Written By: - Date published: 8:44 am, July 24th, 2014 - 232 comments
For TVNZ to say that Mike Hosking is professional and would act in an unbiased fashion in leaders debates is daft. Mike Hosking has made his opinion of Labour quite apparent over the years. Hosking has a reputation around the left of being a ill-prepared moronic dickhead far more concerned about his car than the people of this country. Rob Salmond’s reaction in this post is going to be pretty typical. TVNZ obviously want to the debate to be about Hoskings rather than the debaters.
Written By: - Date published: 7:55 am, July 19th, 2014 - 134 comments
The British public estimates the poor pay around 24% of their income in tax, while the rich pay around 35%. The truth is very different. Once you add up all taxes, the poorest actually pay around 43% of their income in tax, compared to only 35% for the rich. We have the same perceptual issues in NZ especially if you listen to the whining of Kiwiblog. Here the poorest pay the same tax rate as the rich, and the middle classes have the lower tax rate.
Written By: - Date published: 11:43 am, July 17th, 2014 - 161 comments
The Roy Morgan and Fairfax/Ipsos polls out overnight are both bad news for the cause of positive change in New Zealand. Labour is below 25% in both polls, which is disaster territory if is solidifies. The potential coalitions of the left look just as bad. This doesn’t look like a change in the left-right split. The effects of the National / NZ Herald /Liu smear campaign feeding through fits the usual polling lag time period of about 4-6 weeks.
Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, July 16th, 2014 - 48 comments
In the cartoon world of Economics 101, there is perfect supply, perfect competition, perfect demand, perfect information and prices for labour (and everything else) are set at their true market values. The real world is somewhat different.
Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, July 15th, 2014 - 28 comments
Over the weekend John Armstrong had a column about youth voter turnout in the upcoming election. Much of the material was familiar – young people don’t vote so much – nobody talks their language, yo! – parties are Trying Very Hard, but they are also old fuddy-duddies – and so on. He then blamed much of it on a perceived trend toward centrist politics under MPP. But runs directly-if-casually contrary to at least two large research programmes in political science.
Written By: - Date published: 2:36 pm, July 14th, 2014 - 32 comments
Last week, new information became public about potential stat-juking by our Police. The practice of reclassifying crimes as “incidents” has the effect of artificially reducing the apparent crime rate. This practice occurred mainly in the Counties-Manukau police district, which operates in the electorate of then-Police Minister Judith Collins. That is, of course, troubling on a number of levels.
Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, July 11th, 2014 - 48 comments
Reposted from Polity. Here is Vernon Small this morning: The Government rejected plans to include beneficiaries in a package to help families with newborn babies, despite official advice they were the most vulnerable. Budget papers show that last November, Treasury, Inland Revenue and Social Development jointly considered ways to give more help to families after […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, July 11th, 2014 - 14 comments
Rob Salmond presents the David Farrar / Steven Joyce / John Key argument that 2011 non voters are a National-leaning bunch. Then he shows that a better look at their own data undermines their claim. This matters because it helps us understand which bloc has more to gain from voter mobilization efforts in 2014. This means the left has a lot more to gain than the right from mobilization in 2014.
Written By: - Date published: 3:33 pm, July 10th, 2014 - 47 comments
Rob Salmond has been looking through the newly released Ministry of Social Development’s Household Incomes Report. It really is invaluable.
Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, July 8th, 2014 - 6 comments
New Zealand has almost no leverage in 21st century trade talks because we have gave it away in the 80s and 90s. The 12 country TPP is better thought of now as a bilateral US/Japan deal with as many hangers on as would like to hang on. The trapping are still of a 12 country deal, of course. The TPP club is Barack, Shinzo, and nobody else. That’s realpolitik.
Written By: - Date published: 4:18 pm, July 7th, 2014 - 8 comments
At Rob Salmond’s briefing to Labour’s Congress over the weekend, he made a point about National’s performance in recent campaigns, which was later picked up in David Cunliffe’s speech.
National has dropped six percent each time. For those interested, here is the data that sits beneath this claim.
It is no wonder that John Key is worried when 3 months out from an election they are sitting on less than 50%, with dead and dying coalition partners.
Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, July 4th, 2014 - 5 comments
The Expert Advisory Panel on Domestic Violence reported back to the government this week. It says New Zealand’s record is not good enough, victims deserve better, and politicians need to show some real leadership to prevent an escalating series of national tragedies. In essence the governments response has been to ignore everything in the report. It really isn’t good enough.
Written By: - Date published: 1:16 pm, July 2nd, 2014 - 17 comments
National appear to have been indulging in wishful thinking for some time based on dubious analysis of voter turnout. Their latest round of silliness comes from kiwiblog. Sure there were some National supporters who chose not to vote in 2011 out of complacency. But it is probably a minority, and that most of the new non-voters (who voted up to and including 2008, and then stopped) are lefties. The survey evidence points that way, and so does the E9 evidence when looked at properly.
Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, July 2nd, 2014 - 33 comments
The NZ Herald has been particularly stupid recently, especially in its editorials. Now some of the anonymous editorial writers appear to have descended to not even reading their own paper. Today whoever wrote the editorial are suggesting that Labour release a particular policy, one that their political gallery writers wrote about on Wednesday. I guess that ‘anonymous’ couldn’t stand to read their own paper when it refers to Labour? Now that is really being biased.
Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, July 1st, 2014 - 27 comments
The Government has almost finished a $100,000 project to strengthen a bridge it will now tear down and replace as part of its new roading package. The $3m to $5m cost to replace the bridge, with construction due to start next year, was a “massive investment while there’s other more pressing priorities in the region”. Who would have thought that pork-barrel road projects had such poor cost/benefit reasoning behind them. Heckuva job, Gerry. OIA time
Written By: - Date published: 8:51 am, June 30th, 2014 - 131 comments
National’s announcement yesterday of $212 million for 14 roading projects around regional New Zealand hits a lot of bad notes. I think it is a strategic mistake. New Zealanders are not used to pork-barreling as naked as this. All but two of the projects are in National-held areas, and those other two are on National’s target list in September. And some are complete clunkers. For instance Nick Smith rerouting SH6 from the rich houses on to the kids going to schools
Written By: - Date published: 11:51 am, June 27th, 2014 - 8 comments
Once there is real, hard evidence of donations, then Labour can deal with it. Until then, there is nothing. The editorial is titled: “Cries of bias will not stop reporting.” Nobody is asking the Herald to stop reporting. I, for one, would just like to see better reporting. Better doesn’t necessarily mean “more favourable to my preferred political party;” better means “with greater regard for facts and less regard for compromised hearsay.”
Written By: - Date published: 1:58 pm, June 26th, 2014 - 14 comments
With the ritual whining from the right about our tax rates in New Zealand now that Labour given aspects of their alternative budget, it pays to consider what the real tax rates for the wealthy here are. Because of our lack of a capital gains tax, we are in the strange position where we would tax a wealthy investor like Warren Buffet a lot less than he is in the USA. Thats outrageous.
Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, June 25th, 2014 - 20 comments
I’m a glass half-full kind of a guy, so I want to start by emphasising the parts of Labour’s just-released fiscal plan that I like. The good: commitment to paying off government debt during economic good times, tax rate changes are welcome, and targeting tax avoidance by large multinationals. Bad: the top tax rate is still too low, and no need to signal second term tax cuts. Overall I would give this package a B+.
Written By: - Date published: 11:41 am, June 24th, 2014 - 10 comments
John Key is abandoning hope of a TPP deal. As it stands at present there is nothing in it for New Zealand. Of course the usual ugly swamp that is US internal politics is making the deal descend into a mire.
Expect nothing to happen for another year or two, and maybe the damn thing will never happen.
Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, June 23rd, 2014 - 27 comments
This morning’s news from the Fairfax/Ipsos poll is that 81% of New Zealanders hate coat-tailing and want it gone. I agree with them. So does Labour. So do the Greens. So do Internet MANA. National, of course, relishes coat-tailing. So – to the 81% – if you want 2014 to be the last election with any coat-tailing, vote for a change of government. In the meantime of course, we have Crazy Colin Craig who thinks that Key’s job is to give just him a seat, entirely of his own accord, with no “insipid” discussions about the quid pro quo. Good luck with that.
Written By: - Date published: 9:24 am, June 20th, 2014 - 24 comments
Rob Salmond offers some advice to the National smear team. When you screw up and start contradicting each other’s stories, you look like a pack of low-rent numpties. And it reveals your tactics for all to see, which is what you were trying to avoid in the first place. Bill English and John Key should really communicate so they don’t trample over each others stories. And the spectacle of Michael Woodhouse changing his mind within hours about when he first saw the letter, and what he did with it? Pure comedy
Written By: - Date published: 12:17 pm, June 19th, 2014 - 2 comments
The great tragedy in New Zealand trade policy came in the 1990s when we almost literally gave away the farm, dismantling most of our tariffs unilaterally to “demonstrate” how much fun life is with no tariffs. You can’t get much more fundie than that. And now – quelle surprise – we have basically no cards to play when negotiating with other countries. Who would have thought it?
Written By: - Date published: 3:14 pm, June 17th, 2014 - 60 comments
Rob Salmond at Polity looks at the Herald poll published this morning and looks at what ground the left has to make up. Over recent polls the right vote appears to have been consolidating more and more strongly behind National over the course of this year. The formation of the Internet Mana Party doesn’t appear to have made much impact on their combined vote. Also the various poll of polls corrected for known biases and looking at probably seat allocations don’t look good either. Some work for the progressive parties to make up over the next 95 days.
Written By: - Date published: 5:56 pm, June 16th, 2014 - 34 comments
Poor David Farrar, he can’t write a post without getting accused of hypocrisy these days. It must have to do with that rancid stench he emanates whenever he gets on his high horse to lecture others. There’s only one political leader out there saying: “Tactical voting is a good idea for my supporters, and long may it continue, but it is a dreadful crime by others.” That leader is John Key.
Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, June 16th, 2014 - 26 comments
New Zealand’s democracy would better if we had a lower threshold and no coat-tailing shenanigans. Even without coat-tailing there remains the potential for blocs to make tiny gains by way of electorate deals, but it would ensure the end of manifest unfairnesses like the relative ACT / NZ First results in 2008. The reality is that National had the opportunity to do the right thing, and chose not to for venal self-interested reasons, and are now crying like spoiled brats because their opponents are using it too.
Written By: - Date published: 2:50 pm, June 13th, 2014 - 40 comments
Rob Salmond at Polity on what has landed in his mail box paid for by your GST and also close to the wrong side the permissible limits of Parliamentary Services funds. Or perhaps this is something for “NZ Taxpayers Union” to moan about wasting taxpayers money with. They won’t of course because they seem to be good little front organisation for Act and Jordan Williams appears to have about as much independence as their beloved slaves. But if you received one, then a complaint seems in order.
Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, June 12th, 2014 - 21 comments
What of the deals with true minnow parties, like United Future or ACT? If a party is only polling enough to get one seat anyway, does it matter to Parliament overall whether the small party wins an electorate or its client big party wins it instead? The answer is “possibly, yes,” because we can never be sure which party ultimately loses a seat to accommodate the new minnow party in a 120 seat parliament. Say a Epsom deal as a test case
Written By: - Date published: 1:51 pm, June 9th, 2014 - 68 comments
Hey, we won’t get in the way of a good stoush on the net about Labour’s policies, in fact we will encourage it. Here is Rob Salmond’s response to Idiot Savant’s post at No Right Turn. We’d also suggest that people look at Mike Smith’s post from this morning and last night (that probably has the nuttier conspiracy theorists going by now) for a third point of view.
Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, June 7th, 2014 - 47 comments
Earlier this week the latest Roy Morgan poll came out. It was not good news for the left, with National up well over 50% and the Labour/Greens combination languishing below 40%. It is after the Budget and ended before the Banks stuff. Most is probably the post-budget spike. But the government parties are in a lot worse position than they were before the 2011 election.