Thought for the Day

Written By: - Date published: 2:51 pm, November 28th, 2011 - 62 comments
Categories: labour, nz first - Tags:

Not wanting to get into a fight with my fellow lefties (and authors!) who advocated a vote for NZ First, but did you want an 8th NZ First MP instead of the excellent Raymond Huo?

The dangers of voting strategically…  (and a reason to lower the threshold)

62 comments on “Thought for the Day”

  1. Veronica 1

    Raymond Who?

  2. I am sure that everyone wanted to make sure that Peters had 5.01% of the vote but this is the danger with strategic voting where you overshoot the mark and give Peters too much power.

    Another statistic that I am surprised at is how well the Labour candidates did and how many electorate votes we achieved.

    For instance in New Lynn David Cunliffe increased his electorate vote majority by 20% but the party vote share for Labour went down 3.8%. You really get the feeling that Kiwis want to share the love around. It is a shame really because the party vote is of course the only vote that matters. This is almost an argument for the top echelon of a party to be list only.

    • Veronica 2.1

      Hang onto those small victories, it’s all you’ve got now that Helen’s Hack Circus is down to its worst dregs, like Clayton “Dumber than a Bag of Hammers” Cosgrove.

      Hey, perhaps Paula Bennett can call you out for being a dickhead again before 2014. It might be fun.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Iain Lees Galloway did very well in Palmerston North as well, strengthening his hold over what was a marginal majority.

      Veronica: are you enjoying the sight of National replaying Rogernomics and Ruthanasia making this country poorer and selling out to foreign investors? Good on you, you economic traitor.

      • Veronica 2.2.1

        I’m enjoying the sight of your hysterics and your 19th century xenophobic nationalism, but it’ll be better once your benefit gets cut and you can’t afford the internet any more so we don’t have to listen to your child-like tantrums. Economic traitor? Nice, economic traitors seem to get all the good things, like I got quite a good tax cut last time almost a couple hundred a week. Y’know what? I think I deserve another in a couple years, maybe sooner.

        So, to help you through this difficult time, here’s some techniques I used when my netball team lost when I was nine. Take a few deep breaths and repeat, you lost, you lost, you lost. And eventually you’ll come to terms with it.

        [lprent: Looks like you don’t learn about stupid trolling. This time the ban is permanent. ]

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          …but it’ll be better once your benefit gets cut and you can’t afford the internet any more…

          And also not be able to afford to apply for jobs, eat, and other critical things. I suspect NActs true policies are based around the eat bit.

          • Super Guest 2.2.1.1.1

            Draco once again proves that just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean you aren’t an asshole. What did Mana poll, Draco? 1%? Hell, did Labour do much more than that? Never mind though, mate, the red flag marches on; even if there are only about six people marching with it, and it was largely torn in the 80s.

    • Rob 2.3

      Greg mate, you would spin the benfits of cholera if you would have a chance, talk about looking for the silver lining in this.

      • Not spin Rob, just an observation.

        I believe that we approach opinion polls too simply whereas for many people they actually want to spread the favour around. A huge number of people split their vote. I ran a major Labour campaign in a safe seat last time that minimised the effect of the electorate vote and only sought the party vote. We won the party vote and the candidate had a modest electorate vote majority. Next door where the candidate ran a heavy electorate vote campaign his majority was 2000 higher but the party vote was lost to National.

        This is a real phenomenon. A sophisticated campaign will get part votes rather than electorate votes in all but the most marginal of seats.

        • Descendant Of Smith 2.3.1.1

          “Most people I talk to” is not usually a good indicator of anything but in this case it supports some of what is being said here.

          Under MMP the most common statement I heard people say when discussing voting was – vote for the best constituent MP ( the one you think will serve the local community best) regardless of party and then vote for the party whose policies you want.

          I don’t see this as a negative as it can – and seems to have – swing both ways.

          I don’t think constituent MP’s can solely rely on their party allegiance to be elected and that this will become more so over time.

          I’m not sure what the facts will show but it would be interesting to see how many voters voted for their constituent MP from one party and their party vote to another and whether this is becoming more common.

          It may also be worth considering whether the left need to form alliances prior to an election and demonstrate through an electoral cycle that they can work together and co-operate. Left parties that clearly work to their strengths – greens on environment, labour on worker and union rights and poverty, Maori party on maori issues and so on.

          There can and must still be differences but in any human endeavour it’s what we have in common that brings us together. This would help build specific expertise without every left party having to stretch resources to cover all bases.

          I also don’t mean this in a Pete George “can’t we all just get along” way either – there should be robust and challenging debate.

          The right seemed to have adopted a FPP model where one party needs to dominate and has done so and it’s difficult to see the right splintering into different parties.

          The left need to show that they are stable and can be effective in working together. The deals need to be done before the vote – not once it has happened.

          • Colonial Viper 2.3.1.1.1

            The left need to show that they are stable and can be effective in working together. The deals need to be done before the vote – not once it has happened.

            Exactly. This is something I have been talking to others about today.

          • Campbell Larsen 2.3.1.1.2

            +1

    • Carol 2.4

      Well for some of us, voting for the Green Party in New Lynn has been first choice. Giving Cunliffe the electorate vote is more my way of sharing the love, especially when the Greens don’t campaign for electorate votes.

      That may be true for others who split their vote in that electorate.

    • Anita 2.5

      Do the split votes actually show that it was Labour-ites voting for Winston? That wasn’t my impression, but I haven’t looked at lots of seats.

      • Carol 2.5.1

        I don’t know, but there’s an article on Stuff saying that Peters main voters are geographically-based, in his home area/s.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6049756/Winston-Peters-an-unforgettable-brand

        But I think people are just comparing the number of electorate votes for a candidate, with the number of party votes in the same electorate.

        Which is why I say you can’t assume these voters are more inclined to be Labour supporters, especially when comparing Green and Labour Party otes. I see no advantage for a Green supporter voting for a Green electorate candidate.

      • Anita 2.5.2

        A very light analysis of a couple of electorates:

        Taranaki-King Country half the NZF votes picked the Labour candidate, half the National.

        Papakura split between the NZF and National candidates

        Hamilton East split between NZF and National candidates.

        So… no evidence that I can see of large scale Labour tactical voting for NZF.

  3. gingercrush 3

    Another statistic that I am surprised at is how well the Labour candidates did and how many electorate votes we achieved.

    I blame your billboards that put too much emphasis on the candidates and not the party. I also predicted this so its no surprise (not that many of my predictions were very good).

    Also just my opinion but strategic voting this election has actually enabled a better opposition than there otherwise would have been.

    • Which electorate are you in GC? Some candidates placed too much emphasis on the candidate vote.

      • gingercrush 3.1.1

        I’m in Christchurch Central but travelled to Auckland a week prior to the election via a rental car so was able to see a lot of billboards around the country.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    I’ve never even heard of this guy. Why was he ranked ahead of Carmel?

    • Rob 4.1

      Yes , although I can understand why he is ranked ahead of Carol “mysterious eyebrows” Beaument. ^..^

  5. my intention was to help NZF get over the 5% line, anything more than that I don’t care for but then I didn’t receive a running tally of how many votes each party had when I went to cast mine.

    to be honest while there were some good Labour MPs lost, there was also a wadge of crap ones cleaned out. i hope that precipitates a rethink of list rankings and selections in the future because that’s the primary cause of any lost talent now – nothing to do with some casting strategic votes for NZF. one of the reasons Labour now has a problem is that selections are factional-alliance- and demography- based, and not meritocratic.

    Huo, the guy who liked to claim Tibet is part of China and always has been, is no great loss IMO.

    and frankly, think of how the 50th parliament would be looking now with no NZF, just 2 more Labour and 6 more National MPs. In that scenario Labour would be even more fucked. So please don’t anyone try guilt tripping me about NZF. I didn’t like being in position where I had to vote for them but I’m glad I did.

    • I guess I saw it last week as if the Digipoll had NZF at or near 5%, they were well in, so any extra left votes were replacing Labour/Green MPs with NZF ones.

      And I’ve campaigned with Raymond, and he’s a good guy who’s a great representative of his community and does a lot for Labour – regardless of his views of Tibet (which are no doubt representative of his community…)

      As an aside – I see iPredict are claiming to be better than the polls because they got National’s percentage right. In fact across the parties, it looks like the Digipoll did best this time, after Morgan was best last election. Although if Morgan had moved 3.5% from Green to Labour they’d have been very close…

    • Bill 5.2

      Tibet kind of ‘always’ has been a part of China. The Dalai Lama traditionally seeks and recieves legitimacy from Chinese rulers. Sure, that doesn’t or wouldn’t quite pan out under the current state. And would serve to undermine the (previous) cozy privileges of the monks etc regardless of any occupation.

      • Vicky32 5.2.1

        Which would undermine the cozy privilege of the monks etc regardless of occupation.

        I’ve never quite understood why people think that Tibet is an innocent victim! It really isn’t… but I suppose it’s because Buddhism is very trendy right now! I was stunned to discover that 80% of my Chinese students regard the Dalai Lama as pure evil – we’re so used to the idea that he’s a plaster saint.

        • Bill 5.2.1.1

          “Friendly Fuedalism – The Tibet Myth” an article by Michael Parenti gives a reasonably good over view. Well worth the read. http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html

          I don’t think it’s covered in that article (read it quite a while back), but that ‘nice’ Dalai Lama gave the green light to widespread persecutuion and discrimination of followers of a competing sect in the refugee communities in Northern India and elsewhere just a couple of years back.

          • joe90 5.2.1.1.1

            Aye, the reformation was all about the pope/bishop/priest/monk caste system.

            • Frida 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah to be honest I’ve never understood the defense of a religious feudal system from the middle ages myself. But, off topic. So I’ll leave it at that

    • A.Ziffel 5.3

      You’re kidding yourself Sprout, NZF is no friend of Labour.
      Ask those on the Labour list are they happy to be martyed for Winston.

      It’s incredulous that Winston Peters, Cabinet Minister(Nat) & Deputy Prime Minister(NZF) in the 4th National government can be considered a champion of the left.

      Perhaps you believe that his experience of being Minister of Racing in the 5th Labour government led to a socialist epiphany?

  6. Simon Poole 6

    The same Raymond Huo that blogged in support of China’s rule over Tibet?

    Yeah, I’m looking forward to Brendan Burns taking out Chch Central in the specials.

    • mik e 6.1

      Peters was a point or 2 shy last time this was MMp at its best just in-case labour doesn’t find a leader that can handle the media because thats where it counts these days.
      Peters is good in the lime light and will take plenty leaving less for smile and wave

  7. deemac 7

    no-one I know voted for NZ First but lots voted Green. I did try to tell them the only way to stop asset sales was to party vote Labour but most people see the party vote as a “free go” when actually it is more important than the electorate vote, IMHO.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Party vote Green or Labour would both stop asset sales equally.

    • Rodel 7.2

      Deemac Agree wholeheartedly. I tried to say that too but Labour people have trouble listening or registering.
      That’s why the need a Labour govt.
      Tories are just as mistaken but don’t know it and just do what their born to rule leaders tell them.(i.e. John Banks…shudder!)

  8. Bill 8

    Ben. Where do you get the idea that someone stategically voting for NZ1 would otherwise have voted Labour? Or even Green?

    I’m thinking maybe Mana lost a lot of potential votes. (I know they lost mine this time around.)

  9. nadis 9

    “the excellent Raymond Huo”

    Come on, I think that requires just a little bit of explanation.

    Excellent because?

    More excellent than at least ten or so ranked below him on the list?

    Really? Is he good at fund raising perhaps?

  10. just saying 10

    In another thread a Labour supporter had the odd idea that those parties that picked up strategic votes from people who may have otherwise voted Labour should have been suitably grateful. I strategically voted Labour for my electorate vote and certainly didn’t think Labour should be grateful to Mana (though naturally I expect a ticker-tape parade for me personally). Also, I know of quite a few people who list-voted Labour despite preferring the Greens, fearing the consequences of a Labour collapse. I really think it’s “swing and roundabouts” situation, and Labour will have pciked-up as many “strategics” as it lost.

    Also, the numbers of left commenters and authors here that switched to NZ1 may have created a bit of a false impression. Political junkies that frequent sites like this, are generally not very representative of the wider voting population.

    • the sprout 10.1

      commenters and authors here that switched to NZ1 may have created a bit of a false impression. Political junkies that frequent sites like this, are generally not very representative of the wider voting population

      agreed

      • mike 10.1.1

        +1 I voted Green but I can understand the reasoning. Those Labour supporters who voted NZ1 I’m sure did so in case Winston was close as to whether he would crack 5%. Sadly there was no “Switch my vote to Labour if Winston doesn’t need it” option on the ballot. In the end he got 36,000 odd votes more than he needed for 5% which surprised everyone. That alone is more than the Maori party got in total, and they had a national campaign. I don’t find it credible that 36,000 Labour supporters voted tactically for Winston. That would have taken some organisation, and probably more than one Goff-Peters cup of tea. So if you’re looking for someone to blame for his presence, I say he had no chance before the teapot tapes fiasco, and was in with that grin because of it. That was a John Key production. Whether this group of voters made an MPs worth of difference, no one can really know. It was always a gamble.

        Besides, unlike some I don’t think the sky will fall because there are 8 NZ First MPs. I’m not too upset really that Winston will be there gleefully digging up dirt on National and Key as he does.

    • millsy 10.2

      A lot of left wing voters would have voted NZF because he would do a better job at taking on Key in the House than Labour’s dead sheep. Nothing to do with tactics.

      As for his 7 mates, they seem to have pretty solid backgrounds, including one gentleman who as a Christchurch City Councillor opposed the sell off of Southpower and the Port of Lyttelton.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    Blame the voters? No, blame Phil Goff.

    He made it very clear – not just in the campaign, but during the previous 3 years – that he was ready to work with Winston. He actively talked him up.

    Now, you can argue that this was justified, because Labour needed potential partners, and because it worked – NZ First got above 5%. Short-term gain, fair enough.

    But don’t then turn around and tell us we got it wrong. No, I didn’t vote NZ First, I voted Labour (with no joy, just a grudging acceptance, a last lingering loyalty, I suppose). But I don’t feel any sense of loss if Labour missed out on list MPs.

    Who drew up the list? Not me. Your colleagues, Ben. Talk to them.

    Ben, your post perfectly illustrates what is wrong with Labour insiders (MPs and candidates). And still you guys don’t seem to “get it”.

    Message to all the Labour hierarchy – For Christmas, ask Santa to bring you a mirror. That’s where you’ll find the answers to many of your problems.

    • Shona 11.1

      Couldn’t agree more as a long time Green/ Alliance voter supporter and an active one in my youth Labour need to get back to basics. They need to get out and work with the poor. They need to break a sweat and they need to get their hands dirty and be prepared to work with Mana. Get the disenfranchised onto the electoral roll . Set up a fund from their parliamnetary salaries to achieve this,the skilled workers and middle class professionals will continue to bail out of NZ at a rapid pace in the next 3 years.Nz will go backwards at a faster rate, the desperation will be far more widespreadand the 1990’s will look like a holiday in comparison.
      Both Labour and the Greens need to get over their pathetic deluded self importance and look at how little they have achieved in the last 3 years bury the hatchet with Winston and learn from him. Especially Russel Norman.Work with Hone.
      I am not sorry I voted NZ First.

        • Rodel 11.1.1.1

          I think a basic tenet of democracy is that whoever the people vote for should work together for the good of the people who voted for them
          Anything else is egoist and leads to dictatorial rule.
          That means Winston, Greens, Labour..etc dunno about Banks though..that’d be stretching it.

    • Ben Clark 11.2

      If I had much sway with my colleagues who drew up the list I wouldn’t have been at 69, would I? 🙂

      But more seriously, it was both locally & on here I heard people saying they’d vote NZ First, and I thought it unnecessary, because they’d get over the line regardless. I would expect it wasn’t a large number from the left who did, which is why it wasn’t the people who got them over the line, more likely the ones who got them their final MP. And my post wasn’t to pick a bunfight, rather just to point out that you don’t always get what you want.

      Yes Phil Goff indicated he could work with Winston, but there’s complaints on here when people don’t say who they can work with and complaints when they do – so you’ll never please everyone. So too with the list. I’d have drawn it up in a different order, as I’m sure every member of the Labour Party would have… but in a different way. Politics is the art of compromise, and the list may reflect that too much.

      You may not be disappointed about lost Labour list MPs, but I think the country would be far better off with Stuart Nash (in particular, but also others including Carmel) in parliament. I also think a lot of MPs get a bad rap because they’ve not managed to grab their share of media oxygen. But a thought: that might be because they’re too busy working for the country to work the media. Or they may be lazy – but just to say: media time isn’t necessarily the best criterion for MP performance.

  12. newsense 12

    Dear Ben,

    Note that the term of opposition starts now (unless by some incredible bunch of specials it doesn’t) and don’t wait until just before the election please. You presented a good alternative vision for the country, don’t let voters forget it. Make it an easy 2 tick choice next time around.

    • hear hear.
      despite the above I think Labour had a great campaign and promising policies that suggest a leftward movement. That is commendable. As were the efforts of many talented candidates.
      It’s the 35 months prior to this excellent performance that was the problem – it takes a long time to sway public opinion in a reliable way, which unfortunately requires convincing campaigning from the day after the election till the next.
      To be fair Labour were really battling it at the beginning of the 1st Key term because of his personal popularity, public ignorance of Key’s agenda, relentless adulation of Key by the msm he would talk to – in those conditions you can’t go too negative without looking like whiners or arseholes. But still the attack on Key was still left too late. It should have come well before the RWC. Now there are cracks in Key’s public image, Labour needs to get to work on chipping away at Key and National right away and make sure impending losses in National’s popularity are maintained.

  13. but did you want an 8th NZ First MP instead of…

    I didn’t even want the first 7 dropkick Winston dickriders to start`with.

    Why the fuck would i want an 8th ?

    • mike 13.1

      Lol @ “dickriders” I hope that’s a new political term that sticks. Could I say that John Banks switched which dick he was riding? Guess I just did.

  14. Glenn 14

    I voted for NZ first but to be truthful about it it was a vote for Winston.
    Under a Key lead government with asset sales in the pipeline along with the usual grinding down of the poor and jobless the opposition are going to have to fight every inch of the way.
    Labour are too damaged to fight much except their own leadership battle at the moment, The Greens are becoming so middle of the road and so willing to compromise to get some of their agenda on the floor that I doubt if they will do much to offend National.
    Hone will stir and put his beliefs first. He should be good value
    Leaving Winston and his new NZ first colleagues. All except his deputy unblooded as far as parliamenty shenanagens go.
    Without Winston there would be little opposition for the first months ahead while Key prepares to sell the fruits of our ancestors hard work.
    Winston is not afraid to fight.
    We need a fighter. The left can’t produce one at the moment so I voted Winston.

    • millsy 14.1

      That pretty much how I feel.

      I make no apologies for voting NZ First. Winston will give John Key a really hard time in the house, not like the dead sheep who are going to inherit the Labour leadership.

      Lot of rednecks drifting in to rub our noses in it the last few days.

    • Shona 14.2

      Exactly!

  15. jaymam 15

    I’m terribly sorry. All my friends and relatives voted for Winston. We just didn’t know when to stop.
    If there was a 2% or 3% MMP threshold we didn’t need to give Winston all those hangers on.

  16. Julia 16

    Hmm not sure why so many think Peters will be in the Left Wing camp.

    I suspect Peters overiding interest is, well, Peters. The Labour side will give him as many opportunities for target practice and noise as the Govt benches.

    And if you want to drown out Labours messages and comment in the house, well youve picked the right man

  17. Shazzadude 17

    Actually, thanks to tactical voting, those on the left ensured there would be at least one female MP of Pasifika descent in parliament by voting in 8th-placed candidate Asenati Taylor, a Samoan community leader in South Auckland.

    Labour/Green voters who voted for NZF helped ensure diversity continued. Well done.

  18. RobC 18

    Ben, I have mostly voted National up until 2008 and I will pay for my sins one day no doubt …

    They ain’t ever gettin my vote again. Briefly, I suspect there will be plenty of people like me who party voted NZ1 as the best method to stop National getting an absolute majority. For me, the fact that Peters may (based on past form) mud-sling and shit-stir is just an added bonus.

  19. Ianupnorth 19

    Ben, I was another two ticks red who at the last minute ticked NZ1. Frankly, I think the debate is irrelevant, I would much rather see that there had been proper dialogue between the left leaning parties in advance of the poll. There are several electorate seats that could have been won in the same way NAct cheated their way to Epsom – that would have made quite a bit of difference.

    • millsy 19.1

      Yes for all the frothing the right wing parties make, they seem to understand how to use it more than the left. Both ACT and United Future would have been goneburger years ago had they not made arrangements with each other in Epsom and Ohariu respectively.

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