Forty or bust!

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, May 15th, 2017 - 95 comments
Categories: election 2017, labour - Tags: ,

The target has been set:

Labour sets target of 40 per cent of the party vote

Labour Party president Nigel Haworth has set campaigners the task of raising support to 40 per cent of the party vote between now and the September election.

That’s about 10 points above what it’s polling now, and would be enough to ensure a Labour/Greens alliance would have a majority in parliament without needing NZ First. …

It’s the right target, and the right reason, the left really (really) does not want to end up dependent on Winston Peters for a shot at forming a government. Much as he attacks them, Peters will always go with the Nats.

95 comments on “Forty or bust!”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    I am not sure if he will go with the Nats but we don’t want Winstone for two reasons.

    Firstly his Trumpeque racist populism is abhorrent; and

    Secondly because he will likely lock the Green party out by giving them the option of supporting a Labour/NZ First coalition from the cross benches, or watching Winston become deputy PM and Foreign Minister in a National government.

    To achieve the things that need to done, we need Labour and Greens to be about 47%. Anything less is a disaster.

    • weka 1.1

      +1 The message needs to be that voting Peters is a risk, both ways.

    • aerobubble 1.2

      Wow. Winston will hold balance of power talkng point pushed by Hooten and others.

      Winston targets the oldie vote, yet the olds need cheap migrants to work in old age homes, they need younger tax paying migrants to keep the pension coming. Winston is also unlikely to want to hold up a dead beat Nat naffy last govt term.

      Sure Winston pickedup on Northland, but when have politicians globally actively courted voters in the last thirty years. Trump isn’t a new phenomia he’s just the exaggerated reminant of what has been passed off as leadership since Thatcher.

      Post-Trump politics has to be different as it doesn’t even serve conservatives.

      Winston is 5-15% of the vote, giving up to the talking point that lAbour cant go round him, force a second election, is defeatest than panders to tired media scripting. More presidential candidate politic that agaun miss the opportunity to connect with real economic social policies. i.e. aint helping running a thread so embedded with the dirty political spin machine.

      Winston only holds the balance when both Lab and Nats have failed you dopes, thus talking about him merely plays into that prophesy. i.e up your game stop this tired distraction

      • Enough is Enough 1.2.1

        Can you add?

        The winning side needs 61 seats for confidence and supply, Now show me a scenario on current polling that gets any block 61 seats but does not include Winston…

        “Winston only holds the balance when both Lab and Nats have failed you dopes, thus talking about him merely plays into that prophesy. i.e up your game stop this tired distraction”

        With that comment I will also question whether you can read. Look at my last sentence.

        • aerobubble

          Sure. Its impossible to have a scenario where Labour and National do not acquiese to Winston, he’s the King,he’s so crucial… …oh wait… Nats and Lab are idiots, they could never fathom to work together a keep Winston aarms legs, like either signing a mutual Winston pact or if that does not work force a re-election blaming Peters for asking for too much. Winston is five percent when the oldies realise they need migrant to pay taxes to fund pensions and also to work in the aged sector. Winstons anti-migrant rants are counter to his support base. Housings is about immigration, yeah the lack of managing it for thirty years.

      • Tamati Tautuhi 1.2.2

        Young NZF is very active and has a strong following especially through the Universities and the young educated voters.

        • aerobubble

          We all know why Winston won Northland, not youth, not the aged, but the rampent under management, implicit racism, hell any civil govt does not build a toll road to a backward improvished region, thats a double taxing. Winston won in a region by attacking the govt on its economic mismanagement, for Peters to go anti-migrant when the regions need more on top of the existing migrants is another nasty nat attack like the smear of Winston hold KIngly powers. Geez get out in front of your nzf leader a backpedal Hootens spin.

    • Tamati Tautuhi 1.3

      Winston & NZF will determine who the next Government is, unless New Zealanders want National for another three (3) years.

      It is in the hands of the New Zealand People and 1.0 Million Couch Surfers!!!

      • aerobubble 1.3.1

        Trust you hey. No brexit, Clinton president, chem trails are real!

        Its very simple for Nats and Lab to blame world instability and Peters rocking up for too much, and declare a second election to clear out the pests.

  2. Wainwright 2

    Would have been easier without pandering to Winston and legitimising his racist rhetoric. Heaps of commenters around these parts think his support is a fait accompli and there’s no problem voting for him to keep the crazy greenies out. People have been saying it for years.

  3. AB 3

    Nice target – but 35% would be a huge achievement and probably good enough to win. That means picking up 5-6% from current levels and preferably without taking some of it off the Greens.
    Right now I just don’t see where that 5-6% is coming from.
    With a media establishment that overwhelmingly supports them and so much more money than the others, the bottom for National is probably 40%. They are currently 44-45% so they won’t lose a lot more, and a chunk of that from the comments I hear around immigration I believe will go to Winnie.
    I think that leaves only the “missing million” and our hopes for this demographic have been dashed in 2 elections running.
    Still – keep fighting and spreading the message.

    • weka 3.1

      I still reckon there is a core of voters who vote based on perceptions of competency, and some who will vote for a change because it’s time or they’re uncomfortable with how many things National are getting wrong. If Labour and Little can manage to present as competent over the next 4 months I think they will pick up many of those votes from National.

      I agree Peters is one of the biggest wild cards, as always. The difference this time is that L/G are presenting as a coalition in waiting.

      • roy cartland 3.1.1

        And that elusive ‘youth vote’. Don’t forget that it isn’t the same individuals voting every time, there’s a new crop of young and immigratory, and a drop off in deceased and emigratory. If the message over even the last three years appeals, they’ll be aboard. Hence Jacinda, Chloe, and the many other candidates under 100.

        • The Chairman

          Considering the large amount of youth not in work, education or training, benefit increases may also help to potentially entice them.

          • Red

            Doubt it, they are not in work or education for lack of opportunity

            • mauī

              One of our great leaders once said, not only are they out of work they’re out of their minds.

            • The Chairman

              Whether or not they lack opportunity has little bearing on whether or not they would find a benefit increase attractive enough to entice them to vote.

        • weka

          great point roy!

    • The Chairman 3.2

      Substantially increasing benefits across the board may be the policy that is missing to create a buzz large enough to entice a number of the “missing million” to come out and vote.

      Moreover, it will help improve poverty and inequality, thus is something Labour should seriously consider.

      • Kay 3.2.1

        We can dream…
        Problem No.1- Labour are not in the least interested in raising the benefit rates. They made that perfectly clear during their last stint in government and have done absolutely nothing to speak up for us while in opposition.

        Problem No.2- Even if by some remote chance Labour had rediscovered the idea of compassion and basic decency towards beneficiaries and would like to increase benefit rates, even as an election bribe, they can’t, it would be total electoral suicide. While it would definitely bring back many of the voters they lost after their great 1999 betrayal, such a brilliant smear campaign has been done against us by politicians and media over the past 25 years, to the point that any politician remotely indicating they would help us is vilified by said media and most of the public. So it would cost Labour votes from it’s current base and they would be torn to shreds in the press and on social media for even condisidering the idea, so they won’t take the risk. A pretty bad indictment on both the politicians AND the voters don’t you think?

        Note how in recent years even the Greens aren’t publicly saying much about the plight of beneficiaries? Same reason. If there are any plans afoot for benefit rises it can’t even be hinted at till post election should they win.

        • garibaldi

          Right on the button Kay. Social Welfare is a festering wound in our Country and is still being swept under the carpet because of political expediency. Any Party who dares suggest to properly address the issue is committing electoral suicide because we , as a Nation, won’t put our money where our mouths are when it comes to empathy for those who are struggling.
          To actually promote a society of winners and losers , like we do ,is an indictment on us and we are paying dearly for it.

        • The Chairman

          The landscape has changed. Even the OECD & IMF acknowledge that addressing high and growing inequality is critical to promoting strong and sustained growth.

          Therefore, the notion is now far harder to vilify and discredit, thus Labour have nothing to fear proposing this vital change. And it’s this fear I believe has been holding them back. However, the policy is now ripe for the picking.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Well said, Kay.

          And even if L/G are not disclosing plans to ease the situation for those struggling on the bottom to avoid scaring the horses, they are unlikely to do anything positive for us in case they ruin their chances in the next election.

          They will claim that they need a couple of terms to consolidate and set the stage for reforms that will make a difference…and maybe they actually believe that spin…but I think they simply don’t get that so many more of us are struggling, or have close friends or family struggling. More humane policies might go down better than they think.

          But you’re right, they won’t risk it.

          Politicians…they’re all cast in the same mould.

          • The Chairman

            It would be fiscally irresponsible of Labour to not address it, Rosemary (see the link I posted above).

            • Kay

              Chairman- logic and common sense doesn’t come into it. The word “beneficiary” is so toxic in this country that all politicians at all levels run a mile just seeing the word on a piece of paper, unless there’s a good bashing to be made out of it to make us look even worse to the public.

              Labour could put forward the most brilliant economic case for raising benefits and how it would help the entire country, run it as a major media campaign, the works, and they still wouldn’t get anywhere, even lose votes, simply because it’s all about “helping those bludgers.”

              • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster

                Quite right Kay. What we need is a QE (Quantitative Easing) for People – to immediately give some spending power to beneficiaries. That would get money circulating in the economy immediately, with benefits to all.

                Couple that with a progressive tax code that works to take the top off the high income earners and return it to the low income earners, and the whole face of the economy could be changed – for the better!

              • The Chairman

                @ Kay
                Yet, National managed to increase benefits with little voter backlash.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              I remember reading that when it was first published…oh so long ago now…and in the business section too!

              I guess all our current candidates have faith that the middle, their target voter base, will survive the inevitable economic apocalypse.

        • weka

          Green Party policy is still to set benefit rates at liveable and to roll back the Bennett reforms

          Set benefit amounts at a level sufficient for all basic needs of the individual/family.

          Protect all benefit levels by linking rates to a fixed percentage of the average wage (like superannuation).

          Replace the current Social Security Act 1964 with a simple two-tier benefit system consisting of a universal base rate that is enough to live on, with add-ons for specific circumstances, such as dependants, disability or chronic illness.

          A Universal Child Benefit with the ability to capitalise it towards a home deposit.

          Abolish stand-down periods, treat people aged 18 and over as adults for benefit purposes; no forced work for the dole.

          Support urgent Government action to address the problem of benefit abatement for those moving into employment, and the removal of the poverty trap created by high marginal tax rates that exist for people on low incomes.

          Introduce a tax-free zone at the bottom end of the income scale.

          DPB to be protected; no compulsory work-testing.

          Appropriate training, vocational advice and support for sole parents.

          Remove discrimination from tax credit regimes such as the In Work Payment component of Working for Families.

          Support an allowance to beneficiaries who carry out a minimum number of hours of voluntary work per week.

          Improve the culture of Work and Income so that people are treated with dignity and respect and are enable to access their full entitlements promptly.

          Full policy here,

          I agree there are issues around pragmatics and getting votes, but the Greens easily have the most progressive policies on welfare of any party in parliament and not just because they look good compared to the rest. Their policies are based on the wellbeing of all people.

          • The Chairman

            While there is some positive stuff there weka, for policy that has supposedly been costed, the Greens are rather vague on what level benefit amounts will actually be set?

            How much do they consider would be sufficient for all basic needs? At what percentage rate will benefits be fixed to the average wage?

            • weka

              That’s something I would expect more detail on if it became core policy or once they became government. But I would guess that they would take advice on what the level should be. Might want to clear out the MSD first 😉 (joke, kid of).

              • The Chairman

                That’s a shame.

                The level of payment is a key part of this policy, thus one would expect the numbers to be published by now. The election is only months away.

                Moreover, I can’t see how they can claim their policy has been costed when they don’t have the figures to calculate.

                It makes one wonder what else have the Greens overlooked?

                Additionally, it’s generally expected that a party releases the details of its policy before voters vote, not after they become Government (or not).

                Perhaps you can give them a shoulder tap and tell them to lift their game.

                • weka

                  🙄 They haven’t overlooked it. They’ve prioritised their time and resources. One can make the case for them prioritising differently, but then there is the political/vote issues involved in that.

                  Where do they claim their welfare policy has been costed?

                  “Additionally, it’s generally expected that a party releases the details of its policy before voters vote, not after they become Government (or not).”

                  Are you saying that all parties have all their policies costed before the election? Seriously?

                  “Perhaps you can give them a shoulder tap and tell them to lift their game.”

                  Perhaps you could. I don’t have anything to do with them apart from the occasional tweet, or email asking for photos.

                  • weka

                    and you know what, if this is going to be another of your “these people don’t know how to do their job properly, they should do this instead” conversations, don’t bother. I trust the Greens to know far better than you or I how to run an election campaign. Which isn’t to say they are beyond criticism, or that people don’t have good ideas, but your whole schtick about knowing what is best for them to do just doesn’t wash.

                    • The Chairman

                      It’s not about these people not knowing how to do their jobs properly. It’s about sharing (info, suggestions) thus widening perspectives which may lead to improving how these people go about doing their the jobs.

                  • The Chairman

                    Clearly they have overlooked it, the figures aren’t there.

                    Whether that is due to other priorities, you’d have to ask them. To busy recording smiley campaign ads and posing for glossy mag covers perhaps?

                    “If you look at what the Greens have done in the last two election cycles, we’ve gone in with a package of policy priorities which have been costed and independently verified by organisations like BERL and NZIER.” – James Shaw.

                    “Are you saying that all parties have all their policies costed before the election? Seriously? “

                    No. I said what I stated above.

                    If being vague with the figures is how they want to play it, well all the best to them. They won’t be getting my vote.

  4. weka 4

    I agree r0b, good to see this.

    I was going to say that one of the problems Labour faces is that there are still too many people who won’t vote Labour because of the 80s and Labour should have done x, y, z (e.g. apologising). Which seems reasonable to a point but when I think about it, the people who say that here don’t say who they *do vote for. So fuck it. It’s a pretty clear choice this election. Voting for changing the govt means party voting either Labour or the Greens, there really is no way around that. People might choose to not do that for various reasons, but in that case they’re actively choosing to not support a change of govt and I’ll be happy to make that clear.

    • Rosemary McDonald 4.1

      “Which seems reasonable to a point but when I think about it, the people who say that here don’t say who they *do vote for.”

      Trouble is, voting (for a particular person or party) is taken to indicate approval and acceptance of all/most policies. You will no doubt recall Key smugly saying that being elected gave him a mandate to….insert most memorable outrage here…so fuck you!!!

      I’m currently not seeing much from Labour / Greens to indicate they have the most vulnerable Kiwis uppermost in their minds. So far they are both pitching to the workers and middle NZ.

      Neither are far enough Left, quite frankly, and seem to lack the courage to formulate policies that are needed to bring us ALL back from the brink.

      (I have been indulging in some serious Chomsky recently, and as a consequence corrupted as far as this election goes.)

      So…quite possibly a spoiled voting paper from me, in the absence of a ‘no confidence’ option.

      “…in that case they’re actively choosing to not support a change of govt and I’ll be happy to make that clear.”

      Actually, no. I am actively choosing no one party/person over another.

      There is a difference, and the sooner the so called opposition parties realise this instead of flinging around accusations of voter disinterest or indifference and up their bloody game the better.

      There’s time….

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        Actually, yes, you are actively choosing to not support a change in government. Not casting a vote against the government by definition is not supporting a change in government.

        Lobbying, commenting, protesting and demanding that the opposition become more into line with your personal beliefs is all well and good, but the only direction for the nats is to move further away from your ideal. If you decide to spoil your ballot, you express no support for changing away from a nat government.

        And if you want to argue that a change to labgrn is not a meaningful change in government, then please explain what level of change in poverty and homelessness would be required before you thought it was worth sullying your principles and voting against the nats?

        • Rosemary McDonald

          “And if you want to argue that a change to labgrn is not a meaningful change in government, then please explain what level of change in poverty and homelessness would be required before you thought it was worth sullying your principles and voting against the nats?”

          Please explain what level of poverty, homelessness and general inequality would be required before Labour returns to it’s socialist, or even social democratic roots? Have Labour forgotten their founding principles entirely?

          “Sully”? Sully?

          Here Sully, Mickey Mouse and a Minion….seems appropriate somehow. 🙂

          • McFlock

            Fortunately the minions and suchlike are largely an alien beast to me, as I don’t have kids 🙂

            Please explain what level of poverty, homelessness and general inequality would be required before Labour returns to it’s socialist, or even social democratic roots? Have Labour forgotten their founding principles entirely?

            Depending on whom you ask: yes, no, and maybe.
            But that is also irrelevant if you don’t want things to continue the way they have, at the speed they have, for the last eight years. The only decision you will be offered come election day is:

            This vote decides the share of seats which each of the parties listed below will have in Parliament. Vote by putting a tick in the circle immediately after the party you choose.

            Only the “parties listed below”. Not the Labour Party of 1915, the Laboour Party of 2017. Not the Labour Party of 1936, the Green Party of 2017. Not Attlee’s government of 1945, NZ First of 2017. And we’re not fighting the National Party of Holyoak, we’re faced with the nactoids of today. If you choose none of them, you’re simply accepting the status quo, you are actively choosing to not support a change in government.

            A pessimist might argue that the best we can hope for is that Labour/Greens might ease off on the accelerator with no left turn, but even that will be an improvement, possibly even the difference between life and death, for thousands of people. Tearing up your ballot means you threw away an opportunity to help change away from the lead-footed, hard-right turn we’re all being dragged on.

      • Psycho Milt 4.1.2

        There is a difference…

        You’d like there to be a difference, but that’s not the same thing. Not voting, or submitting a spoiled ballot paper are endorsements of the status quo, ie the current government. Your motivation in contributing to a particular outcome is relevant only to you – to everyone else, only your contribution to the outcome matters.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Ah, but, voting for me (at this point in time) will require a compromise.

          The system is compromised enough already.

          • weka

            Basically my argument is people need to stop voting as if their personal feelings are the thing that matters. If you want to change the govt, then vote L/G. If you don’t mind whether National have a 4th term or not (which does sound like what you said), then spoil the paper, don’t vote, vote Mana/ALCP/whoever.

            I have some sympathy for ‘the system is corrupt/I won’t engage’ stance, but in the absences of both strategy and any meaningful effect, it just comes across as self-centred. For McFlock it’s about the tens of thousands of people who will be somewhat better off under L/G, for me it’s CC. Neither of us is expecting perfection or anything close to our personal values and ideals being met, but both of us are wiling to do what we can this time around.

            So I agree with him that you are literally choosing to not change the govt. Whatever your reasons and how noble you think they are, that remains true. I find it an odd stance, esp from lefties who want left wing collective solutions. Why take such an individualist approach?

            Not voting L/G won’t teach L/G much. Labour will continue to slowly fade, but nowhere near in time for anything left wing to arise. The Greens will go even more centrist. And that will happen in the context of not just neoliberalism but actual proto-fascism. If you think things are bad now, a 4th terms NACT govt will change NZ in ways we can’t conceive of yet.

            We might get really lucky and have a left wing swing in 3 years time, but it’s not going to be a real left wing swing because voters like you just taught the leftie politicians that lefties can’t be trusted. It’s going to be a tepid shuffle left of centre, probably still to the right of where we are today.

            By all means put up some theory to prove me wrong, and then present some strategy to underpin it, but in the absence of that it just looks like not too bothered if Nact win again.

            • Andre

              weka, I am in awe of you and McFlock being willing to keep engaging that argument patiently and politely (mostly). I’ve backed off coz the way I would end up expressing myself would just be counterproductive.

              • weka

                Cheers Andre. I feel strongly that this is an argument that I need to develop well to use over the next 4 months, and that as you say I need to be able to make it in ways that aren’t counterproductive. Still struggling with the latter tbh, so practice makes perfect 😉

          • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster

            Accepting the Labour Party is still too centrist/neoliberal, (which I don’t agree they are) their brand of neoliberalism has a softer face than the harsh visage of the National Party. A Labour/Greens government has just got to be better than the abomination of the last 8 or so years.

            Not voting is the same as conceding the government to the Natz!

            • Tamati Tautuhi

              Voting NZF you are niether voting left or right you are voting for what is best for the country.

      • weka 4.1.3

        I’m currently not seeing much from Labour / Greens to indicate they have the most vulnerable Kiwis uppermost in their minds. So far they are both pitching to the workers and middle NZ.

        I just think you’re not really paying attention. Follow the work of Marama Davidson on homelessness and come back and tell me that there’s nothing there for vulnerable Kiwis.

        Neither are far enough Left, quite frankly, and seem to lack the courage to formulate policies that are needed to bring us ALL back from the brink.

        Of course they’re not far enough left. It’s not lack of courage, it’s lack of left wing voters. The Greens have been moving to the centre steadily and their vote has increased. Labour have finally started to move left again and you won’t vote for them. It’s daft.

      • Bill 4.1.4

        If the choice was between person ‘A’ or person ‘B’ and both belonged to “The Party”, would those who are aiming a kind of moral outrage at those choosing not to vote still throw the same argument they’re making?

        If not, where is the line between choice and just so much blancmange? Can it be drawn or is it down to individual appraisal and judgement? And what are the odds that ‘bagging’ a person who’s made that call will lead to another tick in an electoral booth against the odds of it leading to others nursing a quiet empathy and also disengaging?

        The bottom line is that the non-participation of one person amounts to a total electorate voice being diminished by something like a 1/2 500 000th or 1/3 000 000th….it also increases the voice of those choosing to participate by a corresponding factor.

        I’m also not quite sure why the argument is being made that a vote by anyone who gives a damn must be for either Labour or Green. Those parties have other ‘fellow travelers’ in this mmp environment.

        The job of a politician or a political party is to represent. If they are not representative, neither they nor their supporters have any grounds to moan about a diminished turn out.

        Rosemary McDonald is currently indicating that she’s unlikely to vote and has stated why. I can respect that.

        • McFlock

          Anyone who gives a damn needs to vote for a party that’s on the list and has more than a theoretical chance of getting into parliament.

          Because otherwise their actions show they don’t give a damn who gets into government.

          That limits “people wanting a change in government” to voting on the intercection of “parties likely to change policy in government” and “parties likely to get into parliament”. That gives you lab, grn, (maybe at the outside chancewith a prayer) Mana, NZ1, and???

          I don’t give a shit about politicians or parties. I have faith in neither. But I do want fewer people to get sick or die, more people being able to live safely and with dignity, and education for anyone who wants it. Lab/grn are a step in that direction. National are running away from it, despite Nikki Kaye’s rhetoric.

          You asked about a one-party state? You know what, if I thought one candidate was not functionally different from the other, I probably would vote for neither or just on some arbitrary measure.

          But labgrn and national are very, very different beasts, and have massively different impacts on the lives of most NZers.

          • Bill

            Dunno why you’re arguing with me now McFlock.

            Sure. For anyone’s one in a few millionth amount of influence to count at all, it would be kind of worthwhile for them to know where various polls sit on the day if they do not intend to vote for Labour or National or the Greens.

            It’s a shame there’s no obvious alternative to a liberal government at the moment though, as I’m sure that would enthuse more than a few extra voters…maybe next time? 😉

            edit – I should have said. It’s not helpful to insist that someone who isn’t going to vote doesn’t care. There are a thousand and one individual circumstances, states of mind and so on. Not caring is just one possibility out of many.

            • McFlock

              Well, it’s a question about what you do until then.

              I’m wondering if this is the year the hippies catch me and I vote green. I kind of get the impression that mana and gareth morgan are jerks.

              But I will definitely vote against national, and I’ll do my utmost to make it a vote that counts.

              • Bill

                My minuscule contribution will not be a vote for ACT, NZ1st, UF, National nor Labour. Beyond that, can’t say atm.

                • McFlock

                  Heh. “Minuscule”.

                  Reminds me of the miscreants I used to deal with – they’d always make a self-serving statement or tack in a redundant adjective that minimised their individual culpability in a collective wrong.

                  • Bill

                    McFlock, on a good turn out, my vote or your vote is about one three millionth of a say on a single question once every 1000 days or so. That’s pretty minuscule in…well surely just about anyone’s book, no?

                    Collective responsibility assumes or demands a level of individual agency that is all but absent when it comes to “representative” rule.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s not the amount of responsibility, it’s the existence of responsibility that’s the problem.

                      Whether it’s one in three million, or one in the hundred thousand that stopped mana making the list if they were closest to your cup of tea, or one in a few hundred that got nat oik number irrelevant into an electorate and off the list.

                      It might be small, but it’s the most power we have to actually cause change.

                    • Yes you are both right. Each individual vote is meaningless and meaningful at the same time.

                    • Bill

                      It might arguably be the most power we actually have but only if we choose to limit the exercise of our power to within the rules that are set down for us by a “representative” tradition.

                      Should we simply choose to not follow those rules though, then we could unleash unstoppable change. Collectively. With agency.

                      I guess that would be “naughty” in some peoples’ books though, and so ‘off the cards’. At least for now.

                      But I’m thinking the generations coming up behind, and for damned good reason, are shaping up to be far less compliant, a lot more impatient and far more liable to kick everything into touch.

                      I’m realistically hopeful on that front 🙂

                    • McFlock

                      Revolutions are bloody affairs, and most of them end badly.

                    • weka

                      Should we simply choose to not follow those rules though, then we could unleash unstoppable change. Collectively. With agency.

                      I guess that would be “naughty” in some peoples’ books though, and so ‘off the cards’. At least for now.

                      I don’t find it in any way naughty (and wonder whose books you’ve been looking at). I do find it unrealistic, not because it’s impossible, but because I just don’t see a strategy for how to persuade people it’s a good idea and get them to act on it.

                      Plus, working collectively with agency takes skill that most people don’t have. It’s going to have to be relearned or the other decolonised. Again, strategy (and no, I don’t mean a complete plan with all the steps laid out, I just mean some coherent idea of how that might happen). In the absence of that, criticism of not voting seems valid.

                • Wayne

                  Presumably Green?

          • AB

            Agreed – Chomsky talks about “small changes in big, powerful systems” being able to materially improve the lives of people. It may not be everything we want to see, but it’s better than its opposite

  5. Craig H 5

    A Labour/Green coalition would be awesome, but I will take a 3 way coalition over another National govt any day. As pointed out at the Labour conference, a glorious, pure defeat is still a defeat, and we need to win for everyone who had struggled under National.

    Also, I saw a poll that 76% of NZ First voters would prefer a coalition with Labour. They go against that at their peril.

  6. McFlock 6

    40% is a good target – doable with a bit of hard work and luck, and still high enough that even if it comes close without achieving then there will still be room to negotiate a coalition.

    • BM 6.1

      Only way Labour will get to 40% is if they become more like National.

      Big move towards the centre coming up, looks like it’s going to be hasta la vista left wingers and left focused policy.

      That’s going to be disappointing for some of the folk around here.

      • McFlock 6.1.1

        Nah, if Labour campaign well and national keep acting like bully-boys and ignoring housing and every other problem facing NZers, Nat vote could start to tank.

        Then people think they’re in with a chance of kicking national, so vote, and some nats will think it’s time for a change and flip to Labour.

        National’s been slipping all this term. Labour’s been waving, but the thing is that they haven’t started the swan dive they had last time, and 2011 shows that results can change markedly in the couple of months before the election.

        You could always be right, of course (in accuracy as well as political orientation), but it’d be a bold move to pop the champers this far out.

    • weka 6.2

      I think 40% is a good goal to aim for. I don’t think much of that will come from the Greens, which means that it will have to come from either the non-vote, or the swing vote, or from conservatives who think National have jumped the shark. The biggest issue I see there is Peters, followed by how to engage the non-vote. I really hope that the relationship with the Greens is demonstrated well and repeatedly.

      • McFlock 6.2.1

        Peters really can go either way, and he’ll work it to the nth degree. But at the end of the day I reckon he also has a good ear for the feel of the country, and if he thinks formally propping up English will screw him, NZ1 and his legacy, I think he’ll cooperate with labgrn if they look viable.

        And really, even if the votes don’t literally “swing” an uptick in participation will be matched by National tanking, I think. This is because I suspect non-participation is due to tiredness and change not looking likely, so voting is useless. If the non-voters smell blood, a bunch of tories will also be growing despondant and either flipping or non-participating. So the thing to look at is National’s line more than anything else, IMO.

        • Tamati Tautuhi

          Non voting is a vote for National ?

          • McFlock

            Non-voting is failing to actively support a change away from National.
            Non-voting is failing to reduce National’s share of the vote.

            But the point of my 4:12pm comment was merely that for anyone other than national to win, national need to be at the very most in the low 40s, and even then it’s up to winston.

      • Tamati Tautuhi 6.2.2

        NZF are aiming for 15% of the party vote and that could be enough to change the Government and the present course of the country ?

        • McFlock

          I think the greens will probably be going for 15-20% as well.

          However, not every party will reach their goal. But it’s nice that the opposition are feeling positive.

  7. James 7

    40% that’s a great target for labour – but is as likely as national getting 55%.

    But aim high. All you need is to increase your polling percentage over 30% from where it has been for the last forever.

    • McFlock 7.1

      Your idea of “the last forever” is “since january 2015”?

      • James 7.1.1

        Really ???? A quick google shows only 2 polls in Jan 2015 one with a 26% and the other 29.1% for labour.

        So where are you getting your figures from ? When was labour polling at 40% or higher ???

        • McFlock

          cockmonkey, you said that Labour had been polling ” 30% from where it has been for the last forever”. Neither 29.1% or 40% are 30%. And I actually chose Jan 2015 because before then both the polling numbers and their margin for error were below 30%.

          My comment was on your tweeny-level understanding of “forever”, not on Labour’s popularity.

          • James

            Sorry – that was a typo (on phone).

            I was meaning polling at 40% as in what labour are aiming for. If they haven’t. Wen able to do it in forever (since 2008 at least) then it’s not going to happen for the election.

            And cockmonkey ? Really that’s not exactly polite – try to raise the bar a bit.

            • McFlock

              So you didn’t mean it has been at 30% for the last forever you meant ” All you need is to increase your polling percentage to 40% from where it has been for the last forever.”?

              Well, if by “where it has been” you meant below 40%, well, yes 9-odd years is a long time, but that’s why we set goals, and why we set ambitious goals at that. Ambitious, but realistic with hard work and a bit of luck.

              As for the bar, “cockmonkey” has certainly raised the bar from what you jerks should be called.

      • James 7.1.2


        So here to help you is the poll of polls going back to 2008.

        Now how about pointing out labour in the 40’s.

        Come on back up your comments – or was it just a blatant lie ?

        • McFlock

          Learn to read. I never claimed Labour on 40%. I just claimed Labour on something other than 30% since “forever”.

          edit: and just be grateful I’m working on a trend of polls, not individual counts, because then your idea of “forever” rivals that which the goldfish is reputed to have.

    • I agree with James where he says, “aim high”. Aspirations to do very well, coupled with the more and more frequent exposure of the ugly face of the National Party (take a bow, Alfred Ngaro) lead to success; hold to your principles and be prepared to seize the moment; that’s a recipe for winning.

  8. Michael 8

    Haworth must know there isn’t a hope in hell his party will score 40 percent of the Party Vote with less than four months between now and the next election. They’ll be doing well if they don’t lose any their current support between now and then. I think Haworth’s comment was probably a bit of cheerleading to the rank and file before they get down to the hard slog of selling a Party that gives every sign of being past its use-by date. The only scenario where I can see Labour increasing its share of the Party Vote is if Bill English, or one of his senior lieutenants, makes a howling cockup on the campaign trail (it’s possible, too, that the cockup might actually be a setup, courtesy of the Crusher Collins faction with the Nats. It is known to be pissed off that it’s candidate isn’t occupying the ninth floor of the Beehive). I think that is a real possibility, although I can’t see Labour scoring more than a couple of percentage points out of it, in which case it might end up with 32-35 percent of the PV. At that point, with Winston scoring say, 15 percent, it’s an easy matter to throw the Greens under the bus (they won’t get any more than 10 percent, thanks to James Shaw’s deal with the devil, aka the Budget Responsibility Rules), hand Winston the keys to Air Force One, and move into the ministerial mansions and chauffered limos. All business friendly, of course: the boardrooms won’t even notice the “change” of government, because there won’t have been one.

  9. Rosemary McDonald 9

    There’s been little said about the importance of the Maori seats. It is vital that they are not taken by the Maori Party. Even tempered by the understanding with Mana…the MP simply can’t be trusted to do the right (Left) thing.

    Also…there are other NZF MPs …or will NZF cease to exist if/when Winston departs?

    Could cultivating a better relationship with all members of NZF be a reasonable strategy…assuming that the party runs along democratic lines rather than being an autocracy?

    Also, also…there needs to be a discussion about the whole confidence and supply regime for coalition partners.

    If the coalition partner’s vote is needed to pass a particular piece of legislation, rather than compelling them to vote ,a better system might be for all coalition parties to go into conclave and nut out their differences and tweak whatever Bill it is so it is acceptable to all.

    There must be a better way.

  10. BM 10

    Best scenario would be National dropping to 35, Labour staying around where they are and then Labour and National could go into coalition together.

    No Winston, Greens, Maori party etc.

    I don’t think you could get a more stable government than that.

    • lprent 10.1

      It wouldn’t be a government that I could support. It’d be one that I would actively oppose.

      Grand Coalition governments of this kind of ilk sometimes work ok in wartime where there is a strong external cause binding them. But usually they just cause everything in government to lock rigidly and nothing to be done. Consequently they cause the rise of opposition parties and/or revolution and rebellion.

      That is a very old kind of failed politicians wet dream. Incidentally the National party itself got formed out of thta kind of coalition back in the 1930s. It was what made them undetectable for so long and still causes them division problems even today..

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