The Dim-Post

July 23, 2014

Gamechangers

Filed under: Politics,polls — danylmc @ 12:11 pm

Updated the tracking poll. For variety’s sake this one goes all the way back to the start of 2005. It doesn’t correct for bias and the large circles intersecting the vertical lines are election results : nzpolls20140721nobiascorrJosie Pagani wrote a ‘what should Labour do now’ thing on Pundit that I partly agree with. (Although all such posts are predicated on the idea that Labour wants to win the election, and like I’ve said before, one of Cunliffe’s major challenges is a caucus filled with MPs who hate him and don’t want Labour to win the election while he’s leading it. They want to lose the election then assume control of the party and win in 2017, against a presumably weaker National-New Zealand First coalition. That’s not something Cunliffe can fix by ‘staying on message’ or ‘focusing on what matters’ or anything like that. It’s just a horrible reality that dooms him.)

Anyway, one of Pagani’s suggestions is:

Distance Labour from Dotcom. One reason for Labour’s poor polling is people just want to get rid of Dotcom and somehow he has become Labour’s problem now. Only because he is an enemy of our enemy.  Labour should only ever say of Dotcom, “he shouldn’t be in the country and National should not have let him in. We want him and his party nowhere near government.”

About a month ago I wrote:

Now, Internet/Mana might make good on their promise to turn out loads of young low decile voters, which might not show up in the polls but will have a huge impact on the actual election – and good on them if they do. But at this point it looks like the Harawira/Harre/Dotcom contribution to the election will be to cannibalise the left vote and scare the centre vote over to National, possibly gifting them an historic victory.

If the trend continues Labour will have to take a risk (for once) and rule out Internet/Mana from a Labour government.

So why haven’t Labour done this? I think there are a couple of reasons. The friendship between Matt McCarten, Labour’s Chief of Staff, and Laila Harre has got to be a factor here. Also, if Labour rules out Internet/Mana they’re kind of ruling out hope. There is a chance that Internet/Mana will be a ‘game-changer’ that will swing the election. I think that chance is very tiny, but it is there, and that gives some purpose to the campaign that’s absent if you’re just fighting to get Labour back into opposition with slightly more MPs. Finally there’s the culture of the contemporary Labour Party which is very conservative and risk averse. No one would want to take ownership of a call like that in case it backfired somehow.

And the chance of a ‘game-changer’ (this has come to mean ‘event that generates enormous media coverage but changes nothing’, but I use it in the original context) increased slightly with Dotcom’s revelation that Glen Greenwald will be at his town hall meeting just before the election. Now, Greenwald might just show up and talk about the 5-eyes network. But he does have full access to the Snowden documents which includes Australian and possibly New Zealand intelligence material. John Key’s staff have, apparently, searched every piece of documentation they could think of to try and find a link between Key and Dotcom prior to the police raid and they’ve come up empty, which is why Key’s been so confident about dismissing Dotcom’s claims. But they can’t be sure Greenwald doesn’t have, say, a secret Australian intelligence report discussing Key being briefed on Dotcom.

That would be an actual genuine bombshell. But would it be a game-changer? Would a significant number of people change their vote because of it? I’m guessing no.

81 Comments »

  1. The way you describe Matt McCarten as “Labour’s Chief of Staff” rather than his actual position which is “Cunliffe’s chief of staff” almost makes it sound like everybody is on the same page – which would be lovely…

    Comment by richardg — July 23, 2014 @ 12:43 pm

  2. “That would be an actual genuine bombshell. But would it be a game-changer?”

    Nah. But those already on edge would tip over. Popcorn time.

    Just remember comrades big State harassment of ordinary people is what you lot really wanted.

    Comment by Simon — July 23, 2014 @ 12:49 pm

  3. The black line is pretty interesting too. At 4.8% support the odds of Winston crossing the 5% threshold are 1.6 to 1.0 against. He’s a horse racing man – I think he’ll like those odds. You can see the calculations here if interested: http://ijpor.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/05/09/ijpor.edt009.full.pdf

    Comment by Malcolm Wright — July 23, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

  4. I thought Key’s turn-of-phrase at the Monday presser was interesting. He essentially called on Dotcom to show us what he had so that “we can then give our version of events”. Might be reading a lot into a little but it sounds like they have some sense of what might be coming and are constructing their response as a matter of interpretation.

    Comment by Patrick — July 23, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

  5. No, I don’t think Dotcom’s scaring the Centre vote over to National. Labour’s poor polling has much more to do with the relentless MSM campaign being waged against anything and everything that Cunliffe does or doesn’t do and the consequent sense of crisis that’s been deliberately built-up surrounding his leadership. I have less doubts than you, Danyl, about the ability of the media to profoundly shape voter perceptions with this kind of dogged, relentless, aggressive character assassination.

    Not that I’m suggesting Cunliffe/Labour are entirely blameless, here, but the MSM appear to have gone completely off their friggin heads over recent weeks…

    Comment by swordfish — July 23, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

  6. Would it be worth trying a bit of rhetorical sleight-of-hand and attacking “Kim Dotcom” and “Kim Dotcom’s party”, while not ruling out Mana (i.e. Hone Harawira, and Annette Sykes if they’re lucky). The Internet-Mana alliance will dissolve six weeks after the election, after all.

    Is there anything to lose from saying, at least, “Internet-Mana will absolutely be the last cab off the rank”? Or would that count as explicitly ruling them in, and cost votes?

    Comment by simian — July 23, 2014 @ 1:57 pm

  7. “…but the MSM appear to have gone completely off their friggin heads over recent weeks…”

    Anyone marketing an event will tell you three months out from any event is a crucial time for decision making for the undecided. The fix is in, and the mainstream media has done it’s part.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 23, 2014 @ 2:19 pm

  8. No, Labour’s problem is that it doesn’t look like a government.

    Dotcom’s Internet-Mana Alliance is unfortunately a net negative for any other party associated with them. But, with the Greens? Probably neutral. They’ve realised very clearly that they can’t risk losing further votes to the Greens. It’s also probably too late to pretend to love a Green-tinged Government. But they need to be able to express to the average person how they’re going to govern. They’re utterly unconvincing at doing that right now.

    I suspect this is why the gallery hates them so, and the coverage of anything related to the party (and particularly the leader) has been so relentlessly negative. Everyone hates a loser.

    The only problem is that if the caucus thinks that changing leaders will change these dynamics, they’re fools. They don’t have anyone substantially better than Cunliffe, between Robertson and Parker. Cunliffe should stamp his authority in public, and if he knows who the rat is who is talking to the gallery and undermining him this week, he should publicly expel that non-MP.

    Comment by George — July 23, 2014 @ 3:02 pm

  9. To answer the question – nobody who doesn’t already like Kim Dotcom will vote for Kim Dotcom (which is what his party is reduced to, in the eyes of voters) on the basis that something was done to him illegally.

    It would have to be something that substantially affects ordinary New Zealanders or outrages their sense of nationalistic propriety. That’s a very high bar. Particularly when the media are bored of the ringmaster.

    Comment by George — July 23, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

  10. “I suspect this is why the gallery hates them so, and the coverage of anything related to the party (and particularly the leader) has been so relentlessly negative.Everyone hates a loser. ”

    isnt that meant to be our job – not the medias?

    Comment by framu — July 23, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

  11. isnt that meant to be our job – not the medias?

    No, their job is to sell advertising. They’ll do whatever does that most effectively.

    Comment by George — July 23, 2014 @ 3:13 pm

  12. “Cunliffe should stamp his authority in public”, what authority? Cunliffe’s being kept on life support because the party can’t be bothered printing new hoardings, but he’s basically powerless apart from that. Doesn’t have a majority in caucus, doesn’t seem to have control of the party at large, and at present is heading for an unceremonious deposition some time in November. Sure he might still pull it all out the hat later on, and who knows the future, but right now, I would say that whoever’s got Robertson’s votes in their pocket is whoever’s got what little authority’s left in the party.

    Comment by John Lee — July 23, 2014 @ 3:21 pm

  13. Cunliffe’s being kept on life support because the party can’t be bothered printing new hoardings, but he’s basically powerless apart from that

    Isn’t that the point? Someone with nothing to lose except an election has quite a few more options.

    Whether *any* of those are feasible options I do not know.

    Comment by George — July 23, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

  14. Since some ridicule Kim Dotcom it might interest you to have a closer look/watch of him. I tuned in just for a minute or two then was compelled to watch/listen to the whole 41 minutes of the ZB interview. Direct. Credible. Fluent. Intelligent. Of course the Right would rather you didn’t watch since the “criminal” tag might be so wrong.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/national/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503075&gal_cid=1503075&gallery_id=144347

    Comment by xianmac — July 23, 2014 @ 3:40 pm

  15. Cunliffe should stamp his authority in public, and if he knows who the rat is who is talking to the gallery and undermining him this week, he should publicly expel that non-MP.

    Just like Phil Goff did with Chris Carter. Problem solved … oh.

    Comment by Flashing Light — July 23, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

  16. Might be reading a lot into a little but it sounds like they have some sense of what might be coming and are constructing their response as a matter of interpretation.

    @Patrick – my thought also. Definitely a rhetorical divergence from the “I’d never heard of Kim DotCom” line.

    Comment by Gregor W — July 23, 2014 @ 4:24 pm

  17. “But they can’t be sure Greenwald doesn’t have, say, a secret Australian intelligence report discussing Key being briefed on Dotcom. That would be an actual genuine bombshell. But would it be a game-changer?”

    I’m struggling to see why, given how many justifiable opportunities everyone’s had to not trust John Key and National, based on evidence, up until now. Most likely, anything revealed by DotCom and co, even if it’s a fully verified criminal record of John Key engaging in cannibalism of babies in some obscure European country 30 years ago, will be written off by the bulk of National’s supporters, without much consideration, because of the messenger.

    Comment by izogi — July 23, 2014 @ 5:03 pm

  18. If you go to the standard the line there is john key is a pathological liar
    So by useing logic all left wing people think john key is a liar so what’s one more lie
    Right wing people will
    – not believe the messenger
    – not care about the lie because the can’t stand fat Germans anyway
    – because even cunlife told the us ambassador certain people are denied visas if the government of the day think they are security risks

    Comment by Graham — July 23, 2014 @ 6:06 pm

  19. R script? (r fan boy)

    Comment by andrew wheeler — July 23, 2014 @ 6:23 pm

  20. I’d suspect the most critical thing is that if many voters can’t see a realistic alternative, they’ll reason whatever logic is necessary to justify voting for the choice they see as the least worst. Right now, for many people, it’s the National Party.

    Given the choice of National or “someone else” there is nobody else at present, so all that arguing of how inappriate National might be is tending to be wasted..

    Comment by izogi — July 23, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

  21. If you go to the standard the line there is john key is a pathological liar

    I think it has something to do with all those lies he’s told, but maybe I’m taking too simplistic an approach…

    Comment by Psycho Milt — July 23, 2014 @ 6:42 pm

  22. There are similarities and differences between Helen Clark’s rise and and continued grip on power and David Cunliffe’s rather more precarious position.While they are both supported by the party they have different relationships with the party. Clark and her allies dominated it. And she and her allies came to be impregnable in the caucus. Cunliffe is a creature of the party and does not control it. They control him. At the same time his writ does not run very far in the caucus. Clark could stare down the coup-makers who tried to topple her in 1996 because she had both the caucus and the party on her side. Cunliffe controls nothing. he is the creature of the party rather than the party leader and all who are interested in politics realise his writ does not run far in his own caucus. Clark’s personal manner reinforced her position of power. Cunliffe’s puppyish desire to please and be the centre of attention is reflected in his continued bold statements which then have to be modified and retracted under pressure because he lacks a solid power base that he controls and which might give him the confidence to only take positions he can stick to. As a result, his neediness appears almost pathological. The man is running for his life and it shows. Being saved by the party in any leadership struggle post election – assuming he is not PM – will not be a good platform for moving forward because he still won’t control his caucus and, if the polls are right, won’t have any new allies to help him take the fight to his opponents. Bill English did some pretty undignified and desperate things in the 2002 campaign but he never looked this needy.

    Comment by Tinakori — July 23, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

  23. R script? (r fan boy)

    Yep. Peter Green writes them, not me. (I mostly code in Perl nowadays because that’s what a lot of bioinformatics gets done in, for some reason. I keep meaning to learn R but never find the time.)

    Comment by danylmc — July 23, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

  24. What to make of Cunliffe’s apology for his apology.

    On the one hand he’s implying that his comments were taken out of context. Given the context was they were his opening comments at the Women’s Refugee symposium what sort of context did he expect that to be? Not worth reporting?

    On the other he’s not prepared to stand by his words because he thinks the media is being unfair.

    It doesn’t suggest a lot of “manning up”.

    Comment by NeilM — July 23, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

  25. Let’s just pretend that the MSM are bias and out to get Cunliffe (rather than it being a massive whinge from ref blaming partisans)
    1. It’s your fault! You voted in a guy that most people who meet him, hate. This includes many in the press gallery. Just because you believed Cunliffe was the reincarnation of Hugo Chavez, doesn’t mean those that already know him will change their opinion.
    2. Cunliffe has now attacked the press directly, some journalists by name, with veiled threats about what will happen to them if Labour get in power. These attacks have been carried out by Greg Presland who is Cunliffes online glove puppet. With the known connection between Presland and DC, everything he posts is ok’d by Cunliffe himself and his coms team.
    Will threats of utu make the press write nicer things about you? It’s fucking amateur hour.

    Comment by King Kong — July 23, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

  26. My point mr physco
    To a non beltway person all politicians tell lies so what’s one more lie
    The pm has said he didn’t know the fat German before a certain date
    He also pointed out to john Campbell that even if he had it didn’t make any difference to how the fat German was treated
    If me dotcom was smart he would have realised that ripping of the movie industry who donate heavily to mr Obama might have consequences
    Maybe he should have moved to Venezuela
    Like mr wiki leaks wants too

    Comment by Graham — July 23, 2014 @ 8:11 pm

  27. Interesting chart Danyl.
    It suggests what I what believed and said many times in the media: that Labour/Green/etc was on track to form a government under David Shearer, and that David Cunliffe has fucked everything up for the left.
    In one sense I am delighted about this.
    In another, it is sad. Because Shearer could have been a very good prime minister, more focussed on the long term than Key.

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — July 23, 2014 @ 8:27 pm

  28. If me dotcom was smart he would have realised that ripping of the movie industry who donate heavily to mr Obama might have consequences

    Did they have a trial and I didn’t notice? Anyway, should someone busy turning Canterbury’s rivers into various grades of dilute cowshit really be lecturing anyone on the consequences of their business activities?

    Comment by Psycho Milt — July 23, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

  29. It’s interesting that none of those who thought Cunliffe’s initial apology was a heroic breakthrough for men in NZ have said much about his revision.

    Many who had any slight qualm with what he said were branded as rape culture supporters. Now Cunliffe is running from what he’s said, what does that make him?

    I had my doubts about all of this just being vacuous masucline chest beating and I think I’ve been proved right.

    Comment by NeilM — July 23, 2014 @ 9:49 pm

  30. I had my doubts about all of this just being vacuous masucline chest beating and I think I’ve been proved right.

    Going by your past posts you’ve been steadily beating away somewhere south of the chest area.

    Comment by Joe W — July 23, 2014 @ 9:57 pm

  31. Ah the old cow shit lie
    The problem in Canterbury isn’t raw shit doofus
    It’s n leeching
    No raw shit goes into the river the problem with labour are illustrated by your statements
    You lie and lie and then you lie some more
    Each lie can be demonstrated to be at minimum a misunderstanding of evidence at best
    Or worst just plain pants on fire lieing
    You rely on ignorance but as we educate people they see you for the charlatans that you are
    Next you will abuse me call me stupid add some other foul lie etc
    And yet you wonder why people don’t want your narrow minded envy riddenend view of the world
    I have plenty of rocks on my farm
    Care to craw back under one mr physco?

    Comment by Graham — July 23, 2014 @ 10:05 pm

  32. As regards to trial of the German
    That’s what the want to do mr dot com is spending millions so he won’t have a trial
    Please do keep up
    And besides its late don’t you have school in the morning

    Comment by Graham — July 23, 2014 @ 10:08 pm

  33. That’s why

    Comment by Graham — July 23, 2014 @ 10:09 pm

  34. @Joe W

    Using sex as an aggressive insult, especially given the subject matter, might not disprove my point.

    Comment by NeilM — July 23, 2014 @ 10:21 pm

  35. John key has retreated from the stance of ” I’d never heard of Dot Com”, to one of ‘we don’t think you can prove I’d heard of Dot Com ‘.

    As for ‘deals’ come election time. If the Left got over 50% of the vote I think we’d see a deal done to get rid the Nats.

    Be stupid not to.

    Comment by reason — July 23, 2014 @ 10:41 pm

  36. @reason: Not only is Labour getting over 50% of the vote extremely unlikely, if they had an absolute majority, there’d be no need for any deals.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 24, 2014 @ 4:38 am

  37. Apologies for feeding the troll. At the risk of doing it again:

    It’s interesting that none of those who thought Cunliffe’s initial apology was a heroic breakthrough for men in NZ have said much about his revision.

    Many who had any slight qualm with what he said were branded as rape culture supporters. Now Cunliffe is running from what he’s said, what does that make him?

    Stepping through these sentences in reverse order:

    1. It makes him a politician.
    2. Should read “Many who heard only the out-of-context soundbite peddled by right-wing blogs and professional arseholes like Gower had the knee-jerk reaction aimed at by the peddlers. And rape culture participants were of course extremely annoyed by it.”
    3. His speech didn’t strike me as a “heroic breakthrough for NZ men,” more an expression of the reality of the situation by someone with at least a shred of empathy (the “shred of empathy” part of course being what made it such a provocation by the commenters of Whaleoil and Kiwiblog). His apology for it strikes me as deliberate media strategy.

    Here’s what makes me think it’s strategy. Watching Cunliffe run through apologies for every thing the media’s been ridiculing him for this week, in which he apologised for having expressed empathy to a conference of women who help rape and abuse victims, apologised for having taken a three-day break with his family, and apologised for wearing a red scarf, the idiocy of that week’s media reporting about him was made manifest. After this, journos efforts to make stories about him out of pointless trivia will make them look obessive and obnoxious. It seems a high-risk strategy to me, but at this point it’s not like he’s got a lot to lose.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — July 24, 2014 @ 6:43 am

  38. Fuck. “…a provocation for the commenters of Whaleoil and Kiwiblog.”

    Comment by Psycho Milt — July 24, 2014 @ 6:45 am

  39. It is interesting to read the views of Tinakori and John Lee, because they sum up the essentially courtier mindset of the press gallery and Thorndon bubble. The key false assumption they are making is that the Labour caucus can scheme away, safely ignoring the will of the party and immune to retribution for their treachery. To my mind, this is a monumentally arrogant and out-of-touch error of judgement. Should Labour suffer a bad loss this year, some of them may find themselves no longer members of the Labour party. Tinakori may sneer at the quaint idea of political party being wrested back from a palace elite as a “circular firing squad” but I would prefer a united, determined and sure Labour caucus of 28-30 than to one of 34-6 MPs that is nobbled by a clique of 4-6 geriatric and self-serving 1980s and 90s neolibs ex-Labour electorate MPs.

    The old guard can go off and form some fake party or another, propping up the government and behaving like larrikins and latter day Prebbles, until they all lose their seats in 2017.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 24, 2014 @ 8:00 am

  40. @reason
    John key hasn’t retreated from his statement that he didn’t know the fat German
    What he and others have pointed out is that it’s a red hearing
    If you(the collective left)
    Are expecting a miracle 5 days out from the election your f##ked

    Comment by Graham — July 24, 2014 @ 8:08 am

  41. You know cow urine and manure is chock-full of nitrogen and other waterway pollutants, right?

    Comment by Rob — July 24, 2014 @ 8:23 am

  42. “…it’s a red hearing…”

    This sentence is a bit fishy to me.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 24, 2014 @ 8:34 am

  43. What I don;t get is if KDC etc have a ‘bombshell’ why they aren’t dropping it now, and then capitalising on it in the lead-up rather than waiting until it will be probably too late to have any electoral impact.
    Is it going to be like that last bombshell that Peters promised but failed to deliver?

    Sanctuary it is fishy as everyone knows ‘A red hearing’ is an oxymoron.

    Comment by LeeC — July 24, 2014 @ 8:40 am

  44. I know we’re not supposed to say it, but Cunliffe isn’t some incarnation of the party-spirit, like Napoleon at Jena. He’s just a guy.

    And the party hasn’t exactly punished the ABCs in selections. I don’t think that a move to punish the ABCs is possible at this point, or any time soon, and Cunliffe knows it. (It’s not possible because you’d have to burn off more than half of caucus. Not going to happen.)

    Comment by John Lee — July 24, 2014 @ 9:17 am

  45. “…(It’s not possible because you’d have to burn off more than half of caucus. Not going to happen.)…”

    I actually agree with this. But you only need one Admiral Byng to make a symbolic difference and stamp your authority. Here is how I would do it at next year’s conference if Labour loses:

    1/ Expel Trevor Mallard, “pour encourager les autres”.

    2/ Take Phil Goff aside and make him an offer he can’t refuse by pointing out the fate of Trevor and suggesting that the party would enthusiastically endorse any run for the Auckland mayoralty.

    2 / Pass a time limit rule at the next conference that prevents the re-selection as a candidate any MP who has already spent more than 25 years in the house. Renewal is a Mum and apple pie thing, after all.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 24, 2014 @ 10:28 am

  46. You would never be able to expel Mallard. He’d fight it and he would win. Caucus wouldn’t support it, the Wellington party wouldn’t stand for it, and that would be the trigger to roll Cunliffe. Advice about what to do at conference next year is useless — Cunliffe’s problem is that he doesn’t have the numbers in caucus to make it to next year’s conference. He doesn’t have the numbers in caucus to make it to Christmas at the moment.

    Basically, Cunliffe has until February to significantly turn the polls around (which is unlikely) or he’ll face a challenge, which will be a well organised and brutal challenge. He’s a paper tiger.

    Comment by John Lee — July 24, 2014 @ 11:00 am

  47. Are you saying ‘here’s how I would do it’ if you were Cunliffe, should Labour lose, Sanctuary? Because I don’t think Cunliffe wil be in situ by then. I reckon a Goff/Shearer alliance will on the basis that Labour might have stood a reasonable chance of forming a working Government alliance if they’d (especially) kept Shearer on. I’d argue that binning Mallard would be a poor second to bringing Cunliffe to heel, if the aim is to ‘encourager les autres’.

    The elephant in the room to me is that choosing Cunliffe as Leader has been proven to be a questionable decision, and no one wants to say it out aloud, at least not before the election. If I were Shearer and Goff I’d be organising appointments with EPMU and CTU and if I were Cunliffe, I’d be angling for a role alongside those two, post election.

    Throw mayorship at Mallard – he’d be a great choice.

    Comment by LeeC — July 24, 2014 @ 11:05 am

  48. @John Lee – the Auckland Labour party will have the final say, not Wellington. Get used to it.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 24, 2014 @ 11:09 am

  49. But how does Cunliffe get in a position where he can move the motion to expel Mallard? If he tries it, he gets rolled within hours. They have the numbers to do that, and I am absolutely sure Cunliffe knows that.

    Comment by John Lee — July 24, 2014 @ 11:19 am

  50. But how does Cunliffe get in a position where he can move the motion to expel Mallard?

    Squatting?

    Comment by NeilM — July 24, 2014 @ 11:44 am

  51. “…But how does Cunliffe get in a position where he can move the motion to expel Mallard? If he tries it, he gets rolled within hours. They have the numbers to do that, and I am absolutely sure Cunliffe knows that…”

    Everyone knows Grant Robertson’s ambitions and everyone knows there is a right wing/ABC faction white-anting the current leadership. But everyone also pretends they don’t exist, that Labour is one big happy family. This is the ABC factions big advantage. Cunliffe is out under the street lamps of the main avenue while they can keep sniping from the dark alleys. To my mind, attempting to expel Mallard will force their hand, and flush the players out into the main avenue. Further, it will force them out into the open in the defence of a person the entire country loathes. Mallard has been rejected by everyone and everything from his wife down, FFS.

    Remember, the real power in the NZLP resides in the Auckland R&F. The “Wellington party” is a few HQ courtiers and the ABC faction of the caucus that fancies it proximity to power as giving it an authority it does not possess. If Cunliffe were to say “I am moving to expel Trevor Mallard then seek a new leadership mandate as soon as possible” and 24 hours later he was rolled without consultation, then anyone who voted against him would be, as they say, “An enemy of the people”.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 24, 2014 @ 12:24 pm

  52. If you think everyone pretends the NZLP is a happy family, have you been to the Standard or the Daily Blog lately? Pretty much every post is a whinge about Mallard/Goff/King/Nash/Hipkins/Robertson/Shearer/Davis etc — which is part of the problem: two-thirds of the Labour caucus can’t suddenly become unpeople. If Cunliffe tries anything like that, he’s gone. It’s fantasy stuff.

    Comment by John Lee — July 24, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

  53. @LeeC: “What I don;t get is if KDC etc have a ‘bombshell’ why they aren’t dropping it now, and then capitalising on it in the lead-up rather than waiting until it will be probably too late to have any electoral impact.”

    All I could think of is if it were something about 90% of people who happen to prefer National, not being properly registered to vote for some technical reason. Or (marginally more likely) maybe National’s not properly registered as a political party for being on the ballot. If you had an evil manipulative agenda with no concern about self-image, I guess it would make sense to hold onto that one until it’s too late to deal with.

    Seriously, though, anything short of proof that National can’t be elected (instead of that it shouldn’t) will at most result in a huge media build-up to 5 days before the election. At that time, everyone’s going to be looking at KDC with unimaginible expectations. It won’t matter what he has because people will just exclaim “is that all”?

    Comment by izogi — July 24, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

  54. If Labour did say that and they got elected, then they would have problems approving Dotcom’s extradition on grounds of having already declared their prejudice.

    Comment by richdrich — July 24, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

  55. I suspect Greenwald may reveal something concrete to back up Dotcom’s version of the links between Hollywood, Biden, the FBI, and the raid. There may be a reference to the NZ Govt being briefed. The only thing bad for Key would be if he was referred to as being ‘personally briefed’ before the date he’s claimed he first heard of Mr Dotcom. And I agree I’m not sure if enough New Zealanders still have enough moral judgement for it to affect the outcome of this election. I think it will be very interesting to find out who his other ‘guests’ are going to be.

    Comment by aj — July 24, 2014 @ 1:45 pm

  56. @ rob
    You have proved my point again lies
    Do u want a lesson in science
    Think of soil as a bucket
    Different soil types are bigger or smaller buckets
    Soil temperature is critical because as plants grow they use more N
    N loss occurs in increases from April to September
    When plant growth is low
    This occurs on all farms
    Work has been done in cantetbury to identify how it is occurring so we can reduce the effects on the environment
    On my farm 5 years ago the n loss was 50 kg/ ha/ year
    Last season it was 32kg/ha/year
    We have to get to 20 kg in the next 20 years
    All this is achievable and will happen without job losses by useing science and knowledge to achieve our goals
    The problem canterbury faces is the 2 worst polluted rivers are the avon and the heathcote
    The cost to fix those will be huge
    All storm water systems would have to be redisgned
    All tar roads ripped up and replaced by concerete
    Christchurch would be broke
    My advice to the youth here it’s good to care about the environment but don’t think that business don’t
    And the answers are complex
    And the villains aren’t always who you think they are

    Comment by Graham — July 24, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

  57. Also
    My farm grows 3 kg a day in June
    80kg a day in November
    N loss isn’t a problem then
    You show me where a farmer is puting shit in a river and I will show u a defendant in enviourment court

    Comment by Graham — July 24, 2014 @ 2:03 pm

  58. “…Think of soil as a bucket…”

    Gold.

    I think I am going to get a tee that says that.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 24, 2014 @ 2:16 pm

  59. Wow plants take up less nitrogen in the winter? Thanks for your epic science lesson Graham but you neglected to mention where the nitrogen is coming from?

    Unfortunately for you, I very much doubt you’re capable of providing anyone a lesson in anything – apart from as an example in a case study of wilful ignorance.

    Cow shit is still full of nitrogen Graham. Your stilted and disjointed rambling doesn’t actually deny that.

    Comment by Rob — July 24, 2014 @ 2:32 pm

  60. It’s not the shit that’s the problem
    Is urine

    Comment by Graham — July 24, 2014 @ 3:51 pm

  61. @rob
    It dosent go with the all Tory’s are bad aruguement what my farm has done is nothing abnormal round here
    A 30 % reduction in n loss since 2010
    In fact it’s better than that in 2010 I produced 380000kgms with a n loss of 50 kg ha
    In2014
    I produced 570000 kgms with a n loss of 34 kg/ha
    What I am doing is being replicated all over canterbury

    Comment by Graham — July 24, 2014 @ 4:00 pm

  62. “It is interesting to read the views of Tinakori and John Lee, because they sum up the essentially courtier mindset of the press gallery and Thorndon bubble.” Great that you use the term Thorndon Bubble, Sanctuary. It is so much better than the “Beltway”. Anyway, to communicate directly with working class proletarians such as yourself hard at work in the industrial wastelands of Herne Bay let me put this another way. Helen Clark was a leader of her party and her caucus. The latter was shaky in the early days but the strategic vision (for the party not the country) was strong and her tactics eventually prevailed. She commanded the party and the caucus for nine years and as leader of the Opposition she was unchallenged for three years in the run up to the 1999 election. David Cunliffe is a hood ornament whose writ runs no further than his office. If I was picking the type of car it would, of course, be a Lada.

    Comment by Tinakori — July 24, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

  63. GST on fruit and veggies. We were for it before we were against it. But whatever, we love children, you hate them,

    Holiday highway. We were against it before we were for it. But whatever, you hate public transport.

    Deep sea drilling. We were….something… but you hate the environment.

    Male violence against women – I sort of apologized and then sort of apologized but heh, anyone have a problem with that then you promote rape culture.

    I think that has more to do with why the centre left is floundering rather than any need for rejuvenation within the Labour Party.

    Comment by NeilM — July 24, 2014 @ 8:10 pm

  64. Phil Goff running for the Auckland mayoralty? Jesus, Sanc, don’t give up your day job.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 24, 2014 @ 8:14 pm

  65. And Key has no problem with John Campbell but Cunliffe is all out of sorts about Hosking.

    Everyone knows Campbell is no fan of Key. But Key has the good sense to appear unconcerned and the good sense to know TV3 and TV One will ensure there’s no bias.

    And god forbid a PM should be photographed with significant sports people.

    Comment by NeilM — July 24, 2014 @ 8:26 pm

  66. “But how does Cunliffe get in a position where he can move the motion to expel Mallard?
    Squatting?”

    Unexpected joy
    #roflnui

    Comment by Sacha — July 24, 2014 @ 11:50 pm

  67. Everyone knows Campbell is no fan of Key. But Key has the good sense to appear unconcerned…

    As well he might, given that Campbell is, unlike Hosking, a journalist, not a ‘broadcaster.’ He might be a bit more concerned if Campbell had publicly endorsed Cunliffe, publicly denounced Key, was well known for being an arsehole and was so lacking in self-perception that despite the above he’d belligerently rejected any suggetions of bias. But we’ll never know.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — July 25, 2014 @ 6:31 am

  68. My problem with having Hosking do the debate is that I literally will be unable to watch it. And I’m using “literally” literally.

    Comment by Flashing Light — July 25, 2014 @ 7:39 am

  69. “To answer the question – nobody who doesn’t already like Kim Dotcom will vote for Kim Dotcom (which is what his party is reduced to, in the eyes of voters) on the basis that something was done to him illegally.”

    You’re missing the point – there may be intending National voters who could switch to the Left following Dotcom’s big reveal. Those voters need not vote for KDC (in fact nobody can as he isn’t standing). As long as voters switch from National (or the Right) to the Left, it doesn’t matter which parties on the Left those votes accrue to.

    Comment by Ross — July 25, 2014 @ 11:37 am

  70. And god forbid a PM should be photographed with significant sports people.

    Photoshopped, not photographed. Given your bedtime story level of engagement it’s no surprise that you’re fooled.

    Comment by Joe W — July 25, 2014 @ 11:42 am

  71. @68

    I want to watch it just to see how Hosking will take a back seat from being the centre of attention. I want to hear the leaders speak, not Hosking. Him holding his tongue will be torture for him. Can he do it?

    Comment by Ross — July 25, 2014 @ 11:48 am

  72. You’re missing the point – there may be intending National voters who could switch to the Left following Dotcom’s big reveal. Those voters need not vote for KDC (in fact nobody can as he isn’t standing). As long as voters switch from National (or the Right) to the Left, it doesn’t matter which parties on the Left those votes accrue to.

    Except you’re missing the point. National, ably assisted by the IMP, will have already framed a vote for any party of the left as being a vote for a government that includes the IMP.

    I’m willing to wager that Key will secretly be delighted if KDC & Co. shout about supporting a left-wing government over the next few months. It’ll actually be kind of karmic to see the one successful narrative from the opposition this term (that we should be fearful of wealthy foreigners trying to buy our country) sink their chances of winning.

    Comment by Phil — July 25, 2014 @ 1:01 pm

  73. “Except you’re missing the point. National, ably assisted by the IMP, will have already framed a vote for any party of the left as being a vote for a government that includes the IMP.”

    Except such framing will have been done by someone who may have lied about not knowing KDC. That strategy doesn’t strike me as a vote winner.

    Comment by Ross — July 25, 2014 @ 1:44 pm

  74. See my blog post on why I’m voting Green but I want the left to lose:

    https://nzperspective.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/the-new-zealand-left-needs-to-lose-this-election/

    Comment by samcorbettdavies — July 25, 2014 @ 2:19 pm

  75. I read something from one of the pollsters over on a comment thread at public address. Said the recent fall for labour (and equally distributed upswing for everyone else) is because more labour voters are unsure if they’ll vote. No one’s shifting anywhere, there’s just a huge pool of Labour voters that are thinking they *might* stay home on the day, and they don’t show up in the poll numbers at all.

    Presumably, they’re thinking of not showing up because the polls are so bad. A lot of National voters after the last election said they didn’t vote on the day because the polls said National was miles ahead anyway, so no point. It’s really pretty disturbing how much effect that has, when you consider our poor turnouts in general.

    That could easily turn around though, the last six weeks can produce some huge shifts in people’s will to get to the polls. Or we could have another Bill English result where huge numbers from one side just stay home.

    Comment by tussock — July 25, 2014 @ 6:05 pm

  76. @tussock

    Hey there. It wasn’t a pollster who said that. I’ve been working on a vote switching analysis to help shed some light on this whole undecided/will not vote issue. It will come out a week or so after the next poll is released.

    Comment by Andrew — July 25, 2014 @ 7:32 pm

  77. ” our poor turnouts in general”

    Bit of an exaggeration there, Tussock? Compared to other western countries, NZ’s turnout rates are very good, averaging around 80%. The last election was an all-time low, but it was still a fairly respectable 74% – the UK hasn’t had a turnout that high in twenty years.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 25, 2014 @ 10:40 pm

  78. “Compared to other western countries, NZ’s turnout rates are very good, averaging around 80%.”

    I wouldn’t call them bad by global standards just yet, but I think it’s a matter for concern that there seems to be a downward trend. I’d have thought we should expect to have a higher turnout than somewhere like the UK (as we do) because FPP systematically extinguishes many people’s votes (through safe electorates) and makes them meaningless, but even then the same chart’s almost entirely showing NZ as having lower turnouts under MMP than it normally had under FPP The trend might be because people are genuinely disengaged, or maybe there’s just been an uncharacteristic lack of issues to get people fired up in the last few elections.

    Also keep in mind that New Zealand’s turnout rates are normally measured against enrolled voters. Despite enrolment being compulsory, only 93.7% of eligible people were estimated to be enrolled in 2011 (compared with 95.3% in 2008).

    Multiply it by the 74.2% turnout, and suddenly the 2011 election is down to an estimaed actual turnout of only 69.5%, compared with an estimated actual turnout of 75.8% in 2008.

    Comment by izogi — July 25, 2014 @ 11:25 pm

  79. @izogi: “Also keep in mind that New Zealand’s turnout rates are normally measured against enrolled voters” True, but every other country has a similar problem – some even moreso, since not everybody makes enrolment compulsory. So it doesn’t necessarily negate my point about NZ still being better than a lot of countries.

    I agree there has been a downward trend, although it’s interesting to note that even when both NZ and the UK were using FPP, NZ’s turnout was higher.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 25, 2014 @ 11:46 pm

  80. #74: I just heard on NatRad that turnout at the 2011 election was only 69%. And according to the stats in this post, the NACTs actual number of votes has barely changed since 2008. What has likely happened is that disillusioned Labour voters have gone to the Greens, NZ First, and probably most of all, the common nouns of cynicism and disillusionment. And you know what they say about common nouns being a tougher enemy to fight than proper nouns.

    Comment by DeepRed (@DeepRed6502) — July 26, 2014 @ 10:29 pm

  81. Even if it’s only 25% not turning out, with 2-6% of them not counted for the threshold, we’re letting ~36% of registered voters pick the government (if not 1% of them in Epsom). That’s no better than we had under FPP, where most governments were elected by more than that.

    To me it’s just stunning. Those 25% represent 30 seats in the house. That’s a guaranteed change in government. I know the post-election polling says they’d have voted fairly similarly to the ones that actually did, but even 2 seats shift against National last election would’ve given us a different policy set, as would 2 seats for them. Yet large numbers of non-voters said they didn’t vote because they didn’t think it would change the outcome. !!!

    Hell, the last seat under MMP usually comes down to a couple hundred votes. Tight electorates are similar. People don’t seem to know that. I suppose the large number living in Australia would have a hard time knowing much about that.

    Comment by tussock — July 27, 2014 @ 2:03 am


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