We deserve better

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, April 29th, 2009 - 12 comments
Categories: Media, tax - Tags:

Duncan Garner on TV3 News

According to the poll, 52.6 percent of voters agree the cuts should be cancelled, 37.9 percent say they should go ahead regardless and 9.5 percent did not know….

…But these results tonight will reassure Mr Key that voters understand he has to abandon the promise, and he is unlikely to be punished for it.

Duncan is limited here by the poor nature of much of the political polling that is done in New Zealand and by the horse race nature of what passes for political commentary in the global media. But that that is no excuse. The poll was commissioned by TV3 and Duncan is an ‘editor’ which I assume means he has some ability to decide what he covers and how he does so.

The underlying assumption of Duncan’s analysis of the poll result is that voters don’t have political preferences based on ideology or ideas.

If there is a majority of opinion favouring some policy, the thinking goes, and a majority of support for one party, then that party following that policy will be safe. It is not an immediately ridiculous idea, if you think that all voters are centrist wishy washy types without any underlying beliefs.

He ignores the fact that many National party followers, (who are obviously the ones most of interest to Key), actually base their support of National on ideas, rather than Key’s ‘niceness’ and what have you. One of those ideas is ‘cutting taxes works’.

Let’s say the poll had also asked about party affiliation. Let’s further assume that people who affiliate with parties do so for ideological reasons, and that they will answer ideological questions, (like the one in this poll about tax cuts), in line with their ideology, rather than along party partisan lines.

“37.9 percent say (the tax cuts) should go ahead regardless” Who do you think they vote for? There is too many for them all to be ACTies. Going out on a limb, I’d say that it’s the National party base. And many of those 52.6% aren’t National party supporters and won’t be won over by this. They have other reasons for supporting other parties.

Perhaps If Duncan wants to interpret polls rather than just report them, he should put some pertinent questions into the mix. Please.
-Pascal’s bookie

12 comments on “We deserve better”

  1. Tom Semmens 1

    It is interesting how the ninth floor has – yet again – manouevered the media into playing its willing dupes and peddling the government’s line. Rather than taking the government to task for making cynical promises to get elected when it clearly knew it couldn’t afford them at least as far back as October 2008 the media is spinning the exact line the Beehive wants.

    The National Party was clearly worried that this would bite it on the bum – when I heard National Party apologist Richard Griffin practically yelling at every opportunity on Jim Moira’s (another Tory apologist) show on NatRad that voters had not voted for tax cuts, they’d voted for change I realised the government was preparing the ground for this breaking of a key election promise.

    The funny thing is, if I can see the media manipulation going on from the comfy seat in my lounge, how come these “professional” journalists allow themselves to be manipulated into swallowing the new National party narrative on this?

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      I think the problem for National ( and it’ll be a sleeper rather than a drmatioc poll shift) is that they spent so many years banging on about tax cuts being the all purpose panacea.

      Their followers have bought it, and are inclined to think that way anyway. They could lose support to ACT which will be actively pushing this, which if it shows up in the polls, could start to scare the centrists back to Labour.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.1.1

        Absolutely correct.
        What we are seeing is the difficulty with holding a strong right position when your ideology has been discredited by subsequent events. I doubt ACT will grow much as a party from now on as hardly anyone I know wants to go back to the early 1990s. National’s best chance is to ditch their old guard and accept that low taxes reduce your effectiveness to do anything useful. This has been highlighted this week by the Swine flu scare (you need a good public health sector to deal with this) and will become even more evident with the rise of Climate Change, financial regulation, industry development etc as the major issues.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    He should probably go back to the older polls that showed that 70 odd % of people didn’t want tax cuts if they would impact government services. Of course, even if there hadn’t been tax cuts, it’s highly likely, from an ideological perspective, that NACT would have cut government services anyway.

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    Draco: Yep that would explain this result. Who does Garner think those 37 percent are? I think he’s on auto pilot most of the time.

  4. big bruv 4

    What about a poll that asked tax payers if they want to see payments cut to dole & DPB bludgers.

    We need not cut the spend on health, Police or education, we can and should slash the money we hand out to long term unemployed and to DPB child breeders.

  5. Jasper 5

    Garner is one of the worst political journalists we have in this country. Unfortunately given that TV3 News demographic viewership is largely under 30, and somewhat green around the gills when it comes to politics. Conversely, they’re also the ones least likely to be contacted by pollsters having just the cellphone, and no landline.

    3 News did it again last night though with their “Police attend schools 40 times a week” line…

  6. Good points. I tend to not pay too much attention to Duncan Garner (or most of the other TV political commentators). I find his analysis – despite having inside access and daily contact with the pollies – to be too often populist or shallow or facile or some combination of all three.

    Why some journalists appear to be unable to understand how people think, and take this into account, mystifies me. Most good analysis I have ever seen is little more than asking oneself what one might do in the given situation, assuming a series of perspectives to bear in mind, each based on known quantities/details. I guess that takes experience and some understanding of human nature.

    • BLiP 6.1

      It all goes back to the employers. In order to be appointed to the Press Gallery, especially for the MSM, a journalist must first prove themselve completely harmless, bland and not very clever. The foreign-owned businesses that run our media don’t want the villagers frightened by passionate, articulate and intelligent correspondents – those unfortunate few are weeded out early in their career.

      Thank heavens for the blogsphere!

  7. tsmithfield 7

    Of course the nasty wee ACC surprises that were ommitted from the PREFU would have had nothing to do with National’s change of stance on tax cuts, would it?

  8. So they say it is the business cycle and the bottom of this is the depressions and recessions of economies. Also, interestingly, the increase in the prices (education, food, land ..etc) always goes above population growth and demand. Prices keep going up 3-5% every year, Inflation??

    and than, the populace are taxed to pay for all the spending of the bureaucrats and their employeed central bankers linking them to their master corporate monsters,,, so the ledend goes. Is this real or imaginative?

    Ok, it is all very simple. There is a flaw in the system. The flaw is human error (greed, robbery, opperssion and abuse on a mass (global) scale). And the dilemma is where we should place the responsibilities of the error when it occurs? the flaw n the system increase risk talking and place all the responsibilities on the populace.

    The flaw is the idea (coming form the govt officials and its economists and the economists of the banks) to control the money supply outside the principles of freedom, sound economics and logic, not to mention history, religion or democracy . So lets define money and money supply.

    Money is a unit of measurement (unit of exchnage). Thus it is like a unit of time. A unit of ime can equal a specific unit of money when you are working for example. You work and earn your pay cheque and you save it to buy stuff in the future or you become a capital entrepreneur so you invest it. You may make a profit or a loss depending on many factors. but the money is still in the system in circulation. Economists, all of them, agree that for something to be money convertablity and stable value (store value) are important requirements.

    But when someone print lots of paper money, wealth dislocation and the business cycle arise because of the inflationary process. Than the people pay the rice with higher taxes. Recession and depressions are the outcome of excess printing of money, borrowing and malinvestment. Now the people are asked to pay someone’s else bills with higher taxes. The only sloution to high house prices and reduced growth is to end the wealth disolcation inflationary process. because, you cannot have growth by printing paper money. You can only consume ink at a net loss (cost) when you increase the money supply of a nation. Stable money, denationalized and metalic money where printing cannot occur, will give a backbone for a very diverse and strong economy. Diversity cannot arise under the current system of affairs where goverments and banks decide the money supply, and carry price fixing by a universal interest rate, and centrally control of the entire economy.

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