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?

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