Bait and Switch – to SM

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 pm, June 29th, 2011 - 69 comments
Categories: electoral systems, referendum - Tags:

Good piece in today’s Herald by John Armstrong focussing on Vote for Change’s declaration that they are not in favour of any particular form of electoral system at this stage. He doesn’t find it believable, and nor do I. His take is that “Vote for Change looks very much like the National Party Preservation Society in drag.” I agree. I think they have a classic bait and switch strategy, it involves Key, and we should not take it lightly.

According to Stuff, David Farrar has been involved in giving VfC strategic advice. Farrar himself describes this as three or four conversations. He  opens the door to contracting Curia to poll for to Vote to change but says:

Regardless of whether Curia does any work for a group promoting a particular system, it won’t affect what I blog.

To which the only possible response is “yeah right”.

Farrar’s conversations may also have included tips from the campaign against the alternative vote in the UK run by David’s “mate” Matthew Elliott. You can read a bit about Elliott here in ConservativeHome, the UK equivalent of Kiwiblog.

As for the bait and switch, I think that VfC does not want to declare its hand now because it is looking to test the wind as to the most effective lines to run against MMP. I would bet a dime to a dollar that Curia will be contracted to poll for them to help establish these lines. So the bait is to run down MMP while pretending to talk about options, shift the current 50-33 in favour of MMP, then switch  to Supplementary Member which is the change National really wants.

Not much attention is paid to it in New Zealand, but conservative parties around the world are very tightly networked through the International Democratic Union. They share campaign ideas, polling techniques and money,  while the corresponding Socialist International only runs talkfests. The Conservative Party’s aim in defeating the minimally proportional Alternative Vote was to entrench their advantage in the constituencies. There will now be a boundary review which will reduce the number of constituencies and effectively be a rural gerrymander in favour of the Conservative party.

The ultimate aim of the Conservative party in Britain and the National Party in New Zealand is more or less continuous power. The National Party hated the fact that Labour won three consecutive terms in government from 1999-2008. They do not see themselves as the natural party of government, more the permanent party of government – that’s why they want a constituency-based system that is not proportional.They have learnt some lessons from their time out of power, most importantly not to frighten the horses.

So John Key is making soothing noises about MMP at the moment, while at the same time expressing his sotto voce preference for the Supplementary Member system. Here he is having a bob each way on the subject. I would bet a dime to ten dollars that if National is running at anything like their current poll numbers in the month before the November election, his view will harden up considerably.

I would also bet a dime to a hundred dollars that VfC will also declare a preference for Supplementary Member in a couple of months or so. After all, two of the six people on its supporters’ page, Kerry Prendergast and Emma Daken, are already recommending it.

69 comments on “Bait and Switch – to SM”

  1. the sprout 1

    good analysis, agree 100% – that is precisely their strategy

  2. tc 2

    Ya gotta hand it to the right ….with the means, the top advice, willing elves and sprites, the msm leashed, belief they are the might and power that should rule forever they’ve got it going on all fronts.

  3. ZeeBop 3

    A few points. Oil projections were over generous and pushed up asset and stock prices.

    As it turns out not only are they over valued but that all the cash (future calls on value IOUs)
    that has been printed cannot match up to supply (as oil use will switch from luxuries to basics, like food production and chinese middle classes). So when you say some cartel of conservatives, could you add the attribution of ‘loser’ Conservatives. Since they are sitting on a pile of money out of all proportion of the world economy to repay them, how stupid is that, my useless paper wads of cash are much greater than yours. Just like in the Great Depression, the longest, and last of a serious of crashes spreading back into end of the 19th century.
    The rich are buying assets, rent seeking, and they are desperate.

    Second, the Herald is a loser conservative paper that time after time returns to the keep digging dogma just as election time comes around.

    Third MMP is a side issue, the country is sent packing, unemployment up, incentivized to leave for Australia, and really there’s enough change going to be on Labour’s platform. I even worry that the ‘Changes’ Labour are articulating might infect the MMP vote.

    Fourth there are much more pressing issues around disenfranchisement, the internet is key to the future and yet its too expensive for Labour core constituencies. What’s the point in having MMP when the MSM is able to so dump the loser conservative branding into the laps of natural Labour voters that saw Key get in last time.

    Conservatism has failed, for now, yet the left aren’t articulating why, like Labour have not understood the paradigm shift yet.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      The rich are buying assets, rent seeking, and they are desperate.

      Maybe if we sell them our hydrodams they will be happier?

      Conservatism has failed, for now, yet the left aren’t articulating why, like Labour have not understood the paradigm shift yet.

      A few of us in Labour seriously get it. Others don’t, as yet.

      • Rusty Shackleford 3.1.1

        National aren’t conservative. Centralizing power in the hands of the state has failed.

        • KJT 3.1.1.1

          True.

          They are radicals trying to steal our assets and the products of our labour.

          Calling them conservatives is an insult to many honest people who were really conservatives.

          Power should be in our hands. Not in that of a few political glove puppets for US corporates.

  4. queenstfarmer 4

    “The ultimate aim of the Conservative party in Britain and the National Party in New Zealand is more or less continuous power.”

    As opposed to the other parties who stand down after a couple of terms, to let the other side have their turn. Honestly where do you come up with this stuff, priceless!

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      The other parties aren’t trying to rig the system in their favour.

      • Rusty Shackleford 4.1.1

        Sure they are. Democracy basically boils down to “Vote for me, and I will take money from someone and give it to you.” The problem with the system is we are running out of people to take money off.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Meh, the 1000 richest people in this country have $100B in assets. Plenty to go mate. That’ll even sort out English’s incompetence deficit for a few years yet.

          • Rusty Shackleford 4.1.1.1.1

            Where do you get that figure from? I’ve seen it pop up a few times. Not that it really matters. You can covet other peoples stuff all you want.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Wrong mate its the wealthy who covet other peoples stuff – and have the power and influence to take it.

              Ordinary people just struggle getting by day to day living hand to mouth.

              • Rusty Shackleford

                It depends on your mind set. I tend to find that the fundamental difference between statists and lovers of liberty is that statists tend to have a “there isn’t enough for everyone” type of attitude towards life. That because someone is rich, they must have got that way by ripping off poor people. It’s also why statists are so drawn to issues like global warming and resource depletion.

                Middle class NZers live as well as monarchs of 200 years ago. But you insult them by claiming they live hand to mouth (working as a slave till late April could have something to do with it, but who knows?). If someone has more than someone else, they probably got that way by working for it. If they didn’t work for it, the only other way is to suck from the teat of the govt. An institution many here are so keen to make fatter.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Fcuk mindset and attitude

                  This is about deliberately designed societal and economic structures

                  Middle class NZers live as well as monarchs of 200 years ago.

                  Bullshit. What middle class NZer has dozens of serfs and hundreds of acres at their disposal. You are so full of it.

                  But you insult them by claiming they live hand to mouth

                  I insult them? You don’t even acknowledge that poor people exist in this land. They are invisible to your little Right Wing kowtow to wealth eyes.

                  You know, the 50% of NZers who earn less than $29K p.a., I presume that’s who you are calling “middle class”

                  Perhaps they should just eat cake

                  between statists and lovers of liberty

                  LOL I’ll bet you haven’t ever met a real statist in your short little dozen years in an R&D company life.

                  That because someone is rich, they must have got that way by ripping off poor people.

                  Well the capitalist wealthy have, they’ve done it by extracting for themselves all the surplus produced by waged and unwaged labour.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    A middle class NZer has a refrigerator a car, life saving drugs, computers, cell phones,etc. Lives longer, his kids live longer, has better selection of entertainment and travel options. Nearly every measurable factor is better for a middle class person today than a monarch of 200 years ago.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      But you can’t have people who piss you off beheaded, like you used to. And you certainly don’t get to live in a 28 bedroom castle with kept grounds, butlers, a fully stocked liquor cabinet and chefed meals on order, like you would have 200 years ago. International trips to visit foreign courts and large staffed sailing vessels at your beck and call as well.

                      You can’t go pheasant shooting and you can’t go fox hunting neither. You don’t even have a harem like you did in the courts of the east. Or in Britain in medieval times an aristocratic lord could choose to take any newly wedded bride in his land as his for the first night, even before her new husband could have her.

                      So given all this, how exactly is someone on $29,000 pa. in NZ (the ‘median class’) as well off as that royalty of 200 years ago in “nearly every measurable factor”?

                      I rather suspect you don’t have any imagination about what being a monarch is actually about yeah? You are really a proletariat trying to rise above his station in life. Bad peon.

                      BTW your comparison with old monarchy needs adjusting. The correctly inflation adjusted example is the lifestyle of William and Kate.

                      Let’s continue the comparison on that basis shall we.

                    • higherstandard

                      Gees what kind of vacuous twats post this kind of stink all over the interwebs at 1 in the morning – get a fecking life you losers.

                    • Vicky32

                      Lives longer, his kids live longer, has better selection of entertainment and travel options.

                      Your use of ‘his’ rather gives you away, Rusty! I smell Randbot…
                      Please define ‘middle-class’. By your standards I am middle class, but I can’t afford to travel. Otherwise, I’d be in Aussie (or Italy!)

                • Bored

                  Rusty, you are showing the signs of standard sociopathy, an inability to see yourself as part of the group, a setting oneself aside from the rest to a percieved superior position. Try accepting dualistic non linear or rationalist positions and you might understand your fellow citizen better.

                  • higherstandard

                    Bored you are showing standard signs of attacking the messenger, as well as breakfast time pompous wankery well done.

                    • Bored

                      Aha, so Rusty does have mates! Lower standard commentary together, goodo.

                    • higherstandard

                      Oh dear failed basic 4th form comprehension did we dear.

                      It’s all in the plural dear chap….. a haw haw haw.

                  • Bored

                    I rest my case HS, lower standard indeed.

                    • higherstandard

                      Well done Mr Hutz you are a master indeed.

                    • Bored

                      As a matter of interest what the hell is it with people like yourself and Rusty (and no doubt many others from all sides) that you refer to, liken people to and quote characters from American TV cartoon series such as the Simpsons and similar?

                      Must be generational, I must be having a life rather than picking up recieved wisdom from countless hours of watching US TV shows. Christ, 6000 years of civilisation and culture and we are reduced to this. No wonder you cant tell a higher from a lower standard.

                    • higherstandard

                      Gosh you’re a sensitive wee tike today.

                • “If someone has more than someone else, they probably got that way by working for it.”

                  Wrong. Effort and hard work has very little to do with it. It is the economic system that leverages ‘positioning’ to create wealth.

                  That system comes with a huge cost in terms of psychological and social dysfunction. There’s plenty of reliable evidence on the increase in ‘psychopathology’ and it’s pretty clear that that increase has come about through the removal of the ‘social buffers’ that prevent it. That removal, at the population level, has largely occurred to smooth the progress of capitalism – like a sweeper brushing the ice away in curling.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    What social buffers?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The ones common in any social democratic system of capitalism.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Also, your link is stupid. Bill Gates undoubtedly created a lot of value for society. His wealth probably only represents a tiny fraction of the total wealth he has generated over the past 30 years.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Sweet platitude CV.

                    • “What social buffers?”

                      Stable relationships throughout life for one. The heightened mobility common in ‘developed’ countries leads to weaker social bonds. The developmental process – that also involves the neurodevelopment of those parts of the cortex (prefrontal cortex) that are most closely associated with ‘executive’ cognitive functions during the first 20 or so years of life – requires certain social inputs for the successful formation of most of the psychological capacities required to become a coherent and well-functioning person. There’s extensive literature on this – try googling Eric Keverne and his article in the 2004 volume of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. It’s in a special issue on the science of well-being.

                      I’d provide the link but I wouldn’t want it to be a ‘stupid link’. The other link I did provide was a simple way of responding to the argument that wealthy people are as wealthy as they are because of their ‘hard work’. On that point, the massive amounts of wealth you claim flowed from Bill Gates similarly did not flow from his hard work. I don’t think you got the point: It is the system that creates the aggregated and concentrated wealth that you admire – not the individuals in it.

                      My point was just that there is a cost to that aggregation and accumulation of wealth. That cost is inevitable, given the rearrangements of our social world that are required to create such a system (e.g., residential mobility, weakened social ties, embracing consumerist ethics, etc.).

            • KJT 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Centralising power in the hands of the very wealthy has failed many times!

              Power should be in the hands of the people in the country. Not Politicians. Ours have proved unworthy of the trust we place in them.

              You are correct though that NACT is not conservative.

              http://kjt-kt.blogspot.com/2011/04/nothing-is-worth-killing-for.html

              “They are evil”.

              That is an insult to the many principled and genuinely aspirational for New Zealand conservatives we used to have.

              Formerly conservatives believed in prosperity for everyone. New Zealand as a first world country with public services and fairness. They would have no more sold us off to the highest bidder than the left. Their aspirations were the same as ours, we just differed on how to get there! Those people we could talk to.

              Since 1984 we have had Neo-Liberals in power with their voodoo economics.

              http://kjt-kt.blogspot.com/2011/06/on-retirement-pensions-and-age-of.html#uds-search-results

              These people you cannot talk to. Google Authoritarian leaders and followers.

              Those who advocate an economic system which has failed so conclusively to deliver are either fools or thieves.

              RWNJ is entirely appropriate.

              Which one are you Rusty.

              • Colonial Viper

                That is an insult to the many principled and genuinely aspirational for New Zealand conservatives we used to have.

                They are stil out there, although in the main they are all >50 years old.

                A lot of them are National voters, a lot of them really really hate the fact that National are selling off our assets to foreigners.

            • KJT 4.1.1.1.1.3

              IT IS NOT THEIR STUFF.

              Who made it and who worked for it?

      • queenstfarmer 4.1.2

        Rigging it by letting the public decide via referendum is sneaky indeed.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1

          You missed the article labelled Bait and Switch – to SM didn’t you? It’s not hard to find – it’s at the top of the page.

          • queenstfarmer 4.1.2.1.1

            No, the simple fact is that the public will decide whether it wants to change systems, and if so (in another 3 years) what system it wants. Clearly this is anathema to some people.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Nothing like using democratic processes to herd people into a less democratic system. Oh the irony!

      • Peter 4.1.3

        Exactly

  5. Celia 5

    The questions are
    What is fairest, what engenders communication and common ground, who benefits – or loses?
    An interesting set of bedfellows in Vote for Change – possibly with an axe or two to grind!

  6. The moniker ‘conservative’ is a bit of a misnomer, these people are neoliberal extremists. The purpose of the National Party, like the Republican Party in the US, is to create massive public debt, then it doesn’t matter who gets into power as their primary concern is servicing that debt. The quickest and most fashionable way to create public debt is massive tax cuts for the wealthiest people.
     

    • Rusty Shackleford 6.1

      Who ran up the national debt to unprecedented levels? Well…… Bush, but who blew that figure out of the water? Obama.

      And the quickest way to run up debt isn’t to cut taxes, it’s to give a pile of cash to the guys who blew up the economy.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        More Rusty lies. Bank bail outs and stimulus spending represent less than 20% of the US deficit.

        The fact that corporate taxes and taxes from the wealthy are at their lowest levels for 80 years might have something to do with it.

        All the US needs to do is tax their corporations and the top 1% of their wealthy and their deficit would be sorted tomorrow.

        GE, one of the US most profitable companies, pays no tax. In a good year, the US Government even owes it money.

        http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/03/30/general-electric-the-face-of-a-broken-tax-code.aspx

        • Rusty Shackleford 6.1.1.1

          The article you posted doesn’t support any of the assertions you made.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            Use your imagination.

            (Hint – also look at the New York Times article it references)

  7. Rusty Shackleford 7

    This article seems like a lot like a lot 2+2=5 thinking to me. If we live in a democratic system, shouldn’t we let people debate at length and then vote on which way to vote in the giant douche or the turd sandwich?

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Yes because in a democracy people should be allowed to choose to abrogate the rights of others and live under an oppressive dictatorship. You know, if enough people will it, it must be OK.

      • Rusty Shackleford 7.1.1

        Isn’t that pretty much exactly what happens anyway?

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          Sure it is mate, that’s exactly how it happens 🙄

          • ZeeBop 7.1.1.1.1

            Something I should of said, so I’ll say it here. What do you want? A house, kids, car, etc. But not everyone wants kids, some have already a house, and don’t want a car? Should they be forced to work as hard as the person who has a car, or wants a house, or wants kids? There will always be an exceptional exception. A person somewhere who need not work much for they have most of what they want out of life, their hobbies being free, gardening, knitting, open source software. How we judge ourselves should come from how we treat those who are satizified with their lives, do we make them live in poverty to achieve their life goals, do we reward them excessively like the ?Pope?, how we treat the outliers should how conformist we are, how we denigrate them how authoritarian we are. The drive for profit at the cost of all else, the future social cohesion, crime, poverty, disease, a serf in Tudor times had firewood to stay warm our elderly cannot afford to heat their homes! A serf would have a patch of land for growing food, most people now do not, a serf could fish the river, pick mushrooms from the forest floor. Most people cannot in today’s world. Until we remember that our civil rights protect everyone’s ability to have adequate housing, heating, food, health, inclusion and education, we will continue to have a buggered economy run by hollow men with only one thing on their mind, improvising the commonwealth, leaving them open to exploit the rest of us with their deprave sense of worth.
            There’s a reason why Labour had to create the Human Rights Commission, because there were no rich private people who would fund a civil rights organisation in NZ (on the expectation they would get a knighthood for their good work). That’s strikes fear into me, that the number one organisation globally that commits human rights offensives, government is suppose to protect human rights. That’s wrong, its a conflict of interest. And any rich people who want to help society, stop giving to the clean up after the problem has arisen, and start giving to those that change society and stop them happening again, civil rights lawyers.
            If you do then in time a society will have changed, and you will get a well earned knight hood.

    • Hanswurst 7.2

      This is a straw man. The post doesn’t claim that National or VfC shouldn’t be able to have their say in the debate. What this post and other recent contributions on the VfC corporation do is to point out the tactics (and the money) that are being used to generate noise and publicity against MMP. That isn’t attempting to stifle the debate, it’s participating in it.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        Yep. Because astroturfing doesn’t count as “participation”.

        • Hanswurst 7.2.1.1

          I think it does, actually… in more or less the same way as the professional foul counts as part of sport.

  8. Frank Macskasy 8

    Well sussed, Mike. And yes, I concur – VfC will opt for SM – FPP in-drag.

    Though they’ll have a devil of a job promoting it. That option won only 5.5% of the vote in 1992, with the first MMP referendum.

  9. I’ve just joined http://www.facebook.com/voteforchangenz so I can argue with them; I call it therapy and enlightening the stupid.

    • Bored 9.1

      Splendid, such a positive move I might just join you. I will put on my mental skidlid first.

  10. ZeeBop 10

    Conundrum. Better dead than red? Used to mean that freedom, justice for all, was worth dying for. We hear little of this now our elites socialize the risk and privatize the profits.

    But here’s another one. The unintended consequences of poor government which chooses short term solutions that burden the people unnecessarily, tends to reward people who avoid poor government. For example, by being unduly lax in protecting employee rights, more people flee for the competent government of Australia. This has the immediate effect of lowering the unemployment numbers as jobs are left empty, but are filled with less skilled staff that cost more to retrain, lowers the number of young working age people engaged in buying and selling in the economy. So a policy that harms the poorest, with the least roots in the community, is cited as a great leap forward by our great leader, and in fact cannibalizes our working pool of citizens.
    Who is going to fund the boomers retirement? Not it seems lots of kiwis who choose to avoid poor government of our great leader.

    Better poor than nice? Better soft on business than efficient? Better off poorer than fairer?

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Helping out a lazy private sector and unimaginative unproductive investment class is what it is.

      • ZeeBop 10.1.1

        Yes, and that’s *not* the capitalist model. The capitalist model is to breed up newer capitalists to replace those worn out who bunged up the system. That’s what Democracy is about, removing insipid leaderships quickly and painlessly. So why hasn’t it been working? Well because energy was getting cheaper and cheaper in real terms, energy savings were increase, fuelling yet more lavish self-congratulations of the neo-liberals parasites who got out front and laid claim to the all the hard work of others, and so wrote themselves a cheque by undermining the banking system, Thatcher, Douglas, they should be had up on crimes against humanity, for not coming out right now and saying they are not perfect, their works were for their time and are not applicable now, by basking in the falsity of their ideology they are effectively underwriting the malaise we are in.
        Societies function best when the vibrant and vigorous go stale and are removed cleanly for a new generation, and they always do, that’s the physics of the universe, entropy.

        NZ needs its very own peaceful purging of our media and political ratbunch.

    • KJT 10.2

      Pity that politicians are not as accountable as other professions.

      In mine, if you stuffed up as badly as they have, against your clients interests, you would be in jail.

      • Frank Macskasy 10.2.1

        Actually, KJT, they’re generally more accountable than in other professions.

        There aren’t very many professions where you can be voted out of your job by the Great Unwashed.

        Imagine; you’re a plumber, and every three years, people in your area can decide whether or not you can keep your profession. If you’ve pissed off to many folk, you can end up with your job revoked, and someone else taking over your role; your business; your work vehicle.

        Hmmm, I can think of a few locals in my area who could benefit from a bit of that…

        • KJT 10.2.1.1

          Actually as a plumber or builder if you stuff up, even one job, you are very likely to be out of business or very poor for some time. It can happen even if you don’t stuff up and one client gets a snitch on you!

          In my profession it is strict liability. If a stuff up happens when i am in charge and cannot prove it wasn’t my fault I can be jailed or fined.

          A politician gets to stuff up the lives of millions of people then gets given a knight hood and some high paying consulting role and a few lucrative directorships.

          They even get resurrected to lead commissions.
          Ever seen a poor ex MP.

  11. Bored 11

    Zee and CV, as you say it all comes down to an unimaginative and rentier model of landlordism, for both political power and for economic advantage. The people behind this really are highly undesirable specimens.

  12. ianmac 12

    Some of us would prefer our salesmen to be upfront. Some of us despise those salesmen who slip and slide and set out to deceive. Perhaps like the Nigerian Prince scam they will offer great rewards- er sometime in the future?
    If Vote for Change have a case for SM let them state it. As Mike says, be aware of the subterfuge.

  13. Irascible 13

    And then we hear Jammy-lea spouting forth quoting Key on this: http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/young-guns-4-18-video-4276295

    Snake oil to the last. ACT philosophy to the fore.

  14. Frank Macskasy 14

    I wonder if those who suggest that this it a “problem”, where MPs rejected by their Electorate, actually vote for the Party of whom the “rejected MP” belongs to?

    For Example, Annette King took the Rongotai Electotate in 2008, beating Chris Finlayson.

    It would be fair to say that Rongotai, being a reasonable safe Labour seat, usually supports Labour candidates.

    However, this did not prevent Chris Finlayson being elected to Parliament (14th on the 2008 National Party list) because he was supported by National Party voters.

    Regardless of ones political leanings, Mr Finlayson seems to be doing a remarkably good job, being appointed Attorney-General and holding the ministerial portfolios of Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

    Critics of MMP might consider that if MPs who were rejected by their electorates were prevented from being elected to Parliament via the Party List, Mr Finlayson would not now be in Parliament.

    Neither would Nicky Wagner, Aaron Gilmore, Michael Woodhouse, Paul Quinn, Hekia Parata, Kanwal Singh Bakshi, Carol Beaumont, Jackie Blue, Tim Groser, Tau Henare, and Kate Wilkinson.

    That’s a lot of talent to be cutting out, for no good reason.

  15. Frank Macskasy 15

    By the way, when I state that “Mr Finlayson seems to be doing a remarkably good job” and “Nicky Wagner, Aaron Gilmore, Michael Woodhouse, Paul Quinn, Hekia Parata, Kanwal Singh Bakshi, Carol Beaumont, Jackie Blue, Tim Groser, Tau Henare, and Kate Wilkinson… That’s a lot of talent to be cutting out, for no good reason.” – I’m looking at the situation from the p.o.v. of a National supporter.

    Needless to same, I am not, and have never been, a card-carrying member of the National Party.

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