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Epsom government – unstable and unequal

Written By: - Date published: 10:17 pm, February 6th, 2012 - 21 comments
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I’ve just watched John Key say on Sky Australia “We don’t need the Maori Party – we have the votes for stable government.” But without the Maori Party, all we’ve got is an Epsom government. It hangs by the thread on  the meeting over the teacups  between Parnell resident Key and Epsom candidate Banks which sent a message to National voters to vote for Banks in Epsom. Key needed Epsom voters to guarantee National’s  “mandate” for asset sales.

Key spoke of partial asset sales, a policy  that is supposed to let “mum and dad” investors participate. It’s  partial all right, absolutely in favour of the mums and dads of Epsom. They’re the only ones who can participate because they’re the ones who got the big tax cuts. They must have assets with a large dividend stream as returns on bank investment, that many pensioners depend on, aren’t big enough for them.

Key is desperate to keep the Maori Party as a  figleaf to cover up the fact that all we have is an Epsom government. His disparaging remark that Clause 9 of the SoE Act was “largely symbolic” has caused great offence in Maoridom and among many pakeha. Tariana Turia has now pulled off the figleaf in an open letter in today’s Herald.

The front page of today’s Herald details how Auckland is a city divided.

“A vast income gap has opened up between the haves and the have-nots, and many people struggle to avoid food.

No struggle for  the people of Epsom. Inequality is a huge issue worldwide, as the Herald indicates:

… many economists now see reducing inequality as a prime economic goal – both to harness our full human potential and to dampen boom/bust cycles caused by excessive lending by people who have more than they need to people who need the loans but can’t afford them.

A survey for last month’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, rated “severe income disparity” as the biggest risk facing the world in the next decade.

Waitangi has provided the first rock in the road for a government whose policies are based on inequality. There is no mandate for asset sales, partial or otherwise.

21 comments on “Epsom government – unstable and unequal ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    I’ve just watched John Key say on Sky Australia “We don’t need the Maori Party – we have the votes for stable government.”

    Key has seriously undermined the mana of Sharples and Turia to the nth degree. Will they stand up for themselves now, after Key has played the race card in Australia.

  2. just saying 2

    ….many people struggle to avoid food.

    Turia’s typo or your’s?

    Just curious.

  3. Salsy 3

    Interesting, this seems to have just popped up, looks like its a press release from NZ first, but a full left coalition taking part. Some more warning would have beeen good, but I do like the flash mob, last minute dynamic… Wellington rally against state asset sales

    The march starts from Civic Square from midday. There will be speakers at Parliament from 1 pm, including Rt Hon Winston Peters, NZ First; Annette King, Labour; Green Party leader; Hone Harawira, Mana; Union reps; Occupy Wellington; and other groups opposed to John Key’s asset-stripping of NZ.

    It appears the Maori Party will be absent..

    • TightyRighty 3.1

      So a bunch of professional moaners who haven’t achieved anything except to get their noses in the trough? no wonder they hate the idea of state asset partial privatization. there will be at least five less boards they had a chance of getting on and doing nothing

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        And 5 more boards for your Right Wing mates to get on, make money from and fuck up.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    This is a bit off-base.

    If Banks hadn’t won, it would have been Goldsmith instead, and the parliament makeup would have been exactly the same, since Banks didn’t drag anyone in on his coat-tails (already checked on the elections calculator).

    The real lynch-pin and weakest-link, as always, is Dunne.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Here’s the results assuming National got Epsom instead of Act and everything else stayed the same:

      Party name Party Votes won % of effective Party Vote Party seat entitlement No. of electorate seats won No. of list MPs Total MPs % of MPs
      Green Party 247372 11.70% 14 0 14 ==14== 11.57%
      Labour Party 614937 29.09% 35 22 13 ==35== 28.93%
      Māori Party 31982 1.51% 2 3 0 ==3== * 2.48%
      National Party 1058636 50.08% 60 43 17 ==60== 49.59%
      New Zealand First Party 147544 6.98% 8 0 8 ==8== 6.61%
      United Future 13443 0.64% 1 1 0 ==1== 0.83%
      Totals 2113914 100.00% 120 69 52 121 100.00%

      I’ve put == around the “total MPs” column as it’s hard to make out from the above. Can’t find the right tags to preserve white space.

      As you see here, National can get 61 seats pro asset sales with their 60 + Dunne, which is no different from 59 + Dunne + Banks. I presume this happens because of the overhang caused by the MP as well as the underhang from Mana and UF.

      [lprent: shunted it into a table. ]

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        You forgot the Mana party on 24,168 with one electorate seat. That takes it back to 60 for nationalUF if goldsmith had picked up the electorate seat.

        • Lanthanide

          Yes, I did indeed miss that. I had done the same procedure once before (hence my post at #4) and believed that it made no difference, so did it again to post the results. Looks like I screwed up and left Mana off – it was pretty late at night and I was making lots of mistakes there and elsewhere in my web interactions.

          Performing the calculation again with 1 electorate seat for mana shows 59 National + 1 UF for 60 pro asset sales in a parliament of 121.

          • Lanthanide

            I still think my original point that the topic is misguided stands, though. If it weren’t for the tea tapes, NZ First would probably not have gotten back into parliament and Act would probably have gotten 2 or 3 seats, so the tea tapes have likely harmed the pro-asset sales club more than helped them.

            • lprent

              I think that you are incorrect. I’ve been saying since the last election that it was likely that NZ First would get back in.

              The ‘corruption’ farce that National and Act pulled in 2008 didn’t break the underlying support that NZF had, and in fact probably solidified it somewhat. It has a core of above 4%. They consistently polled above 3% and frequently close to or above 5% on the Morgan poll on damn near every one of the 2 weekly polls in the last 3 years whereas it was somewhat more erratic in the previous between election periods.

              That means they were always likely to get in. It only takes a single minor shift in the election campaign to push that support up over the threshold. It is a pain in the arse. If National and their sockpuppet had not done that farce, then I was expecting that NZF would have faded into the mist. Now I think it will be a around for several elections because they have given Winston his storyline.

              As for Key’s support dying off comment. Hasn’t he figured out yet that the NZF support is largely from the elderly – a state that most of us get to eventually. Some die and others age into the group. Quite simply people’s political opinions change with age and circumstances

              • Lanthanide

                I’m not convinced. The Roy Morgan results show NZFirst was steadily around 1-3% until the second half of 2010, and it started to pick up again at the start of 2011 probably in response to the asset sales announcement by National.

                The final Roy Morgan put them at 6.5%, up 3.5% and attributed it to the tea party tapes. I’m not convinced that they definitely would have made it over 5% if it weren’t for the tea party tapes, and I think you need to concede that their result of 6.59% at least was helped by the tea tapes.

                The other point is that there was a definitely a public perception of inertia created around NZFirst because of the tapes, so there would have been much less fear around “wasted votes” than otherwise, which would also contribute to their share.

                • lprent

                  The last poll before the election. http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2011/4724/

                  Ummm I’d forgotten about those polls in 2009. But that was pretty much when people were thinking that the party would disappear in a criminal charges… Didn’t happen and was never going to happen. It bounced back when people realised that there was bugger all in the NAct’s accusations. I think in the 2008 election the support got pressed back into the core – but it bounced back to that 3-5% range and pretty much stayed there once it was clear that wasn’t going to happen.

                  But if you look backwards for the Roy Morgan polls on NZ First…


                  Can’t be bothered going back any further (too hard to search on the RM site). But you’d find apart from 2008 that RM consistently on average under estimates the NZF vote by about 1 and heading towards 2%. Just like it consistently over estimates the National vote.

                  The 2008 election was the only election that I can recall where the actual vote for the election for NZF wasn’t a percent or more above the polls from a week out. I pretty much attribute it to the wrinklies deciding to talk to pollsters after they’re sure who they will vote for. It is a persistent trend regardless of what happens in the final weeks.

                  My impression of the NZF voters I know is that they’d vote for Winston almost regardless. But they don’t usually bother telling anyone. They just chortle with delight at the shock the mainstream parties will have having to work with the prick.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Fair enough. I guess part of my perception could have been due to the general very low billboard penetration in Wigram for anyone other than Megan Woods.

                    I can easily imagine that the support would’ve been there fore NZFirst to get just around 5%, but similarly the “wasted vote” spectre from 2008 that helped give National such a commanding lead could also have scared people off, if not for the tea tapes and the MSM coverage making it seem like a sea-change and sure bet. Still had a lot of people on this site saying they were going to vote NZFirst to make sure they got over the 5% threshold, so it doesn’t seem like I’m the only one that was doubtful.

                    Also for the table, did you do that with some html tags? I tried pre and preserve and just ended up going with code because it marginally improved the readibility.

    • tc 4.2

      Spot on, once the wind blows the other way with some strength watch the ciofferred one change sides again, it’s about the only reliable principle he sticks to……keeping power.

      Although banks is far from safe having many skeletons and a loose mouth to match his morals…..hulich being his most recent close shave.

    • aerobubble 4.3

      Dunne as I remember it said he’d support stable government and was against sale of asset where they hurt NZ. Now arguably National is close to implosion, Key cannot retain government for three years when the Maori party jump ship and starting a political war by cutting out Maori sending race relations back to the beginning, why have a treaty if all government need to do to remove it is to sell the assets into proivate hands. So exactly where does Dunne stand? If the Maori Party walk, should Dunne also? based on the same facts but different reasoning.

  5. Carol 5

    annd, we’re off again…. well in an hour or so:


    2. DAVID SHEARER to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement “National will deliver a strong, stable government – and build a stronger economy with less debt and more jobs”?

    3. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister for State Owned Enterprises: What steps, if any, has he taken to ensure that should the Government sell 49 percent of Mighty River Power, Meridian, Genesis and Solid Energy, “New Zealand investors will be at the front of the queue for shareholding, and that there will be widespread and substantial New Zealand share ownership”?

    5. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in all his Ministers?

    7. PESETA SAM LOTU-IIGA to the Minister for Social Development: What progress has been made on the Government’s Green Paper for vulnerable children?

    8. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in the decisions of all of his Ministers who were involved in the process for the sale of the Crafar farms?

    11. JACINDA ARDERN to the Minister for Social Development: Has she read the Children’s Commissioner’s newsletter Children and poverty: moving beyond rhetoric?

  6. Ordinary_Bloke 7

    Has anyone seen Tariana recently ?

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