Final results in

Written By: - Date published: 2:27 pm, November 22nd, 2008 - 69 comments
Categories: election 2008 - Tags:

The official count, including specials has been released.

The Greens have picked up another seat on specials at National’s cost. Kennedy Graham will be the Greens’ ninth MP. Along with Kevin Hague, Graham brings both intellectual heft and a more ‘mainstream’ face to the Greens. Great news.

Labour was just 39 votes short of picking up another seat, also at National’s expense. Maybe if they had bothered to call up those 40 Servos volunteers for the get out the vote effort in South Auckland on election day. Or if some Labour supporters hadn’t had the bright idea of trying to help Winston over 5%. Or if the Workers’ Party, Alliance, ALC and RAM hadn’t wasted 13,000 left-wing votes. Hell, the Greens could have spared 1850 votes and still got 9 seats – maybe if Tane, Irish, and myself had endorsed Labour instead of them 🙂 Oh, well.

Anyway, that just goes to show that every vote does matter.

I’ll do some analysis on where the Left lost ground later on.

[Update: in comments, we’re told the servo volunteers were used on election day, great if that was the case but my understanding is still that the get out the vote effort in South Auckland this year was weaker than 2005]

69 comments on “Final results in”

  1. gingercrush 1

    Greens did well out of specials. Well done I suppose. I think the Greens will overshadow a number of Labour MPs in opposition. Should be interesting.

    Waitakere closed up a bit and so did Waimakariri.

  2. Jon 2

    “Maybe if they had bothered to call up those 40 Servos volunteers for the get out the vote effort in South Auckland on election day.”

    Those 40 Servos volunteers were active in South Auckland before and on election day – they were called up alright, as were the thousands of volunteers right across Auckland, so to suggest Labour “didn’t bother” is wrong.

    Your other comments are fair enough.

  3. Janet 3

    Who isn’t ‘mainstream’ in the Greens?

  4. gingercrush 4

    There’s also the New Zealand Pacific Party. Which is 8, 600 votes. Of which realistically 5,000 would have voted Labour surely.

    At the same time, the right lost about 20, 000 votes to the Kiwi and Family party

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    Which one of the ‘family’ [cough] Jesus [/cough] parties was the Tamaki one. Did he get more votes than he claims members for his cult?

    Self Appointed Bishop Bryan prophesied that he’d be in parliament by now didn’t he? Fail.

  6. gingercrush 6

    LOL PB that is the family party.

  7. Janet 7

    By ‘mainstream’ you must mean middle class, middle aged, white male? Are you being serious or ironic? Or have you just a wee bit of prejudice against us strong-minded women, Steve?

  8. BeShakey 8

    “Self Appointed Bishop Bryan prophesied that he’d be in parliament by now didn’t he? Fail.”

    Nothing as modest as that. He prophesied that NZ would be a Christian theocracy by now (lead by himself of course).

  9. higherstandard 9

    Ken Graham is a welcome addition to parliament – good experience, good sense and presents a far more saleable “Green” face to NZ than the likes of some of the other Green MPs

  10. Janet 10

    HS
    Than who in the current line-up? And on what grounds do you justify that statement?

  11. higherstandard 11

    I was thinking of Sue Bradford and Keith Locke.

    I would suggest that most of the centre of NZ (and those leaning to the right) would feel these two have less in common with Green environmentalism than they do with communism and general shit stirring.

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    heh

    From Density’s website

    “Under the strong leadership of Bishop Tamaki and the Destiny pastors, combined membership in Destiny Church has grown.to over 9000 saints.”

    Official results:

    Family Party (votes) 8,176 (percentage) 0.35

    Naughty Saints!!

    So now that we have clear undeniable evidence that Brian is a false prophet, I expect to hear him roundly denounced by all the other evangelical bible believing churches. They have no option but to cut all ties with this deceiver of men and trafficker in perniciousness. That which is not of God is of the world, and the prince of the world is the father of lies. There are at least 9000 saints being falsely held in bondgae to demonic forces feigning the badge of the Prince of Peace. Ian Wishart where art thou, that cat that hast thy tongue shall damn thee.

  13. gingercrush 13

    I’m not HS. But to me Keith Locke, Sue Bradford and Sue Kedgley present some problems.

    The problem with Locke isn’t that he’s older. Its that his views or interests tend to move the Green party outside where they should be focusing. His views are war, international relations, spying etc etc. Great if you are interested in such things. But it takes the Greens into areas that means their focus on environment, global warming etc is forgotten.

    Sue Bradford. Her problem too is she seems to take away from some of the mainstream green issues surrounding the environment.

    With Kedgley its hard to tell if she offers anything outside food safety.

    I’m not a green voter or interested in green issues so I may well be wrong. But I think they stretch themselves too far. And I think there is a need to focus on just a few issues and not cover everything. Those issues most certainly include the environment and maybe social justice. But the results are clear. The Greens who were once the Values party have not increased their party outside the 5-7% they get at elections. Something isn’t working. The fact they were getting such support in the 70s, 80s and 90s tells me they’re not keeping a number of voters and those voters are going elsewhere.

  14. gingercrush 14

    To me there is no reason for the Greens to keep winning 5-7% at election time. They really should be getting 10% or so. I really believe what they get at election is much lower than it should be.

  15. Janet. I’ve got nothing at all against the current Green MPs but we both know that a public perception of the Greens as ‘alternative’ has cost them the ability to grow their vote outside their niche environmentalist support. As ginger has pointed out, the some of the original crop (as much as I agree with their politics) have been one-(minor)issue wonders and their stances on those issues have alienated support whereas the Greens’ actually message and major policies is very attractive to many voters – that’s why I put ‘mainstream’ in brackets, it’s not an issue to me personally but politically it is.

    Jon. Glad to hear it if those servos did get called up – I had heard they weren’t.

  16. Rex Widerstrom 16

    Pascal’s bookie:

    So now that we have clear undeniable evidence that Brian is a false prophet, I expect to hear him roundly denounced…

    I have just the people for the job.

  17. burt 17

    Steve P.

    great if that was the case but my understanding is still that the get out the vote effort in South Auckland this year was weaker than 2005

    Sadly this occurrence makes it more likely that Owen Glenn was telling the truth about the tactics used in 2005. It’s interesting to ponder that if Helen Clark hadn’t publically accepted Winston’s version of the truth but had backed Owen Glenn’s version of events, Owen Glenn might have donated again and not blown the whistle on the rort(s) that could have been repeated.

  18. John BT 18

    I doubt the Greens will ever increase the % beyond the current one. Unless they lose the Morris dancing, dope smoking , hairy armpit image that they have. And the anti-smacking nonsense certainly did not help.
    It must be hard pushing the global warming line ( sorry, I mean climate change ), with so many deniers out there and knowing that the ETS will never make the slightest bit of difference to our seriously buggered enviroment.
    As a fringe party they should stick to a few relevant issues where they could actually make an impact. ( You wont believe this , but I heard that prior to the election they came out with an economic policy !!!! . It must have had something to do with the eco bit at the start.)
    They could target something like water quality or littering or global population growth. The former and the latter will become the important issues of the future ( as in very, very soon ) and the middle one really pisses me off !

  19. Janet 19

    G/C you are not a Green voter so of course those people don’t appeal to you. But there are a lot of people who like their politics. Personally I think Sue Bradford will go down in history as one of the genuine NZ reformers for her determination to keep children free of violence. She was even named by the media as Politician of the year not so many years ago. And she appeals to many worried mothers who have depressed and suicidal children.

    Keith Locke gets an awful lot of support in middle class Auckland. And for people of my parents’ generation (the reliable older voters) he represents the staunch pacificism of his famous Locke family, an issue that was and remains major for those who witnessed the 2nd world war. At the ballot box they toss up between who needs their vote more the Greens or Helen (a lot of it was personalised support for her based on her early anti-nuclear and foreign relations work). I suspect post Helen they might go more Green as their grandchildren and greatgrandchildren become more important in their vote.

    And my conservative middle class female relations who would tend to vote Act, vote for Sue Kedgeley because she looks like them and cares about healthy organic food, which is also a wealthy middle class obsession.

    So I think the attraction of the Greens is on many levels, and can’t be generalised, but I think there is a risk if they get too bland – white male middle class. We need more Nandors to get the youth and alternative vote too.

    They are a very successful party, quietly growing in a nice organic way.

  20. Brad H 20

    If the specials were the election results (i.e. the Nov 8 votes didn?t count) the make up of the government could be quite different.

    National polled 4.84% lower, Labour 2.05% higher, Greens 2.70% higher, Maori 1.38% higher. It is interesting to note that those who casts specials – i.e. those away from home, or overseas appear to be more left leaning then the majority of the country.

    After running some more calculations this is how the results would of ended up if only specials counted. As you can see the overhang is gone. And the Maori Party becomes the King Maker. We could have had a Labour Government back.

    Party name | Party Votes won | Party seat entitlement | Actual Result
    Act New Zealand | 3.04% | 4 | 5
    The Greens | 9.13% | 12 | 9
    Jim Anderton?s Progressive | 0.68% | 1 |1
    Maori Party | 3.62% | 5 | 5
    New Zealand Labour Party | 35.82% | 45 | 43
    New Zealand National Party | 40.61% | 52 | 58
    United Future New Zealand | 0.74% | 1 | 1
    Totals | 93.64% | 120 | 122

    National Government: Nat 52 + Act 4 + UF 1 + Maori 5 = 62/120.
    Labour Government: Lab 45 + Prog 1 + Greens 12 + Maori 5 = 63/120

    The funny thing is the special votes seem to more accurately reflect the polls in the lead up to the election then the actual election result.

    The tables have stuffed up on this reply but detailed analysis is here: http://www.brad.net.nz/blog/2008/11/final-nz-election-results/

  21. outofbed 21

    “they could target something like water quality”
    Russel has targeted water quality his last conference speech was centered on the quality of water or lack of it. And it has been a recurring theme this year
    However all the MSM concentrated on at th Greens conference was candle lighting ceremony at the beginning of the conference (in memory of Rod Donald.).
    And the “anti smacking nonsense ?” calling the repeal of sect 59 ” anti smacking nonsense” says more about you then it does about the Greens

  22. gobsmacked 22

    “Sadly this occurrence makes it more likely that Owen Glenn was telling the truth about the tactics used in 2005”

    Apart from the minor detail that there were supposed to be hundreds of witnesses to a crime, and not one has ever been found, or come forward – amazing when you consider that statistically, many of them would now have become disaffected ex-Labour voters.

    Owen Glenn may well have been telling the truth about his own suggestion that voters be bribed, which just demonstrates his own cavalier attitude to the democratic process. There is no evidence whatsoever that anybody took him up on his proposal to break the law.

  23. Quoth the Raven 23

    Ginger – I wouldn’t vote for a one issue party. A party should have a views and policies on a range of issues. They shouldn’t try to keep their views and policies hidden like one party I can mention. I think the greens have really good policies, in areas other then the environment and should focus on them more not less. If you looked at the greens policies surrounding open government, for instance, you might like what you see. See this: An Open Government Policy.

  24. Felix 24

    Brad,

    If the votes cast in my neighbour’s house were the only ones to count, we’d have 120 ACT mps and no-one else would have got a look in.

    So what?

  25. Mr Shankly 25

    Janet – if Greens were mainstream they would have been more open to working with parties across the political spectrum – unfortunately what led to their decision was social policy not environmental policy.

    I wish the Greens would stick to environmental issues and the socialist members joined the alliance – people would then be actually voting for what they thought they were voting for.

  26. Felix 26

    gs,

    They haven’t come forward because they still haven’t gotten their fried chicken yet.

    Apparently it was to be provided retrospectively.

  27. Felix 27

    But Shankly according to you the Greens don’t actually care about environmental issues.

    “Unfortunately many who vote for this party are kidded into believing that the greens actually care about the environment – they don’t.”

    What’s changed for you in the last 3 hours?

    “unfortunately what led to their decision was social policy not environmental policy.”

    Please keep up. The Greens explained the reasons for their decision openly and in great detail before the election. Perhaps that was before you were born yesterday.

  28. More importantly if Shankly thinks people who voted Green didn’t realise what they were getting what does he think National’s new voters thought they were getting???

  29. Felix 29

    Platitudes and cynicism I suppose.

    That’s what they voted for after all.

  30. John BT 30

    outofbed..
    And what exactly does calling the anti-smacking bill nonsense say about me?
    Apart, of course, from the fact that I am one of the vast majority of people who believe it is incredibly stupid. With good reason.
    Actually, my point was that the Greens are not being effective on the things that really matter. Your comment merely confirms that. That is why I no longer vote for them.
    Personally, I do all the Green stuff. Recycling, composting, no nitrogenous fertilisers. Anything that is sensible, ecologically and financially .
    I feel the Greens have lost their way and are making themselves less relevant, and that is a shame. The election results confirm this, because, otherwise they would be polling around 20%.

  31. Santi 31

    “I wish the Greens would stick to environmental issues and the socialist members joined the alliance”

    That’s almost impossible and not going to happen.

    You bet the Greens will continue its push for more state controls and regulations. They are die-hard socialists. They use environmental issues as their way of conning the gullible, young and old.

  32. keith 32

    “They use environmental issues as their way of conning the gullible, young and old.”

    As oppposed to the National party conning….well…pretty much people from all demographic categories you can think of.
    Actually the geens dont ‘con’ anyone, they are the most upfront political in the system IMO unlike the sycophantic national party that adopted most of labour’s policies just to get into power.

  33. outofbed 33

    Bloddy communist?
    Ken is (was?) Adjunct Senior Fellow at the School of Law, Canterbury, Christchurch; Senior Lecturer at Victoria University, Wellington; and a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Belgium. He teaches international politics and international law. Ken holds a B.Com from Auckland University, a BA Hons in Political Science from Victoria; an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Boston (Fulbright); and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Victoria University. He was also a Fellow at Cambridge University, studying in the Global Security Programme. Ken has authored and edited five books including ‘The Planetary Interest A New Concept for the Global Age’ which looks at issues of climate change, sustainability and nuclear weapons from a global perspective.

    from frogblog

  34. gingercrush 34

    Quoth I’m not saying limit it to one issue. But they don’t need to do everything.That isn’t what we expect in minor parties and yet minor parties have policies for everything. Hence half their message doesn’t even get noticed because they are minor parties. Yes I agree with their open-policy and I’m sure others do as well. But those people will not vote Green because other areas they take the party are problematic and are a turn-off. They have a core now its time to get voters outside their core.

    Janet you asked who wasn’t mainstream and I’m telling you those three aren’t. No one wants them to be a party of white males. I’m not saying get in more white males. They lack relevance to young voters outside Turei. I mentioned those three not because of them being female or being older but because they are the ones who issues are largely irrelevant outside the core Green base. You say they are successful.To an extent they are. Since 1999 they have kept their core vote of 5% and been able to increase that in some years to 6/7%. But for a party that hasn’t increased its vote outside that range for 30 years or more is well problematic. Its hard for them to make an argument that the country wants and believe in such policies the Green have when every election they’re bound to get 5-7% support. Fact is I don’t find the amount of votes the Greens get as being spectacular. And I really believe they are capable of grabbing 10% or more. But the more left you take the Greens the less you’ll ever reach 10%. That is a problem. Something you seemingly fail to grasp.

    —-

  35. Byron 35

    “if the Workers’ Party, Alliance, ALC and RAM hadn’t wasted 13,000 left-wing votes.”

    Did it occur to you that maybe those people who voted for the Alliance, RAM and the Workers Party were Alliance/RAM/Workers Party supporters and not Labour supporters? maybe they didn’t want to vote for the party that took New Zealand to war in Afghanistan and presided over the biggest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in this countries history (compare OECD inequality report and growth in the wealth of those on NBR’s rich list)

    As for the ALCP, can they fairly be classed as left wing? in their NORML magazine interview they said they would prop up any government that would enact their minimum policy program, if National would legalise marijuana ALCP would support them. And while I support decriminalization, I realistically acknowledge (as I’m sure the ALCP does) that a large proportion of their voters are 20-something stoners who really don’t care about politics or view themselves as being left-wing.

  36. Under MMP, well over 90% of votes count toward representation.

    Under FPP, about half of all votes would have been wasted.

  37. Francois 37

    I think the much vaunted Labour Party turnout machine failed us this time. I thought the wheels were falling off the bus when I had to walk to my scrutineering place…

  38. outofbed 38

    http://www.storyofstuff.com/
    watch and understand the green philosophy

  39. Pascal's bookie 39

    ginger, What you fail to grasp is that the greens actually believe in their policies.

    They are not marketing positions designed to carve off a percentage point here and there.

    The fact that those positions mean they won’t break 10 percent, without more people than that being convinced that the Greens are right, is irrelevant. Think about that.

    Simple fact is that the Greens have a solid support that is enough to keep them in Parliament. That is a big achievement, and allows them to influence the major parties. Look at how much stuff the Greens have achieved in terms of policy, and forget about your silly fixation on voting blocs. Food issues, GM, ETS, social policy, foreign policy and so on. Have the Greens scored 100 percent of what they want in these areas? Absolutely not. But they have kept these issues on the front burner, moderating things in their direction, and forcing the other parties to take defensive steps.

    Both the major parties have moved toward green ideas, and that is because the Greens are there, getting their message out and convincing people. In reaction to that the major parties have had to move to stop voters voting green. These are the sort of wins that actually count, not an extra seat or two that has come at the expense of your core philosophy. Policy, not baubles.

    That is the role the minor parties play. Shaping the battlefield, if you like, that the policy battles are fought on.

  40. gingercrush 40

    Food issues is not important to most people. GM certainly has gone quiet for years. The ETS if anything was a failure for the Greens. They barely got anything they wanted with it. They wanted something much tougher. Social policy and foreign policy is too broad so not sure what your talking about here.

    By broadening their base does not mean they have to lose their principles. The right may often bash the Greens but there is a sentiment that the Greens are a principled party. That garners respect even if one completely disagrees with the issues they believe in. I don’t for a second suggest they broaden base and lose their principles. That would be political suicide.

    You also talk about the success the Green party has achieved. Certainly they’re earned respect and have earned themselves some policy concessions. But they have never managed to grab real potential policy concessions because so far Labour hasn’t needed them. The greens have not been in the position where they were sought for and brought into coalition agreements. Only this year did Clark choose to use them and that was only because they had to. That’s a problem.

    The Greens are an unique party in New Zealand. For years they were known as the values party before renaming themselves the Greens. Eventually they chose to be inside the Alliance party before breaking out of it. For well over 30 years they have achieved party support between 5-7%. They are also a party not driven by personalities. Alliance, New Zealand First, United Future and Maori began due to personalities from other parties decided they no felt relevant in the respective parties they belonged to. Their succcess ultimately has come down to how the personalities goes. The Act that was founded on principles no longer has such principles and had to rely on personality this time Hide. The greens have never had to do that. But somehow they constantly fail to achieve a larger share of the votes. That has to be a worry especially when this election showed Labour’s support down. One would have thought the Greens would be higher.

    Their problems don’t stem from principles if anything those principles helps them. Their problem is increasingly they have too many issues and don’t focus on a few. That is what needs to be sorted in the following years. This is their fourth election since breaking from the Alliance party. In those years a number of young people have been entitled to vote. Yet the Greens support isn’t that different from what they have achieved in1999. That surely is problematic. Especially when one’s issues are more at the forefront than ever before.

  41. Gustavo Trellis 41

    Honestly, I’m sick of being told that my vote was wasted because I voted for a party that didn’t make parliament. If I wanted to vote for Labour, I would have. I didn’t, and that’s my choice. Labour doesn’t have a monopoly over left-wing ideals, and The Standard is more malicious towards non-parliamentary leftist parties than right wingers.

  42. Gustavo. vote for whomever you will but know that when you vote for a party that will not make it into Parliament, rather than the party that does have a chance which most closely equates to your views (and there’s no such thing as a party that perfectly equates to anyone’s views) you are effectively giving half a vote to the Right. Me, I would rather vote for an imperfect leftwing party that will be in parliament than enable the Right into power, and I’ll continue to argue that others should do the same because the important thing is the Left is in power, moving us in the right direction, and the Right is out.

  43. Pascal's bookie 43

    Well ginger, I’m sure the greens will be stoked to have the benefit of your advice. Most of that history you allude to, posters and commenters here lived through quite intimately. We all know how to suck eggs thank you very much.

    You say that their principles are their best attribute and that they should on no account abandon that, but it seems to me that’s exactly what you are suggesting they do. When you say, ‘don’t talk about this thing, or focus more on that thing’ you are saying ‘abandon those principles, or keep them quiet until you get elected’. You say they ‘should’ be getting more votes, but what the hell does that mean? They get the votes they get, based on the positions they hold. They hold those positions on principle. To increase their vote, by refocussing their positions is exactly what abandoning principles means. Especially in the context of the greens. Holism isn’t just a buzzword.

    You discount the power of the pulpit, assuming that unless the greens get in cabinet, or increase their party share then they are failing, ignoring the fact the electorate as a whole is much closer to green positions than they were 20 10 or even 5 years ago.

    Awareness of green issues is not only much higher, but people actually give a shit about this stuff now. You even have the attempted Blue/Greens. Think about it. That has not happened by magic ginger.

    Shaping the battlefield as it were, can be done, and often is easier to do, outside of the things that you seem to consider ‘success’ in politics. You attack different pressure points than by just using brute legislative power. That is a great tool to have but it is by no means the only game in town, and you don’t need to have a coalition agreement and baubles to get concessions. And it often plays not to shout about the changes that you see happening and claim them for yourself.

    If your opponents are adopting your positions, you are winning. That is IMO the cardinal rule of politics. Call it bookies’ law. Even if you are in opposition you can be winning if the government is having to move towards you. You can then step ever so slightly further away and see if you can drag them just that little bit more. Bragging about it ruins the gig.

  44. gingercrush 44

    You say that their principles are their best attribute and that they should on no account abandon that, but it seems to me that’s exactly what you are suggesting they do.

    No, no, no. I am not saying that whatsoever. I’m saying they have stretched themselves so far and waded into so many issues that if anything their core principles are being ignored. And that’s what is keeping them back from getting a greater share of the vote. Go back to their core principles stop wanting to have a say in anything. That will make them a greater party and something I think would garner more votes.

  45. QoT 45

    Steve – I get what you’re saying, and yes, it’s frustrating to see a lot of people’s votes effectively not counting.

    On the other hand, let’s not make the assumption that people who voted for RAM/Workers/Alliance etc didn’t know what the consequences were going to be, or even would have preferred another Labour-led government. Because a hell of a lot of lefties were and are just that pissed off at Labour for whatever reason that they may well have hoped for a Labour loss and subsequent party shake-up and revaluation.

    One National-led term is (hopefully) not going to be enough to totally reverse the work of the last 9 years. But it might give Labour a wake-up call, it might lead to some substantial policy shifts and decisions, it might just say “do not take the votes of the left for granted, and look at the policies and people we decided to vote for.”

    F*ck, at least those people voted at all.

  46. Pascal's bookie 46

    “I’m saying they have stretched themselves so far and waded into so many issues that if anything their core principles are being ignored.”

    Those issues that you think are not core? They are. That’s the point ginger.

    Holism, everything effects everything else. If they abandon that, they are no longer a Green party. It’s not just about pollution and whales. It’s also about economics and crime and social justice and all those other things that the Greens talk about.

    It’s all core. That’s what Green philosophy is all about. That’s what you don’t seem to understand.

  47. gingercrush 47

    Ecological Wisdom:
    The basis of ecological wisdom is that human beings are
    part of the natural world. This world is finite, therefore unlimited material growth is impossible. Ecological sustainability is paramount.
    Social Responsibility:
    Unlimited material growth is impossible. Therefore the
    key to social responsibility is the just distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally.
    Appropriate Decision-making:
    For the implementation of ecological wisdom and social responsibility, decisions will be made directly at the
    appropriate level by those affected.
    Non-Violence:
    Non-violent conflict resolution is the process by which ecological wisdom, social responsibility and appropriate
    decision making will be implemented. This principle applies at all levels.

    – That is from the Green’s own website and is their Charter or their principles.

    Now its a bit wordy and would be helpful if clarified more. But those are essentially its core principles. As such their campaign should be focused on those four things. Too bad then, that they stretched themselves so thinly and had policies for everything that in doing so removes them from the four core principles.

  48. How despicable and pathetic blaming parties like RAM for Labour’s own failures!

    It’s typical though for Labour Party apparatchiks, lashing out and blaming others for what they do wrong. It’s part of a drunkenness with power that a three term National Government will sober up hopefully.

    How about running a half-decent campaign and winning on your own merits next time, rather than spending all your time slagging off National and attacking small left-wing parties?

    Kindest regards,
    Oliver Woods
    RAM Candidates Co-Leader

  49. George Darroch 49

    Gustavo, Steve, and anybody – if you’re going to support a small party, one which has little current prospect of breaking the 5% threshold, then you’re going to need to field at least one very strong electorate candidate.

    Which shouldn’t be impossible, unless your ideas are generally disliked/misunderstood by the great majority. Anyway, assuming you’re not Shining Path, find that person; local, liked, with a lot of mana, known for their ability to get things done, and run a freaking hard electorate campaign with everything and everyone you’ve got. It might even give you enough attention, and get you taken seriously enough by the electorate (damn the media though – market yourself directly through personal contact) to get near 5%, with the prospect of a possible safer vote. It seems like the only way to do things.

    Personally, I’m with QoT. I wanted Labour out of Government, so they’d get off their high horse and actually start listening to the people they need to (like they were doing in the first years of government). And as revenge for inflicting 6 years of Peter Dunne and Winston Peters on us.

  50. Nick 50

    “Or if some Labour supporters hadn’t had the bright idea of trying to help Winston over 5%. Or if the Workers’ Party, Alliance, ALC and RAM hadn’t wasted 13,000 left-wing votes.”

    Like one extra Labour MP would have made a difference! I thought MMP was about more parties voices not the 2 party system that we had with FPP…

    Good on there being true left wing alternatives to the social democratic centre party that is the Labour Party…

  51. Janet 51

    GC
    The Greens have an international brand. The world knows about the Greens, and what Green parties stand for – and they are a global movement. Slowly, the rest of the world is becoming aware of the issues they raise and these ideas are becoming mainstream. Even right wing parties are adopting their policies. Remember most of parliament voted for a Green social justice, human rights issue – keeping children free from violence from their parents. The Greens are in politics to raise awareness of issues of significance to protect the human race and the planet – not for their egos or for the baubles of office.

    I don’t think they need advice from non Green voters as they are doing fine by themselves.

  52. Janet 52

    Our local RAM candidate told a public meeting that if he couldn’t vote RAM he would vote National. That seemed really weird to me as I thought they were a left-wing party, but Oliver Woods post above confirms that they were a confused bunch.

  53. TimeWarp 53

    “And what exactly does calling the anti-smacking bill nonsense say about me?”

    So tired of that stupid epithet.

    Not so many months before the amendment to the Crimes Act was passed, a Canterbury woman was found not guilty in court of assault on her 12 year old son. She had beaten him to within an inch of his life – literally – but used the defense of disciplinary force under Section 59.

    JohnBT, tell me:

    Should someone who does this to their child be prosecuted and jailed?

    Should then section 59 of the Crimes Act have been repealed to allow this?

    If not, what should have happened?

  54. Pascal's bookie 54

    Ginger, those things are where the policy comes from. What exactly are you suggesting? That they not have policy, that they not talk about policy, or what?

    Just campaigning on those core principles would make the greens seem even more airy fairy than they are already perceived as being. To get people to shift from voting for a big tent to a little tent you need to get them to think about specific things. You need at the least to have that detail available, because big tent voters are not comfortable about what they see as ‘fringe’ parties. They need to see that small parties have specific policies that they think make sense. That is why all the smaller parties that have lasted have always had concrete policy.

    Look at the breadth of those principles compared to say ACTs limited govt position. Of course people that hold those principles are going to have a whole lot of policy. You cannot have those principles without having a huge amount of policy. Anyone that claims those principles but is shy about policy, is a fake.

    I suspect we are talking about different things. I’m not for example really interested in electoral tactics at the percentage level for any given election, or micro targeting voting blocs. Elections and governments come and go.

  55. Eli Boulton 55

    “Or if the Workers? Party, Alliance, ALC and RAM hadn?t wasted 13,000 left-wing votes.”

    If only the Labour Party hadn’t wasted 796,880 left-wing votes!

  56. Pascal's bookie 56

    Speaking of Final results: 34 – 20. Bloody hell. 🙂

    Go you K1W1’s.

  57. G’day Janet,

    Thanks for your deeply meaningful comments about our party. Your comment above proves that blog bottom trawlers don’t know how to take a joke!

    Cheers,
    Oliver

  58. Camryn 58

    A servo is what? Service & Food Workers Union member?

    [lprent: yes]

  59. Byron 59

    “if you’re going to support a small party, one which has little current prospect of breaking the 5% threshold, then you’re going to need to field at least one very strong electorate candidate…find that person; local, liked, with a lot of mana, known for their ability to get things done”

    Like say, a well known folk singer, who is also a lifelong union activist and has written a book, and articles for both the left-wing press and mainstream media, someone Audrey Young described as “a great Wellington identity of the Left”?

  60. Ari 60

    Gingercrush:

    No, no, no. I am not saying that whatsoever. I’m saying they have stretched themselves so far and waded into so many issues that if anything their core principles are being ignored. And that’s what is keeping them back from getting a greater share of the vote. Go back to their core principles stop wanting to have a say in anything. That will make them a greater party and something I think would garner more votes.

    You don’t seem to understand our core principles. Finite planet. Society designed for infinite growth and minimal social interaction. Both ecological reform and social reform are necessary because they are both part of the same problem of waste-driven capitalism. You talk about “communists” (read: people concerned with social issues and reform) as if they’re not inherently connected to the changes we need to make to eliminate waste- but they are. Socialist democrats want to internalise social costs for businesses, so that wages include the costs of basic healthcare and food, for example. So that we don’t poison ourselves with what we eat. The more costs we internalise into business- social or environmental, as if the two were completely distinct*- the more business is forced to face the reality that our culture of obsolescence is in crisis.

    Essentially, you might say that Green economics could ruin the economy. I say it just exposes the existing flaws for all to see, and starts gently nudging back in a safer direction. Would it cost too much for goods under this system? That’s because goods already cost too much in resources or in social injustice, and we’re just trying our best to ignore those costs and pretend we can loan ourselves an extra two to five planets.

    There is a reason that social justice and democracy and peace are part of our four core principles in addition to ecological wisdom.

    As many have pointed out, while we’d LOVE to be the major party in a government someday, ultimately if the other parties come around significantly enough to our agenda, we’re still succeeding even if our vote stays constant, as we’re concerned chiefly with implementing pragmatical approaches to our policies. If all you’re concerned about is someone occupying the high ground, you can either climb yourself with some friends or drag someone else who’s out to take the credit along behind you. Either way results in someone reaching the summit.

    *They’re not. Why are we in an ecological crisis? Because society didn’t care about the planet and how we’re poisoning it. The social reform- being fully aware of social and environmental costs- is just as important as the economic reform where businesses have to pay some of those costs.

  61. George Darroch 61

    “Like say, a well known folk singer, who is also a lifelong union activist and has written a book, and articles for both the left-wing press and mainstream media, someone Audrey Young described as “a great Wellington identity of the Left’?

    You’re talking about Don Franks, who I have great respect for and really like. He would never win Wellington Central, unfortunately. He has good support among the left community but isn’t well enough known and trusted outside it. But that doesn’t mean a strong left candidate couldn’t do the same in another electorate.

  62. Bryon. Don Franks is a good guy but he wasn’t a strong candidate, hence the 171 votes he got (better than his party in their home electorate, Wellington Central, 38).

    Oliver. I’m not a Labour anything. I’m simply saying if a few votes had gone to Labour rather than other left parties, we would have one more left seat and a weaker right-wing government. That’s a good thing in my books.

    You can encourage leftwingers to waste their votes on RAM etc if you like, I will continue to encourage them to vote for the party that will be in parliament that most represents their political views

  63. Eli Boulton 63

    Steve: I’m a communist. The Labour Party is a capitalist party. How exactly do they represent my political views?

  64. Pascal's bookie 64

    They don’t Eli.

    But unfortunately you don’t have the realistic option of having your views represented in parliament at present. Presently, your realistic options are having a Labour led gov’t or a National one.

    You can choose to not make the perfect the enemy of the good, and vote Labour to keep the National party out, or you can decide to help the National party to win by casting an irrelevant vote. This may heighten the contradictions and possibly people will start to vote communist, but they’ve not done so yet in any great numbers.

  65. Eli Boulton. If Labour isn’t left enough for you try the Greens. They’re who I vote for.

    Voting in an election is about getting your voice heard. Political parties are a vehicle for your voice. No party will perfectly equate to your voice, so select the one that most closely adheres to your views but also consider whether that party is going to get into Parliament. If it isn’t you will have no voice at all, the same as if you hadn’t voted at all. I would rather have my voice imperfect heard than not heard at all.

    The basic choice is this:
    – a person has political views
    – no party will have exactly the same views
    – there is a trade-off to be made between a party that closely matches a person’s views and one that will be able to have an influence on the decisions that get made
    – where the optimal point in that trade-off is will vary from person to person, Most people opt for the major party on their side of the left-right divide, others go for a minor party that better represents their views, some go for a mirco party that represents their views even better. The last end up having no influence over who gets to make the decisions in Parliament.

  66. Tripod 66

    The whole RAM / Workers Party / Alliance debate is largely irrelevant. Those parties have spent countless hours criticising each other and comparing their miniscule votes post election. Lots of left-wing activists and intellectuals would have voted for these parties but the actual number of workers who voted for them would be minimal.

    The Workers Party in particular claims an affinity with the working class, but its candidates were mostly teachers and students. It didn’t have any support amongst the working class, and its total votes prove this. RAM is politically confused and doesn’t really count as a left-wing party in my view. Similarly, while it talks about the “grass-roots” there is no evidence of worker support for RAM.

    I don’t agree that a vote for these parties is a wasted vote, people should vote for who they believe in. That is the point of a democracy. A dictatorship occurs when you always vote for the winner.

    However, I do agree that these parties spend more time criticising others than doing something constructive. There is so much internecine conflict between the various factions on the left which most workers think is completely irrelevant. While debate on the left is important, people should be free to criticise and the Labour Party does deserve a lot of criticism, it seems to me that a lot of people on the left would rather debate ideologies than do something practical for the working class.

  67. Tigger 67

    Go the Greens. I’m a Labour voter through and through but delighted to see another left politician in Parliament at the expense of the Nats. Two of the three strongest parties in Parliament are now left-wing – a great place to start rebuilding towards a strong, long-term left leaning government in the future.

  68. Eli Boulton 68

    Steve Pierson – Ah, so instead of voting the capitalist party I’ll vote the capitalist party that advocates Malthusian population control measures? That sure is more left-wing.

  69. Eli. you know the Greens don’t advocate population control. If you don’t look at our archives.

    Look, I can’t make there be a perfect political party for you, sorry I can’t. All I can do is present the choices you and I face. If that’s not good enough for you, if you would rather aid the Right by default. That’s your choice.

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