web analytics

Polity: Why announce the election date this week?

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, March 11th, 2014 - 18 comments
Categories: john key, national, same old national - Tags:

polity_square_for_lynnRob Salmond at Polity has a look at why National surprisingly announced the election date yesterday. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that it was a deflection from something. Rob thinks that National was worried about where a look at donations to National’s campaign would lead. He may be right, as in the past National has had some legally and morally dubious donation regimes

Yesterday we learned that the election will be on September 20th. The indications on ipredict are that the Beehive’s top tier only learned yesterday, and Key said that the Governor-General learned on Sunday.

Why tell us now? To be sure, Key has a track record of telling the public early. But why this week in particular?

I think this announcement betrays discomfort in National’s strategy team about how the debates about donations and conflicts of interest went over the weekend. National went into the weekend thinking it could simply flay Labour and David Cunliffe over trusts, but it ended up having to avoid very awkward questions about its own opaque fundraising practices.

What better way to “move the discussion on” from an unpleasant topic than to announce the election date? And – bonus! – a flag referendum, too?

Put it another way: if the weekend’s talk shows and the Monday’s papers had been dedicated solely to dissecting the failings of the left, would Key have really stepped on their mojo with a big announcement? I think he would have let them run their stories a week or two more.

Previously, National reacted to negative headlines by sending Paula Bennet out to bash some bennies. This is the version 2014.

I’m sure the strategy teams in other parties will have taken note of the announcement’s timing, and its cause.


18 comments on “Polity: Why announce the election date this week?”

  1. Poission 1

    It is hard to avoid the conclusion that it was a deflection from something

    The economy is an obvious answer.The raising of false flags (literally) takes the media from the failure of treasury forecasts again.The rising interest rates ( 3 steps to the election 0.75%)the soaring TWI and AK house prices fueled by off shore purchasing and unsustainable immigration ( where do we house any additional 30000 ?)

  2. The Real Matthew 2

    Whenever the election date was announced you could come up with some conspiracy theory along similar lines to this article.

    It has to be announced sometime!

    • karol 2.1

      Did you read the post? It’s not just that it was announced, but that the decision to announce it yesterday was made very suddenly.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        Yeah, even the usual insider traders on iPredict were caught out. It sounds like the decision was made on the weekend and they immediately proceeded to inform the Governor General. Everyone was caught a little wrong-footed.

    • lprent 2.2

      It is usually pretty well signalled beforehand. Look at 2011 for instance.

      When it wasn’t announced at the start of the year, the Beltway geeks were predicting that it’d be announced closer to John Banks court date in May. Then even if he got convicted in June as it was within 6 months of the latest election date it would not trigger a by-election. With the speakers vote, parliament would still function ok.

      This announcement fell out of thin air. Quite puzzling.

      • Lanthanide 2.2.1

        “Then even if he got convicted in June as it was within 6 months of the latest election date it would not trigger a by-election.”

        Actually Parliament have to specifically vote to avoid a by-election. I’m not sure if this means they need to know the actual date of the election in order to hold the vote, or if they can logically say “the election must be this year, there are no other calendar dates left, therefore it’s within 6 months” without giving a date.

  3. Tautoko Viper 3

    Another possibility regarding conflicts of interest. NSA have probably given funds to GCSB. (GCSB won’t deny this)
    Now we see that Snowden says it is highly likely that the NSA have been involved in writing/interpreting our new GCSB law that was rushed through. And who is in charge of the GCSB? More leaks to come?

    I think that there is going to be a lot of pressure from the US on our electoral process in an effort to keep this compliant Government in power. The stakes are high.

    We need a good turnout in the anti TPPA rallies on 29 March to wake up the public to the fact that our country is being manipulated to our detriment and that the TPPA will further reduce our sovereignty. What won’t our leader do for a game of golf or a photo with Obama?

  4. wyndham 4

    And in question time today Judith Collins came out really swinging. She’s always unpleasantly and usually needlessly agressive but today she was even more so. And in the midst of that, Robertson’s questions about Oravida got completely sidelined.
    I must say, the Nats are clever at this tactic and Key is a master of it. Today he made mincemeat of Cunliffe in what appears to be another gaffe – – – Cunliffe posted a Tweet about power prices that played straight into Key’s hands.
    There is something seriously wrong in the Labour camp – – – when will they realise that they really have to lift their game to come within a bull’s roar of Key?

  5. peterlepaysan 5

    Key is a puppet of the USA. I stress puppet, his media exposure has always been well scripted and rehearsed.
    The man is a phoney. He is here to promote USA interests, not ours.

  6. RedBaronCV 6

    Can the prime minister just declare a referendum and waste our money or does he have to go out to get those signatures? If he can just declare one could he declare lots of them. Can the opposition parties do the same. All seems a bit one sided to me. Whre is the taxpayer’s union?

  7. captain hook 7

    This prime minister is not a real prime minister. he is a ring in carpetbagger headhunted by Boag and Hooton to lead a a gang of treasury looters and self servers.
    His job description has led him to believe that he can do whatever he pleases.
    Apart from the deflections of public scrutiny into nationals own rorting of election financing rules he needs to make sure that he can close out his ‘puts’, swaps’ and’options’ positions after he gets the push and before the triple witching hour on Wall Street in October.

  8. captain hook 8

    and to Red |Baron where is the taxpayers union. They ar enothing but a tory front.
    They must have run out of wet bus tickets and red herrings by now.

  9. NZ Jester 9

    You know how all good pickpockets operate, they work in teams and have someone distract you while the other half of the team robs you. Or if working alone they will set up what seams like an accidental bump to distract you while they grab your wallet.
    National are great at distracting a lot of the NZ Public with rubbish stories while they rob us blind of our assets and freedoms.
    Strange this national flag debate he was not interested in before is now seemingly so important to him he will only answer question on it instead of other important question.
    As for me I think a nice big white flag with a red fish on it will be perfect to replace our current one.
    The white flag part to symbolize National surrendering our country to Warner Brothers and the NSA.
    The red fish of course on the flag will be the much beloved herring that seems to have become a media favorite to report on.

  10. Whateva next? 10

    Sorry, how many people signed the petition asking for a referendum on the flag?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    17 hours ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    19 hours ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    2 days ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    2 days ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    2 days ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    3 days ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    3 days ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    3 days ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    4 days ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    4 days ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    4 days ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    5 days ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    5 days ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    1 week ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    1 week ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    1 week ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    1 week ago
  • Working people carrying the can for the Government
    Today’s announcement of a Government operating surplus is the result of the hard work of many Kiwi businesses and workers, who will be asking themselves if they are receiving their fair share of growth in the economy, Grant Robertson Labour ...
    1 week ago
  • Breast cancer drugs should be available
    Labour supports the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s campaign for better access to cancer treatments as more patients are denied what is freely available in Australia, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In the last three years, PHARMAC’s funding has been ...
    1 week ago
  • Community law centres get much needed support from banks
      New Zealand’s network of community law centres, who operate out of more than 140 locations across the country, have today received a much needed boost, says Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “After more than 8 years of static funding ...
    1 week ago
  • Just 18 affordable homes in Auckland SHAs – It’s time for KiwiBuild
    New data revealing just 18 affordable homes have been built and sold to first home buyers in Auckland’s Special Housing Areas show National’s flagship housing policy has failed and Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is needed, says Leader of the Opposition ...
    1 week ago
  • Pasifika wins big in Auckland elections
    The Labour Party’s Pacific Candidates who stood for local elections in Auckland came out on top with 14 winners, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Our candidates have won seats on one ward, four local boards, two ...
    1 week ago
  • Seven7 hikoi to stop sexual violence
    1 week ago
  • Road toll passes 2013 total
    The road toll for the year to date has already passed the total for the whole of 2013, raising serious questions about the Government’s underfunding of road safety, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “According to the Ministry of Transport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay principals slam charter school decision
    A letter from Hawke’s Bay principals to the Education Minister slams the lack of consultation over the establishment of a charter school in the region and seriously calls into question the decision making going on under Hekia Parata’s watch, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to act on voter turnout crisis
    With fewer than 40 per cent of eligible voters having their say in the 2016 local elections, the Government must get serious and come up with a plan to increase voter turnout, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry presents solutions to homelessness – Govt must act
    Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party are calling on the Government to immediately adopt the 20 recommendations set out in today's Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A good night for Labour’s local government candidates
    It has been a good night for Labour in the local government elections. In Wellington, Justin Lester became the first Labour mayor for 30 years, leading a council where three out of four Labour candidates were elected. Both of Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More contenders for fight clubs
    Allegations of fight clubs spreading to other Serco-run prisons must be properly investigated says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister runs for cover on job losses
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago