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Polity: Chris Trotter – “gaseous exhalations”

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, February 20th, 2014 - 71 comments
Categories: Media, polls - Tags: , , , ,

Yesterday, Rob Salmond offered Chris Trotter a bet based on Chris writing an over-excited interpretation of an online poll. Who writes posts on the basis of online polls of less than 400 people? It is the same problem as interpreting small junk “markets” like iPredict which are rife with idiots of the right trying to push the odds away from reality with small amounts of cash. Really!

BTW: Can anyone get in on this bet? Sure things are the best bets.

Here’s Chris Trotter yesterday talking about the historical significance of a 382 person online poll on a blog site that suddenly – and for two days in a row – has shown the Greens forging 10% ahead of Labour:

Call it the wisdom of crowds. Announce that we’ve reached a tipping point. Put it down to a change in the zeitgeist. However 2014 is later explained by the political scientists, I want the readers of The Daily Blog – the canaries in a coal mine – to remember that they were the ones who succumbed to the gaseous exhalations of Labour’s political decomposition long before anybody else.

Well, if there is any gaseous exhalation in the vicinity of Chris’ blog post, it is… Chris’ entire blog post.

I’ll skip over the bits where Chris fails to understand how books like The Wisdom of Crowds or concepts like the zeitgeist relate to online polls (hint: they don’t).

I’ll even ignore the extended part where Chris decides to rely on Cameron Slater as a helpful source of information about the state of the Labour caucus.

Instead, I want to highlight this passage, and then offer Chris Trotter a bet. Here’s the passage:

Okay! I know, I know! There’s nothing in the least bit scientific about this sort of on-line poll. The 382 participants in the survey were all self-selected and the Daily Blog’s audience is a very long way from being representative of the wider New Zealand population.

But, don’t you see, that’s the whole point! If you exclude the National Party types getting to “know thy enemy”, the people who regularly read The Daily Blog, are overwhelmingly more Left than Centre. If Labour has shed 10 percentage points from the readership of this blog, its most sympathetic of audiences, how long can it be until the big, media-commissioned polls – Colmar Brunton, Reid Research, DigiPoll – all register a similar sudden collapse of Labour support among the general population?

My first point is that this is obviously over the top, lunatic analysis. But Chris seems to actually believe it. (Maybe I missed a very dry tongue-in-cheek here, but I don’t think so.) Chris thinks his online poll acts as a canary in the coal mine for Labour – by a method known in the outside world as “magical hand waving.”

Point two, I would like to offer Chris a bet. I think his analysis is completely silly, and I’ll back that up with $500. Perhaps Chris would like to back up his political analysis – being the Very Serious Commentator that he is – with some money of his own. I’ll even give Chris odds.

Chris Trotter, here is my proposition to you:

  1. You win the bet if any two individual polls in 2014 (from the list of outlets you mention) show Labour 10% or more below its current Polity Poll-of-Polls average of 33.1%. That would mirror your poll’s result. If that happens, I will pay you or your designated charity $500.
  2. I will also pay $500 if any two polls in 2014 (from the list of outlets you mention) show the Greens ahead of Labour, mirroring your online poll result.
  3. If neither of those events occurs, you pay my designated charity, @Heart, $250.
  4. To activate the bet, please send me an email or post your acceptance on The Daily Blog within 7 days of this post.

Coming back to reality, here’s what I think happened with The Daily Blog poll: A group of very politically active left-leaning people expressed their displeasure at Labour’s poor political performance this week by voting for other parties in an online poll they knew to be completely inconsequential.

Not nearly as exciting as Chris’ interpretation, of course. But more, you know, accurate.

A final note to Chris: If you wish to post about this issue and give it your own voice with your signature over-intellectualised language, please include Occam’s razor as a concept that supports my interpretation of your poll. For a change, this overblown phrase will actually be relevant to the paragraph it appears in.

71 comments on “Polity: Chris Trotter – “gaseous exhalations””

  1. Jenny 1

    What is undeniable is that on their current conservative trajectory Labour are headed for a defeat of epic proportions.

    Maybe the Left audience of the TDB are just reading the tea leaves.

    As a member of this bloc I will take your bet Rob.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Chris gets a vote of confidence from Jenny 😆

    • geoff 1.2

      You better hope you’re wrong, Jenny, otherwise it’s another 3 years of National. Is that what you want?

      • Jenny 1.2.1

        Don’t misunderstand me, I wish I was wrong. I would gladly pay $500 dollars to be proven wrong and be rid of these bastards.

        But what are we to think when Labour give away their two poverty mitigation policies, GST off Fresh Fruit and vegetables and no tax for the first $5,000 earned?
        These two “promised” tax cuts for the poor would have returned $1.5 billion to the most neediest. Labour has patronisingly replaced these broken promises with $525 million of “targeted assistance” because the poor can not be trusted to know how to spend their money.
        And we are all supposed to tug our forelocks in gratitude.

        (No word of reversing all the “actual” tax cuts for the wealthiest.)

        What are we to think when Labour sticks to the Right wing policy of raising the retirement age?
        We all know that older people vote in greater numbers than the rest of the population.

        What are we to think when Labour support deep sea oil drilling when a TV3 online poll showed 80% of the population are opposed?

        It looks to me that not only will Labour not win the election, but that they don’t want to win.

  2. Dan 2

    In his defence, Mr trotter is using a silly illustration to make a valid point – that there is reason to worry the Labour vote will collapse and there will be a repeat of 2011.

    That is about where the validity ends of course; the more important worry is not (and I expect to get more flames than the side of a 70s Camaro with this one) the Greens surging ahead at all – it is the failure to mobilise the big chunk of NZ who did not engage with the election at all last time.

    I personally think the Greens are great at getting their message across but they are not saying much that will energise anyone who isn’t already engaged with them and SINCE they are so great at messaging and have been since 2008, their vote will hold at 11%. But that is just my reckon.

    • Stephanie Rodgers 2.1

      I don’t think it’s the worst reckon in the world. What I’m concerned about is whether the election is going to end up revolving around sideshows like the Conservatives, or silly Kim Dotcom-related stories (as opposed to the serious KDC stories).

  3. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 3

    The past couple of weeks have been a clusterfuck for Labour. The only strong performer has been Shane Jones, and that simply reinforces how invisible the entire Labour front bench are right now.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Yes, Labour’s entire front bench is invisible! Shane Jones, 5th on the party list and member of the front bench, is the only strong performer, underlining how invisible the entire front bench is!

      :roll:

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      You’re forgetting National’s last two weeks. Long after everyone has forgotten that they’d always known Cunliffe lives in Herne Bay, John Key will still be on the phone with Cameron Slater, swapping jokes about recently dead children.

    • Sosoo 3.3

      I don’t see what they could have done that would have made a difference.

      The people who matter in NZ have decided that Key gets another term, and they are mobilising their influence to make sure that comes to pass. The template seems to be to keep a constant state of ferment and anti-labour “scandal” going until the election along with adoring pieces on our blokish dear leader.

      What are you going to do about it? You don’t own a TV station or a newspaper, and you don’t have wealthy people paying you to spread manure and make trouble.

  4. anker 4

    great article, good challenge. I posted on the DB that I had tried to vote more than once at one stage on this poll and (rightly) was bumped off. So have stopped voting. I knew it was a monthly or weekly poll, I sure as hell would have voted. Others have voiced this too!

    I believe the Left have to get behind Cunliffe, Labour, Mana and Greens and do everything they can to win this election. At the moment, they are the best chance to beat Key.

    The msm are spinning for the right and we must not let this become the dominant narrative. Trotter has been sucked into in my opinion. Chris I usually like your articles, but this one is unhelpful and part of what could make a loss on the left a self fulfilling prophecy.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 4.1

      +1 Anker

      I appreciated your and others’ comments that quickly appeared on TDB that were saying similar positive things. It was uplifting and a welcome relief from pessimistic and defeatist memes, that some on the left appear to be prone to.

      Seeing through right-wing spin/framing is not always easy – sometimes due to the volume of the crap we are being dished out – yet I consider it an effort well worth making because it is and always will be crap and swallowing such simply means we become full of crap too – and whose interests does that end up serving?

  5. Ennui 5

    Chris is on the ball: he is postulating that something serious “may” be happening based upon observation of what is a fairly “set” sample over time. What he has done is watch for signs on this poll, then applied his “shit radars” that are informed by observation. Body language, lack of collegiality etc, conflicting messages….all the things that we all understand without ever having to listen to the rhetoric etc. Good old “intuition”. And he is probably right.

    Labours MPs and their factions regardless of who they are need to take a hard look at themselves. If they were working for me as a project team, or a sales team I would be taking them aside and reading the riot act. Those who did not align would then get shot. Teams win, divided units are incredibly easy to beat.

  6. srylands 6

    “It is the same problem as interpreting small junk “markets” like iPredict which are rife with idiots of the right trying to push the odds away from reality with small amounts of cash.”

    I don’t hold any interest in ipredict, but looking at the current order book and daily turnover for “There will be a National PM after the Next Election”, there have been 80,500 trades since the start of trade in the stock. The order book has a large number of small buyers and sellers each day. Broadly, the price has fluctuated with the polls. When David Cunliffe became Labour leader, the price crashed as optimism in Labour soared.

    So do you have any evidence for your statement? Because the limited evidence more stronly favours the hypothesis that these traders are tring to make money rather than deliberately lose it for some political motive.

    https://www.ipredict.co.nz/app.php?do=contract_detail&contract=PM.2014.NATIONAL

    • McFlock 6.1

      the limited evidence more stronly favours

      Everything you ever wanted to know about market interpretation and neolib economists right there: an acknowledgement of the paucity of evidence they have, immediately followed by a claim of strong indications in favour of their previously-held belief.

      • srylands 6.1.1

        The author made this statement with zero evidence:

        “markets” like iPredict which are rife with idiots of the right trying to push the odds away from reality with small amounts of cash”

        Based on the order book, “small amounts of cash” from a few idiots will not push the price away from reality.

        Believe what you want. If “PM Labour” becomes under priced, the punters will fill their boots. The “neoliberal” economists even more so! 🙂

        • wtl 6.1.1.1

          Bullshit. When you were trumpeting ipredict stocks the other day, MS pointed out that there was clear evidence that the stocks were being manipulated with a person having $1K to spare. You denied that was the case but the order book that I presented clearly confirmed what MS had said. You haven’t acknowledge your error in reading the order book (or deliberate misrepresentation) that day and still pretend that there was nothing suspicious going on.

          • srylands 6.1.1.1.1

            No he provided no such evidence. He made an allegation. So ,firstly, where is the evidence that one person bought 1,000 shares in one trade?

            Secondly, it wouldn’t matter much for the long term price if one such person traded 1,000 shares. The profit takers would love such a person, but with current trades around 200 per day, the price would return to the mean within 7 days.

            To emphasise, someone selling 1,000 PM Labour stocks would only deflate the price temporarily. Because rational buyers would rush in to take advantage of the bargain.

            You don’t seem to understand how ipredict stocks are priced. There is no vast right wing conspiracy to manipulate the price.

            • Tracey 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I agree. It’s just vast right wing gambling. Which mirrors how their leaders run the country.

            • mickysavage 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Um I have screenshots srylands. So are you saying that I was fibbing?

              Is that something you wing nuts do out of habit, accuse other people of lying when they say something that is inconvenient to your world view?

              • wtl

                He’s not just accusing you of making things up, he’s actually lying himself. He said “Why does the order book look totally different to your theory?” when the order book clearly supported your statement.

            • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1.3

              Blessed be the name of the market.

              “Rational buyers” placing bets on months or years-distant elections?
              There’s yet another logical cockup you’ve made.

            • wtl 6.1.1.1.1.4

              FFS. I posted the order book a few comments down, which I alluded to in my comment above. Here it is again:

              For the stock in question, here are the top sell orders for a Labour PM:

              920 $0.3800
              3 $0.3853
              10 $0.3854
              6 $0.3891
              1 $0.3915
              1 $0.3997
              1 $0.3998
              37 $0.3999
              102 $0.4000
              1 $0.4011

              And buy orders for a National PM:
              940 $0.6200
              3 $0.6147
              10 $0.6146
              5 $0.5988
              5 $0.5987
              1 $0.5830
              1 $0.5829
              1 $0.5828
              1 $0.5827
              10 $0.5826

              Clearly, someone is selling a huge volume of shares (1000) for significantly less than other traders for the Labour PM stock and buying a huge volume of shares for significantly more that others for the National PM stock.

              You also seem to have a bizarre sense of ‘it doesn’t matter’. By your own admission, this single trader is manipulating the price for 7 days, which is a significant amount of time. Also, this huge trade is of course going to have an effect on the ‘mean’ (I have no idea what you mean by ‘normal mean’). Plus, this is only one example, there is no telling how many other trades are being performed to do the exact same thing.

              Finally, I’ll add that $1K is peanuts compared to amounts spent on advertising. Who knows how many National party supporters (like yourself) are willing to spend that amount money to manipulate the price to push the meme that National is going to win?

            • bad12 6.1.1.1.1.5

              At least the clown SSLands has ceased for the moment ‘its’ absurd drivel claiming that the manipulation of the gamble on that particular site concerning who will be the Prime Minister after the 2014 election has any serious political application,

              Wing-nuts who continually promote such BS despite having been provided the proof that their assertions are nothing but BS deserve only our spittle or something more serious in the way of a spanking…

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 6.1.1.2

          Re Sryand’s “the traders are “… trying to make money rather than deliberately lose it for some political motive.

          They wouldn’t be ‘deliberately trying to lose money’ in the scenario that there is market manipulation going on in iPredict. I view shorting as a fairly well known practice in the ‘real’ markets and I doubt that that is because people lose money from deliberately lowering the price of companies’ shares – although the company and its loyal share holders on the receiving end of this practice often can.

          If Labour becomes ‘underpriced’ and the punters at iPredict have the idea that having this poll reading Labour as ‘more likely to lose than win’ has an effect on the way people vote (or don’t vote at all) I.e the effect of poll pushing ….and if those punters’ have vested interests in National winning (i.e. they stand to make more money under National because they will be allowed to externalise costs more than under a Labour/Greens government, including paying their staff shit wages) – then in these punters’ minds they are not losing money at all by shorting the Labour listing. It would be considered an investment by them – they are probably hoping to buy shares Kiwibank next term or perhaps they simply want to be assured that their tax haven ‘protecting’ their vast wealth stash from being taxed is secure (or is there a rule about being a New Zealander to be part of this iPredict market?).

        • Rob 6.1.1.3

          +1 Srylands

    • lprent 6.2

      I made that observation. It was based my looking at the trading in the year leading up to the last election on a number of trades and doing some basic experimentation based on making the market.

      I was looking at writing a post on it and possibly organising some concerted trading, but (as usual) ran out of time. What I was looking at was how far I could shift crucial trades by having multiple “people” and a smallish amount of cash. In particular I was interested in the lag effects. How long after a set of prolonged loss making decisions could I affect the odds. It proved to be doing a lot of small trades each day as “different” people.

      The order book has a large number of small buyers and sellers each day

      And that is the key – those are trades – not people. The “market” is small enough that a relatively small number of players acting in concert could easily manipulate the average trends reasonably cheaply. All they have to do is to be prepared to lose money.

      While they claim to have something like 8000 people on ipredict, I’d expect that if you analyzed in it closer detail that there are a very small number of people active in any given week. Once you drop the ones who stop trading within a month, it’d get even smaller – probably less than few hundred.

      Incidentally this isn’t uncommon. While we have something like 30 to 50k unique visitors here in any given month, only about half of these do more than one visit. Of those who do visit more often than that, they tend to visit a lot (> 100 times per month). But in any given month only 5-10% of unique visitors will comment. And unlike ipredict this site doesn’t require any money.

      Broadly, the price has fluctuated with the polls.When David Cunliffe became Labour leader, the price crashed as optimism in Labour soared.

      If there are flurries then they tend to get dampened out by people trading over the longer term. Quite simply the market is too small to be useful, and usually shows pretty obvious signs of manipulation by groups of players, and appears to be deliberately targeted only towards particular types of politics.

      With the exception of my excursion into it, of the significiant group of politically active here, the only people who appear to have put money (or credence) into it are Hooton and some of our definite right wingers. Whereas you can find significiant comment and weight given to it on local right wing sites.

      I view it as a device to extract money from the politically stupid.

      • Matthew Hooton 6.2.1

        How, then, do you explain this? http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1111/S00739/ipredict-accuracy-blitzes-traditional-polls.htm (and, yes, I wrote the press statement but it is based on basic maths).

        In 2011, if iPredict had a bias, it was slightly towards Labour and the Greens. I would back iPredict to accurately forecast an election result ahead of any poll. We’ll see what happens in 2014 of course.

        At the present time, iPredict is indicating a lower party vote for National than (I think) any of the polls: https://www.ipredict.co.nz/app.php?do=contract_detail&contract=VOTE.2014.NAT

        • McFlock 6.2.1.1

          To quote QoT the last time you crowed about your confirmation bias:

          The best thing about that spin, Matthew, is how we’re meant to think it’s “amazing” that iPredict was more accurate three months out than one month out for National’s party vote.

          This would be what we on Planet Earth refer to as “luck”.

        • weka 6.2.1.2

          Funny, my overriding memory of the pre-election time in 2011 was that the media had decided that National were a shoo-in. Thus many people either didn’t bother voting or voted NZF instead of Labour.

          How about an analysis of ipredict’s role in that?

        • Tracey 6.2.1.3

          when it comes to money, even the right will punt against the party they want?

        • ianmac 6.2.1.4

          Unsure how to interpret figures Matthew. Does .43 mean 43% in everyday terms?

        • lprent 6.2.1.5

          Read the topic. It was about a smallish self-selected poll about 8 months from what it was predicting.

          I was pretty specific in what I said. Any trade with enough people active in it tends towards more accuracy. But that it was possible to game trades with small numbers of actual people in it.

          For some strange reason in a political “market”, you tend to find three basic factors happen.

          1. More people get involved the closer it is towards an election.
          2. Some trades have more people involved than others.
          3. There are quite a lot of trades going on at any point in time (> 500!) which dilutes the number of people active in a lot of them.

          We’re currently well more than more than 6 months out from an election. It was about 6 months before the last election that I was playing around on it. What I was specifically looking at was if it was worth looking at it that far out. Like any self-selected poll with small numbers, it was obviously rather pointless.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 6.2.1.6

          @ Matthew Hooton

          I always thought that iPredict’s accuracy of the last election was a bit overblown – it makes so much more sense now that I know you were writing the press releases.

          p.s You must know about George Soros’s theory of reflexivity – this would be applicable to iPredict’s high chances of being even more inaccurate this year.

  7. Jimbob 7

    I agree it’s most likely a short term reaction to labours mistakes. They have a tiny window left to jettison cunliffe or 2011 will indeed repeat. Basically he’s unlikeable and therefore unelectable. Will be great for the Greens, expect them to hit 14%.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Partisan hack demonstrates bias, allows it to cloud judgement, is foolish enough to make solid predictions based on wishful thinking 😆

    • Richard McGrath 7.2

      I think that’s a fair assessment, JB. I think the Greens will benefit at Labour’s cost, but the total left bloc percent support will remain in the low 40s. The election will a lot closer than today’s poll figures.

  8. McFlock 8

    I’d be intrigued as to whether TDB got in a new columnist, or hit on an issue dear to green voters, rather than just assuming a static readership.

    • Crunchtime 8.1

      I’ve been watching that poll for months – that’s how long it’s been up for, it keeps getting reposted. TDB readers have always (for as long as I’ve been looking anyway) favoured the Greens over Labour.

  9. karol 9

    Yes, McF. My tendency was to vote in the poll a while back. I assumed I could only vote once. There’s no indication on the poll as to how often one can/should vote.

    • Tiger Mountain 9.1

      Ditto karol, I clicked it once or twice more just to see if there was a “you’ve already voted” message. It should be fixed. Still, TDB has some good writers and why be too critical when it is done on the sniff of an empty coffee cup.

      All columnists have a strike rate to dud ratio, (Well apart from Public Address and Gio Tiso, theirs are spot on always), if Chris Trotter likes to chuck in Duke Ferdinand and a dodgy poll speculation that is fine by me in what can only be an opinion piece.

  10. bad12 10

    Lolz, there is nothing i would like more from the election than the Green Party emerging 10% ahead of the Labour Party,

    Only in the year 2099 could this happen, with a codicil of that’s in real life, in mine and Chris Trotters dreams tho it’s a goer…

  11. arandar 11

    I (mistakenly) read it originally as the Daily Blog daily poll. Then I decided it must be weekly and tried voting weekly to no avail or monthly and tried voting monthly with the same result. Each time I tried to vote (and I was mostly voting Labour) it wouldn’t accept my vote. Eventually I gave up.

    Q: Why leave up a non-functioning poll or why leave up for months and months on end a poll that must have become outdated and why not advise readers that the poll wasn’t active?

    Then I read Trotter’s column and went back to the poll yesterday. It accepted my vote for the first time in months. My subsequent comment on TDB was along the lines of ‘what’s the point of a poll on line for months but either very … selective or munted?’ and what’s the point of writing a column implying the damn thing is any sort of valid???

    Seriously, what IS the point of Trotter’s entire column when he cites this TDB ‘poll’ results & WO having insight into the Labour Caucus. Pffft!

  12. The Real Matthew 12

    The poll result merely reflects the sort of voter who is attracted to the website. If you publish far left views then you are going to attract a greater number of far left voters.

    For mine The Daily Blog is going downhill. I myself have been the victim of deleted comments and moderation without just cause. When you do that sort of stuff you are on a slippert slope.

    The Standard is the premiere source of left wing political debate as it actually allows those of us with alternate views to debate them!

  13. Tim 13

    Personally I think the current problem with Labour is twofold.

    One, the ABC club are still coming to terms with the membership and former supporters starting to take their party back from a bunch of careerists, and “I paid me dues, so I’m entitled” hacks; and

    Two, they still have not (and apparently will not) allow themselves to divorce themselves from the failed neo-liberal agenda.
    Until both those issues are resolved, they’ll muddle along, and quite possibly become irrelevant.

    Interestingly, there’s also another thing on TDB: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/02/20/standard-politician-vs-standard-voter/.
    Well beep-bop-aloolah, not me, not nohow! The party I, and whanau have supported for a very long time won’t get a vote until it becomes clear at least one of the above has been resolved (party OR electorate).
    If either occurs, they MIGHT get an electorate vote but not party until they’ve proven themselves as being genuine. Sure as hell, NOT before! And, as I’ve mentioned before – that goes fr about 23 others (either new voters, and past supporters who believe they’ve been taken for granted.

    Fuk ’em! Labour Get your shit together.

    • The Real Matthew 13.1

      Hard to imagine a party currently attracting the vote of one in every three New Zealanders becoming irrelevant anytime soon.

      As for the “neo-liberal agenda” (whatever that is) the economic policies adopted by New Zealand since ther mid 80’s have been of great benefit to this countries prosperity.

      • Tracey 13.1.1

        National once got to the low 20’s…

      • Jenny 13.1.2

        As for the “neo-liberal agenda” (whatever that is) the economic policies adopted by New Zealand since ther mid 80′s have been of great benefit to this countries prosperity.

        The Real Matthew

        LOL

      • Tim 13.1.3

        Irrelevant (as in irrelevant to their former supporters).
        I take your point however ‘real’ Mathew – but I’d simply suggest unless they do either or both, they should at least have the decency to change their name, and build on whatever the principles they now hold. Err… maybe the “2.2 kids and a mortgage Party”; or Muddle New Zill Party; or Anything But Cunliffe, but with Cunliffe Party.
        TO my mind – they sure as hell aren’t Labour. Maybe they could even just drop the ‘U’ and go with OZ

      • bad12 13.1.4

        The Real Mathew, that’s not quite true now is it, when you say of great benefit to this countries prosperity you must admit that such prosperity has not reached quite a large demographic of the working population,

        Must of course is a strongish word when used as an imperative, i should have qualified that with the words ”unless you are an outright liar”…

      • Stuart Munro 13.1.5

        Piffle.

      • phillip ure 13.1.6

        alliance at peak was in the 20’s…

        ..and you should look at how many parties have come and gone from the nz political landscape..

        ..and if labour continue to cling to their neo-lib recent past..as they seem to be doing..

        ..they could well follow those other parties out the exit door.

        ..and hilarious..!..yr claim that nz is ‘better off’ ‘cos of the neo-lib policies of the 80’s..

        ..don’t widely available stats on poverty etc. make an easily provable lie of yr words..?

        ..phillip ure..

    • Mary 13.2

      If the ABC club is slowly coming to terms with the membership and former supporters taking their party back, shouldn’t this also mean that the membership and former supporters are slowly moving towards divorcing Labour from the failed neo-liberal agenda? You’d like to think so, but it ain’t that simple. The problem is that not only is Labour riddled with in-house factional fighting, all of them together are still united in holding on to the failed neo-liberal agenda. Labour’s so stuffed that they’re hellbent on fighting amongst themselves even when, according to them, there’s nothing to fight about. That’s why we love Labour. They always know how to put up a good fight.

  14. xtasy 14

    Now, I am absolutely sure, that Chris Trotter did not just write his TDB post based on that narrow poll they conduct via their website. He will have ample anecdotal evidence to justify what his concerns are, about Labour and the possibility of a collapse of support for Labour. He is not an idiot after all, having many connections and a reasonable, accepted degree of intelligence, insight and reason.

    I think that Chris Trotter raises valid concerns, and that there are now increasing questions about Labour, being primarily the caucus, and about some (too many) there not supporting David Cunliffe and the new direction.

    We seem to have some in caucus look rather after their own interests and agendas, and forgetting why the members put Cunliffe in leadership. The competition between the main contenders for that role has also not stopped. We are dealing with a number of large EGOS there, and they are not working together to the degree that is necessary. We have long serving MPs in Labour’s caucus thinking they have “earned” their dues, that their time of service justifies certain presence and entitlements, and they fail to understand the wider issues and concerns their voters and potential voters may have.

    There are too many in the Labour caucus who are disconnected with society and the sentiments out there. That is highly dangerous, and while they may officially tow the line, their personal agendas are doing anything but support the chances of Labour.

    I also see that the initial positive support Labour got during and right after the new leadership challenge and determination is waning, is fading away, and that members feel that they are not taken seriously enough, and that many in caucus are not doing what they should.

    Hence the increased support for the Greens, which on the TDB poll is of course exaggerated, is real. We have had other polls, where Labour is dragging, is not up as we had hoped, and where the Greens are gaining again. Also is NZ First still relatively strong around the 5 percent marks. I think that Chris Trotter is sending a warning to Labour, to get their act together, as too many that would potentially and traditionally support Labour or “the left”, are having second thoughts again.

    We want true reforms and changes, not a bit of giveaway stuff for middle class members, here and there, we want to see a Labour Party that dares to take the country into a new and progressive direction, but what recent policy announcements have shown, it is just a bit of this, not enough.

    And as a damned, shat on “benficiary” in this country, I feel and see every damned day, that I and others are 3rd class persons here, Labour does not even talk about the social security policy area, apart from some “warm hearted slogans”. I have no place in Labour’s agenda, that is what they tell me, so my vote will go elsewhere, and I feel this is what is going on with many, many others. There are over 300,000 votes under “beneficiaries”, and they will make up a large portion of the 800,000 that did not vote last time!

    Cunliffe was given credit, a chance, he is being undermined not just by the MSM, but also his own colleagues, and he himself should also be more outspoken and open about what he stands for. We see sadly too much in the way of disappointments and disillusionment again, that is apart from little side show “scandals” about Shane Taurima, which does not help.

    Shane Jones seems to be doing well now, but I dare to think, that he is right in essence about his supermarket criticism, but he fails to accept that Foodstuffs may also have issues and questions to answer. Patriotism may be great in some ways, but it can end up being a trap, where you lose credit if you just focus on one “foreign” player.

    Better wake up and come to address all this, dear Labour, or you will possibly face the fate that Chris Trotter does not rule out.

    • Mary 14.1

      We’ve reached a point now where the only thing that we can do to try to make Labour see what they’re doing is wrong is through sarcasm and derision. Labour deserves nothing less, in the same way we all deserve another three years of Keys and his mates giving us all a jolly good hiding because we’re all too stupid to do anything about him.

      Sarcasm and derision I think is what Chris Trotter is doing for the reasons I’ve said.

  15. swordfish 15

    I don’t agree with Trotter that Labour’s vote will collapse in 2014.

    However, I do have to say that, going through the 2011 booth-by-booth results for New Zealand’s Metropolitan and Provincial cities a year or two back, I got a quite intense feeling of deja vu.

    At University, I extensively analysed urban booth-by-booth results in elections between 1919 and 1938. The key dynamic during this period was the fledgling Labour Party’s slow (two steps forward, one step back) but sure eclipse of the Liberals as the party of progress in urban New Zealand.

    Labour’s decline and the Greens’ advance in so many urban booths in 2011 reminded me very much of that inter-war dynamic. And given the Greens’ particular strength among the under 35s, you have to wonder whether there’s some inevitability about the Greens, if not electorally eclipsing Labour, then at least coming ever closer.

    I could imagine, for instance, a 2017 election where Labour are on 28% and the Greens 20%.

    • Tracey 15.1

      Cant disagree.

      As long as those in the labour caucus are focused on their third way agenda ( renamed my way) instead of pulling behind their leader they doom the party.

  16. captain hook 16

    Chris is renowned for working both sides of the street.
    Sitting on the fence means that you stand for nothing.
    As for the other scaremongers they are shit scared that National will go down the dunny this election and they are the ones heading for a defeat of massive proportions.
    National has aligned itself with the crude and the indefensible and are about to pay the price.

  17. dave 17

    iam voting labour and cunliffe all the way f main stream media i refuse to watch it as far as go radical policy’s watch this space neo liberalism is screwed hoot-on slater and the rest of the nacts can go to hell

  18. middxkea 18

    I would take 20 Green Mp’s and being in opposition over 15 Green Mp’s and being in Government with the current Labour Team.
    or to put in another way

    9 out of the next 12 years with a strong progressive Government would be better then a one term Labour/Green Government

    After being at my third Green party Cadidate list ranking weekend, I can predict that the Green party will become the main party of progressive though in the coming years.
    The quality of candidates was absolutely outstanding. The party is strong , united and has a clear vision for the future.
    It is very hard after spending a few days with this inspiring visionary hardworking team, to arrive home to news of another couple of Labour clusterfucks.

    I would encourage many of you that have not already given up the current Labour Party to come over to the Green Party where the truly progressive changes are going to happen.

  19. Mr Tank 19

    Ha ha! That’s good Rob. I particularly liked “over-intellectualised language” and Very Serious Commentator – Zing!

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