The Dim-Post

December 5, 2013

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 8:53 am

From yesterday afternoon, via RadioLive Political Editor’s Twitter feed:

Overheard: “the media are all here asking MPs if they believe in the moon landings. Try and get our lot to say something funny”

My theory/guess is that National jumped the gun with Colin Craig. Key endorsed him about a month ago and indicated that National would give Craig a seat. But this was back when everyone thought the Electoral Commission would create a new safe blue seat in the North Shore where Craig would enjoy strong support. Instead the new seat is a marginal electorate, and Craig has spent the entire month making nutty statements about chem-trails and the moon-landing instead of talking about policy. I’m guessing that National’s polling is telling them that Craig could cost them too many swing-votes votes in the center to justify a deal. The Nats want to go into the election warning voters about the unpredictable nuttiness of a Labour-Greens government, not spending every day commenting on whatever lunatic conspiracy theory Colin Craig floats next.

Rob Hosking had a column up in the NBR the other day (subscription only) insisting that National won’t give Craig a seat. His theory is that National is talking up Craig’s chances because it wants him to take enough votes off Winston Peters to drop Peters under the 5% threshold, and if the Conservatives also fall under 5% then that will inflate National’s share of the vote and get them into government. I think this is one of the least plausible electoral strategies I’ve ever heard – are you really gonna bet the outcome of the election on Colin Craig’s ability to beat Winston Peters? – and that no one in the National Party actually believes this is viable, but that it reflects a general mood in National to distance itself from Key’s previous warmth towards the Conservatives.

Also, ACT! I heard Don Brash on RNZ this morning explaining that this party needs to exist to keep National honest, steer them to the right etc. How can ACT keep National honest, steer them the right-way and so on when ACT only exists through the grace of National granting them a seat? ACT doesn’t exist because it has a constituency anymore. It exists because there are several crackpot libertarian multi-millionaires willing to fund it and staffers willing to take their money, and because it’s useful for National to be able to pass far-right legislation by ‘making a deal’ with the ACT Party.

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56 Comments »

  1. “…it’s useful for National to be able to pass far-right legislation by ‘making a deal’ with the ACT Party.”

    Er yes, that’s what he meant by “keep National honest”.

    Comment by Mark — December 5, 2013 @ 9:08 am

  2. Er yes, that’s what he meant by “keep National honest”.

    But what Danyl is saying is that ACT isn’t actually having any influence on National’s policy programme – that the things it “wins” from National are policies National would have implemented anyway, but it is politically useful to attribute them to ACT (because it helps disguise the “true” nature of the National party’s agenda). So if ACT didn’t exist, they’d still do it.

    Danyl could, of course, be completely wrong about this. It has to happen one day, right?

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — December 5, 2013 @ 9:13 am

  3. Try and get our lot to say something funny

    Hone Harawira’s one word four letter response gets my vote as the most appropriate.

    Comment by TerryB — December 5, 2013 @ 9:18 am

  4. “So if ACT didn’t exist, they’d still do it.”

    No they wouldn’t. They would do what Labour would do. That is what National does now and that is why Act or a similar philosophy party is more relevant than ever.

    Comment by Dan — December 5, 2013 @ 9:20 am

  5. His theory is that National is talking up Craig’s chances because it wants him to take enough votes off Winston Peters to drop Peters under the 5% threshold, and if the Conservatives also fall under 5% then that will inflate National’s share of the vote and get them into government.

    Let’s assume very, very best case scenario for National on this theory – both NZ First and the Conservatives fall just under 5%, and so “waste” 9% of the vote. There’s then another 1% “wasted” on things like the ALCP and The Civilian Party … so 10% “wasted”.

    To get an absolute majority (assuming no overhang of more than 1 seat), National would have to get 45% of the Party vote. That means dropping no more than 2.3% of its party vote from 2011 (or, effectively reproducing its 2008 vote) … while the Conservative somehow siphon off some 4.5% of the vote (a conservative (get it?) estimation would be … what, that 1-in-3 of the Conservative’s votes would come from National?).

    Of course, you might factor in Dunne and ACT adding 2 MPs to the count (but this is optimistic, at best) … which means National only needing 44%. Then, if the Maori Party can bring back 2-3 seats, you could drop that down to 42-ish% and still have a potential National led government. But would the Maori Party sign up to it, if there were an alternative Labour/Greens/Mana bloc that they could put into Government instead?

    So – yeah. The “we just want Craig to do down NZ First without actually getting in” meme is a pretty desperate one – the maths just don’t work.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — December 5, 2013 @ 9:28 am

  6. National is talking up Craig’s chances because it wants him to take enough votes off Winston Peters to drop Peters under the 5% threshold, and if the Conservatives also fall under 5% then that will inflate National’s share of the vote and get them into government.

    To take a page from the Nate Silver playbook, this isn’t likely to be the “strategy” but it is another pathway National can take to retain office, and it’s actually a rather attractive solution, mathematically speaking.

    Two points on Craig:
    1) He doesn’t have to beat Winston at anything – National only needs him to be attractive enough to roughly one in five NZF voters to knock Peters out of parliament.
    2) Sure, laugh it up at the nutty conspiracy theories – it’s all good fun for an educated internet citizen of the world. But remember that there is a disturbingly large percentage of people who really believe strongly insome of this stuff. Hearing their beliefs articulated (poorly) by any politician might be enough to generate electoral support.

    Comment by Phil — December 5, 2013 @ 9:34 am

  7. The trouble with trying to cook up support parties that have no real constituency beyond the pockets of the millionaires who fund them is you end up being tainted by association with crackpots like Colin Craig and the miasma of toxicity and corruption that is the ACT party.

    The wider story of the bankrupt political cynicism of trying to manufacture political parties in order to game our political system is completely ignored by the politics-as-a-horse-race press gallery, but to anyone who believes in democracy what National is trying to do is totally abhorrent.

    The press gallery, who like to see politics as a game of fiendishly complicated chess played out by scheming Princes, utterly fails to entertain the idea the voters might have brains of their own, and pass their own judgment on Colin Craig and the designs of the National party strategists.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 5, 2013 @ 10:03 am

  8. >My theory/guess is that National jumped the gun with Colin Craig.

    I think it wasn’t a gun, it was a shark.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — December 5, 2013 @ 10:22 am

  9. So – yeah. The “we just want Craig to do down NZ First without actually getting in” meme is a pretty desperate one – the maths just don’t work.

    They don’t? Apart from concluding Dunne + ACT X adding two to the government (they’d likely add one, because they’d probably take one from National, and one from Labour or the Greens), you’re numbers make a pretty good case that National could get a majority. Your conclusion seemed to be: but they’d have to get 44%! Well, yes. Why do you think that that’s impossible?

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — December 5, 2013 @ 10:29 am

  10. Does CC really appeal to the same demographic as WP? Has this been surveyed?

    Comment by Ben Wilson — December 5, 2013 @ 10:37 am

  11. @Sanc: “The wider story of the bankrupt political cynicism of trying to manufacture political parties in order to game our political system is completely ignored by the politics-as-a-horse-race press gallery, but to anyone who believes in democracy what National is trying to do is totally abhorrent.”

    I agree, and I feel a certain amount of disgust when I see this happen, and yet it’s seemed to work over and over again. Voters may have brains, but any disgust which exists still often seems to be trumped by a combination of short memories, and an underlying tendency to also want to play the game lest someone “even worse” (for that voter) become elected and given power.

    I don’t think it’ll fix all the problems, but I hope a future government eventually looks at the recommended changes to MMP, for a start, instead of ignoring them due to political inconvenience.

    Comment by izogi — December 5, 2013 @ 10:44 am

  12. Maybe what National want is for 9% of right-wing votes to be dropped and a Labour/Green government to be elected on a minority of the vote.

    Then they can start some sort of Tea Party rebellion against this obviously Stalinist “coup”.

    Comment by richdrich — December 5, 2013 @ 10:44 am

  13. Not sure Colin is a Door’s fan.

    Comment by northshoreguynz — December 5, 2013 @ 11:34 am

  14. I dunno. He seems pretty keen to break on through.

    Comment by Gregor W — December 5, 2013 @ 11:41 am

  15. @Graeme,

    Apart from concluding Dunne + ACT X adding two to the government (they’d likely add one, because they’d probably take one from National, and one from Labour or the Greens)

    Not if one is an overhang seat! But fair point.

    Your conclusion seemed to be: but they’d have to get 44%! Well, yes. Why do you think that that’s impossible?

    Not impossible. Difficult, though, if even a couple of percent of their present votes are going to drift to Craig (in order to then be “wasted” when he doesn’t get over 5%). Meaning that I think it’s far more likely that National’s plan was for Craig to get in (with the possible added benefit of keeping Peters out … but I don’t see this as being a complete bad thing for Labour/Greens anyway, as it makes their potential governing arrangements a heck of a lot simpler without him there). Maybe his antics in recent days are causing them to revise that plan … I don’t know.

    Note that my comment was in regards to Danyl’s repetition of Rob Hosking’s claim that National’s grand strategy all along is they really don’t want Craig to get in, because it’s somehow better for them if he doesn’t. So my math was intended to show that this is such a high-risk gambit that it is unlikely that rational political actors would pursue it.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — December 5, 2013 @ 11:43 am

  16. “the media are all here asking MPs if they believe in the moon landings. Try and get our lot to say something funny”

    God, that’s so depressing. Our MPs are so witless (see Question Time) that they need to be fed their spontaneous one-liners by a staffer who Googles. Even when Colin Craig is giving them a free hit every day.

    It’s the House of Alan Partridges, made horribly real.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — December 5, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

  17. There is a simpler maths to apply here. Count how many “ifs” are required for the Hosking plan to work. As the number of ifs mount so does the dubiousness of the strategy. There’s a shit-load of ifs in the Hosking plan.

    Comment by Jon J. — December 5, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

  18. Enter the Matthew Hooten party! Solves a lot of problems…

    Comment by MeToo — December 5, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

  19. And of course, Labour and such have never done anything like this, have they Jim Anderton?

    Comment by David in Christchurch — December 5, 2013 @ 2:05 pm

  20. “And of course, Labour and such have never done anything like this, have they Jim Anderton?”

    I don’t think Labour’s been innocent in all of this, but now I’m trying to recall the actual context of Jim Anderton’s party. Was Jim Anderton elected in Wigram because Labour told or strongly hinted for people to vote for him? Or was it because the people of Wigram actually wanted him as their MP, and maybe Labour didn’t bother so much because it didn’t have a hope anyway? I may be wrong but I think if the people of Epsom weren’t being asked over and over again to vote for ACT so it could get into parliament, then National would be rolling that electorate easily and ACT would be a minnow.

    Labour also never strongly relied on Jim Anderton’s vote to be able to form a government, if only because of all the other potential partners it had available during the time it was in government, so maybe coincidental. I think a bigger issue with Labour-led governments under MMP has been the incentive to exploit overhang in the Maori seats, especially in the 2005 election, by incentivising those voters elect Maori Party electorate MPs while contributing Party Votes to Labour, ensuring a disproportionately high representation for a Labour-led coalition.

    To be fair this was also voter’s choice, just as it’s Epsom voter’s choice to vote for a lunetic support candidate to help their favoured National Party be in power, but it’s also a weakness in the electoral system which gives voters in certain electorates an ability to make their votes count for more, and which gives parties an incentive to try and create electorates where that can happen.

    It beats FPP, imho, anyway.

    Comment by izogi — December 5, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

  21. If Paul Goldsmith wins Epsom for National, spends years in the party, then finally quits in disgust after years of internal turmoil, forms a brand new party, fights National hard for years, and then, after several elections at loggerheads, has a reconciliation with his old party … then National/ACT in Epsom would be just like Anderton in Christchurch.

    But he hasn’t doesn’t any of those things, so it isn’t. At all.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — December 5, 2013 @ 3:02 pm

  22. I think the Labour party would have been delighted for Jim Anderton to have lost his seat in the 1990 election. It was only much later that he became a patsy.

    Comment by Dr Foster — December 5, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

  23. I think the Labour party would have been delighted for Jim Anderton to have lost his seat in the 1990 election. It was only much later that he became a patsy.

    I doubt they could have beaten him even if they tried.

    Comment by Alex Coleman — December 5, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

  24. I think Mike Mora would have something to say about Labour gifting Wigram to Jim. I’d have my exit planned before asking him first though, dude has a powerful right arm.

    Comment by Stephen J — December 5, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

  25. If anything Jim ‘gifted’ Wigram to Labour. (Not that you can gift seats, it’s a weird concept.)

    Comment by Keir Leslie — December 5, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

  26. Labour campaigned extremely hard to beat Anderton in 1990. He actually flirted with supporting National in 1993 (as it turned out, his support wasn’t necessary), so massive was the antipathy between him and Labour. For the first few years of the Alliance’s existence its goal was to supplant Labour, and when it was routinely getting 20%-25% in the polls a lot of commentators thought it was viable. Seems weird, I know, given the final trajectory of Anderton’s career, although to be fair it’s not pure opportunism on his part – the Labour party he effectively rejoined wasn’t as neoliberal as the one he left.

    But then, ACT didn’t start as a National party project either – it was formed when Jim Bolger was openly musing about a grand coalition with Labour. Even if Labour showed no interest, I can see why a lot of people wanted a more ‘purist’ neoliberal party. And it routinely got 10% in polls without any endorsement from National (or anyone else).

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 5, 2013 @ 6:14 pm

  27. ” He actually flirted with supporting National in 1993″ God – I’d forgotten that particular piece of weirdness. But there was certainly no love lost between Anderton and Labour for a long time after he left them. Kalvarnsen’s right, though. Anderton kind of rejoined Labour, and Labour kind of rejoined Anderton. For a bit.

    Comment by Dr Foster — December 5, 2013 @ 7:35 pm

  28. I really want to see a TV debate between Colin Craig and Jamie Whyte. Ideally with John Key as the moderator.

    When I say “TV debate”, I mean shit-fight.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — December 5, 2013 @ 7:55 pm

  29. Whats your point? New Zealand’s political media miss the big issues?? Fuck we all know that. Next.

    Comment by grant — December 5, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

  30. A lot of people’s comments here seem to rely on the media having reported something close to the truth or something of relevance. Which I find distinctly odd. Don’t you know something called a fitness blogger posted a photo to something called Instagram and everyone has been doing something called tweeting about it.

    Comment by rsingers — December 5, 2013 @ 11:22 pm

  31. @Izogi: BTW, for the record, when Anderton was first elected in 1990 the electorate was called Sydenham, not Wigram.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 6, 2013 @ 5:32 am

  32. “… It exists because there are several crackpot libertarian multi-millionaires…”

    Actually not just millionaires, a lot of journalists seem to will ACT on as well. For the number of votes it gets ACT as a party (as distinct from the miserable array of clowns they get into parliament) also gets a massive amount of largely sympathetic coverage from the establishment media. An example? This moring on RNZ they were discussing Phil Goff’s bill drawn from the ballot to tighten up foreign ownership rules. Those in favour were described in the usual terms – Labour, Greens, NZ First, MP. Those opposed as National and ACT. The vote would be decided by “Peter Dunne”. Note that. “ACT”, which is actually just accused electoral fraudster John Banks, is given the lustre of authority bestowed by a party name. Peter Dunne, who also has a party, is just called “Peter Dunne”. This is but one subtle but clear example of the sort of institutional bias in favour of ACT from the establishment media we get all the time.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 6, 2013 @ 8:50 am

  33. Peter Dunne, who also has a party, is just called “Peter Dunne”…

    I get your point, but to be fair ACT has (barely) survived several incarnations of leader (Douglas, Prebble, Hide, Brash, and now Banks; possibly I’ve forgotten somebody). As tarnished and ridiculous as it is, ACT is a concept/party/brand that is bigger than just Banks.

    Whereas Peter Dunne has instead survived as leader of several incarnations of “United Future”.

    Comment by RJL — December 6, 2013 @ 9:26 am

  34. It must be hard getting out of the house when you see conspiracy everywhere you look.

    Bt seriously, I get the feeling there is room for a party in New Zealand that articulates genuine social and economic liberalism. It’s what ACT originally started as, before they got distracted by conservatism.

    Comment by Phil — December 6, 2013 @ 9:37 am

  35. It must be hard getting out of the house when you see conspiracy everywhere you look.

    No it’s quite easy; walls have ears, and it is possible to stand well away from the walls when outside.

    Comment by RJL — December 6, 2013 @ 9:59 am

  36. “…I get the feeling there is room for a party in New Zealand that articulates genuine social and economic liberalism…”

    But ACT did try that, only to be hijacked by the crackpot Libertarian fringe. The move to Judge Jeffrey’s authoritarian capitalism came about because of the remorseless logic of democracy. You won’t win seats when your party solely consists of Lindsay Perrigo and Richard McGrath having a handbag fight over the finer points of Atlas Shrugged. However, promising to grant foreign corporations the right to summarily execute anyone caught stealing a rabbit on their vast estates at the very least gets a huge wodge of cash to campaign on. ACT’s problem is it was always built on narrow foundations of sand. To illustrate, just the other day on Jim Mora’s show there was a story about how the Dutch got their cycle ways. In the early 1970s, some Dutch people resolved to do something about the 700-odd children killed annually by cars. The Dutch lady in the story began her account with “..so we hired a little office over a shop…” or words like that. And forty years plus later, the Dutch have their cycle ways and by all accounts everyone in the Netherlands loves them. The point is, political movements that endure start with an idea and a little office over a shop, not with elites trying to use their money to corruptly gerrymander the electoral system.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 6, 2013 @ 10:15 am

  37. Sanc, your Dutch story is cute but seems totally irrelevant.

    The thing is, ACT didn’t start to become unpopular when it abandoned its neoliberalism and started down the road towards social conservatism. It started to become unpopular and turned to social conservatism as a remedy. (A partly successful one, probably prevented them from disappearing in 2008, but ultimately it only staved off the tide, rather than turning things around)

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 6, 2013 @ 10:47 am

  38. >genuine social and economic liberalism

    Both Labour and National have done a sterling job of that, which is why ACT clutched at social conservatism and fell apart. We are already such a long way down the path designed and implemented by Roger Douglas that I’m amazed seemingly intelligent people continue to harp on about how much we need the purity of ACT to keep the government honest about this. Both of our main parties already bought it wholesale, and it’s not even in any real danger now. The changes of the 1980s and 90s are so normalized that now a government can sell of our assets without much of a stir, and every young person expects to become indebted for their education and to never own property, unless they come from a wealthy family. Our center left party makes pariahs out of the unemployed, and seeks to raise the age of pensions. Our nation has barely any protectionist trade barriers apart from frequent bailouts for the two most successful sectors, finance and farming. Consumer taxes are high, income taxes are low, capital gains taxes are non-existent. The country is frequently considered in international comparisons to be one of the economically freest easiest places to deal with in the entire world. We invest bugger all into public transport, preferring private roads everywhere so we have very high levels of car ownership, and being at the arse end of the world means our highly industrialized farming sector has major carbon usage costs. Our fishing controls are tiny, international boats have to contend with a miniscules navy.

    Face it, this is a neoliberal paradise.

    There is one good side to it – that social liberalism has mostly triumphed over conservatism. It’s the silver lining to the cloud of a country in which economic inequality and outright poverty has increased steadily since the 1970s.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — December 6, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

  39. I think part of the reason seemingly intelligent people continue to sing the praises of neo liberalism despite it’s abysmal 30 year record is because much like a mirage, the “free market” keeps moving just enough to stay out of reach no matter how desperately we sprint towards it.

    It’s the same line that has been used since the beginning.. “sure it sucks now but we just need to keep doing it and we’ll all be rich”.

    Nowhere else in academia would such a discredited and faulty theory remain the accepted orthodoxy for so long, but then I guess there’s not many other areas of research where rabidly promoting a bunk theory further enriches the already rich and powerful.

    Comment by Rob — December 6, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

  40. I’m assuming Marxism doesn’t count in that analysis

    Comment by LeeC — December 6, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

  41. I don’t make a habit of hanging around university political science departments but I think its a bit of a stretch to claim Marxism is alive and well and being promoted by anyone even remotely-serious as a means for advancing New Zealand.

    Comment by Rob — December 6, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

  42. LoL

    Comment by Lee C — December 6, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

  43. There is one good side to it – that social liberalism has mostly triumphed over conservatism. It’s the silver lining to the cloud of a country in which economic inequality and outright poverty has increased steadily since the 1970s.

    If you mean the kind of bipartisan support that Louisa Wall’s Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill enjoyed then I’d have to agree. If it had been championed only by the left then it would likely have been used as a form of political horse-trading between Labour factions, just as the no nukes policy was traded by the party’s left for Rogernomics.

    Comment by Joe W — December 6, 2013 @ 6:09 pm

  44. @Ben: It’s interesting, I saw an interview with Mike Moore and he defended the reforms of the 80s basically on purely social grounds, talking about how we’re a more diverse, inclusive and tolerant society since then. That’s certainly true but where I (and a lot of others) would disagree is that you don’t need the economic deregulation to get the tolerance. But in the minds of neoliberals, they’re two facets of the same thing.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 6, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

  45. “you don’t need the economic deregulation to get the tolerance”

    Quite. and the ‘deregulation’ always seems to favour the same small group of people – unless we’re too resolutely stoopid to notice. Also, what Ben said.

    Comment by Sacha — December 6, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

  46. >where I (and a lot of others) would disagree is that you don’t need the economic deregulation to get the tolerance.

    Absolutely not. And there’s a big flipside to this as well – you don’t need to drop the tolerance to get economic regulation. Moves toward social conservatism by left groups are misguided. In fact, I’d rather have tolerant neoliberalism than bigoted socialism, even though I’d probably prefer more socialism, if other things are equal. People who are succumbing to this idea either don’t realize they’ve been tricked, or they’re deliberately burning bridges. Or they’re bigots. Whichever way, they’re wrong. You can strike out in a different direction without it having to be the opposite direction.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — December 6, 2013 @ 10:44 pm

  47. “In fact, I’d rather have tolerant neoliberalism than bigoted socialism,”

    Let’s hope that choice remains hypothetical.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 7, 2013 @ 7:30 am

  48. Wasn’t bigoted socialism what we had under Muldoon – and what Winston advocates?

    Comment by Joe W — December 7, 2013 @ 7:38 am

  49. I’m not sure I would call Muldoon a socialist, although today’s National Party are very eager to brand him as such. Barry Gustafson said he was ‘fundamentally a Social Democrat’ which is less of a stretch but still a bit problematic – I’m pretty sure Muldoon wouldn’t have regarded himself as such.

    But yes, there are plenty of people advocating generous social safety nets and nationalisation for the benefit of a sexually/racially/religiously designated in-group. Ironically a lot of contemporary fascist and nationalist groups in Europe are quite strong on this vein although I doubt they would follow through if they ever got a smidgeon of power.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 7, 2013 @ 10:59 am

  50. In an early 80s radio interview Colin Scrimgeour half-jokingly suggested that Muldoon would probably be remembered as NZ’s last socialist PM. Muldoon wasn’t an aberration – the Nats had always practiced redistribution of wealth in the form of farm subsidies. Winston maintains Muldoon’s divisive legacy of socialism without social justice. In the meantime we all pay for it, pitting old against young in the form of non-means tested superannuation.

    Comment by Joe W — December 7, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

  51. I can’t wait for Danyl’s take on Mandela’s death.

    Something tells me he will present an insightful alternative to the mainstream narrative.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 8, 2013 @ 8:40 am

  52. Just gave facts. Labour and the Greens are destined for another term squealing in opposition.

    Comment by bart — December 8, 2013 @ 8:53 am

  53. It’s funny watching the ACT-sympathetic commenters completely miss the point. It provides insight into the sort of logical mistakes and erroneous thought processes at playthat lead to supporting ACT in the first place.

    Comment by Steve (@nza1) — December 8, 2013 @ 9:51 pm

  54. It occurred to me that had John Banks shown but the most modest skerrick of personal decency in his dealings with Kim Dotcom – if he had visited him in jail, taken his calls – then in Mr. Dotcom the ACT party has the near perfect champion. Borderless, self made, popular with a keyboard warriors of freedom, and affable in front of the camera I couldn’t think of a better candidate to rehabilitate the toxic ACT brand. But because at the end of the of the day John Banks proved to be more concerned about his reputation than doing the right thing by a mate, Kim Dotcom has delivered the final blow to ACT. Kind of fitting.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 9, 2013 @ 8:00 am

  55. Unfortunately, Dotcom isn’t able to stand for Parliament.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 9, 2013 @ 9:03 am

  56. Colin Craig is a swivel-eyed loon. The Kiwi version of a British Tory MP.

    Comment by Daniel Lang — December 9, 2013 @ 3:48 pm


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