web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

VUW Post-election Conference

Written By: - Date published: 9:37 pm, February 16th, 2012 - 9 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

I attended the VUW post-election conference in Legislative Chamber today, held under Chatham House rules. Usual mix of insight tinged with the odd bit of bullshit – the best contribution by far IMHO came from Colin James.  Election conference 12Feb16

James argues that 2011 was a status-quo election for National, the party that has won two-thirds of the time over the last century. I’m not as determinist; but determination to win was a key factor in our success in three elections from 1999. I think perceived absence of this determination was a reason why many Labour electorate voters placed their  their party vote elsewhere, a feature that James analyses in some depth.

I agree with James’ analysis that Labour’s buying into the fiscal responsibility frame cost it dearly; it is a mistake that the British Labour party also seems to want to make. It is true that Labour governments will always have to be fiscally responsible, and Michael Cullen certainly was, but it does not have to be me-too.

James is also right about Labour’s negative frame, a point made in 2008  by Steven Joyce and again with justification this time. While Labour never changed its “No asset sales” line, National’s “mixed ownership” message refined through focus group testing went unchallenged. It’s running out of steam now and ripe for a broad-based campaign, hopefully better targeted.

All through the 2008-2011 Labour had chanted “National has no plan”.  National countered this criticism with its  6-point plan,  publicised far and wide. And in the campaign James points out;

promises were modest but couched in such a way as to make the government look very busy: a 120-point action plan, mostly of things already in train, was published shortly before election day.

Labour’s 6-point plan for  jobs and growth came late in the campaign.  James’ critique is the first I’ve seen of National’s 120-point rehash.

However the real point of post-election evaluation is to learn the lessons and prepare the ground for the next election. In James’ view the 2011 election is transitional, and I agree; that is perhaps why it has not been seen as exciting as some others.

James looks at three key transitions; cultural, environmental, and generational – Maori politics, Green politics, and post baby-boom politics. All are crucial, and in all cases Labour is well-placed if it is smart enough and strategic enough.

As for National, their strategy is based on being able to produce results by 2014, much like Cameron in the UK. Politically, now that they have cannibalised the right, their paradoxical hope lies in Winston. If he stays in Parliament, stays on the cross-benches, and supports the party with a plurality, assuming that is National. A lot of ifs.

Food for thought indeed.

 

9 comments on “VUW Post-election Conference”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    VUW stands for Victoria University of Wellington for anyone else who had no idea what this was about.

  2. swordfish 2

    “James argues that 2011 was a status-quo election for National, the party that has won two-thirds of the time over the last century.”

    Possible to over-emphasise National’s popularity over the last century.

    First of all, the Nats of course didn’t exist as such until 1936 (or 1931 if you include the National Coalition between Reform and United).

    Second, if we focus on who actually won the popular vote (rather than the most seats) then you get the following:

    Labour: 1935 (1), 1938 (2), 1943 (3), 1946 (4), 1957 (5), 1972 (6), 1978 (7), 1981 (8), 1984 (9), 1987 (10), 1993 (Labour + Alliance = 53% + Peters = 62%) (11), 1999 (12), 2002 (13), 2005 (14).

    = 14 Elections.

    National: 1949 (1), 1951 (2), 1954 (3), 1960 (4), 1963 (5), 1966 (6), 1969 (7), 1975 (8), 1990 (9), 1996 (10), 2008 (11), 2011 (12).

    = 12 Elections.

    I’d also add that Labour lost by only 0.2% in 1954 and 1% in 1969 and arguably the Left won in 1996 (if you include Peters).

    Call me an utter bastard, but there you go.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Second, if we focus on who actually won the popular vote (rather than the most seats) then you get the following

      Yep, historically speaking, MMP should favour the Left – if it gets its shit together.

  3. Dotty 3

    What were James’ references to Paula Bennett’s health and a possible by election in Waitakere about?

    • millsy 3.1

      I don’t think we was speculating about PB’s health, I think he was just saying that Labour could win the seat back in the (unlikely) event she leaves for any reason.

      Interesting article by the way. Though I would disagree with a few of his points.

    • ianmac 3.2

      Not sure what is meant by the Peter’s paradox.

  4. Rose 4

    Negativity isn’t inspiring. Positive messages are. Maybe Labour could change its line ‘Stop/no asset sales’ to ‘Keep/hold on to/grow our assets/resources’.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      People are lossi-phers. They hate loss. They hate to lose something that they already have. Not losing a dollar you already have is far more motivating for most than the opportunity to make another dollar in the future.

      Therefore the negative message should stay IMO, but be partnered with a positive message.

      Regardless, the Right have access to far better PR focus group resources than the Left, hence their rapid fine tuning of the messages they push out to voters.

  5. Foreign Waka 5

    It was the change of guards, internal fights about leadership and its selection (I haven’t seen much from the new Labour leader so far) lack of focus and no coherent ideas on the part of labour that decided the election. Considering all that National should have won in leaps and bounds – but it didn’t. It needed the traitor on the trough party – translated Maori Party – to hold on to power.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    3 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    3 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    3 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    3 days ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    3 days ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    3 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    4 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    4 days ago
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    4 days ago
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki… ...
    4 days ago
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    4 days ago
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It… ...
    5 days ago
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry. ...
    5 days ago
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    5 days ago
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says.… ...
    6 days ago
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience. ...
    6 days ago
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    7 days ago
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson. ...
    1 week ago
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare… ...
    1 week ago
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems… ...
    GreensBy James Shaw MP
    1 week ago
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere