Congratulations

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, November 9th, 2008 - 77 comments
Categories: activism, national - Tags:

It’s been a hard fought campaign but it’s clear that we’ve got a firmly right wing government now. Congratulations are in order for John Key and the ACT party.

Of course I’m not happy with the outcome and I expect it will bode badly for a lot of New Zealanders but that’s the democratic result and you can’t argue with it.

Over the next three years there are going to be a lot of things we on the left will have to campaign hard to protect including, quite likely, MMP and the first hundred days of this new government will be a test for all left activists as reforms are pushed through fast during the honeymoon period.

But that’s ahead of us. Right now I’m going to spend an afternoon relaxing in the sun.

77 comments on “Congratulations ”

  1. Mello C. 1

    I, at least, am looking forward to three years of being proven right about the National Party as they indulge in self-interested policies and tax cuts while the rest of the West gets on with what needs to be done. I’ve spent the last eight years of my life bitching about the Bush administration, and it’s going to be tough dealing with this sort of thing closer to home.

    I’d also like to put in a word of thanks to the Standard for being there for us all this time. Where would we be without you guys? It’s been awesome.

    But anyway. Now it’s time for a swing in the hammock. Under a blue sky.

  2. …and a big Congratulations to the media for killing off two of the greats. You dont know what you’ve got until its gone.

  3. Santi 3

    I join the party to celebrate the blow inflicted on socialism. NZ Labour’s defeat can only be a cause for joy.

    [lprent: I see that you’re operating at your usual low standard]

  4. mike 4

    Good to see some grace in defeat IB.
    When will your friends learn that blaming the media will never wash as winston has just found out.

    Happy days….

  5. Mike Collins 5

    Thanks for the kind words IB. I for one am very happy that ACT has a real opportunity to make a difference. However I don’t mean to be ungracious. Losing sucks, I know. The left have quite a few new faces which is something to be thankful for.

  6. Ray 6

    Very graceful congratulations IB

    I guess we will now get to see if “The Standard” is, as has been claimed by the rabid right, is a Labour Party creation run from the 9th floor

    On the positive side look at the fun you are going to have whinning about the Government for the next 3/6 years

    [lprent: Daveski inquired about the cost of running the site last night. So I put a copy of a invoice up. See here in the About. Basically believing Whale on anything is a pretty stupid idea. He just likes to lie as far as I can tell, especially about this site.]

  7. Lew 7

    Ray: I just wonder what the KBR, Whale, Fair[sic]facts, etc. will have to rail impotently against 🙂

    L

  8. lprent 8

    Mike Collins: Yep, The new faces are good, and some of those new faces are going to be very effective once they season up. For instance, just being around and working with Phil Twyford on campaigns is usually enough to make me get exhausted.

    Plus that Labour didn’t drop by much MP wise. That means that they will be able to be a hell of an opposition.

  9. deemac 9

    hard to see how ACT in govt with fewer votes than NZ First represents “the will of the people”. First Past the Post has its anomolies but so does MMP.

  10. milo 10

    deemac: National, Act and United Future have over 50% of the raw votes, before the tiddlers and unsuccessful parties are removed. Can’t get much more democratic than that.

  11. Lew 11

    deemac: Yes. Interesting to see how the MMP argument plays now that the shoe is on the other foot, with the government benefiting from, rather than losing out to, MMP’s anomalies.

    I think this election is a strong case for abolishing or reducing the threshold, but I think the mood of the public will be to stay the course and retain MMP unchanged. That’s fine by me too.

    L

  12. lprent 12

    L: The ‘sod raised the problem for the rabid right blogs last night. It is difficult to see what they’re going to do in the current environment.

    KBB can probably transition to doing paens to the Key, and countering opposition. But I’m not sure that a lot of its commentators will be able to do so (they don’t look all that flexible).

    The others will have problems as their reason for being disappears

  13. Tim Ellis 13

    Very gracious IB. I know losing isn’t fun, and for those of you who are tempted to try and rub it in, do try to resist.

  14. I’ll be there with you to help protect MMP.

    -Peter McCaffrey
    -ACT Candidate for Otaki

  15. Lew 15

    The major gain I see from scrapping the threshold would be in reducing the throwaway votes – like those for the Bill and Ben Party, who, without a threshold would today see Bill in parliament, and the loss of a very good piece of NZ TV.

    (According to http://www.publicaddress.net/5490 )

    L

  16. I agree.

    Remove the threshold, or at least lower it to about 2%.

    (And i’m so glad I can now support that without it sounding like i only want it because it will help ACT! :D)

  17. Roflcopter 17

    At least the B&B party got their deposit back 😀

  18. out of bed 18

    The only thing that stops me slashing my wrists
    is that the Central Nelson polling booths where we have been campaigning hard, the Green vote was 14 %
    and it is fantastic the Kevin Hague is now an MP Keep a look out for him he is very impressive

  19. Bill – you’ve shown more considerably grace than a number of left-leaning commentators in the media today – well done.

  20. relic 20

    Congratulations in order? not on my to do list. National’s bullet point policies are very swiftly going to acquire some detail and workers will be in for a good kicking. Still, a number of us have faced police lines in the Muldoon and Shipley eras and will no doubt be appearing at a picket line near you sooner rather than later!

    Key is a lightweight front man for the big boys. Thanks partly to a 3 year relentless full tilt media boogie legions of blokes who couldn’t handle an intelligent woman in charge have returned Roger as well as the Nats 90s brains trust!

    Congratulations indeed fellow citizens.

  21. Daniel 21

    Woo!

    Good bye Helen and the Emmisions trading scheme.

  22. Defeated but never destroyed. Labour will be back and they’ll be back in a big way. Someone is going to have to be here to fix the damage that is about to be inflicted upon our nation.

  23. Lew 23

    Daniel: The ETS which National have said they’ll amend but not repeal?

    L

  24. gobsmacked 24

    I’d like to add my congratulations to both National and ACT. I won’t pretend I liked the result, but it is a democratic outcome, and there is some value for all of us in a “no excuses” result. We don’t need to spend the next three years blaming the Maori Party or Winston or whoever for making the wrong choice.

    I think the result could – paradoxically – help save MMP. It will be hard for National to claim they are being held back from “decisive government” by the electoral system.

    If they do bring about a change to FPP-lite, it’ll be just in time to lose in a landslide. Better keep MMP to keep the Nats in power!

  25. TimeWarp 25

    Yes Peteremcc, agreed. A lower list threshold is a position I’ve held to since MMP was introduced. We have two parties present with less than 1% of the popular vote, but another out the door with a little less than 5%.

    Right or Left victory, it’s not an ideal representative system that sees close to or over 10% of people’s government preference votes effectively discarded, as happened yesterday.

    Any theories from anyone on why South Auckland voters failed to show? I know the repeal of Section 58 may not have played well in that constituency but that would appear to account for the low turn out. Perhaps just apathy towards “nice Mr Key” versus the fear of Brash in 05?

  26. gingercrush 26

    I heard a lot abot Labour’s organisation and it was clear Helen Clark was sticking around in South Auckland while John Key went all over New Zealand. And yet Clark’s strategy did not work. The organisation appears to have failed. Perhaps South Auckland saw the writing on the wall, the media were showing polls saying a victory to the right. Perhaps they saw this and decided well there isn’t any point. In most electorates turnout was 28, 000+ even in Wellington and the like. In South Auckland that wasn’t the case. Historically South Auckland turnout tends to be low. I think Brash really scared them, John Key not so much. But still they could have made a difference where it would have been far closer. Labour in future needs to get that message out. And this year that didn’t happen.

  27. gingercrush 27

    Ack an’t edit. Anyway, us on the right FEAR South Auckland. It is one of the faster growing areas, it always seems to be loyal to Labour. I don’t like to think along racial lines but the Pacific Island continues to grow and grow. National to me still lacks way to capture more Pacific Island vote. Simply having one pacific island MP doesn’t cut it. South Auckland is akin to provinces like Clutha-Southland. They always vote the same way. The difference is National doesn’t have many Clutha-Southlands. Labour does have South Auckland. Even when it was 80% of the vote in I still had some fear that South Auckland would pull Labour back in.

  28. I don’t really have any insight to the Labour campaign in the South Auckland seats, except to note that George Hawkins had funded separate hoardings of his own that had:
    (tick box) George Hawkins
    (tick box) Labour
    When the rest of the country, where they came straight from head office had the party first, candidate second (and also only the candidate’s last name, not their full name).

    That may indicate that Hawkins didn’t do all he could for Labour in Manurewa, or I could be extrapolating a whole lot from not much!

  29. Lew 29

    GC: Rather than fearing the growing urban working class, why doesn’t `the right’, as you term yourselves, do something to make your policies more attractive to them?

    L

  30. Lew, I think they just did.

  31. Pascal's bookie 31

    I just wonder what the KBR, Whale, Fair[sic]facts, etc. will have to rail impotently against

    The Blue Socialists and Obama?

    I think the interesting thing about the next election will be whether Key can hold on to the centre voters that he picked up this time, and where the NZFirst votes go.

    ACT ran, IMV, the smartest campaign, recognising that National was gunning aggressively for the centre with it’s small target, and using that to grab the more reformist right. Key has positioned National in the centre perceptually, and that’s where his policy mandate, such as he has one, lies.

    I guess he will try to redefine where that centre is policy wise, but doing so too quickly will ruin the perception. The radicals in ACT, and indeed within his caucus, will take some managing. Those radicals believe they have the answers to our current problems.

    Some answers are necessary. Key has not taken power in calm seas. It is up to him what policy set he chooses, to go in the direction of his ACT allies and their large National sympathy bloc, or to take a more gradualist approach.

    Another problem he faces is that the solutions other nations try, will be what he is judged against politically.

    The ‘Washington Consensus’ doesn’t even hold in Washington anymore. The last round of neoliberal reform in NZ took place when that’s what everyone was doing. Not so now.

    Taking a centralist line now, and not looking to be out of step with international trends means something very different from what it meant in the 90’s. If he follows this new centre and successfully positions National in that mold, he faces splintering his own party with some waka jumping to ACT to try and hold the line. How the electorate responds to that, becomes the game for 2011.

  32. Lew 32

    Julie: Arguably true. But the question (in principle) stands.

    L

  33. monkey boy 33

    It shows true leadership and largesse of spirit to offer congratulations in this way. I will not comment on how that may or may not have affected the election result had it been manifested for the past 18 months, but I will suggest that perhaps, if Labour is to start again, and re-examine its priorities, it may bode better for them in the future. Negativity has been a monkey on their back for too long. That’s all i will say about it or any other subject in these here parts. Over and out.

  34. gobsmacked 34

    PB

    Good analysis, here’s one more thought: Key’s Parliamentary majority is Epsom. As long as ACT and National get along, there’s no problem. Once they fall out – even fight – then the Epsom electorate becomes a contest again. National would only have to put up a real candidate, and tell the voters they want to win it.

    But no Rodney in Epsom = no second term. Therefore, no fight with ACT. Therefore, tail wags dog.

  35. gingercrush 35

    Its more than simply coming up with policies that attract working class urbanites. You do that and you potentially lose voters far to the right. Its about overcoming traditions. Maori and Pacific Islanders election after election vote Centre-Left. Sure the left over these people policies that suit those people. But also its long-term voting patterns which is passed onto their children who also vote Centre-Left. National needs to think long-term in regards to Working Urban Class voters. We need more pacific and Maori MPs, we need more organisation in those areas. We need to offer alternative policies than the centre-left and most important we need to change tradition. To get Maori and Pacific Island voters going blue can’t be a three year plan. It needs to be 10 years and more solid planning, solid thinking to get those people to cross over. But both Maori and Pacific Islanders are expected to grow their populations significantly and so far National hasn’t fully grasped that. Likewise, for the centre-left these are your supporters but you need to keep them and solidify your support from them.

    Another issue are Asians and Indian voters. A growing number in South Auckland. This year I’m sure they voted National, thus National needs to keep them. For them law and order is very important. Labour also needs to keep working these ethnic groups, because right now they are not entrenched as National supporters.

    National made a start yesterday, but the centre-right needs to consistently work on them or otherwise we face election on electon on election of defeats.

  36. So you’re saying you need to figure out a way to get voters to vote for you even though your policies are not in their interests???

    I thought you tories had Crosby Textor to figure that stuff out for you?

  37. gingercrush 37

    No that isn’t what I’m saying. We need to find alternative policies that will work for Urban Working Class voters without copying what the centre-left does.

  38. bobo 38

    I think 3 things happened last night in regards to the National Swing which at least wasn’t a complete landslide against Labour which it could have been.The most damaging policy for Labour was the perceived anti smacking bill pissing of the moderate swing voters to switch to National even though National voted for it too. Another factor was the Generation Y who know nothing much else in their working lives except the last 9 years of relative stability politically and economically, like with life experience one needs to experience hard times to appreciate the better times so maybe a reality check is in order over the coming years. The last part is the feeling for change amongst those who are not particularly politically minded and just want a new face leading the country.

    National I hope you can govern without reverting to putting the boot into those in our society without the voice to fight back such as the evil “sickness beneficiaries”.. I’m happy to see Tizard gone as I feel shes been a lazy minister all it needs now is to see Mike Williams fall on his sword.

    Finally I admire Helen Clark for being decisive , strong, caring, down to earth and the best PM judging from my time on the planet you will be hard to replace as leader and I hope the rest of your political career here or overseas is a fruitful productive one.

  39. Lew 39

    GC: My question was perhaps a bit capricious, since I don’t accept my own unstated premise that politics is a rational system – so policy isn’t necessarily the key to support. I agree with the implication you make that that to a large extent, political allegiance is a matter of ideological identity – your family are die-hard Labour voters, you’re more likely to be one, etc. Playing ideological identity politics like this is a tricky – but necessary – business. What you’re talking about are strategies to change those allegiances – or in the case of relatively new immigrants, to form those allegiances and perpetuate them. However, the main way in which the ideological signals which drive loyalty are transmitted is by policy. Where the interests of different identify groups meet is where it all happens. Accept for the sake of argument that the interests of National’s support base (landholders, business owners, the upper-middle classes) differ from and are to an extent exclusive to the interests of its new-found support in the urban working classes. Having rallied traditionally non-National voters to the `brighter future’ banner, how do they now keep them there without alienating the base, whose interests are at odds with those of the newly converted?

    L

  40. Lew 40

    Sod: Heh, you’re so much less wordy than I am.

    L

  41. TimeWarp 41

    I thought that had been done GC…. it’s called “tax cuts”.

    Sorry mate – I realise that response is probably flippant given you are giving this serious consideration and making some good statements. It’s only that this is the first time since the campaign started that I’ve heard such deeper consideration of National policy. All the debate has been delivered in broad brush-strokes and glib soundbites on the level of spending, tax and investment – nothing on what social policy is delivered to what demographs and communities.

    If you are raising those issues and contributing ideas in any circles where they can influence strategy or policy, then all power to you.

  42. rave 42

    Gingercrunch

    Touting for Key eh?
    Your own figures on the Damn Close Election thread for South Auckland show a massive Labour abstention but no increase for National. So how does this square with migrant voters switching from Labour or newly voting for National?

  43. Lew 43

    TimeWarp: That, in my view, is a good chunk of the reason the government lost. They largely refused to dumb politics down and reduce it to juicy bite-sized morsels. It’s an ugly business, and people saw it in all its ugliness. An elder statesman (I forget who – Holyoake?) took the view that the electorate ought to be treated like adults and given the full and unvarnished facts in all cases, and expected to understand and act upon them. The Clark government did so, but reality doesn’t have the same resonance as narrative, which is what National created.

    L

  44. higherstandard 44

    Nice post Bill.

    From the union perspective who’d you like to see in the cabinet as Minister of Labour.

  45. TimeWarp 45

    Lew. Labour ran a really poor campaign. There is some validity to questioning Key’s flip-flopping in positions but they did little to remind people of what they had achieved in the last 9 years, or say what they would do in the next 3.

    Maybe next cycle they will get Publicis Mojo (the Greens’ agency) on board and get some crisp, clear and positive messages out there – without either having to resort to muckraking or dumbing down politics.

  46. Jimbo 46

    Mello C

    Suggest you go and do some reading about how governments around the work are responding to the recession. Think you’ll find that Barak Obama and Gordon Brown are… cutting taxes.

    Are they do so to make the rich richer?

    Or is there something about the potential positive effects of tax cuts that you don’t understand….?

  47. gingercrush 47

    Lew – Sheesh could you ask more difficult questions, lol. honestly, not entirely sure at this point. Its easy to say, they need to do this or they need to do that. Much, much harder to actually doing anything substantial.

    rave – Good point. Certainly the election shows in South Auckland, National didn’t seem to pick up much. I’ll make a few assumptions but clearly, they’re largely just generalisations.

    1. More Pacific Island and Maori voters in South Auckland did not turn out. Whilst Asian/Indian voters did.
    2. Botany went sharply to the centre-right. True Botany isn’t exactly South Auckland but large proportion of Asian and Indian voters thus possibly useful for a guide to where migrant voters may have gone.
    3. The language in the media and focus on Law and Order significantly made it an issue for asian voters.
    4. There was a poll which pointed to Chinese voters going for National.
    5. General pattern of most electorates shows a move to National away from Labour. An issue here is that the shift could simply be white voters.

    I would actually love to see significant data from elections, much like exit polls which could be useful to show trends etc etc. These could be revealed after a clear government is formed. Certainly a week or more after any election.I think they already have something like this but not entirely sure.

  48. Lew 48

    GC: Yeah, I understand it’s been a full-on 24 hours, but I’m interested in how folks think things might go from here.

    Traditionally, the plan seems to have been to suck in enough of National’s non-supporters for long enough to win an election, then screw them over with policy which favours the base. That’s what ended them up in opposition for nine years ending today. Key’s statements signal an intention to break this mould, though his opponents doubt it. So, the question is, how are these conflicting interests to be reconciled?

    I’ll be most interested to see how the new government answers it.

    L

  49. Rex Widerstrom 49

    Over the next three years there are going to be a lot of things we on the left will have to campaign hard to protect including, quite likely, MMP…

    I sincerely hope that that’s not an indication that the left will start digging in to defend MMP in its present form purely to score points by opposing any review, just because that review is initiated by National?

    It’s one thing to oppose specific changes National might put forward, but quite another to defend MMP as it stands.

    Because there are numerous flaws in MMP (it’s Sunday, and I frankly can’t be bothered enumerating the details right now and anyway that’s not the primary point of this comment) and we should embrace the chance to review and reconstruct our electoral system to produce better outcomes.

    I noted last night commenters of a leftish persuasion making the point that, while they were glad to see the back of Winston, it seemed unfair that NZF could garner more votes than, say, ACT, yet end up with no seats under MMP.

    What I’m about to say doesn’t just require me to swallow a dead rat but an entire skip load of roadkill – but I agree with them. That’s just one of many inconsistencies in the present system that’s worth at least considering.

    I’m sure you’ll find plenty of things to stand against National on… but let’s not make the improved functioning of our democracy one of them.

  50. gobsmacked 50

    (to gingercrush)

    Exit polls are illegal in NZ. They are covered by the general ban on election day activity.

    So the best available data – straight after 2 million people have voted, not a phone call to a small sample, not research done long after – does not exist.

    Everywhere else in the world, we can immediately find out why people vote the way they do. In NZ, we pretty much make it up. Lots of pundits talking out of their arse, very little hard data.

    Bear that in mind when you hear the post-mortems!

  51. keith 51

    TimeWarp – GC’s ‘serious consideration’ smacks of political naivete. He effectively is asking how National can hold onto the the lower class vote without pissing off the people who plan to take advantage of said lower class. How do you do that?? Well you’d don’t – not unless, as sod points out, you trick them which is what they have done.

  52. TimeWarp 52

    Unless Keith, he is suggesting they actually get ‘real’ with some policy propositions to deliver real value to the general electorate in a way that is distinct from Labour. Instead of swallowing dead animals of various species. That I would welcome… but I don’t see it in their psyche based this election.

    I’m not into a class warfare rich-vs-poor thing…. (and would fall closer to the first category than the second) and call me a naiive optimist, but I hope for an NZ where we talk about and deal with the issues of the country as a collective.

    Damn – did I just say collective? Just the sort of thing that will have the KB’ers branding me a marxist. 🙂

  53. higherstandard 53

    Where’s randal ?

  54. mike 54

    “Where’s randal ?”

    Scandanavia

  55. keith 55

    TimeWarp: w.t.h does getting ‘real’ ACTUALLY mean? here are the facts: 1) power; ie economic freedom, influence, material well-being etc is conferred by wealth. 2) the size of the economic pie in a modern economy like NZ grows very modestly (actually decreasing right now). 3) The only way to improve a significant proportion of the population’s material conditions is to increase their economic freedom which, because of 2), requires that you redistribute the wealth of the economy. ie the policies of labour. For national to hold onto the votes of the economically disadvantaged masses means redistribution of wealth, and you would be a “naiive optimist” to think that will happen.

    Apparently GC hasn’t clued onto this, I’m fairly new here so I’m not sure whether he’s a thickie or just lacks knowledge of the world due to youth, perhaps both.

  56. TimeWarp 57

    Keith.. see above. Real means talking about policy that has specific outcomes for NZers rather than simply “being ambitious”.

    There are a small core of National/ACT supporters that are greedy to the point they vote in their own self-interest and don’t look much at the wider picture.

    However the broad majority of the electorate, while shallow enough to feel “it’s just time for a change” if left unengaged, potentially will respond to sensible policy that’s about the growth and wellbeing of the country as a whole if they are well-engaged. Regardless of whether it’s from National or Labour.

    The big disappointment of this election was neither party articulated such policy. And that so much of the electorate was disengaged, such as the South Auckland seats.

  57. Jess 58

    Hey guys, MMP is safe, we on the right have finally got it sussed. Now we’re rid of Winston, your EFA will ensure he never gets back and now we just need to ensure Rodney has a worthy successor who will contentedly roll over for some social engineering policy a la the merry Green Men and we’ll be around for at least another 9 years.

    Glad to see there are no hard feelings, just burning resentment on your part.

  58. Ben R 59

    “The language in the media and focus on Law and Order significantly made it an issue for asian voters.”

    That, and a number of homicides in South Auckland where Indians were the victims? The media can’t completely manufacture concern over these issues if people aren’t committing crimes in the first place.

  59. keith 60

    TW: what I meant when i asked for you to articulate what ‘real’ actually means was to elaborate on some of the policies GC and you seem to be alluding to. At the moment you guys are merely talking about talking about them. My argument is that any policies which might try to accomplish the goals described by GC are impossible due to constraints described in my prev post. It’s like the political/economic/power equivalent of the first law of thermodynamics 🙂 your thoughts?

  60. Felix 61

    Ben that’s true but it’s also true that crime stories tend to be covered in a different way in an election year.

    Usually the angle is simply “crime is awful and it’s destroying our society”. In election year it tends to be “crime is awful, it’s ruining our society and [whoever is blathering about lauren order that week] says the government is doing nothing about it”.

    Now the rhetoric can all be shelved for another 2 years.

  61. Felix 62

    r0b, I got a good chuckle out of that one too.

  62. Gooner 63

    You lot on the Left should be proud of the way the Greens performed. To pick up 2 MP’s when the swing goes against you is impressive.

    Labour lost the ‘middle’ vote. That seems pretty clear. And it’s not surprising considering how squeezed middle NZ is right now. People do tend to vote with their wallets after all.

    The blogosphere has never operated in NZ when the Right has been in government so the next three years will be interesting from that perspective if nothing else.

  63. whoever is blathering about lauren order that week] says the government is doing nothing about it’.

    Felix – Over the last 3 years it has been the sensible sentencing trust. Non-stop. I wonder if they will continue to blame the government or if they will quietly disappear into the woodwork now they’ve got the change they campaigned for…

    Gooner – I’ve often wondered the same thing about the ‘sphere. It’s gonna be interesting to say the least – I think it’ll probably be a bonus for the standard as they seem like they’ve been practicing for opposition since they started and will probably be a thorn in the side of the new govt…

    What do you reckon your lot are gonna do? Maybe become freeper style blogs?

  64. r0b 65

    r0b, I got a good chuckle out of that one too.

    It’s been interesting the timing of the NZ and US elections. The whole trip has reminded me of that old board game, Snakes and Ladders. (Do kids these days still play Snakes and Ladders?).

  65. TimeWarp 66

    Keith… I have no idea what those policies are – or should be. Simply – I would welcome National focussing in that direction and articulating something other than “ambition for NZ”, “higher” tax-cuts, and the most fiscally absurd policy since Think Big of government-funded fibre to both Key’s holiday home in Omaha and the shabbiest shack in the Hokianga.

    Happy? 🙂

    I note your comments about the conflict between the greedy minority and what’s best for the broader population, and agree. However that minority while vocal is small and will never alone call the shots. The problem for Labour in this election was the apathy from voters who “just felt it was time for a change” or couldn’t be bothered voting, along with some westies who it seems want to be able to legally hit their kids.

  66. gingercrush 67

    And I must admit I was largely thinking generally and not gong into specifics or thinking them. Also I wasn’t really exploring issues around economics. Basically National hasn’t even had this debate. In 2002 they wanted more pacific and maori voters so they put in a few Maori candidates in electoral seats and thought that would grab votes. Just doesn’t work. National needs to have a debate within themselves on how they can potentially attract such voters.

    And no not thick can be naive at times sure but so can anyone. Tend to prefer making general type comments and not big on going into specifics. Potentially a problem since useful debate requires specificity. Also I guess I’m part of the new generation that tend to not think on old economic binaries.

    Even if National could grab 15% of the Pacific and Maori vote it’d be an improvement of what we get now. And surely the right can’t leave it till they’re 40% of the population or more. Because by then its too late. Though I’m sure those on the left would be happy about that.

  67. Gooner 68

    Sod, what’s a ‘freeper’ blog?

  68. TimeWarp 69

    GC, I’m happy when our parliament and government are focussed on producing policies that help actively move our country ahead. If what you posit happens then we may have two central parties that do so, both with good yet alternative options – which is something I would welcome regardless of labels of ‘Left’ and ‘Right’. At the moment it seems to me that the Labour-lite version of National has all the appearance of hollow men swallowing dead rats (to mix mixed metaphors). But we will see for certain soon enough what the substance of the new government will be.

  69. Pascal's bookie 70

    ‘sod, the sensible sentencing trust have got a guy in parliament now. #5 on the ACT list.

    I guess the ACT candidate selection people weren’t expecting to do as well as they did and figured 5 was far enough down to be safe, but high enough to make the SST feel wanted.

    oops.

  70. Gooner – free republic. It’s a pro-GOP blog. The posters/commenters are called freepers and they make your lot seem sanely moderate by comparison. The first time I read it I thought it was a pisstake…

  71. PB – yeah but crime is still going to rise (more so with a recession and neo-liberal response). Will McVicker STFU? If he does then his crazy crew are gonna look a lot like they were really a political outfit…

  72. Pascal's bookie 73

    “Will McVicker STFU?”

    I’m guessing ‘nah’.

    And that there will be a ritual denouncing from him of his parliamentary ACT friend, and a drying up of SST’s funding…

  73. Felix 74

    He’ll never STFU. Nats will mostly ignore him. ACT will feign well intentioned helplessness.

  74. “Robinsod
    Felix – Over the last 3 years it has been the sensible sentencing trust. Non-stop. I wonder if they will continue to blame the government or if they will quietly disappear into the woodwork now they’ve got the change they campaigned for “

    Well their stated agenda, to lower the crime rate, has been happening for a while now (not that they will tell you this)

    Their real adgenda, to get National elected they have achieved also.

    Their MO how ever, to have the general public over estimate their perception of crime, it will be interesting to see if they can shake that though, especially during hard times economically.

    Remember how they operate:

    1. Make a massive deal out of a few blood and guts, front page crimes to cause people to perceive there is more crime than there really is.

    2. Use that perception to introduce bad law and order policy.

    3. Bad law and order policy increases crime.

    4. See step 1

    Some might suggest that is so Garth McVictim can clip his ticket on the way around and make an easy buck. But from what he says and they way he acts, and the way he operated the Sensible Sentencing Trust, I think for him its more about getting a chance to beat up on Maoris. Though there have been some suggestions that there is now some very very big money coming in, so maybe there is a bit of a ticket clipping motivation there. Still seems to me like the over riding motivations are racism and revenge.

  75. “Robinsod
    Gooner – free republic. It’s a pro-GOP blog. The posters/commenters are called freepers and they make your lot seem sanely moderate by comparison. The first time I read it I thought it was a pisstake “

    Holy *@^$ ‘Sod, can you, in future, post a warning when mentioning sites like that! Far out.

  76. Alexandra 77

    Jess
    That the right has “finally got it [mmp] sussed” is surely a real worry. In the 1999 & 2002 elections the Nats still hadnt got to grips with the importance of the party vote and ran a largely consituent campaigns. That its taken 4 electoral cycles to suss out mmp, gives me no confidence that they are capable of running the country!

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