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Here be dragons

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 pm, October 25th, 2008 - 20 comments
Categories: act, election 2008, greens, labour, maori party, national, polls, progressives, spin - Tags:


So, we can all make up dumb pictures and say ‘beware of many-headed monsters’. Let’s, instead, ask if National’s attack makes sense.

First, any new government is going to need support from a number of parties. A Labour-led government is likely to be dependent on Labour, the Progressives, Greens, and the Maori Party (four parties). A National-led government is likely to be dependent on National, ACT, United Future, and (if they can get it) the Maori Party. Um, that’s four parties too. 

Secondly, any Labour-led government is likely to be simpler than the current government. Currently, we have a coalition of two parties, supported by two more parties on confidence and supply, with an abstention agreement with a fifth party, and voluntary abstention from a sixth. Those agreements are only so complicated New Zealand First and United Future wanted to maintain separation from the Government and refused to work directly with the Greens. 

Thirdly, the Labour, Green, Progressive, and Maori parties share a common underlying ideology and a common history. They simply represent different streams of left-wing politics, which have been able to successfully divide into separate, sustainable political parties under MMP. On the big issues, these parties agree and where they differ it is usually by matters of degree, not direction.

Contrast that with a National/ACT/UF/Maori Party arrangement. Free-market zealots in ACT, United Future’s christian conservatives, the Maori Party’s strong socialist and environmental roots, the Nat’s heady blend of born-to-rule conservatives and businessmen doing their time protecting their class interests. It would be a disaster and totally unworkable. The Maori Party votes less than one-third of the time with National and ACT; there is no legislative program such a government could successfully pass. Instead, there would be inertia and eventual collapse. Not what we need in a government right now.

It’s pretty obvious why the Right is trying to run this line, along with its twin ‘most popular party gets to govern, not most popular coaliltion’. They are terrified of how badly things are now going. Among the public polls, half are showing a LPG+M government would be the most likely outcome and the Right’s support is trending down. The internal polls are stronger for the Left. The disaster last week has yet to flow through into the polls and everyone suspects that the polls undercount support for the Left. 

All that aside, the really interesting thing is that they’ve included the Maori Party in this five-headed monster, effectively conceding that a National-led government won’t get the Maori Party’s support. They’ve replaced the Tory/Maori Party fairy tale with stories to scare the kids. Problem is, they’re still stuck in fantasy-land.

20 comments on “Here be dragons ”

  1. oob 1

    As an aside I hear the TVNZ poll shows the gap closing
    should be released tomorrow

  2. Kinoy001 2

    Great news about the gap. Is that between national and labour or the left and right?

    LPG+M will win this election and John key will be gone by lunch time…

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    It’s pretty obvious why the Right is trying to run this line, along with its twin ‘most popular party gets to govern, not most popular coaliltion’. They are terrified of how badly things are now going.

    It’s interesting too that we are starting to see comments, (not from pollies), that there will be a backlash if the right get ‘robbed’ again (by not getting enough votes to form a government under the NZ system).

    Two thoughts:
    1) Whenever the right gets beaten, it’s never the fault of their policies (which are what all right thinking people rightly believe ’cause it’s right), but the fault of nefarious others lying and cheatin’ and making the long march through the institutions and what have you. ooh when the people realise they will rise up and throw out the leftist usurpers what they just voted for. There’ll be a powerful backlash, outside of talkback this time, no really there will. You’d best be careful, no one would like to see it, it’ll be so nasty. err. Honestly it will. If you thought we got het up about the EFA just you wait. We’ll umm. do things and stuff.

    2) har har

  4. oob. I’ve heard the same. Also heard that a Herald-Digipoll did disappear.

    The great thing about polling continuously but not offering regular polls is you can take the time period that suits your desired result, or you can just not run a poll.

  5. I posted on this on Just Left earlier (“National’s starting to panic.“). There is no question that the moral mandate is for a government not for an individual party.

    There’s also no question that the current government arrangement is more complicated than what any centre-left govt will look like post-election. Nice demolition of that argument, Steve.

  6. dave 6

    Hey, If we get a dragon coalition, perhaps we can name the beehive the dungeon!

    Jokes aside, I doubt if there will be many christian conservatives in United Future after the election. And National does not need all the members of the Maori Party on side whereas Labour does, on current polling.You say any Labour-led government is likely to be simpler than the current government

    So is any National led govt.Pity you omitted that, Steve.

    Anyway, Jordan’s either ignorant or spinning badly , and I posted on this on Big News to clarify things.

  7. Robin Grieve 7

    Good picture but you cocked it up. Act only have one leader Rodney Hide. So your dragon should have;
    John Key, Rodney Hide and Peter Dunne.

    It is the Greens and the Maoris that have co leaders so that monster would have a lot of heads;
    Hell Clark, Jeanette Fitzsimons, Russell Norman, Pita Sharples, Terrible Tiriana, Jim Anderton, Winston Peters

  8. Tim Ellis 8

    oob. I’ve heard the same. Also heard that a Herald-Digipoll did disappear.

    Except there’s no evidence that the poll did disappear. The day before the last Herald poll came out, Dancer speculated that the Herald was sitting on it, allegedly because it showed Winston above 5%. A nice conspiracy theory, except the next day, the Herald poll was published, a month after the previous poll (so it was regular, despite SP’s claim), and it showed yet again that National could govern alone, and showed yet again that Winston would not reach 5%.

    So the rumour that the poll had been suppressed was wrong. The alleged reason for the suppression turned out to be wrong as well. It doesn’t seem to have stopped SP from repeating it after the fact, though.

  9. randal 9

    heck I woke up this morning and thought jenny shipley was back!

  10. Lampie 10

    lol randel

  11. higherstandard 11

    Randal

    I suggest you don’t mention that to your wife.

    Nice to see that Clinton’s post is the usual fatuous load of bigoted pap.

    The only real issue is those parties that hold the balance of power and what they will want for it. Jim Anderton, Peter Dunne and Act are really pretty much irrelevant none will get near 5% and 2 of the three will go where they usually do regardless with Dunne going wherever to make up the numbers.

    The Greens if Labour can cobble something together and the Maori party and the only real important players as they will both deliver a number of MPs to any coalition – so it’s really only what these two parties require to deliver their support that matters.

  12. randal 12

    HS stop going on about the balance of power.
    Under MMP it is forming a coalition
    repeating the mediaspeake is not teling the truth
    thats what the campaign is for
    so people can form their own opinion
    have you got that yet?

  13. Sarah 13

    I’m starting to actually struggle to take Clinton seriously. You can smell the red on his breath a mile away.

    [lprent: Read No – you must…. I also notice that Tumeke has us at number 2 these days. Guess we must be doing something that the readers and commentators like. Of course that isn’t hard, getting rid of the mindless and un-amusing trolls is probably sufficient. But personally I blame it all on the quality of the posts and the discussion. I’m not sure that you help much.

    Incidentally, also read the policy about attacking the site or posters. You’re heading towards a ban]

  14. higherstandard 14

    Randal

    I’m starting to worry for your sanity – you seem to be variously fixated upon Winston and now this morning you woke up this morning and thought Jenni Shipley was back – now that probably does suggest you might require a script for an SDA.

  15. randal 15

    think whatever you like hs just dont forget to make labour your party vote on nov 8

  16. Matthew Pilott 16

    the Herald poll was published, a month after the previous poll

    You know what’s interesting about that, Tim? The dates for the poll were 15-22 October. Given the regularity of their polling at present, you’d have to wonder what they came up with in the three weeks after previous polling, before that one started.

    I’m starting to actually struggle to take Clinton seriously. You can smell the red on his breath a mile away.

    Kind of like the way I can smell the vapid on yours? Sarah, when you’re attacking someone, but consistently fail to make a single valid point against their’s, it makes you look much, much worse.

    Robin, in reality it should have the whole Nat front bench. If National win, I wonder what Centrebet would be paying for Key to last a term. $5.50 easy.

  17. bill brown 17

    So much for the right’s righteous talk about the unfairness of overhangs.

    Not only do we have the Mt Eden Hide overhang, we now have the Ohariu Peter “I’m for you John” Dunne overhang.

    I hope the14,000 Labour party voters from 2005 are well aware that a candidate vote for Dunne is a vote for the Nats.

  18. burt 18

    Another original idea from the left.

  19. Felix 19

    That’s ok burt, no-one expects you to actually read the post. Not even the first sentence as it turns out.

    Why don’t you go back and read it retrospectively?

  20. Tim Ellis 20

    Matthew said:

    You know what’s interesting about that, Tim? The dates for the poll were 15-22 October. Given the regularity of their polling at present, you’d have to wonder what they came up with in the three weeks after previous polling, before that one started

    I don’t know what you mean, Matt. The Herald has been polling monthly until now. When they conduct a monthly Digipoll, it is probably attached to Digipoll’s normal commercial polling cycle. That cycle would be conducted over a week for Digipoll, within the normal polling cycle.

    I suspect that Digipoll are now being commissioned by the Herald to conduct polls weekly between now and the election–probably two more polls. Those polls are likely to be political-only, over shorter time periods, in order to retain a reasonable sample size. I suspect that is the same for TNS, Neilsen and Colmar Brunton: we’ll probably see a couple of polls released from each between now and the election.

    What I don’t follow is the argument that there must have been another Digipoll, which was suppressed. Nothing was out of the ordinary about the Herald’s timing. It was the same as last election.

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