The Dim-Post

August 31, 2011

Not rocket surgery

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 7:49 am

Two trends of note in the Fairfax poll. The first is that support for ACT is now so low that if the election were held tomorrow, former National Cabinet Minister John ‘I’m just there to support the National government’ Banks would be their only MP. Which is awesome.

Secondly, the Green Party continues to steal votes that rightfully belong to Labour. Fairfax has the Greens up to 11% and the Labour Party down to 25% (and recent statements by Labour MPs suggests to me that that Labour’s internal polls mirror these results).

We hear a lot about how the media and the voters aren’t focused on policy or issues, but the Green’s tactic of releasing good policy and talking about issues, and getting covered for those things in the media seems to be working out pretty well.

All parties have a ceiling of potential voters and I’m guessing the Green’s are bumping up against theirs right now. But election campaigns are an opportunity to raise that ceiling, and their co-leader Russel Norman is a more formidable campaigner than he was three years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go even higher than their current polling – although the Greens always have trouble getting out the vote on election day.

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97 Comments »

  1. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t the Greens (and other ‘minor’ parties), poll higher on E-day than prior to it…?

    Comment by Sam — August 31, 2011 @ 7:56 am

  2. ACTs vote always peaks on the day and wanes other times…that’s cos the creative and best Kiwis who support them are off being busy and useful….the dross does what it does…which seem to be trying to remain poorer and stupider than then need be.

    Comment by James — August 31, 2011 @ 7:57 am

  3. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t the Greens (and other ‘minor’ parties), poll higher on E-day than prior to it…?

    Greens tend to be lower. But it depends how much prior you’re talking about. Minor parties tend to poll poorly between elections (e.g. last year), but in the lead-up to the election, the Greens tend to poll higher than they do on election day. I’m not sure where the dividing line between ‘between elections and ‘the lead-up to elections’ is, however.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — August 31, 2011 @ 8:00 am

  4. Comment from the Chief Surgeon at the helm of the space vessel Labour?

    Comment by will — August 31, 2011 @ 8:07 am

  5. All parties have a ceiling of potential voters and I’m guessing the Green’s are bumping up against theirs right now

    Not necessarily. Greens have always been impeded by the perception that a vote for them is not as ‘strategic’ as one for the big boys might be. The more credibility they accumulate now, the more likely it is that people will step up for them on the day.

    Those Labour people who are sitting on their hands now, waiting to make their move after Phil steps down, will find their future progress is not as assured as it might have been a few years ago.

    Comment by Neil — August 31, 2011 @ 8:22 am

  6. “that’s cos the creative and best Kiwis who support them are off being busy and useful…”

    Doing things like trolling blogs with semi-literate abuse. That’s very useful. Certainly more useful than Act’s MPs as it happens. They’re usually doing things like stealing dead babies’ identities, ripping off charities, hawking Ponzi schemes, back stabbing one another and being slum lords. The dross does what it does.

    Comment by Guy Smiley — August 31, 2011 @ 8:24 am

  7. Wow Danyl, want to display your bias a bit more clearly? I think the guys on the international space station can’t quite make it out. These polls are are ridiculous in their contradictory results – according to the Herald, the number of undecideds has dropped to 9%, this poll has them at 16%. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to see a desire on the part of a right wing media to create a self-fufilling prophesy of a “2002″ result with these jacked-up polls.

    Comment by Sanctuary — August 31, 2011 @ 8:27 am

  8. “that’s cos the creative and best Kiwis who support them are off being busy and useful…”

    If you removed the geriatrics and the people who vote Act because yellow’s their favourite colour, there would probably be less than 1% voting for them. And most of those voters are likely to suffer from some form of autism. Have you ever been to an Act Party meeting? Or analysed the party vs electorate votes for 2008?

    Comment by Dav — August 31, 2011 @ 8:28 am

  9. Creatives voting ACT? lol

    Comment by Chris Bull — August 31, 2011 @ 8:50 am

  10. And most of those voters are likely to suffer from some form of autism.

    Charming.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — August 31, 2011 @ 8:55 am

  11. Dav says at 8:28am:

    “And most of those voters are likely to suffer from some form of autism”.

    Stay classy Dav. ;-)

    Comment by OECD rank 22 kiwi — August 31, 2011 @ 8:55 am

  12. Title of this piece reminds me of this:

    Comment by OECD rank 22 kiwi — August 31, 2011 @ 9:01 am

  13. “You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to see a desire on the part of a right wing media to create a self-fufilling prophesy of a “2002″ result with these jacked-up polls.”

    Actually, Sanc, you do have to be a conspiracy theorist to see that, instead of natural variations in naturally-variable polls.

    L

    Comment by Lew — August 31, 2011 @ 9:29 am

  14. “You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to see a desire on the part of a right wing media to create a self-fufilling prophesy of a “2002″ result with these jacked-up polls.”

    Maybe not. But it certainly helps …

    Comment by Grassed Up — August 31, 2011 @ 9:36 am

  15. “Certainly more useful than Act’s MPs as it happens. They’re usually doing things like stealing dead babies’ identities, ripping off charities, hawking Ponzi schemes, back stabbing one another and being slum lords.”

    That was Act 1. Now we’ve Act 2, everything will be different …

    Comment by Grassed Up — August 31, 2011 @ 9:38 am

  16. 15 comments and no-one’s said it yet?

    This is bad for Phil Goff. Or it would be, if anyone else in the Labour caucus had a pair.

    Comment by Idiot/Savant — August 31, 2011 @ 9:40 am

  17. I think once voters have switched from being long term Labour supports to voting Green getting those voters back will be very difficult for Labour. I’d say it represents a long term drop in Labour’s core vote.

    Comment by NeilM — August 31, 2011 @ 10:12 am

  18. Polling averages 88 days out from the 2008 election vs election results:

    NAT: poll ave 51.5/election 44.9
    LAB: 34/34
    GRE: 6/6.7
    Rabble: 8.5/14.4

    If we happened to get the same movements from current polling average to this year’s election:

    NAT now 54.1/election 47.5
    LAB 29.6/29.6
    GRE 8.6/9.3
    Rabble 7.7/13.6

    I suspect this is a bit low on the big two and high on the minors.

    Comment by bradluen — August 31, 2011 @ 10:13 am

  19. The first is that support for ACT is now so low that if the election were held tomorrow, former National Cabinet Minister John ‘I’m just there to support the National government’ Banks would be their only MP. Which is awesome.
    Especially awesome if National come in around 46-47% and they can’t form Government with ACT alone, leaving Banks as a pointless figure sitting on the backbenches…

    Comment by garethw — August 31, 2011 @ 10:27 am

  20. but the Green’s tactic of releasing good policy

    Some of their policy would hardly be “good” for most people, and parts of it are downright whacky.

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 10:44 am

  21. No there’s no media conspiracy. It’s just that SHOCK POLL: LABOUR/GREEN SURGE TO LEAD IN AUCK isn’t near as newsworthy as another unsubtantiated “leak” on the “Goff Stuffed” message. Fair enough.

    Comment by ak — August 31, 2011 @ 10:50 am

  22. parts of it are downright whacky.
    Such as?

    Comment by garethw — August 31, 2011 @ 10:52 am

  23. Probably some sort of handwaving about communism/watermelons/eco-fascism/Sue Bradford/can’t remember the rest

    Comment by Hobbes — August 31, 2011 @ 11:15 am

  24. “and parts of it are downright whacky.”

    this coming from someone who tried to start a party that had no policy, and has now joined united future. if anyone knows whacky it would be you.

    Comment by nommopilot — August 31, 2011 @ 11:26 am

  25. “(and recent statements by Labour MPs suggests to me that that Labour’s internal polls mirror these results).”

    Can you elaborate on which statements you refer to?

    Comment by Bob — August 31, 2011 @ 11:46 am

  26. hey they’re united! in the future times! with policies from the golden ages of the empire!

    Comment by Greg — August 31, 2011 @ 11:56 am

  27. if anyone knows whacky it would be you.

    Floating ideas might be outside the square, but it was a very useful experiment. With good results.

    I guess I could have tried a hostile takeover of a party, or joined a party of radical activists, or died my hair even greyer and become a WinFirstandOnly follower, or joined a party disintegrating by the day. Any of those would have been whacky.

    We’ll see how whacky in a couple of months or so.

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

  28. And watch those “undecided” voters. Number growing so it must mean something. 16.1% is quite a big bunch though might have been “I don’t care about any of them.” Or “I’m starting to wonder about that MANDATE National are hunting for.”

    Comment by Ianmac — August 31, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

  29. “We’ll see how whacky in a couple of months or so.”

    Pete can *see* into the future! Can’t you at least give us a sneaky preview Pete?

    Comment by Jarvis — August 31, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

  30. “Peter Dunne is the face of UnitedFuture (albeit with a solid team behind him). Until now.

    There is another face to UnitedFuture, or more accurately a combination of faces. The party is actively revitalising.

    Now the first wave of electorate candidates has been announced it’s obvious United Future will offer a choice of a diverse party of passions. Added to the solidity of Dunne are a number of ordinary people who are representing their own interests and their own regions. With enthusiasm.”

    I love this.

    Watch out, United Future has a new team on the block. They’re diverse, passionate, a combination of faces and revitalizing with the solidity of Dunne (that sounds a bit like engaging in solo passion to me.)

    We hold these truths to be self evident and uhh common sense as well

    Comment by Hobbes — August 31, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

  31. Actually, Sanc, you do have to be a conspiracy theorist to see that, instead of natural variations in naturally-variable polls.

    I don’t buy a consipracy, but the results in polls conducted over similar timeframes are so far out of the margin-of-error that it seems like at least one of the polls is suffering from an unaccounted bias that is outside the sampling error.

    Comment by wtl — August 31, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

  32. I don’t think the Greens are poaching substantial votes from Labour. When Labour’s vote collapses it’s National, not the Greens, who benefit. The voters who deserted Labour in 2008 went almost entirely to National. I doubt the reason for Labour’s lull is that those voters came back and then deserted to the Greens because of Labour’s poor policies.

    We’re getting on to anecdotal data here but I know a lot of Green supporters, and not one of them has voted for Labour in the last ten years. Similarly, I couldn’t tell you a single one of these great policies the Greens have released according to Danyl. I know, I know, unrepresentative, but my unrepresentative speculation does at least line up with the numbers in a way that Danyl’s doesn’t.

    Comment by Hugh — August 31, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

  33. (that sounds a bit like engaging in solo passion to me.)

    I presume you don’t know what any of the others stand for so your presumptions may come from a vacuum.
    I doubt any party encourages as much electorate free speech, local issue focus and autonomy as UnitedFuture (except maybe Mana).

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

  34. “(and recent statements by Labour MPs suggests to me that that Labour’s internal polls mirror these results).”

    Can you elaborate on which statements you refer to?

    Yeah – Clare Curran’s observation that the Green’s are ‘white anting’ Labour.

    Comment by danylmc — August 31, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

  35. FWIW, the dreaded Horizon Poll claims Labour has leaked only slightly more support to National than to the Greens.

    Comment by bradluen — August 31, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

  36. Also, another amusing tidbit from this poll: ACT Party support among women is at…drumroll…0.2%

    I take this to mean that the strategy of ‘turning the page on ACT1 and moving on to ACT’ a responding success, given that it wasn’t too long ago that they recorded a score of 0.0% in this demographic.

    Or maybe just this time the pollster got lucky & rung up Hillary Calvert’s house (before the new list was announced.)

    Comment by Hobbes — August 31, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

  37. “I presume you don’t know what any of the others stand for so…” Ummmm, Pete G, one would hope the other Untied Future candidates would stand for the same thing as their dear leader. That being the point of political parties and all. You know, giving the voters a choice of candidates who all agree on some basic policy positions.

    Then again, the only policy position Labour MPs seem to agree on is that none of them want to be leader, until after Nov. Maybe I’ve got this whole party thing backwards….

    bradluen – your rejigged 88 day out estimates for this election would be “a bit low on the big two and high on the minors”, as the 2008 vote for minor parties like NZ First will be higher than this year (cos back then Winston was touted as being likely to get 5%, so attracts higher vote). Plus Anderton’s party vanishes into Labour (heh, a whole extra 3 votes), and there is uncertainty that Pointless Peter (Dunne) will win Ohariu again.

    Comment by bob — August 31, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

  38. What’s even more awesome is that Mana isn’t even mentioned.

    Comment by monty — August 31, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

  39. Hone could feel a bit hard done by there – twice as many people want him to be PM as they do Brash, who runs equal with Bill English and Annette King..

    Comment by Hobbes — August 31, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

  40. That’s exactly what I found whacky about your YourNZ party Pete. You were asking people to join your party without specifying what they stood for, just that we’ll democratically decide on policy positions. So I give you my vote and then hope that the party will choose policies that suit. that’s whacky.

    I want to know before I vote for (let alone join) a party, what kind of policies they’ll pursue and support when in parliament. Whacky, hey?

    Comment by nommopilot — August 31, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  41. Ummmm, Pete G, one would hope the other United Future candidates would stand for the same thing as their dear leader.

    To an extent, generally it’s not difficult to agree on most of most of the party policies. But each candidate has their own regional interests and their own policy interests they can focus on. Something like a degree of regional autonomy is easy for every to agree on, but each electorate has it’s own key issues, for example 1080 is important on the West Coast but education is more important for Dunedin.

    We have a common basic philosphy but lot more independence than is apparent in other parties. UF is a very good framework for this model.

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

  42. nommopilot – policies mean diddly squat if you have no way of implementing them, like, say, Mana. And CGT looks like being a moot policy – I’m particularly interested in that in Dunedin North with probably the highest density of student rental housing anywhere in the country – it would have an abnormally high effect here.

    The ability of people to represent their constituency and to get things done successfully is more important than policies in many cases.

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

  43. We have a common basic philosphy but lot more independence than is apparent in other parties. UF is a very good framework for this model.
    I’m confused. Is ‘we’ UF or YourNZ or someone else?

    Comment by wtl — August 31, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  44. NeilM @ 17. “I think once voters have switched from being long term Labour supports to voting Green getting those voters back will be very difficult for Labour.”
    I dunno, just wait until showerhead standards are raised again.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — August 31, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

  45. I’ve been talking about UnitedFuture. Your NZ was a concept that has been morphed into a tool. Here’s a comparison.

    Labour puts together a grand tax policy, grandly announces it, then wonders why everyone doesn’t immediately buy it and them without question.

    UnitedFuture has good policy frameworks that can be adapted and applied to specific needs in consultation.
    We also have specific policies, like Income Sharing, that are realistically going to happen this term or next.

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

  46. If I was a UF supporter I wouldn’t be promoting ability to implement policy as the gold standard political parties should be held to. Just sayin’.

    Comment by Hugh — August 31, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

  47. I think UnitedFuture has done well implementing policy, much better than Greens and Labour for example. The latest is recently tabled Income Sharing legislation as a result of a a Confidence and Supply Agreement with National. That will do a damn sight more for middle New Zealand working families than Labour are likely to manage next term.

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

  48. I think UnitedFuture has done well implementing policy, much better than Greens and Labour for example.

    Better by what measure, Pete?

    Greens havn’t implemented policy because they’ve never really been in government let alone cabinet.
    Labour can’t really implement policy while in opposition but they’ve done a fair bit in govt. over the years.

    UFP can implement policy because (a) Peter Dunne can toss his toys if he doesn’t get his way and pull his vote (b) Peter Dunne does not have to negotiate with a party causcus (c) Peter Dunne has no ideology basis other than staying in Parliament

    Comment by Gregor W — August 31, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  49. I liked Pete George better when he was shilling for his own one man band as opposed to Peter Dunne’s one man band

    Comment by Hobbes — August 31, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

  50. “UnitedFuture has good policy frameworks that can be adapted and applied to specific needs in consultation.”

    Going forward.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 31, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

  51. The only UF policy that has actually been put into effect is the Children’s Commission, which is arguably not a policy, just a new institution to discuss existing policies. I suppose you could also add the non-decriminalisation of marijuana but that’s only assuming that there ever was a plan to look at partially decriminalising it, which I find unlikely.

    Conversely the Greens have succeeded in implementing subsidies for hot water heaters, and the anti-smacking bill. Think what you want of those policies, they were certainly put into effect.

    As for Labour, well… space considerations prevent me, but I don’t think it’s controversial to say that Labour has been more successful at getting policy implemented than United Future. A list of the policies Labour has put into effect is likely to be longer than UF’s two.

    Comment by Hugh — August 31, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

  52. The 2008 waste minimization bill has probably been the Greens biggest actual policy they’ve implemented. If/when the next Labour government implements the CGT that’ll be the biggest Green policy..

    Comment by Hobbes — August 31, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

  53. “The only UF policy that has actually been put into effect is the Children’s Commission, which is arguably not a policy, just a new institution to discuss existing policies.”

    *Families Commission

    They’re really good too, although I’m not entirely sure that everybody in UF would be happy with their research!

    Comment by Christopher Nimmo — August 31, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

  54. Yea thinks Chris, that’s the one I meant.

    In retrospect I think UF probably wishes that they’d made sure the Commission’s membership included less academics and more… I dunno… rotary club members?

    Comment by Hugh — August 31, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

  55. “although I’m not entirely sure that everybody in UF would be happy with their research”

    I suspect so too. My favorite United Future mp was that guy who started fasting to try and stop Civil Unions. He was great insofar that, for a while there, there was a parliamentary party with more embarrassing woo than the Greens.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 31, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

  56. UF in this term:
    - Transmission Gully
    - The Game Animal Council
    - Payroll Giving
    - Major personal tax cuts
    - Gift Duty on the way out
    - Income Sharing legislation before Parliament

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

  57. @47 citing legislation that hasn’t been passed as an example of successfully getting things done seems kinda weak to me.

    Comment by Me Too — August 31, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

  58. UF in this term: major personal tax cuts.

    ‘Cause National couldn’t do it without Dunne’s vote!

    Comment by Me Too — August 31, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

  59. Transmission Gully: ’cause Stephen Joyce hates new roads and only agreed to this because without it, Ohariu would have fallen to National!

    Comment by Me Too — August 31, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

  60. UF can’t claim responsibility for Transmission Gully or tax cuts. “On the way” and “before parliament” counts for bupkis, specifically since the term is almost over. I wasn’t aware of payroll giving, so fair enough. As for the Game Animal Council, setting up a council to talk about maybe one day implementing policies is not implementing policies.

    And when you measure it up against Labour, it’s still a ridiculously paltry record.

    Comment by Hugh — August 31, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

  61. “And when you measure it up against Labour, it’s still a ridiculously paltry record.”

    To be fair to Peter George (because someone has to be), he may be taken as claiming that UF has been better at getting policy through in this term and will be more effectual in the next 3 years than Labour (hence “That will do a damn sight more for middle New Zealand working families than Labour are likely to manage next term.”) So those who still have doubts about National should junk Labour and vote for a common sense, middle of the road, moderating force that can hold National in check after November 26.

    Or something.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 31, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

  62. “We’re getting on to anecdotal data here but I know a lot of Green supporters, and not one of them has voted for Labour in the last ten years… I know, I know, unrepresentative, but my unrepresentative speculation does at least line up with the numbers in a way that Danyl’s doesn’t.”

    Whereas I know a lot of historic Labour voters who will probably vote Green this year. There is at least some movement on the left away from Labour.

    “Similarly, I couldn’t tell you a single one of these great policies the Greens have released according to Danyl.”

    Isn’t this a bit like saying “the Greens didn’t release a capital gains tax policy this year, but Labour did!” Technically true, but Green policy is all on their website, you could just go check it out yourself, and they give effect to it pretty regularly.

    Comment by Tui — August 31, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

  63. The really successful minor party leader in getting stuff done was Jim Anderton. Kiwi Bank. Ministry of Economic Development. And obviously supporting a lot of core Labour policies like Kiwisaver and Super Fund. As a left wing small coalition partner, I think he was very effective in achieving his goals.

    Comment by Dr Foster — August 31, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

  64. So those who still have doubts about National should junk Labour and vote for a common sense, middle of the road, moderating force that can hold National in check after November 26.

    That sounds like more than a trivial consideration to me (except Labour seem to manage their own junking).

    National > 50%?
    National + Act?

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

  65. I should have also included Labour + Greens + Maori + Mana

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  66. “To be fair to Peter George (because someone has to be), he may be taken as claiming that UF has been better at getting policy through in this term and will be more effectual in the next 3 years than Labour”

    I kind of got the impression that might be what he meant. But when we’re comparing Labour to UF as organisations, there’s really no reason to limit ourselves to the last three years. Neither party came into existence in 2008.

    Comment by Hugh — August 31, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

  67. Pete, which of National’s currently stated policies will UF moderate?

    ie, Which National Party policies will voting for UF save me from?

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 31, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

  68. With an election imminent the comparison for the next three years must be of most interest. Safe versus suffering.

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

  69. “Whereas I know a lot of historic Labour voters who will probably vote Green this year. There is at least some movement on the left away from Labour.”

    Yeah, probably a little, but I don’t think the key to Labour turning it around is to try to win voters back off the Greens.

    “Isn’t this a bit like saying “the Greens didn’t release a capital gains tax policy this year, but Labour did!” Technically true, but Green policy is all on their website, you could just go check it out yourself, and they give effect to it pretty regularly.”

    I guess what I’m saying is that Green policy has been largely unchanging since the last election. They haven’t, as far as I know, announced any major new policy platforms, unless you count a more flexible approach to coalition partnerships as a policy. On the policy front, nothing has changed. Even if we accept that Green policies are brilliant* they aren’t any more brilliant than they were in 2008, so it’s really hard to use them as an explanation for why their vote share is rising.

    *Something Danyl insists on despite never, as far as I’ve seen, actually discussing the specifics of one.

    Comment by Hugh — August 31, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

  70. And most of those voters are likely to suffer from some form of autism.

    You can’t say that, you’ll tick off several hundred people. Who have blogs. And time on their hands.

    Comment by Rich — August 31, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

  71. Is the Green irrigation water surcharge policy not new? Greens seem to think farmers can afford a lot of extra costs, but I don’t think they will get far with that and National.

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

  72. The really successful minor party leader in getting stuff done was Jim Anderton

    And this is borne out buy the way his eponymous party is going from strength to strength and moving on to a great future following its leaders retirement,

    Comment by Rich — August 31, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

  73. “And this is borne out buy the way his eponymous party is going from strength to strength and moving on to a great future following its leaders retirement,”

    I don’t want to look like I’m building Anderton up into a martyr but the way Labour took credit for popular Alliance policies, like Kiwibank and paid parental leave, when it had originally resisted them quite strongly (particularly PPL) is both a really impressive feat of political maneuvering on Labour’s part, and fairly antidemocratic.

    Comment by Hugh — August 31, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

  74. Safe versus suffering.

    So what National Party policies will UF prevent if National needs their votes?

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 31, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

  75. I can’t answer that answer that right now PB and I doubt anyone else can either, even when National releases all it’s policies it will depend on the numbers and the negotiations after the election. Like it or not that’s our current MMP.

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

  76. So let me get this straight Pete, we -can- be confident that UF will implement its own policies despite the vagaries of MMP and not knowing the election result, but we can’t be confident that it will block any National policies because of the vagaries of MMP and so on?

    OK, seriously. That’s it. You’re done. Go have a nice cup of tea or a walk or something.

    Comment by Hugh — August 31, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

  77. But you are saying you are going to moderate their policies. That’s the reason you are giving for people to vote for you.

    Are there no policies that National has announced that UF thinks need moderating?

    If that is true, then your reason for voting UF just disappeared. If it is not true, ie, if there are policies that you think need moderating, then you should speak up so that voters know what they will be getting by voting for UF.

    You don’t need to know the numbers to answer this question.

    The question is about what policies will you moderate if you have the numbers. If people like the sound of the answer, then you might get the numbers.

    Like it or not, that’s election campaigns..

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 31, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

  78. Hugh, I’m saying there’s a reasonable chance of at least one UF MP being included in the next government. Provided Peter Dunne wins Ohariu (or the party gets 5%) John Key has assured his inclusion. Based on what’s happened in the past that means some UF policies being implemented. So yes, UF will probably be able to implement some of it’s own policies. What is far less certain is which policies would be agreed on between parties because of MMP.

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

  79. PB, re moderating, I don’t know what if any of National’s policies would not be supported. Most National policies are quote centrist and moderate anyway. What matters more is what would be more moderate – National needing to allow some UF policies versus National having to allow some Act policies. So Comparing Act versus UF policy priorities is more pertinent.

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

  80. “Most National policies are quote centrist and moderate anyway.”

    So we should vote for UF because they’ll moderate National policies, but National policies don’t need to be moderated because they’re fine.

    OK. Got it.

    Comment by Hugh — August 31, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

  81. PG: exactly what are you offering that a vote for a National majority would not achieve? You are just trying to capture all the Labour voters who can’t stomach voting for National, but would simply want to make sure Act isn’t involved? That is, being National without being National?

    Comment by wtl — August 31, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

  82. Anyone else irritated by Pete George? Boring…………………………………

    Comment by Tim — August 31, 2011 @ 7:46 pm

  83. Hugh (I’m not sure that I need to explain to you), most National policies are moderate, that doesn’t exclude opposing some or parts of some. But as I said in 79 a centre party option would enable making less or no Policy concessions to the Brash Act, which tend less moderate.

    It’s not all about “moderate” anyway, radical policies can sometimes make sensible options. But Key’s track record with a coalition suggests a moderate or safe tendecy.

    The option could come down to National + Act versus National + UnitedFuture.
    Of course Maori could be in the mix too.

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

  84. Well, Tim, nobody is holding a gun to your head forcing you to read Pete’s comments.

    Maybe after the election the new Labour leader will sit down with John Key and ask to form a government.

    Comment by Ross — August 31, 2011 @ 8:09 pm

  85. “It’s not all about “moderate” anyway, radical policies can sometimes make sensible options.”

    Usually I’d just find this incredibly patronising, but coming from a guy trying to convince me to vote for UF? Who says the Dim Post isn’t a satirical blog anymore?

    Comment by Hugh — August 31, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

  86. @70 And most of those voters are likely to suffer from some form of autism.

    You can’t say that, you’ll tick off several hundred people. Who have blogs. And time on their hands.

    Well, I’m sure Millsy will support him, Rich, with his recent eugenics-inspired brainfart about purging the gene pool of “corrupt code.” And maybe the police too.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — August 31, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

  87. I’m not trying to convince you to vote UF Hugh, I’m responding to your comments and replying with some of my own. Patronising? It’s often difficult to judge the true intentions of people commenting on blogs, isn’t it. Especially when you don’t know who they are and what their background is.

    I’m aware I’m unlikely to change the minds of people posting comments on blogs.

    Comment by Pete George — August 31, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

  88. bejeezuz its like the dorky corner of a student union bar here

    Comment by will — August 31, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

  89. I was trying to make sense of Raymond Huo’s latest at Red Alert and thinking, WTF, Labour sucking up to Winston again. And then I saw Chris Carter gets a job at the UN. Now that’s WTF.

    I really hope Clark had absolutely nothing to do with that.

    Comment by NeilM — August 31, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

  90. PG: Although it is pretty unlikely that I would end up voting for UF, if you did promise to moderate some of National’s policies (if you had the numbers) e.g. rally against asset sales, decreasing the emphasis on roads, implementing an earthquake levy rather than budget cuts etc., I would definitely consider it. I don’t think I am the only one in the same boat.

    But at the moment, it seems like your party is offering nothing accept your support for ‘centrist’ (read: most current) National party policies and trying to get a few of your ideas implemented, so there is no point even considering it. Its almost like National has colonised both parties to either side of it to ensure that they get their policies implemented, no matter what.

    IIRC, the last time UF got a lot of votes they promised to implement ‘common sense’ policies, rather than simply supporting most of the policies of Labour. It was a bit vague, but I don’t think anyone voted for them thinking that they would support virtually all Labour’s policies, and to their credit, they gave support only on a case by case basis.

    Comment by wtl — September 1, 2011 @ 12:34 am

  91. wtl – fair enough. But it’s not all about policies on paper. Peter Dunne is well known, what isn’t yet known is what the rest of UnitedFuture will offer on the personal front.

    Parliament needs experience and political expertise, but I think there’s a wide perception that there is too much of that (especially to many professional politicians) and not enough ordinary real life experience being represented. I think that’s were this year’s version of UnitedFuture will win some more votes – ordinary people representation.

    Comment by Pete George — September 1, 2011 @ 8:45 am

  92. wtl – on UnitedFuture and asset sales:

    Dunne urges caution on asset sales

    UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne is warning the Government to be careful about any potential sale of State assets.

    He said selling State assets for no more than ideological reasons would rightly arouse strong and widespread public opposition.

    “Simply selling assets on the vague premise that they would be better off in the private sector is not a good enough argument, but equally Kiwis are no longer in Labour’s camp of ‘shock, horror, hysterics’ at the very idea of some degree of asset sales.

    http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/dunne-urges-caution-on-asset-sales/

    That’s from last year. There are no UF policies on asset sales, I’ll find out if there will be a party position on them. It may depend on how National finally package their asset sale policy.

    Comment by Pete George — September 1, 2011 @ 9:50 am

  93. Pete: United Future’s Drug policy, as taken from their website:

    Drugs

    UnitedFuture’s approach to drug policy is to concentrate on drugs that cause most harm to New Zealand communities. We believe that drug policy should be based on expert medical evidence and social sector advice rather than knee-jerk media hysteria. It is often overlooked but must be remembered that the two most harmful substances in New Zealand are alcohol and tobacco.

    From: http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/drugs/

    Got any explanation for the huge rift between this policy statement and the actual actions of Peter Dunne? He has voted against the legalisation of medicinal marijuana and against raising the legal age for purchasing alcohol to 20. It’s hard to vote for a party that, when in power, doesn’t even try and vote along the lines of its own policy statements. (Yes, those were conscience votes, but given that Dunne is the only UF member in parliament I would hope that his views are reflected in party policy).

    Comment by Simon Poole — September 1, 2011 @ 10:04 am

  94. “Got any explanation for the huge rift between this policy statement and the actual actions of Peter Dunne? He has voted against the legalisation of medicinal marijuana and against raising the legal age for purchasing alcohol to 20.”

    and, despite acknowledging in that policy that tobacco and alcohol are the drugs that have been causing the most harm, Dunne has consistently voted against any proposals to reduce the harm caused by them.

    Comment by Kahikatea — September 1, 2011 @ 10:18 am

  95. Off piste –

    And then I saw Chris Carter gets a job at the UN. Now that’s WTF.

    The Granny article made me laugh.

    ‘Mr Carter is leaving New Zealand next Wednesday to take up a position as a director of the Governance Unit of the UN mission in Kabul will involve battling corruption.’

    ‘He said he went to Afghanistan with a lot of experience to bring to the job. “I guess they’ve judged I’m the most competent to do it.”‘

    This is bad for the UN, but possibly great for Hamid Karzai.

    Comment by Gregor W — September 1, 2011 @ 10:25 am

  96. against raising the legal age for purchasing alcohol to 20

    I’m against raising the age to 20, but that doesn’t mean I’m pro more alcohol consumption. I’d like to see some people drink much less alcohol but I don’t think a yoyo legal age is the answer.

    Logically for me 18 sounds about right. Most people turn 18 in their last year at school and become more independent soon after, with many going to work or moving away for tertiary education.

    Changing ages shuffles problems around but does nothing to address the real problems – a widespread poor attitude to alcohol consumption (that often lingers until much older than 18 or 20), and a widespread poor attitude to violence that is often fueled by alcohol.

    One obvious solution seems to keep being ignored – the individual realisiation that getting pissed out of your tree, making a joe hunt of yourself, using it as an excuse to be destructive and feeling ratshit the next day due to excessive self abuse. Shouldn’t it be a no-brainer?

    Comment by Pete George — September 1, 2011 @ 11:55 am

  97. The link to the UnitedFuture Asset Sale position posted @92 still stands. In short:

    “UnitedFuture are not in favour of wholesale asset sales, but are supportive of the mixed ownership approach, with safeguards”
    Sorry, gotta: Authorised by Hon Peter Dunne MP, leader UnitedFuture NZ, Parliament Buildings

    I’m comfortable with that.We should never rule out anything based on narrow ideology, and the market here needs good investment opportunities. Currently a lot of KiwiSaver funds are invested offshore because there isn’t enough here to invest in.

    Obviously there is quite a bit of concern about wholesale asset sales, National are being cautious, UnitedFuture will encourage the cautious side of that, in contrast to Act wanting to sell off far more aggressively.

    Comment by Pete George — September 1, 2011 @ 1:39 pm


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