Politicians of the year

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, November 26th, 2012 - 40 comments
Categories: Judith Collins, russel norman - Tags:

On Q+A, Russel Norman and Judith Collins were named politicians of the year (Parata, English, and Shearer were rated worst). It’s as much about what they have done in this past year as where they are going. Norman has cleverly positioned himself as the voice of the Left on the economy – the economy is the issue and will continue to be so. Collins has softened her image to set herself up to replace Key.

As I’m writing this, I’m watching first Shearer bumbling his way through another interview* and Key getting slaughtered on his failed jobs record on Q+A** – both Norman and Collins will be rubbing their hands at that.

Politicians of the year this year, could they be competing for the top job in 2 years, or 5?

*(by the way, has anyone talked to an economist about the big hole in the Kiwbuild plan? No, I’m not going to say what it is)

**(And on Kim Dotcom. I can’t believe his line is that Dotcom should go to the US to prove his innocence. Is that really the Government position? That any New Zealander who is subject to an extradition proceeding is presumed guilty and has to prove to innocence?)

40 comments on “Politicians of the year”

  1. karol 1

    Interesting.  So qu & a are trying to pick and promote the future political leaders.

    Although the MSM & political leaders have been promoting the economy as THE issue, this is a red herring.  This is especially because of the way they measure the economy.

    The real issues of the moment are the inequality gap, increasing struggle for those on the lowest incomes, resource-depletion, sustainable living, and diminishing community facilities and public services.  

    • weka 1.1

      The real issues of the moment are the inequality gap, increasing struggle for those on the lowest incomes, resource-depletion, sustainable living, and diminishing community facilities and public services.

       
      +1000. Well put Karol. How to keep that on the agenda?

      • karol 1.1.1

        I don’t know ,weka.  But it seems to me that with all the focus on power-plays, disputes over the details of numbers and statistics, game-playing and strategic maneuvering, the daily struggles and living conditions of ordinary people get lost.

        It’s no wonder that increasing numbers of people are becoming disaffected with politics, and no longer vote. 

    • aerobubble 1.2

      Pre-GFC failure didn’t mean destitution. Its all very well Key justify austerity but in doing so he assign increasing cohorts to destitution. Failure, the loss of a job didn’t mean the loss of one’s home too. But its worse! Key doesn’t factor in that we now live in a post-GFC world where kiwis aren’t leaving to great careers overseas, accumulating huge savings, and returning to buy into Auckland housing. In fact quite the reverse, started 2002, cohorts of young kiwis born Australian blessed without access to welfare and higher education allowances in OZ, will start finding OZ unbearable to live and work in, and some will be flown to NZ where they will immediately get welfare, take out loans (in order to get a degree and get back home to OZ). So we can’t expand exports, what start shipping out water, soils and NZ air, more young skilled?, so how will the NZ economy redistribute the farming dividend across the rest of the economy without the housing sector? So its going to get much much worse, as handing out welfare is about the only way forward, and its the last resort when the economy fails to address market failures. Welfare is a market failure, whether its building broadband, highways, or plumbing the hole of ChCh insurance, or S.Auckland welfare suburbs, all market failures due to;too much regulation, too little regulation, and inappropriate regulation, but never just enough of the right kind of necessary government regulation for a free market to operate efficiently.

    • Karol
      We are on the downward slope of energy availability. We past the per capita energy availability in 1989 (ish) and the peak in global crude oil way back in 2005-6

      You think the ‘real issues’ are the inequality gap, increasing struggle for those on the lowest incomes, resource-depletion, sustainable living, and diminishing community facilities and public services.

      This is exactly what a system starved of a growing energy supply looks like.

      For people to complain about this reality, would be like the Easter Islanders demanding more fish, when all the timber to make boats had been used to move statues etc, like the people of Rapa Nui we are now in the same boat as it were (or not in their case;)), we have used up most of our easy to find resources and increased the population of our ‘island’ to breaking point. As the amount of easy to find resources are now well and truly in decline something has to give, and as usual when this happens the population has to decline.
      Like the Reindeer introduced to St. Matthew Island in 1944, the increased from 29 animals at that time, to 6,000 in the summer of 1963 (due to easy to find resources – moss) and underwent a crash/die-off the following winter to less than 50 animals.(due to the shortage of easy to find resources) http://www.dieoff.org/page80.htm I wonder how many middle class Reindeer died off ?

      Every politician that claims they can reverse this is about as smart as the head priest on Rapa Nui or the alpha male on St Mathews Island circa 1963, politicians have as much ability to create endless ‘energy’ – be that moss for deer to eat, or trees to build boats, as any bacteria in a petrie dish, – and as even bacteria soon find out – there are limits to growth. Every politician that makes out they have an answer to our collective problems, (without a massive fast reduction in population and living standards), are like the advisers to King Canute, alas we will all be 10 foot under water before our so called leaders wake the fuck up, but there again, can’t blame them, they after all are a byproduct of this society/culture, apathetic, stupid, selfish people will vote for apathetic, stupid, selfish leaders.
      And if that utter fuckwit Norman is voted one of the best politicians we have … then I rest my case )
      WASF

  2. One Tāne Huna 2

    “Shearer bumbling ”

    He does ok parroting his scripted lines, but as soon as he has to think on his feet he’s fucked. He may have the answers, but he lacks the ability to present them confidently.

    Nothing new here: all these criticisms were obvious from the start.

    • Bearded Git 2.1

      Agree entirely-Cunliffe on the other hand is a fine speaker who, with some image management over the next 2 years will roast Key (who by the way is also a bit of a bumbler when facts are involved) and will be a fine PM.

  3. And on Kim Dotcom. I can’t believe his line is that Dotcom should go to the US to prove his innocence. Is that really the Government position? That any New Zealander who is subject to an extradition proceeding is presumed guilty and has to prove to innocence?)

    Do you have the full Key quote? I don’t imagine he really meant prove his innocence, so much as face his accusers and if they can’t prove his guilt, go free. But the quote would be important in divining exactly what his intent was.

    My understanding is that the New Zealand Government position on extradition – as least with regard to countries with whom we have an extradition treaty – is that it promises to assist them in seeking to try people for crimes recognised as sufficiently serious in both countries, and in return has their promise to return the favour if New Zealand seeks to charge someone.

    • karol 3.1

      Maybe this?

      “The Government actually doesn’t care about Kim Dotcom. He might think we get up every morning and it’s a top-of-mind issue, but it’s not,” Mr Key said on TVNZ’s Q+A today.
       
      “In fact, most New Zealanders don’t care about Kim Dotcom.
       
      “The person who cares about Kim Dotcom is Kim Dotcom.
       
      “And as we’ve said all the way along, if this guy believes he’s so innocent, get on a plane, go to America and fight your case. If you win, come back to New Zealand no problem.” 

      • Looks right. I don’t see that going as far as even an implicit statement of needing to prove one’s innocence.
         
        “Fight your case” does not mean “prove your innocence”.

        • Craig Glen Eden 3.1.1.1

          I guess hes fighting his case Graham by showing that the activities of the NZ Government/agencies are illegal.?? Keys up to this to his eyeballs in this, Dot.com alleges Keys part of the problem and is a Liar. Keys attempt to hit this fiasco away was very poor and I cant wait for the court case in NZ.

          • Graeme Edgeler 3.1.1.1.1

            I guess hes fighting his case Graham by showing that the activities of the NZ Government/agencies are illegal.??

            No doubt. I’m currently working on an extradition case, and have no problem pulling out all the stops.

      • Dave 3.1.2

        From reading the transcript just there, it is obvious Dotcom has the dirt, I have never seen or heard John Key taking such a strong stand on any issue. I wonder what it is…

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.3

        Reads like Key doesn’t think that they will be able to extradite him to the US. So NZ participated with the US in a huge expensive surveillance and law enforcement cock-up under his watch, basically.

    • Lightly 3.2

      MR KEY “if this guy believes he’s so innocent, get on a plane, go to America, fight your case.”

      So, if another country wants to extradite a New Zealander, they should go willing and not make use of their legal rights to oppose extradition. Otherwise, the pall of suspicion will hang over you.

      • From a government perspective, I don’t have a problem with this view. The Government promises to assist other governments to extradite people.
         
        There is a process. And the Government is not saying it shouldn’t be used, but having the government take the view that the proper place for this person to defend themselves is in the Country where there are charges is what extradition law is about (from a government perspective).
         
        My understanding is that Dotcom may have offered the US DOJ, promise us bail, and let us use some of our money to pay lawyers, and we will voluntarily travel to the US to face trial, so Dotcom and John Key may in fact agree on the principle over this.

        • Lightly 3.2.1.1

          politicians shouldn’t be using their political muscle to try to get the judicial results that they want. In particular, they shouldn’t be advising New Zealanders to give up their legal rights with the clear implication that they will be assumed guilty unless they do.

      • shorts 3.2.2

        MR KEY – here’s some empty lines I can spout that will appeal to ya average non thinking NZ’er (whom I’d suggest he’s right about not caring about Kim Dotcom – story has dragged on longer than their attention span can cope with)… you know them that say they like Key and vote by instinct not intelligence*

        *not suggesting ya average kiwi is stupid, not just that interested in news, politics or critical thought

      • Glg 3.2.3

        Remembering that Dotcom has said release my money and I will go to the states to fight my case.

  4. Tanz 4

    Judith Collins for PM? Riight!!

  5. Dr Terry 5

    Yea to Russell Norman!! Aghast about Collins (another Shipley?)

  6. pete 6

    Can’t stand the Greens, but agree about Russel Norman. He’s been everywhere in the past year.

    And who is Helen Kelly trying to kid? Did she really say Shearer?

    • muzza 6.1

      Can’t stand the Greens, but agree about Russel Norman. He’s been everywhere in the past year.

      Everywhere = Carefully arranged , that and the fact that the incompetant plant, Shearer was positioned to highlight Norman further, which is clearly working well.

      Who The Fcuk is Russel Norman anyway..

      Never any shortage of suckers around though, hopeful ones are easiest to hook!

  7. Skinny 7

    Let’s hope Labour consider giving Russ the Prime Minister role, that’s if Shearer is still bumbling along. I think he would do a good job too.

    I think David Parker is Helen’s long game pick. He needs to lift his game if that is true?

    I would say Parker is Helen’s pick?

    • karol 7.1

      I strongly doubt that Norman has the people or organisation management skills to be PM.  Parker is a light-weight.

    • Blue 7.2

      I’ve been trying to decide if David Parker would be better or worse than David Shearer. I used to think worse, but I’ve reconsidered. David Parker can at least string a sentence together and have it make sense most of the time.

      I think Parker would make a decent deputy leader and Finance Minister. Sort of like Michael Cullen without the wit, eloquence and presence.

      But if he starts talking about touching people again all bets are off…

      • taxicab 7.2.1

        For a start Parker needs to stop reaching for his pen (could it be a Parker pen ? ) it is cringeworthy to watch during question time .

  8. Skinny 8

    May ultimately harness more votes Left from delusional Nat voters who are favouring to vote Green opposed to the unpalatable Red option. Worth considering after all Key has been exposed as light on the details!

    Parker comes across as the typical beaurocrat & yes a light weight compared to DC.

  9. Skinny 9

    I think you will find Fanta pants Russ Norman has his eyes firmly fixed on the Finance Minister’s role, anything less will cause a reaction similar too dropping a weta down his pants! i.e. Squealing like a little girl. 

    Parker would be better suited Minister of Public Services with Chris Hipkins as his deputy. 

  10. Rogue Trooper 10

    Judith Collins believes 85% of New Zealanders think alcohol without a problem and could comfortably
    fill 5 new prisons in the North before she becomes Piggy-in-the-Middle earth and legislates against those
    slopey foreheads holding up the Justice League of America.

    -Shazam.
    “I like to dream yes, yes
    right between the sound machine
    on a cloud of sound I drift
    in the night
    Goes far, flies near
    To the stars
    away from here…close your eyes now, Look inside now, let the sound take you away”

  11. Jenny 11

    – the economy is the issue and will continue to be so.

    JAMES HENDERSON

    Rubbish. The survival of humanity is.

    What an ignorant statement James.

    This is the manifesto of the CCAs. Baldly stated by John Key. “The economy, jobs, growth are far more important than climate change.”

    John Key is a Climate Change Apologist and so doesn’t shy away from making such statements. Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, David Shearer are a new breed of politician. The Climate Change Ignorers. You won’t find them making such stupid and irresponsible statements, ‘that the economy is more important than the climate’, they are not that stupid. Instead they just don’t mention this existential issue, in case they have to address it.

    What gets me is that Russel Norman co-leader of the Green Party, is of the opinion that the economy is also more important than the climate. Good luck with that Russel.

    Norman has cleverly positioned himself as the voice of the Left on the economy

    JAMES HENDERSON

    It is well known that Russel Norman is positioning himself to take over the Finance Portfolio.

    The question must be asked; Why?

    What does he hope to achieve?

    Does Norman hope to achieve greater economic justice for those less well off? If so, what more can he do to address economic disparity and injustice, than Labour Party politicians have done in more than 60 years of trying?

    Talk about hubris.

    The other question is what will the Green Party have to give up to achieve Norman’s ambition?

    My guess is that as the same as last election mention of climate change will be played down, opposition to fracking, deep sea oil drilling and coal mining will be muted, if not completely abandoned.

    There is no way that Russel Norman should get his hands on the Finance portfolio, his stewardship of this portfolio would be an unmitigated disaster. And would see Norman singlehandedly slash Green Party support beyond any hope of recovery.

    • muzza 11.1

      There is no way that Russel Norman should get his hands on the Finance portfolio, his stewardship of this portfolio would be an unmitigated disaster. And would see Norman singlehandedly slash Green Party support beyond any hope of recovery.

      Interesting point view Jenny, and I say well done for spotting the obviousness about the postioning of RN. Could be though that he has bigger fish to fry though, perhaps something along the lines of supporting the drill it, mine it, frak it, sell it (bankers), while hanging the people out to dry by signing us onto some horror increased ETS arrangements, ensuring the bankers win-win as usual!

      Russel does not gives a rats arse about the environment, or NZ, and neither so those backing him!

  12. Jenny 12

    The ETS, or Pollution Trading Scheme, as some have more accurately described it. Is a market led solution to a market caused problem. And as such was bound to fail. As it has.

    Under the PTS not only have emissions increased, the costs have been dumped on the taxpayers not the polluters, increasing social inequality which fuels public resentment against any mitigations.

    Emissions have not lessened by one iota in fact they have gone up and will go up even further with the opening of massive new open cast coal mines and more oil drilling and fracking. Development initiatives supported by both Labour and National.
    Your guess is probably right, in that Russel Norman in the Finance portfolio is likely to want to employ conservative market solutions to the problem of increasing CO2 pollution.

    If the Greens really wanted to make an impact they should use this time in opposition to call for the cancellation of the failed ETS. If they did this they would create a clear difference between themselves, and both National and Labour. They could do this in opposition with a private members bill. It would be interesting exercise to see who would oppose it. I imagine that both National and ACT and Untied Future, would vote to keep it. .Where the parties more left than the
    aforementioned will go is anyone’s guess. Once the decks are cleared of the ETS, an incoming administration will have a clean slate to take some real action against CO2 pollution.

  13. Skinny 13

    Slamming Norman is a bit rough, many Kiwi’s see him as a sound (Co) Leader. Watching him in action in Parliament certainly shows up deficiencies with the current regime. Intelligently positioning the Greens as less extreme from a decade ago gains them more votes. Nothing wrong with that, isn’t that good Leadership? The problem is scratch beneath the surface & their uncompromising  philosophies are still there. Remember the Humans or caged chickens decision that keep them on the opposition benches?       

    • fatty 13.1

      Slamming Norman is a bit rough, many Kiwi’s see him as a sound (Co) Leader

      True, but Norman’s rise in popularity is only due to Shearer being hopeless. Norman sharpened up the greens, made them more mainstram and less activist orientated. As a result I don’t think much of him, I think he’s made the Greens worse. I’d rather have seen Sue Bradford as leader

    • Jenny 13.2

      Intelligently positioning the Greens as less extreme from a decade ago gains them more votes. Nothing wrong with that, isn’t that good Leadership?

      Skinny

      Trading principle for power is the beginning of the slippery slope to become just another mainstream political party no different to the rest.

      In answer to your question; It is not good leadership. It is the abandonment of leadership. A truly leading political party would go into parliament to change parliament not to be changed by parliament.

  14. Skinny 14

    Bradford as Co Leader would have dropped the Greens under 7%. Now whats she doing hanging out on the fringe with Hone & sitting in a Marilyn Waring class, good God how disappointing! There is room for a true Left Party which she should consider forming.

    • fatty 14.1

      Yeah, with Bradford as leader they wouldn’t have polled as well as they are now, but the greens have shifted into a more common sort of green party which offers NZ little. Mainstreaming green issues appears a little pointless, as its already been done by both National and Labour. In addition, green capitalism will not come close to solving our issues.

      Now whats she doing hanging out on the fringe with Hone & sitting in a Marilyn Waring class, good God how disappointing! There is room for a true Left Party which she should consider forming.

      Mana is our true left party

  15. Jenny 15

    My guess is that the Greens vote in 2014 will be its biggest yet.

    But in not advocating for the environment as much as they could, and after experiencing the Green Party in Government as a mainstream party, little different to the rest, that voter support can only go down.

  16. Jenny 16

    Two American writers, the first a scientist, the second a journalist, give their rebuttal to the ignorant and expedient Climate Change Ignoring (CCI) argument that “the economy is the issue and will continue to be so”.

    Here:
    http://appvoices.org/2012/11/20/electoral-math-for-all-you-climate-people/

    And here:
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/11/20/1222231/why-president-obama-is-wrong-to-separate-the-economy-and-climate/

    President Barack Obama raised expectations for climate action when he said in his election night acceptance speech that “we want our children to live in an America that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”

    But in his first post-election press conference, he backed away, implying that climate must take a back seat to dealing with the country’s economic woes – a distinction echoed by his spokesperson Jay Carney shortly thereafter. The President is exactly right in his first statement and dead wrong in his second.

    Kiley Kroh Associate Director for Ocean Communications at the Center for American Progress.

    …. there’s important information in the fact that a senior reporter for a major network could dismiss climate change as essentially a special interest issue. It’s evidence, if more were needed, that “all us climate people” got our butts kicked in the battle for the narrative in the 2012 election.

    And like the Republican Party, which is now undergoing the usual soul searching that follows a big electoral defeat, those of us who believe that inaction on climate is the greatest threat facing our civilization (never mind the economy) have some serious soul searching to do about our own defeat, which occurred long before any votes were counted.

    Crowley’s explanation was consistent with the conventional wisdom on why the president didn’t make climate an issue. Because it was an “Economy election” and everyone in the DC press must accept that government action on climate change could do serious harm to the economy (because “it’s become part of the culture,” even if it’s not true), any discussion of climate policy by the president would have been off-message and worked against his chances for re-election.

    The unconventional wisdom, popular among “climate people,” is that the Obama campaign failed to recognize the high level of popular support for action on climate change and missed a golden opportunity to seize a winning wedge issue when they chose the more politically expedient route of ignoring it.

    Matt Wasson for Appalachian Voices, 20 Nov. 2012

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