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Clark takes round 2

Written By: - Date published: 8:36 pm, November 3rd, 2008 - 149 comments
Categories: election 2008, helen clark, john key - Tags:

A much better performance from Clark saw her best Key in tonight’s debate.

As well as being on top of all the issues, as always, she took the fight to Key, calling him up on his lies. After not doing as well as she had expected in the first debate, Clark had adapted.

Key was weak and, enitrely predictably, he stuck to the same forumla that had won him through last time (interrupting Clark, keeping it vague, and running those same old lies). He even looked scared when Campbell asked him about National’s old neo-liberals on the front-bench. He looked very bad when he made a personal attack on Cullen. He started reasonably strongly but seemed actually physically tired by the end.

Clark was visionary at moments too. The defining moment of the debate was when the leaders were asked about freedom. Clark said her purpose in politics is to create more freedom for people – through better education, better health, more jobs, and higher wages. That’s what real freedom in the social democratic ideal is about, freeing people from the constraints of the class they are born into in a capitalist system. Key’s response on freedom was ‘lightbulbs, they’re taking away our lightbulbs’. It made him look petty and small-minded.

At that point, we had the measure of them both. We saw that Clark’s politics arises from deep, principled conviction. We saw that Key is about jumping on the latest populist bandwagon.

149 comments on “Clark takes round 2”

  1. marco 1

    I agree Clark won that debate, but Key didnt make any fatal errors and I have to say I agree with the pundits from TV3 right at the end, with the Melbourne Cup tomorrow and the American election and its aftermath about to consume the rest of the week it was to little to late to make a difference to Saturday.

  2. I think you need to open the other eye, Clark was visionary????

    This debate did nothing for Labour or even National, which is good for national since they are ahead in all polls.

  3. bobo 3

    Labour written off by the debates commentators, can’t get over how they say both parties are exactly the same when its National who have adopted most of Labours policies to get in, the parties ideology are opposites.

    Cambell on the whole was better than weak old Sainsbury on TV1 , Key looked more defensive and couldn’t come up with a 3rd example of Nanny state apart from phased out light bulbs and shower heads..

    Another interesting reference Key made was to call the Maori vote a “franchise” which made the indigenous people of New Zealand sound like a KFC outlet..

  4. brett. but you’ll be casting your vote for NZF eh? That’s where your beliefs lie and I believe you’ve expressed opposition to tactical voting.

  5. mike 5

    You weren’t watching tonights debate SP.
    I loved the bit where Clark invited Key to interupt as she thought he would stumble and he took it by the scruff of the neck – she looked very silly.

    All 3 of the commentators (including 2 lefties) said at the end that helens gone – sorry kids but it’s all over.

  6. r0b 6

    Good summary Steve.

    I was disappointed in the post debate commentary however – shallow stuff. Especially the woman form Farifax (forget the name) – her ACT agenda was pretty full on and coloured everything she said. Disappointing.

  7. coge 7

    That was no debate. More like marriage guidance councelling. Anyone else get that impression?

  8. tsmithfield 8

    I have to agree that Clark had more energy in this debate. She needed to, though, given the monumental Williams stuff-up and the continuing Peter’s sideshow. It came across as a desperate rescue mission on her part.

    It now seems clear that Peter’s is not going to make it back. Even Clark seems to accept that. So, there is probably one less coalition partner on the left. If NZ first doesn’t make it back, their votes that will be effectively redistributed undoubtably in National’s favour. The Williams fiasco has killed off any “trust” arguement for Labour.

    So, even if Clark came out slightly ahead in a very boring debate, I doubt it is going to make much difference at all.

    I was so bored with this debate; very predictable and sanitised. I don’t think I’ll watch the next one. I have decided I was voting National weeks ago anyway. If I watch much more of this tripe I’ll end up voting Act.

  9. Ianmac 9

    Yes the experts at the end were a bit strange. Actually good to see people other than the same old political hacks and really pleased that they kept Garner well away.
    They all thought that Key will be the next PM yet they were very luke-warm about his leadership qualities. I think that Helen was formidable but she gets criticized for that. It is true that there were no charismatic moments but the Centre has made elbow room impossible.
    If National do get in I think that they will bring in the hidden right policies with the excuse that “It is the Economy that forced us to do this stupid!” If John is removed as PM then Bill or whoever, will say but John said that not us. Expediency!

  10. Tane 10

    r0b, it’s Jenni McManus, class warrior for the bosses and journalist at the Independent. The change she’s after, according to a recent column, is extreme right-wing labour law that would make the ECA look weak.

    You’d never see a commentator as left-wing as she is right-wing allowed on the television.

  11. Akldnut 11

    The proof is in the pudding and every dog has it’s day and it’s not over till the fat lady sings, or until the final whistle blows so all you tories who are so quick to pass judgement had better not count your eggs until they’re hatched.
    Done it before – you’ll no doubt do it again, might be at your peril again.
    BTW mike how many got it right last time. Methinks none of those clowns!!!

  12. higherstandard 12

    According to John Campbell I expect he won the debate jumped up twit that he is.

  13. r0b 13

    r0b, it’s Jenni McManus, class warrior for the bosses and journalist at the Independent.

    Cheers Tane. Guess I’m not an Independent reader eh!

    You’d never see a commentator as left-wing as she is right-wing allowed on the television.

    Given her performance tonight let’s hope they won’t be calling on her services again.

  14. mike 14

    “BTW mike how many got it right last time. Methinks none of those clowns!!!”

    Its all about momentum and thanks to Mr Williams and Mr Peters its all Nationals now.

    Think how much different things would have been if she had acted bravely and ditched those two liabilities months ago!

  15. Akldnut 15

    Ianmac “If John is removed as PM then Bill or whoever, will say but John said that not us”

    And what will happen about his personal guarantee on his pledge card? “But John pledged that not us”

  16. Lew 16

    Anyone got a copy of the video which doesn’t require the fucking worthless tv3 website to function? Youtube would be fine.


  17. Kinoy001 17

    That debate was won by Helen Clark. She did a great job of showing NZ the awful flip flops that JK has made.
    He got way to much airtime tonight and John Campbell just let it happen. That analysis was also a joke….. That Jenni was awful.

    Does anyone know when the next poll is coming out? Hasnt been any for a while…. Surely tommorow???

    would love to hear from anyone???

  18. Francois 18

    I think it’s quite sad that Campbell is one of the most fair and effective debate moderators/commentators around…

  19. Danny 19

    Key appears more like a 90’s Nat with every appearance he makes.

    He also lacked energy, which is suprising.

  20. Ianmac 20

    Bet the text poll will crown John Boy King. I sent two for Helen just to see if I could and they went through. Pity the technology couldn’t stop multiple votes.The computer ones can do multiples by the thousand with a simple piece of software.

  21. tsmithfield 21

    The way Key was debating, it was as if he was playing it really safe; basically running the clock down without letting in any last minute trys that might destabilise a won position.

    On the other hand, Clark was playing it as if she knew she was well behind and had to attack with all her energy to score an unlikely victory.

  22. Carol 22

    Someone said there’s a poll out Thursday.

  23. Clark calling herself ” a free spirit” was the unintentional comedy gold moment of the whole debate…

  24. Akldnut 24

    WTF was that thing on the big screen – showed absolutely nothing to me and who was it polling to get those lines?
    Was somebody hooked up to a heart moniter at some stage? opps sorry it must’ve been Key cause he was flatlining throughout the whole thing!!!

  25. Daveski 25

    Who needs the Dim Post when you’ve got SP an ode to Helen.

    This will be a fascinating place to be next week although there won’t be a lot of room – what with all those chickens looking for somewhere to roost.

  26. Steve

    I have given NZfirst my party in the last two elections, not this time, its a straight out, National/National for me.

    But yeah your right, I don’t like tactical voting.

  27. I share the commentators’ frustration. I could not work out the policy differences. I do not agree with them however that there are two centerist parties.

    The national “me too” campaign was alive and well. If national were going to be centre left and continue the policies of Helen and Labour then I would be relieved if they won. The only problem is that I do not trust them and I fear for my country if they win.

  28. Bill 28

    Maybe the debate should merely have let the politicians speak for themselves using their own words.

    Like JK here. If you haven’t seen this, it’s a must. John wants the money and trade at any cost. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpIXgJ7r2vU

    In fact. Labour should have run this as an ad rather than the insipid ‘mother and babe’ trash.

  29. mike 29

    Looks like Armstrong disagrees with you SP

  30. Monty 30

    Not a good day for the socialists – Firstly two of the highest profile and respected Samoans have endorsed John Key. That is huge – and will be worth a few more points to the Nats. Then in the debate … – well don’t take my word for John Key winning – take respected (left leaning ) journalist John Armstrong’s word

    “The pressure was on her to land some telling hits on John Key. She failed to do so. That is one reason why, if there has to be a winner, it was Key. He was even more self-assured and thus more relaxed than three weeks ago.

    The other reason why Key took the honours was his decision to talk positive, while Clark, forced on the attack, correspondingly sounded more negative and abrasive.”

    I suppose Clark better start clearing out her office. Aftert he debate I put the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin (Brut) in the fridge to be nice and chilled for Saturday Afternoon (exit polls will give it to the Nats in a landslide by then.

  31. Monty 31

    BB – I thought the comedy moment when the PM in waiting said the difference between Cullen and Bill English was that Bill English had charm.

    John looked very good and Clark was just nasty agressive and looks resigned to a massive Labour defeat.

  32. Smokie 32

    Mike – You’re fucking perceptive aren’t you? The Herald called it a narrow Key victory? Well blow me down, blow me up again, and call me Peter Dunne’s hair-do. That’s a surprise.

    I think Linda Clark was right when she called it for Helen Clark. She was by any objective measure the better debater – no matter whether you agree with her or not.

  33. John 33

    It’s over.
    The stupid stupid decision to send Mike Williams to Aussie last week has cost NZ a centre-left govt. The Greens have yet again been shafted by Labour.

  34. Rodel 34

    The loser tonight was Campbell- and us. You did the NZ public a disservice Mr Campbell,seeking attention like Donkey in Shrek, “Pick me! Pick me! and as for the bunch of Paris Hilton soundalikes (including the guy) on the panel.

    Why Oh why can’t we get TV presenters who can ask insightful questions instead of acting like a child? and ….Why Oh why can’t we get non confabulating analysts?
    Even an analyst who could anchor onto just one fact would do.Couldn’t we get a bunch of POLSCI 101 students.They’d have much more depth than celebrity journalists.

    Is there a journalist in NZ with some degree of intellect who can give an honest considered account of what’s going on. Maybe all the real journalists have gone offshore.The Fairfax one was appalling, the university guy was shallow.Linda Clark nearly got there but they all failed to demonstrate anything but fluffy fabrications- about as empty and meaningless as John Key’s ‘oh so genuine’ compassionate philosophy I guess.
    Grizzle Grizzle!!

  35. Smokie 35

    Monty, if you’re seriously calling John Armstrong a left-leaning journalist, you’ve the got the political intelligence of a squashed ant.

  36. r0b 36

    John looked very good and Clark was just nasty agressive and looks resigned to a massive Labour defeat.

    Yeah righto Monty – in your dreams!

  37. Monty

    They are two rich ex all blacks. Their complaint about the anti maiming bill is difficult to understand because National supported it.

    I suspect that Lockwood Smith’s comments more than compensate for this. The Samoans that I have talked to will never forgive National for this. Arthur Anae’s comments were especially helpful.

    Key talked Crosby Textor. After the end I felt like I had been to McDonalds, eaten a lot but felt bloated and dissatisfied.

  38. GordonF 38

    Monty, you need to lay off the bevvy.
    Both the ex All Blacks are right wing christians, against civil union for example. Backed Graham (sp) Capill in a previous election!!
    Sorry, but I have yet to hear John Key make a positive statement, it’s all “look at how bad Labour have been” Followed by the standard quotes (lies).
    Don’t choke on the plonk:-)

  39. Akldnut 39

    They should have just gone outside and had a punch up. I reckon Helen would have delt to him in that too.

  40. Fred 40

    TV1, TV3 – Fair debates – it’s all a joke! ‘Panel of so-called ‘experts’? – any one could see that Helen clearly won this debate, giving plenty of eloquent,strong answers . The Herald are also saying no-one won??? WTF….
    Hopefully… the public can see how the media are attempting to control them and manipulate the outcome of this election.
    Polls??? I have never been polled (and I am 54) or know anybody who has been polled. Who is actually polled?

  41. Tamaki resident 41

    I didn’t see the debate, but as the best that Farrar could come up with was “CLARK AND KEY COME OUT EVEN IN SECOND LEADERS DEBATE” from NZPA, on that basis I would give it to Clark.

  42. Mike Collins 42

    I thought the smaller parties’ debate was much better personally.

  43. Speaking about polls, why has there been no national poll results over the past week or so? I seem to recall last time that we were awash with them.

  44. Daveski 44

    Yep, the NZH got it wrong, Stuff stuffed up, every journalist in NZ who didn’t say Clark won got it wrong.

    At least the panel got it right about Batman too.

  45. r0b 45

    Polls??? I have never been polled (and I am 54) or know anybody who has been polled. Who is actually polled?

    I’m a bit of a cynic about polls, but I can report that I was polled (for the first time ever) tonight on voting intentions.

    I was happy to report that I have already voted, two ticks for Labour.

  46. randal 46

    because “they” know that the more “they” press the case for keys the more the people will go off him
    no substance to the man and the electorate knows it
    now its all cheese to the finish line

  47. Akldnut 47

    Daveski I think you can add yourself to the list whadya reckon!

  48. ziuzou 48

    Monty –
    John Armstrong as a left-leaning journalist?! You need to read more…

    As a Samoan, I am outraged that Michael Jones and Vaiga Tuigamala use their short-sighted Christian conservative values to support National. They forget about the traumas their previous generation went through under Muldoon in the 1980s and the Nats in the 1990s. MJ and VT rail against what they personally disagree with and this is an endorsement? As the Chinese curse goes “Be careful for what you wish for…

  49. Rex 49

    I am very disapointed in how Helen is handling the ex-all blacks National endorsement.

    Wouldn’t it be better to ignore it? She will only come off second best by having a go at them. Both are very popular.

    The All Blacks even changed what day they play tests to suit Michael Jones.

    Also, I don’t understand why people say their is no difference between national and Labour. Why is that? Because National will not roll back Labour’s policies like Working for Families? I believe the changes they will make differentiate the Parties.
    Surely it would cost a lot of money for National to roll back Labour policies?

    What policies of Roger Douglas has Labour rolled back? Same reason, they become entrenched and cant be changed easily.

    I will be honest, Labour lost my vote with the Electoral Finance Act. I just hope that if they lose this election, they see it as an opportunity to introduce new blood and take the party back to its former greatness.

    I believe John Key won the debate as he at least attempted to provide a vision. A vision that didn’t just rely on bringing the building of new state housing forward.

  50. Pixie 50

    Monty said: “The other reason why Key took the honours was his decision to talk positive, while Clark, forced on the attack, correspondingly sounded more negative and abrasive.”

    Helen Clark at least started talking about what Labour has done and intends to do. John Key’s opening was to throw rocks at Labour. And he spent a large part of the debate doing much the same.

    Making the Govt the problem without offering alternatives may be a justifiable strategy when you’re in opposition, but not when you’re tipped to take over as PM in less than a week – especially when we are facing the biggest financial challenges in nearly 80 years.

    I’ve been more than open to being swept off my feet by National this Election. But I’m afraid that I am totally underwhelmed.

    Then again, Helen looked tired and strained tonight.

    So.. I’ve finally decided to party vote Green.

  51. Dan 51

    John Key with the two ex All Blacks tonight looked fascinating. It was hardly sports jocks support John, but the black suits behind looked very Destiny Church. Conservative church, but not the Brethren this time.

  52. Akldnut 52

    Randal – totally agree. Funny how even Mamanus said she thinks he’s quite likely to go back on everything he says. Even amongst ardent righties they don’t trust him

  53. Alexandra 53


    “All 3 of the commentators (including 2 lefties) said at the end that helens gone – sorry kids but it’s all over.”

    The conclusions of the commentors, may well give confidence to the right. However, the remarkable prime time verdict will serve as a reminder of what is at stake should a National and Act be elected to govern. Rather than the serve the interests of the right, the opinions of all three provide a real incentive for people on the left, and the undecided to make their vote count. Your smug celebration of a national win is premature, given the clear message from the very right and self righteous Jenny McManus, that Key will say anything to be PM!

  54. r0b 54

    I will be honest, Labour lost my vote with the Electoral Finance Act.

    And National didn’t lose it with the underhand 2005 campaign where the public outrage cost the National Party their last leader, and that made the EFA necessary? Takes all sorts I suppose.

  55. Ianmac 55

    Bill @ 9:24. What a hoot Youtube. Great Parliamentary TV, and wouldn’t it leave a sharp image/impact!

  56. Daveski 56

    Akldnut – I hate it when one of you makes me laugh 🙂

  57. Matthew Pilott 57

    Jeez monty, what are you, lower middle class white trash?

    The Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut goes in the chiller with the chardonnay, not a bloody fridge. It’s not a 6-pack you’re cooling down for the game y’know. Besides, if you think it’s something worth celebrating you could at least crack out a Louis Roederer ’02 or something decent.

  58. Rex 58

    r0b, National 2005 is a different party to National 2008.

    The only thing I can actually remember about the 2005 aftermath was Winston suing and Labour being asked to pay back money?

    I only get political every 3 years.

  59. Ianmac 59

    If Nats win I wonder what they will actually do? Stay centred or self-centred?
    And Mistress McManus was very clever in predicting the downturn of the Economy a year ago even though so far it has been a Money crisis with Economy to follow in a month or two.

  60. r0b 60

    National 2005 is a different party to National 2008.

    No Rex, the lineup is almost identical. Brash is gone, Key took over, the rest of the front bench is almost unchanged.

    The only thing I can actually remember about the 2005 aftermath was Winston suing and Labour being asked to pay back money?

    So the Don Brash’s secret deals with the Brethren for a covert $1.3 million advertising campaign, his lies about it, being caught in his lies, and his subsequent resignation, all that has slipped your memory?

    I only get political every 3 years.

    A longer term perspective might give you more insight in to what the parties are offering once every three years, and their credibility.

  61. Rex 61

    r0b – im not trying to be inflammatory.

    What were Labour asked to pay back money for?

  62. John 62

    What possessed Labour to adopt an American style campaign??
    Kiwis generally can’t stand W or Palin and don’t like negative name calling. All Labour had to do was keep it positive.
    Hodgson and Williams have significantly under delivered in terms of strategy.

  63. Jon 63

    Matthew Pilott, you show your ignorance again. Put Veuve in the refrigerator an hour and half before serving – or in an ice bucket with an ice-water mixture at least 20 minutes before serving. For vintage-dated you should let the bottle then warm up a bit if you don”t want to miss out on the mature character for which you would be paying extra.

    Stick with your cheap chardonnay Matthew. You can share your casks with all your friends

  64. FRANcOwsarse 64

    Once again key didn’t have any specifics on what he would do – just attacked the labour record.

    the rapidly deteriorating Campbell, (though better than papa smurf)- just got in the way too often, surely he could of orchestrated just one news-worthy moment.

    He would not let Clark get started on an answer before changing the subject, yet on most occasions let key complete his debate winning banalities

    thank goodness for small mercies – the smug, rotund & usually wrong gardner nowhere to be seen.

    Now the long campaign to slay Winston is almost over & the pundits unanimous, – the message for the remaining days appears to be to tell the National base that it’s safe to vote ACT.

    Though unlike the US this one does not smell like a landslide

  65. Chris G 65

    Rex: “r0b, National 2005 is a different party to National 2008.”

    Worst call of the day award. Look at the party list, compare and contrast.

    Monty: Spoke of two samoans endorsing Key,
    “two of the highest profile and respected Samoans have endorsed John Key. That is huge – and will be worth a few more points to the Nats”

    The fact that they are christian conservatives eg. didnt like civil union. Doesnt suprise me in the slightest as to who they vote for… Point of information please?

    And as for their high profile and respect….What about TV personality Oscar Kightley, rappers Savage and Scribe all giving their support to Labour. You act as if the Nats got some killer blow. When there are a number of Samoan high profiles who support Labour.

  66. r0b 66

    r0b – im not trying to be inflammatory. What were Labour asked to pay back money for?

    All parties in parliament receive an allocation of public money for publicity and advertising, but they are not supposed to use this for “electioneering”. This money is administered (spent) by parliamentary services at the request of the parties.

    After the last election all parties (except the Progressives) were found to have asked for, and had approved, spending on material that the Auditor General considered to be electioneering. All parties (including ACT and National) were judged to have got it wrong – even the Greens, whose MP Rod Donald had written the rules! Labour was the party with the largest sum involved.

    Although not legally required to do so (legally this was inappropriate spending by parliamentary services) all parties (eventually sort of including NZ First / Winston) as a sign of good faith refunded the money which the Auditor General judged had been spent on inappropriate electioneering.

  67. bobo 67

    Just curious do prisoners get to vote? As all the libertarians go on about their rights..

  68. Mike Collins 68

    Prisoners don’t get to vote. I have never personally heard a libertarian say they should be able to either. I have heard libertarians say that only those that contribute in taxes (ie net tax payer) should be able to vote, as why should someone be able to vote themselves someone elses money.

  69. Lew 69

    bobo: I think you’re mistaking civil libertarians (ie, people affiliated with, for instance, the Civil Liberties Union, who tend to believe people hold innate rights by virtue of being human) for Libertarians (who tend to believe in liberty until it impinges upon their property rights, at which point people lose all their liberties).


  70. Tane 70

    Mike, you wonder why people confuse right-libertarianism with fascism. “They’re completely different!” you lot say.

    When you start talking about taking away the franchise they both just look like systems designed to entrench the power of those at the top and keep the weak in their place.

  71. bobo 71

    Sorry civil libertarians , amazing what a difference the word “civil” can make..

  72. Mike Collins 72

    Tane I never said I agreed with it, I’ve just heard it said. People that make that comparison (between fascism and libertarianism) in my opinion are usually intelligent, but are being mischievous. They know it is false. Mind you I suppose I could say the way you lefties go on about class systems and bosses vs workers, that you are communists. That would be a tad cheeky though.

    Lew, you are so far wrong with that comment. Libertarians hold that each person should be able to lead the life they choose, so long as they don’t impinge on anyones else’s rights to life, liberty and property. In that sense liberty isn’t defined as something which is given by the state and curtailed at whim.

  73. Tane 73

    Mike, glad to hear it’s not something you agree with. It is, however, something I’ve heard a fair few libertarians argue, and there is a strong anti-democratic current throughout Randian thought. But anyway, this isn’t the thread to argue it. Perhaps another time.

  74. I didn’t watch the two party debates – either one.

    I refuse to support the softening-up process of the campaign already underway to dump MMP if National finds itself able to put up a referendum on it.

    The NZ Herald has – for the same reason – declared all parties other than Labour and National as surplus to (their) requirements.

    ….and they have the gall to accuse Labour of arrogance!

    It would be bad fiction if you read it in a novel.

  75. Lew 75

    Mike: “so long as they don’t impinge on anyones else’s rights to life, liberty and property”

    Right – at which point all their rights end. That was my ultimate point, nothing to do with the state. Because ultimately it doesn’t matter who deprives you of your rights.

    It’s the matter of proportion with which true-blue don’t tread on me libertarians normally take a few too many, erm, liberties.


  76. Jared 76

    Do you think TheStandard could ever call a debate in Nationals favour…ever? Im starting to get used to the fact that everytime a debate rolls around, or a contentious issue where Labour are actually worse off, the Standard almost never reflects this sentiment. Could Helen ever do wrong?

    [I wrote that Key won the first debate. SP]

  77. Lew 77

    Jared: How about the first Key v Clark debate on One, which Steve called (like everyone else) a win for Key?


  78. Ari 78

    I certainly would not have called Clark “visionary”. I would have called her statements about giving people more freedom a spirited defense.

    Personally my thoughts on the debate is that Helen Clark did okay, but wasn’t very engaging and was very vague in her plans. She did, however, manage to make John Key look even worse, what with his completely passionless answers and abject failure to differentiate himself from Clark. The only part of the analysis I disagreed with was that the election is a forgone conclusion for National. They could still screw it up in the last few days if they’re not careful- but it may be that it’s theirs to lose. That prospect should be scary to a lot of New Zealanders, I think.

    What possessed Labour to adopt an American style campaign??
    Kiwis generally can’t stand W or Palin and don’t like negative name calling. All Labour had to do was keep it positive.
    Hodgson and Williams have significantly under delivered in terms of strategy.

    I should point out that even before the various Campaign launches, National was happily plugging away with its negative PR without offering any alternative to Labour policies. Labour merely joined in the depressingly dull campaign. What both of these centre parties seem to have failed to realise is that running campaigns that are negative- even if they’re acceptably negative- just scares voters and makes them more likely to either vote for minor parties or not vote at all. I’d actually attribute most of National’s gains to pure frustration with Labour due to the shape of international events- which not many voters seem to realise are mostly outside of the Government’s control.

    Also, I don’t understand why people say their is no difference between national and Labour. Why is that? Because National will not roll back Labour’s policies like Working for Families? I believe the changes they will make differentiate the Parties.
    Surely it would cost a lot of money for National to roll back Labour policies?

    National has not commited to any major changes. Just shuffling money between some policies, including taking a lot of money from highly successful ones like Kiwisaver and ACC. In effect, he’s offering Labour with a splash of economic anarchism, and Labour is offering to be a little bit more leftist than last time and do some proactive protection of our economy.

    Do some policy analysis. National now has more in common with Labour than it does with either United Future or Act. The only thing that’s really stopping them from getting in bed together is that they disagree on how big the public service should be and how tight regulations on the economy should be.

    Open your wallets, girls and boys, we’re almost ready for the tired old olds to merge together and become the Free Market At All Costs Party 😛

    Pixie- Good on you! I hope we don’t let down your trust.

  79. bobo 79

    Ok in Starwars terms….. the last 8 years we’ve had “a new hope” now the next 9 years is “the empire strikes back”…

  80. “Mike Collins
    Prisoners don’t get to vote. I have never personally heard a libertarian say they should be able to either. I have heard libertarians say that only those that contribute in taxes (ie net tax payer) should be able to vote, as why should someone be able to vote themselves someone elses money.”

    Always a bit of a joke around lefties about what might happen to the rates of tax evasion and avoidance amongst libertarians if the value of their vote was made proportionate to the amount of tax they paid.

  81. Ms M 81

    Who else swore at their televisions when Key made his petulant aside about us not always having to follow Australia when Clark pointed out Australia had legislation for eco light bulbs one and a half years before us?

    Isn’t this the same man who wants us to wait until Australia has their own Emissions Trading Scheme before we implement one?

    Isn’t this the same man who has made numerous claims we need to be more like Australia?

    Call it a quirk, but I found the comment from him akin to being a politician bereft of a well rounded argument.

  82. tsmithfield 82

    I think that Clark was on a lose/lose with this debate the more I think about it.

    The harder she tried the more she came across as the perceived bossy, aggressive, interfering person that people are getting rapidly sick of. Even if she had technically won the debate, it was irrelevant to the impression she is confirming on people IMO. I am coming to see that these debates are not so much about who wins or loses. They are more about impression management IMO.

    I actually think Labour has made a strategic blunder in not getting rid of her before the election.

  83. max@gmaail.com 83

    Helen Clark – the little old lady who hasnt a nice word to say about anyone.

    And THATS why she’ll get voted out.

  84. Carol 84

    Strange criticism of Clark.

    Clark has often praised others in many ways.


    Clark takes the honours in tight TV tussle
    By Dene Mackenzie on Tue, 4 Nov 2008

    Prime Minister Helen Clark saved her best for last during the TV3 leaders’ debate last night when she could point confidently to her record of leading a government during the past nine years with five different parties.

    National Party leader John Key said he had shown he had been able to work under MMP in the two years he had led his party but he ruled out having the debate in the media about potential partners after the election.

    But he has already ruled out New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, and the Greens will not work with National.

    That leaves Act New Zealand and United Future and the Maori Party, if the latter is prepared to talk to National after voters have made their choice.

    In a tight contest, Miss Clark came out the winner on the night.

    The final leaders’ debate will be held on TV One tomorrow.

    However, the debate degenerated into a shambles because the mediator, John Campbell, did not mediate.

    Instead, he added to the general mayhem of the hour-long shouting match by trying to shout down both Miss Clark and Mr Key at various times.

    Mr Campbell is experienced enough to know that both leaders were only going to answer his questions in a way that suited them, not him, and he should have been prepared for that.

    He trivialised what should have been an important time for voters as they make up their mind before Saturday.

    While Miss Clark could point to her strong record of leadership as prime minister, Mr Key claimed he would bring with him to a National-led government the strongest economic management of any prime minister.

    That prompted Miss Clark to point to long-serving MPs Bill English, Lockwood Smith, Maurice Williamson and Murray McCully, all of whom were on former leader Don Brash’s front bench.

    Mr Campbell tried to tempt Mr Key into announcing who he would take into the Cabinet, claiming his top 12 MPs were as “fresh as old snapper”.

    Mr Key again would not be drawn, instead using his favourite phrase of “what I can tell you” when saying each leader put his or her stamp on the party and he had put his stamp on National.

    Miss Clark was not questioned on her likely front bench but she should have been, given that many of her Cabinet had been ministers for nine years.

    She acknowledged it was time for Labour to move on and the party had done so by developing its party list with an “incredible range of new candidates”.

    What was disappointing was the “me too” attitude of both leaders.

    Their policies on the economy were uninspiring, there were no fresh initiatives for the likely rise in unemployment as the recession bites and there was acknowledgement of a bipartisan agreement on the bank deposit guarantees.

    Miss Clark proved stronger than Mr Key on questions around “nanny state”.

    Mr Key claimed the Government was “storming through your door” but when challenged to find an example he struggled.

    In the end, he resorted to long-life light-bulbs and shower flows, something Miss Clark swooped on.

    “There are a lot of urban myths about this,” she said.

    “I’m a free spirit and don’t like people telling me how to live my life. I would never accept a government telling me how much water to have through a shower.”

    Strangely, while Mr Campbell tried to express concern about the state of the economy and the effects on New Zealand, he introduced at the end of the debate a futures trading market on the outcome of the election.

  85. exbrethren 86

    I thought Clark was just about passable, but no more. Key was woeful, a stunningly boring performance just repeating the usual slogans. NZs Barack Obama? God we’d be the laughing stock of the world if that was true.

    Only telling point was McManus about Key being willing to sell out any policy to get elected.

    Still think the Nats / ACT will be in charge after the weekend with Douglas dragging the country back to the soup kitchen, while poring money into John’s kids school because why should the rich have to pay for elitism?

  86. I guess all the real commentators have jumped ship? what a pathetic bunch at the end there!

    CAPTCHA: Do remedy

    Do remedy indeed!!

  87. Gary R 88

    Are you kidding? Clark won that debate? I know you are Labour party supporters, but how anyone can claim that Clark won that debate is beyond me.

    It was clearly not a decisive victory either way. If anything, and I disclose I am a little right-leaning in my politics, I would say Key was a bit stronger at times. But overall I thought it was a draw. Clark had some strong points, Key had some stutters, but for anyone to come out and declare a clear win for Clark is ridiculous.

    Unfortunately for Clark and Labour, I think the moderator got it right – people are tired of the incumbent government and are going to vote them out, rather than vote National and friends in.

  88. higherstandard 89


    What part of “Douglas won’t be around the cabinet table” don’t you understand. He was politically relevant and necessary during the late eighties and early nineties he isn’t today, especially as ACT at the most will probably only bring a small percentage of the voting publics support to any coalition.

  89. exbrethren 90

    “What part of “Douglas won’t be around the cabinet table’ don’t you understand.”

    In MMP coalitions those kind of things can change. Rodney said that to paraphrase “we’ll revisit that during negotiations”.

    Key has already backed away from so many previous stances that he could from this one. Labour would do similar things to hold onto power as well.

  90. theodoresteel 91

    Carol, do not cite Dene McKenzie ever. The man has no integrity, and no intelligence. He had a very public breakdown when he wasn’t allowed to interview Key one on one when he was in Dunedin, and until the editor stepped in was calling every day of the campaign a labour victory, despite what happened.

    He has no credibility and not only because of a slight left-wing bias but some kind of serious crusade against National because he believed they slighted him.

    The way to get Dene to report anything was always to ring him up and tell him to spit out what you said verbatim. He just doesn’t have what it takes to construct an article himself.

    Sorry, he’s just not a good journalist and why the ODT keep him on is completely beyond my comprehension.

    Also, I think Clark won that debate. Key was just very uninspiring. And I’m an insipid rightie, so that must be a balances opinion

  91. higherstandard 92


    “In MMP coalitions those kind of things can change. Rodney said that to paraphrase “we’ll revisit that during negotiations’.

    Sure but the amount of leaning over backwards a party has to do in the beast that is MMP is dependent on the size of their mandate – to some extent it’s what’s also taken the Greens, Progressive, ACT, UF out of the mix to a large extent, all of these parties have publicly stated that they will only go with one or other of the larger parties this time around making it apart from the Maori party a bit like a FPP election.

  92. Kerry 93

    The PM was excellent lastnight and was the true winner.

    Obviously most nats are living with there heads in the clouds if they think for one moment Douglas wont be a cabinate minister……mind you considering his age they might want to give him a slightly less challenging portfolio….eg Tourism??!! oh forgot Keys grabbed that already….nothing to heavy cause he needs to take off to his Hawaiian hideaway every few months for a bit of R & R…it will, i suspect give old Bill a chance to shaft keys when hes out of the country…..

  93. Gary R 94

    Kerry – nice to see you have your head in the clouds as well. And love how you managed to get in a dig about John Key owning property in Hawaii – heaven forbid that someone should actually make a success of themselves and be able to afford something like that eh? Better that instead we stay as an average performing country with no success.

  94. Kerry 95

    I find Jareds comments interesting, re panning The Standard for bias….Jared, how bout you speak to the Herald for the obviously bias toward the Nats???

    Herald make a mockery out of fairplay and there journos i suspect are all old men….or eeek people like Hooton who is surely a disgrace to the human race.

  95. Kerry 96

    I have no problem with Keys having a property in Hawaii…..i just wish he would stay there!

  96. vto 97

    Douglas in cabinet? ha ha that’s the biggest joke. He was in a labour govt at the time he was in cabinet. and with helen clark too… Clark was entirely complicit with the Douglas reforms.

    Surely that’s not too hard to understand

  97. Kerry 98

    oh vto….you are right…it is a joke…and the joke is Douglas will be a Cabinet Minister……as for Key saying he wont….WHATEVER?

  98. vto 99

    Kerry, I’ll bet you your credibility he won’t.

  99. Phil 100

    mind you considering his age they might want to give him a slightly less challenging portfolio .eg Tourism??!! oh forgot Keys grabbed that already

    Tourism; New Zealand’s second biggest export earner, after broad agriculture. Yeah, not even remotely a challenging portfolio like “The Arts”.

  100. insider 101


    And of course Clark has no overseas property….

  101. vto 102

    One thing during the debate which highlighted Clark’s less than tolerant view of certain types was when the matter of Michael Jones and Inger the Winger’s support for the nats came up. Clark sneered that it was a *curled-up nose* christian conservative vote, not a PI vote. Why does labour have such an intolerance towards this minority group and not others?

  102. Carol 103

    It’s the intolerance of Christian conservatives that bother some of us on the left. I always liked Jones & Inga – great rugby players. But I disagree with their politics. As a lesbian, the message I got from their explanation for their political endorsement, is that if you’re anti LGBT rights, then key is your man and National is your party.

    Christian Conservatives, whatever their ethnic background, tend to want to limit the civil rights of others who they disagree with.

    I want to add that it is mainly conservative Christians that have this tendency. There are plenty of Christians who are more supportive of the rights of others.

  103. vto 104

    I don’t disagree with that summation Carol. Part of their principles nd beliefs is the desire to impose their view on others, or at least convince avidly. But that is very very similar to the impositions that the left tries on – hence the constant cries of nanny state. Too much imposition of the left’s own views.

    Anyway, my point was really that Clark’s at times sneering nature is a bad look. And it is practised by others such as Cullen. Would Clark have the same sneering tone towards say a muslim voting block? I think not. Just a little ugly and intolerant.

  104. vto 105

    and just a bit more… this attitude I think is ingrained in the current labour lot’s thinking. Exhibited last night with Clark’s sneer, and can be tracked all the way back to Cullen’s maiden parliamentary speech where the same attitude was shown by his willingness to rip off the farmers who had just paid for his private schooling.

    The knowledge of that ingrained attitude is now also ingrained in many many voters.

  105. Ianmac 106

    Pinched this from Russel Brown’s blog re Michael Jones and Inga Tuigamala :
    They’re very conservative Christians — Jones is on the “board of reference” of Family First, and presumably, helped create its policy platform — including comprehensively banning abortion — and both men signed Family First’s open letter to MPs during the progress of Sue Bradford’s bill.

  106. r0b 107

    Anyway, my point was really that Clark’s at times sneering nature is a bad look. And it is practised by others such as Cullen. Would Clark have the same sneering tone towards say a muslim voting block? I think not. Just a little ugly and intolerant.

    Irrational hatred twisting your perceptions there at all vto? How’s that working out for you?

  107. Tim Ellis 108

    Ianmac said:

    Pinched this from Russel Brown’s blog re Michael Jones and Inga Tuigamala : They’re very conservative Christians

    That’s not really very surprising, though, is it? The vast majority of the Pacific Island community are conservative Christians. Do they not have a right to hold political opinions as well? Or should all conservative Christians be abused, slandered and silenced, as Helen Clark did when she and senior Labour Party colleagues used such expressions as “chinless scarf-wearers”?

    There are many parts of the Labour Party that have a pathological hatred towards conservative Christians and their moral positions.

  108. Phil 109


    It seems to me that religious belief and participation within a ‘church’ community plays a far more pivotal role in the life of the average Pacific Island NZer than it does in the average European NZer…

  109. r0b 110

    There are many parts of the Labour Party that have a pathological hatred towards conservative Christians and their moral positions.

    That’s odd, I’ve been in the Labour Party for nearly a decade and I’ve never met any. I think Tim that this is another of your wee lies.

  110. vto 111

    ay r0b? Irrational hatred? I don’t understand – merely passing comment on one part of Clark’s performance and comparing it to similar attributes in Cullen. In fact ‘irrational hatred’ is pretty much the precise point of Clark’s sneer – hence the post.

    You believe a sneering attitude does not seep out between the rivets of Clark and Cullen at times?

    You think perhaps Mallard would not label muslims ‘chinless towelheads’ or some other such abuse? Would he?

  111. r0b 112

    You believe a sneering attitude does not seep out between the rivets of Clark and Cullen at times?


    Or rather, I believe that such judgments tell us much more about the attitudes of the critic (you) than the criticised (Clark and Cullen).

  112. Daveski 113

    Carol and others

    This is Labour’s biggest challenge problem. The Grand Old Alliance – “workers”, beneficiaries, Maori, PI, younger left, elderly – looks unsustainable.

    Given Clark’s personal values and beliefs, Aunty Helen cuddling up to the congregation has got to by a flip flop of proportions Key could only dream.

    The cultural gaps – particularly around religion-flavoured beliefs – will drive a wedge through Labour’s traditional strongholds so it’s no surprise to see PI start to migrate towards the economic centre/right which is where there natural instincts lie.

    Conversely, the Greens look like cannibalising Labour’s left.

    The sneering of Clark and Cullen will turn off some of the middle and bingo welcome to opposition.

  113. r0b 114

    Daveski – what a load of old cobblers! And another with the “sneering” thing – are you guys all reading from some National “talking points of the day” script? The coincidence is remarkable!

    And the incessant personal attacks on Clark are such a good look for the Right…

  114. Daveski 115


    Let’s try analysis and discussion shall we?

    So what part is cobblers? The fact that Helen’s anti-smacking, pro-liberal views are diametrically opposed to the PI church views? I wasn’t passing an opinion on anyone’s views but it must be obvious even to you that there isn’t a lot of synergy there!

    The Green’s cannibalising the left of Labour? SP apparently is one.

    I give SP credit for his analysis. I’ve tried to provide some analysis (not to SP’s level I admit) but you simply dismiss it with “old cobblers”. You can do better. Which part do you disagree with? Why?

    The sneering issue wouldn’t be one if you and others could take a warts and all view of Cullen and Clark. There is a tendency to sneer, particularly Cullen, but this is part of politics. Admit it and get over it.

  115. Tim Ellis 116

    Maybe, despite your decade in the Labour Party, r0b, you haven’t come across Rainbow Labour. It’s not unreasonable to say they are driven in a large part by a contempt for the christian conservative movement, as are the CC’s driven by a contempt for the LGBT lobby, much of which makes up the Rainbow Labour faction within Labour.

    I’m not a Christian Conservative, but I think it’s perfectly reasonable to point out that the Labour Party has long been supported by the PI community, of which almost all hold conservative Christian values, and that those values are at odds with the values promoted by Rainbow Labour. It isn’t a happy marriage by any means.

    Back in 1996 Winston Peters’ party consisted of conservative elderly who wanted to ban immigration, rednecks, and Maori. That wasn’t a happy combination either. He was pretty quickly exposed, and the connection didn’t last.

    I think we’re seeing a shift in the PI community, in that they realise that such a dominant feature of the Labour Party, through Rainbow Labour, is very much at odds with their moral positions.

  116. Jackson 117

    It’s surprising Helen Clark does not wear a permanent sneer having to endure on a daily basis the moralising right who would be far more accepted and acceptable if they ran hysterical and emotionally charged campaigns against “the love of money.” After all, Jesus drove money changers from the temple, not single mothers or civil unionists. And, Christians, if they were truly christian, would be campaigning against Key ‘the money changer’, not hobnobbing around factories with him nor musing about the day when they too could be the ‘big boss’.

  117. vto 118

    oh ok r0b, Mallard was exhibiting his lovely side when he referred to ‘chinless scarfwearers’, Clark had nothing like a sneer in the way she referred to the ‘christian conservatives’ and Cullen was just joking in his inaugural speech.

    Cullen is known far and wide for his bitter sneering ways.

    It’s ok though – it is only a few days from the election. Can’t expect much else from a labour party member.

    oh, and yes we are all readin off the same script. ha ha ha ha ha ha. We’re part of a big secret conspiracy!

    And as for you despairing of personal attacks on the labour leader – seriously, wtf are 90% of the threads posted here about? Key, Key, Key and his personality.

    Try keeping a level head in these last few daze.

  118. Daveski 119

    hey vto – you must have the old version of the script – that was supposed to be my line!!!

  119. I think it’s a mistake to treat PIs as one dimensional (they’re morally conservative, they all go to church and base their views on that). National continues to treat people as just falling into a demographic with one box to tick, then they’ll continue to be the party of old rich white men.

  120. r0b 121

    Maybe, despite your decade in the Labour Party, r0b, you haven’t come across Rainbow Labour. It’s not unreasonable to say they are driven in a large part by a contempt for the christian conservative movement

    Tim, I’m working side by side with Rainbow Labour every day. And if you want to compare the “contempt” that they feel for aspects of conservative Christianity with the genuine hatred and persecution that conservative Christianity has unleashed on homosexuals over the ages, well then be my guest.

    And if that’s the best you can do after claiming “There are many parts of the Labour Party that have a pathological hatred towards conservative Christians and their moral positions” – then you’re a liar once again.

  121. Daveski 122

    Come on SP

    You’re the one who said National had no natural link with Maori (beneficiaries and “workers” – poorly paraphrased).

    Politics is about aggregating groups of interested parties. The righties here are arguing (very nicely too!) an issue that could be a defining one for Labour and the left are running for cover?

  122. r0b 123

    oh, and yes we are all readin off the same script. ha ha ha ha ha ha. We’re part of a big secret conspiracy!

    Ahaha! I knew it! And now I have proof!

    And as for you despairing of personal attacks on the labour leader – seriously, wtf are 90% of the threads posted here about? Key, Key, Key and his personality.

    No, Key Key Key and his policies and credibility. Valid political material, not these petty personal attacks that the Right has always been obsessed with when it comes to Helen Clark.

  123. r0b 124

    So what part is cobblers? The fact that Helen’s anti-smacking, pro-liberal views are diametrically opposed to the PI church views?

    You mean Helen and John’s (and Sue’s) anti-smacking views? Why does everyone on the Right try to conveniently ignore that?

    The Green’s cannibalising the left of Labour?

    That’s pretty much the only part of your comment that was true. And it works fine for me, I’d like to see Labour dragged further to the left by the Greens.

  124. vto 125

    r0b, I’ll give you one thing and that is your point about the poor old homosexuals suffering at the hands of many over the eons, including the conservative christians.

    To move on – imo Key seems to be making a good hack at opening up the nats to those who have previously been presumed to be shut out. It seems he is moving to actually completely transform the perception and the reality of the nats. It will be very very interesting to see how this transpires – one aspect I suspect will be the carving off of the old guard Lockwood Maurice etc. (presuming a win of course).

  125. Phil 126


    You might be happy to see Labour dragged further left, but what about the big chunk of New Zealand that swings between the Nats and Labour?

    While your conviction to the cause is admirable, I suspect such a government is not, to use a green phrase, sustainable.

  126. Tim Ellis 127

    r0b, you appear to be using persecution of homosexuals by christian groups, throughout history, as a justification for the pathological hatred that the likes of Rainbow Labour members show towards Christian conservatives.

    I’m not arguing that there hasn’t been historical justification. I’m just saying that the pathological hatred exists, and it’s reasonable to say that the hatred is mutual between the LGBT community and christian conservatism.

    Rainbow Labour is a major component in the Labour Party. That isn’t a secret. So although I know you enjoy calling people liars to wind them up in the hope that they will respond irrationally, you haven’t shown anything of the kind.

  127. exbrethren 128

    Deleted for fear of religous right.

  128. Ben R 129

    “old rich white men.”

    The one group who you are happy to demonise? They’ve never done anything good for anyone or society have they.

  129. Chris G 130

    Of course they have, but they’ve done a Lot of bad shit Ben R and it takes one (or a history lesson) to know one.

  130. rave 131

    The Christian conservatism of Tuigamala and Jones is a colonial hangover. Polynesia was colonised by Europeans who imposed their ‘values’ on the natives. The market, money and monotheism. These neo-conservative ‘values’ serve to regulate society by promoting peace and harmony in a conflict ridden society. They justify war against others in the name of peace. It is convenient to have people in church where they can be bombed efficiently.

    The new right use the religious right to re-colonise those who are de-colonising their minds. The problem is that secular values are those of individuals and can lead to social conflict when those values are exposed as hollow by capitalist crisis such as we are facing. Hence the neo-conservatism of the religious right is wheeled out to shut up the people. No accident that Oscar Knightly has chosen to stand up for Labour. Who could watch broTown and be a slave to colonial mentality. No surprise that Tuigamala has had some entertaining texts probably in the language of broTown.

    Labour as a modern and secular social democratic party stands against subordinating politics to religion. Its problem is that secular values of equality cannot survive when capitalist economic crisis threatens social harmony. Those who see equality as a lie then blame Labour instead of capitalism and look for magical solutions from the left and the right.

    Key as the latter day re-coloniser of NZ on behalf of international finance, wants to exploit the religious right to gain power. Its fitting in the sense that those who put their faith in the money market to provide humanity with a future, are making common cause with those who preach acceptance of the wrongs of this world and permanent peace and harmony in the next world.

  131. Ben R 132

    “Of course they have, but they’ve done a Lot of bad shit Ben R and it takes one (or a history lesson) to know one.”

    Can you tell me any group of males in history that haven’t done a lot of ‘bad sh8t’?


  132. Ben R 133

    “Of course they have, but they’ve done a Lot of bad shit Ben R and it takes one (or a history lesson) to know one.”

    Can you tell me of any group of males in history who haven’t done a lot of ‘bad sh8t’?


  133. Ben R 134

    “The Christian conservatism of Tuigamala and Jones is a colonial hangover. Polynesia was colonised by Europeans who imposed their ‘values’ on the natives. ”

    What makes you think that they did not have relatively conservative social values in the first place? I thought that the traditional customs and rituals of fa’a Samoa co-existed with their Christian beliefs. Also, was the taupou system a Colonial hangover?

  134. Carol 135

    There’s some good blogs and comments on this: Russell Browm’s commenters draw attention to the diversity of views within Pacific Island communities. I don’t think they can be claimed to be the “natural” voters for any one party.

    Tim Watkin on Pundit talks of the need to keep a separation between church and state, which I agree with. I wouldn’t criticise anyone’s choice of religion. I also have no idea what motivates people to participate in a religion, or whether it results in people’s minds being colonised. Tho, I do find it curious that the coloniser’s religion has come to be considered to be a central part of the culture of some colonised groups. However, it can still be a vehicle of resistance to colonisation for some people, I think..

    IMO, people should be free to practice their religion. They can harbour homophobic, and/or anti-abortion thoughts or ideas, and consider them to be part of their religion.That’s their choice and right. However, I will strongly criticise them if they then try to incorporate those views into politics and law, because that will grossly limit the rights of others..

  135. bill brown 136

    The churches in Sth Auckland are a money spinning exercise, similar to religious TV in the US.

    Preying on the poor to line their own pockets.

    Of course Key and his flunkies are into this – along with pokie machines it keeps the poor in their place – out of site and out of mind until 2011.

  136. r0b 137

    So although I know you enjoy calling people liars to wind them up in the hope that they will respond irrationally, you haven’t shown anything of the kind.

    No Tim, I call people liars when the tell lies, as you do. Your lie again, for the record, was “There are many parts of the Labour Party that have a pathological hatred towards conservative Christians and their moral positions’.

    If you wish to continue this further you can start by enumerating these “many parts” and proving the existence of their “pathological hatred”. Good luck with that, liar.

    (And for the record, the campaign committee that I work with, which includes Rainbow members, also includes a priest and church activists. This discussion which has touched on the ills of aspects of fundamentalist conservative Christianity should be taken to apply to all forms of Christianity – of course. Rainbow and Christian can get along just fine!).

  137. r0b 138

    Epic edit FAIL. Above “should be taken to apply to all forms of Christianity” should read “should NOT be taken to apply to all forms of Christianity”.

  138. Paul Robeson 139

    A much better performance from Helen.

    Is there another debate?

    I thought she was to kind on him at times. She could have skewered his continual lines about tax cuts. Tax cuts are the solution to all for the Nats (thanks G.Campbell at Scoop), but Labour is tax cuts plus- R & D, savings schemes.

    There has to be plenty of lines of rebuttal for the highest numbers of kiwis are leaving.

    I wish she had also picked him up on the own the factory thing at Proggressive- bloody good job to have the Pacific Island unemployment figures on hand.

    She had some good flowing moments, and stated her position well.

    I thought she could have got more into some of her statements, and at time had more effective pieces of rebuttal as lead ins.

    At times John Key’s language was more effective than hers, and at times he engaged in a debate better, despite frequently having weaker points.

    Why can’t we trust John? In this debate alone he said he would cut bureacracy, and now he is only intending to cap it.

    Also John Campbell did a far better job, picked candidates up and allowed a debate, not the farce that occurred at TVNZ.

  139. Ben R 140

    “Of course Key and his flunkies are into this – along with pokie machines it keeps the poor in their place – out of site and out of mind until 2011.”

    Bill Brown, what the hell are you talking about?

  140. Paul Robeson 141

    oh and surely

    New Zealand First voters don’t wish to see private prisons, ACC privatised or the super fund put at greater risk.

    Surely if you both want this it would be wrong to allow the things mentioned above to happen, because you didn’t like the leader.

    John Key can rule them out because they don’t support him on a large number of issues. Can’t wait to see him rule out Peter Dunne before due process.

    exams for 5 and 6 year olds? Do we want to scar them for life with exam pressures just as they start school? how has that gone in the United States? and wasn’t that George Bushes policy? Isn’t his thinking now a tad out of favour?

  141. Rochelle 142

    I missed the debate – like with everything else I assumed I would be able to watch it later. Any idea where I can find it? Youtube?

  142. Tim Ellis 143

    Good luck with that, liar.

    As ever, r0b, you show that it’s pointless debating with you when you consistently descend to personal attacks.

  143. r0b 144

    As ever Tim, you lie, get called on it, and then slink of claiming “personal attacks”.

    Your lie again, for the record, was “There are many parts of the Labour Party that have a pathological hatred towards conservative Christians and their moral positions’.

  144. Felix 145

    Careful r0b, next he’ll accuse you of being anonymous on teh interwebz and therefore not worthy of his grace.

  145. Pat 146

    Was reflecting last night (with the benefit of hindsight) on Labour’s mistakes in their campaign. There are the obvious ones:

    – the failed smear campaign on Key – in particular the H Bomb..
    – clinging onto Peters in the hope he would make it.

    But I think the biggest mistake may have been Helen’s decision to have head-to-head debates with Key instead of full leaders debates. In a full leaders debate Key would have had less time to speak, and be more likely to be thrown off balance by other antogonists. Instead, Key has had much more time to present himself to the NZ public (most of whom had only seen him in news soundbites) and he only had to compete well with Helen in the debates to look good.

    Conversely, in a full leaders debate Helen’s “stick with me in a crisis” approach may have had more appeal, simply due to the lack of air-time Key would have got.

    It’s not over yet, but if Labour loses the government benches on Saturday, I wonder if they will see the decision on the head-to-head debates as a defining error.

  146. Vinsin 147

    Pat – Interesting point. I think the biggest mistake Labour made is running a Presidential style campaign; however this is a result of National running one. I do think however that the less time Key has is actually better for him; he gets to spout rhetoric and stay on script, on message, and has less time to get muddled.

  147. Pat 148

    It was always going to be hard for Labour when they were consistently so far behind in the polls. But when I have recently chatted with ordinary National voters, it was clear that most of them had never really heard Key speak before the leaders debates. Many watched with the first debate with fear and trepidation expected Key to get slaughtered ala Don Brash.

    Instead Clark has failed to land a killer blow, and any tepid support for Key has probably solidified as a result of the debates. Hence why I think the head-to-head debate strategy has not worked as Labour would have hoped.

  148. banjo 149

    Helen Clark is variously, ignored by the media, cast in a bad light by the media, misquoted by the media, smeared by association with Peters by the media. A media who incidentally never fail to quote word for negative word what Key says/thinks about her. Mate! it is bloody miracle she is even still standing but she is and she does the debate thing extremely well.

    Plus… she is also a very good looking woman. Not that looks matter in the overall scheme of things, but everything helps.

    We are damned lucky to have her…Helen Clark is the girl for me and gets my two ticks come election day.

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