The weird and wacky 2023 election campaign

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, October 4th, 2023 - 30 comments
Categories: act, benefits, chris bishop, Christopher Luxon, covid-19, david seymour, Dirty Politics, election 2023, national, nz first, Politics, polls, same old national, spin, winston peters - Tags:

This weird and wacky election campaign gets stranger by the day.

I cannot work out if it resembles 2005, when weird events surrounding the Exclusive Brethren ankle tapped National or 2014 where it seemed that even Dirty Politics could not shake people’s voting decisions.

The optimist in me thinks 2005.  National has stalled and is going backwards and Labour has had a good couple of weeks.  In 2005 the final Colmar Brunton poll had National on 44% and Labour on 38%.  The final vote, after the good people of South and West Auckland and Porirua turned up in their droves was Labour 41% and National 39%.

A similar sized swing would see Labour in the low 30s and if the Greens and Te Maori Pati hang onto their current indicated support this could be a majority for the left.

But the sense of weirdness this campaign is growing.

Take for instance NZ First.  Winston’s clusterfuck of an interview with Jack Tame should spell the end of his party’s chances.

The problem is that with MMP 90% of the country would agree that he was a diabolical mess, 5% will disagree and think he was the man and the other 5% will have no opinion.  For a party operating at the fringe those sorts of figures are fine.

And further disclosures about NZ First candidates causes one to worry about the operating model a National-Act-NZ First coalition would adopt.

It has been revealed that New Zealand First’s number eight Tanya Unkovich is a member of the Nuremberg Trials channel on Telegram.  The channel is full of people who think that the mandating of the COVID-19 vaccine was akin to the Nazis’ war crimes.

When asked about the calibre of one of his people who could make it into Parliament Peters said:

I’m not here to waste the public’s time by answering your inane, stupid questions.”

Way to be transparent Winston.

Not to be outdone Act candidate Ash Palmer has also been shown to have posted rather bizarre stuff on social media.  From Newshub:

In 2020, the ACT candidate commented on a Facebook rant about the ‘New World Order’ that it “sure f***ing sucks to be basically a pawn in a grand game we have no control over”.

“We back him 100 percent. The idea that we are going to start witch-hunting and judging people on ancient Facebook comments when we’ve got an economy to fix, that doesn’t stack up,” Seymour said.

These people could be part of a Government very soon.  Be very afraid …

Meanwhile National continues to run this bizarre line that its change in the way that benefits are calculated that will save the Government $2 billion over four years is not a cut to beneficiaries’ payments.

This is bizarre.  It is clearly a cut.  National intends to apply the savings to other areas such as tax cuts for landlords.

Here are the amounts from its fiscal plan.

I am still struggling to understand how Luxon can claim that beneficiaries will be better under National given that even National’s figures show that the proposed changes will reduce benefits and also claim to be a Christian.  Christianity has fairly strong rules against telling fibs.

And Luxon struggled to explain how the comrades at Goldman Sax were wrong in claiming that National’s policies were inflationary.  When Beneficiary advocates and Goldman Sax attack your policies at the same time you know you are doing something wrong.

To top things off Luxon possibly created history by travelling from his home in the Epsom electorate to the Botany electorate to cast a special vote presumably for Paul Goldsmith who is National’s Epsom candidate.

And National scored a huge own goal by refusing Labour’s offer of a rescheduled Press leader’s debate.  Now the minor parties get to hog the limelight and the country will be able to see how toxic the David Seymour and Winston Peters relationship is.

Chris Bishop needs to have a chill pill.  He is becoming increasingly angry about everything.

His claims about the debate and his claims about Labour lying have been shot down in flames.

His latest effort is to claim that Chris Hipkins will be rolled after the election so that Labour can pass a wealth tax.

Focusing on this issue is rather bizarre given that there is overwhelming public support for this tax if it pays for public goods.

Equating a MP indicating a personal belief that a policy should go further with a subversive conspiracy to roll the leader takes mental dexterity that only few of us are capable of.

There is a poll out tonight.  I suspect that things will tighten further.  If so we are in for a hell of a couple of weeks.

Stay tuned …

30 comments on “The weird and wacky 2023 election campaign ”

  1. Anne 1

    There is a poll out tonight. I suspect that things will tighten further. If so we are in for a hell of a couple of weeks.

    Not that anyone will know it. Potential headlines:

    "Nats continue to outshine Labour in latest poll."

    " Labour still behind National with less than ten days to go"

    "National does it again. Voter's tick YES to National government"

    And so on……

  2. This Election is becoming a Dog's Breakfast.

    • Anne 2.1

      Indeed. There are so many policy announcements coming from all quarters I am having difficulty figuring out which ones come from what party. And I'm a political tragic. Imagine how the ordinary voter is faring.

  3. tc 3

    Media doing their best to assist a change by not persisting with luxon/Willis on the cuts they have planned, the hole in their tax plan etc etc

    Seymour appears to be able to say anything without repercussions.

    Luxons about as Christian as Tamaki is IMO Mickey, leaders first and foremost looking after #1 itching for more power.

  4. PsyclingLeft.Always 4

    Peters said:

    I’m not here to waste the public’s time by answering your inane, stupid questions.”

    Way to be transparent Winston.

    Hi MS, I did comment yesterday about very similar Peters-speak…. IMO its his go-to when questioned about..anything. Indignant bluster and BS.

    https://thestandard.org.nz/why-wont-winston-peters-answer-straight-forward-questions-about-nz-first-policy/#comment-1970752

    Of course, those he dog whistles too…,could care less about Science/Facts as long as he tells them what they want to hear. Even more reason he needs to be questioned ….

    IMO he channels Trump more, every day…

    Vote Left.! We must stop NActFrst. !

    • Mike the Lefty 4.1

      That is why I treat NZ First as the "non-thinking voter's party " : The party you vote for when you are too lazy to engage brain because they don't stand for anything, just against everything.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    I get 1975 vibes. The country is in need of one of it's periodic convulsions of reform to a schlerotic system (grown dysfunctional on the back of rampant inequality, crony capitalism and rent seeking monopolies and duopolies) against a backdrop of generational fractures that require a new political settlement. Like 1975, voters discontented with inflation and re-ordering of the class structures are going turn their back on evolutionary administration of the existing order in favour of National, which promises under Luxon – like it did under Muldoon – to somehow preserve the existing economic and political settings and turn back the clock to good times while waging a culture war on structural change. I fear that, like 1975, we are about to waste six-nine years of a government committed to clinging to the previous political settlement. The age of the political primacy of the interests of the boomers, born in the social and economic crises of 1981-84, is coming to an end.

    • mickysavage 5.1

      I hope you are wrong …

      • In Vino 5.1.1

        I too.

        But I feel the same vibes.

        The vast majority of our voters have no memory of 1975, and will probably give us a historical repeat.

        (And by the way, anyone who wants to say 'an historical' is an hutter hidiot.)

    • DS 5.2

      A couple of fundamental differences:

      • Muldoon ran the best election campaign ever seen in New Zealand, capped by his vast superannuation bribe. National is not running an amazing campaign, and rather than a flagship policy, literally runs on not being Labour.
      • Muldoon had a reputation for economic competence in 1975, and an impressive intellect. Luxon, by contrast, comes across as a fool.
  6. PsyclingLeft.Always 6

    Peters…VS Seymour. Lets..get ready..to ruummbble ! (Go to number 1 for the heavy Fighting Talk : )

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/25-09-2023/winston-peters-vs-david-seymour-their-15-most-venomous-insults-ranked

    Would there be a NZ wide shortage..of popcorn ?

    • Ngungukai 6.1

      I reckon the Supermarket's are ordering additional stocks of popcorn as we speak.

      This Debate will be worth watching just for the banter between Seymour and Winston, Seymour actually rates himself vs Winston unfortunately Winston has a lot of political experience and still has a few tricks up his sleeve. Quite sharp for a 78 year old compared to Biden and some of those USA politicians of similar age.

  7. Corey 7

    I think 2023 is it's own beast to be honest and even if Labour pulls off a miracle and gets a third term, this is definitely a term and election for the history books.

    Honestly, a governing party going from sole majority to losing half it's support in three years is unique and the 20-23 term will be studied by poll students for decades to come as a case study in what not to do while governing.

    Other than that, it's a rather full affair led by two milk toast centrists who mostly agree with each other, especially on austerity but one is austerity lite and the other is austerity +

    The minor parties are trying their best to add a slight flavor to the election I guess but is anyone paying much attention to any of it? I feel like most people are too busy struggling to get through the day to pay much attention and the rest are board to tears by the two Chris's.

    Honestly if we could somehow bottle and combine the energy of luxon and hipkins we could sell it as a sleeping pill replacement and cure insomnia.

    If Labour does manage to pull off a miracle, I can't see Hipkins surviving coalition negotiations, his captains calls have infuriated labour's potential coalition partners, both te parti Maori and the greens have said there's no point negotiating with someone with a closed mind and that they have no issues sitting in the crossbenches.

    I actually hope Labour does win a third term and I would definitely applaud it if Hipkins were to be rolled during coalition negotiations.

    But finally let's be real. Neither Chris will be prime Minister or leader of their party by the time of the 2026 election regardless of what happens next week.

    • Ngungukai 7.1

      Winston and NZF made Labour look credible.

    • weka 7.2

      The reason that Labour are a majority government is the pandemic and their handling of it. It's not really that useful to compare the 2020 result with currently polling. Better to look at 2017, or pre-2020. But also, Ardern. A lot of people liked how she was PM until they didn't.

      Imo the Greens are very strong this election in their campaigning and policy. This is something to be thankful for, however the election turns out.

      I agree about Hipkins. I don't know how likely it is he would be replaced during coalition discussions, people still value stability and I'm struggling to see how replacing him could happen in a way that wasn't chaotic. But I agree that it should happen if Labour get to form government. Who do you think should replace him?

      • Roy Cartland 7.2.1

        There's no one really that stands out; but until Jacinda stepped up, she didn't really either. Kelvin might have the statesman-like vibe, but he doesn't play that 'gotcha' game with the media so well. I still think Grant would have done ok as leader.

        It's different with the Nats, as their leaders are such a low bar to meet.

  8. rod 8

    What's the difference between Trump and Luxon ? Nothing, imo smiley

  9. PsyclingLeft.Always 9

    I'm not sure if this is weird and/or whacky..IMO its certainly not good enough !

    1.4 million Kiwis yet to get easy vote cards

    “The Electoral Commission should have made sure voters had their easy vote cards before voting started,” Hipkins told reporters in a Zoom call today.

    The Labour leader added: “The Electoral Commission has one job, which is to run a successful election for all New Zealanders.

    "Being this far into the election and having that many New Zealanders not have an Easy Vote card – and therefore believing they can’t vote because they don’t have it – isn’t acceptable.”

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/14-million-kiwis-yet-get-easy-vote-cards

    • Ngungukai 9.1

      Already voted what is an Easy Vote Card, waste of money if I haven't even got one, another useless, NZ money wasting organisation like Council's & Government's ???

      • tsmithfield 9.1.1

        Yeah, went in and voted last night without any card other than my drivers licence. Easy as.

        • Mike the Lefty 9.1.1.1

          The easy vote card is designed more to make it easier for polling booth officers than for actual voters.

    • I, just an hour ago, checked my voting status and found they didn't know me.
      (I'm 71 by the way).
      I changed my address in January and updated it with the electoral people.
      Seems they lost me somewhere.
      How many others will only find out on voting day?

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 9.2.1

        How many others will only find out on voting day?

        I could say…hopefully only NActFrst voters? : ) But nah… as a sad rule, the right seem engaged with voting. I hope the Left engage everyone this time. IMO Crucial.

        Age should have no bearing..but also sadly as some get older..they grow more conservative.

        And matey..good on you being Left.

  10. Mike the Lefty 10

    Speaking of the Exclusive Brethren, their mouthpiece Hobsons Pledge is popping its head up from under its bridge again. Exactly the same arguments and language as in 2005. Not a particularly imaginative lot are they?

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