Before the polls

Written By: - Date published: 6:29 am, August 14th, 2008 - 54 comments
Categories: polls - Tags:

There’s a Roy Morgan poll out today or tomorrow, then polls from Fairfax, TV1, and TV3 on the weekend. Naturally, people will be watching these closely to see if National has been damaged by the secret agenda tapes.

Do not expect the polls to show National taking a big hit and don’t take the lack of a big hit as proof the public doesn’t care about the secret agenda revealed in the tapes. These polls are simply too soon after the release of the tapes for their effect to be fully felt yet. The Roy Morgan poll, for instance was taken over the fortnight from July 28 to August 10, meaning half of the participants had been polled before the tapes were released and many of the rest before it became a running story. Moreover, it takes time for an event like this to flow into people’s voting intentions. Every swing voter I know who was swinging toward National (people National calls “Labour Plus” voters) is now having doubts but if asked they would still probably say ‘National, I guess’. Let it sink in for a few weeks that National has been cynically targeting and manipulating their feelings while keeping its plans secret and it could be a different story. And remember, poll numbers bounce around randomly anyway – that statistical ‘noise’ can hide or amplify underlying movements.

The media will make a big deal of the movement, or lack of, in National’s support, they have to justify spending $30-60K per poll somehow. But, unless the numbers are truly cataclysmic for National, don’t read too much into them. It’s the round of polls after this one that could be interesting.

54 comments on “Before the polls”

  1. monkey boy 1

    So much faux-paranoia. So even if the polls reflect badl on Labour’s prospects, we shouldn’t accept them because they (like Nationsal’s policy) aren’t ‘real’? Where does the line between politics and fantasy start to blur here?
    Looks like the Government is running out of time, if it is waiting for Nationals’s secret agenda to ‘sink in’ with the public. here’s an idea. Why doesn’t Labour, instead of focussing on ‘secret agendas’ and spinning a campaign of sistrust and fantasy, like – talk about its own policies? Or is it easier to talk about Nationals fantasy-agenda, than to treat the public with the basic respect they are due, and have Labour tell us what they stnad for, rather than what they stand against?
    I mean it is a ‘given’ that htye are against National, a five-year-old couls work that one out. But i seem to have forgotten (apart from rolling tax-cuts, a policy nabbed from National anyway) what Labour are going to do, if re-elected?
    Starting to look not so much like Labour has its own ‘secret agenda’ as much as they actually don’t have a clue. That is to say, if they have policy to fight the election on, they are mysteriously quiet about it, aren’t they?
    I mean, are they really going to claim the mandate to run the country simply on the basis that they are better at smearing the opposition than anyone else? Does that pass for policy nowadays?
    But then, The poll that will really count will be on election day, won’t it, so perhaps it is kinder to the sheep to pretend that this election is a fairy-tale struggle between good and evil?

  2. monkey boy 2

    ps pls excuse typos couldn’t get back in to proof it.

  3. MB – you’re a moron.

    [lprent: Please restrain yourself – too many grumpy people around this morning. ]

  4. sdm 4

    I think as we head into the campaign proper, when the date is announced, both parties will start to release more detailed policy. I think Labour will have some stuff around student allowances, which I think could be a risky move. I wonder if the perception of ‘giving too much to the bloody students’ could backfire – especially after loans were made interest free in 2005.
    I wonder if Labour will move on home affordability, or whether that will be seen to be ‘kicking a horse while its down’. Its almost as if the market is sorting the housing market, and for the government to intervene at this point might be problematic.

    The Polls – well neither side has had a great run of late. Winston’s antics wont help labour, but the secret recordings wont be good for the Nats. I take Steve’s point that these polls wont fully cover the later, but the fact that some do might cause some movement. I actually think the Winston thing will hurt Labour more than the tapes hurt National – people were angry enough over the EFA, and then to have a party of government (who voted for the legislation) to appear to act hypocritical might hurt the leader of that government (Clark/Labour) who have seen to have done nothing.

    I wonder if the two parties, who havent really been caught up in recent antics (ACT and the Greens) might see some bounce in this poll(s)…

  5. Rakaia George 5

    Still banging the “secret agenda” drum over here are we? I seriously don’t know anyone who isn’t a dyed-in-the-wool lefty who believes that spin.

    The reaction from most people I know is a combination of being turned off by the negativity (desperation?) of the shrieking from the left and a pragmatic feeling that National want to be elected on an uncontroversial mandate to have a chance to build trust and gain support for more radical changes later. Far from putting voters off, I think it actually makes them feel respected by the politians for a change…but that’s just my 2c as someone who has never been the member of a political organisation.

  6. Scribe 6

    Have you seen the embargoed results, SP? Just curious, given you seem to be going into damage control already.

    What, if anything, should we read into the polls if National is stretching its lead?

  7. forgetaboutthelastone 7

    The last Roy Morgan poll had National polling at its lowest for some time – something you might expect the media to mention – but they didn’t. So assuming the Nats aren’t polling any higher they will have to notice this time.

    Interesting comments from Roy Morgan last time:

    “The latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows the National Party support (47.5%, down 4.5%) weakening ahead of this week’s National Party Conference — the unofficial start of the National Party‘s election campaign.

    “National leader John Key’s expected warning to supporters about complacency at the Conference is timely given these results…

    Pity about that conference ay?

  8. outofbed 8

    I expect the trend for National’s poll numbers to continue downwards
    I will be very disappointed, nay gutted if they don’t

    Every KIWIBANK TV advert hits home methinks 🙂

  9. Scribe. Tin-foil hat time brother. As far as I’m aware there aren’t embargoed copies of polls given out before time and they certainly don’t go to bloggers.

  10. Rakaia,

    Such a nice name on such an asinine person.

    The idea is that you build trust before you get elected with an honest and open campaign.

    John Key’s snakeoil salesmanship is what is making us mistrust him and his marry band of fellow snakeoil salesmen.

    If you think that someone saying, “trust me, vote for me and after you have voted me in I will tell you what radical changes I have in mind and there is nothing you can do about them now since I am the Prime minister with an open mandate,” is good enough, you deserve everything coming your way mate.

  11. Matthew Pilott 11

    Rakaia George, I reckon you must only hang aroung dyed-in the wool righties then – you need to diversify!

    I’ve had a lot of people mention, with a groan, that National just wants to go back to the 90’s (or words to that effect) – they hoped National had moved on, but are now thinking they haven’t.

    I guess the people I’ve spoken to aren’t naive enough to believe that National will wait three years before the radical changes occur.

  12. randal 12

    the nats have been pushing their polls all year and about november I reckon all their polls are going to fall over.

  13. Rakaia George 13

    travellerev, wow abuse already…

    You’ve just bought (or are selling) the fear message. I think most people, wherever they sit on the spectrum, recognise that credibility is one of National’s biggest problems. This is evidenced by both JK’s efforts to project a unified front, and the left’s focus on trying to undermine that.

    Most normal people are also pretty cynical and suspicious about all politicians so the only way to build trust is on actions not words during a campaign.

    I think a long game is being played by National and a first term will be a confidence building effort to gain trust for more radical changes in future terms. Anything else would be a recipe for being a 1-term wonder.

    But then I am real (as opposed to political) scientist and a sales professional not a politician.

  14. Phil 14

    Steve,

    When it suits you one way, you’re a member of the media. When it suits you the other way, you’re a blogger… nice.

    I also like the way you completely ignored the second question in Scribes comment… “What, if anything, should we read into the polls if National is stretching its lead?”

    Lots of data goes out through media channels with embargo dates/times prior to publication – that way stories and commentary are available as soon as the data goes ‘live’. I have no doubt it’s the same with polling companies, especially with other media outlets that are part of the same ’empire’.

  15. forgetaboutthelastone 15

    “What, if anything, should we read into the polls if National is stretching its lead?’

    Rogue poll.

    lol!

  16. Bill 16

    Nabour or Lational?

    Wow!

    It’s kind of like a one horse race, but we, the punters are all drunk on a cheap version of democracy and are seeing double.

    “There’s two horses I swear. I see them with my own two eyes constables!”

    When it comes to the finish line, my money is on the Government. Same as last time and every time before that.

    Then us punters can stagger home to reel under whatever market driven programmes are piled on us while the horse is put back in it’s box until the next time around. Another one thousand, x hundred and so many days away.

    Ah, democracy! Don’t you love it?

    Okay. Cynicism aside. Nat is worse. They be going to shaft us without protection and with nothing offered to take away the sharper edges of the pain. At least Labour prescribe a little faux opium to moderate the screams.

  17. Rakaia,

    With your response I can safely say I rest my case.

    “trust me, vote for me and after you have voted me in I will tell you what radical changes I have in mind and there is nothing you can do about them now since I am the Prime minister with an open mandate,’

    LOL. you must be joking.

  18. Phil. Don’t be a jerk.

    Of course Fairfax gives it’s polling data to the people within Fairfax that need to ue ti before publciation, same for TV1, Tv3… but there are not embargoed releases of the data to people outside the orgs, certainly not to other media and even if there were you can bet that bloggers would not be on the list.

    Blogging is a type of media, by any definition of ‘media’, that does not mean that bloggers always get treated with the same privileges as professional journos..

  19. Tim Ellis 19

    SP I don’t mean to contradict you but your costings for polling are way off. A straight political phone poll costs about two dollars per response. One thousand responses costs about two grand. As far as I know Colmar Brunton does most of its polling in connection with its other surveying. Media organisations are not paying anything like $30-$60k per poll.

    I agree there is a poll lag between events and impact on voter intentions. But I don’t think you’re speaking from the basis of neutrality when you claim that the secret agenda thing is a big issue for voters. This is the kind of issue that tends to enforce existing prejudices about political parties: that on the one hand, National is supposedly running a secret agenda (the view of the entrenched Left), and on the other hand that Labour is up to dirty tricks campaigning by doing these secret recordings (the view of the entrenched Right).

    It is very easy to get caught up in the beltway and make assumptions about what voters are interested in based on your own prejudices. Unless you are on the doorstep asking voters what their intentions are, asking neutral questions, you don’t get an accurate picture of how people are feeling.

  20. SMB –

    Once the public realise what the EFA actually restricts, like lies, innuendo and other general bullshit put out by cowardly groups to clog up mailboxes of the unsuspecting public, then, I suspect, they’ll be all for it.

    Boscawen’s and Granny Herald’s facetious claim predicting “death of democracy” would be more accurately described as “the dearth of democracy” compared to previous campaigns, because well-funded cowards simply can’t get away their propaganda anymore. I have no problem as an EFA agent publishing my home address on candidate pamphlets and (later on) billboards, because I stand by (and can verify) what they say.

  21. Tim. Farrar told me it’s 30K plus.

    I’m sorry that I’m not speaking from a “basis of neutrality”. Like I say, I’be asked people who aren’t that into poltiics what they think and tlaked to others who have done the same.. my sense is that the secret agenda tapes are a big issue. We won’t know until the round of polls after this I guess.

  22. The cost of a poll depends on the number of questions and the number of responses, as well as the complexity of the questions. There is also a fixed cost per poll, and then variable costs based on the above variables of responses and questions.

    If you poll as part of an omnibus poll, the costs are considerably cheaper. But the data gets collected over a longer period of time and the sample can be less representative as omnibus polls take longer to conduct and less people will give up the time for them.

  23. Jasper 23

    This is totally offtopic but, given that there seems to be many crossovers between the two, at Nationals insistence of adopting as many children as possible.. The combined party could be called…

    Labotional
    Nationabour
    Lana Blotourina (sounds like a fat italian ballerina)
    Laura O’tio Nobal
    Natalia Bourlonon

    The possibilities are endless…

    In regards to the polls, people I spoke to last month who were for National are now wavering and looking to the minor parties. Act is actually much more visible these days (possibly due to the Bright Yellow that stands out like a sore thumb amongst the sea of black and navy suits)

    Act and the Greens seem to be registering a bit more, and its extremely amusing listening to people blaming Labour for the s59 bill. I have to bite my tongue from telling them it’s a Green bill, supported by National)

  24. Anita 24

    sdm writes,

    I wonder if the two parties, who havent really been caught up in recent antics (ACT and the Greens) might see some bounce in this poll(s)

    I would expect to see ACT get some response from Hide pushing the NZ First donation stuff so very hard.If that doesn’t work for ACT I don’t know what will.

  25. A Beautiful Distance 25

    Why bother dredging through the morass of polls? If you still believe that National won’t win the treasury benches in 2008 then you are in La-La-Labour Land a happy place for non-achievers to while away their days devouring the fruits of others’ industry,trade,ambition,etc…

    I regard the NZ Labour Party, particularly its parliamentary wing, as the primary cause of economic difficulties presently being experienced in your damp, cold country! Some lowlights:

    1 The buying back of a liability as is the rail network for a grossly inflated figure is stupid to the point of treachery, given the transaction was achieved with other peoples’ money!

    2 The blind adherence to Kyoto aand its pro-commie anti businiess dictates.

    3 The totalitarian nature of the EF Act.

    4 The raft of anti-business/tax hungering legislation.

    For Mr Pierson to be concerned about the polling differences between two very similar parties superbly highlights how out of focus to the realities of the world community in 2008, the NZ population has become.That may be a bit harsh, so I apologise, it may be that Mr Pierson is largely alone with his pre-occupations?

    While the faults of the Labour Party are easy to identify, I do not expect the National Party to lead a march towards common sense and principled governance.

  26. Rob 26

    Just heard on Talk back about the Vietnamese National and The Cambodian National who have been busted in Nelson with Paua Smuggling.

    They were both on benefits in New Zealand isnt this the wonderful Ruth Dysons Department and are we so rich as a country now that we can hand out benefits to other foreign countries Nationals so they can come in and rape our Country of its resources!! God spare us please from this incompetence

    [lprent: This proves what? That talk back radio uses dog-whistle promotion of their show.
    As I remember the last bust (wellington) there were over 60 people arrested and charged. I’d expect that this is likely to be on the same order. It would not surprise me is there were a few beneficiaries amongst them. That is of course why they have time to do it, and probably also have time to listen to talkback.

    Anyway, I’m putting you into moderation because you’re starting to act like a troll. Look over the responses to your previous messages. ]

  27. Rob. I just read about this guy who owned a finance company and by the time it went under he had made tens of millions but the people he ripped off couldn’t get any of that back because he put his wealth in a trust and got himself declared bankrupt.

    Using your logic, capitialism is, therefore, a hopelessly corrupt sysem that should be thrown out and it’s all the fault of incompetence in the business sector.

    What’s whose, this guy was a white guy and a Kiwi (even if he did have a funny surname), guess we should kick all of them out too.

  28. Matthew Pilott 28

    SP – I heard he once used a taxi, and once went to a cinema. Both must be banned forthwith. Regulate, my pretties, regulate…

  29. Bill 29

    Rob.

    Take that racist fucking bullshit your spouting, put it in a polythene bag and stick your head in after it ’til you turn blue.

  30. Let’s not put it that strongly in future, Bill.

  31. Bill 31

    Blood boiled. Point taken. Subtle, gentle suggestion from now on.

    eg Why don’t you fall on your ribs Rob?

    That kind of okay Steve?

  32. vto 32

    Ouch, I fell on my ribs off a skateboard last week. Feels like I cracked one – painful.

    Anyways, SP – when will you realise there is NO secret agenda. Or do you just keep repeating it to hopefully make it seem true in people’s minds? Like those crosby/textor people, that you must obviously admire, suggest.

  33. Bill 33

    You see? That’s where subtlety falls over!

    You might have fallen off your skateboard VTO. Because you fell awkwardly you cracked a rib.

    However, to ‘fall on your ribs’ entails that you are dead before you hit the ground.

    Meanwhile, everyone happy having their lives subordinated to the market? Having their humanity reduced to an expression of economic rationality? Is choosing who will administer the market dogma a good enough and satisfying option?

  34. vto 34

    I actually fell on my fist on my ribs on the tarseal. Its getting worse so off to the doc methinks.

  35. r0b 35

    when will you realise there is NO secret agenda

    It’s not secret any more, it got exposed. Excellent!

  36. vto 36

    ha ha rOb, witty. But what agenda got exposed?

  37. You guys are so much like Fox news, your like their little evil twin sister, if the poll was good for Labour, you will be stamping and cheering like a feminist at a playboy magazine burning meeting.

    The fact is, National has got this one in the bag, people are sick of the corruption and the bigoted policies of this group of misfits.

  38. Matthew Pilott 38

    Jeez, whose angry evil little sister are you meant to be, Brett?

  39. Draco TB 39

    The buying back of a liability as is the rail network for a grossly inflated figure

    Inflation adjusted – we bought it back for less than we sold it for.

    The blind adherence to Kyoto aand its pro-commie anti businiess dictates.

    I don’t see anywhere in the Kyoto protocol where it says to stop business. In fact, it could be considered pro-business but very few people have stepped forward to make the most of the opportunities presented preferring to keep to the old ways which happen to be killing the biosphere.

    The totalitarian nature of the EF Act.

    It’s not totalitarian. Everyone can still speak freely.

    The raft of anti-business/tax hungering legislation.

    Which resulted in us being one of the easiest places in the world to do business with some of the lowest taxes in the world as well.

  40. r0b 40

    ha ha rOb, witty. But what agenda got exposed?

    I’ll resist the urge to say “the secret one”.

    You should know already vto, it was on the telly. The plans to “sort out” (probably gut) Working for Families, to sell off assets like KiwiBank, to do “useful things” that “aren’t policy right now” because the public wouldn’t stand for them (they would “scare the horses”). To “swallow dead fish” to tell “the punters” what they want to hear, in short to lie their way in to government, while planning to do something very different once they got there. That secret agenda.

    You’re making a bit of a hobby out of denying there was ever such an agenda, and of course you will continue to do so. But in the court of the media and public opinion there certainly was, and it got exposed, and so much the better for democracy. The scandal would never have blown up as it did for National if it wasn’t for their lying duplicitous behaviour in the last election (a scandal that cost them their last leader), and their continued refusal to even admit using the most aggressive and underhand political consultants available. They are hoist by their own petard really, and the more you try and deny it the funnier it gets.

    Sorry about your ribs though. I had some fun with rollerblades a few years back and a speedy fall on concrete is no fun at all. Bye fer now…

  41. Draco TB 41

    And now I’m in moderation…

    /cries

  42. Roby110 42

    I think we need to stop wth the “secret agenda” and just say “same old agenda”. It isn’t secret but plainly obvious – and has been for a couple of years. Hasn’t changed since jenny and Jim really. I still don’t know why Labour isn’t hammering that.

  43. jaymam 43

    SP, I’ve known the guy with the funny surname for many years. I’ve been skiing with him, been in his Mercedes. I don’t think he’s a crook, but he gets a high out of doing “deals”. He does these deals because he can. No amount of money is enough for him. If he had hundreds of millions of dollars he would still try to get more. He cares only about himself and his family. His former business partners who now reside mostly in Switzerland are far worse in their quest to get more money than anyone else.
    One way to stop these people getting away with money from the gullible or the less well-informed would be if all transactions over a few thousand dollars could be logged by the Reserve Bank or suchlike, together with the from and to account details. These details to be archived for at least 30 years.

  44. mike 44

    “But, unless the numbers are truly cataclysmic for National, don’t read too much into them.”

    A laugh a minute SP. You accuse Mr Key of treating people like mushrooms and then come out with these clangers.

    You are completely obsessed with the man, repetitive posting, making stuff up about him and even wearing a John Key mask on tele outside the conference he banned you from??
    Get a life man

  45. Any Labour supporter accusing National of having a secret agenda has a short memory. Does the name Roger Douglas ring a bell?

    Oh, that’s right – some of you guys weren’t even born then!

  46. Roby110 46

    oh for christ sake!!! Roger Douglas?! Is that all you’ve got? So what is your point/argument here? That it is ok for Smith nd Smith to pull the wool over the electorate ye because Roger did? Now THAT really raise the level of debate isn’t it?

  47. Forget politics how about a medal you wankers . Has TVNZ got a medal for being wimpish retards?

    Get a life kiwi, as you can’t get a medal you pathetic gits.

  48. Razorlight 48

    I do not buy the argument that there will not be an immediate bounce for Labour. The Roy Morgan obviously will not show much, but any poll taken last week must show a large jump for Labour if they are to have any chance this year. The issue was running hot then. It has now more or less died. If it does not show in these pols it never will.

    National polled consistently below Labour until Mr Brash made one important speech. The result of Orewa 1 was an immediate 19% surge in the polls and ever since they have been above or near equal level in the polls with Labour.

    There are going to be 101 issues arise between now and the election. Everyone is expecting it to get dirty. If the taping is to have any effect on party support it will show now, not in a months time when everyone except SP will have forgotten about it.

  49. vto 49

    rOb, shorthand because its late.. From what I see they were basically saying ‘we would like to do blah blah, but we can’t because its not what the people want. Once we can convince the people of the goodness of our ideas we will proceed with blah blah’. That’s it. They are certainly not saying they will do blah blah without the consent or mandate of the people. They seem in fact to be at pains to say that they need and should have the people onside.

    Which of course they should because otherwise the national party will slide down the drainpipe forever.

    But of course this wee dram(a) fell perfectly into the hands of labourites so it has been spun at a furious pace no matter the truth of the situation.

    There is no secwet agenda. I will keep saying it as long as either the claimants stop so claiming or actual proof/evidence is provided. Neither looks likely.

  50. r0b 50

    There is no secwet agenda. I will keep saying it

    Good for you vto, it’s great that you’ve found a hobby.

  51. vto 51

    woops my second last sentence has a warp in it.

    rOb, it’s all a bit silly ay this carry on, but I genuinely do not see a secwet agenda. I see politicians doing what they have done since day dot, no matter their colour. And what I said above.

  52. insider 52

    All this spin proves is that you knew the polls were going to be bad, which means advance information and just confirms how close some of you are to the 9th floor. Why not come clean now?

    Otherwise, you’d have been better keeping quiet and pretending you knew nothing about them.

  53. lprent 53

    insider: Don’t be stupid. It doesn’t require special knowledge. It just requires a modicum of intelligence.

    Just look at the dates when the polls were conducted. I had to look them up this morning.

    Fairfax: Aug 4 to Aug 10
    Morgan: Jul 28 to Aug 10

    From the look of the posts here. The first tape was released on the evening of Aug 4th, and the subsequent ones were Aug 5th and Aug 6th.

    Typically when reasonable sized political events happen, it takes at least a few days for any impact to travel through. My personal estimate is at least a week, and usually weeks. It takes that amount of time for undecided or swing people to mull it around and come out with a considered opinion.

    Essentially both polls would have had very little chance of having much effect from the national conference tapes in them. So you have a post like the one above. It is essentially telling people on the left not to get disheartened if there is no immediate change in the velocity of the polls.

    Now about your insinuation? You’re aware that I don’t tolerate that. Would you like to rescind that based on the nice clear information I’ve provided above. Or would you like me to give you a ban? I’m prepared to consider it could have simply been insufficent coffee kicking the synapses.

    Lynn

  54. Matthew Pilott 54

    Insider, if the authors have “advance information” and are “close to the ninth” floor, do you think those mysterious people behind The Standard would allow a post that gave evidence? Or that they’d put up a post making it obvious?

    Or is it more likely that SP imagined there wouldn’t be a seismic shift in the polls? Doesn’t take a genius to figure that out, but you seem to be giving Steve a nice compliment, saying he’d have to have been told this stuff, there’s no way he could figure it out…

    You logic is truly underwhelming. Cheap, lazy shots too hard to resist huh? Shame.

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    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    5 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    5 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    7 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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