and NZfirst will be near impossible to manage very unstable and drive labour back to to opposition benches for a very long time.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1

        Oh, fuck off. It would be no more unstable than the construct of National, mP, Act and UF that we have now.

        • Clemgeopin 12.2.1.1

          Include CONS in the next mix up if it ever happens.
          In spite of the latest Roy Morgan poll, I still think it will be a Labour led government next.

        • Monty 12.2.1.2

          No more unstable than what we have now? Well tell me how the personalities of three leaders who really have no natural affinity or respect for each other is going the deliver stable government. Winnie , Cunliffe and Norman all have large egos, none respect the others and all have to date been unable to convince NZ they they would deliver good government for NZ.

          And no need to swear just because I expressed my opinion. Or are you that intolerant of alternate views?

          • Clemgeopin 12.2.1.2.1

            You are completely wrong. Cunliffe, Norman and Peters have worked very well as opposition leaders. They do have good relations. Cunliffe has made it very clear that the Greens WILL be in his Labour led coalition government with cabinet positions for the Greens. But they are separate parties with separate policies, though many are aligned quite closely. Peters of course has not committed to either a Labour or a National government yet, as he prefers to consider his options after the voters have voted. That is his prerogative and nothing wrong with that legitimate position. I am hoping he will choose a Labour led government. What do you prefer him to do?

          • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1.2.2

            No more unstable than what we have now?

            That is correct. In fact I’d say it’d be even more stable than what we have now because what we have now isn’t much better than the 1996 to 99 government and for the same reason – it’s got RWNJs in it.

            Winnie , Cunliffe and Norman all have large egos…

            Bollocks. Winston maybe, the others? Nah.

            And no need to swear just because I expressed my opinion. Or are you that intolerant of alternate views?

            I’m intolerant of BS you fucken moron.

  13. Enough is Enough 13

    It is really frustrating and quite a worry that this debate is taking place so close to the election.

    The last time a National government was rolled it took a campaign of co-operation between the left parties to move them. Labour and the Alliance presented themselves together as a government in waiting. It was clear to all what we were going to get once they won.

    In 1999 we were up against an unpopular leader as well in Shipley. Nothing like this joker Key who has unprecedented popularity.

    The question is what does a vote for Labour mean? Do you know what kind of government you will get with a vote for Labour?

    • Clemgeopin 13.1

      Yes, it will be a Labour led government with almost certainly Greens in the coalition and cabinet, and with coalition or support from Mana.Com and possibly NZF, outside or inside cabinet with policy concessions depending upon how the people vote and how the talks go.

      The main condition is that Labour is in the dominant position on party votes and MP wise.

      The anti-National smaller left parties and their voters should cast their votes smartly to ensure that happens, by giving their party vote to their own party but not waste their candidate votes in most cases, by giving that to the Labour candidate.

      That is the logical and smart way to help prevent National/ACT being in a position to form the next government.

  14. George 14

    Nah, the reason this was rejected was because members of the leadership group don’t want to think about losing important minister positions to the Greens. This way they can ignore reality for a few more months. If they’re lucky they can keep imagining taking all the ministries for the next three years.

  15. Rosie 15

    “What Labour and Green supporters need to do is quit the gnashing and the wailing and doing the work of the right, and instead focus on doing what we’ve always done and work together on the ground to grow both the Green and the Red vote as much as possible.”

    I like your style Geoff.

    Just IMO, I don’t think this is a time for ideological nit picking – the sum of what we are on the Left is greater than the parts, more now than ever.The number one priority must be to expel Key and Co, and we need to be united in that goal.

    On the subject of unity, I see karol has done an article about the The Internet Party – Mana Party relationship. I read karols’s article but don’t have time to go through 390 comments. I’m over the initial feelings of weirdness (and reservations I had about the political integrity of Dotcom) of two culturally opposite groups forming an alliance and can see that Hone Harawira is being absolutely practical about growing votes. If it raises Mana’s profile to the place where it should be then great, and if another Mana seat is gained in parliament then the goal has been met.

    • Populuxe1 15.1

      But in all likelihood it won’t be a MANA seat – it will be an IP seat. It seems distinctly odd that a Pakeha backed by a white foreigner will get into parliament on the coattails of the Maori seats

      • Rosie 15.1.1

        Hi Populuxe1. What Pakeha are you thinking of? I was thinking of Annette Sykes winning Waiariki if she does indeed stand:

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/240567/sykes-laying-waiariki-groundwork

        If she did win it, it would be to do with the voters of that electorate, and her connection and commitment to them, not Dot Com. Her values don’t change because DotCom is in the picture. It’s still a Mana heart that is beating.

        • Populuxe1 15.1.1.1

          Rest assured that the price of an IP alliance will be a seat for IP. Faust styles

          • Tracey 15.1.1.1.1

            could be a policy concession or two, not necessarily a seat?

            • Clemgeopin 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Nothing wrong with a very representative Labour led left and centre cabinet of Labour, Greens, NZF and Mana.Com, with ministers inside or outside the Cabinet and negotiated policy concessions for the smaller parties, as expected by the voting public.

          • the pigman 15.1.1.1.2

            Yep, and no doubt that great Satan KDC’s appointed MP will be pushing his eugenics program as the bottom line for support for the government, right Pop?

    • geoff 15.2

      Too right, Rosie, I’m with you.
      What I don’t get is seeing supporters of left parties spending so much of their time bagging other left parties in an MMP situation. If they don’t like the things that one particular party is doing then dont vote for them, they should leave it at voting for the party of their choice.
      It’s not like the bad-old FPP days when you were splitting the left vote and guaranteeing the tories a win. That’s what is happening in the UK at the moment, the left there would love to have a system like we’ve got.

      • Rosie 15.2.1

        I feel for the Brit voter – they have a diverse society but how well is it represented in parliament? An MMP type voting system gives a voter more flexibility, more scope and more hope yet they are stuck with with the old FPP – system that by it’s confined nature can’t keep up with the times.

  16. prosper 16

    Can we drop all this neo liberal jargon . It makes the users sound like first year political science students who have read a book but have had no life experience. You might as well say capitalist pig dog. Refer to this group in the NZ context as centre right or right if you like. There is very few wealthy people in NZ. Remember Labour’s tax the rich prick scheme kicked in at 60k. Hardly rich. It would far more beneficial for every body to receive the first 10k tax free.

    • lprent 16.1

      Remember Labour’s tax the rich prick scheme kicked in at 60k. Hardly rich.

      In 1999/2000 it was the top 5% of taxpayers. Even now after a decade and a half of inflation and wage increases it is still less than what? 15% of taxpayers or so. Of course almost all of that wage increase happened while Labour was in government because there has been bugger all since National screwups returned to the treasury benches.

      Perhaps you should learn to be accurate rather than just another foolish cut’n’paste troll. I’d suggest that you go and have a look at the actual earnings of Kiwis. Try the stats department.

    • Tracey 16.2

      do you mean like national and act and their supporters call people commies and hippies and socialists!

      you do realise that national decided you are a rich prick if you earn 70k? probably didnt know that, not having done reading comprehension 101

  17. prosper 17

    Sorry guys I just thought that neo liberalism terminology was silly. My other point was that a 60k annual income is hardly rich. If that’s the definition of rich in this country we are in a sad state regardless of who the government is. It is interesting to note that since the tax cuts tax revenue was 5 to 6 percent higher than the previous 12 months.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      /facepalm

      It is interesting to note that since the tax cuts tax revenue was 5 to 6 percent higher than the previous 12 months.

      Are you comparing any particular years or are you just pulling shit out your arse?

      • Tracey 17.1.1

        or trying to come across as reasonable while pushing the last 40 years status quo and the various myths this govt has intensified.

    • Tracey 17.2

      interesting you didnt use the current govts current threshold of 70k as your example.

      have you prospered prosper? if yes, you are one of the few, if not youd do better than cling to the coattails of a failed system.

      do you agree with a ubi?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.3

      [citation needed]

      Overall tax take fell.

      Sorry* guy I think the fact that you write like a dishonest tr*ll means you probably are one.

      *this apology is every bit as sincere as yours.

    • andrew murray 17.4

      Prosper.

      It is the inability of people like you to show concern for other people that’s important here

      There are many people presumably earning less than you who see theirs and everybody else’s lives as measured only within the frame of a ‘contributing, and there by deserving, member of society’, whatever that piece of crap might mean.

      That’s why these conversations need to be couched in terms that define you as….. ‘a neo liberal

  18. prosper 18

    Check the figures guys the tax take both corporate and personal is up 5 and 6 percent respectively from memory. I don’t think 70k p.a. is rich either. The annual income of the NZ manager for Westpac is 5million and he is effectively a branch manager. Now that’s rich and in my view unjustifiable.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      It’s financial assets which need to be taxed. That’s the biggie: property taxes (and not just real estate) and a death duty. Set at say 50% for every dollar over $1M.

      And of course the many billions in profits that our banks and corporates export to overseas shareholders every financial quarter.

    • Tracey 18.2

      by memory dont you mean according to hooton on the radio this morning?

      but you have avoided the question i asked. why did you choose the threshold of a govt from six years ago instead of the 70k threshold of the govt of the last six years?

      honest question, who did you vote for in 2011 and if the election were todays whose policy on the kind of inequality you just pointed out, would you vote for? and why.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.3

      Check the figures in your memory Prosper? The overall tax take fell from 2008-2009 and again over the next twelve months. I’m not relying on my memory for that.

      Google is your friend, although I expect you only know how to use it to look for bridges to dwell under.

  19. fisiani 19

    The Cunliffe is quite right to keep separate from the Greens as this would only switch Labour votes to Green. The Left/Far Left is about 45% National is about 45% Winston First is about 5% and ACT UF and Conservatives about 5%.
    If Winston First gets less than 5% then John Key gets three more years Because the Centre/Right is over 50%
    If Winston First gets over 5% then Winston decides who is PM.
    If I was a Labour voter I’d consider voting Winston First to at least have a chance of The Cunliffe being PM.
    The only problem is that Winston hates the Greens and would insist on forming a minority government with Labour which excludes the Greens with him being Deputy Prime Minister. The Greens would still have no choice to vote for confidence and supply and keep Winston No 2. They might be thrown a bone or two.
    The Greens know this and fear being excluded yet again thus their recent attempt to be linked at the hip. They were rebuffed because The Cunliffe knows that 32+ 13+6 = 51%
    He also knows that 32+6 = 38% a sizeable majority but another 13% of powerless Greens with no bottom line and nowhere else to go. It’s the only viable option to stop Winston going with National.

    • Rodel 19.1

      The key to voting is not to listen to this rubbish.

      • fisiani 19.1.1

        Explain why it’s nonsense. It’s just arithmetic or as the headline above says Politics by numbers.
        On current polling can you point out and flaw in my arithmetic. You might not like the truth but it is the truth.

      • Tracey 19.1.2

        especially the bit about if he was a labour voter he would vote for nz first.

    • Clemgeopin 19.2

      [1] You are wrong. ACT, UF and Conservatives are no where close to 5% as you claim.

      Using the last 5 polls and taking the average figures,

      ACT=0.7%
      UFut=0.2%
      CONS=1.9%

      for a total of 2.8%

      https://curiablog.wordpress.com/category/nz-political-party-polls.

      [2] No one can STOP NZF and Winston. He is a master politician and tactician who comes up with some popular policies and garners huge media exposure prior to the election as he has always done. Besides, he has a ready pool of about 600,000 pensioners on the gold card as his potential voters. He only needs about 200,000 of them to take NZF over the 5% threshold! Easy Peezy! He will be crucial to help form the next coalition, be it the Labour led one or the NAT led one. Here is hoping it will go with the left block.

      [3] My own gut feeling is that the party votes for the Left will be
      Lab, 37%, Greens, 10 %, Mana.Com, 5% which adds to 52% [+ NZF (8 %), giving Confidence and Supply or in coalition, with cabinet posts].

      • fisiani 19.2.1

        I am assuming that ACT will be 1.3 % Conservatives 3.5% and UF 0.1% .

        The only reason that Winston First got over 5% in 2011 was because the Labour vote plummeted to an all time low and had to go somewhere. Labour cannot possibly be that bad again and could get 32% if they change leader.

        Mana will only get 0.5%. the Dot Com bubble will surely burst and Mrs Harawira will put her foot down.
        I genuinely cannot see any way that The Left can win other than wishful thinking. There is no mood for change in the country and every time The Cunliffe speaks he alienates more people. His popularity has not hit the low point yet.
        I predict the next polls will have Labour’s vote starting with a 2 and that The Cunliffe’s popularity will be about half what Shearer had when he was dumped. Bring back Shearer.

    • Jim 19.3

      I’m with Fisiani on this. This is absolutely the elephant in the room that I thought no-one was going to mention.

      “The only problem is that Winston hates the Greens and would insist on forming a minority government with Labour which excludes the Greens with him being Deputy Prime Minister. The Greens would still have no choice to vote for confidence and supply and keep Winston No 2. They might be thrown a bone or two.”

      This seems to be to be far and away the most likely Labour led government option. The Greens have no more coalition negotiating power with Labour than ACT does with National. If either major party needs Winston then the parties on the farthest ends of the political spectrum are pretty much screwed.

      If the left+NZF has the numbers, it will be messy. Norman will spit the dummy. The membership will call him to heel, but he will be one very pissed off dude.

  20. outofbed 20

    The Key to Victory is to get Mana.com over 5% and NZF under 5%
    http://www.elections.org.nz/voting-system/mmp-voting-system/mmp-seat-allocation-calculator

    • Shazzadude 20.1

      Winston is unstoppable coming from a term spent entirely in opposition. Winston will be back for at least another term.

      • fisiani 20.1.1

        Winston smokes 60 cigarettes a day. He cannot even stay in the non smoking House throughout question time. He always steps out for a smoke. He is actually very sick.

  21. captain hook 21

    on the day the numbers will say that Labour has won!
    and all the swingeing right wing moaners will have to eat a big can of humble pie.

    • Clemgeopin 21.1

      Or drink some Oravida milk or do a one hand shake or shake their own troty or go do some private planking or funny cat walks somewhere quietly without much more photo ops. Cool bananas, ha, ha!

    • not petey 21.2

      On election day the numbers will say no one has won and we will have to suffer a week or four of the minor parties having their day in the media spotlight while fighting over 3 years worth of baubles.

  22. dave 22

    the other way is to do phone canvassing ,door knocking get involved

  23. The Real Matthew 23

    John Key is the greatest Prime Minister we’ve ever had

    Why so many negative comments about him?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 23.1

      Clearly there is a significant body of disagreement with your sycophancy. Key is a polarising figure: few people I know have anything good to say about him.

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