The Dim-Post

May 1, 2014

National’s week

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 5:03 pm

This election isn’t about whether National can beat Labour. It’s about whether National can win enough seats to cobble together a nice manageable government for its third term, or whether they’re going to spend three long years dependent on United Future, New Zealand First, the Conservative Party, Te Ururoa Flavell and some ACT Party doofus to pass any legislation. That means maximising turnout, not alienating probable voters to stay at home on election day or to cast a protest vote for Colin Craig or Winston Peters.

So I think this Williamson resignation is a pretty big deal. Superficially it resembles the case of Nick Smith resigning after intervening in an ACC debacle. The big difference is that Smith intervened on behalf of a friend who was struggling in her dealings with the agency, while Williamson intervened on behalf of a National Party donor who assaulted his wife and her mother by informing the police that the accused was very wealthy. Smith looked like a Minister who abused his position. Williamson looks like a horrible, hateful crooked scumbag who obviously doesn’t accept that he’s done anything wrong: he’s given a ‘sorry if I caused a perception of wrongdoing’ non-apology and insists he’s going to stand again in September.

National can’t do much about Williamson. But putting forward two tobacco lobbyists as candidates in one week seems like another vote-suppression technique. Maybe I’m wrong, an out-of-touch liberal, yadda yadda yadda; but running this twenty-three year old tobacco shill in Southland just seems like its designed to provoke voters down there into saying, ‘Screw you guys! I’m voting for Winston.’


  1. But it’s all a triumph for John Key!

    Jesus wept. You just can’t make that shit up.

    Comment by Sanctuary — May 1, 2014 @ 5:08 pm

  2. ” But putting forward two tobacco lobbyists as candidates in one week seems like another vote-suppression technique.”

    Yet Labour has put forward a candidate in Wairarapa who is a bookmaker, this for a Party with a strong anti gambling flavour. Incidentally wasn’t it Damon O’Conner who gave residency against official advice to Liu?


    Comment by JC — May 1, 2014 @ 6:14 pm

  3. Danyl, we’ve discussed this before, but I think your conviction that the quality of electorate candidates has a large effect on people’s party vote is difficult to sustain.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — May 1, 2014 @ 6:58 pm

  4. I don’t think there’s anything nearly as calculated as you suggest. The Clutha-Southland nomination can be explained by incompetence, parochialism, and a lack of talent.

    Comment by George D — May 1, 2014 @ 7:55 pm

  5. You always know when National has a bad day – DPF posts a small story about it then buries by posting attacks on Labour every hour on the hour for the next six hours or so.

    Comment by Sanctuary — May 1, 2014 @ 8:08 pm

  6. Mike Hosking somehow made Williamson’s actions all about Cunliffe. Unbelievable, but then he took secret kickbacks to promote SkyCity, so maybe not.

    Comment by Judge Holden — May 1, 2014 @ 8:17 pm

  7. ‘Screw you guys! I’m voting for Winston.’
    In Southland? Nope.

    Comment by Grant — May 1, 2014 @ 8:36 pm

  8. I do like his bio though. After being a National Party tea boy, five minutes working for private sector PR now counts as ‘real world experience’.

    I thought only Labour tried to pull this shit.

    Comment by Gregor W — May 1, 2014 @ 8:46 pm

  9. A young tobacco lobbyist almost makes sense in Hutt South, where (unless I am mistaken) there is a cigarette factory that provides a few hundred jobs.

    But in Southland? A slick, babyfaced tobacco lobbyist trying to convince grizzled farmers not to punch him, let alone vote for him, seems to be taking the piss out of the concept of a safe seat a bit.

    Comment by Alex Braae — May 1, 2014 @ 9:12 pm

  10. Mike Moore
    Marilyn Waring
    Simon Upton
    Darren Hughes
    Gareth Hughes
    Jamie-Lee Ross
    Jacinda Ardern

    Comment by WH — May 1, 2014 @ 10:02 pm

  11. A slick, babyfaced tobacco lobbyist trying to convince grizzled farmers…

    They’ll vote for a fence post, but a fence post with hair gel?

    Comment by Joe W — May 1, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

  12. All over bar the shouting, Danyl ?

    No, I’m not prepared to accept that yet. You need to move beyond the relentless media narrative of doom and gloom for the Left.

    Fact is:

    (1) A monthly poll average analysis that I carried out recently suggests both National support and Right Bloc support were consistently over-stated (month after month) throughout the 18 months leading up to both the 2008 and 2011 general elections. And to a greater degree than the final round of polls before these 2 elections (which you presumably use in your bias-corrected poll of polls). I’d suggest we can pretty much lob 5-6 points off the Nats’ quarterly poll average and around 3 or 4 points off the Right Bloc as a whole.

    (2) You wouldn’t know it from the deeply misleading media coverage, but one or two recent polls have been quite reasonable for the Left Bloc. Exhibit A: Roy Morgan of late March. Lab + Green ahead of Nat, Left Bloc just a couple of points behind the Right Bloc (which, given the context above (1), suggests things were pretty close). Yes, yes – I realise there’s since been another Roy Morgan poll out. And not a pleasant one either. But the point is: it’s clearly not all over bar the shouting.

    Comment by swordfish — May 1, 2014 @ 11:21 pm

  13. Liu’s had a good week though with Labour declaring war on interest rates.

    Vote the scum out ever three years regardless. Cunnlife for 2014 and then Todd Barclay for 2017 its the only message they understand.

    Comment by Simon — May 2, 2014 @ 7:31 am

  14. I don’t see the problem with the Southland candidate … he appears to be a know-nothing kid with a strong sense of entitlement and a complete absence of any moral compass. He’ll make a perfect National Party MP.

    Comment by Economic Illiteracy Support Group — May 2, 2014 @ 8:40 am

  15. To the person about bookmakers as candidates, we don’t have bookmakers in NZ.

    Comment by Jeremy — May 2, 2014 @ 10:50 am

  16. we don’t have bookmakers in NZ

    Maybe not in the way they operate in Australia, but still….

    Comment by Ross — May 2, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

  17. #2: Which Liu, Bill or Donghua?
    #5&6: Classic tu quoque red-herring tactics.
    #8: Ed Bowie summed it up best: (
    #9: That’d be the Imperial Tobacco factory.
    #13: I’m torn. If Jesse Colombo is right about the NZ bubble within the next 3 years, should Cunliffe forfeit the match so that Key carries the poisoned chalice?

    Comment by DeepRed (@DeepRed6502) — May 3, 2014 @ 3:10 am

  18. Now it may be premature to think that the Williamson thing is where the rubber hit the road for labour and they managed to get the initial traction they needed drive on through to electoral victory (excuse the extended metaphor, I just couldn’t stop myself). Now comes the political skill bit though – Last week it was being asserted that labour were harping on about Collins and no one really cares it’s ‘beltway’ but suddenly Williamson breathes new life into the accusations of cronyism.

    Can Labour sustain this without being seen as ‘negative’? This will require very deft handling, by Labour, but there will be some kind of counter-attack coming from National I feel. Get the popcorn…

    Comment by Lee C — May 3, 2014 @ 11:13 am

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