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Key, the ABs, & the election date

Written By: - Date published: 2:02 pm, January 30th, 2010 - 71 comments
Categories: election 2011 - Tags:

I’ve been talking with some people about when John Key will call the next election. Two common points emerge:

1) it will be after the 2011 Budget. A government doesn’t risk the right to lay down a budget lightly. It won’t want to be campaigning while trying to write and sell a budget either. So that rules out June and early July. It will also be keen to have the election well after any increase to GST or other taxes on April 1st.

2) it will be before the Rugby World Cup. Key can call the election date for as late as early January but he clearly won’t want to do it too close to Christmas – it would annoy people going on summer holiday. He won’t want to do it during September and October with the the World Cup on because the country will already have enough on its plate and be annoyed by an election. For the same reason he wouldn’t go for early-mid November, which would mean trying to campaign while the World Cup is on. And then there’s the risk of the ABs losing, which just isn’t going to be good for the government. They might win and that would reflect well on the government but given Key will probably be feeling reasonably confident anyway, it’s not a gamble worth taking.

That leaves late-July and August. But school holidays are late July, so that rules that out.

The more I think about it the more plausible August seems. Key is clearly making an effort to tie himself and National to the All Blacks’ brand. How many times have you seen Richie McCaw pop up in relation to something to do with Key over the last year? Or Key at something to do with rugby? There’s a strong likelihood that at least one ex-All Black will be a National candidate next election too.

And when is public feelings of loyality towards the All Blacks going to be most postive? In the lead-up to the World Cup (before they’ve had a chance to lose again, when we really believe this time will be different). Seen in this light. It’s clear why Key is getting so aligned to the ABs, to ride their wave in an August election.

I’m picking one of the last weeks in August, say, August 20th. What do you reckon?

71 comments on “Key, the ABs, & the election date”

  1. Anne 1

    It sounds about right to me. The last thing Key will want to do is give the public a chance to stop and think about the do-nothing, flip flop Nat. govt record. Best to opt for a time when their minds are on the RWC. This means Labour has got to step up it’s game and move into campaign mode quite soon. Goff’s speech is a good start.

  2. TightyRighty 2

    Interesting analysis Eddie, all your points are valid. you should recommend an ipredict stock. i would be highly surprised if we went into the world cup without the election behind us when i think about it.

  3. millsy 3

    Back in the Old Times, before the internet, cellphones, personal computers, DVD’s iPods, etc and so on, there was an election in 1981. Which the National Party won.

    It is said and thought that National won the election because the All Blacks beat the Springboks in the rugby test series played in that year. I dont know if any of you guys are into rugby, but going into the 3rd test of the series at Eden Park, both teams had won a test each. The All Blacks won that test 25-22, with fullback Alan Hewson kicking an injury time penalty goal.

    I dont think that Mr Hewson has thought much about the fact that the course of New Zealand’s history changed entirely when he kicked that penalty. Had he missed it, the subseqent election might have gone Labour’s way (only by a little bit though), and with it, there would have been a more gradual (and different) approach to the restructuring of our economy, with the Rogernomes playing different parts, and remembered as no more than moderate centrists.

    John Key has every reason to call an election after the Rugby World Cup. If Richie McCaw holds that trophy up at Eden Park, then a second term is his, and with it, the future of this country.

    • jarbury 3.1

      Quite true Millsy. A great “what if” of New Zealand history I reckon.

    • Good comment Eddie and Millsy.

      1981 was also affected by Think Big. If you drew a map of where all the think big projects were being built it looked like nearly every marginal seat had one, New Plymouth, Rotorua, Invercargill …

      I can recall vividly the mood change after the ABs lost in 1999. For the first time in my life I cheered for the French because I knew the loss would have a devastating effect on the mood for change.

      It is a very sad feature of NZ society that domestic violence incidents spike immediately after an AB loss. Of course votes will be effected. Some voters really think that a losing AB team is a sign that the country is not operating as it should.

      I agree with Eddie however that Key knows this and will not risk an AB loss derailing his campaign.

  4. I agree with your guess of when the election will be held.
    I disagree with your comment that the government will look bad if the All Blacks lose. Just because a country’s rugby team is better than New Zealand’s doesn’t mean Labour is better than National.

    • Zorr 4.1

      It has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the emotional standpoint of the country at the time of an election. Coming off a RWC loss in our own country would, despite the lack of popularity of rugby lately, plunge a lot of NZ in to a state of mourning/grief. With this kind of emotional situation it makes it a lot more likely that the incumbent government is going to be ousted, no matter their stripes.

  5. It is a sad day for NZ if that is the case.
    I do not believe that that will happen.
    On that philosophy if Wales wins no one will vote Labour because the share the colour red.

    • QoT 5.1

      I’m struggling to find a way of explaining how much you missed the point, ‘teen. You at least know the All Blacks don’t wear National-Party blue and thus your “comparison” is really, really invalid, right?

  6. No my comparison here is that because Wales wears red and so does Labour the general feeling at the time of the RWC (if Wales beats NZ) would be of not liking the colour red.

    • QoT 6.1

      … And my point was that that simply does not follow from Eddie’s post.

      Seriously, there’s “people will be distracted by the World Cup, and if the country goes into collective mourning (again) if the All Blacks get knocked out then people will be feeling like crap and want to punish someone and thus vote against the current government” – which is an established phenomenon – and then there’s you saying “LOL AND PEEPS WON’T VOTE FOR LABOUR ‘CAUSE THEY HATE THE WELSH”.

      One of these things makes sense and has happened in the past and accurately depicts people’s reactions, and one is what happens when you don’t understand the post you’re commenting on.

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    The final of the RWC is 23rd October. Easily leaves time for 4 weeks campaigning. Unless the election has to be held before the end of November.
    Even better the RWC would push politics off the front pages- meaning air and face time for Labour in the run up to the election. So labour cant repeat Nationals tactic of using as much as 3 months before the election date to be in full campaign mode

  8. Shona 8

    In 1981 Millsy National received a lower percentage of the vote than Labour. They won because of the FPP gerrymander that kept them in power in the 90’s as well as winning them the election in 1978.
    Kiwiteen you are a wonder to behold. But I guess to be old and wise one first has to be young and profoundly stupid. Wales defeat the AB’s ??? Yeah right. On the other hand you may just have a point on the colour idea . I know in my electorate if the Nats attached a blue rosette to a sack of manure the locals would not only vote for it they would think it was a style statement.

    • @Shona
      Thank you. 🙂
      Sometimes when one speaks hypothetically it does not mean they think the situation will arise.
      I was merely saying that NZers are not as stupid as the left tend to portray them as.
      All though I do agree with your point on the rosette, same but opposite in my electorate. (If that makes sense…)

      • QoT 8.1.1

        If you can establish where exactly anyone said this is about people being “stupid”, that’d be nice.

        It does not matter *who* is in power. If the weather is fine on election day, the incumbent benefits. If the All Blacks are doing well, the incumbent benefits. It’s all about how good you as a voter feel on election day – heck, as a swinging left voter I know that whether my party vote goes Labour or Greens (or rather, how sure I feel about continuing to not vote Labour) varies depending on my mood.

        But go on, comment about how I’m accusing John Key of sabotaging the French to avoid any anti-blue feeling.

        • kiwiteen123 8.1.1.1

          Mood does effect some voters.
          The All Blacks results has very little/no effect on which way the votes go.
          In 1987 (the last time the All Blacks won a world cup) the governing party (Labour) gained one seat at the election and the opposition party (National) gained three. Your point is?

          • QoT 8.1.1.1.1

            *headdesk*

            If you can find anyone here saying that the results of the Rugby World Cup are the *only* *defining* decider of elections I will give you a shiny penny.

            • BLiP 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Frustrating, isn’t it?

              • QoT

                I think I’m stuck in one of those “come on, QoT, you KNOW this is a troll … yet I just keep trying to get through to them” loops. ‘Tis a weakness.

                Doesn’t help that lprent’s post on the top 50 commenters has filled me with competitiveness.

                [lprent: Hah – don’t blame me for your character traits. ]

            • Kiwiteen123 8.1.1.1.1.2

              No one has said it was the deciding factor.
              You, QoT, however, said:
              “If the All Blacks are doing well, the incumbent benefits”

              The All Blacks did well in 1987, the incumbent did not benefit.

              • QoT

                “Benefits” =/= “wins”.

                Seriously, you must be smart enough to understand this – you’re managing to operate a computer and form coherent sentences, after all.

              • @QoT
                Labour did win. But National gained more seats than them.

              • QoT

                … Oh sweet Jesus on a flaming pogo stick. The entire bloody point is that, according to the rugby victory theory, National would probably have gained *more* seats than that had public mood not been lifted.

                Of course you know this, and it’s been explained to you very clearly here, but apparently whoever’s in charge of this sockpuppet has a really, really low opinion of the critical faculties of teenagers.

          • mickysavage 8.1.1.1.2

            Actually the Government did very well in 1987. Winning a further seat is almost unheard of. Only in 1938, 1951 and 2002 has this occurred. There was also a 5% swing towards the Government. Pretty convincing argument for Eddie’s proposition I would have thought.

    • millsy 8.2

      Shona, I am familar with the 1978 and 1981 election results. Back then, the name of the game was holding the marginal seats, regardles of the popular vote. It can be argued that the series victory in 1981 swung a few marginal seats National’s way.

      Belive me, sport does that.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.1

        THat would be right.
        Special project announced for marginal seats. New highways, schools , Post offices, hospitals etc
        allways did the trick when the end result was close

  9. I think you’ll find Helen (and good on her) hitched herself to the Warriors.

    Mind you, perhaps eddie has finally realised that if Labour relies on Goff and King to win next year, then the ABs may as well bring back Buck and Pinetree.

  10. TB 10

    I’m picking late November.

    The AB’s to win the world cup

    National to win the election.

    Should the unthinkable happen and we loose the world cup, National will still win the election. Labour will be hammered either way.

  11. Eddie 11

    Daveski. It’s not a criticism of Key’s strategy, it’s a statement of it. And I believe that Clark is actually a league fan, she certainly went to local matches.

    Kiwiteen. It’s about the country feeling dissatisfied and that carrying over into feelings about the government. It has nothing to do with who is government at the time.

  12. Zaphod Beeblebrox 12

    Would have thought August would be way too early as you are still in winter. If people are feeling cold and shitty surely that would be a disadvantage for National.

    Rugby will have absolutely no bearing on the result. The main issue will be job security. Give voters some credit.

    • Regrettably Labour voters tend to be more difficult to get out. Turnout is a huge indicator of likely success, when there is a big turnout Labour tends to win.

  13. Gooner 13

    I’d say you’re about right Eddie.

  14. millsy 14

    I must also point out that the RWC is being funded by the government, and is set to make a not insubstatial loss, regardless of the result.

    If the All Black fail to win this, then the public may not look too kindly to this.

  15. handle 15

    Why assume they will go full term? Joyce and English will be gagging for a mandate to privatise SOEs and local government by about March. The RWC will be a fine distraction from the resulting chaos.

  16. BLiP 16

    My gut feeling is that the election will be much sooner than August 2011 if the Auckland Super City vote this October goes against the tories. The privatisation of the city’s functions are almost a blue print of what National Ltdâ„¢ has in mind for the rest of the country. If Banks and the Shitty Rats romp home, sure, August is looking likely. Otherwise . . . hmmm . . . March / April maybe.

    • handle 16.1

      Supercity might be a factor, true. Would not count on Banks being the right’s candidate though.

  17. sadurday 17

    Helen didn’t hitch herself to the warriors. She and David Lange before her were long standing patrons of rugby league.

    • Daveski 17.1

      Hmmm … I need to tread carefully here. Rightie talking about Clark getting hitched! I thought I made it clear that Clark “good on her” was a Warriors fan and passionate leaguie. I can’t see how this is any different to Key being a good bloke and being a passionate AB supporter. Now obviously, Key is the bad guy here so regardless of what he does it will be wrong. Anyway, just a storm (that’s a rugby league pun ;)) in a rugby world tea cup.

    • lprent 17.2

      Yep, Helen has been a patron and supporter of the Mt Albert Rugby League as long as I’ve known her (a long time). I’m pretty sure she was a patron when my brother was playing there. She started supporting Warriors as soon as they formed.

      Personally I’d have preferred not to have heard the tales. I lost interest in sport after I stopped playing them myself. I’m not a couch crazed TV sports nut, and can’t be buggered dedicating time to go along to games.

      Ummm got some mail today inviting me to go along to her investiture in the ONZ. Since it is addressed ly Ms Lynn Prentice, I should send Lyn along if she is interested. I’m not particularly interested because it is Dress: Business Suit. That means I’d have to dust off a suit and wear one of those bloody awful ties (and I can’t go barefoot 😉 ). I’m sure Helen will understand my reluctance. She is used to seeing me looking everything from looking like I’d just come out of the army (I had), to being a ‘overweight hairy would-be biker’ (my mothers description when I was deep in a project). But she has never seen me in a monkey suit.

      However, I will go to her 60th birthday a few days later – the dress standard is more relaxed..

  18. BLiP 18

    Looks like National Ltdâ„¢ have started push-polling already:

    What was notable about the highly selective list of attributes (listed for preference by a Curia pollster) is that they appeared designed to push public opinion towards National – not elicit responses which would steer punters towards Labour.

    . . . snip . . .

    Helen Clark was frequently slagged for her poll-driven approach to politics. But Key’s National Government is every bit as poll-driven and much more sophisticated in its application of the dark arts.

    Yesterday I invited David Farrar – who runs Curia – to comment on this week’s poll and what was behind the National motivations. Farrar declined. Farrar also runs the popular (Sewer) and has been tipped as a possible panel member for the upcoming Agenda series on TV3. Maybe he will be more forthcoming on television.

    • Lew 18.1

      These questions don’t indicate push-polling, as Fran well knows — she didn’t use the term in the article, after all. Questions like these are simply testing National’s established positions.

      If you want to see what real push-polling looks like, google mccain black love-child.

      L

      • BLiP 18.1.1

        Yes, alright. Guilty, Your Honour, it was a wind up. Fran did say:” (the questions) appeared designed to push public opinion towards National” . . . which sort of gave me the idea to get out the big wooden spoon.

  19. …are we really so fickle that our ‘feelings’ on the day determine who we want to govern us and that winning a rugby tourney will be the deciding factor ?

    God help us if that is so:(

    • Lew 19.1

      Why on earth would peoples’ emotional states not impact upon their political choices?

      L

    • BLiP 19.2

      Absolutely. Things like family background, religion, sense of fairness, desire to punish others, and a plethora of emotional baggage comes into play with almost any decision we made. Face it: If every voter were to consider each party on the merits of its policy alone, we would have a Green Government.

      • Lew 19.2.1

        BLiP, if everyone acted exclusively in their immediate interest, the people who own the machine gun factories would have killed all the Green supporters off by now.

        L

        • BLiP 19.2.1.1

          Heh!

          While I have no doubt the idea has been raised in the board room, I suspect the financial controller’s logic prevailed in that it would cheaper in the long run to pay off a few key politicians and ensure the Greens never get into Cabinet. Thus, we have a Green Party, the semblance of democracy but no Green voice at the table, and a government sending Kiwi’s off, each armed with a new machine gun, to fight corporate wars.

          I’m not saying voting is akin to an impulse purchase while waiting in line at the checkout – its more like the decision on what sort of car to buy.

  20. Jenny 20

    Yes I agree that August 2011 looks the likely month for the election.

    And not because of anything to do with the our Rugby World Cup fortunes. But a far more important contest for our country’s future direction.

    The largest political show trial in New Zealand’s history. The High Court trial of the 18 defendants caught up in the anti-terror raids, has been set for August 8 and is set down to proceed over the next 12 weeks.

    Eddie if you are right, in your choice of dates the political implications of these hearings will have a direct bearing and even possibly effect the out-come of the elections depending on what spin or mileage the politicians and media take during these hearings.

    If the electoral campaign is diverted into the anti-terrorist hysteria and the whole war on terror paranoia thing, this could play well for the torys by taking people’s minds off the economy, jobs and the recovery, (or lack of it).

    However if the court case degenerates into farce, (which in my opinion is also possible), it could reflect badly on the Labour Opposition under who’s watch all this occurred.

    I think that this highly loaded and politically sensitive hearing should either be put off till after the elections, or instead at the very least, the whole absurd cold war style show trial, should be forgotten, and the charges either dropped, or downgraded to the relatively minor firearms act breaches that, they in fact are. This would then allow them to be heard in the local district courts. (Were cases of similar firearms infringements are routinely dealt with Without all the political and racial loading, and with less opportunity for making political mileage by the left or the right, to use these show trials to skew the election.)

    Come on Eddie, we have heard your view on the possible implications of the Rugby World Cup on the election.

    But, what’s your view on this?

    Silence is not an option.

    • Jenny 20.1

      Maybe I was wrong.

      When it comes to this issue, Silence is an option after all.

      • QoT 20.1.1

        Maybe Eddie has other things to do on a Sunday? Maybe commenters don’t get to dictate what people post on? Maybe saying “Silence is not an option!” is about the least subtle and most obnoxious way to try doing the latter?

        • Jenny 20.1.1.1

          I admit that my challenge to Eddie is a bit strong. But I did this after some consideration, and only chose this more confrontational approach in fear that this issue would continue to be swept under the carpet.

          I notice in your post that you also are refusing to grasp this nettle and discuss the substance of my comment.

          I apologise for any offence that Eddie may feel, but I would really like to know what his views, (or anyone else’s for that matter), are on how this case could influence the elections in any way.

          In my opinion silence on this issue will be like trying to ignore the proverbial elephant in the front room.

          So again I will put my challenge.

          So how about it Qot. If Eddie is busy, could you comment on the substantive issue, I would appreciate hearing your views.

          Silence is not an option.

          • QoT 20.1.1.1.1

            Jenny, I’m going to say this as politely as possible: go to hell.

            If you want to make sure an issue which is important to you gets discussed, start a blog. Write letters. Heck, if you insist on it being discussed here, write a guest post.

            Do not fucking well demand that people dedicate time to your chosen theme when and where you insist and then claim that objection to your rudeness is avoidance.

            Please, please reply with something like “your continued evasion of the issue is very telling, young Padawan”, just for bonus smarm points.

      • lprent 20.1.2

        If you’ve ever looked at the patterns of posts and comments here, you’ll notice that different people are around at different times doing different things. It is like NRT who virtually never posts on a weekend, except there are more of us running around.

        I’m pretty reliable on reading every comment because I moderate. But I’m reasonably specific on what I’m doing in two different modes. Doing longer comments like this is reasonably rare. It is also rare that I bother talking about ‘issues’. Usually I just focus on behavior.

        Eddie generally only looks at ‘current’ comments and on the posts that he posts on. But he also seldom comments on the weekends. In fact there is exactly one comment from him since the 26th, and I guess that was put up when he was finishing and scheduling the post last night for today.

        Silence is always a probability from any one author or commentator. They are seldom around all of the time. Frequently they won’t even see a comment.

        It is unreasonable to think that authors are hanging over everyones utterances. They have lives as well. Moderators on the other hand do read a lot of comments. But we mainly only ‘see’ behavior issues.

        //========================================

        Besides around here on the Oct 15 stuff amongst the authors, rocky and myself are probably more up with it then Eddie is. To date it looks like becoming a total farce in court – as I expected from day one. It is the cowboy elements of the police being their usual dickhead selves.

        However you have to remember that the government are separate from the police in operational matters. The PM and even the minister of police don’t have any part in operational decisions. On ‘major’ operations they might be briefed that they are happening, but it would be highly unusual that they’d be shown the evidence or even given an outline of what is going down. In other words they get a ‘heads-up’.

        Police are limited to what laws are in place (problematic) and overall budgets. But the police units decide if they think that laws are broken and people should be charged because they have enough evidence.

        Hell even the units and police regions are largely decentralized.

        In this case I suspect that SIG is going to rightly look like a total pack of dorks – and both major parties will be as far away from the stench of police stupidity as possible.

        What is a political issue is the police wasting the courts time by bringing charges that they are aware are unlikely to stand up in court. Politically an election would be the perfect time to bring that to the fore to the embarrassment of all major parties who really don’t want to tackle that issue. They’d have to commit to writing laws that require significant restitution from the police if they fail to make a case – without going through a civil court and a second trial.

  21. Jenny 21

    Sorry Iprent for putting Eddy on the spot, (I did not mean to target the individual) and am grateful for giving me the time of your response,

    However I disagree with you that politically sensitive campaigns carried out by the police, are matters that political party’s, particularly major ones, should steer clear from.

    In notice that the right wing bloggers don’t hesitate to comment on such things. Cheering on the police abusing due process by illegally arresting protesters during the tennis open for instance.

    The question I would like answered is, will the Labour Party during this upcoming election still be trying to cling to this argument of neutrality, if it becomes an election issue? Or in contrast stand with the protesters, the Greens, the Maori Party, Tuhoi and the NDU and other unions? And risk being seen by the electorate as standing with the police and the Nacts? Who I don’t think will feel bound from expressing any feelings far from those of neutrality.

    That this whole case could descend into farce is the best that could happen, (even though this would be used against the Labour Government of the day which endorsed the whole affair).

    To think that the right will not try to make political capital out of this in election year would be a mistake,

    As I said, the best that could happen, is, if it all descends into a Keystone Kops like farce. The worse that could happen (and this is my fear) is that this rightward trajectory of the state will be defended by the right, through the media by exploiting War-On-Terror hysteria, with promises to strengthen legislation to further curb civil rights, and freedom of association and assembly.

    I disagree with you that it will be in Right’s interest to stay well clear of this issue, because it feeds into the Right’s whole, law and order, get tough on crime, hang ‘im high, xenophobic, war on terror, schtick. All with the side dish of diverting the whole electorate’s gaze from what should be of real concern in this coming election, jobs, the economy, welfare, health, the environment.

    These matters could all have serious implications for Labour’s re-election chances.

    By saying that both major party’s will shy away from the stench of police stupidity (apart from being an adhominem statement) could be seen as a major avoidance of responsibility by the electorate. After all parliament is the place where any issues can be aired without fear or favour. Maybe what should be raised in parliament is why senior police seem to be beyond democratic accountability to the point of making up policy.

    I humbly put that questions that Labour may need to consider on this issue are:

    Should Labour condemn the timing of these hearings for an election year? (and even possibly election month.)

    Should Labour consider supporting the call from the rest of the left to drop the charges as unjust and politically motivated?

    Should Labour consider calling (in parliament) for these cases to be taken from the High Court and returned to the District Courts where they should be heard?

    If this was done, as well as imposing a lot less unnecessary disruption, travel and living away expense, most of the cases would be dropped anyway, because a lot of the police evidence is based on taped conversations with, identity protected, police paid informers and provocateurs who were actively trying to get people to make inflammatory comments. (Most of this sort of evidence has been ruled inadmissible anyway).

    Other police evidence of firearms breaches involved charging people for being present in a room where an unlicensed firearm was present. Some of those people never even touched the gun let alone fired it.

    Iprent I would like you to consider my opinion this is not the result of a few rogue elements in the police, or as you put it “cowboy elements of the police being their usual dickhead selves”. (Which I feel is being narrow and unfair to the rank and file police officers). But is being driven by senior police commanders with political axes to grind.
    (Need I mention senior officers who spend a large part of their year being wined and dined and flattered in Washington by the FBI and CIA, instead of doing their jobs here. And whom seem to think their mandate comes from Washington.)

    In the effect that the whole matter goes sour for the Crown, will Labour consider promising to call an enquiry into the whole affair, to hold those responsible for this debacle accountable? (whether rogue cowboys, or senior commanders), Or will Labour be prepared to leave these people in their (possibly) leading roles to carry on their political agendas inside the police force, to victimise legitimate left wing activists and skew the whole political landscape to the right?

    As the famous anti-nazi slogan goes.

    “Silence Gives Consent”.

    In my opinion Labour’s reliance on silence in the face of these events, particularly in an election, when the Right will be tempted to make it the only topic of media debate, could be a serious moral and tactical error.

    • lprent 21.1

      I’m busily getting the site prepped for an upgrade right now.

      But the essential argument is – do you really want the politicians to have direct operational control over the police. Bearing in mind some of the dickhead police ministers I’ve seen (like John Banks) and the track record of politically sensitive police forces offshore, I don’t.

      What I want is some mechanism for the police to get some effective feedback on their charging performance given by the courts. That is what they currently don’t have. There appears to be little or no incentive for police not to charge people even when they have insufficient evidence to make a charge go to a conviction. There is no effective retribution, recompense, or anything else that teaches police what is worth while charging for or not.

      That is a ridiculous state of affairs in any organization. It is authority without responsibility and provides no opportunity for the police as an organization to learn. That is why the status hearings in court seem to drag on forever – the police frequently seem to be unable to put a case together. Using charges that aren’t capable of gaining a conviction just clogs the courts.

      You’d think that by now the police would have realized this themselves and taken steps to ensure efficiencies. However the police have a rather archaic internal management structure in NZ and a promotional policy that seems to focus on charges rather than convictions. It will take time to change and it looks like the pressure will have to come from the public outside. But getting wound up about politicians isn’t useful. They don’t have sufficient leverage. We need to work directly on the police – largely ignoring their covering screen of politicians.

      Use the net, not only when people get charged – but when they fail to get convicted. That is a direct waste of our polices scarce resources, and a total waste of time for the courts.

    • handle 21.2

      Jenny you could go talk directly with the Labour party about this. They have their own blog now. Both major parties are implicated in expanding police powers abused in the Urewera raids and they both want to get elected again so I wouldn’t expect either to take your position. Tough on crime may be an ignorant angle but it is a winner with voters who do not share your interest in civil rights.

      • Jenny 21.2.1

        Thanks for this advice Handle.

        In the past I have emailed the PM’s office on this issue (and others) when Helen Clark was P.M. and got the standard stock answer, something along the lines of if you have raised any new issue in your correspondence it will be passed on to the P.M.

        But I have not tried contacting the Labour Party blogsite. But am prepared to give it a go. Hopefully, – it would be nice to get some real correspondence going.

        Wish me all the best.

  22. sean14 22

    It strikes me as a bit sad that posters here think so little of Kiwi voters that they believe votes will be cast based on the triviality of who wins/loses a rugby game.

  23. sean14 23

    Felix, do you vote in a general election based on whether your favourite team just won or lost? I know I don’t.

    • felix 23.1

      How do you know what you base your vote on?

      If you aren’t capable of reading and understanding the post and the rest of the thread then I’d suspect your emotions and mood probably play a huge part in your decision making.

      • sean14 23.1.1

        Sure I can understand the post felix – ABs win, good for government, ABs lose, bad for government. I just think it’s a load of rubbish and insulting to ‘ordinary New Zealanders’ – not even crediting us with the intelligence to look past the result of an inconsequential rugby game when casting our votes.

        Either way, I’m sure you know better what I base my vote on than I do.

  24. Jenny 24

    It still amazes me that most of this thread concentrates on the RWC as an influence on the elections 2011. When New Zealand’s largest political show trial in history will also be being played out the same year, and most likely right through the election period.

    If people are really influenced in their voting on, if the ABs win or lose. How much more would people be influenced by xenophobia, racism, fear of the other, law and order, secretive terrorist conspiracies in the Urerewas, necessitating New Zealand”s largest ever secret police operation, costing more than $2million and lasting for more than year.

    All these themes will be played out during these hearings, and during the elections.

    Do Labour supporters think this will this have an effect on the elections, or not?

    Are Labour people crossing their fingers that this will all blow over and they won’t have to take a stand?

    If it does become an election issue, where will the Labour Party stand?

    Will Labour stand with the Greens the Maori Party the unions and the protest movement or with Howard Broad and the Nacts?

    Does anyone else think that the elephant in the front room may have moved in its relatives?

    As the saying goes;

    “Silence Gives Consent”

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