web analytics

The United States mid term Elections

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, November 9th, 2014 - 85 comments
Categories: us politics - Tags: ,

The US mid term elections were held this week and the general consensus amongst the main stream media is that the Democrats and in particular Barack Obama were humiliated. In the senate the Republicans gained seven seats and two further seats are still in play. They have a clear majority. In Congress the Republicans reinforced an existing majority. Obama faces two years where he has no control over either house.

I feel a bit sorry for him because he has been blamed for the result. He is not the only left leader in the world (in the very broadest sense of the term) to be facing pressure. In the United Kingdom Ed Milliband is under some pressure and elsewhere in the western world progressives are also struggling. There is this tension between playing the political game and winning support by triangulating issues and keeping support with the base and energising ordinary people with the promise of real change. It is clearly difficult if not impossible to do both.

What happened in the US? The reports are that young and latinos did not vote. This problem also occurred in the 2010 mid term elections. Maybe the Democrats will always struggle if there is not a presidential election happening at the same time to energise turnout. And maybe leaders need to deliver on the hope and change that Obama promised.

The impression I have is that Obama has struggled at both edges of his support. The right were attacking him for Obamacare which I think is a wonderful policy. When senior Republicans suggest that he is responsible for the appearance of Ebola in the United States you realise that things have turned really weird. And the opposition to doing anything about climate change suggests to me a level of belligerence and stupidity that cannot be matched and that is deeply damaging to humanity’s future interests.

The news is not all bad. Five US states had votes on whether or not there should be an increase in the minimum wage. Each proposal passed convincingly. These were not necessarily liberal states either. The results were Alaska (69:31), Arkansas (66:34), Illinois (67:33), Nebraska (59:41), and South Dakota (55:45). Three of these states returned Republican senators. Those basic decent policies can win every time no matter what is happening at a political level.

Ad submitted a guest post that expressed things far more eloquently than I could. Here it is …

The scale of the recent defeat by the U.S. Democrats resonates with the pounding Labour and Labor took in NZ and Australian elections this year. It’s rare to see parallel scales of defeat, common failings, and common lessons. Reviews months ahead becomes mere exercises in nostalgia.
Neither Labour, Labor, nor Democrats had a coherent set of policies, none were sold well, and all three political leaders were competent but quick to compromise. Resultant NZ government, federal Australian government, and U.S. Senate and Representative houses are shaping up as far more conservative than we’ve seen for decades. Across the western world we’re shut out, and it’s cold out here.

This is despite core policies associated with the losers working well and being remarkably popular. Obamacare has performed well. As has Kiwisaver. Nor was there lack of support for policies to campaign on. New Zealand’s public resoundingly opposed asset sales, and supported the Capital Gains Tax. U.S. state by state support for minimum wage increases was massive, even in staunchly conservative states.

Obama has two months and two years to govern, but his track record of egregious compromise has damaged any future legacy he might have and damaged his party such that by 2016 Republicans could well run all three governmental layers. Labour’s incoherence to the public remains such that National could run both New Zealand and Auckland within a single party by 2016. Did I mention the cold?

Looking back on Gough Whitlam, LBJ, or Clark, we can see that truly pathbreaking strides in Australia, the U.S., or New Zealand are highly concentrated in a few brief windows of overwhelming progressive dominance. We now also know that lasting progress depends on building on those foundations, and protecting them from erosion until the next opportunity for advancement presents itself. Through bold and quickly enacted policy, millions of lives were changed for the better.

At some point the left (broadly) will win again. We need a coalition primed for an uncompromising agenda push. The legacy of that first successful term will ensure the left’s revival for years afterward, and will spur us on to form a further clearly communicated and uncompromising policy enacted within that first window after election. After that, fate’s doors close hard. Democrats, Labour and Labour are all of us dealing with the aftermath of corrosive and sustained compromise, and that’s right across most aspiring progressive/left/social democratic parties in the world.

Voters have told the Democrats, Labour and Labor that we need no more fantasies that compromise will win the public back to our causes. What commenters see as over-defined or prescriptive, the public will read as clear and principled. We need more of clear and principled. It will win the public and it will win the media, and it will win the next term after that. That does not need to be confused with radical. We simply need to be uncompromising and clear, both to gain electoral power, and to sustain it once more. We’ll all be learning that for a while, out here in the cold.

85 comments on “The United States mid term Elections”

  1. BM 1

    At some point the left (broadly) will win again. We need a coalition primed for an uncompromising agenda push. The legacy of that first successful term will ensure the left’s revival for years afterward, and will spur us on to form a further clearly communicated and uncompromising policy enacted within that first window after election.

    That paragraph is the reason the left won’t be elected for a very long time.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Thanks for your advice BM.

      I presume you would prefer Labour to go back to the good old days where Rogernomics reigned supreme.

      • BM 1.1.1

        No, but I certainly don’t want radical change when the left get elected, massive change is bad for the country.

        For me that’s one of the reason Key has been so successful, he came in after nine years of Helen Clark and was smart enough to realize that labour had been in government because the voters liked some of their policies.
        National was labour light and for a very good reason.

        What he’s done is gradually pull NZ from the left to a more right wing mindset and he’s done it in a way where people have barely noticed, so it’s now become the norm for most people.

        Any radical change you guys propose will flow directly against mainstream NZ and your new left wing government will be lucky to survive a term.

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          There are plenty of times the New Zealand public have voted for a clear and strong change in policy direction. You know that if you passed Year 11 Social Studies. And they will again, if a good majority of them believe it is warranted.

          • BM 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes, when governments have basically destroyed themselves.

            Unless National implodes and Key goes mad I don’t think radical change is what the people will really want.

            I think this is one of the major hurdles that the left face, all the left parties are full to the brim with old activists who’s thinking is out there on the fringe and completely disconnected from the mainstream voter.

            • Ad 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Being in power for its own sake is the preserve of the conservative end of politics.

              Being in power to change things is the natural impulse of the Left.

              Clearly you missed some of the subtext of the post above:

              In politics it doesn’t matter if you get in for three terms, or one term.
              In politics, for the left, it matters if you can look back and show real progress.

              -Whitlam “exploded”. And did more for reforming Australia than 6 terms of the Liberals.
              – LBJ “exploded”. And did more for reforming the U.S. progressively than anyone before him since Roosevelt.
              – Clark’s best days, even, were over once the ideological propulsion of the Alliance “exploded”.
              – Big Norm “exploded” by dying. But he’s still the bellwether of NZ’s international idealism.
              etc. etc. Which is my point about third form social studies.

              Cunliffe forgot that lesson. Clark in her third term had forgotten it. Obama never understood it.

              It’s simply time the Left understood that bold policy with no compromise is the only way to get the voter public’s respect back.

              • chris73

                I really hope you’re advising Labour because that’s the surest way to get National re-elected

                • Ad

                  The evidence from many elections in both NZ’s past, in the US, and in Britain, proves you wrong.

                  • chris73

                    It was also believed governments lost popularity yet National got more votes this time round also it was believed a political party would never govern alone in MMP yet again National came within a smidgeon of making it happen

                    The people of NZ do not want bold policy with no compromise, NZ wants left of center or right of center

                    • Ad

                      National will remain dominant until there is a real and compelling political reason to put someone else in. There is no motivation from the public to replace one beige bunch with another.

                    • chris73

                      There is no motivation from the public to replace one beige bunch with another.

                      – If that were true National wouldn’t have gotten elected, all Labour has to do is show NZ they’re united, know their policies and will only pull NZ to left of center not NZ as it was in the 70s

                      They do that they’ll get elected

                    • felix

                      “it was believed a political party would never govern alone in MMP yet again National came within a smidgeon of making it happen”

                      Another way of saying that is that according to you guys, National won the best win ever like the massive winners they are, and yet they still can’t govern alone.

                    • National has probably lost popularity among the general public, but has massively motivated its base, and has the support of the soft vote as they do not perceive Labour as a united party, and therefore do not perceive them as a credible government.

            • Tom Jackson 1.1.1.1.1.2

              The problem with this is that the mainstream voter is now tending towards crazy idiocy.

              When senior Republicans suggest that he is responsible for the appearance of Ebola in the United States you realise that things have turned really weird. And the opposition to doing anything about climate change suggests to me a level of belligerence and stupidity that cannot be matched and that is deeply damaging to humanity’s future interests.

              If parties can get elected saying stuff like that, then we’re truly through the looking glass, and left wing parties could promise the most sober, reality-based policies imaginable and still not get elected.

              • Ad

                What I think you are heading towards is the trick of a Left populism.
                It’s a hard trick to pull off, and there’s plenty of US party films about it (e.g. Bob Roberts, Mr Smith Goes to Washington), but it has been done (e.g. the Chilean “No” campaign against Pinochet’s referendum).

                Bob Harvey’s bell jar illustrations nearly got there.

                I see theming and packing as a neglected Leftie skill, but quite different to the lessons of the current electoral year.

                • If it’s just going to be duping people through populism, then there’s no point keeping democracy other than to keep people feeling as if they are in control.

            • Murray Rawshark 1.1.1.1.1.3

              Key is already mad with power. He thinks he is above morality and law. We all have feet of clay, but I think in his case the clay goes up to the armpits. Once people turn, his fall will be rapid. They’ll be more bitter than a husband who finds his wife has been unfaithful with the boss who just fired him.

        • chris73 1.1.1.2

          +100 BM

    • The reason that the left doesn’t win in the US is the Koch Bros.
      And that is why the Democrats have to compete for big money to win.
      95% of successful elections spend the most money.
      The game is not only rigged, the game is entertainment.
      Note the interview with Robert Kennedy Jnr on the Keiser Report
      http://rt.com/shows/keiser-report/203427-episode-max-keiser-677/
      Like NZ the majority supports left of centre economics.
      Politics however is owned by the ruling class.
      Capitalist democracy is a myth.
      Workers democracy is the answer.

  2. Ad 2

    BM you need to demonstrate knowledge of why Left-type governments are almost always different to Right-type governments. It will help you when commenting on this site.

  3. Bill 3

    And again…(I mean, fuck, I’m almost boring myself with this constant repetition of the bleeding obvious)… Miliband’s Labour, that is not a million miles away from NZ Labour, struggles to compete with the Tories in a UK context, but is arguably about to disappear where it’s pitted against a genuine social democratic left (The SNP in Scotland).

    And…again. The SNP won an absolute majority in an MMP environment on a turnout of around 50% before any independence referendum was on the table and are presently the third largest party in the UK on membership numbers (80 000+ members from a population base similar to NZs ).

    The parliamentary left tanking has nothing to do with either a non-sympathetic media or low voter turnout; the parliamentary left is doing crap because it’s crap.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      Give them time and the SNP will be crap too !

      Wait till Salmond goes to Westminister and has to be Labours poodle in government.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        You’re aware of that poll taken after Lamont’s resignation that indicated 50+ SNP mps voted into Westminster from Scotland against 4 or 5 Labour mps? Now sure, that poll was a one off at a particular time. But regardless, how or why would SNP mps in Westminster be Labour poodles? That assertion makes no sense.

        And of course the SNP will be crap too. All parliamentary parties go through a cycle that includes a dull conservative phase where they betray their roots. The trick is in being resurgent as opposed to dead.

        • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1.1

          But regardless, how or why would SNP mps in Westminster be Labour poodles? That assertion makes no sense.

          Because in traditional Labour’s way of thinking (both here and in the UK), all “minor” left wing parties have to be subservient to Labour, as it Labour the “natural home” of the political left. Or some such.

  4. hoom 4

    To categorise Obama as Left really does a disservice to the term Left.

    Similarly to categorise the Republicans as Conservative is a disservice to real Conservatives.
    Neo-con are not Conservatives, they are very radical which is the opposite of Conservative.

    The problem with Obama is that he was the big Hope for Change from the creeping further & further Corporate Right Neo-Con crap.
    Yet he either was really a Neo-Con in hiding or has been utterly captured by them.

    The Change that Obama has brought is a restart of the Cold War & a whole heap of new small wars rather than the peace he promised & won Nobel prize for.
    Domestically corporate neo-cons are even more powerful, the Billionaires far richer, the poor even more poor, freedoms eroded & the criminals who caused the GFC unpunished.

    And thats the ‘good guy’ so who are you going to vote for in protest?

    • Ad 4.1

      Agreed, but each country has a different sliding scale from left to right.

      Even taking that into account, there are common lessons to be drawn right at this historical moment.

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.1

        The “sliding scale” metaphor is good, but neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party is worth supporting with even a single dollar or minute of time. Supporting a less far right party to get in, in order to prevent a more far right party getting in, is a waste of time and energy.

        And either consciously or unconsciously knowing that, that’s why the commoners stay at home.

        • Ad 4.1.1.1

          You may feel differently if you lived there.
          There aren’t any easy choices – in fact they are getting narrower and harder.

          • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.1.1.1

            In the US there is the choice of supporting independent or Green Party candidates, but those options are rendered totally invisible and impotent by the corporate MSM. The Democratic Party will go so far as to attack and cut down truly progressive independent candidates like Ralph Nader, because they show up the Democratic Party for who they really are.

  5. Michael 5

    The US Democrats also have voter turnout and gerrymandering to deal with. For example, in the 2010 House elections, only 40.9% of people turned out. (A majority of the rich turn out and the poor don’t.) And the Democrats actually won the popular vote, however the Republicans took a majority in the House due to gerrymandering and FPTP.
    And let’s not forget that $3.7 billion was spent, with a lot of it by corporations, on the 2014 elections. (!) And guess who has the most money to spend? The right.

    • joe90 5.1

      Same old.

      Propane Jane ‏@docrocktex26

      This is what 2.8 million extremists making decisions for a state of 28 million ppl looks like. Fucking insane. #TXGov

    • Ad 5.2

      Other than further redistricting (which is now entrenched through recent Supreme Court decisions), what do you think would concisely increase voter turnout?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 5.2.1

        changing to a sat election date. A lot of people are at work on a Tuesday.

        • Colonial Rawshark 5.2.1.1

          Nobody in power or with money wants to increase election turnouts. The aim is to decrease voter turnout. Ensuring large numbers of people were disenfranchised was a primary goal of the “Founding Fathers.”

    • Colonial Rawshark 5.3

      And guess who has the most money to spend? The right.

      The Democrats are also Right wing, and since Clinton gave in to banking and corporate interests, Democratic fund raising is often neck and neck with the Republicans.

      • Ad 5.3.1

        Every nations political spectrum shifts over time – ours sure has and is.

        • Colonial Rawshark 5.3.1.1

          I prefer the physics approach to spectra. If you’ve moved out of infra-red into the blue end of the spectrum, then you’re blue, and not infra-red any more.

      • Michael 5.3.2

        That’s true, although there are factions in the Democrats.

        There’s the “centrist” Democrats (which are on the right in actuality i.e. Clinton), and the “Progressive Caucus”, which are decent social democrats with an actual left agenda. (For example, Elizabeth Warren).

        Here’s a very good conversation between Elizabeth Warren and Thomas Pikkety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tMXA9slQo4 – Elizabeth is the de facto leader of the Progressive faction, and many Democrats want to see her run in 2016.

        There was another video (I forget where), where she addressed unions, and she had the union members standing on their seats clapping! There is a credible left faction in the Democratic party, but it only controls about 1/3 of the party which isn’t a lot.

  6. Ad 6

    There is no motivation from the public to replace one beige bunch with another.

    – If that were true National wouldn’t have gotten elected, all Labour has to do is show NZ they’re united, know their policies and will only pull NZ to left of center not NZ as it was in the 70s

    They do that they’ll get elected

    (sorry run out of Reply function)

    Unity is the political baby-steps to political success.
    Labour in NZ have to achieve, in order:
    – Unity, then
    – Bold Policy, then
    – Passion, then
    – Funding, then
    – New Candidates, then
    – Campaign Platform

    I am not trying in the post above to roll out the entire renewal platform for Labour here.
    What I am showing is a few common lessons to the Left right now, and right across many other democracies.

    • chris73 6.1

      You do know that what you’ve said is far more demoralizing to left wing supporters then anything I could come up with

      For Labour (especially) Unity is a herculean task by itself but add in funding and a campaign platform…

      • Ad 6.1.1

        As I point out above, this is about the worst electoral year the global left has had in multiple decades. The task is still the task.

        • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1.1

          And what if both the organisation and the organisational culture is not fit for purpose? Those steps you have listed are merely the ABCs of winning (excuse the pun) but Labour struggles to even put two ticks on its election signs, let alone anything more complex.

          • Ad 6.1.1.1.1

            Either:
            Refuse to learn lessons and retreat from political activism, realising that Labour will continue without us

            Or:
            Start your own, knowing the risks are high and likely rewards v small

            Or:
            Reform from within.

            Which comes closer for you?

  7. barry 7

    I think there is not much equivalence between what happened in America to whathappened in NZ/Australia. Obama is not really left he just looks like that compared to the crazies that captured the Republican party.

    It looks like the Republicans have tamed the tea party a little bit so that they are not so scary, but really the story of these midterms is the low turnout. Basically Democrat supporters couldn’t see any reason to bother voting this time.

  8. TheContrarian 8

    Say hello to one of the new GOP lawmakers:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/anti-gay-gordon-klingenschmitt-elected-colorado-house

    John Key is positively angelic by comparison. The USA is, by no small measure, fucked.

  9. Chooky 9

    From the American horses’ (commentators’) mouths on the mid term Elections

    http://rt.com/shows/crosstalk/202943-obama-elections-us-government/

    “What is widely deemed as a resounding victory for the GOP and humiliating personal defeat for Barack Obama, this cycle of mid-term elections leave the Republicans in charge of legislative branch of government. Will this change anything in Washington?”

    CrossTalking with Don DeBar, Daniel Faraci and Stephen Yates.

  10. joe90 10

    Eisenhower called it.

    .

    The voters who put Barack Obama in office expected some big changes. From the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping to Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act, candidate Obama was a defender of civil liberties and privacy, promising a dramatically different approach from his predecessor.

    But six years into his administration, the Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Guantanamo Bay remains open. The NSA has, if anything, become more aggressive in monitoring Americans. Drone strikes have escalated. Most recently it was reported that the same president who won a Nobel Prize in part for promoting nuclear disarmament is spending up to $1 trillion modernizing and revitalizing America’s nuclear weapons.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/10/18/vote-all-you-want-the-secret-government-won-change/jVSkXrENQlu8vNcBfMn9sL/story.html

    .

    The Deep State is the big story of our time. It is the red thread that runs through the war on terrorism, the financialization and deindustrialization of the American economy, the rise of a plutocratic social structure and political dysfunction. Washington is the headquarters of the Deep State, and its time in the sun as a rival to Rome, Constantinople or London may be term-limited by its overweening sense of self-importance and its habit, as Winwood Reade said of Rome, to “live upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face.” “Living upon its principal,” in this case, means that the Deep State has been extracting value from the American people in vampire-like fashion.

    http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/21/anatomy-of-the-deep-state/

  11. Murray Rawshark 11

    “Looking back on Gough Whitlam, LBJ, or Clark, we can see that truly pathbreaking strides in Australia, the U.S., or New Zealand are highly concentrated in a few brief windows of overwhelming progressive dominance.”

    WTF? The Clark government entrenched a lot of the main ideas of Rogernomics and made them respectable. It did very little to even roll back the absurdities of Douglas and Richardson. Goff closed schools. WFF meant that a line was drawn down the middle of the working class, with beneficiaries forever defined as somehow less worthy. WFF also meant that employers got to keep more of the profits, as the taxpayer topped up wages. Helen also ran such a tight ship with everything centred on her, that the remaining non-entities (with few exceptions) didn’t have a clue what to do once she’d gone.

    LBJ did a fair bit domestically, but will always suffer from what Kennedy leaving him with Vietnam. His influence on Latin America was also far from benign. I don’t think either of these two can be compared with Gough Whitlam.

    • DS 11.1

      Helen Clark was Labour’s Keith Holyoake: a long-serving pragmatist who basically governed within an overarching consensus (in Holyoake’s case it was the social-democratic consensus, in Clark’s case it was neoliberal). Certainly, both were electorally successful, but neither transformed (or even sought to transform) the country they governed.

      • Ad 11.1.1

        Note I specifically focussed on Clark’s first term and attributed its strength to the Alliance-Labour coalition agreement. Once the Alliance collapsed, so did the force and conviction of the government.

      • Murray Rawshark 11.1.2

        Yep. I spoke with her briefly in 1985 and she was of the view then that a government was powerless to change very much. She was hardly going to be a crusader with that attitude.

  12. boyonlaptop 12

    “New Zealand’s public resoundingly opposed asset sales, and supported the Capital Gains Tax.

    We need a coalition primed for an uncompromising agenda push.”

    So I am glad to hear you’ll be ranking Little last then? Considering he wants to scrap CGT and NZ Power?

    • Ad 12.1

      How do you draw the conclusion that this post favours any Labour leadership candidate?
      Or are you simply seeking to derail the post?

      • boyonlaptop 12.1.1

        Because the author is a staffer of David Cunliffe and has been supportive of Little on other posts on here? Plus I don’t see how this derails the post at all when the post explicitly mentions the NZLP.

        • Ad 12.1.1.1

          Neither writer has been a “staffer”.

          I don’t favour any candidate.

          The post isn’t about the leadership contest. There are other posts on that.

          It is about common lessons from common international movements.

    • bruhaha 12.2

      Scrap NZ Power? Really? Stop making stuff up. I’m amazed at how many of Grant Robertson’s supporters are now targeting Little with smears. I’ve heard it in the real world in the last few days as well as on social media.

      It has been a really clean race up until now. I’m starting to wonder if Robertson’s team is feeling like victory is slipping away and have decided to start playing dirty. I really hope not. We need unity after all of this.

      • boyonlaptop 12.2.1

        “Little signalled a major shift in direction if he won the leadership, including the likely ditching of unpopular policies such as raising the pension age.

        At a press conference today, the former union boss also signalled a rethink of a capital gains tax, power reforms and free doctor visits for over-65s.”
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10597711/Andrew-Little-confirms-Labour-leadership-bid

        Not making anything up, wish I was.

        Totally agree we need unity after this and will happily support Little for PM in 2017 should he win but lets not whitewash over some pretty nasty dog-whistle politics. Little himself has definitely presented himself well thus far but unfortunately the same can’t be said for a minority of his/Cunliffe supporters.

        • bruhaha 12.2.1.1

          Little has said he wants all the policy reviewed. You’re spinning. It’s unpleasant and I don’t believe you will support Little if he wins.

          With this claim and the false claim Mickey Savage is a Cunliffe staffer you’ve shown a distinct lack of good faith twice in one comment thread. That doesn’t engender any trust in you at all when it comes to unity.

          • boyonlaptop 12.2.1.1.1

            Oh that’s completely disingenuous to suggest he doesn’t want the CGT or NZ power scrapped. It’s exactly the same language Cunliffe used about reviewing the GST on fruit and vegetables as well as the tax free threshold when he ran. He’s used the same language in referring to NZ Power as he has to the CGT which he referred to yesterday “enough to stop people even considering what we have to say any more.” The CGT is a progressive well thought out concept and Little all but suggesting it is the reason Labour isn’t in government is narrow-minded and concerning.

            Sorry, he worked for Cunliffe in establishing a trust for the leadership election and was actively involved in Cunliffe’s campaign for the leadership. Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all but he has worked for Cunliffe and as I’ve said has frequently defended Little on here to suggest that the leadership race isn’t relevant to this piece is ludicrous.

  13. Sable 13

    Interesting article but I think you will find the real problem is Obama looks more like a Republican than a Democrat. Guantanamo Bay was to be closed, the Patriot Act given its marching orders and the general warmongering and cruelty of the Bush years abolished.

    This has not happened. Indeed drone strikes have increased and Obama has instigated more global conflict/antagonism (some of them-Russia and China potentially very serious) than his predecessor.

    Its the same issue we have in NZ and the same issue in the UK. The divide of philosophy between the so called left and right of politics has blurred leaving people disillusioned and disgusted with the whole process.

    • Ad 13.1

      It’s indeed pretty easy to confuse left-right spectrums from one country to the next.

      The job’s harder since almost all left parties worldwide post Berlin Wall have got softer, and with far less principle against which to evaluate them.

      But Labour, Labor and the Democrats remain the default option as dominant party against conservative parties. They remain united by what they are against.

      Of course, that’s a further part of the problem, but there’s only so much one can address in one post.

      For a more thorough exploration of the above, have a good go at Tony Judt, “Ill Fares the Land”. Pretty fantastic.

      • Colonial Rawshark 13.1.1

        But Labour, Labor and the Democrats remain the default option as dominant party against conservative parties. They remain united by what they are against.

        Whose default though? Ever shrinking numbers, by the sounds of it. Ed Milliband has got a bullseye on his forehead now; his senior caucus members want him gone, just months before a general election.

        In the final analysis it’s not our job to prop up dead political establishments who no longer represent the interests of the mass of people; it’s our job to torpedo them.

        • Ad 13.1.1.1

          From the poll out today by UMR, Labour is the default opposition.
          Not saying its socialism, just the default opposition to Natiobal.

  14. Brian Biggins 14

    Who do the voters get their political messages from? The MSM. The NZ MSM is confirmed as supporting right wing political parties/government. Witness the MSM attacks during Clarks reign for pathetic reasons such as signed paintings, eco-light bulbs, smacking (Nanny state), but complete silence or cheerleading on issues that will negatively influence NZ now, and in the future, such as asset sales, external deficit blowout, cooking the stats, dirty politics…the list goes on. If the messenger is allowed to continue with the propaganda, I believe the left have a big problem.

  15. Brutus Iscariot 15

    It’s laughable to suggest that the Democrats are a progressive party, or that Obama is a progressive President. Both major parties are controlled by business interests and beholden to the deep state.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 hours ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 hours ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    10 hours ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    14 hours ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 day ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    3 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    3 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    4 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    5 days ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    6 days ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    6 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    6 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 day ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Bede Corry as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “The appointment of a senior diplomat to this important role underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Mr Peters. “The United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
    An innovative approach to boosting the number of frontline Police has seen 20 new officers graduate from one of the uncommon training wings in Auckland. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of 20 constables today means that 1,765 new Police officers have been deployed since the coalition government took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago