Hoping for a positive campaign

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, August 19th, 2011 - 22 comments
Categories: election 2011 - Tags:

An interesting opinion piece by Tim Watkins can be found on TVNZ; he offers a stark reminder to the public that National are toying with our democratic ideals, and suggests that voters would be wise to remember the consequences of a returned National Government. He discusses the impact of the World Cup on our democratic process:

And you know who’s most delighted about that, don’t you? National. In terms of democracy and an informed public, it’s terrible.

Already, government ministers are kicking for touch, refusing interviews and clamming up on anything that might spark public debate.

For them, the odd press release, set piece community visits and a five minute stand-up as they walk the corridors of parliament amount to communicating with the public.

Many voters are at risk of ticking the ballot with one eye on the rugby, only to get a hell of a shock in the next three years, should National win in November.

Watkins points out the lack of layman understanding for Labour Party policies,

Just look at Labour’s capital gains tax. I was speaking to someone recently furious at the idea because of the cost it would impose on his family home – not realising that the family home is exempt in Labour’s plan.

I sadly have to agree with him, National have the ball in their park, and they’re not playing fair. Labour must find new ways to drive their policies to the people, they need to convey the messages that people deserve to hear in a way that people will listen to. People on the left are putting a lot of faith on the Labour Party to deliver, they have the policies to win support, but serious questions remain over how these positive policies can be effectively conveyed to the public.

I hope Labour run a positive campaign, one that can drive support and encourage those who stand to lose with a National victory to get out and vote. If Labour can get the message through to people and National come out on top, at least we can safely assume that National will lose the trust of most New Zealanders’ for the next decade after they plunder our prosperity.

Rijab

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My two cents is that last time National ran a nominally positive campaign – smiley Key, brighter future – and a substantively negative campaign – ‘wave goodbye to your loved ones’ etc. It worked for them.

22 comments on “Hoping for a positive campaign”

  1. While National’s front men (I use the word men advisedly) ran a positive smiling campaign, their proxies waged a long term dirty, negative smear campaign – Helengrad, Nanny state etc. They don’t play clean and above board, which is part of the way they thumb their noses at democracy & democratic public debate.

    • chris73 1.1

      You mean like digging dirt up on John Key, linking him to the global financial meltdown?

      Yeah that was positive wasn’t it.

      However in regards to what Guest Post wrote I’m (mostly) in agreement. I’d be good (and a nice change) if both parties ran positive campaigns.

      • insider 1.1.1

        don’t hold your breath. Politics is a blood sport. Everyone will fight dirty if it means votes.

  2. queenstfarmer 3

    National have the ball in their park, and they’re not playing fair

    That’s the funniest-yet-simultaneously-most-tragic thing I’ve read this week.

    I hope Labour run a positive campaign… at least we can safely assume that National will lose the trust of most New Zealanders’ for the next decade after they plunder our prosperity.

    Leading by example, I see 🙂

  3. Bob Stanforth 4

    And factually incorrect – but do correct me if Im wrong. The family home isnt entirely exempt from Labours proposed CGT – if you claim office expenses, or run a business from that family home, the proposed CGT will apply on the sale of that home, in proportion to that office space – bloody messy. And Labour have conceded that that is in fact the case.

    And thats the issue here. Yes, tax capital gains. Not gains from inflation, capital gains. Sam Morgan could have – and in fact still could if he was as committed as his words said he was – make a voluntary payment on the gain he made from the sale of TMe.

    And not with so many damned exemptions. Exemptions provide tax accountants with hugely fertile ground. By all means make a CGT that works, but make it simple and bloody hard to avoid, not the minefield that has been proposed.

    • queenstfarmer 4.1

      That’s my understanding Also (and do correct me if I’m wrong) the family home isn’t exempt if it is inherited and then sold by the children (in effect, a deferred death duty). This will result in many inherited homes being retained as rentals and passed down through families.

      Labour’s CGT policy will create jobs – for tax accountants and lawyers.

      • aerobubble 4.1.1

        “I was speaking to someone recently furious at the idea”.
        This implies Labour are a threat. That National supporters are talking about
        Labour policies. that denial is transitioning into anger, and now you are in
        negotiation mode.
        Sorry, but your wrong, you do need to pay more tax because you’ve had it
        too easy, and the world has had it too easy, and borrowing costs are too high.
        One way to reduce borrowing costs, the amount people want in return for their
        investment is to reduce future inflation, and one way to do that is to remove
        the inflationary spectre of debts holding back the world economy, and the
        two ways too reduce debt, inflate (bad), or tax the wealthy more.
        So either way you will pay more, either indirectly through inflation, or
        directl through higher taxation (which will be inevitable anyway).
        So you can have a fair debate now about tax rises.
        Reintroducting inheritance taxes would be another way to remove
        the excesses of too much call on value (money) for the richest.
        thanks for the heads up.

      • lprent 4.1.2

        Of course they could just sell it as part of the persons estate. But if the children are renting and go and live in it then that would not be the case.

        … for tax accountants and lawyers.

        That essentially happens on almost every tax change. I’ve seen it happen with even the small incremental changes in GST.

        In short, I’d have to ask if you think about what you’re saying before writing? Or if you just use a formulaic response you’ve read somewhere where the idiots cluster?

        • queenstfarmer 4.1.2.1

          Of course they could just sell it as part of the persons estate

          Not sure what you’re saying here – “they” would be the children, as soon as you die your estate goes to your kids (or whoever you put into your will, subject to probate). The kids then sell the house (which may be compulsory if the estate is left to more than one child), and have to pay capital gains tax. If that isn’t the case (and I’m going on what Phil said in a radio interview) I trust someone will let me know.

          That essentially happens on almost every tax change

          It happens on every loophole creating tax change. For example when Labour split the tax rates and created a huge gap between the top rate and the trust rate, suddenly NZ became the Family Trust capital of the world, with entire firms pretty much dedicated to (perfectly lawfully) arranging affairs to avoid it (which makes me chuckle whenever a Labour MP goes on a crusade against trusts). The current Govt has narrowed but not closed all these [edit – not by a LONG shot]. Labour’s CGT would just introduce a whole lot more (as well as reopen the top-tax rate ones).

          This is not the case when loopholes are closed. Eg abolishing gift duty, which is a complete waste of time and money, will significantly reduce this sort of admin.

      • mik e 4.1.3

        Probably more than boot camps cycle ways swipe cards and the rolling maul of spin

    • Bob, in a consistent legal environment, no-one should be able to have their cake and eat it too.

      If, when it comes to the IRD, someone claims part of their house as a business premises (and NOT part of their family home), then they would have a cheek to then want to claim all of their house as their family home when it comes to CGT.

      I’m getting tired of this duplicitous ‘me, me, me’ mentality in New Zealand – especially when it comes to people speaking out of both sides of their mouths.

      • Bob Stanforth 4.2.1

        And thats my point PG. For example. A few years back, after building a consulting firm up, I sold it. Paid no tax on what I walked away with – but did pay significant tax and employed a bunch of people for 10 years, and bought a whole lot of forex into the country.

        Sam Morgan made a metric shit tonne of money selling TMe – and then had the gall to say he didn’t pay tax on it when nothing was stopping him from doing so.

        Labour had the chance to start the debate on a comprehensive CGT, but fluffed it when they had the chance to show leadership, broaden the base, and bring about real change. Pity really. Comprehensive like GST would have meant people would largely not bother to avoid, which makes real sense.

  4. AAMC 5

    ” if you claim office expenses, or run a business from that family home, the proposed CGT will apply on the sale of that home, in proportion to that office space ”

    Hmmm, that does concern me, despite my support for CGT.

    I run a small one person business that can’t afford office space, or makes sense to be run from my spare room.

    That resulting in a tax in my family home makes me more skeptical of the detail in this policy.

    Please prove me wrong.

    • stever 5.1

      Do you claim for the space and house-running costs (in proportion) used against income tax?

      If so, you are benefitting from tax *rebates* due to running a business from home, so why not (level paying field) also pay taxes for the same?

      If you are not claiming, you might like to talk to an accountant.

      • AAMC 5.1.1

        I am claiming, and so…. fair enough. Provided it is and continues to only be on the portion I use for my business.

  5. In Vino Veritas 6

    And as always with a pinko Party, their verion of CGT is just the beginning. In some future period, your home will suffer CGT in total. True to form Labour have introduced a whole pile of exemptions to alay fears amongst their faithful that they too, may be taxed. As Bob says, it’d be a minefield, with a lot of people structuring their affairs so they don’t have to pay CGT, because they are legally able to.
    never lose sight of the fact that there is a capital gains tax in place now, if you are a developer and your trade is essentially buying property, you get taxed on the capital gain. And anyone that buys and sells property on a regular basis falls into the category of a developer. Same with share traders, if you are considered a trader (by dint of your activity), you cop tax on the gain on sale you make. Labour have convienently omitted to mention any of this of course cos it doesnt suit them.

    Don’t hope for a positive campaign from Labour, it hasn’t happened in 9 years, why would these clowns start now? With that cripple Mallard in charge, they don’t even have a campaign! Plus they can’t steal money to prop up whatever they come up with. I note that they’re being investigated by the Electoral Commission – again.

  6. Kaplan 7

    I would hope that labour can maximise the media vacuum that National create for themselves.

  7. tsmithfield 8

    “I hope Labour run a positive campaign,…”

    Hmmm. I hope so too.

    So that would be no more dredging in the gutter for smears (ala H Fee), and not running a simpering, melodramatic, fear-inducing ad campaign as per the last one?

  8. tc 9

    I hope it’s a positive yet direct campaign that points out the broken promises the NAT’s ran on in 08, the 10Bill budget hole, 6Bill in borrowing a year for tax cuts and the disdain shown to the lower levels of NZ/the legal system to name a few.

    Fight fire with fire…..playing nice is what the nat’s want as they’ll play dirty with a compliant MSM in tow.

    My local Nat MP’s already issuing suburb wide letterbox drops claiming credit for stuff Labour created and funded as he happened to be there when it was completed.

  9. I don’t think ‘positivity’ is the issue – it’s the overall impact of a campaign.

    For Labour, there should be a clear attempt within the campaign strategy to align Labour with ‘solutions’ to growing problems (i.e., positive) and to align National with various negative qualities – hard to say which to choose from the many options on offer: Dithering/fiddling; all image, no substance; distract with trivia, transfer wealth and power upwards beneath the radar; Key fronting a cabinet of incompetents; Key’s road to Damascus experience over Brash’s ‘extremism’; etc., etc..

    Nominally, National ran a ‘positive’ campaign in 2008 (‘brighter future’, ‘aspiration’) but I seem to recall that Key and most other National candidates had the odd criticism to make of Labour’s performance, sometimes getting very personal about the ethics of Helen Clark, Michael Cullen and others (i.e., peppered with gutter smears). It wasn’t all ‘positive’ by any stretch. But it worked.

  10. millsy 11

    Hmph, we dont need a positive campaign.

    All Labour really should do is go to every state house in the country and coldly inform the tenant that if National wins the election, they will be evicted the following Monday.

    Which is what will happen.

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