The Dim-Post

April 11, 2014

Hypothesis o’ the day

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 10:12 am

Lots of debate around the blogosphere about whether Labour’s refusal to campaign alongside the Greens was a good or bad idea. I think bad, but obviously don’t know for sure.

I have been forming a hypothesis though, based on poll movement in the first few months of this election year. I think that voters might respond to signals about coalition partners, far moreso than they seem to respond to scandals or policy announcements. When Key announced that he wasn’t ruling out Winston Peters back in January, National dipped a bit and Peters shot up. (It is hard to see National’s dip in retrospect because they were picking up voters from Labour around the same time). Likewise when Labour indicated a preference for New Zealand First over the Greens, Labour dipped and Peters went up more.

This might all be a meaningless coincidence but it is testable: if the polls over the next few weeks see large shifts in support for the Greens – either up or down – with inverse impact on Labour’s ratings then we’ll (a) know if Labour made the right decision re a pre-election deal but (b) more importantly, see whether my theory stacks up or not.

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65 Comments »

  1. Except that this will not happen. The Greens performance is influenced by a range of factors, and these will continue to influence its vote. Absent a large (3%+) swing, it will be impossible to pull these apart.

    If you split the electorate randomly, and then told half of them that Labour was running in to the arms of Winston, and the others that Labour was marching in solidarity with its Green brethren, then we would have an idea.

    My own theory is that Labour’s leadership group has reverted to the mean, and decided to pummel the Greens and put them back in their rightful place as a 5-6% party, and thus restore the glory days of the Clark years. That this coincides with an electoral strategy that makes Winston kingmaker (and thus more powerful despite having less than half the number of voters) works for the leadership group.

    Comment by George — April 11, 2014 @ 10:41 am

  2. Given that (1) Labour are so far behind National that the ONLY way they could govern is with the Greens, and (2) the Greens can ONLY coalesce with Labour, not National, then whether they formally announce it or not, everyone knows that Greebour (+ others?) is the only left option this election, so Labour’s announcement shouldn’t have much impact.

    Unlike National & Winston who both could have other alternatives.

    Comment by rickrowling — April 11, 2014 @ 10:45 am

  3. I am not sure if your hypothesis is testable in the way you claim. Everyone already knows that Labour are prepared to work with the Greens. Thios was not the case with Peters, particularly on Key’s part where it represented a major departure from his previous position.

    Comment by Sanctuary — April 11, 2014 @ 10:54 am

  4. Yeah isn’t this just a massive post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy? Unfortunately political party polling movements are way overdetermined and it’s really hard to figure out what pushes them around.

    Comment by Keir Leslie — April 11, 2014 @ 10:56 am

  5. Any fall in Labour’s ratings after that announcement would probably only be representative of A) respondents being presented with yet another example of Labour being outright dickheads over the Green’s announcement, or possibly B) respondents being presented with yet another example of Labour being outright dickheads with regards to their petty whinges about the Royal visit.

    Cunliffe as Leader-in-waiting – not much.

    Comment by Michael — April 11, 2014 @ 10:58 am

  6. I just don’t see Labour’s ‘pummel the Greens’ strategy as being viable any more, given that 1) the Greens have a very loyal core base who can’t stand the idea of voting for Labour, almost as much as they can’t stand National, and 2) when you compare how the two parties present themselves, it is clear that one in united, competent and has a clear vision, and the other, well, isn’t. If Labour ask voters to compare the differences between themselves and the Greens, they may not like how those comparisons end up looking.

    Comment by Alex Braae — April 11, 2014 @ 10:58 am

  7. isn’t this just a massive post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy?

    Political science is a social science. Unfortunately I don’t get to run separate election campaigns in identical countries in which identical parties respond to identical events differently. All you can do is look at the data, form theories and then make predictions.

    Comment by danylmc — April 11, 2014 @ 11:01 am

  8. @Alex Braae – The Greens are astonishing. They are the only party in NZ political history to go from humble to hubris without an intervening period of actually doing anything.

    Comment by Sanctuary — April 11, 2014 @ 11:02 am

  9. They are the only party in NZ political history to go from humble to hubris without an intervening period of actually doing anything.

    The Greens have always been sanctimonious, Sanctuary. It’s quite easy to do when you’re saving the world from impending catastrophic collapse.

    Comment by George — April 11, 2014 @ 11:09 am

  10. “everyone knows that Greebour (+ others?) is the only left option this election”

    There’s probably still a question of whether the Greens are allowed inside Cabinet or not, though. Labour might be hoping that if they can knock the GP’s support back a bit, there would be easier justification for keeping it out, as in the past.

    On the hypothesis, though, I personally think the best chance Labour has of pulling votes from the Greens would come by convincing voters that it’s actually capable of being mature and well structured, instead of just posing about who it migth form a coalition with.

    The Greens probably aren’t going away, because they’ve built up a strong core support base >5%, over several elections, which doesn’t waver much. It’d be difficult for the Green Party to lose this unless it did something ultimately stupid to alienate its main supporters. ACT and NZF voters, by contrast, will often switch support on a whim depending on whether they think their vote might be wasted or not, thanks to the high threshold. But a significant component of the Green Party’s support (maybe what’s above 6-7%) seemed to show up after Labour basically self-destructed and started throwing around knee-jerk reactionary policies between some dreadful media encounters. Meanwhile the Greens leadership was acting much more organised and mature and clear about what its policies were, and its support lifted. Those are probably the types of Green Party supporters who might head back towards Labour if they thought it was actually under competent leadership, but I have trouble seeing that happening until Labour stops making basic mistakes and having so much in-fighting.

    I guess we’ll see, though.

    Comment by izogi — April 11, 2014 @ 11:15 am

  11. “…The Greens have always been sanctimonious, Sanctuary…”

    it is deeply corrosive to the goodwill between the two parties though. It is like watching a young self-righteous know-it-all publically berrating the grizzled professional. It is all fun and games until the young tyro ends up at an awkward angle at the bottom of the ruck…

    Comment by Sanctuary — April 11, 2014 @ 11:17 am

  12. it is deeply corrosive to the goodwill between the two parties though. It is like watching a young self-righteous know-it-all publically berrating the grizzled professional. It is all fun and games until the young tyro ends up at an awkward angle at the bottom of the ruck…

    There has been a tremendous amount of goodwill between the two parties at the activist and caucus levels for a number of years. The hostility of the Clark-Anderton-Dunne-Peters years had faded almost completely by about 2011 and was replaced by a combination of pragmatism and a shared vision of a progressive future. All this was being eroded by concerted attacks, seemingly led from out of the leaders office. This does not engender goodwill. An entente cordiale was offered, rather than a formal coalition (and certainly not a demand, as Rob Salmond and others working for Cunliffe are spinning it) . That was loudly rejected. Now Cunliffe is again talking about a Labour-Peters government as first cab off the rank. Does this series of events look like goodwill to you?

    Comment by George — April 11, 2014 @ 11:54 am

  13. I don’t think its a matter of good or bad options.

    Labour just didn’t have a lot of choice.

    They have to placate both the Chossen Ones and Winston.

    Otherwise they have no chance of forming a govt.

    And I think Norman knows full well Labour’s dilemma and is playing on it while posing as Mr Inocent.

    Comment by NeiiM — April 11, 2014 @ 11:57 am

  14. Does any one know which of Labour or the Greens leaked this?

    That would be a good indication of what games are being played.

    Comment by NeiiM — April 11, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

  15. Someone in the Greens leaked a fake party list to David Farrar, so its not as if they’re all above this sort of thing and beyond suspicion. But my guess – after watching TVNZ news last night – is that it was David Parker.

    Comment by danylmc — April 11, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

  16. Watching that one news peice, Parker is all over the shop. What a mess

    Comment by max — April 11, 2014 @ 12:33 pm

  17. Parker is all over the shop. What a mess

    He’s uncomfortable with owning the decision. Perhaps it’s because the Labour caucus is not united over this issue?

    Comment by George — April 11, 2014 @ 12:40 pm

  18. If it was Parker, was it inadvertent?

    Comment by NeiiM — April 11, 2014 @ 1:00 pm

  19. I’ve seen the poll data about Labour membership preferring Lab/Green over Lab/NZF

    But the bottom line is really would they prefer to be in govt with NZF or have this pre-election coalition with the Greens and lose.

    Comment by NeiiM — April 11, 2014 @ 1:09 pm

  20. But my guess – after watching TVNZ news last night – is that it was David Parker.

    For sure. Parker is a fucking terrible liar. As such, he is not fit to be a deputy PM.

    Another thought I have had though is that this might be a well timed feint with the aim of (i) to take the shine of a Royal visit which Key has been leveraging and (ii) smoking out the ABCs when the polling reflects Danyl’s proposition.

    If this was the case, the question becomes was the strategem generated by Labour Party, or, if there was a hidden tertiary aim of improving the GP’s position in the polls by playing the ‘upfront and principled’ card, they they been played for fools by the GP?

    Comment by Gregor W — April 11, 2014 @ 1:11 pm

  21. But the bottom line is really would they prefer to be in govt with NZF or have this pre-election coalition with the Greens and lose.

    Brave to call the result this early, NeilM.

    Comment by Gregor W — April 11, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

  22. But the bottom line is really would they prefer to be in govt with NZF or have this pre-election coalition with the Greens and lose.

    I think the logic behind the offer was that Labour’s poll ratings went up after the NZ Power announcement and Shearer’s commitment to a proportional Green Cabinet and they’ve gone down as the parties drift apart under Cunliffe. As usual that could be attributed to any number of things but its not unreasonable to think that voters expect to see what an alternative government might look like and that it can work together. Cunliffe needs to do SOMETHING to turn things around, and a coalition seemed like a reasonable idea. MAYBE Labour have something better up their sleeve to turn the election around, but I think we all know they don’t.

    Comment by danylmc — April 11, 2014 @ 1:14 pm

  23. How on earth did a coalition seem like a reasonable idea? I mean, set aside the objective issue about it working or nor. There was absolutely no way that the Labour leadership was ever going to buy this one — subjectively, for them, it was clearly an absurd idea from start to finish. And the Green leadership must have known that. So it’s quite weird for the Greens to act as if it were a good-faith, logical, evidence based attempt to up the Left vote.

    Comment by Keir Leslie — April 11, 2014 @ 1:24 pm

  24. @Sanctuary – Don’t take my word for it, read the views of a real expert on the subject. http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2014/04/10/gordon-campbell-on-the-failure-to-create-a-labourgreens-alliance/

    Comment by Alex Braae — April 11, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

  25. MAYBE Labour have something better up their sleeve to turn the election around, but I think we all know they don’t.

    Surely it’s not up to Labour to turn things around. Why shouldn’t the Greens turn things around? Another 10% support for the Greens (without any corresponding loss of support for Labour) and the election would be in the bag!

    Comment by Ross — April 11, 2014 @ 1:50 pm

  26. “All Labour gets from a commitment to form a government with the Greens is less flexibility to get Labour into government.”

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/labour-does-not-need-to-promise-a-coalition-with-the-greens

    Comment by Ross — April 11, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

  27. How on earth did a coalition seem like a reasonable idea? I mean, set aside the objective issue about it working or nor. There was absolutely no way that the Labour leadership was ever going to buy this one — subjectively, for them, it was clearly an absurd idea from start to finish. And the Green leadership must have known that. So it’s quite weird for the Greens to act as if it were a good-faith, logical, evidence based attempt to up the Left vote.

    The two main provisions of the proposal were joint policy launches and a proportional cabinet, which were both things the previous leader of the Labour Party agreed to and/or actually did, and which seemed to work really well, so I don’t get this idea that it was either an absurd impossible pipe dream or per Rob Salmond, a diabolical trap. I don’t think the Greens expected Labour to say yes or no, but rather to kick for touch until closer to the election and then make the call. That’s why I wrote in my original post that it seemed like a weird crazy risk.

    Comment by danylmc — April 11, 2014 @ 1:54 pm

  28. If all Norman was asking for were things that had already been agreed upon then what actually was he doing with this latest approach to Labour?

    That doesn’t make much sense.

    Comment by NeiiM — April 11, 2014 @ 2:03 pm

  29. Previous leader of the Labour Party who met an ignominious end, yes. But the main part of the proposal wasn’t those two things you list: it was a public announcement of a pre-election coalition by a major party, which hasn’t been done before in NZ.

    I think Rob Salmond’s (a) reliable about his own beliefs, and (b) often close to the reasonable end of the Leader’s Office views. He seems to have a clear view this offer was advanced in bad faith. So does pretty much everyone I know who’s floating around the parliamentary party. It is exactly what I would expect them to think. The consensus from establishment Labour on this is pretty rare, and almost entirely unbroken — everyone from Pagani to Salmond. It beggars belief that Norman/Turei didn’t see this coming.

    I really don’t think the Greens expected Labour to kick for touch. This isn’t the kind of deal you offer for further negotiation. It’s the kind of deal you offer so you can get the rejection.

    Comment by Keir Leslie — April 11, 2014 @ 2:08 pm

  30. @NeilM – I think the intent was a public show of good faith

    Which makes a lot of sense in a way as if tightens the numbers between ‘Left bloc’ and ‘Right bloc’, makes Labour a contender 6 months out, and forces National to declare for Winston earlier thus potentially defusing the threat of the NZF bogeyman as an attractor to undecided-left voters.

    Comment by Gregor W — April 11, 2014 @ 2:10 pm

  31. think Rob Salmond’s (a) reliable about his own beliefs, and (b) often close to the reasonable end of the Leader’s Office views. He seems to have a clear view this offer was advanced in bad faith. So does pretty much everyone I know who’s floating around the parliamentary party. It is exactly what I would expect them to think. The consensus from establishment Labour on this is pretty rare, and almost entirely unbroken — everyone from Pagani to Salmond. It beggars belief that Norman/Turei didn’t see this coming.

    Well the Labour Party people think the Greens acted in bad faith and people close to the Greens think Labour acted in bad faith, and I guess that’s how these things gotta be. I’d invite you again to watch the TVNZ interview with David Parker and ask yourself if the words ‘good faith’ spring to mind, and consider Labour’s recent history over the past few months and consider whether the chances of them making another bad decision and spinning like crazy to cover it up are really that low.

    Comment by danylmc — April 11, 2014 @ 2:32 pm

  32. But the main part of the proposal wasn’t those two things you list: it was a public announcement of a pre-election coalition by a major party, which hasn’t been done before in NZ.

    I understand Dany’s argument but the above is the other consideration.

    Making such an arrangement with the Greens now would jeopardise Labour’s dealings with Peters and most likely no Peters, no change in govt.

    And I’m with Keir. it’s hard to believe Norman didn’t foresee the dilemma he was putting Labour in.

    Comment by NeiiM — April 11, 2014 @ 2:35 pm

  33. But the main part of the proposal wasn’t those two things you list: it was a public announcement of a pre-election coalition by a major party, which hasn’t been done before in NZ.

    Was it? And even if it was, what does that mean other than stating the thing that everybody already knows, which is that unless something really amazing happens, “Labour won’t be able to govern without the Greens”.

    Redaing the piece over at RNZ
    ;

    http://t.co/0UJn8DzFLm

    Labour spox seem to be thinking that if they can convince enough provincial conservative types that “Labour won’t be able to govern without the Greens” isn’t actually true, then they will win.

    The problem with this, however, is that, unless something really amazing happens, “Labour won’t be able to govern without the Greens”

    the other problem is that provincial conservatives who really doon;t like the greens, can add to 51, and will know, when they go into the booth, what a labour led govt will look like (hint for those struggling to keep up: It will have the greens in it).

    National of course, will be reminding people of this, a lot.

    Labour seem to think that confirming the idea that ‘Labour/Greens is scary’ is a grown up political masterstroke that those young whippersnappers in the Green party just don’t get.

    And that poll where we learned 68% of lab voters prefer L/G to ?/NZF? It al;so showed that 52% of all voters preferred L/g compared to 38% who preffered L/NZF.

    Look at that 52% number. Subtract Labours vote and the green vote. You have some votes left over. National voters who prefer L/G to L/NZF !

    It’s a mystery*

    *it’s not a mystery

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — April 11, 2014 @ 2:55 pm

  34. Making such an arrangement with the Greens now would jeopardise Labour’s dealings with Peters and most likely no Peters, no change in govt.

    I think that’s a big difference in the way the sides see things. Labour thinks there might be a Labour-Greens-NZ First government. Or even a Labour-NZ First government.

    The Greens (and I think they are right, although maybe I’m just blinded by partisan blindness) is that the chances of those outcomes are zero. Peters will go with National in either of those scenarios, and Labour are only useful in helping him negotiate a better deal with Key. So the solution is to push for a coalition and majority between them.

    Comment by danylmc — April 11, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

  35. While my general lack of faith in whichever fool is currently leader of the Labour party is almost boundless, I really think that the Labour reaction was entirely foreseeable and almost certainly foreseen. It doesn’t matter if it was a good idea or not, Cunliffe/Parker were never going to buy it, and that was totally predictable.

    Comment by Keir Leslie — April 11, 2014 @ 3:06 pm

  36. Look at this Pagani quote:

    By leaving open the prospect that Labour might not include the Greens in Cabinet, Labour indicates to left voters that they will have to vote Green if they want the Greens to be able to demand a place; Labour voters moving to the Greens do not reduce the prospects of a centre left government; and it gives Labour more room to appeal to voters who are not Greens supporters – at least some of whom are needed for the left to form a government.

    See how this is supposed to work?

    Labour voters who want the Greens (most of them) start to move to the Greens. This is supposed to leave Labour LESS beholden to the Greens and able to win over those conservatives who don’t like the Greens.

    This is nonsense on stilts it really truly is. Winston is not predictable, he isn;t ‘an option’ for Labour precisely because he can go with National. Relying on hom is a Hail Mary pass. Labour should be doing all it can to signal to voters who want to change government that voting NZF is crap shoot, and that you should vote Labour if you don’t like the Greens.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — April 11, 2014 @ 3:09 pm

  37. Sure, maybe Labour’s belief that explicitly entering an alliance 1/4-1/3 of their voters, and particularly centrist swing voters, dislike is a bad idea is wrong. I’m open to argument on that front. But it’s not at all a surprise that that’s how the Labour leadership team acted.

    Comment by Keir Leslie — April 11, 2014 @ 3:15 pm

  38. Interpret this as you will:

    Comment by George — April 11, 2014 @ 3:27 pm

  39. ^Whoa, I didn’t know that happened.

    Comment by George — April 11, 2014 @ 3:28 pm

  40. But a NZF coalition is even less popular. That’s the baffling thing.

    Not just with Labour’s own supporters, (who pagani seems comfortable enough in sending to the Greens), but with all voters.

    http://t.co/Lu02FIauzF

    page 17

    And yes, it’s just one poll. But at least it is data on the actual question.

    Which is more than I’m seeing from the people convinced this was some dastardly plot from arrogant Greens that of course Labour would reject because it’s just so obvious I don’t even need to make an argument it just is, that’s why, and preposterous, and presumptuous, and how very dare they?

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — April 11, 2014 @ 3:33 pm

  41. Sure, maybe Labour’s belief that explicitly entering an alliance 1/4-1/3 of their voters, and particularly centrist swing voters, dislike is a bad idea is wrong. I’m open to argument on that front. But it’s not at all a surprise that that’s how the Labour leadership team acted.

    I’ve made this point a few times but I feel like I’m not getting through: its axiomatic with the Labour Party that the center hates the Greens, but the actual behavior of the polls during the period of Shearer’s leadership when they did the NZ power announcement etc doesn’t bear this out. Labour WASN’T punished for moving closer to the Greens. They won votes OFF National, and now they’re losing them to National. I kind of suspect Labour WILL be punished for looking like they aren’t a viable alternative government, since I think center voters care about that more than how much they hate the Greens.

    Comment by danylmc — April 11, 2014 @ 3:36 pm

  42. But the assumption is that if you like Labour/Greens, you’re going to, at worst, vote for the Greens, and most likely stay Labour. (I’m a classic example of that voter — I’d prefer Lab/Greens, and I might swing to the Greens if Labour went too far to the right, but I’m unlikely to start voting for a right-wing party). But if you are Lab/NZF, you might vote NZF, or you might vote National, or you might vote Labour. Labour wants to lock that vote in for the left, for obvious reasons.

    And, Pascal, it doesn’t matter if Labour are wrong — the point is that this was entirely predictable, and even if it’s predictable ’cause Labour ar a collection of nasty meanies who don’t understand, it’s still predictable.

    Comment by Keir Leslie — April 11, 2014 @ 3:43 pm

  43. 42 before seeing 41, and look, I’d love to think that visible close agreement with the Greens wins Labour votes*. However I know the Labour leadership doesn’t think that, and the Green leadership knows the Labour leadership doesn’t think that.

    * And I am actually pretty open to persuasion here, but I am wary that a lot of this is getting into Pauline Kael territory here.

    Comment by Keir Leslie — April 11, 2014 @ 3:46 pm

  44. Another really baffling about Labour’s apparent comfort with signalling that voting for Peters might help change the government, is RICHARD PROSSERand other as yet unknown great friends the LP is planning on making.

    Also, women voters. They tend to not like NZF and have shifted towards National quite recently. But we must go after the provincial bloke who hates the Greens, even though it’s obvious to everyone who can count, that the Greens have to be in the mix.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — April 11, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

  45. But the assumption is that if you like Labour/Greens, you’re going to, at worst, vote for the Greens, and most likely stay Labour.

    Sure, but the proportion changes things. Labour voters going to the Greens make Labour more reliant on the Greens. And if labour is actively downplaying the Greens and implying they’d rather go with Winston, this encourages Green leaning Labour voters will shift.

    It’s fluid, but Labour still acts as if it owns these voters, that they’ll, ‘most likely not shift but even if they do it doesn’t really matter because we own the Greens anyway’.

    It’s true, in a sense, that voting Green still supports a Labour led government, but you can’t think that way and at the same time rely on selling a very different idea to would be NZF voters. They’ll notice for starters, but most importantly, NZF can go with National, and the stronger the Greens are, the more likely they are to do so.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — April 11, 2014 @ 4:19 pm

  46. The more I think about this the more I agree with Josie Pagani: It’s a good thing if people who want a Labour/Green government vote Green. It’s also good if Labour make it clear to the 70% of their supporters who want that outcome that to get it, they have to vote Green.

    Comment by Moz — April 11, 2014 @ 4:50 pm

  47. Peters will go with National in either of those scenarios, and Labour are only useful in helping him negotiate a better deal with Key. So the solution is to push for a coalition and majority between them.

    This seems such a no-brainer: If Peters gets to decide who gets to be government, National will be the government. And yet the Labour leadership seem to think otherwise. Do they know something we don’t, or are they idiots?

    Actually, I’m tempted to go with “idiots.” As others have pointed out, pretending there’s a possibility of a Labour government without the Greens isn’t going to fool anyone, and yet they’re doing it.

    Then again, I was convinced David Shearer would be an excellent Leader of the Opposition, so what would I know?

    Comment by Psycho Milt — April 11, 2014 @ 4:56 pm

  48. @Moz 46:

    Excellent point. I look forward to the new Green/Labour government.

    Comment by RJL — April 11, 2014 @ 5:01 pm

  49. I almost don’t know where to start with this post, let alone Danyl’s numerous addendums. OK, here’s one thing – weren’t we saying a few months ago that Shearer was such a godawful leader that literally any of the available replacements would be better than him? And now we’re saying that Cunliffe should be taking lessons from what Shearer had been doing? Honestly Danyl sometimes it feels like your political memory only goes back as far as the last Dom Post op ed.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — April 11, 2014 @ 5:04 pm

  50. I could be though that the NZPower thing was a one off.

    Power was a huge issue because of the partial privatisation. Is their in equivalent. Hardly going to be offshore drilling,

    I suppose Labour’s taking a gamble but it’s a gamble either way.

    Agreeing to Norman’s proposal would mean betting on Labour and the Greens being able to form a govt without Peters.

    Whereas Labour would like to keep the options open.

    But what I see is Norman not unhappy this was all made public and Labour copping the backlash. I don’t buy Norman’s butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth act.

    Comment by NeiiM — April 11, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

  51. “Labour seem to think that confirming the idea that ‘Labour/Greens is scary’ is a grown up political masterstroke that those young whippersnappers in the Green party just don’t get.”

    Such brilliance won the last 2 elections after all..

    Comment by Sacha — April 11, 2014 @ 6:21 pm

  52. “most importantly, NZF can go with National, and the stronger the Greens are, the more likely they are to do so.”

    So true. Yet another piece of strategic duncery.

    Comment by Sacha — April 11, 2014 @ 6:49 pm

  53. “Power was a huge issue because of the partial privatisation.”

    There are these things called bills, Neil.

    Comment by Sacha — April 11, 2014 @ 6:51 pm

  54. “I kind of suspect Labour WILL be punished for looking like they aren’t a viable alternative government, since I think center voters care about that more than how much they hate the Greens.”

    People do not vote for those who seem unable organise a pissup in a brewery, yes.

    Comment by Sacha — April 11, 2014 @ 6:54 pm

  55. I finally had the chance to talk to some people in the Green Party about this, instead of just guessing and making shit up. The most interesting point that came through is that this is something the parties have been discussing for a while. So it’s not some sudden incomprehensible surprise that the Greens suddenly sprung on them, which is the story that Labour are now putting out.

    Comment by danylmc — April 11, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

  56. “Someone in the Greens leaked a fake party list to David Farrar,”

    Draft is the word you are looking for. It turned out to be reasonably accurate on most counts.

    Comment by Swan — April 11, 2014 @ 7:07 pm

  57. Given the Labour response was forseeable, you have to assume the Greens are trying to carve of more of the labour vote: “Look labour aren’t left at all, they prefer NZ First to us!”

    Which is quite a good strategy it has to be said.

    Comment by Swan — April 11, 2014 @ 7:24 pm

  58. Given the Labour response was forseeable, you have to assume the Greens are trying to carve of more of the labour vote: “Look labour aren’t left at all, they prefer NZ First to us!”

    Which is quite a good strategy it has to be said.

    Except that voters don’t care how ‘left’ you are. They really don’t. Mana is on how much of 1% right now?

    They care a little bit about justice and fairness. They care a lot about living wages (the notion that Cunliffe will take your wage to $18 an hour is quite attractive to people I speak to) and warm houses and free daycare and such things. They care, to the extent that the parties with these ideas and policies are able to communicate them in ways that seem attractive and achievable.

    Comment by George — April 11, 2014 @ 8:10 pm

  59. I have to agree with George above. The left blogsphere is dominated by urban liberals and Greens way out of proportion to their actual numbers in the electorate. Otherwise, for every three pro-Green posts their would be one from an NZ First supporter. The blogsphere favours the winners from the current power structures and generally reflects the views of the ruling class, liberal and ugly. The widely panned (by rich white people on the internet) proposal to remove of GST from fruit and vegetables is a classic example of the invisibility of the precariat on the internet, because I constantly get told by the family on a sub 45K income that was a great idea.

    Comment by Sanctuary — April 12, 2014 @ 8:48 am

  60. @Sanc: Thank god the precariat have you here to represent their views!

    Comment by kalvarnsen — April 12, 2014 @ 10:02 am

  61. I’m not disputing the core Green Party support is urban liberals. Who knows whether that market is fully tapped from Labour or not. But if it isn’t then the Greens have made a good play particularly as they have come away from it appearing to have the moral high ground!

    Comment by Swan — April 12, 2014 @ 11:57 am

  62. Clever Danyl has discovered he gets a big response if he plays the divisive left card. Keep stoking those destructive flames mate, you’re in a comfortable middle class bubble, what do you care if National gets reelected, eh?

    Comment by trev — April 12, 2014 @ 12:15 pm

  63. If Labour really are pitching for provincial conservatives, I sometimes wonder if it’s doomed to fail. In the 2004 US Democrat primaries, Howard Dean had some innovative ideas with online campaigning – perfected by President Obama 4 years later – only to blow it after he tried and failed to court Joe Sixpack and his Dixie-flagged pickup truck.

    It makes sense in theory for Labour to reach out to floating voters by all means, as it’s less likely to cannibalise the Greens vote. But there comes a point where it gets horribly contrived and Labour outrightly sells out, with no guarantee that ‘Waitakere Man’ will repay the favour.

    Comment by deepred — April 12, 2014 @ 9:03 pm

  64. @deepred: Is that why Dean was unsuccessful?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — April 12, 2014 @ 10:09 pm

  65. How on earth did a coalition seem like a reasonable idea? I mean, set aside the objective issue about it working or nor. There was absolutely no way that the Labour leadership was ever going to buy this one — subjectively, for them, it was clearly an absurd idea from start to finish.

    Comment by davidsimo1 — April 15, 2014 @ 5:26 am


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