The Dim-Post

May 27, 2013

Updated poll chart and the dark backward and abysm of time

Filed under: polls — danylmc @ 9:57 am

From NZPA, 15th July 1998

Labour is ahead in the latest One Network News-Colmar Brunton poll, up five points to 42 percent, while National has lost one point to 36 percent. The two parties were level-pegging, on 37 percent, in the June poll. In last night’s poll the Alliance was steady on 9 percent. ACT lost three points to 8 percent. New Zealand First dropped from 2.1 percent to 1.9 percent. The poll of 1000 voters was taken July 6-9, about the time of bad economic figures, news of the $300 million in spending cuts and confirmation that Japan was in recession. Undecided voters totalled 13 percent. In the preferred Prime Minister stakes, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley dropped two points to 29 percent and Labour leader Helen Clark rose from 17 percent to 21 percent. The coalition Government got a 76 percent disapproval rating compared with 72 percent in the June poll. – NZPA

So that was Clark led-Labour about eighteen months out from their victory in 1999.

I’ve updated the tracking poll, below; interactive version here. But what strikes me is how low Shearer is rating as preferred Prime Minister. 10.5% in the 3 News Reid Poll and 12% in the One News Colmar Brunton. About 30 points behind Key. I’m no political scientist, but I suspect electoral turn-out is lower when hardly any of your supporters want your leader running the country. As the archival story  above suggests, contrary to received Labour Party wisdom, Clark wasn’t ‘single digits unpopular’ at this point in the electoral cycle.

nzpolls20130527

(This aggregated poll written in R by Peter Green adjusts for poll bias: it looks at polls prior to the last election and the actual outcome of the election, adjusts it and then merges the adjusted results together.)

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52 Comments »

  1. The ‘single digits unpopular’ refers to Clark’s poll ratings in her first term as leader, 1993-96, which were abysmal (from memory below 5% at one point) until the election campaign turned her around fairly spectacularly.

    Comment by Rob Hosking — May 27, 2013 @ 10:04 am

  2. You are right that Clark rated better as Preferred PM than people think. After she rolled Moore she was below 10% but after they made up mid 1996, she rose to 17%. After the 1996 election she was beating Bolger as Preferred PM by 33% to 13%.

    Shipley saw Clark drop back to low 20s (around double Shearer) however Shipley was mainly high 20s also – so a gap of under 10%.

    Just before the 1999 election Clark beat Shipley as Preferred PM, which is rare.

    Comment by dpf — May 27, 2013 @ 10:07 am

  3. Highlighting the ONCB results for National is interesting: the last three polls are 49%, 43%, 49%, with the 43% being somewhat of an outlier. That means a “drop” of 6 percentage points, and then a “gain” of 6 percentage point, i.e. one bad poll lets journalists write two bad stories.

    Comment by pete — May 27, 2013 @ 10:11 am

  4. Clark also wasn’t up against one of the most personally popular PMs in a generation

    Comment by Brad — May 27, 2013 @ 10:28 am

  5. Well done, Danyl. It does my head in listening to Mike Williams & co endlessly repeating “Clark was unpopular too!!11!”.

    Yes, she was. Before the election she lost. But not before the election she WON. I had naively assumed that’s what Labour were hoping to do in 2014. But if Labour MPs want Shearer to have another go in 2017, could they please let us know, so we can get drunk and slash our wrists now rather than wait four more years.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — May 27, 2013 @ 10:31 am

  6. Looks like Peters is going to make life interesting again.

    Comment by NeilM — May 27, 2013 @ 10:41 am

  7. The Greens are committed to going into coalition with Labour so lose out on the playing Labour and Nats off advantage NZF has.

    But this will be Winston’s last throw of the dice, he’s going to want to be in govt with a ministerial position which – will weaken his negotiation position.

    Comment by NeilM — May 27, 2013 @ 10:49 am

  8. It’s a gradual process, but the aggregated poll (and the Pundit poll of polls, for that matter), indicates the government’s popularity tracking down while Labour’s is tracking up. It’s most certainly in spite of Shearer and would probably be even further up with someone like Cunliffe or Robertson at the helm, but hey, Labour seems to have committed itself to Shearer as leader.

    Expanding on what NeilM has stated above, I think it will be the coalition partner that will decide the election. What I’m curious about is what effect courting NZF will have on National’s numbers. National needs to find a viable coalition partner quickly and it was curious that he didn’t attack Peters for being a “far left extremist loony commie nazi” like he did with Labour/Green, despite Peters’ stance re: asset sales being an even bigger repudiation than what was proposed by Labour and Green. I don’t think Key really has the luxury of choice here either, but at the same time, I can’t imagine the definitive statements he made about there being no room for Peters in a Key-led National government will not come back to haunt him.

    Comment by Vagabundo — May 27, 2013 @ 11:10 am

  9. Actually, to contradict myself, it may make Peters’ position stronger.

    He spent the latter part of his career just trying to make life as difficult as possible for National.

    Now though, the pull of a last stint in cabinet may be stronger.

    Comment by NeilM — May 27, 2013 @ 11:21 am

  10. … which would encourage Key to think Peters could go with National.

    Comment by NeilM — May 27, 2013 @ 11:23 am

  11. I definitely can see Peters holding Key and National over a barrel around election time in 2014, like he did back in 1996 with Bolger, and to a lesser extent, Clark in 2005.

    Key will very likely be between a rock and a hard place in 2014 because of a lack of viable coalition partners outside of NZFirst.

    Comment by Vagabundo — May 27, 2013 @ 11:25 am

  12. Yes but Labour will be in the same position.

    Comment by NeilM — May 27, 2013 @ 11:27 am

  13. I am convinced that NZ First will not make the threshold in 2014 – unless Peter’s is thrown a lifeline by some sort of political mis-step, deliberate or otherwise, by National. Nor do I believe Colin Craig will get anywhere near the threshold. The total wasted vote for those two parties will be in the order 7-8%. That makes the next election a knife edge right now. I think plenty of voters are now simply waiting for a more credible Labour leader to give them an excuse to change votes, to my mind should Labour change leader to Robertson the mere fact he can string a sentence together would see them romp home in coalition with the Greens.

    The battle lines are pretty clear. National plus Dunne (I can’t see Banks winning Epsom, and even if he did he won’t take anyone with him) vs Labour & the Greens. National will position itself as the centrist defenders of entrenched neo-liberal privilege and rely on a barrage of hysterical pro-orthodoxy propaganda from the power and business elites to do the rest for them. The main political attack will be a vote for Labour will a vote for the Greens, who are unfit to govern on the grounds that they actually promise real reform that upsets business.

    Labour’s response should be simple, albeit a response that will see blogger absolutists like Karol at the Standard or Martyn Bradbury having regular online brain anuerisms. Simply, Labour should make it clear in public that they will be the senior coalition partner, not the Greens and in public/private separately tell the business and the Green constituencies what they want to hear.

    Comment by Sanctuary — May 27, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

  14. I don’t think ‘preferred PM’ polls matter all that much, not when they contradict party polls. I mean, what’s the fear? That the people who say ‘I dislike Shearer, but I want to vote for Labour’ will have an eleventh hour epiphany in the ballot box that they hate Shearer sooooo much they just can’t bear to vote for Labour? If polls indicate that people dislike Shearer and plan to vote for Labour, we should treat them as authoritative, rather than treat one half as authoritative and the other not.

    I think this ‘but what if Shearer’s unpopularity leads to a poll-invisible slump for Labour’ panic is just a product of the presidentialisation of NZ politics, a fairly regrettable development IMO.

    Comment by Hugh — May 27, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

  15. So far I do not think the general population recognises David Shearer yet. Partly because Mr Key dominates MSM. Partly because David does not yet present a definitive point of difference. For those of us who are just battling along making ends meet there is no compelling reason to rouse interest halfway through this election period. But when the time is right the fuse will be lit.

    Comment by xianmac — May 27, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

  16. NZF has been polling quite comfortably above 5% since the election.

    It’s NZ politics as usual – the core centre right and left evenly matched with a deciding protest vote.

    I’m inclined to think Labour will prefer not to have to rely on the greens all the time if in govt. can’t see David Parker wanting too much input from Norman.

    Comment by NeilM — May 27, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

  17. “…and in public/private [Labour] separately tell the business and the Green constituencies what they want to hear.”

    Wow Sanctuary! Simply wow. Normally I am nodding my head in agreement with you, but not here. So you advocate Labour should be duplicitous, and lie to both the business and Green constituencies. The great thing about the digital era is, that has become damn near impossible to get away with. Thanks heavens.

    Here’s another option – parties can just put up policies so popular more than half the population want them, no? After all, the single buyer power model the Greens put up and Labour adopted is clearly boosting both their polls, as the policy is more popular than the parties are.

    A really unconscionable option might suggest that Labour/Greens not spend their Opposition time ramming through ‘gay Marriage & adoption’ Bills that had plunging support as the public figured out what these Bills were about. Sure, some Nats supported it too, and that is why there wasn’t a swing to National, but that just leaves dropping voter turnout as an option. Which democrats shouldn’t really be proposing, right? Shaft the voters ’til they quit, then complain they don’t turn out for Labour/Greens?

    Comment by bob — May 27, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

  18. One day bob might realise that the bulk of the country, and the vast majority of young people (who are the next generation of voters) were in favour of the Marriage Equality legislation.

    Until then, I’m going to snigger like a 14 year old whenever he talks about ‘ramming’ legislation (through a House controlled by National, to boot!)

    Comment by Vanilla Eis — May 27, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

  19. As far as the polls go, it looks like Labour/Greens might pull out a win in spite of Shearer, not because of him. If they fail to make enough of a dent in National’s numbers it probably won’t be the policy that was the difference.

    Sanc: You’re an interesting fellow, but advocating that Labour talk out both sides of their mouth is an interesting tactic in the digital age. About the only thing bob got right @ #17.

    Comment by Vanilla Eis — May 27, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

  20. Labour’s response should be simple, albeit a response that will see blogger absolutists like Karol at the Standard or Martyn Bradbury having regular online brain anuerisms. Simply, Labour should make it clear in public that they will be the senior coalition partner, not the Greens and in public/private separately tell the business and the Green constituencies what they want to hear.

    I don’t think they need to do the second half of that. The foil to any of National’s “Labour-Green-Mana-Maori-NZF Coalition Clusterfuck 2014 Extravaganza” campaign should simply be… National; you’ve managed a coalition of strongly differing views on a range of subjects, and we’ll take on board the lesson’s you’ve learned and do the same.

    P.S. “Coalition Clusterfuck” would make a great name for a late-night-improv troupe.

    Comment by Phil — May 27, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

  21. Alternatively, Labour could go with “At least we have coalition partners.”

    Comment by Vagabundo — May 27, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

  22. @Phil: Agreed. It’s worth noting that National learned from Labour when it came to coalition management. For example, the appointment of senior Ministers outside Cabinet was, in 2005, seen by National as at best unworkable and at worst unconstitutional. In 2008, they adopted the practice themselves, There’s no reason the opposite isn’t true.

    Ironically if there is one bipartisan political success story in this country, it’s the smooth management of a variety of coalition arrangements with minimal crisis.

    Comment by Hugh — May 27, 2013 @ 4:35 pm

  23. “As far as the polls go, it looks like Labour/Greens might pull out a win in spite of Shearer, not because of him.”

    Possibly. But, you no, a win in spite of Shearer is just as much as a win because of him.

    Comment by Hugh — May 27, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

  24. >I don’t think ‘preferred PM’ polls matter all that much, not when they contradict party polls.

    I think they do matter. It’s a part of the picture.

    > I think it will be the coalition partner that will decide the election

    Since every MMP government has been a coalition so far, this is a safe bet.

    What NZF does will obviously matter. But I can’t currently see anything to sway NZF toward National other than antipathy to the Greens. His biggest bitterness on the Greens is their social policy, and vice versa. So in coalition they may simply cancel each other’s social policy agendas, and work together on their mutual rejection of the current economic status quo. This would mean both parties could achieve a lot. If Peters made it clear that this is likely to be his plan, he may gain votes who want a change from National, but do not want social change. Which seems to me to be pretty much a definition of the NZF voter. What would it mean for swing voters between Labour and National (the most important swing voters)? I can’t see it meaning much at all to them – they’re likely to get NZF either way. For Green voters it’s a reason to vote, hoping to get the numbers to keep NZF out. For Labour voters who didn’t bother, it could be a reason to vote – in a coalition between Green and NZF, Labour has more power. So, in essence, I see NZF as really having the best option of touting they will ally with Labour, and I think Winston is canny enough to see that. What he actually does after the election is a whole ‘nother matter. He’s played every political game there is, so far, which makes him impossible to predict. Gut feeling is that if he said he would go with Labour, then he would probably be wise to. It would also bear the advantage that NZF could negotiate the complete disappearance of both Peter Dunne and the ACT party from any political power. I can very well imagine him loving that being his last legacy.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — May 27, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

  25. As for the strategy for the election, “It’s about the economy” is still the best card for the Opposition, that goes for Labour and the Greens, and NZF. National have made it worse on practically every measure. They’ve spent 6 years doing that, and still their ONLY selling point is their amazing economic nous. It really is time for a change. The Opposition parties all have their ideas about active economic improvements, which they can and probably should tout separately. But they have as their main weapon that inequality and poverty of all kinds has steadily gotten worse under a National government, whilst the uber-wealthy have done very well out of it. Soon we will see a particularly clear example of that, as the MRP brokers start posting their profits.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — May 27, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

  26. “I think they do matter. It’s a part of the picture.”

    And what picture is that? The only conceivable importance of leader preference is the degree to which it makes people more or less likely to vote for a given party. If we already know the extent to which they’re going to vote for a party, the leader polls are of only academic interest. Remember, Shearer is trying to get elected Prime Minister, not get invited over for tea and cucumber sandwiches.

    Comment by Hugh — May 27, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

  27. What would it mean for swing voters between Labour and National (the most important swing voters)? I can’t see it meaning much at all to them – they’re likely to get NZF either way.

    I disagree. I think most voters from both the National and Labour tribes are resolutely suspicious of Peters. The decision by Key to rule out any NZF involvement in coalition gave swing-voters a fairly clear choice in that respect (assuming Key’s statment had credibility).

    Comment by Phil — May 27, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

  28. 25.As for the strategy for the election, “It’s about the economy” is still the best card for the Opposition

    Careful with that one, Ben. There’s plenty of evidence internationally that what voters respond to is the direction of the economy in the lead up to an election, not the level.
    The odds are that, regardless of what any political party does, we’re probably going to see unemployment coming down over the next year. GDP numbers suggest we’re out of recession, and inflation remains low. Plus, even though we’re all in agreement that NZ needs to build more houses, rising house prices are undeniably seen as a positive thing by a massive swathe of middle-income middle-aged mortgage-belt homeowners in this country.

    Comment by Phil — May 27, 2013 @ 5:30 pm

  29. “One day bob might realise that the bulk of the country, and the vast majority of young people (who are the next generation of voters) were in favour of the Marriage Equality legislation.”
    @Vanilla Eis – The polls said you are wrong VE. They started around 60% for gay marriage, and slid steadily down to below 50% support. Oh dear. And that was with massive liberal media cheerleading, and staggeringly little analysis of the proposed Bill.

    But this is not a threadjack about gay marriage – my entire comment was about Sanctuary’s startling suggestion that Labour should lie to both their mates. I just used gay marriage as an example of the kind of law push that Labour & Greens tend to do in Opposition, thinking it will make no difference to their election prospects. I agree with Ben W in #24; the typical NZF voter is socially conservative, but wants Winston’s Keynesian capitalism or even more socialist economic policies (heck, Winnie is advocating nationalising sold off state assets!).

    Question is, can there be a Labour-Greens-NZF coalition when the Greens and Labour are so antagonistic to NZF on social issues? Helen Clark used it as excuse to go with NZF and Dunne rather that Greens before…

    Comment by bob — May 27, 2013 @ 6:09 pm

  30. >Helen Clark used it as excuse to go with NZF and Dunne rather that Greens before…

    The difference is that this time, unless there is a huge change in the support levels, they won’t have the numbers without the Greens. The shot-calling locus may have changed.

    >The decision by Key to rule out any NZF involvement in coalition gave swing-voters a fairly clear choice in that respect (assuming Key’s statment had credibility).

    It also took National perilously close to not having the numbers, and it resurrected Peters as a force. It wasn’t a clever strategic move at all.

    >I disagree. I think most voters from both the National and Labour tribes are resolutely suspicious of Peters.

    Sure, but my point is that either way, they’re stuck with him. This time. Probably.

    >And what picture is that? The only conceivable importance of leader preference is the degree to which it makes people more or less likely to vote for a given party.

    Yup, and that could be highly significant. In other words, an unpopular choice could be dragging it down, and a popular one dragging it up. Or both at the same time, in opposite directions, which is what I think is going on at the moment. Key keeps National up, Shearer keeps Labour down. If Labour found a “Key Killer” there could be a big swing. “Key-lite” isn’t cutting it. But that would be taking a political risk and I don’t think Labour’s got it in them. If he gets elected, things will probably change, though, the Prime Ministership has it’s own momentum. I even think Shearer would probably make a good PM. But he’s not a good Leader of the Opposition.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — May 27, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

  31. can i just stop in to register my love of the poll of polls. i am a political scientist, and it speaks more loudly than any of the political hacks we’re constantly having to listen to.

    Comment by Che Tibby — May 27, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

  32. >Question is, can there be a Labour-Greens-NZF coalition when the Greens and Labour are so antagonistic to NZF on social issues?

    I think so. Essentially, social issues become a no-go zone. The liberal types in Greens and Labour don’t get to do anything that makes the old farts uncomfortable. And we’re not going to get military conscription or Asian bashing either, as solutions to non-existent problems. If that’s the price to pay to break us out of the economic stupidity of the neoliberal consensus, then it may end up leading to profound social improvements anyway.

    >GDP numbers suggest we’re out of recession, and inflation remains low.

    LOL, so long as you don’t include the price of owning land, which is the biggest costs in most people’s lives. Which of course, you don’t, because otherwise the picture of a healthy economy is ruined and we see a rapid divergence in wealth levels between haves and have-nots. Then there’s also the insane levels of education that we are giving on the back of debt, which ups the ante constantly on how educated you need to be to do non-menial work.

    >The odds are that, regardless of what any political party does, we’re probably going to see unemployment coming down over the next year.

    We’ll see. I don’t think official unemployment figures are what people take as their benchmark on the health of the economy. It’s more like how many people they know who are unemployed, how hard they find their work, how insecure they feel in their jobs, how much trouble they are having paying bills, how much debt they’re in, whether their kids can get a job. Yes, it is possible for the Government to just ease credit for a short period to create a change in the direction of key indicators. But the room to move there has got pretty damned small. We’re in the tight cycle in which debt acceleration is the main driver of every kind of growth, and of course the more debt there is, the more that it eventually costs and the less ownership of things people actually have. Eventually, selling stuff off is all there is left. Oh, look, that’s the government’s actual plan.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — May 27, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

  33. Question is, can there be a Labour-Greens-NZF coalition when the Greens and Labour are so antagonistic to NZF on social issues?

    I think Labour is closer to NZF than the Greens on economic issues. Mine closures, stopping oil exploration – NZF and Labour still have a residual loyalty to the working person.

    The Greens are Labour’s competition, how is that going to play out in a coalition? When the shit hits the fan, as it inevitably does when in govt, the Greens will be making sure the fan is pointing at Labour and not them.

    Comment by NeilM — May 27, 2013 @ 8:38 pm

  34. >The Greens are Labour’s competition, how is that going to play out in a coalition?

    They’re no more competition for Labour than any other party. To conceptualize it that way is to hold the people who have moved to the Greens *in contempt*. As if they belong to Labour. It is also *foolish* since the Greens are a natural ally in most decisions with Labour. Votes lost to the Greens come back in support of Labour in a coalition. They are not really lost at all, unless Labour refuses to ally with the Greens.

    Much though I dislike the direction Labour has taken over the past 30 years – practically all of my life has been spent under the consequences of Rogernomics – I understand that the path of expediency for them is to hug their core, people who have jobs and assets for the most part, and to fight to capture more of those kind of people, since that takes votes away from National. Why even bother chasing people inclined to vote Green? They’re just going to be in a coalition with Labour voting with Labour on things Labour wants, anyway. Who else are the Greens ever going to ally with? National?

    Comment by Ben Wilson — May 27, 2013 @ 9:43 pm

  35. There is a very large unengaged voting mass out there. They did not show up at the last general election.

    Their indifference has been Labour’s loss.

    Engaging the unengaged is the problem for any party that is not National.

    Shonkey and his wall street/hollywood backers can just lie back and relax.

    There is no opposition and there is a subservient sycophantic msm.

    Gordon Gecko will finally rule NZ, from Hawaii.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — May 27, 2013 @ 10:53 pm

  36. Ben, Neil, I suspect that you’ll see the Greens take a much clearer stance towards Peters’ NZFirst before the next election. (Based on the sentiment within the membership, and the need to make intentions obvious before an election.)

    Comment by George D — May 27, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

  37. @George: They’ve got a narrow tightrope to walk there. If Green hostility to NZ makes a Green/NZF/Labour coalition unworkable, and delivers another three years of National, they may find sentiment within the membership isn’t very understanding.

    Comment by Hugh — May 27, 2013 @ 11:25 pm

  38. @George

    Being in power always means compromise and its bastard son bring compromised. The zgreens have yet to experience that.

    It’s easy enough to be pure when not tested.

    @Ben, if it’s all the fault of neo-libs then why is Shearer planning to to take a hatchet to superanuation?

    Comment by NeilM — May 28, 2013 @ 1:16 am

  39. >Ben, Neil, I suspect that you’ll see the Greens take a much clearer stance towards Peters’ NZFirst before the next election.

    Will be interesting to see. It’s much easier to take a “principled stance” if it’s clear you could get the numbers even with said stance. But if you can’t, then leaving options open is politic. That said, if the Greens have many more seats than NZF their bargaining position is much stronger, even if he is needed to make a majority.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — May 28, 2013 @ 2:18 am

  40. @bob,

    The polls said you are wrong VE. They started around 60% for gay marriage, and slid steadily down to below 50% support.

    Of course, you neglect to note that in every single poll taken on the issue, support for same sex marriage (because lesbians are a thing, too) was higher than opposition to it.

    Plus same sex marriage wasn’t a “Labour-Green” law. The three speeches that got the most attention in its passage were given by straight, male National MPs. Face it – the world has changed and what you think is not the way things work anymore.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — May 28, 2013 @ 8:08 am

  41. @NeilM

    The Greens are Labour’s competition, how is that going to play out in a coalition? When the shit hits the fan, as it inevitably does when in govt, the Greens will be making sure the fan is pointing at Labour and not them.

    It’ll probably play out the same way as the enhanced confidence and supply agreement (we don’t do “coalitions” in New Zealand anymore) between National and ACT did between 2008-11. Except with less crazy.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — May 28, 2013 @ 8:12 am

  42. “…So you advocate Labour should be duplicitous, and lie to both the business and Green constituencies. The great thing about the digital era is, that has become damn near impossible to get away with. Thanks heavens…”

    Steady on old chap, I don’t recall saying they should lie. I said they should tell them what they want to hear, which is quite different and is called the art of politics.

    Comment by Sanctuary — May 28, 2013 @ 9:08 am

  43. Sanc: No, you said they should tell two different groups two different things. That’s definitely not going to involve lying to at least one of them.

    Comment by Vanilla Eis — May 28, 2013 @ 9:49 am

  44. “Two different things” doesn’t necessarily imply two mutually inconsistent things. If I tell one friend to come to my party because there’s pizza, and another to come because there’s beer, I’m not lying to either of them.

    Comment by pete — May 28, 2013 @ 10:06 am

  45. Sanc said:

    The main political attack will be a vote for Labour will a vote for the Greens, who are unfit to govern on the grounds that they actually promise real reform that upsets business

    followed by:

    in public/private separately tell the business and the Green constituencies what they want to hear..

    Following from that, it’s clear that he’s expecting Labour to tell business groups that they won’t allow any reform that would upset them in order to negate National’s attack, and tell the Greens that they will support the reform they want. Ergo, someone is getting lied to.

    Comment by Vanilla Eis — May 28, 2013 @ 10:10 am

  46. I suppose Labour could reassure business that they will stick to liberal (ie free market) capitalism, and tell the Greens they wil push through environmental reforms (though the Greens rarely seem that focused on eco-issues, more social issues). But there is nothing in David Shearer’s or Labour’s history to suggest they would make such concessions to the Greens. The only significant break the Greens got out of Labour was the housing insulation subsidy (good policy), which is mixed-eco and social issue. Water monitoring, fencing, riparian planting, dairy stock limits, etc – Labour have never budged.

    @ George D – I await the Grens clarification on NZF with bated breath. I hope you guys know what you are doing! If the Greens rule out NZF and we get 3 more years of the Nats, I will be livid, and many others will too. Heck, the Greens said they could (theoretically) work with National!@#! You will put voters in a terrible spot, as they won’t even want to abandon the Greens (or NZF) completely, as a 4% wasted vote *effectively* gets spread across the other parties, which could be enough to get Key back in power. Very dangerous Greens stuff…

    @ Geddis – I am not indulging your threadjacking.

    Comment by bob — May 28, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

  47. if it’s all the fault of neo-libs then why is Shearer planning to to take a hatchet to superannuation.

    Maybe because Shearer is the rogernomes point-man?

    Comment by Gregor W — May 28, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

  48. If I tell one friend [A] to come to my party because there’s pizza, and another [B] to come because there’s beer, I’m not lying to either of them.

    What if person A is a recovering alcoholic?
    P.S. I’m not coming to your party unless there’s also Coke and Call Girls.

    Comment by Phil — May 28, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

  49. @ Geddis – I am not indulging your threadjacking.

    Oddly sanctimonious, given that you raised the issue in the first place. My point is that same sex marriage actually “will make no difference to [Labour and Greens'] election prospects” because it is (1) popular, and (2) so broadly supported by parties across the political spectrum that it has no partisan valence. So whatever point you were trying to make by using it is questionable.

    I’m not coming to your party unless there’s also Coke and Call Girls.

    I think you mean coke, not Coke. Otherwise it’s an odd linkage.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — May 28, 2013 @ 5:32 pm

  50. I like my hookers slightly-bloated and burping. Don’t judge me, Geddis.

    Comment by Phil — May 29, 2013 @ 8:51 am

  51. On the Denniston coal mine Labour are indeed saying different things to different people.

    I think it’s fair enough to ask just what they really think on a large number of issues.

    Their silence on paying family carers was interesting.

    They want an inquiry into the GCSB butvwont say what exactly about the govt bill they oppose or will repeal.

    Even with the RMA a close look reveals they haven’t commited themselves to anything.

    What is their position really on off shore drilling?

    And the Urewera raids? One bland press release.

    There’s a pattern of not quite being straight up.

    Comment by NeilM — May 29, 2013 @ 9:25 am

  52. I’m always amused when I see people talking about a political party as if it only has one “voice” and will act as one entity. Hell I’m surprised when people say that kind of crap about “factions”. Because it a a fiction and never works that way in practice. Just as it never does with any organisation – business, voluntary or political. Cats are easy to herd compared to people.

    Organisations are made up of people who often have different opinions, interpretations, agendas and responsibilities while still being in the same organisation/party. Even if two different people say exactly the same words, their audience can take away two completely different meanings from how they said it and what their interactions have been in the past.

    The politicians and spinners have to actually put considerable effort to making the fiction of coherency *appear* to be real in public. But the reality is that the interpretation by a listener on what stated agreed policy means will depend on who you are talking to and what you think that they are saying. Why do you think that diplomats and politicians have so much fun?

    Comment by lprent — May 30, 2013 @ 12:24 am


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