The Dim-Post

February 21, 2016

Business as usual

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 6:45 pm

Two new polls in the last few days. Roy Morgan here, Colmar Brunton (I’ll link to it when its up).  There are interesting discrepancies at the margins: Roy Morgan has the Greens up and New Zealand First way down, Colmar Brunton the opposite and it’d be nice to know which – if either – was right. But the general trend is no change. National still close to 50% entering the second year of its third term.

Which is amazing but also not even slightly surprising. The first six weeks of the year has seen the left-wing parties talking about subjects of great interest to left-wing voters – the TPPA, free tertiary education, should John Key go to Waitangi? But, as with the last seven years, they’ve said and done nothing to cause soft National voters to question the competence or credibility of the government to run the country, and consider an alternative.

That’s really the game, now. Opposition MPs talking about values and visionary aspirations and compromised sovereignty and the future of work and what a jerk they all think John Key is is all very well, but if Key’s government is seen to be doing a good job in delivering the core government services that voters value, they’re not going to change their votes. And they shouldn’t!


  1. Reblogged this on Talking Southern Auckland and commented:
    Left going for the aspirational while Key goes for the services and investment front (CRL et al).

    Voters will usually go for something tangible they can see rather than feely feely you get with aspirational stuff.

    So then how to change that strategy….

    Comment by Ben Ross - Talking Auckland — February 21, 2016 @ 6:48 pm

  2. Aspirational to whom is the question?
    The collective “left” drives away people who don’t agree with the acceptable thinking so it ends up in a echo chamber.
    Take a look at the standard and the comments there when the polls were released .
    Statements “48% of kiwis are bastards ” and many other similar statements

    Comment by Graham — February 21, 2016 @ 7:38 pm

  3. I don’t have a problem with the left being more focused on aspirational stuff -at least it is a real policy debate not political infighting.

    What the left needs to do is broaden this conversation to include the whole country. The left need to have the courage to take their proposals out to the public. Having a conversation on twitter, THe Daily Blog, The Standard etc is not enough.

    Comment by Brendon Harre — February 21, 2016 @ 7:54 pm

  4. “the TPPA, free tertiary education, should John Key go to Waitangi”

    …and poverty and Christchurch rebuild and deteriorating water quality and superfluous spending by government departments and Ministers blowing millions of dollars of public money without clear above-board oversight

    Is all this stuff irrelevant to the 50%? Or is it more that opposition parties just aren’t arguing about it effectively? Would talking about the above be somehow more effective if opposition MPs weren’t also talking about the TPPA and Waitangi?

    Comment by izogi — February 21, 2016 @ 8:18 pm

  5. it seems to be getting worse as well.

    Middle class liberals claiming they know about art and design – it’s objective apparently – and everyone else doesn’t.

    Liking a design is a personal aesthetic choice, there’s no objective external judgement – which one would have thought was a fairly obvious insight of modernist art theory.

    But we have all these middle class liberals shitting from in high on people liking the Lockwood flags.

    Insular, arrogant, smug – that’s pretty much where liberalism is at the moment. It’s possible something to do with social media reinforcing the most negative elements of what has always been there to a degree.

    I don’t see much hope.

    Comment by NeilM — February 21, 2016 @ 8:37 pm

  6. Well, it’s not like the left has a bright shining set of aspirations and the other side of politics is bereft of them or that they are that fundamentally different. There’s probably a lot of common ground that doesn’t have a lot to do with political ideologies.

    On the TPPA is is clear that if Labour had continued in government it would have signed something like the agreement signed earlier this month. The Greens and the authoritarian hard left would have opposed but been marginalised because National would have supported Labour and the parties representing 70-80% of voters would have carried the day. With simple arithmetic like that its hard to see why Labour thinks opposing the TPPA is going to bring them closer to power.

    Also, the common hubris in thinking that only the left has an interest in social policy or that only social policy inspired by the left can be good social policy is equally dumb. Or that National has only succeeded because they have occupied what is believed to be Labour’s ground. They’re delusions based on the belief that political ideologies can never share common ground on ends or means.

    I know oppositions have to oppose but they also have to reassure voters that the change will not be too dramatic and while Labour have dumped a whole lot of policies that appeared to scare voters the ones they have picked up – racism (stop the Chinese taking over Auckland), xenophobia (sort off stop the TPPA) and (sort of) free tertiary education – are all more left wing than those they have dumped or, in the case of education, create credibility problems around delivery because of Labour’s track record in government.

    Comment by Tinakori — February 21, 2016 @ 8:54 pm

  7. Little shut down Shearer – to right wing or something – and now is warning Ritchie about voicing an opinion about the flag.

    This goes down a treat with a very small number of unpleasant people.

    Perhaps the liberal middle class just has the luxury of wallowing in glorious defeat.

    Comment by NeilM — February 21, 2016 @ 9:03 pm

  8. Labour needs to understand that its constant stream of personal attacks on Key are not working. I think partly because such attacks are also seen by the majority who voted for Key as criticism of them as well. Labour are alienating voters when they need to persuade them.

    They need to lay off the attacks and start pushing policies that Key voters will buy into. I doubt that would include identity politics or “free” stuff. However in Labour’s present ideologically hobbled condition, I wonder if it has the capacity to come up with any policies that are palatable to the NZ electorate..

    Maybe they should give that mission up as too hard and just make themselves as close to National as they can, Then make Jacinda leader. I like Andrew (he’s not so progressive as some in Labour) but he’s not getting anywhere. If Labour becomes a shadow version of National, Jacinda would have the straight electoral appeal that could swing enough votes to pip National at the post.

    Its a strategy that worked in Canada with Trudeau.

    Comment by Redbaiter — February 21, 2016 @ 10:57 pm

  9. The left wing anti-Semiticism on RNZ may or may not be as bad as comments on Kiwiblog but what a position to be defending.

    I’m not looking forward to the upsurge in misogyny aimed at Clinton from liberal pundits as happened last time.

    Comment by NeilM — February 21, 2016 @ 11:08 pm

  10. ” I like Andrew”

    In your blog post on March 17 last year you called Andrew Little a “thief” and a “communist prick”.

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — February 22, 2016 @ 4:16 am

  11. “They need to lay off the attacks and start pushing policies that Key voters will buy into.”

    That or figure out how to inspire large numbers of those people who haven’t been bothering to vote in the last few elections to vote again (and inspiring them to vote Labour).

    Convincing people that their vote will have some significance towards making a difference seems to have something to do with it, but that’s just me guessing like everyone else.

    Comment by izogi — February 22, 2016 @ 6:47 am

  12. “left wing anti-Semiticism”

    well-swallowed, Neil.

    Comment by Sacha — February 22, 2016 @ 10:42 am

  13. “In your blog post on March 17 last year you called Andrew Little a “thief” and a “communist prick”.”

    ..and John Key the same.

    I repeat. I like Andrew Little as Labour leader because he is not as progressive as he could be. Of course its all relative. The politician I would really like to see is someone who does not yield to the progressive National/Labour/MSM ruling political bloc.

    Ted Cruz for example remained seated while the Democrats and Republican’s stood and applauded Obama’s speech wherein he promised to bypass the 3 branches of the US govt and use executive orders to achieve his ambitions. Cruz on that occasion displayed the kind of mindset we need today in NZ.

    There’s no one like that of course, so we’ll have to endure our one party state for some time yet.

    Comment by Redbaiter — February 22, 2016 @ 11:08 am

  14. Well you know, Danyl, on the one hand, I agree with you about the fundamental importance of valence issues (and the fact that some on the Left don’t get that). But, then again, I’d have to take issue with your implication that the Nats / Key Government are unassailably in pole position and casually, effortlessly sailing towards a fourth term.

    You do realise the latest Colmar Brunton has: Oppo Bloc 50.0% / Govt Bloc 48.3%.

    Every single one of the TV News Polls (Colmar Brunton / Reid Research) since May 2015 has the Opposition Bloc leading.

    Winnie, of course, could jump either way .. but the point is that things are a little more finely balanced than a lot of commentators would have us believe. By no means ideal for Labour and the Opposition – far from it – but they’re by no means electorally uncompetitive at the moment.

    And while it’s true to say that the Opposition hasn’t made any inroads into the soft National vote in elections since 2008, it would be wrong to imply (as so many in the media have) that National, the Governing Bloc and the broader Right are still as popular as they ever were in the polls. Trust me, they are WELL down on the support levels of their First Term.

    Comment by swordfish — February 22, 2016 @ 11:13 am

  15. “..and John Key the same.”

    Typical progressive relativism. What we need are blog commenters who are willing to stand for concrete moral principles with a strong grounding in western cultural tradition. I don’t suppose you know of any?

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — February 22, 2016 @ 12:42 pm

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