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Reflections of a retired blogger

Written By: - Date published: 4:34 pm, October 23rd, 2017 - 67 comments

Time for me to step down as a writer here. A closing ramble, proceed at your own risk…

The mess that the new government inherits

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 am, October 23rd, 2017 - 50 comments

This post is too long to read. Its purpose is to serve as reference material, a “one stop” snapshot of where we are as a country. The mess that the new government inherits. The consequences of the nine long wasted years of National. The magnitude of the challenge ahead of us.

Labour Day

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, October 23rd, 2017 - 19 comments

Extra sweet this year.

Turns out voters were pretty chill about it

Written By: - Date published: 11:16 am, October 22nd, 2017 - 21 comments

Small on how it went down and Nats’ bidding war myth

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, October 21st, 2017 - 25 comments

Vernon Small has the best account of the events of “D-Day”. Nat supporters are trying to pedal the myth that English lost a baubles bidding war because of his principles (hah!), the fact is it was all about policy match.

Wellington Political Theatre’s Waiting for Godot – a review

Written By: - Date published: 7:56 am, October 17th, 2017 - 12 comments

Beckett’s classic Waiting for Godot by the city’s oldest company, the Wellington Political Theatre, is a triumph.

The first 100 days of a Labour led government

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, October 16th, 2017 - 30 comments

Maybe Peters learned from history and is not doomed to repeat it. If we get a Labour led government, what should be its top priorities in the first 100 days?

Nats – lousy at government – “brilliant” at opposition

Written By: - Date published: 9:57 am, October 15th, 2017 - 100 comments

Peters has the opportunity to put an end to this useless government (and turn National into “the opposition from hell”). I think he’s going to ’96 us, but I’d be happy to be proved wrong

Another term of Nats bad news for democracy

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, October 13th, 2017 - 63 comments

It’s starting to feel a lot like 1996 all over again. Another term of the Nats would be bad news for the institutions of democracy. We’ve had recent warnings on the state of the justice system, press freedom, and the public service.

Last day of talks

Written By: - Date published: 7:40 am, October 12th, 2017 - 26 comments

It’s the last day of coalition talks (probably). Peters has certainly created big expectations of “change”, but what they will mean in practice is still anyone’s guess.

Peters policy priorities

Written By: - Date published: 8:36 am, October 11th, 2017 - 23 comments

Peters’ policy priorities are clearly anathema to National. Depending on the details Labour may be more accommodating, but it’s a risky path given signs that “the economy” is already flatlining.

The education mess

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, October 9th, 2017 - 20 comments

The complete mess that National has made of our health system got plenty of airtime during the election campaign. While it received less coverage, the education system is a mess too.

Prepare for four days of hot air

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, October 9th, 2017 - 40 comments

Expect to see agendas on display, and egos, and reckons, and the occasional gleaned factoid. But don’t expect predictions to be any better than chance.

Young on coalition options – an edge to Labour

Written By: - Date published: 7:57 am, October 7th, 2017 - 21 comments

Audrey Young on the coalition dance: “Labour would probably have an advantage because of the greater policy overlap”, “Keeping deputy leader Paula Bennett out of the first pro-forma courtesy meeting was an appalling decision by English that simply says he was desperate to please Peters at any cost”.

Specials tomorrow

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, October 6th, 2017 - 35 comments

The special vote count should be out at 2pm tomorrow. The mathematically plausible scenarios are either good, or very good, for the left.

Good call from Ardern

Written By: - Date published: 9:46 am, October 3rd, 2017 - 86 comments

I have very mixed feelings about a Labour Green NZF government. I certainly don’t think that Labour should “pay any price”. So I’m pleased to see Jacinda Ardern acknowledging the Greens.

Uncertainty doesn’t bother “the market” at all

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, October 3rd, 2017 - 57 comments

There is no “strong and stable” government to “lead” us. Maximum uncertainty! No end in sight! According to received wisdom (and all those people in a self-interested rush to ordain the born-to-rule-party) the market should be panicking! In fact…

Cling to power vs the right thing to do

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, October 2nd, 2017 - 17 comments

The Nats are desperate to make big concessions for a coalition with the Greens. The establishment is lining up in The Herald to beg for this to happen. Promises to strengthen environmental and social policies in order to cling to power – but not for the last nine long years when it was simply the right thing to do…

Nats fought a FPP campaign and blew it – Labour went with MMP…

Written By: - Date published: 7:56 am, September 30th, 2017 - 88 comments

You know that old saying about how generals always prepare to fight the last war? That’s National and their FPP election campaign (hello creepy joggers). There will be a certain poetic justice played out if Labour’s MMP campaign is the winner in the end.

Why are we angry about tax and apathetic about low pay?

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, September 29th, 2017 - 49 comments

National’s one and only strategy this election was lying about Labour, specifically Labour’s budget and their tax policy. The $11.7bn hole lie just made the Nats look stupid, but the evidence suggests that the tax lie did real damage. Why are we so angry about tax and so apathetic about the much more important issue of low pay?

One obstacle to NZF + Labour removed

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, September 28th, 2017 - 24 comments

A significant and positive development late yesterday. Labour held firm on the Māori seats, and Peters has decided that a referendum is probably not a bottom line after all. This early progress bodes well for future negotiations.

Peters campaigned against the Nats – his party wants him to do the right thing

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, September 27th, 2017 - 167 comments

Peters campaigned hard against the Nats, and for a change in government (check out the speech and video). To keep faith with democracy and with his party members he has to go with Labour Green (check out the feedback and polls). If Peters goes the other way NZF will implode.

National paying the price for cannibalising the political right

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, September 26th, 2017 - 27 comments

National have maintained their own vote but killed off all their political friends. Which is why their only route to power is now in the hands of an enemy, and why that enemy should be very wary of hitching his wagon to their fading star.

Establishment hysteria and MMP

Written By: - Date published: 2:43 pm, September 25th, 2017 - 40 comments

The papers are full of the expected establishment hysteria today, trying to paint the election as a done deal for the Nats (I wonder what Peters will make of that?). Professor Richard Shaw: “Nobody’s won the election yet. The people who won the election are the people who form the government.”

The vote for change

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, September 25th, 2017 - 171 comments

The Nats lost this election. It was a vote for change. NZF party members are calling on Peters to do the right thing.

Thank you Jacinda Ardern!

Written By: - Date published: 9:17 am, September 24th, 2017 - 44 comments

The fact that we could even hope for a Labour Green win is remarkable – was inconceivable just 2 months ago. Labour’s surge has been incredible. Thank you Jacinda Ardern, and thank you all who worked so hard! Now it’s up to MMP…

The final ads

Written By: - Date published: 4:39 pm, September 22nd, 2017 - 9 comments

The final election pitches – Ardern inspires – English in a hole.

If you haven’t voted already – vote wisely tomorrow!

Today is the last day to enroll – and you should

Written By: - Date published: 8:05 am, September 22nd, 2017 - 34 comments

Today is the last day you can enroll to vote in the election. Historically far too many people in the 18-24 age group have not enrolled. The same again would suit the Nats very well indeed.

Update: Newsroom: “A record turnout of early voters suggests a youthquake in action – and the polls might be wrong.”

Update: If you are trying to enrol and the queues are long, here are the other ways you can do it, including online!

Update: you can enrol up until midnight Friday online, and then vote at a polling station on Saturday. Details here.

An MMP government

Written By: - Date published: 7:20 am, September 22nd, 2017 - 101 comments

On current polling the next government could be Labour + Green + NZF. That would annoy a lot of Nats if they have more votes than Labour alone, but that’s how MMP works. English lied about this in the last debate, but apparently has since walked it back.

Is NZ doomed to lying politics now?

Written By: - Date published: 7:20 am, September 21st, 2017 - 179 comments

Bill English and the Nats are now running firmly on a platform of lies – Gower calls them on this for a second time this week. Should the political left get down in the gutter too? Is NZ doomed to lying politics now?

Nats “discovered poverty last week” – and will forget it just as quickly

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, September 21st, 2017 - 72 comments

Ardern’s jab that English “discovered poverty last week” was the line of the debate. After the election National will forget it again just as quickly, if the record of the last nine years is anything to go by. Do you want to vote for that?

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