The Dim-Post

September 21, 2014

Brief thoughts on National’s historic victory

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 7:21 am
  • The National Party is an incredibly well resourced, well managed, professional political party and it turns out that these things counted for a lot last night.
  • The phone was not off the hook for Labour. Twelve months ago, just after Cunliffe won the leadership of his party Labour were on 37% with the Greens on 12%. There’s a cliche that oppositions don’t win elections, government’s lose them, but Labour lost this election. Cunliffe is probably the worst campaigner in New Zealand political history.
  • Based on the preliminary figures I think turnout will end up being slightly higher than last time but still very low. I was a strong advocate for a strategy of having left-wing parties try and improve their vote by targeting and mobilising younger voters, but it turns that that strategy is electoral suicide! Sorry guys!
  • So the lesson from last night’s right-wing landslide seems to be that older New Zealanders are very engaged with the political process and younger New Zealanders are not. That’s a shame but it’s a message politicians cannot ignore. No one’s going to waste time and energy chasing ‘the youth vote’ again for a very long time.
  • I think that the best way forward for Labour is for Cunliffe and ‘the old guard’ – Goff, Mallard and King – to resign. They’ve been at war for six years now and they’re tearing their party apart. I doubt this will happen though. The civil war will drag on for another parliamentary term. That party is dying.
  • The Greens will be despondent. I’m despondent for them. But – I can finally say this now – their billboards were really fucking weird. Their problem of having their final vote underperform relative to their polling is growing more acute, and their great challenge for 2017 is to determine why this happens and focus their party on addressing that problem.
  • If New Zealand First goes into coalition with National then that’s a win for Labour who can concentrate on winning back those left-leaning socially conservative older voters. (Er, Grant Robertson might not be the best choice for this job). If they don’t then that is an (additional) nightmare scenario for Labour.
  • I’m ambivalent about the failure of the Conservative Party. Yes, Craig was basically just buying his way into Parliament, but that’s what ACT does, and a huge component of National’s success is that it is a fundraising vehicle first and a governing political party second. Almost 90,000 people wanted Colin Craig’s Conservative’s in Parliament, and their votes should have been respected. Still, it turns out that Key and Collins were right about keeping the threshold at 5%. The redistributed seats caused by the Conservative’s wasted vote gave National the numbers to govern alone.
  • The Internet Party will go down as one of the most disastrous failures in modern political history. Their final party list result is only slightly higher than Mana’s was in 2011. $4.5 million dollars and it only bought them a couple of thousand votes. They didn’t even cannibalise support from other left-wing parties.
  • What they did do is scare the crap out of middle-New Zealand and frighten them into voting National so that the party filled with screaming, chanting, scary lunatics backed by a malevolent German criminal didn’t get a say in running the country
  • I’m sad to see Harawira leave Parliament. I think he’s an important voice. But I’m thrilled that I won’t ever again have to listen to Laila Harre on Morning Report braying about how much integrity she has and how wonderful everything she does is.
  • ACT continues its horrible zombie existence as a fake party preventing any real liberal party from emerging and poaching National’s votes. Although, I think the rise of the Conservative Party at the expense of ACT shows that it was never a real classical liberal party but rather a conservative red-neck party that happened to be funded and staffed by so-called classical liberals. Jamie Whyte will be a Herald columnist before the end of the year.

I’m disappointed by the scale of National’s victory and the poor result for the Greens, but I also think we dodged a bullet last night. I think that Cunliffe would have been a very poor Prime Minister, that his party is unfit to govern, and that any Labour/Greens/NZFirst/Internet/Mana coalition would have been an anarchic, unmanageable disaster for the country.

 

124 Comments »

  1. You might have meant to say “more chronic” rather than “more acute”. Happily, “more chronic” is actually already Greens policy, so… nothing to see here.

    Comment by Matt — September 21, 2014 @ 7:44 am

  2. My impression is that:
    1. Actually National really hasnt done anything to deserve this result.
    2. The dirty politics scene may well have got the media excited – but thats all. The media denied the country access to real matters while they chased that weirdo Hager around.
    3. Labour will never get anywhere while they are besotted with identity politics and political correctness – the man ban, the “Im sorry Im a man” and similar things just turn people off.
    4. When one looks at the figures, 90% of males did not vote for labour – and the 10% that did are almost certainly from the homosexual and other similar groups (transgender etc) who think they are special and have persuaded Labour to make them a special group. Historically it was working men who were labours main supporters – theyve gone and voted for someone else – or have stayed home.
    5. Cunliffe made a typical self-belief speech last night by basically saying that the voter is too stupid to understand us. Even if they start today its unlikely they can dump the rubbish by next election.
    6. The biggest disappointment is that we don’t have a decent opposition – and a democracy needs a functioning opposition.

    Comment by Barry — September 21, 2014 @ 7:47 am

  3. I’m also dismayed by the prospect of National having a stronger mandate. agree that the Greens’ billboard campaign was odd and confusing, unlike their brilliant billboards last election. Mystified by NZ First’s success; who on earth are all their supporters? I can only put it down to the centrist tendencies of NZers.

    Comment by Carol S — September 21, 2014 @ 8:03 am

  4. We’re going to hear Deborah Mahuta -Coyles comment a labour don’t understand NZ anymore a lot over the coming weeks. They don’t at all and haven’t for quite some time.They seriously don’t , if they make Grant Robertson leader I’ll be betting on Key getting a fourth term
    The greens were all but measuring up the curtains in the beehive going into last night , their smugness and assertion they wanted nothing less than the deputy pm spot cost them I reckon. Just like Mana they got people out voting against them. People might tell pollsters they love the greens but their polling never seems to relate to their electoral result and their celebrity endorsements only attract people who like the greens already. I don’t think Lucy Lawless and Robyn Malcolm are as loved by NZ as they seem to think they are.
    Hopefully we won’t be hearing from Harre or Corkery for a while, they should both be embarrassed by the degree they sold themselves out to this year. Self awareness has never been their strong suit though and they’ll continue the “people who vote national are morons” meme so beloved by the contributors at the standard.
    Talking the younger people I know they aren’t bothered about voting, they might turn out to free music at a political rally but they are pretty disconnected from politics on the whole. When you have something relying on the election result- a mortgage, a career , a family i think you buy in more.

    I’d like to see an interview with Hagar soon.

    Comment by Del Griffith — September 21, 2014 @ 8:19 am

  5. but I also think we dodged a bullet last night.

    Agree, but it doesn’t seem like we had to do much dodging, really.

    Comment by eszett — September 21, 2014 @ 8:26 am

  6. I’d blame dotcom and Hager for this result before Cunliffe. Dot com as you excellently put it above, Hager for releasing a really important piece of research during the campaign, where there wasn’t time to properly analyse (or even confirm the provinence of) the allegations. Hagers timing may have been great for book sales, but sucked for giving parties space for policy discussion, and also meant that many could disregard it as 3rd party campaigning.

    Comment by Rick Rowling — September 21, 2014 @ 8:28 am

  7. “If New Zealand First goes into coalition with National then that’s a win for Labour who can concentrate on winning back those left-leaning socially conservative older voters. (Er, Grant Robertson might not be the best choice for this job).”

    you might think that about Robertson and then you look at all the other options

    Comment by bradluen — September 21, 2014 @ 8:34 am

  8. Perhaps many voters didn’t really care about events such as Dirty Politics and KDC because most voters were not personally adversely affected. John Key remained strongly on message ” The left were dodgy just by publishing allegations about National and our friends shoddy ethics and activities”. The message resonated with Baby Boomers and Generation X, who may be also characterized as much more selfish than previous generations.

    David Cunliffe was never going to overcome the recent years of Labour infighting and stupid policies. Perhaps the left should stop deluding themselves that they can attract sufficient voters by promising more social justice and social support for younger citizens – who apparently didn’t party vote.

    Our Baby Boomer and Generation X precious votes will be used selfishly. David Cunliffe performed OK, but the left coalition partners didn’t offer new personal benefits to individual voters. It wasn’t DC’s performance that lost votes, it was the out-of-touch policies and John Key’s ability to use mainstream media to tar all the left parties and associate them with the toxic KDC. The left needs an investigative and impartial media, and NZ doesn’t have one.

    Comment by Bruce Hamilton — September 21, 2014 @ 8:36 am

  9. I’m not sure if Cunliffe should resign but the left wing blogosphere might look for something else to do.

    I doubt whether the blogosphere had much of an effect outside the various closed tribal loops but the new levels of unpleadantness at PAS, The Standard and even here at times, can’t do much to attract people to political engagement let alone convince anyone to vote left.

    Comment by NeilM — September 21, 2014 @ 8:38 am

  10. David Shearer just nailed Labours problems completely on the nation.

    Comment by Del Griffith — September 21, 2014 @ 8:43 am

  11. “the new levels of unpleadantness (sic) at PAS, The Standard and even here at times, can’t do much to attract people to political engagement let alone convince anyone to vote left.”

    Nice concern trolling, Neil. OTOH Slater is claiming the election result as a win for his and Collins/Ede’s covert smear campaigns. Hopefully this means they’ve learnt nothing.

    Comment by Judge Holden — September 21, 2014 @ 8:58 am

  12. I rest my case: we now have, in effect, a one-party state. No effective opposition, by the looks.

    Comment by D'Esterre — September 21, 2014 @ 9:02 am

  13. @ Judge Holden: ” OTOH Slater is claiming the election result as a win for his and Collins/Ede’s covert smear campaigns. ” Of course he is. Because it is. Watch for Collins to be rehabilitated and back in Cabinet.

    Comment by D'Esterre — September 21, 2014 @ 9:07 am

  14. The power of John Key could not be undone. People largely vote on personality. John Key (apparently) has some and David Cunliffe doesn’t. “At the end of the day” people just love Teflon John. Before the last election my flat mates were arguing about it. One a male, left-leaning, designer; the other a female flight attendant who had little concept of left and right. Her reasoning was that she had met John Key and he seemed nice, although she didn’t know much about or care about policies. Add to this the fact that a lot of people don’t vote on policy. Much has been made of policy getting lost in this election but policy is readily available on every party web site and, generally, people vote for who they like or against who they dislike. I figured this out at the beginning of high school when three popular girls were running for student council rep and an unknown boy who had just moved to town was swept to victory by the boys’ vote because they didn’t want a girl to win. National will most probably win again unless Labour can appeal to the boys.

    Comment by Eltalstro — September 21, 2014 @ 9:10 am

  15. Test

    Comment by Ross — September 21, 2014 @ 9:11 am

  16. You suggest Labour might have won if they’d stayed with Shearer. Only Matthew Hooton – that great supporter of the Left – agrees. Besides, you also say it was all IMP’ fault that the left were not elected. You can’t have it both ways.

    Comment by Ross — September 21, 2014 @ 9:13 am

  17. My heart knew this was over on Friday when I flipped to the back of the Dominion Post, after recoiling at the “Vote National” sticker on the front, and noticed a small classified ad offering rides to polling places, paid for by National.

    It doesn’t take a lot of money to do that. It just takes forethought and a campaign strategy.

    Actually, I take it back. I knew it at the start of the final debate, when Cunliffe couldn’t explain the Snowden/Greenwald claims in language I could understand, much less that New Zealand could understand.

    As someone who would like to work toward preventing a fourth-term National victory starting today, and having observed that all the tactics used in this campaign were entirely ineffective, I’m at a loss as to whether to join the Greens (whose name remains a political third rail for centre New Zealand, regardless of how professional they get), join Labour (who have potential within but are losing young passionate folks to the Greens and won’t go anywhere under Cunliffe), or just throw up one’s hands, cut one’s emotional investment, and watch history repeat itself for three more years.

    Comment by Doug — September 21, 2014 @ 9:15 am

  18. Hopefully this means they’ve learnt nothing.
    Sure Sludgy. Watching Cunliffe this morning is to see a case of truly having learnt nothing. Go Kelvin Davis!

    Comment by Tom Hunter — September 21, 2014 @ 9:19 am

  19. So we voted in the same bunch of liars, fraudsters, charlatans and bullies. Good one New Zealand. You are a bunch of fuckwits.

    Comment by fdx — September 21, 2014 @ 9:45 am

  20. Go Kelvin Davis!

    And therein is the tale of the tape. A talented & forthright man his list placing meant he had no option but to fight all out to win Te Tai Tokerau. In doing so successfully he took out with one shot potentially two Labour supporting MPs. Te Tai Tokerau was also a seat where the opposition did what the Labour Greens couldn’t or more accurately wouldn’t do in Epsom & Ohariu, combine to knock out an opponent.

    The end result is that Kelvin Davis is in Parliament which is great but as Arapera Sharples said on Twitter Labour has ensured that NZ’s most energetic advocate in Parliament for the Kiwi underclass – Harawira – has been elminated from Wellington

    This is strategic fuckmuppetry of the highest order but it’s not just down to Cunliffe it’s the President & General Secretary and all the self interested MPs who put Kelvin in that position who should go.

    As an aside given how Labour is now so dependent on the Pasifika Maori vote the next leader should be from that group and Kelvin gets my vote because he was ruthless enough to do what had to be done for himself even though he should never have been in that position.

    Comment by TerryB — September 21, 2014 @ 9:49 am

  21. Polynesian boys doing a haka outside Keys house, this is something labour shouldn’t continue ignoring

    Comment by Del Griffith — September 21, 2014 @ 10:08 am

  22. Polynesian boys doing a haka outside Keys house, this is something labour shouldn’t continue ignoring

    John Key says “aspirational”. Sanctury says “snarl”.

    It might be time for the left to look at that attitude too. Remember that you are the ones you’ve been waiting for.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — September 21, 2014 @ 10:12 am

  23. So riddle me this. How the fuck do NZF get 9% of the vote? Seriously. Pretty much no real policy. Surely that can’t be older voters who went to candidate meetings of the few competent pollies they have? (Peters, Martin, O’Rourke, Marks??)

    Compared to the Green’s who had a solid, costed (even if you might disagree with the costing!), coherent policy platform, have generally good candidates (a few really good ones who will unfortunately miss out, such as Marama Davidson and John Hart) were doing much better in the polls, yet will likely only make about 10.5 after specials.

    Key (+ Joyce) ran a really good campaign, always on message with ‘dirty politics of the left’ realising that they get to set the agenda if they repeat it enough. Superb job, and they deserve the win. That Christchurch has party voted Nats is a pretty clear indicator that they didn’t feel the other was an option.

    NZers are conservative at heart on the whole – 3 term Nat governments are the norm (as is voting for the incumbent), the economy is bouncing still after the GFC + rebuild, so the result isn’t surprising that it went this way, though the extent of it is much higher.

    Will be an interesting next year or so.

    Comment by lefty — September 21, 2014 @ 10:14 am

  24. Do you think people claiming you can predict “how biased a poll is” by looking at its performance in the last election will earn their lesson this time?😉

    Comment by Dave — September 21, 2014 @ 10:15 am

  25. Watching the numbers come in last night, a few things occurred to me:

    (a) what was the NZLP thinking in not declaring early for the GP when they had the opportunity and then not aiming for the centre?
    (b) what was the NZLP thinking in not publicly striking an Epsom style deal with IMP/GP for marginal electorates to maximise left bloc chances?
    (c) could the GP have pulled another 2-3% by distancing themselves from Labour after being publicly rebuffed wrt a formal coalition?

    Comment by Gregor W — September 21, 2014 @ 10:26 am

  26. – National has also benefited from a having most of the media opinion makers on it’s side in an increasingly information free news and current affairs environment. That helped it run a successful two tier PR strategy for nine years. Six weeks of Hager’s book will not dismantle the propaganda walls built in peoples minds over that nine years. National has all the money, all the media and now it has all the middle NZ voters. Perhaps the media will re-visit a lot of anti-Labour stories (Darren Hughes for example) to look it’s role in building the propaganda narrative.

    – Cunliffe’s biggest problem was from day one he walked straight into an orchestrated right wing smear campaign (see above) from which he has never fully recovered. It clearly knocked his confidence. FOr six years, we have effectively operated as a one party state with a state controlled media focussed relentless on the opposition. Those who oppose this government have been reduced to the status of dissenters. The lesson for the opposition is they need to think very hard about how they get their message out. He should stay on for now. The only person I would back to replace him would be Louisa Wall, who while being gay and a woman is a) from Auckland b) has demonstrated with her ability to build a consensus around gay marriage she is first and foremost an effective politician c) a Polynesian able to reconnect with the South Auckland massiv and c) in her media appearances has shown hints of no-bullshit that appeals to New Zealanders. Left-leaning socially conservative older voters will look past identity if Labour stopped insisting on making it the raison d’être of a candidates selection. Oh – and if anyone wants to know how hard it actually is for new talent to get into Labour incumbency protecting retirement scheme, AKA it’s caucus, Wall’s wikipedia entry makes for interesting reading.

    – The new political landscape is 30% of New Zealanders now don’t bother vote. Work out who they are and ignore them is the message they sent.

    – If older voters are engaged, and younger ones are not, then the message is the housing bubble and housing shortage will be allowed to boom, and the economy will continue to be run in the interests not of dynamic, aggressive and competitive producers but rather for a decadent class of comfortable, complacent and passive usurers and possessors.

    – Labour’s defeat in the provinces and suburbs is absolute and devastating. In large parts of the country it has been reduced to nothing, a minor party without even the skeleton of an organisation. Labour’s candidate and policy mix is all wrong. SUrely after this result even the PAS know-it-alls will recognise the party cannot carry on being a Blairite 1990s vehicle for identity obsessed Pt Chevalier liberals. Labour needs to stop doing things like selecting gay Maori ex-weather presenter Tamati Coffey to run in a conservative provincial seat like Rotorua, and gushing about how wonderful it is while he gets a complete towelling, or picking a feminist intellectual like Deborah Russell in a deeply rural seat like Rangitikei then looking on approvingly while she demonstrates her superior distain for actual politics by being completely invisible on the hustings on her way to being utterly crushed at the polls. Labour needs to renew, but the problem is renew how? The tragedy for Labour is that in the stampede to progressive identity politics one of the biggest casualties was the thinking left wing heterosexual male. When did the ideal Labour man change from the being the intellectual ex-All Black Rhodes Scholar Chris Laidlaw to the dick swinging, bigoted Kelvin Davis? I guess that it is up to the party membership to save the party from the tired time servers and identity obsessed party machinery. Labour in it’s current form is finished. In twelve months Labour must have resolved it’s existential crisis. There is no point in unity until the fight over what sort of party emerges from the ashes of this defeat to claim the prize of the brand is won one way or the other. We need to know if it is going to continue to slide into irrelevancy as a minor party of urban liberals, or continue to be suffocated of new ideas by being a retirement scheme for incompetent, burnt out and over the hill constituency MPs, or renews itself and decides that a party of working people is just that.

    – The Greens high polling hurts Labour for the same reason IMP hurt the left – the Greens are a huge turn off for middle New Zealand and the idea of them forming an influential part of a Labour led government turned off middle NZ voters. Labours real enemy right now is the Greens. The Green party flatters to deceive. It has had twelve years plus to build a proper on the ground organisation to GOTV but it is to supercilious and middle class to bother with that sort of boring stuff.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 21, 2014 @ 10:26 am

  27. @Dave: Past performance is the only thing you’ve got. It’s always a trade-off between potential real movement in the last week versus company offset/bias. I think this time around we see a similar ‘bias’ in Green, NZF and Labour vote and a different result for the Nats (not the big drop we saw last time around). This is consistent with more movement in the last week than the models can account for (big drop in nats/rise in nzf last time, and similar rise in nzf this time, but less decrease in nat), plus a consistent overestimation of the green vote.

    Comment by jmarshall — September 21, 2014 @ 10:28 am

  28. Lefty – how did National get 48% with no policy? The answer is that National has Key and NZF has Winston. Personalities trump policy, end of story. This election has been an extraordinary lesson in populism, IMO.

    Comment by Gregor W — September 21, 2014 @ 10:29 am

  29. So “working men” isn’t identity politics? Seems that “identity politics” is a slur applied when it’s someone else who’s visible – for example that pesky minority group known as women…

    Comment by Wendigo Jane — September 21, 2014 @ 10:32 am

  30. “…Lefty – how did National get 48% with no policy? The answer is that National has Key and NZF has Winston. Personalities trump policy, end of story. This election has been an extraordinary lesson in populism, IMO….”

    Yes, but….

    It is a bit more subtle than that IMHO. Style follows form. John Key is the style, but we all know that the National party knows it’s philosophical form. Labour is all over the place. If you don’t know what form you take, it is hard to develop a style that suits it.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 21, 2014 @ 10:39 am

  31. @Sanctuary

    Agree with all of that except the last part: go check micro data once its available. It will be like 2011 – Greens have considerable middle class support. Whether net, they are a loss to the left due to a larger group of other middle class folk they put off, would require dedicated analysis. I think your foregoing comments about Labour represent the problem well. I doubt the Greens off putting effect is large enough to keep Labour out of power if it had its house in order – I think it’s a right wing attack line/meme you are buying into about them. I think more likely is the high Greens hurts Labour more, and geninely, in that it stops Labour presenting as the largest party, fitting with the first past the post frame the MSM have constructed. Whether the answer is to buy into that (thereby, Greens are part of the problem), or present as an aligned block, is another question.

    Comment by Joe-90 — September 21, 2014 @ 10:41 am

  32. Labour needs to stop doing things like selecting gay Maori ex-weather presenter Tamati Coffey to run in a conservative provincial seat like Rotorua,

    The tragedy for Labour is that in the stampede to progressive identity politics….

    That seems completely contradictory to your suggestion that Louisa Wall should replace Cunliffe, given that wider NZ is not that much less conservative than Coffey’s electorate. Such a selection would simply continue to send the message that Labour is all about small special-interest groups that don’t much like most other New Zealanders.

    National has also benefited from a having most of the media opinion makers on it’s side in an increasingly information free news and current affairs environment
    ….
    FOr six years, we have effectively operated as a one party state with a state controlled media focussed relentless on the opposition.

    Clap…… clap…….. clap

    Sanctuary is a wise man and Labour should heed his words.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — September 21, 2014 @ 10:55 am

  33. “…That seems completely contradictory to your suggestion that Louisa Wall should replace Cunliffe…”

    Chris Finlayson is gay, no one cares about that. Tim Groser is a Muslim, but no one cares about that. Why? Because they don’t make identity the main reason for their existence. Like I said, left-leaning socially conservative older voters will look past identity if you don’t insist on making it the raison d’être of a candidates selection.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 21, 2014 @ 11:00 am

  34. Except that Finlayson and Groser come from a party and an ideology that has not made a complete meal out of identity politics. In other words, neither of those men have had National voters or activists running around using them as examples of just how super-wonderful National is for gays and Muslims.

    Labour and the left have, as you have often pointed out, and having so clearly done so it may never be possible to walk that back. A selection like Wall would not matter in National. In Labour circles it will always be freighted with greater significance.

    Still, at least with Wall we would not have her apologising for being a man, which is about as aspirational as it gets with Labour nowadays.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — September 21, 2014 @ 11:07 am

  35. Er, I forgot about the Wall part. I don’t agree with that either, sorry Sanc. To head off the very identity politics branding problem etc you’ve described, surely they can’t do it with anything less than a white hetro male leader, no disabilities, birth marks etc, needs to be ok looking. Dismal I know. Not saying the world should be that way, but maybe it’s come to that.

    Comment by Joe-90 — September 21, 2014 @ 11:17 am

  36. Tom Hunter ” Sanctuary says snarl ” and on cue we get a long piece from him unwittingly explaining why the extreme left did so badly . Now he says Kelvin Davis is apparently a bigot, I’d like to see a better explanation for that than Sanc doesn’t like him.
    Laila Harre was on the nation this morning saying it was not her and KDCs fault and they were on the ergs of changing the govt. A room full of slobs screaming f#ck john key was only ever going to mobilise the centre at the prospect of a left wing govt .
    Louisa Wall for labour leader? How about they pick someone who has had a job and a life nzers can relate to? I’m not talking about her sexuality but uni ,union job and then parliament doesn’t resonate well with people working their butts of to pay the mortgage and avoid being a greeter at bunnings in their golden years.

    Comment by Del Griffith — September 21, 2014 @ 11:19 am

  37. Wall’s been one of Labour’s more hard working MPs, to the degree that her ‘identity’ is pretty much incidental to what she does. Those complaining about media bias might have noticed that Wall was one of the few to do something about it, by pushing the case of the odious Fairfax cartoon from last year .

    Comment by Joe W — September 21, 2014 @ 11:19 am

  38. @Joe-90

    Yeah, I think Labour to urgently look around for someone to parachute into to parliament as a new leader ASAP. I wonder Karl Urban is a lefty?

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 21, 2014 @ 11:22 am

  39. I’m happy with the result. The good guys won.

    Now the comedy begins as we watch life’s perpetual losers suck on lemons and eat those sour grapes. Nice.

    Comment by OECD rank 22 kiwi — September 21, 2014 @ 11:23 am

  40. Do you mean the perpetual losers in life that were in power for 9 years?

    Your tribalism is bizarre, and forgetful.

    Comment by Chris (@slackjawdtownie) — September 21, 2014 @ 11:36 am

  41. http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10525538/David-Cunliffes-leadership-on-the-line
    Cosgrove and Shearer appear to understand the problem unfortunately it’s too late.

    Comment by Del Griffith — September 21, 2014 @ 11:36 am

  42. The Greens are not problem free either – I’ve voted for their environmental/climate policies 3 times but not his time with that manifesto. We simply don’t need yet more welfarism and state dependence. It isn’t a route to a sustainable future.

    As an aside their positioning to the left of labour leaves them with no options. The price of any future Labour-NZ First-Greens govt (assuming NZ First/Ron Mark are a force if Winston retires) is probably marginalisation of the Greens yet again.

    What’s the bet that the core of the next regime will be National+Conservatives – the Cons could have easily got 5% with an Epsom style rort in place.

    Comment by Ohariu — September 21, 2014 @ 11:40 am

  43. Analyse all you want – truth is NZ is a conservative/stuck in the mud mind frame where votes go to the devil you know rather than those with a fresh perspective. Shame for the Greens – looks like tall poppy syndrome (which BTW I have never encountered in any other country- praise The Lord) was rife in voting … Pity that those voters will soon come down from their self-indulgent moment of smugness and realise they’ve bitten off their nose to spite their face when Simply nothing in this country gets better for another three years ….

    Comment by Jax — September 21, 2014 @ 11:50 am

  44. test

    Comment by Tom Hunter — September 21, 2014 @ 11:52 am

  45. Do you think Peter Jackson voted for the Greens? Do you think he voted for Labour? Ha ha ha.

    You know why Labour and the left fails, you just don’t want to admit it. Once again I leave it to Owen Glenn, Labour’s best friend forever to explain your problem:

    Comment by OECD rank 22 kiwi — September 21, 2014 @ 11:57 am

  46. Test 2.0
    The amount of abuse I have had this campaign has been unbelievable. They range from death threats to rape threats to just the mindless abuse. People need to understand there are consequences for their behaviour, and there will be

    Dirty Politics, evil people who fundamentally hate their fellow New Zealanders…. Ring any bells?

    Comment by Tom Hunter — September 21, 2014 @ 11:58 am

  47. I’m confused. Shearer says Labour tried to appeal to the extremist left – when did it do this? When it ruled out having Internet Mana in government? When it turned down the Greens’ offer to campaign as a government in waiting? Generally speaking, the public likes Labour’s policies, it’s just Labour they don’t like. And Josie Pagani last night saying Labour needed to concentrate more on workers (because, you know, Nash won Napier!!). I thought that’s what policies like housing were about – increasing supply to take pressure off price, also training lots of apprentices and creating work. This benefits workers at every step.

    It’s not the policies. It’s the party. They don’t present as a government in waiting. And they keep fighting FPP elections not MMP ones.

    Comment by MeToo — September 21, 2014 @ 12:00 pm

  48. Yeah, Labour isn’t extreme left. That’s just bullshit.

    Cosgrove ran a campaign in Waimakariri that managed to avoid saying Labour at all, and yet dropped party vote and personal vote, and can go get bent as far as I’m concerned. Nash only won Napier because of McVicar playing spoiler.

    Labour DOES need to figure out how to speak to constituencies it has lost again, and tell them about the policies it has for them. That means countering the Nat-generated frame of manban crap. Doesn’t mean 2nd tier blowhards like Cosgrove should be given their head.

    In sum: to MeToo, me too.

    Comment by Stephen — September 21, 2014 @ 12:13 pm

  49. Me too when to guote the guys I work with they became ” a party for gay people and school teachers” the guys saying that are all like me labours traditional voting base. When Cunliffe bought the unions closer to the party and gave them more say, most people have nothing to do with the unions anymore and their last big push into the public consciousness – the hobbit fiasco which led to anti union protests on labour day.
    And finally they can’t govern without the greens, for labour to win they need the greens and to give them some power and policies. I can’t express the depth of loathing there seems to be amongst tradies. When you want to put a halt to roads, mines and drilling it’s not just the big corporates you affect its the people who’ll be doing the building work the plumbing work , servicing the vehicles , driving the vehicles etc etc. You’re asking a lot of them expecting to vote for a labour green coalition and in return when they don’t give the result you want they get called selfish .
    Classy, keep this up and national have the next one in the bag too.

    Comment by Del Griffith — September 21, 2014 @ 12:15 pm

  50. Who are these Test people and what does it mean?

    Comment by Jax — September 21, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

  51. Be funny with all this backstabbing if that Nats lose 3 on specials and you’ve got to form a government after all, eh.

    Comment by tussock — September 21, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

  52. Yeah, I wouldn’t get carried away by Nash – he only won a plurality in a seat where a single divisive local issue is huge and he has strong name recognition – which is important in seats like Napier.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 21, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

  53. As for Shearer for leader – he comes across as confident, amiable, relaxed, knowledgeable – precisely because he is *not* leader. As leader he was a bumbling stumbling fool. Mathew Hooton is not a friend of the left, and his advice should be seen for what it is.

    Comment by MeToo — September 21, 2014 @ 12:49 pm

  54. Reblogged this on Talking Auckland and commented:
    Some interesting thoughts

    Comment by Ben Ross - Talking Auckland — September 21, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

  55. Interesting to read, Danyl. It’s why I keep coming back. You too, Sanctuary. Not much you say I agree with but I always read it.

    Comment by Tinakori — September 21, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

  56. I could copy the comment I made at Whaleoil about why you all lost, but you won’t listen to Pagnini who was correct (even though she wanted to be wrong — she’s tribal labour). It’s not Hagar and his delusions. There is no two teir strategy on the right (the left has the same thing — at the standard with even less arms length than Farrar at Kiwiblog).

    The left has lost the confidence of working new zealanders. Struggle street. The kind of folks who work two jobs to pay the mortgage and pay for the kid’s footy, are raising their families, and do not want some stickybeak from the school telling them how to raise their kids or that they voted stupid.

    And until Labour understands that, they are going to as relevant as the Liberterianz. Because you are all talking ideology and process, and not solving problmes.

    So, pull the earplugs out of your ears, hold your noses, and listen to the average punter. You are either Labour because you are the party of the working man — who is no longer unionized, by the way — or you are a progressive bunch sitting in your bubble within the townbelt, and you will become the perpetual opposition.

    Comment by pukeko60 — September 21, 2014 @ 1:02 pm

  57. Yes I thought the billboards were weird too. The photo of the open cast mine and the traffic weren’t particularly negative images. Together with love nz it made no sense to me.

    Danyl was right about KDC, that really was a disaster for the left. And yeah, it turns out act voters were all conservatives after all. Still a bit surprised at the lack of appeal of classical liberalism in NZ.

    The problem with Cunliffe is he comes across as fake and out of touch with ordinary people. It’s pretty much as simple as that and it won’t change in 3 years. Labour should think hard about Kelvin Davis as leader if you ask me.

    Comment by Swan — September 21, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

  58. Hooton is not a friend of the left, and his advice should be seen for what it is.

    I’d have thought it obvious that Ross was attempting a certain irony there.

    Comment by Joe W — September 21, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

  59. @42 Ohariu

    Thanks for mentioning that. I think it’s a real factor. While I disagree with you on your priors (yes Welfare is bad, but that doesn’t mean all recipients are, or that it’s not an effect of economic policy e.g. Reserve Bank Act rather than a cause etc), I struck a number of folk not in themselves right wing ish who felt the Greens confused their brand and were better to have left social policy to Labour. So I suspect Greens lost the ‘light blue-green’ vote this time, or they’d be looking at 13 or 14%.

    Comment by Joe-90 — September 21, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

  60. ” ….. we dodged a bullet last night. I think that Cunliffe would have been a very poor Prime Minister, that his party is unfit to govern, and that any Labour/Greens/NZFirst/Internet/Mana coalition would have been an anarchic, unmanageable disaster for the country. …..”

    So many supporters of a Labour or (more broadly) the parties of the left seem to have have felt the same – if they were honest. But if that is what you believed, how can you then argue so strongly for a left victory. I just don’t understand. If the parties of the left spent more time and energy getting their own houses in order, then victory will come. Why are so many left commentators (and media) only being honest now that Labour is not yet fit to govern? Is it hindsight – or were these commentators being dishonest in arguing that Labour was worth supporting at this stage in their cycle of rejuvenation?

    The public has seen that Labour is in disarray and not fit to govern – and voted accordingly. When Labour and the left can also acknoweledge that same fact, the party will finally be on track for getting back on the Treasury benches.

    Comment by OncewereLabour — September 21, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

  61. Pity that those voters will soon come down from their self-indulgent moment of smugness and realise they’ve bitten off their nose to spite their face when Simply nothing in this country gets better for another 3 years…

    Quite. I can hear the howls now from those affected by changes to superannuation in the future. If those howls come from National voters, I will remind that their beloved party were too gutless to make the necessary changes. In other words, go look in the mirror.

    Comment by Ross — September 21, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

  62. As for Shearer for leader – he comes across as confident, amiable, relaxed, knowledgeable – precisely because he is *not* leader. As leader he was a bumbling stumbling fool. Mathew Hooton is not a friend of the left, and his advice should be seen for what it is.

    I couldn’t agree more. And yes, when I said Hooton was a friend of the Left, there was a hint of sarcasm there.

    Comment by Ross — September 21, 2014 @ 1:34 pm

  63. Dotcom was just a convenient excuse for people to act principled when in reality they were voting against unpalatable but necessary polices like CGT.

    Comment by Ant — September 21, 2014 @ 2:30 pm

  64. Yes Ross. My comment on Hooton was a reaction to seeing him on TV last night, banging on, yet again, about Shearer. As if he wants Labour to do well.

    Comment by MeToo — September 21, 2014 @ 3:01 pm

  65. Oh, and it looks like my prediction was the most accurate:

    I predict something will happen that hasn’t happened before:

    http://xkcd.com/1122/

    Comment by MeToo — September 18, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

    Who’d have predicated a third term government with an increase in seats? And possibly being able to govern alone (250k specials may see National lose 1 seat, but still, pretty close)? Stunning really. No checks and balances.

    Comment by MeToo — September 21, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

  66. Further to my comment above @31 and 59, data already in shows the higher the proportion of home owners (and let’s call that a reasonable proxy for wealth, and it’s certainly proxy for National Voters – it almost holds for income too but not perfectly), the greater the drop off in green support this election compared to last:

    http://thestandard.org.nz/psephology-o-rama-hangover-nerdery-edition/

    However, it also suggests the Greens have the most even support across wealth classes. Lots of interesting other stuff to correlate, like their focus on kids paid no dividend in areas with high % of kids … etc.

    So I’m picking the Green’s social policy emphasis/strategy was a fail, far more important than their hoardings or anything like that. To be clear – electorally. I’m not saying they are bad people for caring about little people. Just saying it didn’t get them more votes.

    Comment by Joe-90 — September 21, 2014 @ 3:06 pm

  67. So what impact did the capital gains tax, retirement age and minimum wage policies have?
    And how about the house building policy and electricity market changes?

    With Auckland house prices doing what they are going to do to mortgage rates I always thought the CGT had to be done, and the retirement age shift is going to have to happen one day too. Politically expensive to introduce though

    I thought they were all good except for the min wage – youth unemployment is running at 25%, min wage was hardly going to improve that.
    But the first two are so hard to sell

    Nationals housing bribe was ludicrous – ineffectual window dressing

    In the end I decided the labour policy mix deserved support even though there was a chance they might have had to do some sort of deal with the IMP rabble

    Comment by Ohariu — September 21, 2014 @ 3:20 pm

  68. Cunliffe is, quite rightly in my option on, criticising KDC.

    But it rings hollow now – after the election. If he’d challenged KDC before that might have been a risk but, well, taking risks might just prove a point rather than trying to have a bob each way.

    Comment by NeilM — September 21, 2014 @ 3:22 pm

  69. It’s interesting that hardly anyone but Del Griffith is talking about the impact that the Greens had with their ‘We want cabinet’ mantra. They were sooo cocky and confident right through out the campaign. I think there was some backlash against this (albeit small). I remember something similiar happened in the ACT elections in Australia where the green MPs, who were in coalition with the ruling Labour government, all losts their seats bar one. They were surpised and shocked beacuase afterall they @provided so many policy changes!”. Their brand was subsumed into Labours which makes me think that government would be disaster for the the Greens. They will enjoy while it lasts but.

    This is odd for me to write this because I was going to vote for them, mainly because I wanted to vote rather than a huge admiration for them. But last nights result was a wake up call. AND no it wasn’t KDC’s fault!

    Comment by K2 — September 21, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

  70. “People don’t vote for Thatcherism, in my view, because they believe the small print. People in their minds do not think that Britain is now a
    wonderfully booming, successful, economy. Nobody believes that, with 3.5 million people unemployed, the economy is picking up. Everyone
    knows Lord Young’s figures are ‘economical with the truth’. What Thatcherism as an ideology does, is to address the fears, the anxieties, the lost identities, of a people. It invites us to think about politics in images. It is addressed to our collective fantasies, to Britain as an imagined community, to the social imaginery. Mrs Thatcher has totally dominated that idiom, while the left forlornly tries to drag the conver­sation round to ‘our policies’.”
    Stuart Hall, The Hard Road to Renewal

    This idea, that it’s not really about policy but about how things are presented, took Labour in the UK about 15 years to grasp. The National Party successfully framed things in terms of images and calling out to things like national identity, self-reliance, hard work, interfering unions, big government stealing your hard-earned, all of that stuff, and they framed it all within the relatively clean and benign light of Key’s personality.

    Key is nothing like Thatcher, of course. There is no comparison. Key is a teddy bear next to Thatcher, and even her adoring fans, like Finlayson and Collins, they’re either genteel wannabes (former) or incompetent, micro-managing buffoons (latter). Thatcher destroyed whole communities, but they somehow still voted for her. Key is doing nothing of the sort. The destruction of local communities hasn’t been happening because of National. That was set in motion a long time ago, so these structural trends that are taking apart rural communities and pushing rich and poor further apart in the cities, they’re nothing that can be blamed on National.

    National are distinctly un-radical. That’s why they won. Labour in the 80s – they, like Thatcher, were radical. National are distinctly un-radical, they have had little impact on what they said they were going to do to government and labour laws, but at the same time they’ve managed to create a series of images that position them as having done a lot.

    Comment by Chris (@slackjawdtownie) — September 21, 2014 @ 3:37 pm

  71. >National are distinctly un-radical. That’s why they won. Labour in the 80s – they, like Thatcher, were radical. National are distinctly un-radical, they have had little impact on what they said they were going to do to government and labour laws, but at the same time they’ve managed to create a series of images that position them as having done a lot.

    Um, National, in it’s last term, just sold off masses of assets and legalized gay marriage. Labour, in the 80s sold off masses of assets and legalized homosexuality. They’re as radical as each other, believe it or not. Which is hardly surprising since their key strategic partner, whose position on the right has been completely plundered by them, was the party formed by Roger Douglas.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — September 21, 2014 @ 4:20 pm

  72. Sorry to bang on about the Greens when people want to talk Labour but I just think the Green’s failure to step up another increment last night is as much a story as Labour’s decline (demise?). Anyways, so I get nervous when people say this kind of thing:

    “There were no regrets over the way the Greens campaign was run, and Turei said there was nothing she would do differently” from http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10526624/David-Cunliffe-admits-mistake-over-Greens

    That doesn’t illustrate a capacity to learn. I’m interested that it’s Turei saying that, rather than Norman (who I think is the smarter operator).

    Comment by Joe-90 — September 21, 2014 @ 4:27 pm

  73. Why is it “Labour should do a deal with the Greens” not “Greens must do a deal with Labour”? Takes two etc, and the Greens have been arrogant in negotiations. How many seats did Labour lose thanks to GP supporters using their ELECTORATE vote for the GP candidate?

    Comment by deemac42 — September 21, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

  74. Granted, the Labour caucus hasn’t helped itself over the last three years by being completely consumed with factionalism, in-fighting, and power struggles, But what else is new? Labour has always been an uneasy coalition of disparate interests with large sections of the party dancing to a different tune from its leadership. Labour’s secret used to be that it commanded support from a wide range of different communities: unions, Maori, Pasifika, blue-collar workers, Catholics, liberals, primary industry workers,LGBT, and so on. It was never especially comfortable political marriage but the tensions were usually kept in the background: I remember back in 2005 John Tamihere – always one of the more candid figures in Labour’s big tent – remarked that the gays sat around one side of the caucus table and the homophobes around the other. It was a characteristically moronic statement, but there was an element of truth to it.

    The problem, I suppose, is that this kind of ‘big-tent ‘ appeal worked really quite well under FPP, when electorate MPs could be seen to represent each particular constituency (and to some extent it worked under under Helen Clark too, though the balance had clearly broken down towards the end of her tenure). But under MMP the party needs a united ‘brand’ – a clear set of principles that rise above internal factionalism. And this is disastrous for Labour, because they simply don’t have a single political language that can appeal to all their core supporters. What we’ve seen this time is something of a return to that FPP logic, where electorate MPs are appealing to the values of their own constituencies rather than to the party as a whole. Even worse, all of the serious contenders for the leadership and deputy-leadership over the last three years have really represented the same sort of political values: white, vaguely pro-union, secular, mildly social democratic, fervently liberal, intellectual, basically Clarkite. These do not represent the whole of the caucus, and they don’t represent most of Labour’s core constituencies. Maybe the NZLP needs to start treating its internal diversity as a positive rather than a negative thing: it gives it the potential to reach out to electorates that the right still doesn’t speak to. But it can’t continue to be all just about personality and the struggle for the leadership. We’ve had three years of that, and it hasn’t worked.

    Comment by Higgs Boatswain — September 21, 2014 @ 4:40 pm

  75. They’re as radical as each other,

    While I think that there are not a lot of differences between them radical is not a word that comes to mind for either nowadays.

    The examples you give – on gay legal rights and asset sales – were very radical back in the 1980’s. But that’s because they broke the mould around decades of conservative preservation of beliefs in both areas.

    Having been broken, the move 30 years later to sell a few more assets and push the legal rights of gays a bit further was not radical. Controversial might be a better description, and the reaction to both would fit that as well, compared to the hysteria and protest marches that accompanied the original actions of the Labour government.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — September 21, 2014 @ 4:46 pm

  76. >While I think that there are not a lot of differences between them radical is not a word that comes to mind for either nowadays.

    What’s different is not the radicality of what was done, but how people reacted to is. There was simply a higher taste for radicality back then. People had strong opinions and fought for them. Both ways. It’s probably an offshoot of MMP that the system has become more stable and conservative. I though this would happen right from the start, since the countries with higher levels of democracy seem to be quite conservative on the whole – they’re just in a different place to start with.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — September 21, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

  77. 1. Don’t ever say “left” again. Say “progressive”. 2. Don’t ever say “right” again. Say “selfish wing of the conservatives”. Please. We need to reclaim the language.

    Comment by kmccready — September 21, 2014 @ 6:00 pm

  78. The Geens add a complicating dynamic for the centre left that isn’t there on the centre right.

    On the one hand the each need to brand themselves – which will inevitably entail criticism of the other. And on the other hand, appear as a unified alternative.

    I can’t see an easy solution. There’s going to be an element of distrust and (and the is just my opinion), Labour will justifiably fear the Greens playing all care and no responsibility.

    Being in govt means making dubious compromises whereas the Green brand is 100% pure. Labour in govt could well end up having to look compromised on security, say, while the Greens get to act all innocent.

    Comment by NeilM — September 21, 2014 @ 6:16 pm

  79. I’m not convinced that things would have been much different had Labour gone with the Greens suggestion of a joint campaign.

    Labour by itself had a hard time putting foward a coherent view on issues such as mining. It would have been less coherent and more acrimonious if they had to all of a sudden come up with some sort of muddle ground.

    And I’m not convinced there were enough voters there to be swayed by some semblance of unity.

    They didn’t vote Labour and the didn’t vote Green. Why would they vote Labour/Green?

    Comment by NeilM — September 21, 2014 @ 6:48 pm

  80. kmccready
    1. Don’t ever say “left” again. Say “progressive”. 2. Don’t ever say “right” again. Say “selfish wing of the conservatives”. Please. We need to reclaim the language.
    Classy stuff. Thats the kind of thinking thats confined labour and the greens to three more years of electoral obscurity. Keep it up please.

    Comment by Del Griffith — September 21, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

  81. New Zealand has a classic liberal party, and it’s National.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — September 21, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

  82. @Ben 71

    Except the gay marriage thing was a conscience vote, and believe it or not, most Western democracies don’t actually own assets on the scale they did in the 1980s. The difference between National now and Labour then is that Labour was truly radical. That was rapid, wholesale deregulation of everything.

    I have a graph somewhere that demonstrates exactly how quickly NZ swung to neoliberalism in comparison to other countries. By comparison to the 1980s, neither National in NZ or the Conservatives in the UK are anywhere approaching what was truly radical back then. There’s nowhere to go on the radical economic scale because we’re already there anyway. Any policies that might get implemented are mild modifications to existing trends.

    If they were radical, then you’d see similar social effects. It’s nothing to do with people back then being easier to incite. There have been protests – that’s the hallmark of a healthy democracy – but strikes, lockouts, the wholesale destruction of the industrial base, none of these things have occurred because of National policies today. That’s because they’re not radical policies.

    Comment by Chris (@slackjawdtownie) — September 21, 2014 @ 7:19 pm

  83. Here you go.

    Comment by Chris (@slackjawdtownie) — September 21, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

  84. Say “selfish wing of the conservatives”. Please. We need to reclaim the language.

    Yeah baby, because if there’s one thing the Left are known for it’s losing control of the language.

    The new phrase is a little clunky, but it does keep the grasping, mean-spirited nature of the Right, front and centre – and that’s what really counts in 21st century politics.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — September 21, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

  85. The thing you don’t seem to be getting is that the nats are to the left of the Australian labour party, they’ve squeezed labour into a narrow space occupied by those who can’t bring themselves to vote national and alliance party fruitcakes. If they aren’t left enough for you you must be pretty far to the left and fairly irrelevant as far as the electorate goes.

    Comment by Del Griffith — September 21, 2014 @ 8:29 pm

  86. I’m picking that the period of maintaining the last Labour government’s programme just ended.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — September 21, 2014 @ 8:42 pm

  87. I would not be so pessimistic Psycho. In the balance between the desire to tear down some of Helen and Michael’s greatest accomplishments and John Key’s bucket list ambition to equal Holyoake’s record I would say the latter is heavily weighted.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — September 21, 2014 @ 8:52 pm

  88. Why is it “Labour should do a deal with the Greens” not “Greens must do a deal with Labour”? Takes two etc, and the Greens have been arrogant in negotiations. How many seats did Labour lose thanks to GP supporters using their ELECTORATE vote for the GP candidate?

    Comment by deemac42 — September 21, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

    Since no one else has replied deemac42:
    1. Because the Greens proposed campaigning with Labour as a government in waiting and Labour said “no thanks”. Labour threw away the opportunity to campaign as a govt in waiting, and opened itself up to images of whaleboats with different coloured crews going nowhere.
    2. Electorate seats don’t matter, except in a small number of electorates – Epsom, Ohariu, TTT. It is the party vote that counts. Other than these electorates, GP supporters can electorate vote GP all they want and it has no impact on the make-up of Parliament, and it has no impact at all on the number of MPs Labour has. The make-up of those MPs – more from electorates or more from the list, yes, but the overall number and the ability to form a govt, no.

    Comment by MeToo — September 21, 2014 @ 9:29 pm

  89. One of National’s great advantages in there last 6 years has been the extreme hysteria of the left at any change/policy proposed or implemented by National. The strong Keynesian response to the GFC was radical austerity, the moderate part privatisations were corrupt tight wing politicians selling the family silver to their mates, the attempt to look into the beneficiary population and incentivise people to become more self-reliant was heartless right wing brutality, an attempt make education providers more accountable and transparent was a blinkered ideology un related to empirical facts on the ground ….and so on and so on. While each of these arguments may have their merits together the constant crying wolf became less credible the more consistent and extreme it became. It made Key and English start to look moderate, consistent and resolute. Why else do you think that when the question was posed in the last week of the campaign, who do you believe (or trust) Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Kim Dotcom or John Key?, the response was loud and clear.

    Comment by Tinakori — September 21, 2014 @ 10:29 pm

  90. Turei and Norman should be offering their resignations as much as Cunliffe should be.

    Perhaps even more so as they did equally as badly but belong to a party that purports to consider leadership roles to be more a duty than an honour.

    If they stay it suggests they’re like other parties, leadership is attractive in its own right.

    Comment by NeilM — September 21, 2014 @ 10:37 pm

  91. One thing that struck me when I voted was how little I knew about my electorate’s candidates other than the sitting MP. The candidates were pretty anonymous, and I felt really disassociated with the whole lot … So voted for none of them, only a party.
    Clearly the disassociation between electorate and party played strongly for Labour … I don’t think Labour won a single electorate on party vote, and In Grant Robinson’s Wellington Central labour came 3rd behind the Greens.
    Maybe this is the electorate getting more sophisticated about mmp. Or maybe this is the fracturing of the traditional working class post the 80s reforms bearing fruit for National.

    Comment by Pene — September 21, 2014 @ 10:47 pm

  92. And don’t get me started on the insanely contradictory, National are extreme right wing baby eaters, National are Labour lite crapola. Stuff like that is a sign that you don’t have a clear grip on your own ideas let along anyone else’s.

    Comment by Tinakori — September 21, 2014 @ 10:52 pm

  93. @NeilM: Every party leader claims it’s a duty. Regardless of their true motivations, it’s a political no-no to say “Oh yes, I’m really keen to lead this party, it’s what I’ve always wanted”. The degree to which people believe it usually coincides with the degree to which they support the party. (Our leaders are selfless, their leaders are ambitious powermongers) I view it as a bit of a non-issue – ambitious leaders can be effective, and their ambition isn’t necessarily harmful if their policies are good. Having said that, I agree on the broader point that the Green’s campaign doesn’t seem to have been very effective, although I’m not sure the leadership is the problem.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — September 22, 2014 @ 1:49 am

  94. National’s huge win on Saturday is official confirmation that dirty politics, dirty rivers, mass unemployment, child poverty, beneficiary bashing, speculation and resource mismanagement are now a normal acceptable state of affairs in New Zealand. What a sad country this has become.

    Comment by Marty — September 22, 2014 @ 6:29 am

  95. Despite National’s strong result, Hekia Parata failed by nearly 7000 votes to win the Mana seat, a large increase on 2011. No doubt she will be rewarded with a ministerial portfolio.

    Comment by Ross — September 22, 2014 @ 7:28 am

  96. who do you believe (or trust) Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Kim Dotcom or John Key?, the response was loud and clear.

    Indeed it was. Two thirds of voters chose not to vote for National.

    Comment by Ross — September 22, 2014 @ 7:33 am

  97. “Two thirds of voters chose not to vote for National.”

    That sounds like a harsh judgement, but by the same token, how many chose not to vote for Labour or the Greens?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — September 22, 2014 @ 7:52 am

  98. Ross, 90% of voters chose not to vote for the Greens. 90% of the country don’t want them representing them in parliament, thats a pretty resounding no from NZ for them. They would do well to ask why , one of their leaders is very effective and the other one is laughable for a start. Insisting on the deputy pms spot as your price for support when 90% of the country don’t even want you in government was a very foolish thing to do, the smugness they had going into this election was something to behold.

    Also if you want to be the voice of low income earners it is perhaps unwise to walk into parliament with a jacket that cost three times the average wage. It’d be interesting to see how many green voters would be able to spend $2000 on a jacket and I think Jeanette Fitzsimons and Sue Bradford would rather die than be caught doing that.

    Comment by Del Griffith — September 22, 2014 @ 8:55 am

  99. About half way through the campaign, the Greens switched out their confusing mines and traffic billboards with their co-leaders and plain lime green ones. What the first set did do was tell journalists that they were an interesting and creative party. Their Love NZ slogan did make a lot of sense in this context, but got drowned out behind dirty politics and Dotcom’s antics.

    Comment by George — September 22, 2014 @ 9:28 am

  100. the smugness they had going into this election was something to behold.

    Smugness? A lofty air of disdain for their opponents, who are held to exist on an almost Morlockian level of intellectual, ethical and moral standards, if one can even call such levels a “standard”.

    I wonder where they could have got that attitude from?

    Comment by Tom Hunter — September 22, 2014 @ 9:32 am

  101. A lofty air of disdain for their opponents…

    I’m happy to cut them some slack on that – given that their opponents are the National Party, and to some extent the Labour Party, it would be a motherfucker of a job avoiding an air of lofty disdain.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — September 22, 2014 @ 10:17 am

  102. Their problem of having their final vote underperform relative to their polling is growing more acute, and their great challenge for 2017 is to determine why this happens

    I suspect it’s that people know the ecology is important and want a Green party, and say so when polled, but on election day don’t feel the Greens are what they had in mind for a
    Green party.

    Comment by Fentex — September 22, 2014 @ 10:44 am

  103. The reason why the Green vote is so disappointing is they have still not got a proper grass roots, get out the vote organisation. Given the typically high level of motivation of Green activists, the cross-over with powerful NGOs like Greenpeace and the amount of time they’ve been in parliament that is an utter, lazy, disgrace.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 22, 2014 @ 11:24 am

  104. I’m curious about all the commentary on National winning the party vote even in strongly left electorates. Counting it that way is a very FPP perspective. If you add left and right votes (though not sure where you put NZF), you find that the Labour and Greens together are strongly ahead in the places you would expect (Chch East, Dunedin South etc), even where National has the biggest single party vote. Auckland Central has Labour plus Greens neck and neck with National on the party vote. The whole “OMG National blitzed the party vote in Chch East and everywhere else” is a little misleading.

    Comment by Dr Foster — September 22, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

  105. The reason why the Green vote is so disappointing is they have still not got a proper grass roots, get out the vote organisation. Given the typically high level of motivation of Green activists, the cross-over with powerful NGOs like Greenpeace and the amount of time they’ve been in parliament that is an utter, lazy, disgrace.

    I think there’s a bit of head-scratching going on in the Green Party because their GOTV campaign this year was absolutely massive: way, way beyond anything they managed in 2011, and it totally failed to deliver. My guess is that it’s because the strategy was to target young voters, and young voters are a total waste of time and resources, but it sure-as-hell wasn’t down to laziness.

    Comment by danylmc — September 22, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

  106. “…My guess is that it’s because the strategy was to target young voters, and young voters are a total waste of time and resources…”

    Me and my peers couldn’t wait to vote – it was a rite of passage like your first shave or getting your license and a car. And we had to do it all by mail, no online easy click click. It is a real worry young people today are so disengaged from politics. I don’t buy that electronic voting will push up the youth vote by much. Enrolling and voting in NZ is already really, really easy. They are just tuning out. Why? Is there any proper research on this?

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 22, 2014 @ 12:55 pm

  107. . . . I never know when Sanc is making fun of me. Also, alternative hypothesis: the swing against the left this election was really huge and the reason the Greens didn’t decline as much as Labour is that their GOTV saved them.

    Comment by danylmc — September 22, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

  108. Even if the Green get out the vote was massive compared to 2011 it’s still nothing compared to the machines that Labour in particular but also National have — and Labour’s get out the vote effort was much much better this time than 2011.

    And also not going to lie “target the youth vote” is the absolutely number one error in getting out the left vote. The fact that the Greens, in the year of our lord 2014, don’t know this is deeply depressing about their engagement with the realities of electoral politics.

    Comment by Keir Leslie — September 22, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

  109. 73.Why is it “Labour should do a deal with the Greens” not “Greens must do a deal with Labour”?

    Standard rule of contract economics. Those with the greatest ability to wear risk should wear it.

    Comment by Gregor W — September 22, 2014 @ 1:31 pm

  110. 19.”Good one New Zealand. You are a bunch of fuckwits.”
    Comment by fdx — September 21, 2014 @ 9:45 am

    Lol.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — September 22, 2014 @ 1:39 pm

  111. Standard rule of contract economics. Those with the greatest ability to wear risk should wear it.

    This is not a thing.

    Comment by Phil — September 22, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

  112. @ Phil – paraphrasing.

    Commonly cited principles of risk allocation are that a party to a commercial agreement should bear risk where:

    •the risk is within that party’s control;
    •that party can transfer the risk and it is most economically beneficial to deal with the risk in this manner;
    •the main economic benefit of controlling the risk lies with that party;
    •to place the risk upon that party is in the interests of efficiency; and/or
    •if the risk eventuates, the loss falls on that party in the first instance and it is not practicable, or there is no reason under the above principles, to cause expense and uncertainty by transferring the loss to another.

    Comment by Gregor W — September 22, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

  113. The Greens had a much larger ground operation this year, but it was still substantially smaller than Labour’s (which in turn is not big enough to do what they need it to do). I believe that Labour placed about 10 times as many phone calls to voters. The Greens hierarchy have worked it out, but getting large numbers of volunteers to spend many weeknights on the phone is difficult.

    Comment by George — September 22, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

  114. I think there’s a bit of head-scratching going on in the Green Party because their GOTV campaign this year was absolutely massive: way, way beyond anything they managed in 2011, and it totally failed to deliver. My guess is that it’s because the strategy was to target young voters, and young voters are a total waste of time and resources, but it sure-as-hell wasn’t down to laziness.

    Taihoa Danyl, the special votes have not been counted yet, and these are strongly weighted to the young and the mobile. Campus booths were a new thing, and your own university’s booth was literally running out of ballot papers most days.

    Any party that targets just the young (as the Internet Mana Experiment appeared to attempt) is bound for disappointment. The Greens talked a lot to young families, but that got lost in the mire of dirty politics and an ‘interesting’ campaign.

    Comment by George — September 22, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

  115. It seems a bit unfair to call the Green GOTV operation substandard because it wasn’t as extensive as Labour or National’s – the Greens are a smaller party than either, with less members, and don’t aspire to get as many votes as either of the big parties. I know there’s some loose talk about the Greens eventually replacing Labour as the main party of the left, but this election their official target was 15%. Obviously they fell well short of that, but they didn’t need a GOTV operation comparable to Labour’s to get it.

    My suspicion is that there are quite a lot of people whose main political motivations are general cynicism about capitalism and liberal democracy, and a strong love for the environment that’s as emotional as it is political. These people probably oscillate between voting Green and not voting, and I think part of the reason for the Greens’ poor performance this year is that they leaned towards the latter this time around.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — September 22, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

  116. My suspicion is that there are quite a lot of people whose main political motivations are general cynicism about capitalism and liberal democracy

    Fertile ground for a resurgent antipodean SWP eh, kalvarnsen?
    Forever the Fourth!

    Comment by Gregor W — September 22, 2014 @ 4:32 pm

  117. Campus booths were a new thing…

    Really? There’s been one on Otago’s campus taking advance votes for at least the last 2 elections.

    Plus, Danyl’s comment will hold true even after specials. At very, very, very best, these might get the Greens up to where they were in 2011. That’s still a “failure” for their GOTV exercise.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — September 22, 2014 @ 4:50 pm

  118. @Gregor: Hey, I’m not saying they’re right, just that they’re out there.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — September 22, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

  119. @Green vote: people are proud to vote Green. When the pollsters call, it’s a great day, because you get to tell someone else you’re voting Green. Some of the calls are really long, but eventually they let you tell them. Green Party. With pride. Folk lining up to appear in their ads and stuff.

    By the way, I voted Green. There’s probably a lot more of that online now than people being proud of having just voted National. Those people are probably a bit troubled that National’s in alone.

    Comment by tussock — September 22, 2014 @ 5:32 pm

  120. @tussock: I’m honestly not sure if this comment is parody or not.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — September 22, 2014 @ 5:49 pm

  121. @ George
    “Their Love NZ slogan did make a lot of sense in this context,

    If a billboard has to make sense in a certain context then it is a completely useless billboard. The whole point is get a simple message across very quickly because, as you may have noticed, these billboards are all on the side of the road on which people are going to be rapidly driving past.

    The Green billboards were at least a bit interesting but they looked to me like they should really have been full page ads in print media where you could actually take a closer look at them and get what they were trying to say without squinting and worrying about driving off the road or into the car in front you.

    It is pretty obvious that they quickly discovered their mistake and switched to the tired and tested “here’s my party colour, here’s a nice picture of me and the boss and we love YOU xyz electorate”.

    Which they then made the idiotic mistake of just nailing to trees, presumably because they couldn’t afford the time and cost of putting up the necessary timber framing the second time round.

    To me it looked like a good attempt at trying to be clever like the infamous “kiwi/Iwi” billboards, but they missed the part where you have you be able to read it while driving at 100km per hour.

    Comment by Exclamation Mark — September 22, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

  122. Sanc. One big difference between now and then is that modern media make politics look ugly and policy is barely discussed. There is no chance of being inspired by a politician with reporters ridiculing them or playing gotcha.

    Many have had enough of the lies perpetuated by reporters as much as by politicians. Still more see no hope of big problems being solved by politicians locked in democratic pugilism.

    Comment by Myles Thomas — September 23, 2014 @ 12:32 am

  123. the swing against the left this election was really huge and the reason the Greens didn’t decline as much as Labour is that their GOTV saved them

    It wasn’t a uniform swing. Indeed, Kris Faafoi increased his majority substantially, against a sitting Cabinet Minister no less!

    Comment by Ross — September 23, 2014 @ 9:22 am

  124. I really think that in the 21st century we need to move away from this cult of leadership. At a time when most people are far more eduated and informed than at any other time in history, the belief that there is some hero who alone is to be touched by God to lead the people is ludicrous. Cunliffe is not totally to blame for losing, and if he had won he should not have got all the credit either. The Green Party do better at grass roots organising. The party list is decided my party members, and the party have a say in choosing the spokespeople (aka leaders). And by having 2 leaders, male and female, they make sure that not too much power or mana is concentrated in one person. At one stage they didn’t put the photos of their leaders on their web page, to guard against personality cults. Maybe labour need to go down this route too. After all that is the philosophy of the union movement, where worker work together and are considered equal to management.

    Disclaimer: Former Green Party member and 2005 election candidate, now Labour Party member.

    Comment by Environmental Education — September 28, 2014 @ 12:02 pm


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