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Rugby World Cup cramps politics

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, December 2nd, 2011 - 35 comments
Categories: blogs, Politics - Tags:

One of the more interesting observations about this election campaign has been the effect of having the rugby world cup on the political process and therefore on our political blog stats.

Unlike 2008, we didn’t see a steady rise over the whole year leading up to the campaign accelerating in the final months. What we saw was this chart (StatCounter weekly pageviews).

The overall trend was slowly rising through most of the year. But at week 38 we had the opening of the world cup causing a quite pronounced drop. I’d also argue based on 2008 that the quiesence in weeks 31-37 wasn’t normal either. After week 38 we started to see the expected  election time rapid rise which was abruptly terminated in week 42 when the semifinals and final were on. That was followed by normal election level bouncing during the debates (there are always big spikes after the debates), election manouvering, and the election itself.

The rugby world cup was extremely disruptive on the political process in this election – at least from we could see during the campaign. The whole of the political discussion was crammed in between and after the games.

35 comments on “Rugby World Cup cramps politics”

  1. Rob 1

    Well I am suprised, we were repeatably informed on this site that no one likes rugby in NZ. In fact it was a very small sport with little to no true support. Funny that such a minority interest in NZ had the effect it did.

    • lprent 1.1

      I never did, and I cannot recall any that did (maybe a soccer fan – Brett?). Perhaps you should use the search to find some specific examples.

      I do know that I complained that the rugby was a waste of time, disrupted my sleep with drunk idiots play “dude, where is the car?”, and definitely filled the newspapers with unreadable waffle about testosterone chasing the inedible (paraphrasing Oscar Wilde? sounds like him).

      But that was not what saying that it was a minority interest. That my saying that it was an irritating waste of time. Others said it was a waste of money, a useful distraction for John Key to get pissed in, etc.

      In the meantime, I think we’ll just assume you’re making that up eh?

      But in the meantime – this is what I said…
      http://thestandard.org.nz/on-supporting-the-rugby-world-cup/

      • Rob 1.1.1

        Noice use of the royal ‘We”, your highness. Oh and carry on assuming, that is always a really good way to approach life and people.

        [lprent: Did you mean the authors? Did you mean me? Commentators? The problem was that you spat out a blanket statement at the site. As you’re aware from reading the policy such statements aimed generally at the site (ie attributing a mind to a machine) are by definition is directed to me.

        That is put in specifically to prevent dickheads like yourself attempting to spraying accusations without directing them to a person or persons to avoid consequences. Do you want to have a ban, provide a references or retract? You don’t have a lot of time because you answered a perfectly reasonable request stupidly… ]

        • felix 1.1.1.1

          So how many examples is that, Rob?

          Roughly zero, give or take fuck all?

        • Rob 1.1.1.2

          I am referring to you, why is that not clear.

          [lprent: The question was related to the first comment. But anyway, too much time wasted being nice – it is boring. Banned for a week. ]

      • Vicky32 1.1.2

        But that was not what saying that it was a minority interest. That my saying that it was an irritating waste of time. Others said it was a waste of money, a useful distraction for John Key to get pissed in, etc.

        As I recall, I may have said it’s a minority interest… I remember a librarian at our local, when I asked why the library was festooned with American flags, saying “It’s for the RWC, we have to pretend we care”… Maybe I mix with a rum bunch of people, but I have only a few friends who gave a toss, and some, such as my sister, who was even more out-spoken than me, about what an horrific bore it all was!

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      Funny that such a minority interest in NZ had the effect it did.

      Polls before the RWC showed about 30% of the population follow rugby. It’s possible that the people who watch rugby also watch politics and so you would get a drop in people visiting political blogs during rugby games. Thus a drop in people coming to a blog would not necessarily indicate that rugby is popular.

  2. aerobubble 2

    The rugby dominated the TV and so the run up that everyone was used to didn’t happen.

    People are warned for weeks of a pending election.

    Then with the teapot crisis, the police sent in, the whole thing looked like a farce and would have tuned voters out.

    This with an undertow of glowing polls for Key sent people a message.

    If they were tuned in, Key would win.

    if they weren’t tuned in, then they might miss the cues for voting.

    And given that working people – labours core voters – would need both motivation (tax cuts) and also timely reminders, is it any wonder their vote collapsed.

    Key selected the election day, Key and MSM blocked the election debate, Ministers weren’t turning up at television studios for three reasons, they didn’t want to make mistakes, they didn’t want to answer for the last three years, and why help remind people there was an election.

    And who loses because Key and MSM maligned the election process, well who always loses if they besmirch their own mandate, bear false witness to the consent they are seeking of voters.

    Every voter who found they missed the opportunity for tax relief because they failed to get to the polls and vote Labour. And if only Labour were clued up enough to realize on the frustration that Key and the MSM have created in the electorate.

  3. Too much obsessing about world cups and tea cups. Sure, they wee distractions, but for goodness sake, we should be able to choose a government in four weeks. Or less.

    • kriswgtn 3.1

      Tell us

      What is Dunne getting this time for his support?

      • Frida 3.1.1

        +1 kriswgtn

      • Frida 3.1.2

        +1 kriswgtn

      • felix 3.1.3

        “Just the usual, thanks John. Salary and a car.”

      • Pete George 3.1.4

        Dunne is widely respected for the effort he puts in to his job, both in his electorate and what he does in government – especially compared to Chauvel.

        But that’s standard diversionary tactics – surely people can make up their mind how to vote in four weeks?

        • Puddleglum 3.1.4.1

          I’m pretty sure Peter Dunne castigated those who focused on the teapot tapes, etc. because it meant that 25% of the campaign was wasted (He kept talking about 25%).

          My sense is that he was frustrated at the lack of time available in the campaign and, therefore, how easily a few days of distraction could make a difference to the outcome. That is, I’m not sure he would agree with you that four weeks is long enough to have a full campaign that would give people an overall sense of their democratic options.

      • Kevin Welsh 3.1.5

        A cushion for his knees.

      • fender 3.1.6

        Dunne will get what he deserves for selling his soul to the devil, further erosion of UF support, damage to DNA due to National contagion and a personal hairdresser.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    That was followed by normal election level bouncing…

    The Standard has been around for two elections – I don’t think this is enough data to support a “normal” :P

    The rugby world cup was extremely disruptive on the political process in this election…

    Which is probably the reason why the election was scheduled for just after the RWC. Having it before would have made it so that the policies could have been aired properly.

    Of course, having the RWC here during election year probably wasn’t the best option.

    • lprent 4.1

      Agreed – I only have good data for two elections. However the big non-vote is also pretty telling

      I have seen 10 other elections and actually paid an interest to the media in most of them. I can’t think of one with such a compressed period of media – there were post-RWC stories through most of the election.

      And I’m not exactly hidden about my politics. I usually have people asking me about various things weeks before the election. This time that only started a few days before.

  5. Nick C 5

    Blame Helen Clark.

    • lprent 5.1

      I tend to blame Trevor Mallard myself. But yes, if Helen hadn’t closed the deal then I could have had better sleep and probably been a lot faster finishing the project beta.

  6. gingercrush 6

    The RWC also made it difficult for the election to grab momentum. I was actually rather disinterested until the very last week. I kept an eye on things but that final week before the election and post-election was actually much more interesting.

  7. tc 7

    A fair fight and a media with some f’n backbone would’ve seen a one term nat gov’t…..they know that the AB’s winning the RWC was critical in getting them over the line along with all the polls lulling people into a sense of ‘doesn’t matter, they’ll win anyway’.

    • How would you ensure ‘a fair fight’?

      • fender 7.1.1

        Eliminate corruption of msm perhaps Pete, you know an unbiased situation unlike the setup we have right now.

        • Pete George 7.1.1.1

          I’d like to see an even handed fair media, but it’s not something that can be enforced by anyone. Media respond to the market or they are dictated to by someone and others will see that as biased.

          • fender 7.1.1.1.1

            I doubt the average voter who gets their information via msm has any idea they are getting a warped perspective involving ulterior motives.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.2

            I’d be highly surprised if the MSM was responding to the market.

            • ropata 7.1.1.1.2.1

              They are more interested in maximising revenue from the advertising market, than providing actual news, fact checking, or analysis.

              That said, as a kid I never understood most news or politics, it was from a different, rarefied world. I think most people never get beyond that stage.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.3

            I’d like to see an even handed fair media, but it’s not something that can be enforced by anyone.

            Bullshit

            • fender 7.1.1.1.3.1

              Pete loves to wollow in the BS. Whats he gunna say next I wonder? Maybe: I’d like to see an end to child poverty but it’s not something that can be enforced by anyone. Or how about: I’d like to see a cure for cancer but its not something that can be cured by anyone, so whats the point trying.
              What a defeatest attitude Pete. PEOPLE can change things Pete, remember the words of the real leader of UF: It’s a dinimic world!

    • joe90 7.2

      How would you ensure ‘a fair fight

      http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/4s16/1

  8. fender 8

    And of course the msm kept telling us that an AB win would mean a win for the incumbents.

  9. ropata 9

    Pretty sure most voters just go by intuition or vote along tribal lines (i.e. what their mates reckon) or what seems to be the popular opinion on talkback radio. They seem to think a vote is like a bet at the TAB, i.e. punt for the perceived winning team so they can congratulate themselves afterwards.

    Those with slightly more interest will assess “what’s in it for me”, for example my workmate who is probably on a six figure income likes a lower tax rate and doesn’t give a crap about the other stuff the shonky party does.

    Only politics geeks (including blog readers) like to analyse all the options and make an informed choice, but I’m pretty sure we are vastly outnumbered.

    PS. I am personally against ‘tactical’ voting, I wish people would just vote for the party they *actually* support, the results might be surprising.

  10. mik e 10

    Its time for National to stand up and be counted on
    Not likely more shifty Key spin is all we will receive in the next 3 years of economic stagnation and decline.

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