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Clark makes it 2 from 3

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 pm, November 5th, 2008 - 78 comments
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The debate was Clark’s. The format and tone suited her. Her softer approach, which showed us the person behind the role was very good. In fact, I would say that was the best I have ever seen her. At times, Key seemed tacked on to a Clark interview (be interesting to she if she actually spoke longer, it felt like it). The lack of interjections helped with the more settled tone, whereas Clark was put off balance by Key’s interjections in the first debate (for the record, I’ve read a transcript and he interrupted in each of the first five questions Clark answered, her first interjection was on the sixth).

No knock out blow but what do you expect? It was a cordial debate in which substantive issues and tricky questions were addressed. The kind of issues and questions that a Prime Minister has to face every day. It was good that both leaders could have a laugh.

It’s not that Key made any real mistakes. It’s not that he lied. It’s just that this debate gave us a good measure of the two as people, as politicans, and as leaders. And Clark showed herself to be a class above Key.

78 comments on “Clark makes it 2 from 3”

  1. Pixie 1

    I’ve just posted this on the last blog entry, but as this one is likely to take over, I’ll paste the comment here too.

    Helen, by a country mile. She was warm, authentic and intelligent. I particularly like a couple of impromptu moments where she was delightful (growing up as a 60s flower child with Paul Holmes was a hoot).

    She showed herself to be a woman of substance, with strong ideals and courage.

    John Key had a couple of good moments, but on the whole he was out of his depth. Especially when they were invited to be a bit more personal – then, he seemed to find the process excruciating.

    No, well done Helen. It may be too late to save this election, but even if it is the last stand, you will leave us all with memories of a gracious, dignified woman who history will prove to be one of our finest PMs.

  2. Sarah 2

    [deleted]

    [lprent: 2 week ban expires on the 13th]

  3. I agree with Steve and this election is not over.

    This was by far the best debate. I was really frustrated with the first because Key kept talking over Helen and killing the debate and the second debate while better was not much different.

    This was a civilised debate like, dare I say it, some of the US debates I have seen recently. And Helen showed that she was a thoughtful multi layered politician. Key ran out of juice when he ran out of CT slogans.

    Obama’s election has obviously been a boost for the left. Key and National have tried to present it as support for change but it is clear that the US have turned away from Wall Street and money traders and towards leaders who wish to support ordinary people.

    National have tried to be the ordinary people’s party but it does not wash. Helen is coming to the fore.

    The end was the best. You could see Helen thinking and saying what she wanted for the country and you saw Key run out of ideas.

    On the ground the feeling is if anything better than last time and the conspiracy theorist in me wonders if we are being fed a load of s**t by the media.

    Why put it all at risk?

  4. Danny 4

    I totally agree too, Clark by a mile.

    I didn’t think she did well in either of the first two, but that one she cleaned him up.

  5. I agree with your assessment Steve, although I missed a few bits (including the question about abortion, damn!).

    I think Helen did what she needed to do – came across as prime ministerial and caring. Key did well too, but had a few moments of seeming unsure, and a few stumbles, whereas Clark had none that I saw. I felt like Clark answered the questions more too, whereas John tried to fit the question into points he was obviously prepared to make. As the debate went on he relaxed a bit more and didn’t do this so much, at least that was my perception.

    I wonder if the niceness was a result of the sheer exhaustion at this point, or the influence of McCain and Obama graciousness today, or perhaps Sainsbury laid down the law in the breaks?! 🙂

  6. sophie 6

    I agree, this debate was Clark’s. Her answers came from the heart whereas Key seemed to struggle a bit at times.

  7. Vinsin 7

    Helen stumbled on Guyan Espinor’s ridiculous question – she managed to handle it fairly well – but apart from that, Helen seemed relaxed, personable, Key by contrast seemed tired, and then cranky and angry.

  8. Carol 8

    Hmmm. Tim Watkin thinks different – thinks it was all too bland & played into National as a safe alternative.

    But I like his comment that basically shows Key’s answer to the flip flop question up as a …. well…. good answer, then he changes his mind & flip flops…. says the original decision was best.

    Also he makes a good point about Key’s final word – sounded rehearsed and that he was tripping over his words.

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/final-tv-leaders-debate-live-blog

  9. bobo 9

    It was a more barbie cuddly debate on the whole which did suit Clark who came over more personal, Keys biggest gaff was blaming climate change on poorer countries which I thought was bizarre , is a fact that US is the largest polluter per capita in the world where developed countries pollute more than poorer, China is becoming developed, hence its becoming a bigger polluter.

  10. randal 10

    she let him off really
    helen
    take no prisoners

    hey anyone out there?
    downtime I’m reading dennis lehane
    best quote so far
    ‘what you are looking at there,’ Bolton said, ‘ is a kill zone’

  11. Doug 11

    Randal

    Helen waas being nice to John as she will be looking for a job come Sunday.

  12. Roflcopter 12

    I give this one to Clark by the same margin as Key over Clark in the first one.

    I would have given Clark a wider winning margin, but for the fact that although she did come across a lot better, noone is going to forget the real side of her we’ve seen in the first debate and the one on TV3 as a comparison.

    She’s been told to be nice so that she only gets beaten well, instead of absolutely hammered, on Saturday.

  13. the boss 13

    They both did well. Helen still a little flat, Key better but i think it’s over for Labour.

    There ads are shocking and their campaign is a mess and all over the show. They have fallen into a trap. Which was National took the positive high ground with their advertising.

    They wanted Helen to go negative and it has back fired for them, she can not do the negative. People don’t want to see a negative woman. She should have top him.

    I can not believe they let her fall into the trap. She needs better people around her. The Trust message was not strong enough.

    The Boss.

  14. mike 14

    Key the first 2 and a photo for tonights effort.

    Helen couldn’t quite admit she has ever made a mistake which made her look a bit desperate really. Key scored well getting in the jibes about Williams and speeder-gate.

    Strong performances by both though and a dignified way for clark to go out.

  15. Bill 15

    Rich countries are busy cleaning up the environment while developing nations are trashing it!?

    Israelis have endured a lot of suffering?! (not the Palestinians?)

    He is moved by…well, he isn’t really. The dead child he named and tried to use as an example? Turns out that the TV1 camera guy cried….but not our John.

    Stumbling over his closing statement (I got the impression he lost his way, forgot his lines) and then exiting the studio floor before the camera has stopped rolling. Not a good look.

    Those questions didn’t lend themselves so much to pre-prepared media bites. And it showed. Our John came across as very shallow and not very smart or knowledgeable.

  16. randal 16

    wow
    the boooos
    helen wiped the floor with him
    he is a pipsqueak
    natoinal had to put someone up
    the rest of them are too neanderthal
    just remember self appointed theboss that no one is indispensable but for the moment Helen clark is the leader of our nation and likely to remain so for an unprecendented fourth term
    I salute her and wish her well and good speed for the safekeeping of our demos and its people

  17. @the boss,
    Care to elaborate on your statement that people don’t want to see a negative woman? I suspect Margaret Thatcher might beg to differ?

  18. Vinsin 18

    Just watched Key on Maori television, was much more convincing when he could sit down and stick to the script. Prof. Ann Sullivan made some great points as did Sandra Lee. National are going to need the Maori party and their support is incredibly unlikely, this is why Labour will govern again. By the way Helen has won all three debates; the first one John Key surprised us – the surprise being that he could stand and speak at the same time – but he didn’t win the debate. (txt polls disagree with on this but i’m pretty sure there not worth air time spent on them.)

  19. randal 19

    clark 3
    key zip

  20. tsmithfield 20

    Key was talking about the future. Clark was talking about the past. It was good to see Clark coming across as a person rather than as a debating robot. It was nice to see a bit of civility.

    I don’t think a win could be scored either way as they were both being so nice to each other.

  21. the phantom 21

    you guys are unbelievable. Betfair gives you the chance to put real money on Labour to lead the next Government at odds of better than 3 to 1. why don’t you put your money where your fatuous mouths are?

  22. the boss 22

    Julie.

    Swing voters in NZ, who there are many females don’t respond to another woman been negative. So the research is showing.

    Helen Clark does not hold up a attacking campaign and ads very well. She would have been better to top national with a stronger positive approach. Face off with them and take them on. The ads they have done have had a huge negative effect on there campaign as a whole.

    People want to know what Helen is going to do for the next 3 years, they don’t want to see dumb badly written cheap shots, People have moved on from that.

    Are you saying you like how Helen comes across when she pushes the trust angle and dogs on national. Do you think it is working for her?

    The Boss.

  23. Ianmac 23

    Posted this on the other thread but:
    The Post Debate is at 10:30 TV1
    I have heard Brian Edwards on the Panel with Michele Boag and he very politely wiped the floor with her. Should be an interesting chat.
    The Maori TV with John was recorded on 26 October I think they said. Damn. Out of date yet John looked just as ill as he did tonight.?? Answers vague and full of three point turns (Lets take a step back) and non answers.
    Sandra Lee and the other woman um?, give Labour/Green and perhaps Maori a good chance still.

  24. J Mex 24

    Posted this on KB, but I can’t be bothered rewriting:

    Although it was a bizarre “debate’, Helen came off better. She switched it up. Helen was a different person, with a different angle which made her more INTERESTING to the viewer. Key ran with the same lines that we have heard in the last two debates. There were few moments that he offered the viewer anything new.

    Worst moment for Key: 30 seconds of talking about how working for families is the answer. WFF? – WTF! He was also MIA for a while in the middle of that debate/discussion.
    Best moment for key: Talking about meeting the ill child and their parents, remembering their names. He seemed passionate.

    Worst moment for Helen: The delay where she was unable to come up with a policy where she had been wrong
    Best moment for Helen: Every time she humanised herself. There were a lot of those.

    Viewer who I would least like to have a beer with: The anti abortion guy.

    I think that “debate’ will send a few wavering soft voters back to Labour and gain National little.

    Results:

    Debate 1 – Key
    Debate 2 – DNF
    “Debate” 3 – Clark

  25. Akldnut 25

    Key used a poor little Indian girl as an example then couldn’t remeber her name or what the operation was – first it was a bypass, then it was a kidney transplant or something. Until it got to the final spiel (which was his usual rehearsed bullshit) he was pretty unconvincing and did nothing. Playing it safe I’d say.

  26. sophie 26

    How did he get anybody a kidney transplant? I had to wait two years until one became available.

  27. J Mex 27

    Akldnut, if that was directed at my post, I was talking about the poor little girl and her family in Timaru who died of cancer. Key wasn’t trying to score points or discuss policy at this point. He was just talking about things that are meaningful and important about being a politician

  28. Akldnut 28

    Nah J Mex he was talking some shit about longer waiting lists and how he got her moved up the list.

    Sophie I waited 3 years for the first one (from my brother) and 4 years for the second (Cadaver).

  29. sophie 29

    So how could he have helped her then, I thought the waiting list was based on criteria such as compatibility and length of time on dialysis?

  30. Janet 30

    We had great fireworks in Wellington tonight to celebrate Obama’s win and Parihaka Day and also that some guy wanted to blow up parliament a while ago. So I missed the end of the debate. Athough I did see Helen looking very nice in bright pink. Not as dramatic as her scarlet Napoleon jacket of the TV3 debate but a softer look to match the tone of tonight.

    But I see from the last thread that there is a comment from Rolfcopter to answer about nurses and politics. And what I would like to say is that nurses have had a couple of very significant pay rises in the time of Helen – like several thousand dollars. And I would like to remind people that National, in particular Judith Collins and her ilk, actively campaigned and voted against all these improvements in pay and conditions.

  31. the sprout 31

    both did very well I thought. it was Key’s best performance to date by far, but Clark’s was still better. she came across as just that much more competent for the job.

    and Key muffing the last 30 seconds of his closing address so completely was pretty damning. of course it shouldn’t be, but it revealed an unedifying amatuerism.

    it was also the best debate I’ve seen in a long while – I don’t know what TVNZ did differently but I hope they keep doing more if it.

  32. Craig Ranapia 32

    No knock out blow but what do you expect? It was a cordial debate in which substantive issues and tricky questions were addressed.

    I’ve got one quibble on the “substantive” front. I’m a devout Catholic — but unless I’ve passed out and woken up in a theocracy, what exactly was the public interest angle in asking Key and Clark about their religious views?

  33. Lew 33

    Craig: I wondered about that, too. Bizarre that Sainsbury flew the kite that they could have gained some advantage by pretending to believe, a proposition which they both treated with adequate scorn. Up to his eyeballs in the US campaign for too long?

    L

  34. Carol 34

    Panel: That’s nonsense about Clark being negative and Key positive. Key has constantly talked about the disaster (his slant) of 9 years of Labour.

    Good on Edwards for criticising the phone poll,

  35. Felix 35

    “So how could he have helped her then”

    He didn’t, it was blatant bullshit. It’s his answer to everything – a vote for me is a vote for whatever you like – kidneys? Yeah i can have a look at that for you.

  36. Craig Ranapia 36

    Bizarre that Sainsbury flew the kite that they could have gained some advantage by pretending to believe, a proposition which they both treated with adequate scorn. Up to his eyeballs in the US campaign for too long?

    I’d like to give Sainsbury a little more credit, however hard he makes it, but it was odd. As I said, I’m a devout Catholic but I tick the “object to state” box on the census form, because I just don’t think it’s a legitimate interest of the state to collect data on the religious beliefs of citizens. (And in the last census, a plurality of respondants either objected to state or professed no religious beliefs.) In my social circle and whanau there are Catholics, Anglicans, Ringatu, Ratana, people you could broadly type as evangelical Protestants, Mormons, Jews, Muslims, Hindu, Buddhists, Sikhs, Pastafarians, New Age whatevers. agnostics, evangelical atheists whatever…

    If I voted on the basis of religion, as far as I’m aware the only party currently lead by a co-religionist is the Progressives. And it’s going to be a cold day in Hell before I vote for them — not that Jim Anderton would want my vote anyway, come to that. 🙂

    I’m actually quite pleased that religion isn’t used as a political offensive weapon as it is in other countries — the United States is the easiest reach, I guess. And I’m pretty pissed off that Sainsbury tried to inject it into the debate: No because I don’t respect people of faith, but because I take them far too seriously to mix politics and religion like that.

    Key and Clark, IMO, just shouldn’t dignify questions of that nature with a response in future.

  37. The Sprout

    I had a feeling of deja vue with Key. I have heard it all before, twice. The end was excrutiating. It appeared to me that he had run out of CT lines and froze.

    I thought it was his worst performance. He is better when he talks over people and prevents them from saying anything like he did to Helen in the first debate.

    It was the best debate you and I have seen for a while because they were both given room to speak. And when I think of what Helen said and Key said I have this very strong impression that she was far deeper. She was able to go to level 3 or 4 of the question while he was still bringing out the CT lines about Aussie emmigration or NCEA results.

    I prefer Helen to be in control of my country.

  38. Felix 38

    Craig, good call.

    It was a weird question and not something our political environment needs at all.

    Sainsbury should be taken to task for this. By Jesus, preferably.

  39. Craig Ranapia 39

    Julie Fairey @: November 5, 2008 at 8:59 pm
    I wonder if the niceness was a result of the sheer exhaustion at this point, or the influence of McCain and Obama graciousness today, or perhaps Sainsbury laid down the law in the breaks?!

    A bit of the first, and a LOT of two and three. I have a source at TVNZ (on, to be less pompous about it, a good friend I had a good gossip with a few days back) who said the harsh and well-deserved criticism of the first debate from across the political spectrum really touched the right nerves.

    To be honest, I don’t think you can honestly call the debate a triumph for either Clark or Key unless you only criteria is that they hit all the right focus grouped talking points and trigger lines, didn’t fuck up or come across as feral inbreeds (to coin a phrase). I don’t think it’s too cynical to suggest someone told both Clark and Key to try unclenching their figurative cheeks a bit, and while I don’t agree with Steve that the debate was particularly substantive, I at least came away without a migraine and the urge to go bang my head against the garden wall.

    For genuine substance on the debate front, I’d still hand the gold, silver and bronze to Radio New Zealand; with sincere honourable mentions to TVNZ7 and Maori.

  40. Paul Robeson 40

    What’s up with the clip on the TVNZ website? I hope they put the full video up soon. Their main clip is mainly Key going on on his main line about people leaving to Australia. Very poor.

  41. Ianmac 41

    TV1 post-debate tonight:
    The criticism of Labour using the Research unit to find stuff on Key has been often talked about and written about. Key has repeatedly hammered the “Looking for dirt on Key” line.
    Brian Edwards said tonight that at exactly the same time that Labour was looking for “dirt” against Key, National was using their Research Unit to dig for dirt on Peter Davis. Proof? They searched under the Official Info Act to see if they could find anything on Peter Davis/Funding to see if there was any impropriety. There wasn’t of course but Brian’s point was how come it didn’t reach the papers?
    And he explained again how the technology is there to set up computer programs to make multiple calls to rig the phone-in polls. National people have been skiting about this. I have heard of this too.

  42. bobo 43

    Just watching the feedback from Boag and Edwards later tonight seemed to be complimentary of Clark showing a more human side but was too nice to each other in places, a false sense of sameness about the two candidates was given.

    It was Ironic with Boag saying Winston is a gonna and the final nail in coffin was his helicopter demand in 99, when not so long ago Boag had her own scandal using a Westpac rescue chopper to get to the airport…

    Brian Edwards added some balance to the after comments about the phone in polls being automated effecting public opinion on who won a debate.

  43. Carol 44

    Yes, I thought it was good for a change to get a left wing commentator on one of these panels. Tho even Therese said she was still not certain what the outcome of the election would be.

    The panel, including Edwards liked the religion question. I didn’t mind it. I just think they should have developed some of the more significant issues more.

    Also Edwards got in some criticism of the media polls, which was good.

  44. all_your_base 45

    I reckon it’s one from three, perhaps the second was a draw, though maybe Key’s.

    Quite agree that this was the best we’ve seen Clark and also the shakiest that Key has looked. The part at the end where he botched his lines was almost painful to watch.

    I actually felt that we got to see a bit of the ‘real people’ behind both of them for the first time in the debates so far but tonight Clark’s depth and experience won the day.

  45. Ianmac 46

    Actually I don’t think that win/lose is the point. Impossible unless there was some criteria with which to judge.
    Anyway I felt proud of Helen Clark. I can see why she is well respected on the world stage and why she has managed in NZ so well for 9 years. Was Rob the last to do that? In the 90’s there were 3 changes of PM in 9 years. Hmmmm.

  46. Craig Ranapia 47

    Also Edwards got in some criticism of the media polls, which was good.

    I find it somewhat ironic Edwards nodding along at plaints about how ‘boring’ the campaign has been (because the point of a Parliamentary democracy is to keep ADHD-afflicted media folks amused) considering what EdwardsCallingham does. With all due disrespect to both Edwards and Boag, why do I give a shit about the opinions of two partisan PR flacks complaining about the very media-political complex media trainers and public relations consultants did so much to create in the first place.

    If I still drank, tonight’s version of Helen and John might be someone I could have a few G&Ts with, wthout wanting to throw myself under the nearest bus. But is that really the point? Didn’t feel the campaign’s substance deficit close either.

  47. Ianmac 48

    Craig: Don’t you ever sleep??? Actually I agree with you about how wrong they are to be saying how “boring” the campaign has been. Usually the “exciting” bits have nothing to do with electing a Government. A distraction usually trivia. At least a discussion should be heard. Remember that Ralston is a Key media trainer, a staunch Nat man but yet allowed to moderate his Leaders debate and adjudicate its effectiveness. I’m sick of commentators like G Espiner, Harmon, Ralston and others. Sandra Lee and the other one on Maori TV are worth listening to.

  48. Paul Robeson 49

    errr…What year is it? Sometimes that sneaking respect for Clark, that was more prominent in the early years of government, gets through.

    This from Fran O’Sullivan:

    ‘But Clark rose to the occasion and through a combination of humanity and statesmanship won the debate.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz-election-2008/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501799&objectid=10541353

    There aren’t too many leaders around the world who could command plaudits like that.

  49. Craig Ranapia 50

    Paul Robeson:

    I guess it doesn’t say much about the Herald’s panel of experts (or the state of our political culture) that Clark and Key treating each other with civility and respect is considered cause for celebration, rather than a fundamental baseline for adult interaction.

    Don’t you ever sleep???

    Insomniac, and I’ve also got quite a bit of work that should have been done instead of watching US election results. I’m on a metaphysical sugar rush — though being an ObamaCon, it’s tinged with mixed emotions that McCain (a man I used to have a lot of respect for) and the party of Lincoln and Reagan so thoroughly deserved the pasting it received. I hardly expect the average Standardista to give a shit, but I’d actually like to see the GOP taken back from the theo-con whack jobs and put back into the hands of genuine limited government, fiscally prudent, live and let live conservatives. But I am under no delusions that it won’t be a long and ugly civil war whose outcome is far from certain. The folks who seriously think the only problem is that the unqualified and unfit Sarah Palin wasn’t head-lining the ticket aren’t going to give up power without a fight.

    Remember that Ralston is a Key media trainer, a staunch Nat man but yet allowed to moderate his Leaders debate and adjudicate its effectiveness

    As far as I’m aware, Edwards says he’s never ever given Helen Clark any media training as strenuously as Ralston says the same regarding Key. Perhaps they’re both telling the truth (strange but true), flat out lying, or splitting a hair with an electron microscope (after all, there is a nice legalistic distinction between R. & E. personally giving politicians media training and the service being provided by companies they have an interest in.). Don’t know, and don’t have the means or the interest to find out.

    Not really interested in what either man has to say/write about anything to be blunt..

  50. insider 51

    This was even. Clark was more human but that just showed she had failed in the earlier two, and in the campaign in general hence the reverse in tone. Trust not mentioned at all – the major campaign theme which shows how badly that has played. Key had real passion at times, showed compassion and some great self deprecating humour with the Helen Clark boyfriend story (can anyone imagine Helen joking at her own expense?) and the two sharpest barbs were by key – speeding tickets and digging for crimes.

    The media are calling it a win to Clark because she changed tone and knew her stuff, and so raised herself up to a prime ministerial level, but really, the only debate of the three that counted was the first becasue Clark fluffed it and it set up Key’s campaign and the tone of Labour’s. Two draws after that are a loss to Clark overall and she has not been able to scrabble back.

    No-one except the most ardent anti-key looking for the skimpiest of evidence would see a minor stumble reciting at the end as of any consequence at all.

  51. Craig Ranapia 52

    And would it be too cynical to suggest that if Senator McCain and President-elect Obama hadn’t set such a high (and high profile) bar literally less than a couple of hours earlier, we might have seen a less attractive face of our aspiring Prime Ministers?

    To expand slightly on what I said to Paul Robeson, Chris Rock put it nicely in his infamous monologue ‘N****a vs. Black People’ (and I’ve decided to redact some of the more, shall we say, provocative language Rock uses in performance):

    They’ll brag about stuff a normal man just does. They’ll say something like, “Yeah, well I take care of my kids.’ You’re supposed to, you dumb [expletive omitted]. “I ain’t never been to jail.’ Whaddya want? A cookie? You’re not supposed to go to jail, you low-expectation-having [expletive omitted]!

    Well, I’m not interested in being the kind of low-expectation-having citizen who is going to pat a politician on the head for not acting like a monkey with Tourette’s. At work, I don’t get a performance bonus for not insulting clients, or resolving conflicts without resorting to screaming matches in public. It’s expected professional conduct, even if you’re having a shit day

    I don’t expect our politicians to be saints 24/7, but I’m not inclined to give them plaudits for being decent human beings either.

  52. Felix 53

    Craig I agree, we need to demand more of our leaders or we’ll get the leaders we settle for.

    The media have done an appalling job in covering this campaign in such a manner that if a politician puts their pants on the right way round in the morning they’re a freakin visionary and a tactical genius and no further questions need to be asked.

  53. tsmithfield 54

    I’ve been finding it hard to sleep for some reason so I have been thinking a bit more about this debate.

    With all the talk about “flip-flops” from Labour, the complete schizophrenic change in Clark’s style can surely only be described as a flip-flop of monumental proportions. She changed completely from being an aloof attackbot to a warm, conciliatory human-being.

    I think her problem in making this change is that it doesn’t sit well within the context of all the muck-raking and negative politics that has preceded it. Key has been fairly consistent in his style, and his style in the debates has been completely consistent with the wider marketing campaign. The same can’t be said of Clark with this change in style. Her previous style was completely consistent with Labour’s negative campaign. However, this change in style is so inconsistent that people will be wondering if it is the real Clark or not.

    So, within the context of impression management I think Keys has won hands down.

    I can’t help but wonder if Labour’s focus groups are showing them that people are being turned off in great numbers by the negative campaign and muck-raking. I wonder if Clark’s change in style last night signifies an end to all this. I would not be surprised if the last “secret” tape is canned. I understand that TV3 has had overwhelming negative feedback about this, so it could be the case of another backfire on Labour.

  54. RedBack 55

    TheBoss said – “There [sic] ads are shocking and their campaign is a mess and all over the show. They have fallen into a trap. Which was National took the positive high ground with their advertising.”

    Sorry Boss but I must’ve missed the positive high ground bit in National’s ‘New Zealand Sucks’ campaign.

  55. Sorry,

    Nothing to do with the debate discussion but I could not help noticing that T-rex sending and empty comment.

    T-rex,

    Did I just spot your avatar as being a muppet? Lol.

    And no I’m not calling you a muppet…yet. LOLOLOL.

    I think it’s kind of sweet really. T-rex, the muppet. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. (tear rolling from my eye)

    Thank you for that, it made my morning.

  56. Craig Ranapia 57

    I can’t help but wonder if Labour’s focus groups are showing them that people are being turned off in great numbers by the negative campaign and muck-raking.

    Probably, but I also really think that Clark and Key are astute enough to realise that after the events in America today (and the very gracious speeches from the two candidates), the sniping and brawling seen in the previous two was going to go down like the proverbial bucket of cold sick.

    (I’m also pretty sure they both have staffers who were well aware that while partisans lap the feral stuff up, it just turned undecided and floaters off. And please, nobody bother with “Key did it first” or “Clark did it more” because they were both at it, and they both pissed me off. If you’re going to spout pre-digested pap I’d like it to be audible pap.)

    Sorry Boss but I must’ve missed the positive high ground bit in National’s ‘New Zealand Sucks’ campaign.

    Get some new material, because being critical of the Government of the day isn’t unpatriotic. I do get that it’s not going to go down around here, and if the positions are reversed on Saturday its going to be equally attacked on Kiwiblog etc. Some folks need to get over their delusions of political grandeur.

  57. Ms M 58

    In light of the love feast, comment of the night has to go Greg Boyed for his slip of the tongue, calling Key “John Clark” .

  58. NeillR 59


    clark 3
    key zip

    Win the battles, lose the war.

    The easiest way to gauge how the election is going is to look at the final week’s campaigning. Key is travelling all over the country on a (triumphal) march, while Clark is spending much time in South Auckland – trying to shore up support that is deserting in droves. It’s done and dusted and Labour knows it.

  59. Carol 60

    Hasn’t Key’s campaign included a lot of brief stops, and limited mingling with communities and people, while Clark’s has inluded more prolonged engagements with people in their communities?

  60. Ben R 61

    Vinsin,

    “Helen stumbled on Guyan Espinor’s ridiculous question”

    What was ridiculous about asking if people have ever made a mistake or changed their position about something? It’s something that comes up in job interviews as well. The idea that changing your mind about something is a weakness, or a ‘flip flop’ is unhealthy (the Republicans used it against John Kerry a lot in 2004). Changing your mind about something shows the ability to think & adapt, it shouldn’t be painted as a weakness all the time.

  61. Janet 62

    Maybe Craig has finally gone to sleep. Amazing how this debate has gone on through the night. And Public Address has had the longest thread ever as it followed the US election through day and night. Worth a look.

  62. Craig Ranapia 63

    Maybe Craig has finally gone to sleep.

    Boo! If I hadn’t wasted so much bloody time watching televison and sodding around on the net, I wouldn’t have been up all night working… Speaking of which — close tabs and focus… 🙂

  63. Carol 64

    There’s a difference between changing your views because

    1) you have a carefully held position on the basis of new information and/or analysis and/or carefully negotiated compromise,

    and

    2) flip flopping because neither the first or subsequent position are carefully thought out and/or sincerely held, or because the person just expresses differing views to get the approval of each different person/group they talk to.

    Clark tends towards 1) and Key towards 2). It’s a pity that Clark couldn’t have articulated that difference in answer to Espiner’s question last night.

    PS: just listened to Nat Rad’s minor party leaders’ debate on Morning Report. Key’s two top-of-his-list cabinet ministers are already disagreeing on their campaigns to influence Nat party policy. Hide sees his party’s role to ensure the old neoliberal, Roger Douglas policies be urgently adopted by government. Dunne sees it as his mission to stop the government adopting ACT type policies, and to keep the Nats a centrist government. Heated difference of opinions between them. How is Key going to agree with both of them at the same time during a cabinet meeting?

  64. Vinsin 65

    Benr, what was ridiculous about Guyon Espinor’s question? Well what was his question to John Key before this question. Have you ever committed a crime? Easy, simple question, one that both leaders laughed off. Then Guyon’s question to Helen, ‘you’ve said John Key has a habit of flip-flopping, have you ever flip-flopped, and is there some policies that you have changed your mind on. Isn’t changing your mind a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness.’ So that’s not the exact wording of the question but it’s fairly close. Notice the difference in level of difficulty, one question could be answered off the cuff – as if nz doesn’t know Helen’s had a few speeding tickets – then the other question is a loaded mine-field of political no no’s. Such as, don’t admit to flip-flopping, don’t admit to getting policy wrong. That’s the ridiculous nature of the question, one question a three year old could answer, the other required much more serious contemplation.

    Yes i agree, changing one’s mind doesn’t necessarily show weakness; however what annoys me and what i find ridiculous is John Key gets a question that allows him to bring up Mike Williams and have a laugh. Helen gets a question that could possibly make her out to be stubborn, un-flexible, less human and a hypocrite.

  65. Ianmac 66

    Helen has a well considered Philosophy that guides her consistent responses. I don’t think John does have a philosophy which is a bit dodgy given his age. Therefore his answers always seem to be searching for a context or for the best answer for the audience.
    Sleep well Craig.

  66. insider 67

    Problem is Ianmac that when she was asked she hummed and hahed and couldn’t think of a time when she was wrong, which came across as aloof and arrogant, not principled. She could have said “I misjudged the public mood on anti smacking and agreed a deal with National” or “I shouldn’t have called Maori protesters haters and wreckers”. But she is a bit Winston like in her inability to admit she can do any wrong.

    Whereas Key said yup here’s two, and gave very clear concise and relevant examples.

  67. Im a little bemused by Brian Edwards comments last night. Claiming that national rigged the polls. Seems strange when hundreds, if not thousands of kiwis received a text that originated from a member of the labour campaign team. It almost seemed like an unpaid election advertisement :

    “Urgent: TV1 Leaders debate on tonight. Remember to show yr support and text “CLARK’ now to 8899 and pass this msg on. 2 ticks for trust this Saturday’

  68. Ben R 69

    “Yes i agree, changing one’s mind doesn’t necessarily show weakness; however what annoys me and what i find ridiculous is John Key gets a question that allows him to bring up Mike Williams and have a laugh. Helen gets a question that could possibly make her out to be stubborn, un-flexible, less human and a hypocrite.”

    So it was more the lack of consistency in the level of questioning that was the problem? Key had to answer that too though, although of course he had more time to think up an answer. The questions I found most unusual (for an NZ election at least) were the ones on religion and abortion. I don’t know why they wasted time on those.

  69. lprent 70

    W: Presumably the costs will be in the election returns. So what is your problem? If you have a problem with it, follow the procedures laid down and talk to the electoral commission.

    It has been apparent for some time that virtually every online or text poll is being deliberately saturated by the right. I keep meaning to write a post showing the techniques and code for doing it. It is trivial and I’m surprised that anyone bothers.

    However for those on the right it seems to be what they find as significant campaigning… Good to see that someone on the left is encouraging it.

  70. Ben R 71

    “Yes i agree, changing one’s mind doesn’t necessarily show weakness; however what annoys me and what i find ridiculous is John Key gets a question that allows him to bring up Mike Williams and have a laugh. Helen gets a question that could possibly make her out to be stubborn, un-flexible, less human and a hypocrite.

    So it was more the lack of consistency in the level of questioning that was the problem? Key had to answer that too though, although of course he had more time to think up an answer. The questions I found most unusual (for an NZ election at least) were the ones on religion and abortion. I don’t know why they wasted time on those.

  71. G 72

    Deluded to the end.

    2 out of 3 to Clark?! Well not according to the voters. Two thirds of the people polled after the TVNZ debate gave it to Key.

    How is life in the bunker, fellas? Herr Clark breaking into manic sweats yet?

    [lprent: G: People weren’t polled. Those who could afford it and wanted to rang the polling company paying some money to do so. This is self-selected people who are too lazy to do actual campaign work, have money to waste, and think that this helps on election day (yeah right!). Obviously there are a preponderance of right supporters in that category.]

  72. gobsmacked 73

    G

    Wrong. Nobody was polled.

    Nice try.

  73. Paul Robeson 74

    Craig,

    I think you rather missed the point of what Fran O’Sullivan wrote.

    One more time (it’s a goodie)

    ‘But Clark rose to the occasion and through a combination of humanity and statesmanship won the debate.’

    Her humanity shone through when she talked straight from her heart about the things that moved her, and by extension her reason for being in politics.

    She talked about the success of Mandela and Obama. She talked about standing at Passcendale, where her ancestors marched during the Great War.

    She has worked hard to combat racism, to make positive change, to make Maori TV viable, to ensure employment is available to as many as possible, and to ensure that New Zealanders are not unecessarily sent into wars.

    This is what Fran was talking about.

  74. G 75

    Hey, Gob… here’s a quote from the TVNZ link that you clearly didn’t bother to read:

    “A telephone poll conducted after Wednesday night’s live debate on TV ONE asked the question “who performed better in the debate?” and Key was the choice of just over two-thirds of viewers.”

  75. gobsmacked 76

    G

    I can read. You can’t think.

    Nobody was polled. There was no opinion poll. If you don’t understand that, I can’t help you.

    Are you planning to purchase extra votes on Saturday? You’ll get a shock when you try that at the polling booth.

  76. G 77

    If a telephone poll is not a poll, what exactly is it, Gob?

    Purchasing votes…? I guess this election has really fatigued some of you paranoid socialists.

  77. gobsmacked 78

    G

    If I ring Colmar Brunton and say “here’s a dollar, include my vote in your next opinion poll”, they will tell me to get lost. You can try it yourself if you want.

    For a thousand dollars I could buy a thousand votes, and be the entire survey sample. Unfortunately they won’t let me. Because (work with me here, G) … they run OPINION POLLS.

    They phone out. And they ask me once. Only once. For free.

    I can’t phone in. And I can’t do it multiple times. And I can’t purchase votes. Which is what people did last night.

    Got it yet?

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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    2 weeks ago

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  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
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    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
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  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
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    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
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    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
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  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
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  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
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    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
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  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
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  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
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  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
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  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
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    3 weeks ago

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  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
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  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
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    4 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
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  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
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  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
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  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
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  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
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  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
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    5 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
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  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
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  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
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    5 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
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  • Future secured for Salisbury School
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    5 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
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    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
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    5 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
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    6 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
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    6 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
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    6 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
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    6 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
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    7 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
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    7 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
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    1 week ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
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    1 week ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
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    1 week ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
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    1 week ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
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    1 week ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
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    2 weeks ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
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    2 weeks ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
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    2 weeks ago