Open mike 03/08/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 3rd, 2023 - 97 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

97 comments on “Open mike 03/08/2023 ”

  1. bwaghorn 1

    Theoretical question?

    If labou greens tpm, and National act both ruled Winston out, but neither party got to 61 seats, and Winston held the balance could a government be formed without nzf?

    • lprent 1.1

      Sure. It is a minority government. Very common in NZ.

      Ultimately politics in NZ is largely governed by legislation, and that doesn’t change much. Apart from the finance side, ie raising taxes and spending. The budget (ie supply) legislation are the only acts that actually have to pass parliament a at least once per year. The tax legislation can largely be left to roll over.

      Most of our governments since 1996 have been minority governments. They usually have confidence and supply agreements with other parties in parliament to pass supply legislation. But that isn’t necessary. It could just be a simple trade off at budget time to get sufficient support to pass supply.


      For a government to be formed, following a general election, it must be able to command the support of the majority of MPs in the House of Representatives.[45] This entails having their confidence and the ability to pass supply bills. While it is rare for a single party to have an outright majority, coalitions may be formed between parties,[46] and even a party or coalition with a minority of seats can form a government by maintaining confidence and supply from minor parties.[47] Parties in government are said to have a “mandate” from voters and authority to implement manifestos (although this view has been criticised as being simplistic when applied to coalition arrangements).[48]

      Between 1996 and 2020, neither National nor Labour had an absolute majority in Parliament, and for all but two of those years a minority government ruled (however, every government has been led by one or other of the two main parties).[120]

      Most of the parliaments since 1996 have been coalitions, 2020 being the only exception. All except for (?) 1996 had confidence and supply agreements with other parties. Usually with an ability to withdraw at any point.

      The scenario you’re pointing to is effectively the normal.

      Of course forcing kiwis to go back to the general election to elect legislators, which not passing supply bills would trigger, is very unlikely to favour intransigent parties or politicians. I’d expect that politicians who did force unnecessary elections or even impede Parliament in legislating would typically get the bums rush either as a electorate seat or as a party vote. That is pretty much what has happened whenever something like that has occurred.

      So there is a lot of pressure on politicians to pass supply bills and confidence legislation.

      • Anne 1.1.1

        "Most of the parliaments since 1996 have been coalitions, 2020 being the only exception."

        So telling. Labour's landslide victory in 2020 has now had its consequences….

        Three ministers in the past two months alone have been relieved of their portfolios and two of them resigned from parliament. The third is still there but demoted to the back benches. While their 'misdeeds' did not constitute serious miscarriages of conduct (although one is facing a police charge likely to cop a solid fine), together they have brought the government’s reputation into disrepute. A level of arrogance was clearly evident in all three cases.

        The moral of the story: it is better not to win an election by a massive landslide.

        • Cricklewood

          Cmon, Kiri Allen is a text book example of serious misconduct.

          • Phillip ure

            Worse than bashing a 13 yr old…?

            Or worse than being a former mercenary/killer for hire…?

            Get a grip with yr serious misconduct claims…

            Wot would you call those two examples above…?

            • adam

              The usual Tory MP…

              Oh wait I forgot what the name of someone who misleads the country and uses the name of a dead child – fraud?

          • Anne

            "Kiri Allen is a text book example of serious misconduct."

            That was the intention of my bracketed comment so we are on the same page.

            I still have compassion for her though. I can just imagine the shit she has had to put up with over the years… not to mention the cancer and the shock of a broken relationship.

      • weka 1.1.2

        I think the issue is whether we can have a minority government with no C/S agreement. Afaik, that hasn't happened before. I assume it's technically possible, but is it likely? Does this come down to the Governor General agreeing that the minority govt with no C/S would be stable enough?

        Hard to see NZF offering a L/G coalition C/S. Maybe they would offer N/ACT? But who knows with Peters.

        • SPC

          I think NZF's gambit is to offer a National minority government c and s, but not a NACT one.

          • weka

            Why would National take that rather than a N minority govt with ACT C/S? Seems risking from Peters.

            • SPC

              Er, because they would need both (ACT and NZF) to have a majority.

              • weka

                I'm not following. Do you mean a N minority govt with C/S from both ACT and NZF? i.e. Peters' play is he will only offer C/S if Nat refuse ACT a coalition deal

                • SPC

                  Yes. His play is to rule out giving c and s to a NACT coalition (and Seymour knows it). Thus attract votes from centrists who do not want ACT in government.

                  • lprent

                    ie take votes from National to NZF, making a Nat/Act coalition unable to have 61+ seats.

                    Act wants Nat to rule out NZF because they don't want those centrist populists to constrain Act to keep draining votes from National and hopefully driving National into oblivion (eventually).

                    National wants the option to pick and choose, because they would like to pull nutbar votes so that they remain as the coalition lead into the future. It is hard to see any other basis for National apart from a small-conservatism focus.

        • bwaghorn

          Yip what nact get 60 seats but no one will give them confidence and supply

          • observer

            In 2005 Winston's excuse for supporting Clark was indeed a "Mexican stand-off" like that.

            And that's why "rule in/out" is meaningless. Would a party force another election? No, because they would lose votes for sure. So in the end they deal.

            At a possible 60-60 somebody would have to cave rather than face the voters.

        • observer

          NZF could try and negotiate an abstention agreement e.g. Nat/ACT 58, NZF 7, all others 55. So, minority government 58-55.

          I'm no constitutional lawyer, but in those circumstances the G-G should probably say "keep talking". With no majority, the government would be at risk of falling as soon as NZF members object to the first budget or major legislation.

          (Parties have abstained in the past – like the Greens – but only after a majority has already been found).

          • weka

            ok, but in that situation it could also be a L/NZF minority govt with C/S from TPM and GP as needed (depending on numbers)?

            Peters would go with the larger party that has the most seats? Or the largest coalition?

            • alwyn

              He would go with the party that would give him the biggest pile of baubles.

              As in 1996 with National, 2005 with Labour and 2017 with Labour again. Most seats? Largest coalition? Nah. Whoever gives him the most for his votes.

        • George

          Winston and his army of the dead – resurrected and wheeled out at every election- is quite happy to simply stuff up anything to do with National since the winebox affair. He only needs to take votes away from them and ACT to be victorious. And he will. He siphons off whoever thinks he's talking their language and it changes at every election. He's like a puppet master… and there's no show without punch

    • Dennis Frank 1.2

      Tova has framed it well:

      Asked if National must rule Peters out, or he would not sit around the Cabinet table with National either, Seymour set it in stone:

      “Yeah, I think that's pretty clear. There's no way that you're going to solve the problems that New Zealand needs to solve when you've got someone who's had so many chances and screwed it up so many times before.”

      The move puts National’s king into check. Christopher Luxon’s resolute refusal to rule out WWW (Working With Winston) risks making him look impotent if National’s only real path to power – Seymour – has made the move for him.

      This game of bluff & double-bluff will keep folks guessing awhile. Nobody will believe any transient position is durable – the trick is to fool enough people into believing the political leader means what they say at the time. Impressions are ephemeral but they seem to have sufficient currency for tactical effect.

    • Mike the Lefty 1.3

      The joke would be on Luxon and Seymour if they came up with the same situation as in 2017.

      It is a risky business putting all your cards on the table earlier than you need to.

      I don't think NZ First will actually get back into parliament this time but on the other hand you can never completely count out Winston, he's been out before and has come back. Enough uncertainty to get National's blood pressure rising a bit.

      • Shanreagh 1.3.1

        It is a risky business putting all your cards on the table earlier than you need to.

        Yes risky and not sensible in my view.

        It makes me wonder why the parties have ruled out coalitions with this or that party and presumably they think by doing this it gives them the high ground, moral or otherwise. In the ACT case I think it is is to nudge the Nats into wondering if they should position themselves as centrists/rightists or rightists.

        Another point about ruling things out now and then being faced with a possibly sensible and interesting coalition chance that to make a move gives the MSM easy pickings to divert…
        ‘you said on XYZ that you were not going to enter into a coalition, now you are……..
        did you mislead voters/supporters?
        And on it goes…..

        • Mike the Lefty

          Oh yes, the media positively LOVE the rule-in rule-out game. Lisa Owens spends most of her time on air doing it.

          I think it is merely tiresome and distracting people from policy.

      • George 1.3.2

        Remember that Luxon is still polling lower than Judith Collins was …so no matter what the Nats are saying about coalitions it's a long long way from any of those 2 parties being a done deal yet.

    • observer 1.4

      Interviewers keep taking this "rule out" nonsense at face value, instead of asking the only question that really matters:

      "If National, ACT and NZF have 61+ seats, do you deal or not deal?"

      For all 3 leaders the answer is "deal". The precise terms of the deal would be up for debate but even having talks would make "rule out" meaningless.

      If you're in the room talking, then by definition you don't "rule out". Everything else is dishonest posturing, and if political reporters don't understand that, they're in the wrong job.

      See 2005 if you've forgotten. No bauble, no way = nice bauble, thank you.

  2. scotty 2

    Interesting piece by Gordon Campbell on result of Spanish election and possible relevance here.

    A bit old . apologies if someone has linked previously .

    • Sanctuary 2.1

      Unfortunately, NZ is far more like the US in terms of the economic position of it's two main parties – Robert Reich in an interesting piece in todays Guardian nails the political consensus in NZ pefectly:

      To paraphrase:

      In National party circles, the monied interests have preached the snake oil of supply-side economics, which legitimized giant tax cuts going mostly to the rich and large corporations.

      Those tax cuts have fueled giant profits in the biggest firms and financial institutions, and stoked a surge in wealth for the rich but did literally nothing for average working people. Nothing trickled down.

      In Labour party circles, the monied interests have used neoliberalism – which has called for deregulation, privatization, free trade and the domination of finance over the economy. This orthodoxy pervades the Ardern/Hipkins administrations. The result was similar to that of supply-side economics: wealth surged to the top, but average working people remained stuck in the mud.

      NZ has nothing like the Movimiento Sumar or a populist left wing politician like Diaz. We've got two parties whose fundamental approach amounts to National and ACT wanting to strengthen plutocratic crony capitalism and Labour whose sole aim is a desire to administer plutocratic crony capitalism in a way that is a bit better for everyone else.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Labour's political strategy has been to present as the alternative National Party in accord with the formula that Helen Clark implemented successfully. Her success was due to rapport with her Nat-voting parents.

        Simulations are extremely powerful in mass-psychology, so one can credit Labour with a degree of political sophistication in using one. Problem is, usage has driven down it's poll rating in a more or less continuous slide since the last election.

        Causal explanation of this effect requires focus on results – something of a fatal flaw for Labour. Their vision of the future remains Twyfordian…

      • scotty 2.1.2

        I was more focused on whether National's vote holds up when Luxon's poor media performances, and anti worker policies are amplified during the election campaign.

        "So…. What happened? During the last weeks of the campaign, the media finally and belatedly turned its attention away from the failings of the government. The arrogant gaffes by the PP leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo began to occur in the media spotlight:"

        • Cricklewood

          Luxon's coming from a pretty low base so its not out of the question that he manages to do better than expected and improve his personal numbers.

        • James Simpson

          National can see it’s chances of winning the election shrinking by the day as a result of their duplicity. But when they lose, which lesson will they learn?

          Given the choice, the Maori Party would undoubtedly end up supporting a Labour-led government. Even if the MPs would prefer National, they will be taking the decision to their people – people who have never, ever supported a National government

          It is, quite simply, the most complex management position known as it is non-specialist. JK is a specialist financier and, in that position, is probably quite good but as PM he’s going to be far out of his depth as his knowledge of everything else won’t measure up

          Quotes from the Standard in the lead up to the 2008 election. Lets not make the same mistake as we did in 2008 where it was assumed Key would get demolished in the debates by Clark, and National's support would collapse in the capaign.

          It didn't and it won't in 2023. This is going to be a close election.

      • Ad 2.1.3

        I really like Reich and it's great that a former labour secretary gets to see US labour strengthened again in his professional lifetime.

        But it's not reasonable to compare the New Zealand economy to that of the United States.

        New Zealand over the last three years has had one of the largest and deepest government interventions by the state into the economy in the developed world. Particularly as a percentage of GDP and as a percentage of state income. Our version of 'mailing cheques' was to both secure wages and support all businesses at the same time.

        If you look at Labour's investment into energy transition in Fonterra, Synlait and Glenbrook Steel, they have taken the equivalent of the CO2 production of all cars in the South Island into electricity. These kinds of intervention matter far more than in the United States because our company size is far more concentrated.

        Doing a beatdown of this Labour government is shooting ducks in a barrel. But comparing our scale and specificity of government economic management to that of Biden's isn't effective.

        • Sanctuary

          I think that Labour's crisis management has been extremely effective – you only have to look at the catastrophe engulfing the average Joe in the UK to realise how well protected our people have been when compared to the raging incompetence and corruption of the UK Tories.

          But I think it stands that Labour's interventions are seen as entirely crisi driven deviations from an absolute establishment lock step on supply side/neoliberal economics. What I'd like to see from Labour is the courage to frankly break some of the self-imposed monetrist rules that have dominated NZ economically for the last forty years.

          The key political appeal of the Movimiento Sumar is is offers an alternative to orthodoxy that isn't fascist adjacent. The ideal party for that sort of economic break in NZ should be the Greens, but they are far too easily distracted by fighting their end of the culture wars and engaging in performative common room Marxism to be credible on economic matters.

          • Ad

            Yes I certainly agree that we are well and truly ideologically stuck.

          • Dennis Frank

            The ideal party for that sort of economic break in NZ should be the Greens

            That's my vision from 32 years ago, which prompted me to join their economic policy working group. The only notable improvement on the basis we laid for the GP came from Russel Norman's framing: green shoots as symbols for a resilient economy.

            Each business emerging from sustainability praxis applied in the neolib context is a working example of how to do the transition. Ongoing failure of the GP to inform the voters is due to factors you mention plus innate idiocy of the MPs.

      • Bearded Git 2.1.4

        Sumar includes the Spanish Green party (Verde) and Diaz has said the she "wants to become the first green president of Spain".

        Sorry can't reference this….I'm on my phone about to get on plane.

        • Sanctuary

          European Greens seem to much more interested in deep organising and broad based activism than NZ Greens, who to be fair are as addicted to exactly the same sort of elite consensus, elite cadre politics as all the other parties.

          • Bearded Git

            But the Greens have very different policies which I am sure they will push for if they were to be in a Lab 31 Gr 12 TPM 5 coalition.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    You know, you can talk bucketloads about this RNZ online editing fiasco.

    But what it really amounts to typical NZ senior management. Asleep at the wheel, unaware of what is happening, and completely reactive.

    It takes a reputationally damaging scandal of dude re-writing contracted copy to bring changes to online news oversight. It takes a road tragedy for dangerous roads – flagged for years in reports as needing fixing – to be upgraded. it takes someone going troppo with a weapon for changes to occur in mental health. It goes on and on in this country.

    None of this would particularly matter if the people at the top were ever held accountable. But they never are. Theses people draw obscene salaries and bloviate for ever about "leadership" and "vision" and never deliver anything or prevent anything.

    That is what really grates – taking huge salaries to be teflon dick suckers who dodge their responsibilities.

    • Ad 3.1

      Certainly Chair Walden's reaction was far more measured talking about the affected reporter than CE Thompson who just went off at him when the news broke.

      It's Thompson that needs to go out of this.

    • Dennis Frank 3.2

      Yeah, I've made that point myself often enough too. Accountability is a taboo notion and has long been the bedrock reality-aversion upon which National and Labour have developed their collusion strategy.

      Commentators here seem to prefer the delusional sideshow of apparent competition between the two; small things amuse small minds. Yet the essence of democracy lies in consensual decision-making even when tribal. You can see how their collusion has become multi-generational as soon as you discern the pattern of accountability-evasion that the left & right share in common.

      The control system's puppeteering of left & right keeps kiddie voters enthralled. Thrall is the old anglo-saxon word for slave. Leftists & rightists are slaves to the system while believing they have freedom to choose their future.

  4. Cricklewood 4

    Gotta say the political poll analysis is pretty damn poor atm. Lots of noise about leaders etc and not much looking at the left right split.

    Currently the right side is polling in the region of 48% which seems to be the high watermark to me given that's about as good as it got during peak John Key the only difference between then and now is that a good sized chunk of the right vote have shifted over to ACT. This will potentially shunt NZ much further to the right than would be typical under previous National led governments. Potentially Act emerges from here on out as a genuine coalition partner moving forward with a decent chunk of embedded vote similar to the Greens.

    The left vote is shifting around a bit between the minor parties but Labour are going to have to work pretty hard to get some vote back off National to push them back down closer to 30%. But by no means impossible.

    The real risk I can see is that the torrent of negative commentary will result in Labour turnout falling away which would make a Nat Act coalition much more likely.

    • Dennis Frank 4.1

      You're making the right point but glossing over the differential. Last night my quick count showed a left/right differential of around 10% – other commentators ought to run their own check on that.

      That leftists have recently alienated so many floating centrists seems rather astonishing and I'm not surprised nobody onsite here has explained how they did it…

      • SPC 4.1.1

        Alienation of floating voters occurs over time, with or without cause.

        Some might say a lot has happened in this 6 years (mosque killings – hate speech law debate, White Island, the pandemic*, exposure of our health system issues, disruption of the global supply chain*, our property market economy still continuing to fail to deliver affordable homes, war in Europe*, the arrival of super power conflict in our region, social conservatives born again in defence of cisgender womenkind, climate change getting real*, National/ACT/NZF playing fear of the Tiriti and UNDRIP card.

        And then the return of inflation* and the pain resulting from economic orthodoxy management.

        Does incrementalism offer reassurance in such a time?

        • Dennis Frank

          Does incrementalism offer reassurance in such a time?

          Not to me, but I can see it reassuring most voters. Stasis in mass psychology is evident in normalcy. When the world surrounding you presents alarming changes, the typical mainstreamer pretends all is good. Then it gets down to the real/surreal ratio within the mind of each voter.

          It's realistic to see a potential in most humans to get real when their survival necessitates a change of stance in the general direction of getting a grip on things. Complacency shifts them away from that grounding into popular delusions. Neolib hegemony is prolonged by masses taking refuge in normalcy. Safety in numbers they think. We ought to be pragmatic & accept their natural idiocy as realistic to the extent that incrementalism reassures them. Incremental changes seem adaptable to them…

    • Sanctuary 4.2

      The reaction on my social media to Luxon's embracing of Chinese money was astonishing. Sinophobia is a really big thing in NZ. And that is Labour's challenge. Whenever NACT's policies are discussed the public recoils from them. But our media is addicted to big house court politics and gossip, so prefers a succession of "scandals" where they can interview the dire array of the usual suspects and talking heads that pass for opinion in this country and demonstrate how savvy they are to discussing policies.

      So Labour need to cut out the opportunites for a feckless media hungry for a scandal and a narrative to literally make shit up amongst themselves and focus hard on policy. They also need to come up with some sort of decent electoral lolly – offering themselves to the electorate as the party of fiscal prudence will see then annihilated at the polls, because it is impossible to shift the dial on the zombie media narrative that National are better economic managers.

    • bwaghorn 4.3

      The real risk I can see is that the torrent of negative commentary will result in Labour turnout falling away which would make a Nat Act coalition much more likely.

      Pretty sure that's the plan from some in media, hears looking at you Newshub

    • Ed1 4.4

      Perhaps you are looking for this:

      The second chart gives an estimate of the split between groupings – neither reach 50%, and uncertainty may mean the groups are closer (or further apart) than in the table. The "Other" category is above 5%, but none of NZ First, TOP or New Conservatives appear close to the threshold themselves

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Grant has driven his neolib economy into a budgetary pot-hole, but he's refusing to say how big it is:

    Former Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has alleged there is a $20 billion hole in the Government’s revenue as a result of the weakening economy… Act leader David Seymour put out his own press statement alleging the hole was closer to $30b – a figure Robertson also denied.

    Doesn't matter how big the real/imaginary pothole is. Govt can manufacture imaginary money to fill it whenever they feel like it, which then becomes real the instant they use it – quantitative easing is now a traditional option.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 5.1

      Whats your agenda here DF ?

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.1

        I try to illuminate deeper dimensions of situations. Seems necessary when so many others just go with the superficial aspects. There are times when superficialities are relevant & informative enough to be the communal focus but there's often shared value in going deeper instead – or as well.

        My political agenda trended towards deep Green after originating in 1968 (self-awareness, identity formation). Communal context makes that view essential for survival now. Leftists are gradually figuring this out but since most Greens are a paler shade we have a spectrum in play…

        • PsyclingLeft.Always

          Well…thats as maybe. Hard to say really.

          Anyway, I'm actually meaning your linking to a Herald article….specifically some "allegations" by Peters and Seymour.

          • Dennis Frank

            The crux of that is how well the simulation (deployment of the pothole theory of economic credibility) works as a political ploy. Gamesters use a ploy if they believe it makes them competititive.

            So the two rightist dinosaurs, young & old, compete with each other to see who can utter the loudest roar. Quants impress folks, and the largest number used is the most effective. Big is Good. That's why Mitre 10 Mega used it as focus slogan in their long corporate ad campaign earlier this century.

            Labour thinks like this too but must mask it to seem different to the right – thus Grant refusing to measure the size of the (real/imaginal) pothole in his budgeting & spending plan for govt services.

    • SPC 5.2

      The forecast deficit for the next 3 years was $18B, but there has been a decline in company tax revenue. So the Treasury pre election update is impacted.

      It's not a hole in revenue, it's an increase in forecast deficit for the three years ahead because of the decline in company tax revenue.

      Low end figures Peters (18+2) and high end Seymour (18+ 2+10).

      Department heads were recently with the Finance Minister presumably to look at spending priorities/management thereof – to assist the returning/incoming government.

    • Patricia Bremner 5.3

      Frank you ask how Labour has offended the middle 10% That assumes they have!!

      This small mind sees money being spent by the right to blow up Law and Order. National using media to magnify, and Act supporting the gun lobby. What an unholy alliance making people fearful.

      The media have allowed Luxon a fairly painless ride, and now he has Mary Lambie giving him actor polish. Polishing a turd seems to be a practice of the right, looking at some of their members. sarc Pun intended.

      What are you doing Frank? Showing intellectual superiority? Or just bloody stirring?

      This election is critical, and yes our choices are not what we hoped, but incremental changes stick, and the dial has been moved in spite of moaning and outright bloody denials by some. We need unity, not egos throwing rocks from the sideline.

      The one thing that will sink us is infighting, white anting and failure to look at the goals as people carry out inquisitions about supposed failure and spend energy examining their own navels. Also refusing to see how markets are now impacting our budget and receipts blaming Labour for a world downturn.

      There is a price to pay for our support of workers through supporting businesses through covid to keep employment up. Business took advantage. Profits soared.

      Every time workers make small progress the rules of Capitalism bite. Worse it wants more carbon based living, so we are battling that moar roads mentality.

      We are all tired, but there have been massive wins. We need to list those and what is in the pipeline.

      This election is too important to lose, and those saying Labour and National "are the same" after all that has gone down and been dealt with in the last 6 years should be ashamed. That is such superficial rubbish.

      National would have let covid rip, they probably would have let mycoplasma bovis become endemic, they would not have improve workers conditions and pay. Abortion would still be a crime, and medical cannabis a dream. Housing would be stymied by covenants and Councils, and health run down for Private take overs, as would education.

      Those saying both are the same side of one coin can p…. off. I prefer the kinder face.

      Labour Green Ti Parti Maori, unite in the face of self seeking evil. Believe we can change the outcome. It is not ordained by the Upper Room. Voters vote like your life depends on it… as it well may.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 5.3.1

        And onya PB ! The anti-Labour/Green doomers and white-anters are all about this. If not defeatist. Its great you listed some of what Labour have done.

        The aforesaid anti's would just prefer to ignore all of that.

      • Dennis Frank 5.3.2

        Frank you ask how Labour has offended the middle 10% That assumes they have!!

        Bremner I scanned my comment (#5) and found no such question!!

        • Patricia Bremner

          Sorry Dennis, that was a mistake with your name. 10% see 4.1

          and … we don't need stirring, we need everyone on board, to win this. use your intellect to help with that.smiley

          • Dennis Frank

            No worries Patricia. smiley Just to explain what I wrote in 4.1 a little more, I see that significant gap that has opened in recent months between the leftist parties & the rightist parties as being due to lack of resonance in the minds of floaters – due to leftist parties not directing their marketing strategies at those voters.

            The left assumes floaters are susceptible to leftist values which is partially true – however floaters seem to me more susceptible to a compelling positive alternative. It's a marketing psych thing. You know how Ad has once or twice presented a persuasive list of progressive accomplishments of the past two terms? Good evidence to the credit of Labour/Greens I thought – but never commented here to that effect since I see it as irrelevant to the floater psyche.

            Hipkins, responding to poll subsidence in recent months, keeps implying that they'll get around to marketing one day soon. Maybe, and it may even work. Likewise the Greens. However I suspect too little too late. I do try to help – by pointing out what the two leftist parties continue to do wrong in the hope that the word will spread until they realise they need to do it better. Can't fix it when their complacency makes them believe they're already doing the right thing…

      • Dennis Frank 5.3.3

        What are you doing Frank? Showing intellectual superiority? Or just bloody stirring?

        Bremner, what if I'm doing both simultaneously? smiley Are you going to argue that doing so ain't the kiwi way?? Can't see that catching on…

      • Bearded Git 5.3.4

        I agree with you PB…… there are far too many people, including lefties on TS, who complain that Lab and Nats are virtually the same-simply not true.

        • weka

          it's a lazy, self-serving political analysis that imo does indeed play into people not voting. I see it from people who say they don't have anyone to vote for, as if voting is about personal gratification. Maybe they feel less alone if other people don't vote too.

          It's an leftie own goal and ignorant af about the real world impacts. On climate alone it's absolutely insane.

          • pat

            " I see it from people who say they don't have anyone to vote for, as if voting is about personal gratification. "

            Speaking for myself (and from what I have been told by those close to me) the contrary is true….the gratification sought is a better society/run country, and the offers all fall far short.

            If all the offers are detrimental why would any sane person vote FOR them?

            • Patricia Bremner

              So tell us what you would like?smiley surprise I have tried to ascertain your position? “detrimental?”

              • pat

                I have stated what I'd like…an improved society/country.

                The problem appears to be that the methods proposed fail that test

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Pat, I'd like what you'd like.

                  In your opinion, what are "the methods" that might deliver "an improved society/country", and/or is "the problem" insoluble?

                  • pat

                    The methods broadly…

                    Compressed incomes

                    Increased taxation (with one eye on investment/liquidity)

                    Increased autarky (with the understanding complete autarky not desirable/possible)

                    Public ownership (broadly) of infrastructure.

                    Not much to ask

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Could get behind all those broad methods, but it's a lot to ask.

                    • pat

                      Not at all….it is little to ask, but it may take some vision and competence to deliver…something that has been missing from our so called leadership for far too long.

                    • arkie

                      Some policies that may align with your desired methods:

                      • Ensure that tax policy contributes to the overall quality of life of New Zealanders and the sustainable development of Aotearoa New Zealand (…) (3.2)
                      • Ensure that public investment effectively furthers the transition to a fair and sustainable economy. (…) (3.11)


                      • Encourage circular business relationships, where the outputs of one business are the inputs to another business, and engage in planning for the future siting of such businesses near/next to each other where appropriate and practical. (1.18)
                      • Promote a fair competitive environment for Aotearoa New Zealand businesses that removes outright competition with products and services from countries with poor human and worker rights records and with poor environmental practices. (2.1)


                      • Establish a Ministry for Green Works to ensure supply of suitable housing for all New Zealanders. (4.1)
                      • Ensure that tax, monetary and fiscal policy, and controls on banks incentivise productive investment, rather than speculation in property. (5.1)


                      • Retain or impose tariffs, quotas or bans where useful to prevent unfair competition caused by unjust or unsustainable production practices in the country of origin. (4.1)
                      • Strengthen controls on foreign investment in Aotearoa New Zealand to minimise the negative effects of speculative and other non-productive foreign investment. (4.5)


                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      [@arkie@8:21 pm]
                      yes Could get behind all those policies.

                      Some may suggest those policies lack vision – not me though.

            • weka

              because sometimes we vote for the least worse option to stop the much worse option gaining power.

              Strategically, it's easier to shift NZ politics to something better from a centre left govt than from a RW one. Additionally, a centre left government does good things even if it's not enough.

              Speaking for myself (and from what I have been told by those close to me) the contrary is true….the gratification sought is a better society/run country…

              Same. I'm constantly surprised by the people for whom a good cultural fit or sense of belonging is a prerequisite for voting at all.

              • pat

                What is the least worse option when all the options are appalling?

                • weka

                  I can't afford that kind of purity test. If you can't bring yourself to vote GP, TPM, or Labour, what are you even doing thinking about politics.

                  • pat

                    You suggest that because the product is inferior the possibilities should be dismissed?….no wonder our politics are where they are.

                    • weka

                      I didn't suggest that at all. Just explain your thinking Pat, it gets tedious otherwise and you know I have little patience for people making shit up about my views.

                    • pat

                      here we go again…if you are going to make statements have the courage to stand behind them….I have been perfectly clear.

                    • weka []

                      what did you mean by possibilities?

                    • Patricia Bremner

                      When compromise is seen as a dirty word, Politics becomes impossible, because that is what it is, a compromise, and as it deals with humans it will never be perfect.devil So very painful for a perfectionist.

                    • pat

                      Only problem with your argument Patricia is I am far from a perfectionist….but I know the the difference between wheat and chaff.

                      If wheat is needed, chaff dosnt factor

        • bwaghorn

          Occasionally I get asked what the difference between the nats and labour is , my basic answer is national always make the rich richer and take away workers rights, labour trust to fix both those things

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Cap’n Chippy should be regretting that tax call of his by now…

    I revisit it in terms of recent polling…

    It will be a tight and volatile election, all parties seem to fighting for their existence in one form or another. Winston won’t work with NZ Labour, Seymour won’t work with Winston, Baldrick might work with Winston. David Parker and Robbo are not impressed with the Cap’n’s tacking…Let's hope that old wish prevails…NZF get 4.9%. And that the various fruitcake parties like Matt King’s Democracy NZ waste a few % of votes also.

    The strategic approach would have been Labour/Green/TPM all supporting fairer tax policy, and laying it out for the electorate. Cap’n blew, it so it is all on. I have been opposing dirty, filthy, tories since Muldoon, so one more campaign won’t bother me, but it just such a waste of energy in what should be “a land of plenty.”

    • SPC 6.1

      If Labour/Green/TPM are more than NACT then it is good that NZF get 4.9%. But otherwise NZF at 5.0% might prevent a NACT government (Peters preference is a National minority government with c and s from both ACT and NZF).

      • Tiger Mountain 6.1.1

        Yes, subtle difference, and on how much influence Act has with National. This election campaign has been going by proxy means since COVID and the occupation of Parliament grounds really.

  7. joe90 7

    They have plans.

    The far right Heritage Foundation created a platform for Trump that plots an authoritarian take-over of the country.

    Donald Trump nearly destroyed American democracy in his first term in office. If he is reelected, he plans to try to finish the job. This isn’t a matter of speculation; it’s a virtual certainty.


    The specific goals of the project are discussed in great detail in the ninth edition of the Heritage Foundation’s Mandate for Leadership. First published in 1981, the Mandate is designed to serve as a guide for conservative governance, and is updated periodically, usually at the outset of each presidential administration. The current version totals some 920 pages.

    If you lack the stomach to plow through the entire tome, you can turn to a two-page preface written by Paul Dans, Project 2025’s director who served as the Trump Administration’s Chief of Staff for the Office of Personnel Management. Dans outlines the project’s four basic objectives, which he calls its “four pillars.” These are: the development of a broad “policy agenda” for the next rightwing President to implement; the construction of a “personnel database” to assist the President in making staffing decisions; the creation of a “Presidential Academy” to train the next set of high-level government appointees; and a “Playbook” for the first 180 days of the next administration.

    One of the project’s more disturbing aims is to bring all federal agencies under direct presidential control, ending the operational independence not only of the Department of Justice and the FBI, but also the Federal Reserve, which oversees the banking industry and regulates interest rates; the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which oversees television, radio, and the Internet; and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which enforces antitrust and consumer protection laws.

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      A blend of irony & paradox. The deep-state myth is potent enough to serve as alt-reality. Trump as social justice warrior is the operational image used. Freedom fighter is a trad button to push in the psyche – the difference to Che is Don uses money not gun. So that agenda which brought Reagan to power is the dark side of the paradox, in which the Jungian shadow makes the user act just like the opposing threat…

    • ianmac 7.2

      "One of the project’s more disturbing aims is to bring all federal agencies under direct presidential control, ending the operational independence…"

      A copy of Israel's current actions?

  8. arkie 8

    Yesterday was World Overshoot day. New Zealand's country specific Overshoot date was in April.

    Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.

    We cannot continue like this is we hope to have a livable planet for future generations. Action needs to be taken yesterday. Party vote Green.

    • weka 8.1

      that deserves a post. My problem is I don't understand why people believe that this year's cost of living crisis is more important. Do they not believe that we are in dire straights with climate and ecology?

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