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Why did you switch to National?

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, October 14th, 2009 - 133 comments
Categories: election 2008 - Tags:

Down in the comments long time contributor gobsmacked wrote:

I have never seen a post on here saying ‘The left parties want the voters who switched to National last time. They aren’t idiots. But we lost them. Let’s find out why.’ That’s step one. I live in hope.

Happy to oblige! Gentle reader, if you are one of those who has previously voted Left (Labour / Green) could you please tell us why you switched last election to Right (National / ACT)? As a follow up question, how do you feel about that decision now, are you still happy or do you (the “Cindy effect”) have regrets?

[Note, this is a genuine question and I hope some, perhaps even those that don’t usually comment on blogs, may choose to answer it. I’m not interested in the clone legions of right wing trolls regurgitating their hollow “Liarbour is a bunch of corrupt Feminazis!” lines, there are other blogs for that.]

Update: I wasn’t expecting such a response! Wish I had time right now to participate more in the discussion. I think it’s fair to say based on comments so far that the overwhelming majority were voting not for National, but against Labour. A lot of reasons are given, some a lot more valid than others in my opinion (perhaps a follow up post on that). But it would be good to hear the other part of the story too. So in particular if you switched to National for positive reasons (not away from Labour for negative) it would be really interesting to hear those.

133 comments on “Why did you switch to National?”

  1. This is easy, although always a right wing voter :
    1. ETS would cost this country a lot more than any proposal from Nats/MP. We do not need any climate taxes at all.
    2. Lab/Grn govt would have borrowed more money for pet projects. KiwiRail Part 2.
    3. My shower head pressure would have been lower as I am planning a new bathroom.
    4. I can still buy old fashioned bulbs if I like.
    5. Labour tax increases would have been more punitive.
    6. Bradford is now gone.

    ACC deficit was unknown by Nats & hidden by Labour.

    • Rex Widerstrom 1.1

      Hmmm… interesting. I couldn’t vote (nor can I vote in Australia, not being either a permanent resident or citizen… so I get taxed but not represented anywhere… but that’s a different whinge) but had I voted last time it would have been National with considerable misgivings, primarily as to what they’d do to beneficiaries and the low paid, especially with the GFC as the perfect excuse.

      And my primary reason would have been the fact that I’d had a gutsful of being told what to do. What lightbulbs I could buy (I went incandescent – pardon the pun – in the supermarket last night when I needed to buy one and remembered that the “Liberal” government of John Howard had limited my choices), what showerhead to use, how to raise my children, to register before I could speak out on a political topic, and so on.

      Though each is relatively minor in and of itself, and I fully admit may even deserve the term “petty” when viewed against Johnty’s other examples like an ETS and the tax system I see them as part of a continuum of “minor” infringements on my rights – coupled with some fairly major ones, most recently masquerading as “anti terrorist” legislation – that is moving NZ towards a dob-them-in, disapproving, purse-lipped nanny / police state.

      So if I can shamlessly hijack the discussion and ask a subsidary question of the swinging voters here: How many of you saw red (again, pardon the pun) over “minor” issues that you used your vote primarily to push back against state interference as opposed to allowing the bigger issues to guide your decision?

      • r0b 1.1.1

        And my primary reason would have been the fact that I’d had a gutsful of being told what to do

        Please tell me you’re joking.

        • Rex Widerstrom

          Yes, I know it’s continued and got even worse under this lot, which is why I wouldn’t be repeating my mistake.

          I guess until someone stands up for small government in terms of legislating our every move, though not necessarily in terms of expenditure on social justice, I’m screwed.

    • outofbed 1.2

      Yeah in the South island you HAVE to have double glazing and R2.2 batts in your ceiling Why do you think that is ? When you have worked that out go and look at that little yellow sticker on you new fridge,
      See a pattern emerging here ?

      • Rex Widerstrom 1.2.1

        I see a quite contradictory pattern, oob. If I’m dumb enough to buy an energy-inefficient appliance I am at liberty to do so, and pay through the nose for electricity till I learn my lesson.

        You could force me to get one I guess, but dthen I can decide that I can’t live without a 50 inch plasma telly, and I’d need an SUV to bring it home in (presumably because I woke up one morning and discovered I’d been visited by the wanker fairy). And I’d pay through the nose (and another orifice) for the cost of running those too.

        Those scenarios assume I am intelligent and punish me in the pocket if I’m not. If enough of my fellow consumers decide this stuff is crap, I might be forced to follow suit… that’s the democracy of the market.

        Whereas a small group of people forcing such decisions on me, which assumes I’m not smart enough to make them myself, just pisses me (and a lot of other people) off.

        FYI, when energy efficient bulbs were still a high-tech miracle and I was still in politics, I read of some municipality (in the US or possibly Canada IIRC) which offered to supply them to every household, through the local electricity supplier, which it owned, along with hot water cylinder blankets and other measures.

        Homeowners could pay for the stuff through a very small regular additional charge on their energy bill, effectively paid for by the reduction in supply charges that would result from their use. They got a 90% plus take-up rate.

        I thought this such a great idea I made it part of NZ First energy policy.

        Educate me, persuade me, incentivise me, reason with me. Just don’t bloody order me.

        • Out of bed

          But it not all about you is it?
          Think of the children

          • Rex Widerstrom

            It is all about me if you want my vote oob. At least that’s what many people will tell you (“you” being Labour for the purposes of this post).

            If you want them to think of the children, then ask them to think of the children, and do them the courtesy of assuming they’re not all so daft that they need a prescription from the likes of Paula Bennett or Sue Bradford or The Garrotte or any other pompous dimwitted polly as to how to run their lives.

            I doubt there’s many people who’d say “to hell with the children”.

            But then, they just haven’t met my children 😀

            • Edosan


              I understand your point of view, no one likes to be ordered around. But I don’t understand two things:
              1) Why people of this persuasion cannot see that their decision to buy an SUV (for instance) misguided as it may be, still does incalculable harm for the period of time in which they are making that particular mistake. Harm which we may not be able to ever set right. We could go on allowing people to make these decisions for themselves but we all know full well that educating people takes time, and that even after that time has been spent, some people will still go their own way. Meanwhile, the environment, which doesn’t run on the same time cycle as these people in their educating and decision making, is being irreversibly hurt, affecting everybody.
              I agree that we should be educating people as much as possible so that people agree with the need to regulate things like this, but that is a long term goal, whereas the problem seems to need a short term solution.
              2) The point at which people decide their liberty is being taken away is very fluid, shower heads and lightbulbs may be today’s bugbears but only because currently we have the choice of purchasing energy innefficient alternatives. If those alternatives were taken away it wouldn’t matter squat in a few years time and we would be all the better for it. But these things are happenning all the time. I don’t see anyone complaining about not being able to buy old style oxone depleting fridges, because it doesn’t matter any more. It’s important to look at the big picture and see what really matters when we talk about liberty.

            • Rex Widerstrom

              You make a very good point Edosan. So why are we handling smoking in a totally different way?

              The cost to the planet if I burn an incandescent bulb may be slightly higher than the amount of crap I’d pump into the air by exhaling 40 a day, but only marginally.

              And the cost to myself, others in my vicinity and eventually society (especially via the health system) immeasurably higher.

              But we take the view there that we can’t simply ban something which has no redeeming value, we have to educate. And it’s working… other people, not government officials, are increasingly letting smokers know it’s socially unacceptable.

              That’s already happening with SUVs, with the latest models really nothing more than macho-looking coupes (Mitsubishi and Toyota are both about to release such models).

              I guess it comes down to faith in the “wisdom of crowds”, the speed at which we reach “tipping points”, and a whole lot of other psychological factors.

  2. Tim Ellis 2

    Very thoughtful question r0b and I think it’s one of the questions Labour has to ask themselves if they’re going to start performing as a competent opposition.

    As for whether the cindy effect is happening, by the looks of the polls it doesn’t appear that there are many people who are regretting voting for National. Mr Key’s government is the most popular government since Roy Morgan started asking the question. Not a bad feat for a government that has had to deal with the consequences of a global recession and the tattered government accounts that Labour left them with.

    • snoozer 2.1

      tim switched for the pay check.

      • felix 2.1.1

        Hasn’t Timmeh claimed to have switched from Labour to National because of the Iwi/Kiwi campaign?

        (Not that it’s true, of course.)

        • Tim Ellis

          Since you seem pretty obsessed with everything I write Felix I’m sure you can find a comment from me that says this (not that it exists because if it did you would have quoted it).

          • felix

            Tim you’re obsessed with the idea that other people are obsessed with you. This indicates a serious psychological disorder.

            Why do you think you can bully people into not responding to you?

            • BLiP

              Timmy Wants All The people to accept him at face value.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Difficult to find a quote from tim that says much of anything I should think.

              But nah, I think that he denied voting for National because because of the iwi/kiwi rhetoric, (it was something that just didn’t bother him much, kinda like Key and the springboks, he just didnae have an opinion on the affair).

              That was the election he claims to have switched from Labour to National though. I suppose he just had a revelation sometime between 2002 and 2005 that tax cutz and Brashist neo liberalism were his kind of thing afterall. Which is weird.

            • felix

              Yeah it’s pretty laughable. Like most of his dross.

              Gone for now anyway.

    • r0b 2.2

      Very thoughtful question r0b

      You can thank gobsmacked for it.

      and I think it’s one of the questions Labour has to ask themselves if they’re going to start performing as a competent opposition

      I think you should be more worried about competent government at this point!

      the most popular government since Roy Morgan

      Yes, I’ll be interested to see if that is confirmed by other polls:

      Curia’s September 2009 public polls newsletter is out. As one can see the gap closed considerably in September between National and Labour.

      the tattered government accounts that Labour left them with.

      Mmm, yes, except that Labour left our economy in good shape according to Treasury, the IMF, and even National. Why just recently the IMF noted that NZ:

      …took advantage of the prolonged period of prosperity in the run-up to the current global recession to put in place sound macroeconomic and regulatory frameworks. As a result, they have had ample room to implement expansionary policies to limit the damage from the global recession and to support recovery as needed.

      • mickysavage 2.2.1

        “Mmm, yes, except that Labour left our economy in good shape according to Treasury, the IMF, and even National. Why just recently the IMF noted that NZ:

        took advantage of the prolonged period of prosperity in the run-up to the current global recession to put in place sound macroeconomic and regulatory frameworks. As a result, they have had ample room to implement expansionary policies to limit the damage from the global recession and to support recovery as needed.”

        What has truth got to do with the argument?

      • Tim Ellis 2.2.2

        You might have missed my comment yesterday to the same claim you made r0b, otherwise you wouldn’t have repeated the claim. The only “other poll” listed in Curia’s polls for September was the one Roy Morgan poll that showed a dip. So there has only been one poll that showed a closing of the gap, last month, and the same polling company seeing the gap blowing out again.

        If you want a snapshot of the state of the government accounts I suggest you have a look at http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/financialstatements/yearend/jun09/fsgnz-year-jun09.pdf

        As DPF summarises:

        The 2008 budget said there would be a surplus of $3.1 billion. In fact the operating deficit was $10.5 billion.

        The OBEGAL (the underlying surplus) was a deficit of $3.9 billion compared to the budget of $1.3 billion.

        That’s a bit more up to date than your earlier references to Treasury, the IMF and even National r0b since it was published today. Obviously we appear to differ on this point but I would say a difference between a $3.1 billion surplus and an operating deficit of $10.5 billion is pretty grim.

        • r0b

          The only “other poll’ listed in Curia’s polls for September was the one Roy Morgan poll that showed a dip.

          Ahh no, there is also the Colmar Brunton for September that also showed a 4% closing of the gap.

          The 2008 budget said there would be a surplus of $3.1 billion. In fact the operating deficit was $10.5 billion.

          Did DPF also mention that there’s a bit of a global economic crisis going on? Of course that has had an impact on our financial situation, but the fact is that you can thank Labour’s great stewardship of the economy (see above links) that it wasn’t a lot worse for NZ, and that we were well placed to recover as quickly as possible.

          Not that I think the world’s economic problems are over yet, but that’s a story for another day.

      • Tim Ellis 2.2.3

        Oh just as an aside r0b this really isn’t the subject of the post and you seem to be getting some pretty honest and open feedback from people who switched on here so rather than clog up this thread I suggest we have this debate another time.

  3. Rob A 3

    I’ll fess up. The main reason I went with the Nats was I could not stand Cullen, his constant excuses for not giving a tax cut were getting pretty thin but I could at least understand that from his POV. And then in his last budget where it was a very good chance it was going to be his last and likely we were heading into a recession he goes and pisses it all away and promises cuts at the same time……….hmmpf. Summed up perfectly by a Labour minister (I forget who) who actually said we know how to spend the money beter than the people (not exact quote but that was he meant)

    I had a big problem with working for families when introduced, when can talk about wealth distribution all you want but in the world we live in people who have put in ther time and effort to acquire a set of skills are generally paid for them. And deserve to keep it. In our family with 4 kids my wife gave up her almost minimum wage job last year and we’re only $20 a week worse off, I dont agree with it but its hard to argue.

    I had no problem with Clark, I believe her to have been one of the finest politicians this country has ever produced.

    That said the other reason I went with National because I think Labour had lost the plot. They had just become stale and almost devoid of any real ideas.
    Do I regret it? Not yet, I think the course taken by the Nats in the recession has been fine, whatever they do or dont do an economy like ours that is so dependent on exports isn’t going to recover until the outside world does, why waste billions?
    I posted in here that I agree with their revision of our ETS targets at the time. And nothing else the Nats have or haven’t done has raised my hackles (yet). But they dont really seem to do much at all which is starting to make me wonder. Besides as posted here Labour are a bunch of nils at the moment, the Greens are looking more attractive if they really do become a Green party but I dont believe that will really happen. ACT are a bunch of loons and the MP I would be amazed if thay come out of the next election intact (unless Key actually gives them something)

    Flame away

    • r0b 3.1

      Flame away

      Or not! Respond by all means, but we’ll get more honest opinions here if we spare the flames.

    • Jeremy 3.2

      have to agree with what you said there. that is the reason I to moved away from labour and towards national. Regrets? at this stage no, but like RobA am wondering. Also the other main reason was Helen’s unbeliefable pursuit of power through supporting Winston! Did she not learn the lessons of the past when he sunk Jim.

      This is a great discussion by the way, and one Labour needs to take heed of inorder to win its base back.

  4. Herodotus 4

    Personnel, I was affected by a change in boundries, previously we had a compentant Labour MP, but he was no longer rep this new electrate, and Labour crapped on us with the lack of effort that place on this area.
    Also a very tired government. Had done what you wanted then started to get stuck on pet projects whilst families were/and are struggling. Broken promise on tax cuts, additional taxes (Petrol,Tax creep), govt owned power coys price gouging, Res Bank killing us with increases. In summary you had lost touch with me, and I was paying for the disfunctional relationship!!!!

  5. Ianmac 5

    An interesting read Rob A. Although to “not stand Cullen” is not a good reason to vote otherwise.
    WFF is a hard one. Remember when we had universal Child Allowance”? You could capitalise it and use as deposit for your first house. But the Child allowance was not targeted so even Key would have recieved it. WFF is more so.
    And so on. Every position can have comfort and discomfort according to point of view. Oh well.

    • Herodotus 5.1

      WFF I had an issue and addressed it with3 Lab Cab members. As the sole earner at the time I was only a few hundred$ above the level for my family structure, but paying the max tax for our families earnings yet, others with greater after tax disposable income did qualify. As with many means of Govt assistance (Good intentions but not always met in actions, also missed out on the poor families who did not earn), it is based on family earings the tax is based on individuals. So there can be and is a gap. Also allowed for earnings manipulation to qualify when there was no need. 9700 families qualified when able to carry over losses from other means e.g. LAQC’s (Which still exists a loop hole not fixed!)

  6. xy 6

    For me, it was a few things:

    1) Winston Peters. The pain of voting Green in 2005 and seeing them shut out, coupled with his increasing antics and the stench of corruption. No way I could vote for Labour after that, when it was clear that they’d happily work with NZ First again.

    2) Green lack of environmental focus. I’d voted Green several times before but only really started following politics in the 2005-2008 block, and I was pretty disappointed when I discovered that the Greens were actually two parties. Personally I think environmental causes ar far more important than social justice, so watching the Greens spend their political capital on things like smacking that I don’t care about was quite disillusioning.

    3) I didn’t think National would be that bad, and I expected an election loss would really help Labour reinvigorate themselves – that is, I thought a National government would be a one-termer, because Labour would take the opportunity to refocus and rebuild. In the end one term is a pretty short time, National weren’t going to bring on the apocalypse or anything. This has pretty much proved accurate for me – sure there’s things to complain about but nothing hugely damaging on the grand scheme. Where I was wrong is that Labour really hasn’t seemed to rebuild so far.

    All I really want is a party that’s focused on getting something done about climate change. In my fantasy world the Greens went into coalition with the Nats over this.

    • xy 6.1

      Also, fricking great post – just asking this question is a good sign.

      • Rex Widerstrom 6.1.1

        Except it’s not Labour who’s asking it (unless you buy into the whole “the Standard authors are secretly partisan hacks funded by Labour” conspiracy theory).

        • lprent

          We aren’t, which is why we get severely irritated. Most of us are even reluctant to support labour (albeit for vastly differing reasons). But from my viewpoint, the alternatives are even more small-minded, stupid, short-sighted and bigoted to one degree or another. But I digress – that is just the nature of politicians reflecting their constituencies

          We work very loosely together because we have a strong tendency to dislike the right more than we dislike the left because they are a lot more stupid.

          But I suspect that ‘Labour’ is often of the opinion that it’d be nice if we didn’t exist… They wind up having to make choices that they’d prefer not to do with a uncontrolled (by them) place for the activists to congregate and argue.

          • Herodotus

            We dislike the right more than the left. The political landscape has moved dramatically from say 99. I imagine in theory what you refer to as right is a position in NZ at least was what could be considered neutral at best. cf USA where democratics are closer aligned to where the Nats were under Brash, and Reps to Act?
            But if you can suggest and reading that may change this impression suggest away.

    • Ron 6.2

      “sure there’s things to complain about but nothing hugely damaging on the grand scheme. ”
      If you don’t count several extremely damaging environmental moves (ironical given your Greens comment), messing up our kids’ education to suit some odd ideological imperative, stupid justice decisions for the same reasons, preparation for sale of ACC, ianti-democratic process in Auckland and the most corrupt bunch of MP’s we’ve seen in many a long year (DoubleDipton, Lee, Worth, Key’s lies, , McCully & Coleman, more lies from Hide [I look forward to the revelations about Brownlie’s mining relationships]) lies from Smith, bias from the other Smith).

  7. toad 7

    Good to be optimistic, r0b, but I suspect the reality is that the “swinging voter” seldom comes here (or to Farrar’s troll farm, or to frogblog) other than in the 6 weeks before an election.

    So you are probably likely to get the usual suspects responding, like me.

    I blogged shortly after the election that I thought there were 5 main reasons:

    1) Labour’s continued tolerance (and even support) of Taito Phillip Field when it was becoming increasingly apparent that he was corrupt.

    2) The pledge card. National and its MSM cronies spun this very well to paint Labour as corrupt.

    3) David Benson-Pope. Again, guilty or innocent over “tennis balls” and misleading Parliament, he was an electoral liability and should have been jetisonnd much earlier than he was.

    4) The EFA. Mark Burton stuffed this up completely. Largely sound in principle, but handled so incompetently from both legislative and PR perspectives that the Nats and their MSM cronies were able to paint it as anti-democratic in many voters’ minds.

    5) Winston Peters. Being allied to a sleazy, corrupt bigot is never going to be a good look, and those chickens came home to roost big time.

    • gitmo 7.1

      I suspect a lot of the swing was nothing more than.

      1. I’m sick of the current lot.
      2. That John Key seems OK let’s give him a go.

    • Daveo 7.2

      Forget the EFA, beltway issue. Probably the single greatest strategic blunder Labour made was backing the section 59 repeal and then not winning the argument on it.

      • toad 7.2.1

        Don’t get that argument Daveo. because the Nats backed it too.

        • Nat’s backed it, but did anyone really know that?

          Most people who i bring that up to didn’t know it, and those who do justify it with a throw away line about only supporting it to improve it.

          McCorskie and co put their eggs in with National and thought they would get a repeal out of them, and even with an over whelming petition agaisnt the law they didnt get that.

          National took absolutely no flak over s59

          • Herodotus

            What got me was the manner in which this was manipulated by Labour, HC comments on radio to Bob McCrostie before the election then employing the whipps on what was to be a conscience vote, the way that the English language was “used”. Nat escaped the association of this because they did not really enter into the rhetoric. But they could get found out depending upon how well ACT manage the current bill with timing. This issue did hit a nerve, more than I think you appreciate. The only winner I can see out of this is NZ1. Then we all lose. But Nat & Lab will be remembered for this and there will be lasting ramifications, both parties will still be voted for but the goodwill damage will be lasting. IMO

            • Marty G

              but, it wasn’t a conscience vote for National either. remember? It was going to be, then Key unilaterally decided to make the deal and went to caucus and said ‘you’re voting for it’

            • Herodotus

              Marty, I am aware of that. BUT Labour lost the battle of perception, badly. On paper Nats & Lab get ticks for about the same things. I still think it was that Lab entered with the Greens into the Rhetoric of the matter. Thus they created the association with S59 that I think will always be attached to them. Nats could that a hit as well in the next election. With all that the Std, Red Alert and other media to attack Nats. This one is still very sensitive out in the ‘burbs.

      • SHG 7.2.2

        “Forget the EFA, beltway issue. ”

        No, it wasn’t. It decided my vote against Labour in the 2008 election almost single-handedly, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

        • The Herald after running it front page for how many weeks ran a poll asking voters what they were most concerned about, even with their Nat-centric polling the EFA only managed to pull 2% was it?

          EFA is as beltway as it gets. Edit: How ever I see from your comment about why you voted National, you are here to politic, so of course you’d claim the EFA wasn’t a beltway thing.

          • SHG

            I’m giving you an example of a traditionally-Labour voter whose vote was lost by Labour because of the EFA. Me. Brushing the EFA off as something that people don’t care about is exactly the mistake that Labour made.

            Look, I don’t even live in New Zealand. I think the last time I bought a Herald was some time in the nineties, so what it has on the frontpage is kinda irrelevant to me.

            The most active and energetic discussions I had regarding the EFA were on the forums at nzgames.com. If a community of video-game players with the collective attention span of an ADD sufferer on speed gets worked up about it, it’s not a beltway issue.

        • Rob

          Exactly, you asked the question, and because you dont like the answer , you want to argue about it and try to convince it wasn’t a major issue. These are major issues, this is why Labour lost the election.

    • Herodotus 7.3

      I donot the DBP was much more than a distraction at the time, the same as David Parker. Though there was not much on it at the time I thought that Harry Duynhoven was almost one of the worst cases, to change the law to enable him in (I think 2002) to change the residency qualification after the event.
      Labour need to reinfigerate themselves. I know that HC was trying to do this by ealry retirements, yet there is still great numbers at the head who still remember Rob M, most NZ have moved on from there. Also having someone like J.K who was not seen as being part of the establishment worked. Perhaps after PG lab should try the same at get someone not tarred with the “Establishment” tag?

  8. Sam 8

    This just seems to be a great excuse for the right wing trolls to try and pull a fast one. Good to see that there have been few bites for the attempts so far.

    There was an interesting post on FrogBlog about this topic IIRC – they basically said that it was the image that did the damage. Complaints about progressive environmental policies such as the shower heads, lightbulbs, the ETS, for example, were taken to the most extreme and ridiculous end by the opposition and Labour failed to correct. Same can be said of S.59, the totally necessary buy-back of the rail, the tax cuts (that would have seen the majority better off) and so on.

  9. gitmo 9

    “Although to “not stand Cullen’ is not a good reason to vote otherwise.”

    Agreed but a large slice of NZ vote because they cant stand PERSON/PARTYA or PERSON/PARTYB or have voted for A or B since the year dot, we might like to think that the voting public make decisions based on policies and reasoned thought processes………… but that would be wishful thinking.

  10. Ianmac 10

    Gitmo. You are probably right. I heard a group of young voters discuss who they would vote for. Largely they opted for that nice Mr Key. He looks kind and he is rich.
    What do you think he will do for us?
    Oh. I don’t know but he is very rich and he’s got such a nice smile. Fair enough. Thats democracy.

    • Tim Ellis 10.1

      If that’s the case Ianmac then Labour and the standard calling him a “rich prick” and trying to make Mr Key look like the next worst thing to satan was a bit of a misfire don’t you think?

      • lprent 10.1.1

        Worked for the right on Helen … I suspect that the trick is to just keep repeating it… After all Kiwiblog etc had to keep it up for *long* time on DB’s and JK’s behalf. I think that we have a few more years to get the message through. It should now stick because they can see exactly how ineffective he is. It is a lot harder to do on an opposition leader (unless like Brash they are cooperative) simply because they don’t have all that much by which you can judge them.

        • Tim Ellis

          Keep dreaming LP. You might just wake up one day and find your horrible nightmare of a national government that is the most popular government in recorded history doesn’t exist.

          [the most popular government in NZ since the party system evolved was the first Labour government, which won 55.8% in 1938]

          • r0b

            national government that is the most popular government in recorded history doesn’t exist.

            I can very safely say that no such National government exists.

          • Tim Ellis

            Thanks for the edit, whoever did it.

            From http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2009/4421/

            The latest NZ Morgan Poll shows support for John Key’s National-led Government is 61.5% (up 5.5%) comprising National Party 57.5% (up 6%), Maori Party 2.5% (unchanged), ACT NZ 1.5% (down 0.5 %) according to the Roy Morgan New Zealand Poll conducted September 21 – October 4, 2009.

            And they seem to have put United in the Left column rather than the government column, which should take it to 62.5%. That is higher than 55.8%.

            The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating is at 155.5 (up 12.5 points and the highest recorded) with 72% (up 4.5%) of New Zealanders saying New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to 16.5% (down 8%) that say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction.’

            Food for thought for the labour party I suppose.

            • Lanthanide

              A Roy Morgan poll is not a general election. Polls are well-known to underestimate smaller parties due to sampling errors, and polls this far out from an election aren’t terribly useful as many people havn’t put significant thought into what party they like most.

              Saying New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ does not necessarily have anything at all to do with the government that is in power. Have a look at all the business confidence surveys reporting the best outlook for businesses since records began, and yet we are still in a fragile economy with redundancies occurring each week, home foreclosures at their highest rates in decades and commentators saying the global economy is still not out of the woods yet.

              Of course I’m sure you know all of that, Tim.

          • lprent

            Not interested in waking up to it. I just work to make sure it happens (and I never stop). This is the fourth shift since I got moderately aware of what is happening around me. The euphoria of a new government dissipates reasonably quickly over a few years and they have to show some results. This one is just showing how useless they are. It is as full of holes and as smelly as some cheeses. A nice easy soft target.

            Besides you have an interesting and short-sighted grasp of ‘history’, and I see that someone has pointed it out (please put your damn name on it!). The polls mean squat as I’ve pointed out before. The only one that counts is the election.

            • Tim Ellis

              To be fair LP you have always been consistent on your view of the polls and haven’t jumped on the bandwagon crowing whenever a poll is slightly in favour of Labour and called it a “trend”.

        • toad

          Right on Lynn. Bill English is rorting. Melissa Lee is rorting. Phil Heatley is rorting. They’ve all got their snouts in the trough.

          Bill English is rorting. Melissa Lee is rorting. Phil Heatley is rorting. They’ve all got their snouts in the trough. Bill English is rorting. Melissa Lee is rorting. Phil Heatley is rorting. They’ve all got their snouts in the trough. Bill English is rorting. Melissa Lee is rorting. Phil Heatley is rorting. They’ve all got their snouts in the trough. Bill English is rorting. Melissa Lee is rorting. Phil Heatley is rorting. They’ve all got their snouts in the trough. Bill English is rorting. Melissa Lee is rorting. Phil Heatley is rorting. They’ve all got their snouts in the trough.

          The strategy worked for National. Say it often enough, and loud enough, and people eventually believe it.

          The sad thing is that it is far more true now for National than it ever was for Labour (Field excepted), but still the public don’t get it and the Nats still rate 50%+ in the polls.

          • Herodotus

            Rorting – interesting. Is it the rules you disagree with or is there a moral code above the rules. Some of your mentioned subjects actions may not be to everyones liking, yet if some/all of these examples fall within the rules where are we?
            p.s My 1955 Websters Dictionary does not evan contain the word rort. So if this activity happened back then it was OK.

            • Marty G

              rort is an aussie/nz word that originated in this form in NSW and came into popular use in 1997.

              “It is commonly related to politics, or, more generally, a financial impropriety, particularly relating to a government programme”

              A rort is not necessarily illegal but it is immoral (legality and immorality are not one and the same). It is a bending of the rules for an outcome, usually personal gain, that the programme was not designed for.

            • Herodotus

              Marty G
              So what some politians have done, was OK if it was pre 1997?
              So all that they have “potentially” done is to have been out by a few years then it would have been OK?
              Still I must congrad r0b for at least bring up relavent discussion points. Subjects like this are missing on the “other” site. They appear to be a bit “Preaching to the converted”

            • Marty G

              I think you’re just playing silly buggers now hero :).

              It won’t have been ok. we just wouldn’t have had the word ‘rort’ for it.

              Instead, we would have called it a scam, a rip-off, a theft (in the general, not legal meaning)

            • Stacktwo

              Your lexicographical education has been stunted by your reliance on your American dictionary, Herodotus.

              First published use of “rort” as a noun (in Australia, where it was born) was in 1936.

          • Tim Ellis

            Toad you forgot that the Greens are rorting. I wonder why you left them off your chant list.

            • Marty G

              The greens aren’t rorting, that’s why.

            • toad

              Because the Greens (or, rather Jeanette Fitzsimons and Catherine Delahunty) acknowledged they had made a mistake when the Green’s own safeguards discovered the overpayment. The error was then corrected, and the overpayment (I admit, somewhat belatedly, imo) was repaid.

              Contrast Double Dipton: “I am entitled to it, but it’s not a good look”. Lee: “I though I was entitled to it, but now I accept I’m not”. And Heatley: “No comment”.

              Oh, and Nick Smith,for that matter: “I had to pay $152,000 to make the office usable”. Was that all Smith’s money, Tim? Can you persuade him to tell us?

              The difference is that Jeanette and Catherine discovered their own error, and fixed it – long before the media spotlight fell upon them . Several Nat MPs either don’t fix theirs at all, or like English and Lee fix it only under the pressure of public opinion when it is exposed by the media.

            • Tim Ellis

              Spin away toad. The greens are as bad as the rest of them.

            • Marty G

              man, you’re bad at this Tim because your claims simply aren’t credible. You can’t back them up with argument.

              tell me, how the greens rorting, and how, if they are, aren’t the various national mps who own their electorate offices?

              The simple answer is this – it’s not a rort if they’re only charging market rents. The greens made a mistake which they discovered and fixed themselves – that mistake was dumb but it wasn’t a rort.

            • mike

              “The greens are as bad as the rest of them.”

              No, they are worse – they preached to others while trying to coverup their rorting at the same time

            • Armchair Critic

              mike – if you can’t tell the difference between Bill English and the greens I recommend you go back to the doctor and ask for something a bit stronger.
              Bill English is a thief and a hypocrite, as well as being the deputy PM and the finance minister. Do you really support what he has done? So if you have any proof that the stuff up the greens made was deliberate, please put up some evidence. Or cut the crap.

  11. Jasper 11

    And young people read tearaway in which Key said if he had a billion dollars he’d buy his own personal private jet.
    What did Clark want to do? Why, nothing useful. Just give money to developing countries to assist in their efforts with poverty, funding towards research to solve HIV/AIDs.
    Yes, the difference couldn’t be more starkly contrasted.


    Labours drastic handling of Benson Pope is now starting to look the same for Chris Carter. The media have let his expenses die for now, but it is sure to come back and be a real issue soon.

    Why the hell does Kaiser need to go with Carter all the time? Carter is fast becoming a liability and the sooner Labour wake up and realise that, and dump him, the better off they’ll be without having the festering sore getting bigger day by day.
    Unfortunately, can’t dump Carter before 2011 unless a by election is wanted – again.

  12. graham 12

    you are not going to get swing voters here.This site has two types the converted i hate john key club and the tory trolls

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      I don’t ‘hate’ John Key, and I suspect most people on this site don’t. I just think he’s a useless twat who is put up to be a smiling happy face while others do the real work behind the scene.

      Now, I suspect that a lot of ring-wing nutjobs actually did ‘hate’ Clark and Cullen.

      • mike 12.1.1

        …and I didn’t hate cullen – but thought he was an arrogant, smartarsed liar while clark was a corrupt power hungry control freak but hardly deserved to be hated

  13. Ron 13

    I look forward to the cries of “corruption!” and “racist!” from the Tory benches to tomorrow.
    They are liars. Key, Coleman, McCully, TVNZ and TV3 – liars.
    If the TV news rooms don’t follow this ALL THE WAY then they are corrupt too.

    Derek Fox on Rugby World Cup

  14. JD 14

    For myself I’d say it was racist legislation in the form of the Foreshore and Seabed Act initially then the desperation of HC to get re-elected by suppressing free speech through the Electoral Finance Act.

    Now its been reinforced because Labour fleeced the poor through ratcheting up power prices through their control of SOE power companies.

    • Marty G 14.1

      Wait. You went to the party of Iwi/Kiwi, the party who said that the Foreshore and Seabed Act was too generous to Maori, because the Act was racist? Shouldn’t you have gone in the other direction?

      I don’t see National cutting power prices. In fact, neither party tells the power SOEs what prices to set (Labour couldn’t ‘ratchet up’ the prices). And Brownlee has said he wants higher profits from the SOEs.

      Whose free speech was suppressed by the Electoral Finance Act?

      • Ron 14.1.1

        Well said Marty.
        He was concerned about racism and the poor – so he voted for a Tory government. Nice work. And people ask if there are some people who shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

        • Marty G

          yeah, but not very constructive Ron. JD is the kind of person we’re trying to get back. Heart in the right place.

  15. BLiP 15

    Someone commented to me the other day and, the more I think about, the more it seems the case: we do not vote governments in, we vote governments out. I suspect those that transferred their vote from Labour to National Ltd® were making an emotional decision rather than a rational one.

  16. Trader Jack 16

    I switched after suffering a serious head injury.

  17. Armchair Critic 17

    I voted National, back in 1990, because the Fourth Labour government was in no condition to carry on governing.
    I decided not to vote National ever again in 1991 after the budget. The subsequent atrocities that the Fourth National government inflicted on the country, as well as their general lack of competence just confirmed my decision.
    1993 was a difficult vote. There was no way I could vote National again, but I could not bring myself to vote Labour, either – they were not electable until 1996.
    Fast forward to 2008. I briefly considered voting National, maybe I even spent a couple of minutes considering what they were offering. But they are not much different to the crowd that pillaged the country through the nineties, just a smilier face fronting the same stupid, failed ideology.

  18. ropata 18

    I voted for Helen in Mt Albert in 99, and 02, then felt like a change from 05 on. Voted Nat in the last election. I’m fairly skeptical of both major parties, but National got my vote this time round because of some strong perceptions.
    – Labour brand going stale
    – Clark/Cullen losing their connection to the people
    – Labour Govt becoming undemocratic, forcing/rushing legislation thru
    – When times were “good”, failed to redistribute the wealth
    – For a “left” party they dragged their heels on improving welfare, dismissed the idea of Capital Gains tax
    – Why get rid of SFO?
    – As a single person I am disturbed by WFF for asset rich people (I don’t have much)
    – A lot of largesse for all sorts of random unproductive pursuits (arts, music, wananga, 3rd-rate tertiary ed)

    Whereas National..
    – moved to the centre, discarded far-right Brashism, took over Labour’s “moderate” turf
    – had new ideas, invigorating new leadership
    – promised no asset sales! Was a big factor.
    – seemed closer to blue collar workers!@ Labour preferred pandering to fringe groups..
    – better relations with Maori (!)
    – JK and Nat leadership appear more intelligent, competent, organised, confident, poised ..

    HOWEVER I really hope Labour rediscovers its left wing roots as someone wrote a few days ago. If they have stronger principles that they believe in, beyond their divine right to rule NZ, I might vote for them again.

    • the sprout 18.1

      there’s a lot of that i’d disagree with, but the last paragraph is inarguable.

    • xy 18.2

      Oh yeah, I forgot about the urgency thing and the EFA.


      Fix them after the election using your new mandate and with a decent process.

      Labour never managed to avoid the impression of selfinterest there – and mucking with the electoral system for selfinterest is a really scary look.

  19. andy 19

    Labour turned from ‘visionary to reactionary’, they forgot the people that voted them in. In the end what the hell was in it for me to vote for them, raising the minimum wage made me poorer, I didn’t get a rise. Expanding benefits didn’t help me as a childless independent person desperately chasing the NZ dream of having a couple of kids and buying a house on two average wages. Getting made redundant and not getting anything when I needed it because I was an ant as opposed to the grasshoppers surrounding me getting hundreds of dollars a week from WINZ .

    There was only penalties for doing the right thing.

    Not all Labours fault but a large proportion, also follow on issues of paying more for my parents health and retirement, my own health and retirement and my poorer fellow citizens children and education while not getting any reward except tax on my already taxed savings (the Ant again), I loved Kiwi saver and the cullen fund. Big ideas that benefited the whole of society.

    I hated WFF, stupid benefit where a tax credit would have been better, I hated that most of the labour MPs had lost touch with who the battlers, its a cliche but the intellectual wing of Labour has no common ground with the blue collar average voter, it was a natural gradual distancing from the electorate that happens to all political parties.


  20. Gustavo Trellis 20

    I was not comfortable with the way Labour handled finance companies and housing issues.

  21. Tania 21

    They forgot what the original stood for when the Labour party was formed!!!

    They are not the party that stood for all workers that worked hard to get ahead in life. I do not like be told how to feed my children, how to raise my family and etc (nanny state).

    I want to be able to get ahead, work hard and not be penalising if we chose to work hard!!! The labour party now call us rich because we earn just over qualifying for the working for families.

    I do not want a hand out, but I want an opportunity to be able to create my own family success and not be penalised for that.

    Labour has forgot the about the average New Zealand Family that wants a house with the picket fence, happily married, 2.5 kids, the dog and the station wagon in the drive way.

    I had never looked previously voting for National, however Labour do not stand for what I believe important to me currently.

    They need to get back to their original values, when the party was created, and the might gain back some of those people they have lost

  22. Tanya 22

    Because I believed the charade given by John Key. More fool me. Sorry, but I find the guy has no backbone, little integrity and tries to please the most adoring faction. I am really disappointed and wish that Bill English had the top job. But I will not vote the Nats again, they have gone away from their core values but seem like a bunch of pussycats. I didn’t really believe the “Hollow Men” analogy before, now I am seeing the light.

  23. Tanya 23

    Also, I would not even call them a ‘Tory’ government. Not under Key, anyway.

  24. I am a younger voter myself, well 22 anyway. I try my best to get the opinions of as many non political people my own age as I can. One of the biggest things that I have come across is that many people my own age just don’t know what it is like under a National government. A few people are into politics (both sides!) at age 16, a few more by 18, pretty sure the figures show pretty low voter turnout at age 18, and even this last election the people around me, needed must pestering to walk to a polling booth only 200 meters away.

    The consequence of this is none of them really know what its like under National, 9 years is a very long time! I’ve certainly noticed an increasing awareness of politics within the people around me. Of people I would consider non political maybe get pissed off over the occasional thing, I’m now getting “fuck I hate John Key”.

    Maybe next election we will see a bit less complacency from people who have never really known a National government.

    • BLiP 24.1

      I think you’re onto something there.

      You’re pretty much in the same age group as my various nieces and nephews and, despite coming from pretty much die-in-the-trenches left wing votinf families, five of them voted either for National Ltd® or, for two who couldn’t bear the grief from their parents, the Bill & Ben Party. Those that did vote National Ltd® are now saying they wish they hadn’t.

    • HitchensFan 24.2

      You’ve hit the nail on the head.

  25. SHG 25

    I voted Right in the last election for the first time in my life based on a combination of factors. Off the top of my head these were things like:

    1. The EFA. I found it abhorrent on almost every level.
    2. “You rich prick”. I couldn’t stand the thought of having that poisonous little man as Treasurer.
    3. “I am sure he is happy to plead guilty to working hard on behalf of his constituents”. See above.
    3. The trainset. It stank of a scorched-earth policy as National looked increasingly like winning the 2008 election.
    4. “The court of common sense”. I couldn’t stand the thought of having someone so ignorant of how the Law works in charge of administering it.
    5. “Take your pills”. I couldn’t stand the thought of voting for a Party represented by someone who thought that was acceptable behaviour in the House.
    6. Erin Leigh. See above.
    7. Winston Peters. I couldn’t vote for a Party that was in bed with that fucking vampire.

    Now that I look at it, my vote wasn’t attracted by National or Act – it was driven away by Labour.

  26. T 26

    I would suggest that a link to this post be prominently stuck on the blog page for awhile. I would also suggest that you ask this question in non political forums – dating sites for example attract a reasonable mix of non politicos – and post summary responses here.

    • Rex Widerstrom 26.1

      “Disillusioned Labour supporter seeks group action. Swingers especially welcome.”

  27. NX 27

    “Now that I look at it, my vote wasn’t attracted by National or Act it was driven away by Labour.”

    You are describing the old saying “governments don’t win election, they loss ’em”.

    I voted Brash in ’05, then Key, so not really qualified to answer this question. But I’d like to point out some of the ‘Kiwiblog right’ (to use your language) are the most vocal opponents of the Key government. They’re especially disappointed over National’s response to the anti-smacking referendum and that National has retained most of Labour’s expensive programmes (govt. has to borrow over $400 million a week just to fund ’em!).

    I’m a centralist, liberal on social and economic issues, so very pleased with how the Key government is performing. I really wanted a change in style as I was fed up with Clark’n Cullen’s mocking and often nasty politics. Cullen’s economic arguments seem to go around in circles – yet he expressed genuine frustration when we didn’t understand.

    However, it’s not all rosy.
    – I’m not impressed with the recent ACC levy rises (pretty much cancels out the tax cuts).
    – Joyce’s ‘nanny’ state laws.
    – National needs to be more bold in simplifying the tax system. But as we all know from the ‘secret’ tapes, English does not believe that wealth can be effectively distributed through the tax system.

    There’s some other stuff, but I don’t recall right now.

    But as long as Key keeps doing what he’s doing.. I’m happy.

  28. barry 28

    I went to the polls last time with only one thing in mind – to vote national party vote to get rid of labour.. I had done this sort of thing once before (in 1999 – to get rid of National – in my opinion Shipley and Bradford had gone crazy and needed shooting. And I was right. The lowering of the drinking age, the electricity reforms and the the running of the armed forces – especially the army, have all come home to roost)

    Labour in 2008 werent just tired, they had also done some crazy things. Underlying this was a well develeoped, almost religious zeal, that the socialist approach was not just right, but really very good for everyone. And this religeon was spreading far and wide. It was (and still is) particularly popular among women and there is nothing so dangerous as female zelot. I dont think Clak was one of these, but she was only too happy to use them. As we now know, Clark is sitting there in NY trying to continue to use them. I dont think she really had the countries interest at heart. She may have 20 years ago, but it had changed to a personal thing.

    At the head of the list of reasons why is:
    1. Working for families tilted the whole welfare scene. The welfare system is no longer a last resort. Its now income for people who have reasonable work incomes. Thats creeping communism. And like other communist administrations , it was anything but fair – no working, no WFF. The obvious next step would have been -“look we will give you WFF, but you have to work for the state” (now – what factory can we take over to put this lot in….). The effect of WFF is to remove personal ambition, to remove another reason to strive, etc. Those on welfare slowly drop down the ‘personal ambition’ scale and become the lower end of the wealth scale. Meanwhile at the other end are those who have the personal ambition to strive and work hard. This is what leads to the growing wealth gap. Laour used to wail on about this problem, but policies like this are causing it

    2 Initially Clark seemed to be a good leader, but as time went on it all changed and the Phillip Field thing shows just how far she had corrupted herself. They knew that he was a guilty as sin but as it was an electoral threat they would do anything to save the party.

    3. Section 59 showed just how screwed up they all were – they being labour and the Greens. Besides it being a typical socialist action, the fact is that they were both too stupid to see what damage it would do to their political futures. (And I am sure Key only stepped in because he could see that it would go thru – so the thing to do was to “get involved and that will bring a few of the supporters across in the election” He thought there was nothing to lose – but I feel he is wrong on that)
    Personally I think the whole crime and punishment system is a mess. Society has got more violent as more and more physical punishment methods have been removed. However I am comforted by the fact that social movements tend to go in circles. Trouble is a lot of damage will be done as a result of this great experiment before the circle is complete.

    4. By around 2005 or 6 it was becoming obvious that Labour was directed by the underlying socialist credo or mantra to such an extent that there was actually no financial management. Money was being spent in line with the mantra. It seemed that no one ever asked the question “is this worthwhile spending?”

    5. And the final nail – their disregard for what might be called constitutional tradition.
    Getting rid of the Privy Council, the pledge card fiasco, the EFA, the seabed and foreshore, etc. All ramed through with total disregard for democatic principles.

    In time we will regard this government as being very damaging – just like its slowly becoming obvious that rogernomics was probably the worst thing to happen to us during the 80’s (not neccessarily because of the principle, but because mostly the bad things were implimented, but nothing good was ever implemented. Douglas couldnt see this because he was following a mantra )

  29. Tim Ellis 29

    Interesting food for thought here, I hope the labour party people take it constructively.

    Good on you again r0b for starting the conversation. It’s the sort of engagement labour needs to do if it’s going to find itself again.

  30. Herodotus 30

    r0b, my only concern re this conservation is that Labour should already be aware of these things. If they are not or are not listening then to be frank THEY DO NOT DESERVE TO BE ON THE TREASURY BENCHS

  31. HitchensFan 31

    I am a traditionally die-hard Labour voter who voted Greens in 2008. The reason being is that some of Labour’s electioneering tactics (e.g. going to Melbourne on the eve of the election to try and dig up dirt on Don Key) just left me cold. It seemed to me that they should have been focussing on all the great things they’d done for NZ in the preceding 9 years, but instead they engaged in dirty politics which turned my stomach, to be frank. However, there is just no way ideologically I could ever vote for the Nats so I turned to the Greens (where I will probably stay). But for many of my friends and family who felt the same about Labour’s tactics, such philosophical objections to voting for the Nats didn’t factor for them, so that’s what they did.
    I also have two completely racist, redneck relatives (from Whanganui – go figure) who explicitly stated that they voted for National “to keep the Mowrees out”. Hmmm, that backfired on them LOL

    • HitchensFan 31.1

      Oh, and now that the real Nat policies are starting to “bite” those friends and family are all scratching their heads and saying “Huh? THIS is the change we wanted??”
      So I think if Labour can leave the dirty politics behind and re-engage with their constituents, they will have a shot again in 2011

    • Tim Ellis 31.2

      Interesting points, HF.

      To be fair some of the writers and commenters at the standard were right in the thick of the “john key is evil” campaign from Labour, lest we forget the infamous post from “batman” http://www.thestandard.org.nz/tag/h-fee/.

      • BLiP 31.2.1

        Timmy – What About The fact that it was correct?

      • lprent 31.2.2

        In case you hadn’t noticed (or carefully overlooked), that was a guest post. The reaction by the authors and moderators on the site to having that particular post up wasn’t exactly supportive – it was a stupid distraction from the election campaign. From memory Clinton, Tane, and probably Irish went mildly ballistic in the comments (and even more so in e-mail). I never found out who’d posted it, which was why I turned on the tracking for post editing. The only reason I didn’t take it down was because it’d already had a number of comments by the time I noticed it

        In my opinion, you’re simply lying again. It seems that shoveling bullshit is one of the few things that you’re good at.

        • Tim Ellis

          LP my last comment appears to have gone into moderation, must have been because I posted more than one link in the comment.

          [lprent: Can’t see it there. ]

          • Tim Ellis

            Don’t know where it’s gone then because the box came up saying it was in moderation. I had two links to Standard posts around the time of the batman h-fee post. I’m not going to write it out again, but the guts of the comment and the links was that there were a number of standard posters and commenters who were pumping the story for some time.

            [Ed: Stop the dishonest trolling Tim. You’ve been warned about this. There was a post saying “hey what’s this thing? looks big” when it first broke, then a post a while later explaining what the H-Fee is. The next day when the full story emerged there was one criticising Labour for the fiasco.]

            • Tim Ellis

              Fine Eddie. I’ll go find the original links again later today and repost and hope that it doesn’t go missing again. Your watered down view of how much Standard writers were pumping the H Fee story isn’t consistent with my reading.

              [Ed: Be my guest, Tim. Just beware my tolerance of your deliberate trolling is wearing thin.]

              IrishBill: I’m even less tolerant. Once again Tim you are deliberately misrepresenting what has been written by one of our authors. Take a month off this time.

        • Rex Widerstrom

          To be fair, LP, that you didn’t know who posted it, and have never found out, isn’t something I was aware of till now. I admit I may have missed it elsewhere. But that completely changes my perspective on the issue from “collective bad judgment” to “fairly typical snafu”.

          Maybe Tim assumed, as I had till now, that the post had the general consent (as opposed to genreral agreement as to content) of the Standard’s borg collective 😀

          [Stands by for reminder about how it’s not a hive mind round here]

          • lprent

            It is a loose collective, exactly as the About says. We pretty much allow anyone with author access to put stuff up. I pretty much keep track of the fixing the tech aspects (like the couple of times that the damn bots took the site out on Wednesday), moderation of comments, and occasionally using my soapbox rights.

            If a post gets put into the queue, then people with editor rights and above can read it and there is sometimes a flurry of e-mails around the standard gmail accounts with complaints from other authors. I think that this year it has resulted in 1 and maybe 2 posts being pulled or modified. However authors can also post immediately.

            Someone posted it. I never found out whom. I didn’t even like the writing style – some kind of cutesy ‘possum’ style from memory. If I’d found out who posted it, then they would have received some of my rather more blunt style. I expressed that at the time.

            As to the content, I was interested in it. But whoever posted it wasted whatever they were talking about because the style of the post got in the way. The other h-fee posts afterwards explaining what it was about were more interesting because they simply looked at Key in his role as a merchant banker. That material and others about his previous career gave me some insight into the way he tended to operate. Felt that making the deal was more interesting to him than making sure that whatever he was doing ‘fitted’. The TV deal over the rugby looks exactly like that. A total screwup, with a late almost hysterically funny ‘deal’ at the end of it.

            Posting it was a minor fuckup of the system, but hardly situation normal. However it was an inevitable consequence of how the site is run.

            Tim got done because he was presuming to tell us how the site was/should have been run. But since he prefers his conspiracy fantasies to reading the about, it was bound to offend one or more of us. In this case Irish, who has some abrupt tendencies (I tend towards playing with my food rather than gulping it).

            However we all put in considerable work making sure that this site operates well as a place for argument. It is a standing policy that we tend to deal with backseat driver style critics harshly because if you don’t do the work you have little idea about the constraints. We usually will explain if asked (as you just implicitly did).

            But I’m afraid that TE’s style of asserting without evidence when applied to the work that we do just pisses all of us off.

  32. I know one person who voted National just to annoy her staunch labour-supporting husband.

  33. JD 33

    “Wait. You went to the party of Iwi/Kiwi, the party who said that the Foreshore and Seabed Act was too generous to Maori, because the Act was racist? Shouldn’t you have gone in the other direction?”

    @ Marty

    A ambigous campaign slogan is nothing but that however a racist Act passed by a government is much much more. Nice of you not to address the issue through regarding power prices just the usual flippent comments. That attitude will certainly win back my vote in 2011.

    @ Ron

    Why don’t you read the Act ask why it was passed, whom it disenfranchised, on what basis and think through its implications and what it does for race relations in this country and the reasons why the Maori party was formed instead of cheap posturing.

    • snoozer 33.1

      I think they’re right though – you should be voting Green if you think Labour is racist and doesn’t care enough about the poor because National is clearly much much worse on both counts.

  34. NZP 34

    Why I switched away from Labour.

    It wasn’t what they were doing, it was how they were doing it. A few examples

    1. KiwiRail
    Buying it to keep it in house – fine. Paying far too much for it- not fine!

    2. EFA
    Transparency in funding – fine. Capping donations, convoluted rules and a crap piece of legislation – not fine.

    3. Auckland Airport
    Preventing buyin from overseas – ideologically consistent. Waiting until they had freadking acceptance and then passing it over to the OFA or whatever – not so good.

    Summary: Intentions fine, execution terrible.



  35. JD 35

    “think they’re right though you should be voting Green if you think Labour is racist and doesn’t care enough about the poor because National is clearly much much worse on both counts.”

    Yet to be proven and the true litmus test is how Maori do under National not what leftwing bloggers claim.

    If they keep Foreshore and Seabed Act then yes I agree with you but it will be repealed. I still don’t understand why Labour supporters posting here insist on defending it or try to justify for by point to a ‘racist national party’ as a moral equivilency argument. It was a mistake, admit it and move on to re-engage with Maori again. Are they waiting until Helen Clark dies before its safe to engage in historical revisionism process?

    • HitchensFan 35.1

      JD – how Maori do under National

      Um, see yesterday’s post on this topic. On the button.

      I don’t see how anyone who cares about Maori or the poor or, in fact, anyone but the rich can vote for National.

    • snoozer 35.2

      I’m not trying to wind you up mate, I’m acutally really interested in getting you back voting left because that’s where your values are.

      I don’t see a lot of people here defending the Foreshore and Seabed Act. I do remember our PM saying:

      “in National’s view Māori did not own the foreshore and seabed in an exclusive situation. They owned it along with all other New Zealanders, and they have not had anything taken off them.’ http://www.thestandard.org.nz/cowardice-bigotry-and-saying-whatever-it-takes/

      and his minister Murray McCully saying that the F&S Act was a:

      “charter for blackmail and rent-seeking by Maori interests”

      Of course, you might say those are just words, but let’s stack the record of Labour and National on Maori issues side by side and see whose is better.

      Under Labour Maori unemployment fell to record lows, educational achievement went up, so did wages. Was every problem solved? No, of course not.

      Against that, what has National done for Maori? Well, smallest minimum wage increase in years, high unemployment, taken away work rights, taken away ACC for seasonal and part-time workers. All those measures hurt Maori more.

      And, again, if you think Labour is bad on the counts you’re concerned about then National is worse, it’s the Greens who voted against the F&S Act for the reasons you support. It was National’s Bradford reforms that set up the electricity system like it is.

      • Herodotus 35.2.1

        Many of the items listed were as a by product of policy/economic conditions that were the result of where the world was at not necessary on labours planned direction of NZ. Labour have taken advantage of their association with the Rata movement and Maori in general. There was a wee challange to their hold in the late 1980’s by Mana Motuhake. But nothing major by Labour. I think that Nats only gave Maori was the setup for resolving grievances. If we play the I did this you did that. There maybe a realisation that Maori have been crapped on by both. I read an interesting book from Stephen Carden NZ Unleashed which gives an interesting view on things.

      • Tim Ellis 35.2.2

        I think you should be a bit more consistent snoozer.

        When the story is “the actual budget deficit is the worst New Zealand’s ever had”, of Dr Cullen’s last budget, then the official labour party line seems to be yes well we have a big recession on so it wasn’t Dr Cullen’s fault.

        When the story is “unemployment is up”, you forget the economic recession and blame it on the national party.

        In case you missed it, Labour was in power for nine years. I don’t think you’ve got a lot of excuse to blame power prices on Mr Bradford.

  36. Clarke 36

    This is one of the most thoughtful and interesting threads I’ve ever read in the NZ blogosphere. Many thanks to gobsmacked for asking the question, r0b for writing the post and (mostly) everyone else for not allowing it to degenerate into a flame war.

  37. JD 37

    Hitchen’s please read the rest of my post. Let wait to see what Maori say themselves about this new deal.

    “I don’t see how anyone who cares about Maori or the poor or, in fact, anyone but the rich can vote for National.”

    That’s old thinking. Labour moved to the right while national moved to the left. National couldn’t win an election based on the support of old rich white men and Labour in 1999 discovered they couldn’t by appealing old Labour organised union traditions. Politics now is simply an extension of consumer marketing developing a product which appeals to the greatest number of consumers hence their drab similarity.

  38. HitchensFan 38

    I did read the rest of your post, but I don’t agree for the reasons Snoozer pointed out above.

    and I don’t think it IS old thinking. Look at what’s been happening the last few days, e.g. ACC

    Not to mention cuts to TIA, slashing of night school courses, big increases in funding to private schools, cuts to the public sector so they can get their private sector mates in…..

    and that’s just what I can think of as I sit and eat my lunch! Not bad for a year in office.

  39. JD 39

    I think Key is a lot less extreme than many on the left would like to think. Given the financial condition we are in if National are an extreme new right party then they’re being uncharacteristically restrained. Maybe three terms in opposition have tempered their dispositions somewhat.

    “It was National’s Bradford reforms that set up the electricity system like it is.”

    No, the Crown is the shareholder through the relevant minister. Such like any owner of a business they set dividend policy which has been to maximise it at the expense of the consumer due to a monoplistic operating environment. If National set it up then Labour rigged the game and they admitted this at their conference which is good to see. Hopefully they’ll change their spots.

    • felix 39.1

      Maybe three terms in opposition have tempered their dispositions somewhat.

      Nah, they’re just trying to get through one term without totally alienating the swing voters. Then all bets are off.

    • snoozer 39.2

      I’m still trying to understand how National is better than Labour on any of he grounds you’ve mentioned

  40. The Voice of Reason 40

    “Tim Ellis
    October 15, 2009 at 2:34 pm
    Fine Eddie. I’ll go find the original links again later today and repost and hope that it doesn’t go missing again. Your watered down view of how much Standard writers were pumping the H Fee story isn’t consistent with my reading.

    [Ed: Be my guest, Tim. Just beware my tolerance of your deliberate trolling is wearing thin.]

    IrishBill: I’m even less tolerant. Once again Tim you are deliberately misrepresenting what has been written by one of our authors. Take a month off this time.”

    At the risk of incurring your righteous wrath, IB, where are we gonna get the C/T lines if Timmeh is banned for a month? I know it’ll be good for the bank to have him focussed on auditing for a change, but a month seems a little tough. It’s not as if he ever wins an argument, eh?

    (TVoR backs out of the room, hands clasped in supplication, fearful of divine retribution …)

  41. JD 41

    “Nah, they’re just trying to get through one term without totally alienating the swing voters. Then all bets are off.”

    That could explain why Labour didn’t enact any radical labour changes in their first term such as totally repudiating the basis of the ECA for fear of alienating the business community. If Key is from the same mould as Clark then I would would put my money on no radical economic changes depending on the mood of the electorate of course.

    As for ACC I was flicking through Roger Douglas’ latest volume of published speeches that I had added to the shrine and he mentions that physiotherapist costs for rehabillitation had gone from a budgeted 9 million to 109 million. Is this really financially sustainable?

  42. gingercrush 42

    Poor Timmy gets himself banned. Highly predictable. I like this post that r0b made and I liked Eddie’s post attacking Labour. You need more of them. Because I really believe the left is walking into troubled territory for the next five years.

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