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Kiwis don’t trust Nats

Written By: - Date published: 6:13 am, August 20th, 2008 - 38 comments
Categories: election 2008, national, polls - Tags:

According to the Colmar/Brunton poll, 50% of Kiwis don’t believe National is being open about its plans vs 37% who believe the Nats are being upfront (presumably, the other 13% offered no opinion).

That’s got to be worrying for National. As I’ve said time and again, the three grounds that politicians are ultimately judged on (or, at least should be judged on) are policy, competency, and trust. People who don’t trust National, don’t believe they are being open, outnumber people who do trust them 4 to 3. And that was before the secret agenda tapes had their full impact – the Colmar Brunton poll was conducted from Tuesday the 5th, just as the story was beginning to break and long before its impact on voters could be reflected in a poll.

To make matters worse, National has failed on policy too. Its flagship policy is to increase borrowing to pay for tax cuts (oh yeah, I mean ‘infrastructure’). 52% of respondents opposed that policy vs 39% who supported it; again a 4:3 ratio against.

Now, with the polls turning against them*, National will be hoping voters believe an ex-currency speculator has the competency to lead our country. Otherwise, that’s three strikes and a victory that once looked inevitable may be out of reach.

(*note Labour is up 8% and National down 4% in the last two months in Colmar Brunton. In Roy Morgan, Labour is up 3.5% in two months and National down 3.5%)

38 comments on “Kiwis don’t trust Nats ”

  1. It would be more appropriate to title this thread ;
    Kiwis don’t trust politicians.

  2. Monty 2

    I wonder what Labour’s own internal polling shows about trust of the Labour Party?? In spite of this National continue to poll at well over 50% which probably is a reflection of how much Labour are ddistrusted and despised by the electorate.

    I mean do we need to recap Labour’s history of Trust. A painter, a F1 passenger, the EFA, the anti-smacking, Philip TF (yes he was one of yours) the Benson-Pope saga, that Minister who was done for DIC.

    I think you guys should look after the home paddock first.

  3. r0b 3

    I mean do we need to recap Labour’s history of Trust.

    Hey Monty – pathetic list!. Here – pop quiz – which major political party lost it’s leader due to public outrage at it’s duplicitous behaviour in the 2005 election?

    I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t Labour.

  4. r0b 4

    edit function still not working – “its”

  5. Don’t trust Labour, for example many criminals exist in the book Absolute Power, or are we fine with things as they are?

    Captcha= feeling is

  6. r0b 6

    or are we fine with things as they are?

    Things can always get better. A proper left coalition with the Greens would be a good start!

    Things can get worse too. Not all change is automatically change for the better.

  7. sdm 7

    Labour is up at the expense of the greens. the left stays the same, it seems…

  8. r0b 8

    The left stays the same, it seems

    Which is not good news.

    But the level of distrust for National shown in this poll surprises me, and gives me some encouragement. It does suggest, as several here have claimed for months, that National’s mighty poll lead is soft.

  9. vto 9

    mmmmmm, sobering. I hope your predictions do not come to pass as I do not believe labour has what it takes to move the country forward. After all they have had 9 years and the most sunny economic conditions to do something, and have missed the opportunity. Social stuff maybe a little, but most all else no.

    Giving you the benefit of the doubt SP, why on earth would the nats do such silly things as have some other agenda? It just doesn’t make any sense at all. If true then they really would not deserve much at all. And they would slide down the drainpipe forever. I just don’t think they are that silly. They are perhaps still suffering from Don stuff combined with the constant crsoby/textor style tactix of the left. dirty dirty.

    captcha: demands dances he he

  10. r0b 10

    After all they have had 9 years and the most sunny economic conditions to do something, and have missed the opportunity. Social stuff maybe a little, but most all else no.

    Only if you ignore long term planning via Cullen / Superannuation fund, KiwiSaver, strengthening the economy by paying off massive amounts of 70’s and 80’s debt (so reducing previously crippling annual interest charges), a booming rural economy, state owned assets (Air NZ, KiwiBank, KiwiRail, breaking up the Telecom monopoly, back to ACC), unemployment down to 30 year lows, crime down, numbers on benefits down, economy growing, Working for Families, minimum wage raised every year, four weeks leave, 20 hours free early childhood education, fair rents, interest free loans for students, poverty / childhood poverty rates down, suicide rates down, cheaper doctors vists, modern apprenticeships, and employment law which stopped the widening wage gap with Australia. Oh – and independent and sane foreign policy that kept us out of a foolish war.

    why on earth would the nats do such silly things as have some other agenda?

    Because their true agenda is unelectable and they know that – the only way they can win is to lie.

    If true then they really would not deserve much at all. And they would slide down the drainpipe forever.

    If only that was true! If that was true they would have been gone forever after their disgusting 2005 campaign. But people forgive and forget. Politics has been dirty forever, and will remain so, and the Nats will try and lie their way into power.

    I just don’t think they are that silly.

    But they think that we (“the punters”) are…

  11. “Social stuff maybe a little,”

    I hope that was intended as satire vto, look mate, many communities are saturated in social chaos, primary school kids monitored by police,hungrey students attending school,escalating assaults on teachers, widespread truancy, gold medalists in STD’s ,high youth suicide and pregnancy rates, infanticide,world leading sad child abuse statistics, gangs intimidating the terrified public and running prisons…..etc…need I go on, as I feel ill.
    Proud to be kiwi – fuck off mate !!!

  12. vto 12

    rOb, your list on apparent economic achievements is a bit of a stretch. Helen was going to get us into the top half of the OECD. That takes things bigger than any of those. She is / was too timid / conservative.

    I have to disagree that much economic good has been achieved. Sure a bit of tinkering here and there and some items which mix up social and economic (e.g. WFF welfare). Actually, you see WFF in my mind is an admission of failure and acknowledgement that there is little way of getting real increased income into the hands of people. The govt has to do it – even for those on the highest 39% rich tax rate. labour has concentrated on dividing the pie rather than grow the pie. (Because they don’t know how to grow a pie having never done it themselves personally.)

    And your assessment of “disgusting” behaviour ripples thru them all. e.g. Clark’s disgusting EFA rammed through (what a joke), Mallard’s violence, Taito man, Benson-Pope, the list goes on. Watch out if you’re standing in a glass house at the mo rOb.

    The proof will be in the pudding.

  13. Phil 13

    d4j’s first comment is probably the single most cogent thing I’ve ever seen him type – well done.

    In isolation, this poll result is meaningless. You’d need to see whether the electorate place the same, or more/less, trust in the Labour Party. I’d bet the house that the results are exactly the same.

    Cap; watch payments

  14. Camryn 14

    I don’t think National is being upfront with their plans, but that doesn’t mean I don’t trust them. In fact, it means I *do* trust them to say what they need to in order to get elected and then take a more right-leaning line over time (having shown results and with the consent of those initially disinclined).

    At least some of that 50% must be other people like me.

    To put this in terms you’ll like better on this site: Believing that a politician is not being upfront doesn’t mean you don’t trust them if you can hear the dogwhistle 🙂

  15. r0b 15

    rOb, your list on apparent economic achievements is a bit of a stretch.

    Nope, it’s a list of damn good news for the country.

    Helen was going to get us into the top half of the OECD.

    A goal which I wish she had never stated, as I don’t think it can be achieved within the lifespan of a government, I think it will take decades (if it happens at all). But the fact that she (unwisely) stated that goal doesn’t negate al the other achievements.

    Actually, you see WFF in my mind is an admission of failure

    Nice Mr key says that he will keep it though.

    Because they don’t know how to grow a pie having never done it themselves personally

    Sorry vto, you sometimes have good arguments, this isn’t one of them.

    And your assessment of “disgusting’ behaviour ripples thru them all.

    And again, one and only one party lost its leader due its disgusting behaviour in the 2005 campaign. That party was National.

    Clark’s disgusting EFA rammed through (what a joke)

    The joke would have been to leave the democratic process in NZ for sale to the highest bidder, or in the hands of anonymous big money campaigns of lies, as per 2005. National tried to buy the election, the evaded the intent of the existing 1993 law, they colluded with secret campaigns that broke the existing 1993 laws. National broke the system and it needed to be fixed. The EFA is the fix. Arguably it isn’t perfect, arguably it’s not being interpreted as the drafters intended, but it was absolutely necessary to rescue democracy in this country from what National tried to do to it in 2005 (behaviour which cost them the late and unlamented Don Brash).

  16. vto 16

    Sheesh rOb, I admire your passion for your preference, but passion can be blinkering..

    Re Clark et al not knowing how to grow a pie because they have no personal experience in it – I stand by this. The difference in understanding of how to create wealth between those who have never been in business and those who have is massive. There is no substitute for experience. Especially in the most heinously harsh world of business.

    Clark and Cullen have never been in business and therefore their understanding of what it takes is severely limited.

    And it is business which creates the wealth for NZ.

    This whole area is one which this labour govt has refused to acknowledge and engage in (witness the first winter of discontent, cullen’s ‘rich prick’ attitude, etc). It is a failing of this govt which didn’t need to be.

  17. r0b 17

    Sheesh rOb, I admire your passion for your preference

    My preference is that NZ has a government that treats all its citizens well, takes care of the environment, and plans for the future. Nothing more, nothing less. In terms of personal policy I am more Green than Labour, but I work for Labour because I think it’s (currently) the best way that I can contribute to furthering these goals.

    but passion can be blinkering..

    Of course it can. Many other things can be blinkering as well.

    Re Clark et al not knowing how to grow a pie because they have no personal experience in it – I stand by this.

    A foolish argument on at least two counts:
    (1) Clark and Cullen have been running the country for 9 years, they have more business experience running a bigger enterprise (NZ) then anyone else in the country. On a personal level some Labour MPs are successful business people too, one that I know a little better than most has started businesses worth several millions.
    (2) Even if the first point was not true it’s still a silly argument, in some fields you don’t need personal experience of something to be good at managing it (this is the very essence of the cult of the manager in fact). If this wasn’t true there wouldn’t be any male obstetricians for example.

    The difference in understanding of how to create wealth between those who have never been in business and those who have is massive. There is no substitute for experience. Especially in the most heinously harsh world of business.

    What bollocks! The noble businessperson as superhero, misunderstood by mere mortals! Oh please. I might be earning more for NZ in export trade at the moment than you vto, and I’m no businessperson.

    And it is business which creates the wealth for NZ.

    It is just as much workers, and educators, and governments, that create wealth.

  18. And NZ is rated one of the easiest countries in the world in which to do business. The Govt has cut the corporate tax rate, increased tax incentives for R&D, increased depreciation rates for tax purposes etc

  19. Pascal's bookie 19

    “The difference in understanding of how to create wealth between those who have never been in business and those who have is massive.”

    Yeah, Milton Friedman sux.

  20. vto 20

    rOb i think your point 1 and 2 are in fact a touch silly. running a govt is vastly different from running a business. management is vastly different from ownership. who said anything about superheroes? I said those that have not been in business have little understanding of it.

    and of course each part of society plays its part in the work involved to create that wealth, but not in the actual creation.

    we shall have to agree to disagree in this area. imo it is an area where this govt could have achieved one hell of a lot more but has not for various reasons, including those outlined above.

    Gotta fly – fun in the sun to be had with my son.

  21. Felix 21

    vto:

    “management is vastly different from ownership”

    Are you referring to Key? Has he ever owned and run his own business?

  22. ants 22

    “And NZ is rated one of the easiest countries in the world in which to do business. The Govt has cut the corporate tax rate, increased tax incentives for R&D, increased depreciation rates for tax purposes etc”

    The problem is they’ve introduced miles of red tape and compliance costs that have subsequently put huge amounts of unecessary pressure on SMEs – which blows all your stuff out of the water.

  23. r0b 23

    running a govt is vastly different from running a business.

    Why? And what is the best experience for running a govt, is it (a) running a govt, or (b) something else?

    I said those that have not been in business have little understanding of it.

    See (1) and (2) above.

    and of course each part of society plays its part in the work involved to create that wealth, but not in the actual creation.

    The only “creation” of wealth is done by sunshine. Heh! Seriously, most of NZ’s income is still based on agriculture (farmers not “businesspeople”), forestry (huge government input) and tourism (huge government input). As far as I can tell businesses in NZ create bugger all wealth (there you go vto – in your tradition of pushing out contentious statements just for fun!).

    Gotta fly – fun in the sun to be had with my son.

    I’ve got to go fix a puncture on my bike. You win!

  24. r0b 24

    The problem is they’ve introduced miles of red tape and compliance costs that have subsequently put huge amounts of unecessary pressure on SMEs – which blows all your stuff out of the water.

    Ahh no you got that backwards. The fact that “NZ is rated one of the easiest countries in the world in which to do business” blows your twaddle out of the water, not vice versa. Cheerio.

  25. Tim Ellis 25

    I think Labour’s plan to avoid talking about itself and instead attack John Key, and obsess about National’s hidden agenda, rather than talk about itself, has had an impact on voter perceptions of National. This has been the consistent message from Labour for the past year. Looking at the Standard, it has been the consistent message from the Standard as well. I won’t bore everybody by saying this is just a coincidence. It’s obviously a deliberate strategy to undermine John Key’s trust.

    I would personally agree that National hasn’t been upfront with its plans. Do I think voters will feel the same way by election day? No. I tend to think a lot of voters are tuned out from what Labour has to say. National is going to release a lot more policy between now and election day. If Labour continue the histrionics every time National releases a policy–like the doom and gloom over National’s energy policy–voters will think that Labour’s cried wolf once too often. The reality is that National has released twenty major policies in recent months. Health, education, and taxes are the big ones still to come. I don’t think anybody’s suggesting that National won’t release those policies before the election.

    SP I realise that the Standard hasn’t done substantial comment on the polls for some time, and the view from many Standard contributors seems (conveniently) to be that polling is useless. I don’t think it does you a lot of credibility to selectively quote from polls you do like. A far more accurate picture is the polls of polls, using solid statistical methodologies. Both curiablog and 08wire use these. There’s an interesting discussion at 08wire on polls at the moment.

    National historically always takes a bit of a hit after the budget; Labour increases a small bit. The same happens over the Christmas break. The numbers then tend to fall back to their previous pre-budget and pre-Christmas levels. I wouldn’t rush to conclude that the small rise in Labour’s support is anything more than that. Nor would I rush to judgement based on one set of polling data over just two months.

    It’s also hard to conclude that the lack of trust in National’s plans are having a major impact on its support base. The voter feedback seems to me to be: “Well, we don’t know what National stands for yet, but we do like John Key, and we don’t like Helen Clark, and we’re sick of Labour.” National has to do a bit of work fixing the first part, but that’s what an election is supposed to achieve.

  26. nommopilot 26

    “they’ve introduced miles of red tape and compliance costs that have subsequently put huge amounts of unecessary pressure on SMEs”

    yes how unfortunate that businesses now have to account for their environmental and social impacts. totally unnecessary. the environment will look after itself. business before everything. tally ho…

  27. tim. i did comment on the polls on monday and there’s commentary on them in this very post.

    the 08wire stuff is good, we might re-run it

  28. Draco TB 28

    Actually, you see WFF in my mind is an admission of failure and acknowledgement that there is little way of getting real increased income into the hands of people.

    I agree but due to poverty being a necessary aspect of capitalism then you can’t really blame a government that supports capitalism for not being able to correct it.

  29. Tim Ellis 29

    SP this is not a criticism of you personally, but I do get annoyed when commentators, including bloggers and media, selectively quote polls to suit their argument. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable to note that the Standard’s writers went silent on the polls when they were looking very bad for Labour, and start quoting them now to suit your argument. I’m not surprised you didn’t want to talk about the polls in the past, because they were quite depressing for you. I write again that it’s not a specific criticism of you: talking about bad polls is like talking about crappy weather.

    What annoys me is that while I’m not a statistician or pollster, polling data is a statistical set that is supposed to give an objective picture of public opinion. When people try and spin it, through political bias or based on ignorance as to how statistics operate (and as 08wire notes, journalists do that a lot too, mainly for the latter reason), they might as well not be using a neutral data set at all. They’ve already reached their conclusion.

    A much more reliable dataset, as I’ve said, are polls of polls. By reading your post, an unaware reader would think that the polls say that the gap between National and Labour has halved. That isn’t true. It is just that one small amount of data shows that, and is contradicted by other data.

    What the polling data seems to say is that National has seen a slight decrease; and Labour has seen a slight increase. The gap has narrowed slightly. I don’t think you can honestly conclude that there is an established trend of the gap closing. Labour traditionally sees an increase in support during both the post-budget months and during the Christmas break, before dropping back again. The opposite happens to National. There simply isn’t enough information to conclude that the current slight narrowing is this trend, or a genuine shift of opinion between the two parties.

    A lot of people don’t trust individual polls. I don’t put a lot of faith in individual polls, either. I know there’s a habit of individual polling companies claiming that their polls are much more accurate than others, but that’s marketing fluff. Individually, they’re of limited use. Claiming trends based on two poll results over two months is even more dubious. But the more polls you combine together, the bigger the data set, and the more likely you’re going to get an accurate, unbiased picture of where the parties stand.

  30. DS 30

    –running a govt is vastly different from running a business.–

    Then why are you arguing that politicians should have business experience? Own goal there, mate.

    BTW, wealth in the New Zealand economy is created by the interaction of Government, Business, and Workers. Business does not magically click its fingers and bring wealth into the world.

  31. vto 31

    DS, immediately above – I have never argued that business folk should run govt. There aint no own goal. Far from it, witness cereal man as Ak’s mayor. What I argue is that there has been way too little emphasis put on business by this govt.(In fact there has been a steady sense of business and rich prick animosity.) And also that it stems from their lack of business experience. More such experience is necessary within a govt. There is a subtle but significant difference between what I am saying and what you thought I said.

    As to who is responsible for the creation of wealth well that’s a larger topic and no time at the mo. Your comment though can hold anything because “(everything) in the New Zealand economy is created by the interaction of Government, Business, and Workers.” so its a pointless argument made.

    rOb

    “(there you go vto – in your tradition of pushing out contentious statements just for fun!).”

    Aint my tradition rOb. It is a practice established and continued by the people who post thread topics with no sense of objectivity or balance. You can hardly expect well balanced and non-partisan comments in return on this blog given the weak standard of some topic posts on here. It is a blog after all (as I keep being reminded when I point out the subjective and contentious pu on here somtetimes.). rOb I am just jumping on the bus.

  32. Phil 32

    I realise this is now an old thread, but it’s worth noting the latest stuff poll… while it’s not scientific by any stretch of the imagination, it should raise some warning flags for Helen…

    Announcing the election date, Prime Minister Helen Clark said the campaign would be about trust. Who do you trust more?

    Helen Clark (5424 votes, 25.3%)
    John Key (16042 votes, 74.7%)

  33. DeeDub 33

    Phil:

    “while it’s not scientific by any stretch of the imagination”

    Exactly, so I wonder why you would bother to post this?

  34. Pascal's bookie 34

    Phil, but have you checked what the horoscopes say?

    At least they’ve got some theory behind them. Batshit I’ll grant you, but theory none the less.

  35. bill brown 35

    Is JK a cancer?

    Watch your back and tongue or risk trouble in relationships. There is a sting in the stars and if you want to avoid crossing swords with others, remain on alert.

    (Herald on line today)

  36. Phil 36

    I wonder why you would bother to post this?

    Because even if you take into account the inherant pro-national bias is Stuff polls, it gives creedence to my earlier claim up the thread – kiwi’s don’t trust any politicians. Period.

    I’m willing to stake my casual punditry on this; If Labour focus on ‘trust’ as the core plank of their campaign, not only will they flame-out, but we’ll see a continuation of the lower voter turnout trend come election day.

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