The end of conventional wisdom?

Written By: - Date published: 10:03 pm, February 6th, 2016 - 69 comments
Categories: democratic participation, International, Politics, us politics - Tags: , , ,

After Bernie Sanders’ dead-heat with Hillary Clinton in Iowa, the race to the Democrat nomination at the upcoming convention just got much more interesting. A Quinnipiac poll now has him trail her nationally by two points. Just as with Corbyn in Britain, the pundits are tying themselves in knots trying to make sense of it.

He’s unelectable, some say. He can’t handle foreign policy, say others. Or he’s too old, even though his appeal is to youth.  Or the art of government is the need to compromise. None of it is working – in fact, the longer this goes on it is increasingly Clinton who appears unelectable.

The similarities with the totally unexpected but overwhelming victory of Jeremy Corbyn in Labour’s leadership election in Britain are considerable. Both men have spent a lifetime in parliamentary politics fighting for justice from a principled base without any perceptible success to date. However given the nationwide platform of a leadership contest, they don’t have to ask themselves what the polls might tell them. They know what they think and they know what to say.

Sanders is a much more accomplished communicator than Corbyn, and as a very recent Democrat he doesn’t have the albatross of an anchorless and rudderless Parliamentary party around his neck. But their messages are the same – democracy is in danger because politics has become the preserve of the very rich, and ordinary people are denied the access to good education and health that is their right.

That the army of media pundits and political advisers who feast off the millions, indeed billions, spent in elections in America find Sanders’ unrelenting attack on America’s bought democracy unpalatable should come as no surprise.

But the fact that that message is resonating so powerfully for those who are brave enough to declare it is the single most important feature of these elections. The genie is out of the bottle, and available to help others who choose to follow the path that Sanders and Corbyn have opened up.

69 comments on “The end of conventional wisdom?”

  1. McGrath 1

    It’s the rejection of establishment candidates of favour of those considered non-establishment and not beholden to third parties as is common in the US (e.g. The Senator for Texax funded by Big Oil).

    • AmaKiwi 1.1

      Elitism versus democracy is the issue of this era.

      The NZ Labour party caucus is the epitome of elitism. The Labour caucus abhors binding referendums. The leader and caucus decide and the NZ population is supposed to obediently defer to their infinite wisdom. (Reference below)

      Yanis Varoufakis is about to launch a pan-European movement to democratize the European Union by giving the people direct (binding referendum) control over Brussels.

      Reference for Labour party elitism: I have personally questioned every Labour leader from Helen Clark to the present about binding referendums. None has the slightest respect for binding referendums.

      For more on Democratize Europe movement see http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/ and
      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/05/eu-no-longer-serves-people-europe-diem25

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        Reference for Labour party elitism: I have personally questioned every Labour leader from Helen Clark to the present about binding referendums. None has the slightest respect for binding referendums.

        And that is why National were so successful in their attack on Labour when they said that Labour acted as if they knew best.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          The Labour hierarchy treats its membership primarily as delivery mules and cash cows.

          Further, the members of its caucus reckon that they are pretty super smart compared to the rest of the membership.

          • AmaKiwi 1.1.1.1.1

            “the members of its (Labour’s) caucus reckon that they are pretty super smart compared to the rest of the membership.”

            In today’s world no one is super smart. Individuals can be super smart in their own field of expertise, but NZ and the world have become so complex that NO ONE can understand anything more than a few pieces of the huge puzzle.

            There are NO elites who can comprehend the whole. There are people with huge egos who think they know it all. We call them “politicians.”

  2. Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 2

    Hi Mike

    Re: “But their messages are the same – democracy is in danger because politics has become the preserve of the very rich.”

    I wrote an article about the TPP where it seems we may be in danger of losing important aspects of our democracy. Pro-TPP people have to give some pretty robust answers to some fundamental questions IMHO.

    Check it out.
    View at Medium.com

  3. Incognito 3

    If your values align with: elitism, privilege, unfairness, inequality, arrogance, greed, selfishness or intolerance to name a few you’d be unlikely to vouch for Sanders or Corbyn IMO.

  4. pat 4

    a question….what is Peter Dunns position on TPPA does anyone know?….just done a google and found zilch.

  5. Ad 5

    Amazing how the left always find a reason to keep the best and most electable woman in the world well away from the real jobs.

    Guaranteed they will do it to Clark as well.

    Sanders ain’t a genie, or Jesus, and it’s only his sideburns are Elvis.

    • Pasupial 5.1

      Ad

      You are seriously saying that Clinton is; “the best and most electable woman in the world”? Why did she lose the 2008 primary to Obama then, if she is so electable? As for; “real power”, she has been both a Senator and Secretary of State. What did she do with that power? Voted for both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and facilitated the power-vacuum in Syria that allowed the rise of IS.

      With regard to your comment above (at 3.1); yes, I would say that Sanders is the only progressive in the 2016 presidential contest. But also; yes, Sanders is no; “genie, or Jesus”. I might have preferred that Elizabeth Warren had stepped up to contest this election, Sanders only put his name forward after she refused to do so.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        Did you know Obama is not a woman?

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          I think your argument is self-serving but not genuine. You appear to be arguing that lefties are undermining a woman candidate, but that’s because you think Clinton is the appropriate choice rather than Sanders and not because of gender. It doesn’t make sense.

          btw, there was a time in NZ when Ruth Richardson and Jenny Shipley were the most electable women here. Ditto Thatcher in the UK. Look how that worked out.

          As for the ‘best’ woman in the world, that’s the real insult. There are plenty of women in the world far better than Hilary Clinton (not that I think she is so bad for what she is, but what she is isn’t what is needed).

          • arkie 5.1.1.1.1

            Hear hear.

            Not a genuine argument at all, with characteristic clumping of and dumping on ‘the left’. The idea that Sanders supporters would vote for the GOP in the general if Clinton is the Dem nom is both divisive and untrue.

            • Raf 5.1.1.1.1.1

              …. and also ridiculous when you examine how the ‘right’ and ‘left’ compare when it comes the advancement of women! Wake up, Ad, you’ll get left behind.

  6. Brian Smith 6

    …..and it’s not amazing how the far right always promote anything that will maintain their selfish lifestyle of enriching themselves and their narcissistic habits at the cost of the greater good (and democracy), a concept which is anathema to them.

  7. Tautuhi 7

    Looks like Bernie Sanders has some momentum, seems quite rational and educated.

  8. savenz 8

    The reason Sanders and Corbyn are popular is because they are considered more honest and with more solutions to the world’s problems.

    There are too many on the ‘left’ who are careerists, right-wingers and Republican Lite, (Hillary), Conservative Lite (the blairites) and National Lite (parts of the NZ Labour party). The left so far have offered few new solutions and are shrills of the same donors as the right wingers.

    The public have woken up and had a gutsful. For years they voted either ‘right’ or ‘left’ only to find out that the ‘Left’ people also support big business, big business tax avoidance, the finance industry and wall street, the oil lobby groups, war in the middle east, neoliberalism, taxing the middle classes more while expecting taxpayers to bail out big business i.e. the banks when they get too greedy and crash the system (while getting their bonuses), the grotesque examples of corporate welfare, the back yard deals, the trade deals for corporates that allow the taxpayers to have massive liabilities, the selling off of peoples countries and assets, to the highest bidder or crony of the government.

    Yep many people have woken up all right and it is not just the poor, it is the middle classes, the so called ‘rich’ (i.e. even the Nat supporters have had a gutsful i.e. Northland’. Conservatism didn’t use to mean Corruption and dirty tricks, and having criminals as politicians.

    Some politicians still don’t get it. Pollsters and spin doctors have overtaken common sense and real policies – being so far removed from reality – and with traitors in their own corner, it is taking them a while to get to grips with it all. Others are just riding the sell off wave as far as it will take them and with exit property in Hawaii and probably billions in the bank, feel immune to any consequences. That is why they want surveillance so much, to feel safe as the public get angrier and their opposition need watching and undermining too.

    No one trusts the main stream media anymore, they have blown their own credibility and ironically are destroying themselves by being openly a propaganda machine.

    MSM have to give away their newspapers, have fired most of their journalists and soon advertisers will look beyond their fake figures and with their falling profits as the deflation hits (decades of wage decline can do that, having everything built at 65 cents an hour that falls apart in 2 minutes but pollutes the environment for 200 years!) – hopefully the MSM will be the first casualty! I mean who knew before Campbell Live kill off that they got their rating from only 600 viewers and then the TV stations themselves had their fingers all over that pie. Somehow over 4 million is extrapolated from 600 sample – even though it is close to being below the margin of error!

    I’m not the only one that is surprised that Laugh out Loud Animals 2, and Cops 2 are such raters!

    Probably because it is as real as reality TV!

    • Wainwright 8.1

      The public have woken up and had a gutsful. For years they voted either ‘right’ or ‘left’ only to find out that the ‘Left’ people also support big business, big business tax avoidance, the finance industry and wall street, the oil lobby groups, war in the middle east, neoliberalism, taxing the middle classes more while expecting taxpayers to bail out big business i.e. the banks when they get too greedy and crash the system (while getting their bonuses), the grotesque examples of corporate welfare, the back yard deals, the trade deals for corporates that allow the taxpayers to have massive liabilities, the selling off of peoples countries and assets, to the highest bidder or crony of the government.

      Quote for truth.

    • Incognito 8.2

      Almost everything nowadays is poll-driven. When the polls change things in real life might change too. So, there’s an obvious strategy for change as exemplified by Corbin and Sanders; they changed the poll results in a pro-active way rather than following the polls in a reactive way. Polls tell you very little in specific terms and almost nothing about underlying sentiments, emotions or psychology. Therefore, (growing) dissatisfaction can go undetected in polls for a long time. Polls are such a crude instrument and they are almost without exception retrospective even when polling on expectations and forward-looking statements; that’s human nature for you and pollsters know this I believe.

      • savenz 8.2.1

        @Incognito – we are at the point where polls are not only manipulated but also run by stupid people with outdated practises. All around the world right and left polls are not actually as accurate as they used to be.

        In my view in NZ we are pretty close to…

        Good quote by Metiria in her state of the nation speech…

        “There’s this story about Michael Joseph Savage before he became the first
        Labour Prime Minister. He was an opposition MP for a very long time, and during
        the 1920s he used to tour the country building support for his new party. And he
        warned people that the economic system was broken. That it was unfair. And
        that it had corrupted the political process. That the system was rigged in ways
        that were dangerous and unstable. And he talked about the role of government
        in fixing these problems. Preventing collapse. Making things fair again.

        And one day, the story goes, he asked a farmer at one of these meetings, ‘Do I
        have your vote, sir?’ And this farmer said, ‘Well, you’ve got a lot of big ideas.
        Some of them sound right. But you and your party have never been in
        government. And I’ve learned on the farm that you never let a man watch your
        stock unless they’ve done it before. So you do not have my vote.’

        Years later, in the mid-1930s, Labour still had never been in government. By
        then New Zealand was in the depth of the depression. The agricultural sector
        was the backbone of the economy and it had collapsed. There was mass
        unemployment. Mass farm bankruptcies. Riots. During the election campaign in
        1935 Savage was by then the leader of the opposition. He went back to this
        province and saw the same farmer and said, ‘Do I have your vote yet? Are you
        going to let me look after your stock?’ And the farmer replied, ‘I don’t have any
        stock anymore and that’s why you have my vote.’”

        The Kiwi currency is property. At present approx 65% of Kiwis still own property so an attack on property via capital gains taxes did not go down well for the opposition last election. (Kinda of like taxing the farmers stock as they sell it, while rewarding the buyers taking their farms) but their will be a turning point where as Kiwis become tenants in their own land they will have had enough:)

        Kiwis have had enough now. By next election due to the alarming amount of transfers of Kiwi assets offshore or within offshore control we will be on our way to being tenants in our own country or at least the poor cousins. Globalism should not mean inequality, turning NZ into a banana republic, creating massive agrifarms run by corporations and wall street and domination of economic capital .

        Likewise targeted migration should be turning NZ into a melting pot of ideas and cultures and introducing new skills, NOT as a way to prop up the property bubble by having it as an investment category, pretend we have a rockstar economy, lower wages, and turn Kiwis on local wages into perpetual tenants and ruin our heritage by rewarding speculators and off shore investors building for immigrants and speculators McMansions or shoeboxes rather than like the State houses of old, Kiwi families.

        • ropata 8.2.1.1

          +1 another corrupt money laundering scam was exposed in the HOS today (not yet online), with millions funneled into the property market via the elite investor immigration category ($10 million plus, as per Kim Dotcom)

        • Incognito 8.2.1.2

          Yes, good points. I will place a long comment on polls in OM tomorrow; I’ve been sitting on that for too long.

    • Ad 8.3

      All good and Dib Dib.

      Sanders, Corbyn, and Trump all just become talismans of purity and idealism.

      Clear everything away, they promise, and it’s easy!

      Bragg: ‘still waiting for the great leap forward’

      • weka 8.3.1

        Are we debating in caricature now?

      • Olwyn 8.3.2

        I am not sure what your style is Ad. Your arguments seem to be of the “you need to appeal to the centre” and “you want someone who won’t rock the boat” kind. I think that those arguments began to seriously lose traction in 2008, and continue to do so. Since 2008 it has been patently obvious that the neoliberal model is never going to deliver for a large section of the population, and that its adherents want it that way. No more “nation of stake holders” at the end of the rainbow, just an ongoing squeeze accompanied by gloating reports of “growth.” Most of the putative left of the political class either failed to pick up on this, or chose to give precedence to their own careers. Hillary Clinton is one of them. Yes, she has the contacts, and the favours to call in, etc, but many of the people whose votes she needs have given up caring – her status is conditional on her not representing them, and they know it. At least with Sanders they can see a shred of hope.

        • arkie 8.3.2.1

          Hear hear

        • savenz 8.3.2.2

          Ad to me, seems to represent the Helen Clark years and the right side of Labour.

          “Sanders, Corbyn, and Trump all just become talismans of purity and idealism.”

          Remember under left neoliberalism, purity and idealism and bad and you should compromise and give up your principals to win. “The 1980’s – 2015’s” style of politics which has delivered increasing inequality and is in danger of wiping out the middle class and a bizarre return to a 19th century model of extreme wealth and power to extreme poverty.

          The middle class are not benefiting from their politicians ‘giving up principals’ from the last 30 years so they are looking for a different message. It may have taken a while but the tide has now turned and the financial crisis outcome has left a massive bitter taste worldwide in people mouths especially when the banks and their ilk got away with it and were provided corporate welfare to boot via the tax payer and now with all their cash are transferring more wealth in their favour, buying up/trading all the things they can get which are essential so they can trade and extort more, such as water, power, housing, education, detention, justice, food supplies. Buying up politicians as we speak.

          TPPA is a way to guarantee more corporate welfare and their current situation to continue unabated.

          • Olwyn 8.3.2.2.1

            … under left neoliberalism, purity and idealism and bad and you should compromise and give up your principals to win…

            That worked to some extent when the new neoliberal order could still claim that it would end up being better for everyone. It no longer makes this claim and it no longer can. So all that is left for left neoliberalism is the odd little “victory” that goes nowhere toward compensating for insecure jobs and living arrangements, along with the chance to applaud the career progress of persons you don’t actually know and aren’t much interested in either.

    • AmaKiwi 8.4

      Most contemporary political systems are competitive, NOT cooperative.

      This is a core problem. The “Left” elite and a “Right” elite and locked in eternal combat. (The adversarial model.)

      I believe cooperative solutions are best. I think my neighbors do, too. A form of government based on cooperation would require (at a minimum):

      1. Binding citizen initiated referendums. Extremist laws are pointless because they will probably rejected by the wider population in a referendum.

      2. A bill cannot become a law unless passed by most of parliament (2/3 or 3/4, for example). This necessitates cooperation between the parties to get a bill passed.

      Cooperative decision making is ISSUE based, not personality driven. Everyone is free to be “left wing” on some issues and “right wing” on other. The people are sovereign, not parliament.

      • savenz 8.4.1

        @AmaKiwi exactly.

        We are constantly being fed this drivel about ‘competition is good’. It is crap!!! I hate the way it is ruining our kids in particular as they are pushed into some regime of robot achievement from imbeciles like Parata who wouldn’t know how to get the best outcome if her life depended on it and is corrupt to boot.
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/76381443/Education-Ministers-consultant-tells-charter-school-to-put-land-before-students

        Imagine a war situation. What works best? Soldiers who are all ‘competing’ against each other for promotion etc and for the highest pay packet (even if offered from the enemy) or soldiers who co operate and put the ‘team’ effort first to win. Imagine if the 2nd world war was fought under the ‘competition’ model!

        I think we know the answer.

        Unfortunately our politicians and companies have pursued a diabolical ideology of ‘competition’ that does not work in the real world.

        Time to change this ‘competition’ and ‘greed is good,’ regime of propaganda.

      • Incognito 8.4.2

        Agreed.

      • Colonial Viper 8.4.3

        Fixed Term Parliaments Act – just like the UK has passed.

        Just because a government can’t pass a piece of legislation doesn’t mean that the government falls.

        The party in government needs to work with other parties to get the numbers.

  9. Coaster 9

    Sanders is doing well because people are realizing democracy does give them power to say enough is enough.

    People world wide have had enough, the nz labour party should listen to bernie sanders.

    People are not stupid, they just need to beleive that there vote can make a difference.

    • Ad 9.1

      Obama redux.
      And look where we’re at.

      • savenz 9.1.1

        @Ad – that is why people should vote Sanders not Clinton.

        Look at Obama – voted in on Obama care and improving health care for Americans yet some how is championing a deal TPPA which increases the cost of Health care and will lead to around 500,000 US job losses.

        People have had enough of sell out politicians! Sanders might not be perfect but at least he is not bought by corporations!

      • arkie 9.1.2

        2008 Obama campaigned like Bernie but governed in half-measures.

        Sanders record and commitment is evident throughout his career.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.3

        Obama redux.
        And look where we’re at.

        Obama is a tool of the banksters and the corporate oligarchs. A champion of the TTP/TTIP and of Guantanamo Bay.

  10. Observer (Tokoroa) 10

    @ Mike Smith

    Thanks for running your Bernie Sanders item.

    Bernie is in his golden prime at 74yrs and is capturing the younger generation by his long standing clarity, strong honesty and wisdom.

    I would like you to read what its like in America ….where outrageous burden is placed on the middle class. The extract I have chosen is from: “The Populist Prophet” by Mary Talbot, Oct 15 2015 USA.

    ” Sanders’s message is particularly potent for young people who are struggling financially. Several weeks after the rally, I wrote to Dawn York, and she said that she had been thinking about “how refreshing it was to have someone point out to us that, as hardworking Americans, some things aren’t a privilege, they are a right. . . . I’m self-employed, I started my own business three and a half years ago, and my husband works full-time for Whole Foods—and we barely get by. We own a home, we both graduated from college, and we work more than forty hours a week, and we can barely put oil in our heating tanks in the winter. We have no savings and no way to financially handle any hiccups that may come our way. And I had to be reminded that it shouldn’t be that way.”

    The Government of John Key and Bill English is the government of the Poor House.

    Thanks Mike

    • happynz 10.1

      Mary’s predicament is the same as many NZers. However, many in the US don’t enjoy any safety net (yes,it can be said NZ’s net looks tattered lately).

  11. Tautuhi 11

    Can we continue to trust the NACT parties to look after our houses, farms, businesses and our bank accounts?

    $10 Billion Debt to $120 Billion Debt in 6 years plus selling State Assets.

    With the Chinafication of Auckland, Auckland Grammar School is now refferred to as Asian Grammar School?

    • AmaKiwi 11.1

      But can small businesses trust a Labour led government to protect them from oppressive regulations and business destroying union demands?

      No. Which is why they vote National.

      A cooperative form of government (see 8.4 above) gives everyone a chance to present their case and let the wider community decide what is reasonable and what is excessive.

      • savenz 11.1.1

        “But can small businesses trust a Labour led government to protect them from oppressive regulations and business destroying union demands?”

        That analogy sounds just like Nat speak to me.

        What regulation? We just had Pike River Mines – no one held account. If anything, someone needs to tighten regulation and to account people to account for killing people in this country.

        • AmaKiwi 11.1.1.1

          @ savenz

          Good. It is meant to sound like “Nat speak.”

          I want a form of government where all points of view are respected. I want government that tries hard to strike a balance between the needs and aspirations of all. In your example of Pike River: What regulations do we need that will protect both workers and the company’s capacity to be profitable?

          Nats are human, too.

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1

            I know plenty of NAT voters who are good, caring, practical people who wouldn’t hesitate one second to help you out of a jam.

  12. Bill 12

    Sturgeon ‘called it’ and the party she fronts won handsomely (A far better politician and person that Clinton btw Ad 😉 )

    Corbyn tapped the same vein in the public conscience (but in England) and won his leadership contest handsomely.

    Sanders is tapping the same vein (but in the US) and is essentially doing a Stugeon/Corbyn.

    I’ve written about this a few times, but with only passing reference to Sanders, and I agree that The genie is out of the bottle, and available to help others who choose to follow the path that Sanders and Corbyn have opened up. (Except it was Sturgeon who cut through the shit first 😉 ).

    Anyway, NZ Labour ain’t listening and further, as said on previous occasions, has no time served back-bencher who has stuck to their guns throughout the past decades of capitulation and accommodation by statists to market forces.

    If NZ Labour need any convincing, then I’ll repeat what I said in a face to face with two of their last leadership candidates. Look to the SNP and learn! That, by the way, is something that Labour in Scotland have miserably failed at. They, like NZ Labour, is still running with candidates who embraced the strategy of capitulation and accommodation. As a result they are going to be shovel whacked back into the hole they’ve dug themselves in the up coming May elections.

    Will that up coming failure be used to attack Corbyn? Of course it will. Should the attack be considered anything other than disingenuous? Of course it shouldn’t.

    Will the likes of NZ Labour learn anything from what’s about to happen in May; or from Sanders; from Corbyn?

    From their recent track record that has screamed of an unwillingness to look beyond their own navels, it has to be said, probably not…and the “Ted Talk” Greens will toddle along somewhere just outside the wake of Labour’s “ploughing ever lower in the water” ship.

    • savenz 12.1

      @Bill unfortunately you may be right.

      But I am an optimist!

      Miracles can still happen.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        No mate, there ain’t no JC or other prophet in the Labour caucus available to work no “miracles.”

        And the line between “optimism” and “self-delusion” is one we should not cross, especially in politics.

        Time to leave Labour behind in both mindset and in actuality, and move on to the new kind of politics that Bill, Amakiwi and others are pointing at.

    • ropata 12.2

      +1 Bill
      As did Justin Trudeau in Canada

  13. Observer (Tokoroa) 13

    @ Amakiwi

    It would be good if Moral Decent Nacts took a stand and helped to lead our country away from Key/English mismanagement. Lead away from what?

    From outrageous housing costs; outrageous rental costs; outrageous fees on students; overcrowding; disease; stupid decisions; bad negotiations; illiterate charter schools; poisonous regard for indigenous Maori …from horrendous debt. From Ministers with bloated self smugness like the ungracious Paula. Even if the decent Nacts could get some heat into housing for ordinary kiwis, and decent employment laws for all NZ employees. It would something.

    It is a big task to clear up Key / English hellish mess. But it must be done.

    Was only a short while ago that the silly man climbed into a cage and toyed with a bar of soap – as used for anal rape in new Zealand prisons.

    Buggering things up comes so easy to simpleton key.

    He is in the process of sodomising the whole middle class of New Zealand. Whilst giving great gifts ( in an underhand process) to his beloved gambling den.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      it would be good if Moral Decent Nacts took a stand and helped to lead our country away from Key/English mismanagement. Lead away from what?

      From outrageous housing costs; outrageous rental costs; outrageous fees on students; overcrowding; disease; stupid decisions; bad negotiations; illiterate charter schools; poisonous regard for indigenous Maori …from horrendous debt. From Ministers with bloated self smugness like the ungracious Paula. Even if the decent Nacts could get some heat into housing for ordinary kiwis, and decent employment laws for all NZ employees. It would something.

      National has successfully settled some of the most contentious and difficult Treaty claims.

      “Outrageous housing costs” – Auckland house prices became utterly unaffordable by international standards 2005-2006. Remind me who was in power at the time.

      “from horrendous debt. ” English has kept spending into the NZ economy. He deserves credit for this. National believes that we can afford NZ Super; Labour does not. Points to National.

      “From Ministers with bloated self smugness like the ungracious Paula.” Maybe you should look at the likes of David Shearer and compare.

      “bad negotiations” The TPP? National’s negotiations haven’t been bad enough to stop Labour from staying with the TPP.

  14. Observer (Tokoroa) 14

    Sure CV …things are just dandy ….and Bernie Sanders is a fool.

    Nite nite.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      just making the point that National remain this strong halfway through their third term for some good reasons.

  15. AmaKiwi 15

    @ Observer (Tokoroa)

    I am a lifelong Labour member. But since Helen’s departure (Nov. 2008) the Labour caucus has frequently been my enemy.

    That’s a very damning statement. Now they are mumble-fucking on TPPA.

    This caucus is NOT a group I can look up to.

    No wonder the Nats keep winning.

  16. Observer (Tokoroa) 16

    Hi AmaKiwi

    It is not for me to tell you who to vote for. I wrote to you asking if some honest moral National members could do some democratic good for the wider wider community.

    Particularly in the Housing and Rental areas. But also in the basic necessities including adequate heating.

    I might write to you again. Okay?

    • AmaKiwi 16.1

      @ Observer (Tokoroa)

      Getting personal, I grew up as an idealist. I’ve evolved into what I would call more of a realist. I think each and every one of us is both generous and selfish.

      Milton Friedman, the hero of Thatcher and Reagan and the prophet of unfettered free markets discovered near the end of his life that unfettered greed is not entirely good. He admitted there is a need for government regulation and control to prevent the abuses of excessive business greed.

      I think the present battle is between those who think we can rely on politicians to regulate greed and those of us who say, “Politicians are by definition people who are obsessed with their own greed for power. The alternative to politicians with unlimited power is a more direct democracy where the public can decide what is reasonable and what is excessive.”

      During the last election I posted here saying, “I think my dictator (Cunliffe) will be a better dictator than their dictator (Key). What I want are NO dictators.”

      If we, the people, do not place legal limitations on real estate and housing practices, I don’t see anything changing.

      P.S. At last count about 60% of Labour MPs owned more than one property. Those properties are not devoted to housing the needy.

  17. Henry Filth 17

    I thought that Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern were supposed to have changed US politics forever.

    Irreversibly.

  18. DS 18

    Sanders is still unlikely to actually get the nomination (he does quite poorly among ethnic minorities, who constitute a large portion of the Democratic base), and as President he would be hamstrung by a gerrymandered Republican House of Representatives, but in 2016 he’s far from unelectable.

    The real issue is that moderates no longer decide US elections. Turnout does. US politics is more polarised now that it has been since the Civil War – which means that people will vote Democrat or Republican regardless of who the nominee is, and which in turn is good news for Democrats, since their demographic base is expanding.

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  • Swiss tax agreement tightens net
    Opportunities to dodge tax are shrinking with the completion of a new tax agreement with Switzerland, Revenue Minister Stuart Nash announced today. Mr Nash and the Swiss Ambassador David Vogelsanger have today signed documents to update the double tax agreement (DTA). The previous DTA was signed in 1980. “Double tax ...
    2 weeks ago