web analytics

Mythbusting: Winning a fourth term is impossible

Written By: - Date published: 4:24 pm, May 11th, 2008 - 50 comments
Categories: election 2008, history - Tags:

It has become a media mantra that winning a fourth term of government is nigh on impossible, but is that claim actually based on the record of past governments or just a political myth? 

The first government formed along party lines in New Zealand was the First Liberal Government, which took office in 1891. Since then, there have been thirteen party-based governments (twelve, if you count the 1928 United Government and the 1931 Reform-Liberal ‘National Coalition’ Government as the same government under a different name). Seven of them have faced an election to win a fourth term in Parliament. Four of those have succeeded in retaining power.

Those are pretty good odds: if a government wins a third term, it is more likely than not win a fourth term. That’s hardly a basis to say that winning a fourth term is rare or intrinsically unlikely. It certainly won’t be easy for Labour to win a fourth term but there is no reason to think the weight of history is against them.

Record of first term governments winning a second term: 9/13

Second term governments winning a third term: 8/9

Fourth term: 4/7

Fifth term: 2/4

Sixth term: 1/2

Seventh term: 1/1

Eighth term: 1/1

 

50 comments on “Mythbusting: Winning a fourth term is impossible”

  1. AncientGeek 1

    It is not only possible, but I’m coming to the conclusion that it is probable.

    There is no doubt that voters are generally grumpy at present, and a lot of that is directed at the government. Each tends to have a different reason, but there doesn’t appear to be any particular over-riding reason. With the exception of a noisy group around the blogs who appear to be largely from the Act end of the spectrum, there isn’t much widespread hostility. At least not in the order of what I saw in 1984, 1990 and 1999.

    The Nat’s haven’t exactly been presenting themselves as a credible government. Very little policy apart from me-too, no vision about how things could change for the better, and a disturbing sense that they live on the edge of falling apart through factionalisation.

    It is going to be a fun election.

    Oh if anyone bothers to raise the polls again, I’ll be happy to resume discussing how pathetic they are as a forecasting device.

  2. higherstandard 2

    Of course it’s not impossible it is however unlikely as NZ has not returned a fourth term government for over 40 years.

    While I suspect the continued economic statistics and accompanying hardships will be taken out on the current government come election time with or without the opposition presenting much in the way of policy due to their current quiescence being, I suspect, poll driven it would be interesting to see the popular response to their policy release which will no doubt be rolled out closer to the election in response to movement in the polls.

    And Yes AG I agree with you about the polls but the reality is in election year the politicians are driven by them to a large degree.

  3. AncientGeek 3

    Personally I don’t think that the politicians are obsessed with them. But the mainstream media certainly are. Seems to be a cheap way to get a headline story.

    Perhaps editors and journo’s should get some mandatory education in demographics and statistics. I wonder if they are given any in those journalism courses?

  4. higherstandard 4

    AG

    You are far to long in the tooth not to believe that both the major parties wouldn’t have looked very closely at the polls after blocking the AIA and the Toll purchase

  5. AncientGeek 5

    hs: Oh they’d have looked at them. They are interested in trends.

    But notice that I used the word “obsessed” quite specifically. What gets me is that way that the msm does things like saying “this is the way that parliament would look”, and then treating the polls if that is the way the final poll will turn out. As if comparing a poll of 892 people who have land-lines is in anyway comparable to to a poll of 2.8 million.

    If they sampled say 10k and did the demographic split to capture the 30% of so of people without land-line numbers. Then I’d have a bit more respect for the polls. As they are currently run, I treat them as being about indicative as on-line polls – a test of who has the better web-savvy supporters with time on their hands and continuous access to the online computers.

    Is it my imagination or is captcha throwing up more unwriteable phrases?

  6. Of course its not impossible for a Government to win a fourth term.
    For this particular Labour government who has moved so far to the left, than any other party in our history, it might be though.

    People are sick of corruption by Labour, people are sick of them wasting our tax dollars , people are sick of this Government telling us how to think or what to eat or how to pronounce certain words, people are sick of the anti western views of the left, people are sick of a Labour Government who will only listen to one side of the Climate debate, people are sick of Cullen and Clark.

    Labour’s action of stopping 20 thousand New Zealanders for selling their shares in AIA, summed up how disgusting this Government has become.

    People are tried of it, they just want Aunty Helen to butt out of our life’s, and come November, no amount of Liberal Bloggers will change the election result.

  7. K1 7

    Although choosing Labour/Nat is really picking the lesser of two evils, I’d be pleasantly surprised if Labour won again. I wouldn’t put a fiver on it though… for two reasons:

    1. National are more likely to spread a “good news” message to a populace that is experiencing increasingly hard times, and many will support them for this – irrespective of whether it is complete bullshit or not.
    2. Labour have a reasonably long list of “mis-steps” that will be trotted out by National at every opportunity (and no doubt billboarded and the rest) as we get closer to the election. This is partly a consequence of being in government for the length of time they have been, but partly because they’ve been off their game of late. Labour will have little to counter these with other than portraying JK as slippery and the Nats as generally untrustworthy.

  8. AncientGeek 8

    BD: What is amusing about your comment is that most on the left would complain how far to the right this government is. Irish was complaining about it in the previous post.

    It seems to me that you lack a certain level of historical perspective. It is also apparent that you don’t actually get out much amongst ‘people’. I’ve been involved in canvassing this year and last year, and as per usual, the overwhelming majority of people canvassed really aren’t that interested in politics. Most of the swinging voters haven’t decided where they’re likely to vote this time around.

    What you’re saying is that the people you associate with might think that way. But they (fortunately) are not the electorate, just a small bit.

  9. AncientGreek:

    We will see come election day, I talk to a wide range of people, from all different walks of life, it’s not looking good for Labour, and unless a major scandal comes for National, they are going to be the next Government, and a house in Maui isnt a scandal.

  10. Phil 10

    ” … the overwhelming majority of people canvassed really aren’t that interested in politics. Most of the swinging voters haven’t decided where they’re likely to vote this time around. ”

    Interesting that you neglect to mention the fact that the vast majority of undecided voters on election day tend to do one of two things;
    A) Stay home
    B) Vote for the opposition

    Very rarely do undecideds back the incumbent.

    I’m also intrigued by your hostility toward polling. Personally, I think that says more about your ignoance to the polling process, rather than the poll-sters ignorance of statistics or those without landlines.

  11. big bruv 11

    Brett

    In the eyes of a twisted socialist a house in Maui is a major scandal, of course a house in London is perfectly fine.

  12. higherstandard 12

    Brett

    I’d have to say you’ve got it wrong on the current government as a voter from what the bloggers here would describe as the right I’ve seen far more left leaning interventionist governments in my lifetime than the current mob.

  13. merl 13

    “I’m also intrigued by your hostility toward polling. Personally, I think that says more about your ignoance to the polling process, rather than the poll-sters ignorance of statistics or those without landlines.”

    Don’t you think that it’s hostility towards a poll result that isn’t in line with the result they want?

    I agree with K1’s post above. This election seems like national’s to lose, and I suspect that the current national leadership is competent enough to not screw it up before getting elected.

  14. higherstandard 14

    Phil

    In AG’s defence as the polls have been discussed previously many are getting a bit jaded with polls coming out so frequently while the trend and gains for National are undeniable it would be more useful if they only came out once every 8 weeks or so.

    Lyn the captchas are getting really blurry ??

    [lprent: There have been a few complaints about them recently. We get get them in from a free service at recaptcha.net. They’re scanned in images of text. When you type them in you’re helping digitize books. The quality is dependent on the quality of the book they’re digitizing at present.]

  15. AncientGeek 15

    Phil: I’ve been involved in political canvassing since 1983. All the major parties do it to one degree or another. You do it because you get to talk to the politically inactive. The ones that don’t turn up at public meetings or write on blogs.

    It is rare for the polls to actually reflect what you see on the ground or on the phone. There have only been three elections that I’ve seen that happen – 1984, 1990 and 1999. I’m not getting that sense this time – but that is my personal opinion.

    What the polls reflect is what I call the first brush response. It is frequent to get someone on the phone, and to get an earful about what the government is doing wrong. You have to let it peter out. The interesting responses are for the questions after the first one. They give the closest approximation to what is likely to happen heading up to the election.

    As you say, I don’t do polling. But from the results that they get against what I see, I’ll bet that they just rush through their assigned set of questions getting binary answers. Just like I get when polling companies get through on my landline. So the callee doesn’t get time to have a think and give a considered response – similar to the one that they will do at election time – so you get a series of first responses.

    As for the “Vote for opposition”. The best indicator for that is probably the special votes – look around elections.org.nz. A lot are for hospitals etc. But a high proportion are late decision voters. You don’t see a strong vote for the opposition vote in those. You do see a strong vote for green, but that would be expected if you had young non-voters turning up at the polls.

    In my experience of rousting people out to vote on election day, the most common reason is that they forgot there was an election, or hadn’t gotten around to it. It seems weird to me – but that is what I see.

    Another group are mainly the younger (less than 30) who don’t vote – their general reason is something in the order of why do I need to vote. They’re the best reason I’ve seen for better ‘civics’ classes at school. Once they start to vote for whatever reason in their life, they carry on doing so.

    The other major group are what I call the ‘alienated’. They are the ones who would like to call a plague on all parties. They’re the smallest group, and it is rare for them to get to the polls.

    Most of the ‘undecided’ voters will vote – it shows in the turnouts. The biggest factor I see in the changes in turnout is the percentage of the possible electorate who is enrolled. Which is of course why the Nats ritualistically disembowel the electoral commission whenever they get into office.

    But thats just my opinion having been through a few of these elections.

  16. AncientGeek 16

    I suppose you could say that I suspect the polls at many levels and I have done so since the 80’s. I think that their methodology sucks, their quality control is lousy, and they are a classic case of what you get when you hire monkeys at low rates of pay.

    They get more ‘accurate’ closer to the election. But this far out they are mainly interesting because of the media’s reaction to them rather than anything else. The most interesting figure is the one that they seldom report – how many people refused to give answers.

    Anyway, on a completely different note – this Eye to Eye at Maori TV on the death penalty was good. The biggest problem was Willie Jackson having chronic verbal flatulence.

  17. r0b 17

    Very rarely do undecideds back the incumbent.

    That’s an exaggeration Phil. They tend to break for the opposition is the strongest claim you can realistically make. (Recall too that the polls had National ahead on the eve of last election).

    But pollsters and we political junkies are in never never land here. Over half of some large demographics in the population don’t even know it’s election year: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4509670a6160.html Voters in these groups are more likely to break for Labour.

  18. AncientGeek 18

    rOb/Phil: also read this press release from last year

    Building interest in politics key to voter turnout survey results from the electoral commission.

    BTW: I tend to trust the EC’s polling more. They use much larger samples than the public polls, and target into specific groups (as in rOb’s reference). They do not try to sample everyone with small sample sizes. The questions are far more in-depth than check-box questions, so they’re likely to elicit considered information.

  19. AncientGeek 19

    hs:

    I’ve seen far more left leaning interventionist governments in my lifetime than the current mob.

    And the most left-leaning interventionist with popularist bits of quick-fix was the ignoble national governments from 1975 to 1984. They explored the limits of government to intervene in the economy to an extent not seen outside of the old soviet states or the wartime economies.

    They managed to screw things up to an extent seldom seen anywhere in the world that hasn’t had an active civil war on at the time.

  20. r0b 20

    rOb/Phil: also read this press release from last year

    AG – Thanks for that.

    They managed to screw things up to an extent seldom seen anywhere in the world that hasn’t had an active civil war on at the time

    Amen to that. Rob Muldoon, the man who inspired me to get active politically (and thus the inspiration for my screen name). Ironic isn’t it that the most Soviet style interventionist government has been from National, and the most Right wing free market government from Labour. Gotta love NZ.

  21. DS 21

    Just to quibble a bit on the stats, there are two elections (1911 and 1931) which are a bit of a grey area. In 1911 the Liberal Government was returned for its eighth term; the problem is that it fell to a vote of no-confidence in 1912, and the Reform Party came to power without an election being held. In 1931 the United Party, which had won in 1928, was part of the Coalition which won 1931. In that case, 1935 was both the Reform Party going for a second term (in Coalition) and the United Party going for its third term.

    Anyway, the four term or more term governments in NZ history, with the elections we’re talking about:

    Liberal: 1890, 1893, 1896, 1899, 1902, 1905, 1908, 1911?
    Reform: 1911?, 1914, 1919, 1922, 1925
    First Labour 1935, 1938, 1943, 1946
    Second National: 1960, 1963, 1966, 1969

    The third term governments that failed to get a fourth:
    First National: 1949, 1951, 1954
    Third National: 1975, 1978, 1981
    Fourth National: 1990, 1993, 1996

    And the others:
    United: 1928, 1931?
    Fourth Labour 1984, 1987
    Reform/United Coalition: 1931
    Second Labour: 1957
    Third Labour: 1972

  22. r0b 22

    Useful list DS, ta!

  23. AncientGeek 23

    Ironic isn’t it…

    Oh yeah. One thing you have to say about this country, it certainly believes in overturning the “political rules”.

    I was just contemplating the numbers that Steve put up in the post. Those are probably pretty unique in the 20th century western world apart possibly some of the Scandinavian countries? Part of it is this ridiculously short electoral cycle we have of 3 years. Most western countries have either 4 or 5 year terms. Part is probably the gerrymandered electorates we had for most of the 20th.

    But a lot of it is probably this tendency of kiwi’s to complain rigorously about governments, but to re-elect ones that they consider are reasonably competent. I’m going to laugh like hell when that happens again this year – which is what I feel is likely to happen.

  24. AG, What you say about the lack of focused rage (my words) against the current government echoes what some friends have been saying; that the atmosphere is nothing like 1990, the last time the NZ electorate went to the polls positively baying for blood.

    However, the Bob Chapman used to say that it was the trend in the polls that mattered, and that if the trend was consistent for a year or so before the election campaign, that is what would be reflected in the ballot box.

    This Government has one last chance to get it right IMO, and that is the budget. It needs to show that it can do more than manage prosperity in a fair and prudent way, which is what it has excelled at. It needs to convince NZers that it can deal with a downturn and secure our future. Its record on this is patchy.

  25. randal 25

    Years ago I used to work in the bush felling anything that got in the way with an 80 year old man we all called Snapper. his favourite saying was “shit in carrying a pig”….geddit!

  26. DS 26

    “Those are probably pretty unique in the 20th century western world apart possibly some of the Scandinavian countries?”

    Australia is even more ridiculous. Since WWII, they’ve had a nine term government (the Liberal/Country Coalition won 1949, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1958, 1961, 1963, 1966, and 1969), a five term government (the ALP won 1983, 1984, 1987, 1990, and 1993), a four term government (the Liberal/National Coalition won 1996, 1998, 2001, and 2004), a three term government (Liberal/National won 1975, 1977, and 1980), and a two term government (the ALP won 1972 and 1974).

    The last Australian federal government not to get elected to more than one term was the ALP in 1931.

  27. r0b 27

    Oh yeah. One thing you have to say about this country, it certainly believes in overturning the “political rules’.

    All the way back to women and the vote. I wonder what’s next!?

    that the atmosphere is nothing like 1990, the last time the NZ electorate went to the polls positively baying for blood.

    JP, AG, agreed. AG, I will join you for a drink if your prediction comes to pass!

    “shit in carrying a pig’ .geddit!

    randal – no I don’t – must be getting dim(mer) in my old age…

  28. AncientGeek 28

    DS: That is useful getting the detail.

    j: At a ‘feel’ level for me, 1990 was the worst as a labour supporter. Phone and door canvassing that year was really bad, and it carried through into the 1993 election.

    1984 was the same, but the other way. There was a determination to zap the government, and 1987 the nats had a carry through. Even where they didn’t like labour, voters were determined to make sure that the nats didn’t get in

    1996 was ambiguous. People were putting vote in the minor parties directions. 1999 was a lot ‘softer’, but there was a steely determination amongst the less-affluent non-voters to get rid of the nats. They were the people that had family getting hurt deeply by the benefit cuts and had a sense of unfairness about their taxes paying for the rich instead of the people they wanted to help.

    The elections since then have been almost boring from the canvassing side. This one doesn’t ‘feel’ much different from what I’ve seen so far. People are grumpy but not hostile. It is probably different in different places, but it doesn’t look like labour is losing core vote, and swingers are willing to talk rather than yell.

  29. AncientGeek 29

    DS: Agreed, aussie is really wierd. But they have some of the most ‘interesting’ electorate seats outside of the southern US. Have you ever seen a map of one famous southern US electorate – its shape looked a bit like a corkscrew.

    Mind you, those hamilton seats were feeling like that in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The way they projected as half rural and half urban was an exercise in how to render a anti-national vote ineffective.

    I have to say that MMP has calmed that kind of gerrymander down a lot.

  30. AG,
    I agree with you about the feel. In 1981, for example, I actually detected the swing in Auckland the last couple of weeks of the campaign. Things were so close that it would have carried Labour into office had it been reflected in the provinces. But Pig had made sure of the provinces with Think Big and the Tour.

    Yep we had gerrymanders here alright. The best included Hastings (a spanner) and Gisborne. In the latter case the principal Labour voting area would be carved out into the surrounding rural seat. Chapman would fulminate for days after the boundaries were released, and put it all down to Pig.

  31. Oops, that should have read, “The best examples…” But you probably figured that.

  32. DS. Thanks for the contributions. I just took the list from wikipedia but I was a bit sus on counting the United Government and the Liberal-Reform ‘National’ Coalition governments of 1928 and 1931 as seperate too – especially as we consider the three different combinations of parties led by Labour since 1999 to be one government.

    Good spotting on the first Liberal Government, I had forgotten they won the election but collapsed soon after.

  33. ak 33

    You’re onto it rOb (as usual). Wlth 70% refusal rates and half not even knowing there’s an election on, it’s another reminder that our fates will be decided by dilettantes – and also yet another reminder of the power of the press sound-bite and the “self-fulfilling prophesy” aspect of the polls.

    The tories have been on to this for years (natch, marketing is their entire world). Hence the ultra-heavy repetition of even the most unfounded inanities and I suspect a concerted multi-level campaign to influence the popular press a la pre-Orewa One as alluded to in The Hollow Men – not to mention the selection of El Blando the real estate agent from Central Casting as frontsman. Hence too the high dudgeon at the EFA which thwarts further populist propaganda bombardments.

    Then again there could be a calamitous collapse in the supply of printer’s ink, in which case the election will be decided on the quality of political comment on the blogs. In that case we’ll shit in – with or without a pig. (I don’t get it either…)

  34. AncientGeek 34

    jafa: I was not really political in 1981. Well apart from the tour where a police baton managed to send my teeth through my upper lip. In fact I actually helped the Nat’s put up hoardings. That was because my father asked for some help and he was supporting the poor candidate opposing a certain Ms Clark.

    He supports candidates not parties. So he went very apolitical after moving into the Rodney seat in ’83. For some reason he couldn’t bring himself to be interested in Lockjaw Smith. Now he has moved down country, he has found a labour candidate worth supporting and has been getting very active in his retirement.

  35. rex brown 35

    This isn’t really myth busting. More stating the obvious.

    MMP has given Labour more chance than what they would have had under the old/better system.

    BUT

    They will still be gone come election time. No matter how often they (and their supporters) repeat their mantra of re-election.

    I wasn’t too happy when National were ousted in 99, but upon reflection, it was a good thing. They had come to the end of their road. Losing power has given them a chance to rebuild and they now have some great candidates.

    Once Labour falls, they will be gone for a min of 2 terms.

    That may give them a chance of recruiting some quality people – if they can look outside the unions! Probably best to stay clear of teachers for a while too.

    Just my 2 cents…

  36. Ari 36

    Hey- just for those interested in the track record of re-election as a total, not just out of governments that made it to one term less, here’s steve’s numbers as fractional totals and as percentages to 2sf:

    1+ Terms: 13/13 100%
    2+ Terms: 9/13 69%
    3+ Terms: 8/13 62%
    4+ Terms: 4/13 31%
    5+ Terms: 2/13 15%
    6+ Terms: 1/13 7.6%

    So not only do governments running for a fourth term have a better track record of winning than of losing, almost a third of our total governments have made it to fourth terms. Long governments are most definitely possible.

    As for Rex Brown: I think given National’s current showing, they’re in for one disasterous term at best. Don’t get me wrong- if they do get in I’ll be hoping for them to keep the country in working order, but I’m not optimistic given their terrible (lack of) policies. I agree that Labour has lost some steam, but it has very little ground to retake. It needs to knock back Act and National about 3 or 4 percentage of the vote, even assuming our famously inaccurate polls have got it right.

    Labour COULD win this, but the way they’re going right now they’re going to need a change of tactics, as they’re letting the media and National beat them up as arrogant jerks who aren’t doing anything about food prices, etc, and while the policies they’re knocking out are solid, they haven’t really countered National’s usual spin tactics. They’ll also need to mend bridges with the Greens and reach out to the Maori Party if they want a good basis for another term.

  37. higherstandard 37

    AG

    “And the most left-leaning interventionist with popularist bits of quick-fix was the ignoble national governments from 1975 to 1984.”

    Yes agreed – as you guessed that is who I was alluding to it was also the last time I voted for Labour.

  38. Once Labour starts reminding the 50% of Kiwis who are now benefiting from some form of ‘income redistribution” which side their bread is buttered the numbers will shift. It also helps they have cleverly employed a whole army of socialist policy wonks (chart-public service staffing) who know they will be out the door if National takes the treasury benches. Sad as it might be, I reckon Helengrad will survive another three years.

    Mental note to self: book one way ticket to Melbourne for December.

    [lprent: corrected link so it could be accessed. I think that the system got confused by the brackets]

  39. Phil 39

    I’m part of the “…whole army of socialist policy wonks” having come into the public service in ’03.

    When I look around my colleagues, I don’t see anyone who is in the slightest bit concerned they may lose their job, because they realise that ‘capping’ and ‘cutting’ have two completely different meanings (Steve may want to google a definition for those… )

    On the other hand, DPMC (downstairs) may well be worried… as an interesting aside, I wonder if the level of resignations from DPMC change year-on-year depending on the election outcome?

  40. AncientGeek 40

    Phil: what is “DPMC” ?

  41. Tane 41

    Mental note to self: book one way ticket to Melbourne for December.

    Please do. I’m getting mighty sick of right-wingers threatening to up and leave New Zealand if they don’t get their way. If you can’t handle the results of democracy then piss off.

  42. Phil 42

    Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

  43. Lew 43

    I work with a bloke (and a few of you Standardistas know him too), whose political nous I rate highly, and he reckons neither National nor Labour are really that thrilled at the idea of winning the election. Possibly a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the reason is that whoever is in the house in 2009 is fighting an uphill battle against recession, and is vulnerable to `it’s the economy, stupid’-type attacks. If National win, with all that they’ve been complaining about Labour’s blaming previous National governments for privatisation, housing shortages, etc. are hardly on firm ground to object to Labour’s current policies unmaking their economic bed. If they win the election, Labour would widely be seen as having made that bed and therefore having to lie in it. Whoever wins in 2008 has a very, very hard road to win in 2011 if the economy goes the way economists seem to think it will. Colin James implies something similar in his latest Management Magazine column: http://www.colinjames.co.nz/management/Management_column_08May.htm

    Partisan cynics will say failure of the 2008 winner in 2001 would be down to John Key’s lack of policy experience – that he’s nice to look at but not a strong leader. On the other hand, I believe that Key would withstand a Labour win, and would concentrate sufficient fury against Clark and Cullen to win an election on a centrist policy platform.

    Which way do I think it would go? Can’t say, and to be honest, I don’t think I really mind. Whatever happens it’ll be interesting.

    Oh, and mawgxxxxvi – the ironclad riposte against your `bureaucrats will be out of a job if they don’t vote Labour’ rhetoric is that National will hire ’em back on consultants’ fees. If you’re going to be partisan and bag the public service, at least have the decency to recognise the failings of private-sector business models as well. On this logic, smart public servants should be voting National, since there’s more money in it for them that way.

    L

  44. Lew 44

    Stupid blog software, munging my URL. Why can it not just leave ’em as Plain Old Text?

    L

    [lprent: I was trying something out to get rid of url’s overflowing on the right sidebar in firefox. Thought I had it – but obviously not. Reverted the code.]

  45. Ari 45

    Personally speaking, I think the best thing Labour could do in this election is actually to point out we’re likely headed into tough economic times and that National is very, very bad at weathering recessions. The trouble is that this is a risky tactic as National is (oddly) percieved as the stronger economic party, so they’d need some good convincing policies for doing that. (like pointing out how an economic focus on broad employment helps)

    As you point out lew, whoever wins is going to have to weather a recession. But if you go INTO the election saying that, then the political landscape changes a bit.

  46. Phil 46

    Labour has spent 9 years blaming National for all-and-sundry. What makes you think the boot won’t fit just as neatly on the other foot?

    It did the first time under Muldoon…

    =P

  47. randal 47

    phil; because National will not win the election…q.e.d.

  48. I doubt National would have an issue with a recession. It would give them the opportunity to prescribe the hard neoliberal medicine they itch to inflict on us.

  49. Lew 49

    Phil: I think it would fit. Certainly National is spinning the tail-end of an economic boom that way now, with what Steve calls the New Zealand Sucks discourse (a discourse which is much more traditionally rolled out by extremists on both sides, ironically). But I think National would lose face if they did so once in government, since they’ve consistently pooh-poohed Labour’s blaming them so much.

    This is what I mean when I say it’s interesting.

    L

  50. Ari 50

    Phil: I’d be bagging Labour just as badly if it was running a policy-free campaign blaming National for everything minor thing that isn’t perfect with New Zealand. Partially because I have a distaste for negative politics, partially because I am very very worried about the possibility of a government being formed around a large party that has done very little policy planning, and has announced none of the principles behind its new policies after a radical re-branding.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Cancer Control Agency to drive improved care
    The new independent Cancer Control Agency has formally opened today, delivering on the Government’s plan to improve cancer care in New Zealand.         Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health David Clark marked the occasion by announcing the membership of the Advisory Council that will be supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting small business to prosper
    Small businesses who deal with government departments are set to be paid faster and have improved cash flow as a result, under a new strategy released today. The Government is backing recommendations from the Small Business Council (SBC) and has agreed to implement three initiatives immediately to support business and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Innovative technology and tools to better manage freedom camping
    A package of new and expanded technology and other tools will encourage responsible camping and help communities and local councils better manage freedom camping this summer, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. “Our Government has been investing to improve the freedom camping experience for everyone because we want to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improving wellbeing by understanding our genes
    The government is laying the groundwork to understanding our genes – work that can help us tackle some of our biggest health challenges, like heart disease and diabetes, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. $4.7 million has been invested in the Genomics Aotearoa Rakeiora programme. The programme will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government investing to future proof school property
    Nearly every state schools will receive a capital injection next year valued at $693 per student to bring forward urgent school property improvements, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.  The one-off cash injection is the first project to be announced from the Government’s infrastructure package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Infrastructure investments to be brought forward
    The Government has decided to bring forward major investments in New Zealand’s infrastructure to future proof the economy. “Cabinet has agreed to a significant boost to infrastructure investment. I have directed the Treasury to help bring together a package of projects that can be brought into the Government’s short and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Future-proofing New Zealand
    It is a great pleasure to be with you today in Whanganui. Like the Prime Minister I grew up with the TV clip of Selwyn Toogood booming “What do you say Whanganui, the money or the bag?” to an unsuspecting ‘It’s in the Bag’ audience. For those under the age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa track opened – an asset for the West Coast
    New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa Track, was officially opened in Blackball today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage alongside the family members of the Pike 29 and Ngāti Waewae.  Local mayors and MP for the West Coast Hon Damien O’Connor were also in attendance. “Paparoa National Park ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • P-8A Poseidon base works commence
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark turned the first sod of earth on the infrastructure works for the new P-8A Poseidon fleet at RNZAF Base Ohakea today. “The Coalition Government’s investment in Ohakea will ensure the Royal New Zealand Air Force can manage, maintain and task the new fleet efficiently ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Launch of the National Emergency Management Agency
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare today announced the establishment of the new National Emergency Management Agency from 1 December 2019.  The National Emergency Management Agency will replace the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. It will be an autonomous departmental agency, hosted by the Department of the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NASA 2020 Internship applications open
    New Zealand tertiary students with top grades and a passion for space will once again be offered the opportunity to work with the world’s best and brightest at NASA, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Recipients of the New Zealand Space Scholarship are nominated by the Ministry of Business, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to send more medical staff and essential supplies to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further support to Samoa in the wake of an ongoing measles outbreak in the country. Additional medical supplies and personnel, including a third rotation of New Zealand’s emergency medical assistance team (NZMAT), further nurse vaccinators, intensive care (ICU) specialists and Samoan-speaking medical professionals, will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cost less of a factor for Kiwis seeking GP care
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new data showing a sharp drop in the number of people who can’t afford to visit their GP is a sign of real progress. One year after the Government made it cheaper for about 600,000 Kiwis to visit their doctor, results of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade for All Board releases recommendations
    The Trade for All Advisory Board has released its recommendations for making New Zealand’s trade policy deliver for all New Zealanders.  The report was today welcomed by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker.  “Trade is crucial to this country’s economy and well-being, and the benefits need to flow to all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago