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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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  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
  • MANA CANDIDATE FOR IKAROA RAWHITI OPENS UP ABOUT SUICIDE
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Accessible healthcare also affordable
      It is obvious from Tony Ryall’s hasty attack of Labour’s plans to extend free GP visits to older people that he hasn’t bothered to actually read the policy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. "Mr Ryall’s response to Labour’s...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Full details of oil execs’ junket revealed
    Full details of a $237,000 taxpayer-funded oil executives' junket in 2011 have emerged.National paid the nearly quarter of a million dollars to wine and dine 11 oil executives in New Zealand during the World Cup.The trip included yachting, wine tasting,...
    Greens | 10-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • “Even though my hours are being cut, my rent doesn’t get cut to compens...
    Fast Food = Slow Pay   Lola is a manager at a major fast food chain. Last year her employer arbitrarily cut her hours from 32 hours to anywhere between 18 and 26 hours each week. “I said I can’t...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Hate Politics has no place in NZ Politics
    I wasn’t going to write about Nicky Hagar’s ‘Dirty Politics’.  There are plenty of policy issues to discuss. Then I read the book, and what it reveals strikes at the very heart of our democracy. My overwhelming feeling is one...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Pak’nSave pull adverts from Whaleoil
    Pak n Save have replied to complaints that their adverts were appearing on hate speech site Whaleoil by deciding to block their adverts from appearing on the site. Their reply… Congratulations for Pak’NSave on making this type of ethical stand. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Herald Poll – Why the Greens will hit 15%
    The biggest problem for John Key is that there are swathes of National Party voters who are educated and decent people whom will be forced to read Dirty Politics out of intellectual curiosity and will be horrified by what National...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media
    The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly. When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • “You just have to keep on fighting” – an interview with Metiria Turei
    We’re meeting in her office. It’s austere, though she does have a nice teapot. The view is startling. One can map the Bowen Triangle, though the teapot is still more interesting. A group of pink faced men are running across...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Taxation and Real Estate – turning housing debate on its head
    The debate about property prices in New Zealand is disingenuous. It is clear that there is a global process in which speculators are using massive amounts of unspent and borrowed money to blow bubbles in the world’s major asset markets....
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Faith and politics
    In a week which has seen our collective focus shift to those who see politics as a great game to be manipulated for their own ends, it is timely to reflect on the fact that many people are in fact...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Test Stream
    width="600" height="400"> archive="http://theora.org/cortado.jar [3]" width="600" height="401">...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • LIVE STREAM: You, Me and the GCSB ChCh Public Meetings
    LIVE STREAM EVENT here at 1pm & 7pm: The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. PLEASE NOTE: TDB recommends Chrome and Firefox...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today,
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • How @whaledump might destroy the popular vote for National
    Dirty Politics is now creating a meltdown and National are in danger of a total vote collapse. The real threat to for National was if Nicky had all the emails released via the anonymous hacker who took them. That danger is now a...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Open letter to Radio NZ – you need to make a retraction now
    I have just sent this off to Radio NZ right now Dear Radio NZ Firstly, what a great interview by Guyon Espiner this morning with the Prime Minister. Great to see such hard hitting journalism. Unfortunately I am not contacting...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Te Kuiti man imprisoned for images of young children
    A Te Kuiti man caught with pictures of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Sickness beneficiary Daniel James Parry, 35, appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Japan Maritime Training Squadron visit – Open Day, Band
    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron will make port in Auckland from Wednesday 3 September to Saturday 6 September...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • MP Perk Transparency Needed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the increase in taxpayer-funded entitlements for MPs and their families published on the legislation website this afternoon . Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Debating the future of Auckland’s housing
    With only weeks until the General Election, Auckland’s mounting housing crisis will be put under the spotlight in an Election Debate hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. The debate’s topic “Market forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Let’s sort this out – Human Rights Commission
    A Whangarei woman allegedly censured for greeting customers with Kia ora can get in touch with the Human Rights Commission says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “We really need to resolve these kinds of issues. I had thought that...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Aged Care Association welcomes Labour’s wages policy
    The New Zealand Aged Care Association welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement that if elected, it will raise the minimum wage for aged care workers within its first 100 days in Government....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN
    An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya
    The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Bob Parker, China State Media and Tibet Forum
    Former Christchurch mayor was signed up to position statement without his knowledge; observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • “Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap”
    There’s just a few weeks left to convince the candidates of all political parties that reducing the wage gaps makes good sense....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Digital Currency on the Drawing Board
    Government policies and digital currency ideas and issues will come together at three public workshops next week....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • NZ Cycle Trail welcomes $8 million fund
    Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT)....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Judges Comments Bonkers – McVicar
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar is accusing a Judge of forgetting that he is the gate-keeper for the community and not a benevolent caregiver for law breakers. "The comments by this Judge are not just alarming, they're completely...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians
    As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Degrees in Picking up Rubbish
    Responding to the Fairfax media report of a University of Otago survey of Wellington’s street-connected walkways, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Another Union row
    “ The teachers union the NZEA is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Whyte: Speech to Grey Power
    National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Local Govt should not go into business
    “No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Join the hikoi to end child poverty in New Zealand
    CPAG is calling on people across society to join a march from Britomart to Aotea Square in Auckland to demand action on child poverty in Aotearoa....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Ngapuhi Chair Says Enough of the Political Sideshow
    Time for side-shows to end so we can focus on future of our nation – Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • “Bromance” Marriage Stunt Insulting Says LegaliseLove
    A promotional competition asking two best mates to get married in order to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup is insulting, marriage equality campaign LegaliseLove Aotearoa claims....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Cannabis Party first to register for 2014 General Election
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party became the first party to register for the 2014 General Election today, when it meet with the Electoral Commission in Wellington at Midday....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • PGA: Addresses NZ’s ratification of Arms Trade Treaty
    President of Parliamentarians for Global Action and New Zealand MP Ross Robertson today addressed a celebration to mark New Zealand’s imminent ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is expected within the next few weeks....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
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