The Dim-Post

March 27, 2012

Chart of the day, peril of the center edition

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 9:10 am

This shows the total number of votes recieved by the Liberal National Party and the Labour Party in the Queensland state election, in which Labour was almost totally wiped out. As you can see, there wasn’t any swing to the right – the LNP vote was almost exactly the same as it was in 2009 when they lost to Bligh’s Labour Party. What happened is that Labour’s support collapsed by almost 50%, after Bligh pressed ahead with a policy of asset sales.

It’s not hard to see something like this happening to Len Brown next year. If you ‘move to the center’ – as most left-wing politicians from the Blair/Clinton era are want to do – you really have to take your base with you.

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54 Comments »

  1. I thought voting was compulsory in Australia, and they had a system where you had to rank every party so even if you vote for a minor party in protest your vote ends up going to one or other of the big parties

    Comment by NN — March 27, 2012 @ 9:15 am

  2. michelle grattan says it was a matter of trust. blight undermined trust in her govt by doing some privatisation on the sly.

    trust in your party to do the right thing is apparently highly important. more important than where you are on the spectrum perhaps.

    Comment by che tibby — March 27, 2012 @ 9:15 am

  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optional_preferential_voting

    I should probably look up wikipedia or google before I ever comment. So Australian Federal politicians don’t have to worry about this, but yeah, Len Brown does

    Comment by NN — March 27, 2012 @ 9:23 am

  4. NN there was a new development in this election in that a lot of LNP voters did not complete the preperences so they left their primary vote “bare” and “exhausted” their preferences. In this way ALP did not pick up any value from 2nd or 3rd preference votes. This must also have taken down the Greens in the same way.

    Comment by DavidW — March 27, 2012 @ 9:36 am

  5. “prperences” nah …… it should have been “preferences”

    Comment by DavidW — March 27, 2012 @ 9:37 am

  6. Damn your eyes sir, it is CENTRE! CENTRE I say!

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 27, 2012 @ 9:44 am

  7. But anyway,

    what were the sort of arguments John Pagani was publically advancing again? You know, before he fled the internet?

    I think the collapse in the base of Labor support in Queensland goes back to the “vision” thing. By moving to the “centre” a Labour party can no longer clearly articulate a clear vision as to what the party stands for without it contradicting most of the strategies and policies you’ve traditionally expoused. If you can’t say what the hell you stand for, then how can you expect voters to vote for you??

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 27, 2012 @ 9:54 am

  8. I’d be voting for Len Brown regardless as his approach to the big issues like transport and sprawl is still by far the best. But, like Obama, he can’t do it anything without the obvious support of Aucklanders. The NZ Herald is working hard to get C & R more than 5 seats on the 20 seat Council and to get Len Brown out of the Mayor’s office. They want a Steven Joyce clone-set in place. The port disaster aside, Brown is still the obvious and best choice for anyone who wants an Auckland that actually addresses the needs of the city and not the profits of a relatively tiny number of people in the business community who want to cripple the city for decades to improve their balance sheets today. They messed up public transport in Auckland in the 70s and 80s…..I don’t want to let them do it again.

    Comment by Steve (@nza1) — March 27, 2012 @ 10:09 am

  9. Dammit !! It’s ESPOUSED.

    Comment by wYNDHAM — March 27, 2012 @ 10:10 am

  10. By “Aucklanders” I meant his base….Aucklanders may or may not support support Obama….and it doesn’t matter either way. :-)

    Comment by Steve (@nza1) — March 27, 2012 @ 10:10 am

  11. I don’t think Brown’s base ever was “left-wing”. He had large and loyal base from South Auck and for everyone else he wasn’t Banks.

    it was Labour that needed Brown, not the other way round.

    Comment by NeilM — March 27, 2012 @ 10:14 am

  12. As a Wellingtonian, you may be putting undue weight on the port dispute as an issue for Aucklanders.

    The reason Len Brown wont win is because: when he promised us rail, he didn’t mention the price tag. And also because a lot of people will irrationally blame him for their impending large rate increases, when this was an inevitable outcome of the almalgamation ever since the Royal Commission reported.

    None-the-less, the chart is very interesting.

    Comment by swan — March 27, 2012 @ 10:32 am

  13. “when he promised us rail, he didn’t mention the price tag”

    yeah. should’ve voted for someone who promised aspirational progress for the future, whatever the fuck that means.

    Auckland public transport: it’s the journey, not the destination.

    Comment by petronious — March 27, 2012 @ 10:53 am

  14. Thank goodness we’ve got MMP instead of preferential voting, which delivers FPP outcomes whilst confusingly promising to be proportional. This might happen to Labour (many would say it actually already did – the Nat vs Labour bar graph looks similar), but fortunately Labour isn’t the only option, so the coalition graph gives National a one seat majority. So it’s quite possible Labour moving to the center could work out for the left, so long as the other parties are able to improve their vote totals, and Labour’s maintains and peels off some soft-Nat vote, whilst losing the more left wing vote.

    Indeed, in NZ there could be an actual landslide, putting a leftist coalition in power, even though National still gets the biggest vote total for a single party. It would only take about one in 5 of the people who didn’t vote to choose to vote to the left, and Labour to take a couple of percent off National.

    What a difference the details of the system make. And no wonder the right does not like MMP. Thank goodness for referendums, I say.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 27, 2012 @ 11:14 am

  15. Texan saying – the only things you find in the middle of the road are white lines and dead armadillos

    Comment by tinakori — March 27, 2012 @ 11:57 am

  16. Thank goodness we’ve got MMP instead of preferential voting, which delivers FPP outcomes whilst confusingly promising to be proportional.

    preferential voting does not promise in any way to be proportional.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — March 27, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

  17. There are plenty of examples of Labour parties who have done very well out of moving towards the centre. Tony Blair’s New Labour is the obvious example, but Lange and Douglas are a more local breed.

    Comment by Hugh — March 27, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

  18. At least she didn’t get cast off in a leaky boat as happened to her ancestor (mutiny #1) or locked in the brig for two years (mutiny #2).

    Comment by Rich d'Rich (@rich_d_rich) — March 27, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

  19. There’s some pretty rich, fertile voter ground just to the right of National that Labour could exploit too.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 27, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

  20. >preferential voting does not promise in any way to be proportional.

    Depends on which preferential system we’re talking about, but in this case, that is true.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 27, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

  21. @ Hugh – not really. The Lange-Douglas Labour and the Blair Labour parties both got in promising traditional Labour values, then delivered the depredations of free market capitalism (bit with cheap T-shirts :) win! ). In other words, fraudulent campaigning.

    By contrast, Helen Clark’s Labour, and Rudd-Gillard’s Labor have been unable to play that trick anymore, so have had to be more cautious, ‘managing’ the free market without rolling it back.

    NZ First appears to be capturing the nebulous centre – those who really don’t ant to rock the boat with any change. Suits Winston!

    There is a good chance that Shearer’s Labour will go the way of Bligh in Queensland. And deservedly so. No-one trusts politicians who clearly have an agenda they don’t trust the voters to be told about…

    Comment by bob — March 27, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

  22. Bob, Blair explicitly promised a “third way” to voters in 1997, tossing out large chunks of the party’s constitution – something he publicised, rather than tried to hide.

    Similarly, Lange and Douglas explicitly promised a move towards a less regulated economy and their very first act, again, promoted rather than hidden, was to float the currency.

    So no, I don’t agree that people didn’t get what they were promised. The paean “we will rise above the old-fashioned left/right divide” is something that the voters have a perennial appetite for despite the fact it never satisfies. Hell, even the Greens are peddling it.

    Comment by Hugh — March 27, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

  23. “By contrast … Rudd-Gillard’s Labor have been unable to play that trick anymore, so have had to be more cautious, ‘managing’ the free market without rolling it back.”
    Um, just like Queensland Labor, federal Lab has broken promises. They promised “no carbon tax” and it’s not clear (is it?) that Australian’s are in favour of taxing the miners.

    Also, wasn’t the blame for Brisbane floods placed on the Queensland govt being slow to drain reservoirs prior to predicted rain?
    Green concerns have received a lot of blame for the Victorian fire deaths, due to their enthusiasm for rules that prevented home owners from clearing the bush around their houses. This may weigh on federal Lab’s record (even if some think the premise is wrong).

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 27, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

  24. >Similarly, Lange and Douglas explicitly promised a move towards a less regulated economy and their very first act, again, promoted rather than hidden, was to float the currency.

    If they’d stopped there, they wouldn’t be remembered as neoliberals. It was when they started selling state owned assets off rapidly, charging students for their eduction, etc, that the pattern became clear. When the head economic honchos then founded the ACT party, it was already academic.

    The example of Blair isn’t something for Labour to take too much heart from. They have FPP in the UK, so of course it’s always going to keep swinging between the two old establishments. Here, there is a chance of defecting voters actually putting a third party into a powerful position, at which point the whole game could change forever.

    I honestly hope that happens. Seriously, why even call the party Labour when it stands for the middle class and pensioners? Yes, I know people have been predicting the end of our bipolar system for a long time, but everything does come to an end eventually, and sometimes it comes really fast. There’s no “natural” party of the Left.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 27, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

  25. With Labour and the Greens yet again running the Yellow Peril line they’ve all over shot the centre and wound up hanging with Winston.

    Not an unnatural situation for Labour but a relatively new developemnt for the Greens.

    Comment by NeilM — March 27, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

  26. *wont to do

    Comment by Adze — March 27, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

  27. Constantly repeating the line that the fuss over Crafar sale is a kneejerk racist reaction against the Chinese won’t make it true.

    It’s somewhat comical to watch the supporters of the right fall over themselves as they try and smear the left as a pack of foamy racists. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this is just a distraction so the right can avoid the unpleasant (and daunting) task of having to defend flogging off the country to overseas interests.

    The fact is that the majority of New Zealanders are against foreign ownership of our land regardless of the colour of the foreigners skin. You know this as well as I do.

    Its not racism, its about retaining our economic sovereignty.

    Comment by Rob — March 27, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

  28. I was refering to Labour and the Greens accusing a Chinese firm supplying some internet hardware to NZ of spying – on the basis of no evidence.

    Turners and Growers get sold to Germans. Greens and Labour say nothing. Labour sells forests to Americans, no worries.

    There’s a pattern and it smells of xenphobia.

    Scare tactics based on ethnicity.

    Comment by NeilM — March 27, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

  29. I’m willing to cede that those that inhabit the right have far more experience with xenophobia than I do.

    But like I said – Kiwis don’t want their country owned by a bunch of people who don’t live here and take their profits offshore and out of our economy. Just because an ineffective labour party didn’t jump up and down about Turners and Growers being sold to the Germans, or allowed “forests” to be sold to Americans doesn’t mean New Zealanders support these actions. More than likely people just weren’t aware that these things were going on.

    Now that people’s attention has been turned to these matters, its pretty obvious that they do not want to see an ever-increasing portion of the fruits of our economy being whisked off overseas, never to be seen again.

    Just because things happened the past and you don’t remember any objections doesn’t mean you get to dismiss those who are objecting to it TODAY as racists.

    That’s just a distraction from the real issue and you fucking know it.

    Comment by Rob — March 27, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

  30. Nokia sell a lot of cell phones ino NZ, I don’t see the Greens or Labour demanding an investogation into that. But a Chinese company selling internet hardware, they start juming up and down.

    Comment by NeilM — March 27, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

  31. Yes but Nokia hasn’t been banned from selling phones in Australia by an Australian Government citing security concerns. Interesting you neglected to mention that, seeing as you’re an expert on this matter and all.

    Comment by Rob — March 27, 2012 @ 11:42 pm

  32. Accusations of playing the yellow peril card ring hollow, when such accusations come from the very same people who whinged about ‘PC gone mad’ and ‘one law for all’ not all that long ago. A recent survey found people favoured limits on foreign land buy-ups, regardless of where the foreign buyers came from. So at best it’s hypocritical opportunism.

    Or, more sinisterly, there’s an undercurrent of ‘honorary whites’ school of thought among the usual suspects, namely a certain business commentator in the Granny Herald. I’ve said it before, but ‘honorary whitism’ is very strongly tied in with big overseas money, as was the case with Japanese steel executives and the old apartheid South Africa in the 1960s.

    On the other hand, big-name down-shifters are quite a different kettle of fish. Michael Crawford, Kim Dotcom and Jim Cameron have basically quit the rat race and are in it for the long haul. Even if they were Japanese or Chinese, I’d live and let live – and other NZers would likely think the same.

    Comment by deepred — March 28, 2012 @ 12:12 am

  33. I would have rejected James Cameron’s application on the grounds of his appalling crimes against humanity (i.e. every movie he’s made since Terminator 2)

    Comment by Rob — March 28, 2012 @ 12:25 am

  34. Nokia sell a lot of cell phones ino NZ, I don’t see the Greens or Labour demanding an investogation into that. But a Chinese company selling internet hardware, they start juming up and down.

    When Finland becomes a totalitarian communist superpower with a reputation for cyber-warfare and an interest in expanding its influence in the Pacific, I expect the Australasian govts would become a bit twitchy about having them build telecoms infrastructure for us. Until then, not so much.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — March 28, 2012 @ 6:26 am

  35. “The fact is that the majority of New Zealanders are against foreign ownership of our land regardless of the colour of the foreigners skin. You know this as well as I do.

    Its not racism, its about retaining our economic sovereignty.”

    If its not racism, then it is nationalism. Otherwise why privilege the division of geography at the level of the nation?

    Should Central Otago, Stewart Island or Stratfod be concerned with their own economic sovereignty?

    Comment by swan — March 28, 2012 @ 8:38 am

  36. Nationalism is just a fact of the world today though swan. Are you a fan of a one-world-government?

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — March 28, 2012 @ 8:48 am

  37. A bit early in the morning for strawmen isn’t it?

    Comment by swan — March 28, 2012 @ 8:56 am

  38. I’m sure swan is aware of this but its worth pointing out China and America won’t let foreigners own chunks of their country. NZ is being played.

    Comment by Rob — March 28, 2012 @ 8:56 am

  39. Oh, nice to see he’s come around and realised that his strawman argument regarding stewart island and central otago etc wasn’t appropriate. How about an apology then?

    Comment by Rob — March 28, 2012 @ 8:59 am

  40. Yes Rob, I am terribly sorry for inflaming your carefully suppressed cognitive dissonance.

    Comment by swan — March 28, 2012 @ 9:14 am

  41. Swan, I apologise if you were not making an argument that ‘nationalism is bad’.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — March 28, 2012 @ 9:41 am

  42. So swan wants to do away with countries all-together then? Ok, I’m open to the idea – When can I purchase my big wad of American farmland?

    Replacing the word “racist” with “nationalist” doesn’t change the fact that these moves are bad for New Zealand. It’s still the same bullshit designed to avoid having to defend the indefensible practice of short-changing New Zealanders so that people in other country’s can make a profit.

    Still waiting for a freemarketist to explain how sending New Zealand-produced profits offshore helps improve the lot of people in THIS country, and why using New Zealand resources to primarily benefit New Zealanders is such a bad idea.

    Comment by Rob — March 28, 2012 @ 11:04 am

  43. Nokia sell a lot of cell phones ino NZ, I don’t see the Greens or Labour demanding an investogation into that. But a Chinese company selling internet hardware, they start juming up and down.

    NeilM – probably jumping into the pool here after Rob and deepred, but this comment does indicate that you know sweet fuck all about the relevant technologies.

    Note: My sources tell me that this is more of a commercial lobbying by-play than a real issue wrt NBN and ASIO.

    Comment by Gregor W — March 28, 2012 @ 11:26 am

  44. “…Note: My sources tell me that this is more of a commercial lobbying by-play than a real issue wrt NBN and ASIO…”

    Plenty of Cisco people out there who will tell you Huawei is basically Cisco gear reversed engineered with narry a cent of royalty money in sight. Apparently when 2Degrees Mobile (who use Huawei gear extensively in their network) initially set themselves up some of the American engineers they employed/contracted took one look at the Huawei gear and refused to work on it.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 28, 2012 @ 11:51 am

  45. huawei is the? Biggest telco network gear manufacturer in world now i believe

    Comment by pope — March 28, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

  46. NeilM – probably jumping into the pool here after Rob and deepred, but this comment does indicate that you know sweet fuck all about the relevant technologies.

    I don’t think I ever maintinaed I’m an expert on the technology, my point was we get a lot of technology from a lot of places but just like with other cases recently it’s all on when the Chinese are involved.

    Gareth Hughes is a supercilious moron and Russel Norman should know better.

    Comment by NeilM — March 28, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

  47. “Still waiting for a freemarketist to explain how sending New Zealand-produced profits offshore helps improve the lot of people in THIS country”
    I’ll try! How about “those profits are what’s left after paying NZ income tax, buying stuff from NZ suppliers and contractors and after paying the wages of untold numbers of NZers”? Or do you think that, having invested capital in NZ to create a business, furriners shouldn’t get their money back-plus-interest?
    Also: what’s the difference between an overseas company that comes in and starts a business from scratch and an overseas company that comes in and buys an existing business?

    (Note that one pays a whole heap of goodwill to some kiwi dude in the form of goodwill over and above the value of plant & equipment.)

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 28, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  48. When the business is still owned by New Zealanders then we get all the above benefits PLUS the profits stay on OUR money-go-round(economy).

    Somehow we’re supposed to be happy with just receiving a weekly paycheque in exchange for foreign control of our resources.

    If that’s such a sweet deal, and one we should be overjoyed about, how come China won’t let me buy their farms?

    Comment by Rob — March 28, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

  49. “how come China won’t let me buy their farms?”
    Well, as someone who knows someone who has (large shares in) farms in China, I couldn’t comment on why your attempt to purchase was knocked back…

    “48.When the business is still owned by New Zealanders then we get all the above benefits PLUS the profits stay on OUR money-go-round(economy).”
    Yes, but say you built up an exciting business, but then you have an idea for another exciting business. What to do? Sell your existing business, freeing up time and funds for your new venture!

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 28, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

  50. Mmmmm more bullshit. Yum.

    You know damn well that owning shares in a company that operates Chinese farms is not the same as owning the actual land (i.e. the actual resource) on which the farm resides.

    This isn’t about being anti-foreign investment, its about setting sensible limits on how much of our important resources (farmland, communications and power infrastructure, etc) are owned by overseas interests.

    Sadly any attempt to try and make this point is met with freemarketists squealing about racism because they’re so desperate to defend the right of global corporation’s to fuck New Zealand squarely in the ass.

    Comment by Rob — March 28, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

  51. @NeilM 46

    My point was your comparison between consumer mobile devices (also made by Chinese firms with no-one batting an eyelid; in fact, the same firm) and fibre network switching/aggregation/GPON equipment, or as you termed it “Internet hardware”, is dumb.

    Apples with Oranges, Sir.

    Comment by Gregor W — March 28, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

  52. In the last General Election where was the NZLP base. Conspicuous by their absence.

    It would be interesting to see a graph showing the distribution of cast votes among the various parties AND the unused votes.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — March 28, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

  53. “This isn’t about being anti-foreign investment, its about setting sensible limits on how much of our important resources (farmland, communications and power infrastructure, etc) are owned by overseas interests.”

    So you’re not against people from overseas investing, you’re just opposed to them getting ownership in return for their investment? I think what you’re in favour of isn’t investment, it’s charity.

    Comment by Hugh — March 28, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

  54. It’s how most Countries in the world operates, Hugh. If investors don’t like it they can fuck off.

    Comment by Rob — March 29, 2012 @ 4:25 pm


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