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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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    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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