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The only poll that matters is on election day

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, December 5th, 2012 - 103 comments
Categories: making shit up, polls - Tags:

So, recent polls have shown a minor upward blip for Labour.  A minor downward blip for National.  Ergo, David Shearer must immediately appear on TV to extrapolate why and make big sexy claims about how The Gap Is Narrowing and We Will Clearly Return To The Treasury Benches In 2015 2014.

Any time in the next month or so, another poll will appear showing a minor blip upward for National, and a minor blip downward for Labour, and then it’ll be John Key’s turn to brag about how The Public Clearly Supports Our Direction and Labour Has No Vision For Noo Zilnd.

And so it will continue.  Even the people who openly state that they know better – e.g. some of my fellow bloggers and commenters on The Standard – will still try to make something of the trend, or the historical poll biases in play, or calculate which political headline hit at the plum point of the polling period and thus explains the result.

The only poll that matters is election day.  And any politician – but especially one whose party is still sucking bigtime compared to the glory days of not that long ago – needs to say only one thing when a “favourable” poll result comes through:  the only poll that matters is election day.  If you must, throw in a key message about The Voters Will Decide or something.

Because as soon as you buy into the idea that that one favourable poll means something, you’ve bought into the idea that the next unfavourable poll means something.  As soon as you say look an upward trend you’ve handed your opponent the right to retort nope, it’s a downward trend as soon as they can scrape two data points together.

Sure, keep doing your internal polling, if you really want to run a political party on the basis of amoral populism instead of having principles and putting your case to the people of New Zealand and trusting in that democracy thing we have to accept or reject your arguments. If you must.

But please, pollies.  (Especially David Shearer.)  Stop dignifying bullshit landline polls like they mean anything, especially this far out from an election.  Or, if you must, stop complaining later on that the media are only interested in shallow numbers stories instead of Big Serious Policy.  You’re feeding the monster, you clean up its shit.

Consider the variables.  Weather.  Season.  Ministerial resignations.  Expense scandals.  Winston Peters, John Tamihere, Colin Craig, John Ansell.  Epsom, Ohariu, the Maaori seats.  David Cunliffe, Judith Collins.  No Rugby World Cup.  Shifting voter demographics.  Turnout.

Consider that election day is actually a bit of a big deal and many people may be wavering between two or three options as they enter the voting both.  Greens, Labour, Mana?  Dunne or Shanks?  Make a statement with a Green candidate vote or compromise your real principles to boot out Paula Bennett?

Polls in 2012 mean fuck all for Election Day 2014.  Tell the journos that the only poll that matters is on election day – show some respect for all the voters who don’t get called – and get on with your bloody job.

103 comments on “The only poll that matters is on election day”

  1. karol 1

    QOT: Sure, keep doing your internal polling, if you really want to run a political party on the basis of amoral populism instead of having principles and putting your case to the people of New Zealand and trusting in that democracy thing we have to accept or reject your arguments. If you must.

    Exactly.  Continued public reports on polling influences the electoral outcome – especially when used by news media to promote their own product (see TV3 & TV One news).  These companies then put their own spin on the polls… and on it goes.   It’s a “neoliberal” strategy all this polling, taken from the market research model.  It’s not appropriate for  encouraging open democratic debate about the issues and policies that matter to ordianry people.

    • The Fan Club 1.1

      Look, I know I should leave the continued use of neoliberal as a swearword well enough alone, but timely, accurate polling data is not neoliberal. (Quite how market research is neo-liberal I don’t get either, given that the whole complex predates neo-liberalism by decades and is more tightly tied to sociology/Mass Observation/Operations Research than anything else. That is to say, fundamentally technocratic/social democratic research programmes.)

      Polling is about the only time that journalism confronts actual measurable public opinion in a way that, fundamentally, can’t be spun. It is the introduction of evidence. It is not a neo-liberal plot.

      • Populuxe1 1.1.1

        Shame on you for being all rational. Chalk it up to creeping paranoia.

        • karol 1.1.1.1

          Rational?  TFC shows little knowledge of the different histories of market research, and sociological-based research, nor of the shift that happened int he 80s – let alone of the historical difference between approaches of the Labour movement/left-wing approaches and that of the new right.

          • The Fan Club 1.1.1.1.1

            I think you will find that I do in fact know a fair bit about this stuff, and I am saying that `neoliberal’ is not just a swear word. Everyone talks smack about polls in every political context, neo-liberal or not, because polls tell us about the world.

            (Karol, by the way, protip: in NZ, don’t talk about the differences between the Labour movement and the new right, ’cause it kinda turns out that oops!, neo-liberalism in NZ wasn’t new right: it was a neo-liberal left.)

            • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1.1.1

              pro tip. Labour movement /= Labour Party

            • karol 1.1.1.1.1.2

              I do in fact know a fair bit about this stuff

              Then you will know all the limitations of what market research polls can tell us about the “real world” and the ways the results can be skewed. Your faith in the absolute truth of all poll results is touching.
               

              • Colonial Viper

                It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.

                From a famous American writer…

              • lurgee

                I thought your earlier “TFC shows little knowledge” post was a joke. Were you being serious? Oh dear.

                • karol

                  Not much of an argument there, lurgee.  Merely adopting a patronising attitude, without any argument or evidence, adds nothing to the discussion.

          • Populuxe1 1.1.1.1.2

            Um, karol, the fourth Labour government? Roger Douglas? Jus’ sayin’
            And public polling, as is all surveying, is indeed largely a development from the left of the political spectrum. The smugly overconfident right only started caring about such things quite some time after the left started to give them a run for their money.

            • felix 1.1.1.1.2.1

              “Um, karol, the fourth Labour government? Roger Douglas? “

              Yes Pop, they’re the “new right” karol contrasts with the “labour movement”.

              Well done, you’re getting the hang of this reading lark.

              • Populuxe1

                All ideologies are equally toxic substitutions for critical thinking and both sides are virtually identical in the centre and at the extremes. Funny how that “new right” emerged from the bosom of the established party of the left. If you think for one moment either pole aren’t ad hoc and cherrypicking from each other, you’re deluded. That doesn’t make them any less valid, just pragmatic. New Zealand’s “new right” are lightyears to the left of the US Democrat party.

      • karol 1.1.2

        With the “neoliberal” shift, came a fetish with organising all things, including public services and politics, as if they are all businesses. So focus-grouping by political parties and news media fetish with polling all became very dominant.

        Of course such market-research type polling was around before the 80s, but it was never used so much.

        News outlets, especially TV news, do their own polling so that they can claim an exclusive – it’s a news creating thing to up their “ratings”/market share.  And all the focus on polls, works well for the neolibs because it takes the focus from the things that really expose their bankruptcy – a more in-depth discussion of the policies and issues. 

        And of course “neoliberal” doesn’t live up to its big sell – it’s not about free markets etc: it’s about skewing the playing field in favour of the rich and powerful and all their cronies.  But it’s a useful short-hand term for all the shifts that happened with the efforts of Thatcher, Regan Rogernome, etc.  And it’s a useful term to highlight all the things that need to be changed.

        • Puddleglum 1.1.2.1

          I think that sums it up.

          Capitalism sheds its ideology of the month like  a snake sheds its skin. Neo-liberalism is simply the current skin.

          Neo-liberalism pushes the ideological view that all ‘collective’ decisions should be made on the aggregated preferences/choices/behaviours of individuals. Further, true believers seem convinced that such aggregation is all there really is – when of course it isn’t.

          That supposedly left politicians buy into market research methods that assume this kind of isolated individual full to the brim with particular preferences is a bit sad.

          It’s as if they’ve given up on creating a social movement.

          • Populuxe1 1.1.2.1.1

            As we are not the Borg, it’s difficult to see how the preferences of individuals can be ignored without becoming a dictatorship. For me socialism is about creating a society that supports and nurtures individuals and their contributions to the greater good of the whole. A society that didn’t encourage individual worth would be boring and probably totalitarian.

  2. toad 2

    I almost thought you had got thru a whole fucking post without saying fuck, QoT :) Until the last para.

    Agree on the substantive.

  3. Bill 3

    Well fucking said.

    Except for one wee thing I want to throw in there before anyone does any conflating of polls and opinions and then attempts to justify a party policy of stonewalling and deafness…I agree that a bit of movement this way or a bit of movement that way = 5/8ths of fuck all in terms of meaning anything, but…

    …when the supposed backbone of the left parliamentary bloc is mired in low 30’s shit and is being told time after time by a significant proportion of even its own members through…can I use the term unsolicited polling? – (blogs, facebook stuff, comments, posts etc) …that it’s actually reminiscent of a kind of nasty spineless blob cast up on the sand and that it will never inspire confidence or enthusiasm due to, well… what it has become and intends to be. And when many of those who can be arsed to be vocal – and who are also (often long term) members explicitly state that they will not vote for the party they belong to…then it doesn’t matter that an election is two years away, ten days away or an eon away.

    And it also doesn’t matter if they win. Oh, I suppose I should qualify. Except for they themselves, it doesn’t matter if they win.

  4. hush minx 4

    Great post. Wish the people who don’t read blogs would read it and learn something about how real people think (rather than the focus group).

  5. Lefty 5

    Does the poll on election day matter?

    The evidence is that a change of government in developed countries nowadays makes about as much difference as a change of shift at McDonalds.

    The same old shit get shovelled by a fresh crew.

  6. xtasy 6

    Good post and very timely, I’d say!

    What we have is a rotten, shit msm media, running trivial distraction stories day in and day out.

    Issues are not even talked about anymore, at least not in detail and substance. It appears most leading msm journalists are pre-occupied with writing crap the editor may like or approve, just to ensure their survival and salary continuation.

    We have politicians running in “panic mode”, as soon as some of their abilities are challenged, going around assassinating suspected “challengers” or “attackers”. They also shit themselves because of the msm media focusing on nonsense and petty stories, so they do instead of standing up and delivering substance in policies, rather panic again, and deliver nonsensical, poorly researched and prepared idiot policies, engage in personality and power games.

    Shearer has done so, now Peters has done so.

    NZ politics is in total turmoil. The government itself is rather headless, but because of the divisions and mindless over-reactions within opposition party caucuses and leaderships, they get off the hook yet again, laughing their way through corrupt, lying and useless, failing political maneuvering that his going on.

    We have before a MAJOR Select Committee hearings taking place right now, about the most ruthless, brutal and unjust ASSAULT on beneficiaries, where it is for many affected totally incomprehensible that they are NOT LISTENED to when presenting their highly concerned, anxious submissions, and the opposition is engaged in SELF MUTILATION, scheming between leadership camps and the likes.

    SHEARER and PETERS, you should sink in the bloody rotten and muddy grounds in TOTAL SHAME, to leave people in desperate need alone, to let this government roll them and deal to them like an ABUSER to an INNOCENT child or other vulnerable person.

    The crap MSM media is too busy reporting on the weather, a pregnancy of a spoilt rotten ROYAL babe, personality clashes in politics, supposed developments that are alleged and not even proved, and Jacinda Ardern is asking for a huge OWN GOAL by raising issues about WINZ paying back to work grants to unemployed, so desperate, they rather go to Australia.

    Like challenged on National Radio’s Checkpoint by one of NZ’s best journalists, she had to concede that it was a Labour government allowing the same already in 2007.

    I raise AGAIN, that it was also a RIGHT OF CENTRE Labour led government, that did introduce roles and a system run by the Principal Health Advisor Dr David Bratt in 2007 to 2008 AND the TRAINING of WINZ’s DESIGNATED DOCTORS to make the decisions WINZ and MSD expect, when it comes to sickness and invalid’s benefits.

    No wonder you, JACINDA, were so weak during a recent Select Committee Hearing in Auckland, and had nothing much to say or ask about that!

    YOU are PART of the bloody PROBLEM.

    This X-mas and holiday period, I challenge ALL Labour members and supporters, yes ALL left minded people in NZ, to take a new stand, make a new start, and to work on setting up a totally NEW LEFT PARTY, that will create a basis for the whole opposition of substance, and that will create a REAL challenge to this rotten government, that cares nothing about ordinary and especially not weak and poor NZers.

    It is time to make and end to this endless saga of hopelessness, betrayal, in-fighting and other SHIT that is going on in too many parts of the Labour caucus and some other political organisations.

    Wake up, take a bloody stand, create a NEW forum for a FUTURE for this country, and DO AWAY with the rotten bastards that are too bloody comfy on the feathered and leather coated seats in Parliament!

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      This X-mas and holiday period, I challenge ALL Labour members and supporters, yes ALL left minded people in NZ, to take a new stand, make a new start, and to work on setting up a totally NEW LEFT PARTY, that will create a basis for the whole opposition of substance, and that will create a REAL challenge to this rotten government, that cares nothing about ordinary and especially not weak and poor NZers.

      A couple of them already exist – they just need support from left leaning people:
      Alliance
      Mana

      Go to the sites, choose which one most closely relates to what you believe and join.

      • AmaKiwi 6.1.1

        I am afraid I don’t agree.

        Major parties like having extreme parties. The extremists help make them look more centrist and thus attract more votes. Example: I accuse my National MP of being a right wing fascist. She/He replies, “You think I am right wing, look at what Act and the Conservatives are proposing. I am middle of the road.”

        On the left, you might accuse Mana of being extreme, but not today’s Greens. Many Green policies are looking decidedly responsible and reasonable. Put another way, what is responsible about the two centrists parties sleep walking to environmental Armageddon?

        • mickysavage 6.1.1.1

          Agreed.

          The Labour Green relationship compared to the National Act relationship shows a major divide … 

          • The Al1en 6.1.1.1.1

            It certainly does, and raises the question of who’ll have the biggest balls come negotiating time, post a left win.
            If Labour don’t move far enough to left to satisfy, they risk the Green’s (with nothing to lose), taking a huge chunk of disgruntled red underbelly in 2017. Will be far too late by then, but a consistently poor Labour party doesn’t really deserve to be the biggest party in opposition when they’re clearly not very good at it.
            My monies on Metiria. ;)

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2

          “You think I am right wing, look at what Act and the Conservatives are proposing. I am middle of the road.”

          At which point you point out that there’s no difference between National and Act because there isn’t.

          Besides, neither Mana nor Alliance are extreme. Reality isn’t extreme no matter what the right wing parties say.

          • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1.2.1

            Indeed. An extreme left-wing party would do the things that right-wingers pretend to think real left-wing parties do, like support forcing people to become vegan or sterilise themselves, completely equal distribution of wealth, etc…

            Nobody is even entertaining those ideas.

      • xtasy 6.1.2

        ALLIANCE – died due to divisions, subsided and has a small following, not creating traction. It is a “name” associated with failure, hence they are maybe having some good ideas and intentions, but are otherwise DEAD!

        MANA – perceived as being the “Hone Harawira Party”, whether rightly or wrongly, that is the perception amongst most now. Harawira also portrays himself too much on his website, which is predominantly Maori focused, thus it implies to the wider electorate as not being enough “inclusive” and thus (also given Harawira’s past “activism”) a “fringe party”. I am afraid it will remain that, just for that sake.

        Look at other countries, new parties were started in many places, also in NZ, and it depends on the ideas, the plans, the program, agenda AND personalities for them to succeed.

        Hence if the right people with the right ideas get together, it will be a total win, win situation.

        But that exactly is the challenge.

        Too many in Labour are too “comfy” being in opposition and the MPs do not mind so either, as they get their salaries and perks.

        And re ‘AmaKiwi’, yes, extremists are “used” like that, but that is poor showing. If supposed “extremists” have a good program, they will soon no longer be perceived as “extremist”. Do not fall for the apologetic manipulations of the big two, thanks!

        • Skinny 6.1.2.1

          Mr X it’s a New Years resolution all us lefties left should prescribe too. 6 months planning and then a party launch. Supply & demand is the trick! 

          Your right about Mana & Hone doesn’t do it for me, he is only ever going to be a one trick pony.

          • karol 6.1.2.1.1

            I disagree with your assessment of Mana.  Hone is given attention on the website because he is the only MP for the party right now.  But if you look at their press releases, several are posted by John Minto – hardly indicating a dominant Maori focus.

            • marty mars 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Mana isn’t a one man band, it’s the opposite. I tend to see those who don’t like or believe in tino rangatiratanga as being oppressors. If there is no equality there is no correct foundation for this country and it won’t or doesn’t matter what is built on top, it will be and is currently, crooked. In other words trying to deal with poverty, suffering and inequality cannot occur without equality for tangata whenua – it is the minimum starting position IMO.

              • Populuxe1

                Look, either guardianship of the land is invested in the state (socialism) or iwi (tino rangatiratanga). Mana seem to want it both ways, and that is why I find it difficult to take them seriously – they are not philosophically cut from a whole cloth. Even ACT could at least claim to have sound, clear philosophical basis, even if it is an ugly one.

    • xtasy 6.2

      NONE of you address the social law and issues problems!

      So you are participating in the same, speculations on various political alignments and such.

      That solves NADA! It had not done so for years, so why not face the truth of the left not being “left” anymore (that is in Parliament)!?

  7. Ad 7

    Is your premise correct?

    The MSM forms a view, writes history with the media crew of the party they’re currently drinking with.

    Grower et al form the story like advertisers shape raw products.

    This in turn drives public sentiment, which in turn shapes the polls.

    Like The Hollow Men, for the other side.

    Form the wave, then surf it. Good politics.

    • QoT 7.1

      If we assume my premise, per the title, is that the only poll that really matters is on election day … yes, I tend to think it’s pretty correct.

      • Ad 7.1.1

        Polls drive story cycles.
        Story cycles are bricks in a narrative wall.
        Narratives drive polls.
        At the moment, of all the media only the MSM forms stories. Others just amplify, reify.

        Shearer’s team and MSM manipulate each other; thats the grand game.

        Of course it’s no longer as tight a political biosphere as that now, but it still holds.

        Shearer is playing the game that must be won, and is currently winning.

        Every poll drives each successive poll.

        So they all really matter.

        • the pigman 7.1.1.1

          Exactly. In all her righteous fucking indignation which is fucking sincerely meant, QoT seems to have bound up two issues which people confused:

          a) Yes, it would be wrong for the Opposition to make a song and dance about how the polls are turning, they will end up on top, while they play their policies to focus groups. This sort of behaviour is anathema to our loathing for hubris, and is closely related to whatever wounded beast lies at the heart of the summer-BBQ-political-discussion;

          b) Bugger the notion that the polls are irrelevant/have no impact on the contemporary political discussion, etc. The MSM narrative that accompanies our political commentary/discussion (which is indeed an industry/hobby) creates endless stories around these polls (we do a lot to help them, if not willingly). The Phil In meme that Goff didn’t really want to become prime minister, was without charisma, etc. was provably false by the time the election campaign was in full swing, but the media kept running with it because it didn’t have a credible alternative story. And then we had the 2011 election.

          So, you keep interested in politics, you’re going to keep getting polls. I bet there’d be some equally righteous squealing if the poll tap was turned off until election year, too.

          • QoT 7.1.1.1.1

            You’re totally right. I’m just too stupid to understand that polls drive a media narrative. Maybe I should write a post about my annoyance at polls driving media narratives. Hang on …

            Also? First and only warning about using bullshit gendered terms like “squealing”. And don’t try to flatter my “sincerity”.

            • the pigman 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Rofl, I didn’t mean squealing by you (given that your entire position seems to be based on not wanting polls, I was talking about the whingers at the other end of the (ungendered) spectrum), or by women – take a look at the username.

              You want gendered terms? Too bad, love, that I’m not going to feed your desire for faux-feminist-outrage.

              You are so desperate to read in loathing from your commenters – what you want to believe is that yes, the big subtext was that you’re stupid because you’re a woman. Now re-read my post and re-trace the little leaps in logic you made to get there.

          • karol 7.1.1.1.2

            So, as far as I can make out, the porker & ad-men are all in favour of the collusion between Shearer & the MSM because it’s a way for the left to win the next election?

            Doesn’t matter that in doing it they sell their soul to the MSM, and inadvertently take on board the dominant MSM values – ones targeting the comfortable middle-classes.?

            And it doesn’t matter that team Shearer are putting their futures in the control of the MSM – news-makers who will turn on any party that shifts too far from their values: e.g. that actually tries to become a left wing party? 

            • Olwyn 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Perhaps someone can correct me on this, but there does not seem to be any mechanism, beyond voting, for holding the Labour executive to Labour principles. National do not seem to have this problem: one cannot imagine a National Party member saying that the best way to help farming would be to nationalise the farms. In comparison, values seem increasingly up for grabs in Labour – “whatever works” seems to be the order of the day. This matters, Labour looks to be getting turned into a vehicle for progressing political and media careers, rather than a responsible component of a representative democracy.

            • the pigman 7.1.1.1.2.2

              Edit: after seeing the amazing ball-and-gag job pulled on TFC below (who I have no time for), I have removed this post and won’t be continuing this discussion.

              • karol

                I understood what you said.  And why should we put up with something that undermines the left.  The result will be a Labour Party the MSM wants: i.e. at the moment, not very left-wing at all.

                We can choose not to jump on the bandwagon that accepts the MSM fictionalisation of politics.  

                The MSM use the polls to construct a narrative.  It distracts from the policies and issues that matter, and makes it all seem like a horse-race.  I’ve posted before I how I think this leads to a lot of voters becoming cynical about politicians and disengaged from politics. 

              • lprent

                Just read the policy. It is pretty simple

                • If you want to divert off a post’s topic then start a thread in OpenMike.
                • Never abuse authors personally in their posts – speak to their post, not to them.
                • Remember that we maintain this site for the authors. Visibly respect both them and moderators (even when you don’t).
                • Don’t try forum disruption/diversion/troll tactics that were old when I was young on the net. The moderators have seen them all before and are inclined to summary displays of our contempt for them.
                • If you’re going to abuse someone, then always make sure that you make a actual point related to either what they said or to the topic.
                • Don’t waste the time of moderators or they’re likely to remove the time wasting problem. Since they are deliberately kind of random in what kind of education they hand out, then you are the person taking the risk when you attract their attention. (ie, don’t try to lawyer the system).

                And above all remember that there is an sysop/ogre at the back of the site who has been around online forums for too long and is kind of irritable at seeing people making the same stupid mistakes as he saw 20 years ago.

                TFC isn’t “gagged”. There are a whole lot of other blog sites he can go to even if he doesn’t want to start up yet another “I hate lprent” site. He is just receiving a lesson about manners on this site. Many people have received them and I’d prefer not having to give them. That is why I wrote the policy outlining the types of things that we don’t allow. I just wish people would search for and read rules of sites before they waste my time.

                • the pigman

                  “•Never abuse authors personally in their posts – speak to their post, not to them.”

                  Yet it’s fine for the authors to abuse people commenting on their articles. Because it seems from this thread that this is par for course for at least one author.

                  It is an atrocious double standard you’re applying. These things are in your policy, but clearly you can exercise discretion about the application of that policy, because you let enormous amounts go from King Kong, Gooseman and other standard malefactors.

                  You make out that these things are black and white, and that every commenter should have an awareness of what crosses the line/will result in a ban, yet your treatment of TFC below just makes it look arbitrary.

  8. The Fan Club 8

    You and Mitt, you and Mitt.

    • QoT 8.1

      Make an actual argument that I can laugh at or fuck off.

      • The Fan Club 8.1.1

        The argument is that polls impart useful information about the state of the world. Statistics works. So polls other than the one conducted by the Electoral Commission do in fact matter.

        Mitt seemed to think statistics didn’t work, and had a similar list of reasons.

        (There’s a more sophisticated messaging argument about the asymmetry of government/opposition, where it helps the opposition more to be ahead than it hurts to be behind, but that’s a bit complicated I suspect.)

        • QoT 8.1.1.1

          Consider the variables. Weather. Season. Ministerial resignations. Expense scandals. Winston Peters, John Tamihere, Colin Craig, John Ansell. Epsom, Ohariu, the Maaori seats. David Cunliffe, Judith Collins. No Rugby World Cup. Shifting voter demographics. Turnout.

          Consider that election day is actually a bit of a big deal and many people may be wavering between two or three options as they enter the voting both. Greens, Labour, Mana? Dunne or Shanks? Make a statement with a Green candidate vote or compromise your real principles to boot out Paula Bennett?

          Polls in 2012 mean fuck all for Election Day 2014.

          • The Fan Club 8.1.1.1.1

            Polls in 2012 mean fuck all for Election Day 2014.

            Partly, this just isn’t true. Partly, who cares, they tell us heaps about voters right now.

            Of course, the only politician who says the only poll that counts is E Day is, you guessed, one that’s behind.

            (Shorter me: statistics works.)

            • QoT 8.1.1.1.1.1

              they tell us heaps about voters right now.

              Could you tell the media? Because it seems like they want to keep acting like a poll in 2012 tells us “if an election were held today” despite clear historical evidence that mid-term polls don’t reflect election-day voting.

              Maybe I should write a post about that. OH WAIT.

              • The Fan Club

                Jesus you are a loud mouthed fool. You’ve now gone from `polls don’t matter’ to `the predictive content of a poll taken two years out from an election is limited* although it does contain valuable information about the electorate’.

                Also you’ve completely given up on the messaging argument, possibly because it really is unsustainable.

                * although again the predictive value is greater than you seem to think, there’s a tendency for the party ahead two years out to win, and more so when the gap is larger.

                • QoT

                  Fuck, you’re a self-important douchecanoe. The whole idea of “the only poll that matters is election day” IS a messaging issue. It plays on a common phrase used in political discussion.

                  And I’m not actually going to point-by-point address every bullshit derailing point you make because I don’t fucking have to and you, as someone who is pretty established in my books as “not interested in genuine discussion”, are not worth the trouble.

                  • The Fan Club

                    Yes, detailed discussion of historical trends in polling is derailing!

                    Yes, introduction of evidential foundations is derailing!

                    Yes, analysis of how political messaging actually works in the real world, derailing!

                    Yes, actually knowing what you are talking about, derailing!

                    (I actually am quite interested in genuine discussion about the use and misuse of polling data. Data-driven campaigning is cool, and it turns out effective understanding of what polls mean is really important to winning elections. I am not, on the other hand, interested in listening to stale, second-hand opinions zhushed up by a veneer of zany vocabulary, which is kinda where you start and stop.)

                    • QoT

                      TFC, you frequently insist that discussions on The Standard be about the topics you want them to be on.

                      Since we’re so disappointing, maybe this will help you find discussions more to your liking.

                    • lprent []

                      Useful link. I think you just caused me to make the first change to the about in some time.

                    • The Fan Club

                      I’ve made my two claims: polling data is a rich source of information about the electorate, useful both for making decisions about how to act now, and for predicting the electorate’s future behaviour. Also, if you’re the opposition and a poll puts you ahead, because voters are more likely to vote for you if you are credible and likely government, you should make lots of noise about it.

                      They are responsive but contradict in certain respects your claims. They would appear to me to be fruitful topics to discuss under a post titled: the only poll that matters is on election day.

                      But for some reason, you don’t seem to want to talk about the things you post about! You want to — and here I actually don’t know, want to talk about what, if not the uses and abuses of polling data?

                      [lprent: Just to reinforce QoT's point, I even put a section in the about when we wrote it back in 2007. We have long since tired of people telling us how we should run our site.

                      These days I usually warn once like this, give a light ban or even two if I'm generous, and then permanently ban. Ask Pete George who was the last person to received the treatment and who still whines about it frequently in his anti-The Standard site. After 5 years of critics, it is quite tedious going through all of the same old arguments again which ultimately come down to that we do the work to make the site successful and you are a guest.

                      If you want to raise things that the author considers are well off their topic or simple diversions then do so in OpenMike and try to get interest there. Or send us a guest post which depending on how well it is argued and written and how full the schedule is, we will frequently publish in a seperate post. Otherwise create your own blog. ]

                    • The Fan Club

                      Look, LPrent, how is directly contradicting the central claims of an author off-topic? It might be rude, or it might be ineffective at any kind of actual persuasion, but I find it hard to see how it is off-topic.

                      I don’t care how you run your site, but surely direct contradiction is the most basic form of on-topicness possible.

                      [lprent: Ok I looked back through the comments to see what QoT was looking at and what you were claiming was "..directly contradicting the central claims..". I guess you mean the first comment?

                      You and Mitt, you and Mitt.

                      Somehow who 'Mitt' is/was never seemed to ever get explained, nor its relevance to the post. When challenged on it you gave an argument on the statistical validity of polls that essentially says to me (and QoT) that you hadn't actually read the post. If you'd read it you'd know it was about the way media and politicians treat individual polls, not about the validity of the actual polls themselves. She made no claims about the statistical validity of polls at the point of time they were taken in her post. And that is all the actual statistical validity that any statistician would claim. Then you raised a pile of issues that you claimed you were raising that you hadn't even mentioned previously after being pulled up on "derailing"

                      Contrary to your claims that you were merely contradicting QoT on her post it is quite clear to me and anyone actually reading your comments that you hadn't actually read it. There is absolutely no trace of and understanding on your part of the argument she put forward. I'm surprised by her forbearance myself.

                      I'm not so forgiving of such stupidity. You're banned for seven weeks (24th of Jan).

                      1. one for wasting moderator time,
                      2. one for not reading the post you were commenting on,
                      3. four for attacking an author directly and personally (and which I'd missed),
                      4. one week for making me read the crap that you allege is "..directly contradicting the central claims.." when it is pretty clear it was diversion trolling.

                      But do feel free to call on me at any time for an appeal even to a warning. But FFS read your own comments first when you want to provide the basis for a appeal next time. It is almost embarrassing to see your ignorance of the policy, especially the self-martyrdom offences. ]

                    • QoT

                      Thanks, lprent, you beat me to it: anyone whose first contribution to a conversation is “You and Mitt, you and Mitt” doesn’t get to have a cry later when people are unconvinced about their claims to wanting real engaged conversation.

    • Lanthanide 8.2

      Sorry Fan Club, but you’ve made a bit of a leap, there.

      Yes, Nate Silver got his predictions very close to what transpired in reality.

      The thing is, Nate Silver was working with a very large sample set. He had literally dozens of different polling sources to work with, with many overlapping sample periods. This was a very rich trove of data to mine from. He pointed out that there were some polling places that were outliers, but acknowledge that this would be expected from statistics anyway. Nate’s analysis also was largely concentrated into election year, particularly the last 3 months. We simply aren’t in the same time frame.

      By comparison, NZ has these occasionally-run TV polls, sporadic newspaper polls and Roy Morgan to work from. That’s it.

      QoT is entirely justified to point out just how shit the polling data really is, and the spin that it attached to it, because it really truly is shit.

      I had a whinge about this in the comments the other day:
      http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-03122012/comment-page-1/#comment-557800

      • The Fan Club 8.2.1

        Two observations: one, yes, distance from election weakens predictive power. But it doesn’t weaken ability to tell us about the electorate Right Now.

        Secondly, it is true Silver had a lot more data, and that Silver was able to use that data to call the election to within ~.5% in swing states. But on the other hand, polling in NZ is much simpler because we have a much more homogeneous country and the NPV is basically all we care about, and we aren’t trying to reproduce that accuracy.

        It is also true that many individual states in the US have less polling done then we do.

        • Lanthanide 8.2.1.1

          “It is also true that many individual states in the US have less polling done then we do.”

          Because those are the states that have such well-known demographics and voting history that polling is not required.

          You’re also severally underestimating just how statistically important having many different polls is. It doesn’t matter whether “polling in NZ is simpler” because we have a “more homogenous country” (which I’d dispute anyway, I’d say were more diverse than many US states), that doesn’t change the fact that you can’t realistically take just a couple of polls and predict an electoral outcome on them, especially if you didn’t take account of any obvious variables in that prediction (like NZ First likely getting over 5% again, or the threshold being dropped to 4%).

  9. Aye QoT.  The polls mean something but not that much.

    Goff last time did OK.  Labour’s party vote went down to 27% because amongst other things lefties such as some Standard posters advocated voting for him just so the NZF vote would not be wasted.  

    I acknowledge the rationale for their decision.  I could not do it myself but if the Green Party was below the 5% mark I would seriously consider it.

    So Labour’s support last time was probably better than the election result.

    There is also the inherent bias.  I know many decent people who have never been polled because they do not have a landline.  Despite the overwhelming optimism the MSM had for a National victory last time it was a really close thing.

    So next time should be interesting.  But Labour needs to get its shit together …

  10. vto 10

    What about averaging the polls? And over various periods of time? That must mean something? After all if they didn’t mean something wouldn’t nobody pay for them to be done? The point misses some pretty big fucking points..

    • QoT 10.1

      Here’s DimPost’s latest aggregate-poll post. I think it raises some pretty interesting questions, areas for discussion, all that good shit.

      If you think that any of your questions are at all relevant to the bullshit poll “reporting” done by the media, then you’re the one missing some pretty big fucking points, mate. That is, all the ones made in this fucking post.

      ETA: After all if they didn’t mean something wouldn’t nobody pay for them to be done?

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You’re funny.

    • Politics discussion is an industry in this country. The polls just fuel that.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    Political history is a more useful guide than the polls.

    In the world’s (roughly comparable) democracies, when voters have to choose between a bastard and a bumbler, they choose the bastard. Eight, nine times out of ten.

    If the Labour caucus insist on sticking with the uber-bumbler, then National will keep Key for as long as he’s useful, but if he fades badly in those polls … they’ll just bring on the next bastard. Plenty to choose from.

    • xtasy 11.1

      NZer’s had enough mumblers, bumblers and bastards in politics.

      If people were not so stereotypical and limited in views, any new contender could swiftly and solidly shake up the political environment.

      But as NZers are new to MMP that may need to be the next phase of learning that must be gone through. Bring in a totally new party, new faces, new ideas and they will all look like stuffy old skeletons in the rotten cupboard.

    • Lanthanide 11.2

      +10.

  12. weka 12

    The poll that I want to see is how many people let their voting be influenced by polls. Scarey.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Exactly. A lot of people vote on election day like it was the Melbourne Cup.

      They choose who they think is going to win.

      • weka 12.1.1

        On the other hand, polls in the few weeks before elections are useful for making strategic voting choices. But we might still be better off without those ones too. Imagine voting if there were not polls at all.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          In fact, I’d ban the publishing of all polls in a 7 day protected period leading up to elections. Force the focus on to the issues and the policies. Force Garner and the rest of them to do their job instead of acting like stock quote speculators.

      • Mary 12.1.2

        Or because they think it’s the other guy’s turn.

  13. McFlock 13

    I try – some days more successful than others – to think of polls on trend only. They’re not a bad indication, especially if they are regularly sampled and have a demonstrated bias against actual elections.
         
    It is incredibly easy to go “1.5% up – YAY!” and a month later “1.75% down! The sky is falling!”.
           
    Under Goff, bar the 5% decline in the last 6 months or so prior to the election, Labour in the RoyMorgan seemed to be 32-34% as I recall. Labour’s back to the lower limits of that. Any individual poll result to make me grin would bein the area of 37%, especially if it wasn’t a +5% spike followed by a -3% return.
         
    “The only poll that counts is the election”. Vey true, but the person with the better poll result says that with a smile that’s slightly less forced than those of their opponents.

  14. xtasy 14

    I am sorry MOST here still DO NOT GET IT! NZ is in total crisis and the LEFT has NO answers!

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      The Left certainly has answers, its just that there is almost no Left representation in Parliament or in the media. (yeah yeah I know McFlock)

    • Mary 14.2

      How about starting with a broad objective that says we must work to repair the damage the National government did to the New Zealand psych throughout the 1990s?

    • Akldnut 14.3

      Most people here do get it, NZ is in crisis BECAUSE the right has NO answers.

  15. muzza 15

    Finally!

  16. The sprout 16

    Well said QoT.

    While you can understand the desperate need for Shearer and his supporters to believe there are at last signs of improvement, the only consistent trend in Shearer’s performance has been an uncanny ability to shove his foot in his mouth every time it looks like he may finally making some progress. No matter what the polls may say, Shearer’s track record gives me every confidence he will yet again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • QoT 16.1

      Thanks, sprout.

      It’s not just Shearer for me – though obviously this was the most recent example. It’s a continual nagging twitch I get in my brain every time a person on the political spectrum buys into the idea that one poll means anything.

  17. lurgee 17

    Of course, if Labour’s numbers do dip, by as much as an nano-percentile, the Usual Suspects will start howling about how this is a Polling Meltdown and how Shearer Must Go, forgetting their current dismissive attitude towards irrelevant, biased, sociologically incorrect opinion polling.

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  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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