Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Prospects

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  • giovanni tiso,

    Wow, I just found a reason to smile. Provisional results from our local polling booth:

    Labour 414 votes
    Greens 159
    National 140
    New Zealand First 28
    Act 8 - just one more than "informal party votes"!
    Maori Party, Legalise Cannabis and Progressives 6
    United Future 3

    I'm going to start a secessionist movement forthwith.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    How do you find out those figures, Giovanni?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Parker,

    Im a bit intrigued as to how the literacy and numeracy crusade is actually going to workout, without the extra bureaucrats. But more so, how the ingenious students are going to develop there "kiwi ingenuity skills" while being humiliated by endless reading writing and numeracy evaluations.

    I actually think they haven't thought this through at all. I am assessing my kids all the time-just not with standardised written tests. They are 5 after all. My worry is what happens once I have done all this testing (over and above what I already do) and some of the children don't achieve the "standards", because this will happen. That's not to say the children have not progressed or that they are not achieving. Does my pay get cut, does the school get a smack over the hand? It could be used as big stick with which to beat the teaching profession. Mind you National have always hated teachers anyway.

    Napier • Since Nov 2008 • 232 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Simon

    Rodney Hide and John Key together now on Sunday, revealing that their policies and plans are very different.

    Er, shouldn't this interview / debate have happened on TV One before we voted?

    Not that should be of any surprise to anyone really. (Key wouldn't want to say anything that would scare the punters for the reasons philipmatthews pointed out above, Hide...well...I don't think we need to go into too much detail).

    But you're right, I do wonder, as mickey mouse and ultimately unrewarding as the debate formats (the ones hosted by Sainsbury were largely a complete shambles, with the exception of the final one) are, I can't help if we'd all been better served by there being at least one where all the parties in parliament shared the same stage. Not that we would have got much out of it, but at least it would've got away from the "two horse-race" coverage that dominated proceedings throughout. MMP is often about the minor detail before the consensus is reached.


    I will say, what really disgusted me about Roger Douglas's appearance on the Saturday night coverage was how contemptuous he seemed. This did not seem like a man happy to be back in parliament- at least not in the traditional sense of the word. Oh no, this was a man hellbent on retribution. Now, of course, the likelihood of him getting anywhere near that is another matter entirely.

    Lucy:

    A quick hand-poll at the Young Labour Christchurch election party ("Be honest, you all voted for Jim, didn't you?") demonstrated that this opinion was rather widely held.

    Funny fact- Jim Anderton has been the leader of the Progressives for as many elections (2002, 2005 and 2008) as he was with the Alliance (1993, 1996, 1999). Now, of course, you could argue that it's much easier to be a "leader" when you're only going to get (at the most) one other MP into parliament.... ;)

    I think his transformation back into Labour surrogate is one of those "through-the-looking-glass" moments that most wouldn't've counted on back in '93. Then again, if you told me before the 2005 election that Winston Peters would be our foreign minister under a Labour coalition (to say nothing of what happened afterwards) I would've probably questioned what you were having for breakfast.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    How do you find out those figures, Giovanni?

    All the polling booths are listed by electorate here.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I still can't get my head around the way some people voted like that.

    I find it easy to understand. Betting a bit both ways is signaling you like both, or what you dislike in each is similar in magnitude.

    Party faithful find it hard to understand because they fundamentally believe that the differences are huge and philosophical. People who swing either 1) don't give a crap about that, or 2) disagree with it, or 3) are themselves philosophically undecided. I put myself in the latter - I just don't buy either story wholesale.

    Which is funny because it is the swing voters who decide the election result. These people who don't rate as important the huge, philosophical differences that make a Grand Coalition impossible. And yet the leaders must reach out to them or they will lose, across the mental canyon that this supposed dichotomy divides.

    Are they irrational, these swing voters? I don't think so. In the 3 cases above:
    1) Not giving a crap about philosophy is total pragmatism. These people vote entirely on an issue by issue basis, weighing against their gut feelings about morality and self interest. Not a bad idea.
    2) Disagreeing that there is a huge divide has some arguments. Firstly, both parties have altered their views quite a lot over the years. There are some ways to enumerate issues and describe the range of views which put those parties in a tight cluster next to each other. How is that a huge divide?
    3) Suspending disbelief. My own personal view. I do not hold fast to any particular truth, because I believe doing so makes it harder to actually find it. I see the likely set of 'profound differences' simply as competing theories which each have evidence for and against. My 'level of belief' doesn't really indicate that I think either is true, it's more of a 'I'm willing to try it' as an experiment. Sometimes, I can be willing to try either view. That's still a vote against any of the other ones. Voting Labour and National is voting against trying ACT or Green or whatever.

    I also think betting both ways is something of a signal that a Grand Coalition could be an option. Clearly quite a lot of people can see a reason for it. I certainly can, if it turns out that ACT will not allow the Nats to form a centrist government, then Nats and Labour could easily do so. Just the threat of that will keep ACT from getting too carried away. Keeping it off the table is IMHO resoundingly irrational, showing that the tribe mentality runs very deep in NZ.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    That was very interesting, Giovanni. What a mixed bag my little polling booth turned out to be......

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Andrew E & Matt L: It's a safe bet that many of those who swung to Key on Saturday wouldn't be too pleased if Rodney & Roger end up wagging the dog. If that came to pass, Rod & Roger shoudn't be too surprised if it all goes French.

    Philip M & Giovanni: There seems to be an urban-suburban divide within the city centres. The most recent graphical data I have available is from the 2005 election, but I'd imaging the pattern wouldn't be too different this time round.

    Ian Mc & Tony P: Not much different from the mentality that drove the Japanese school system up until recently? I'll give it credit for their school uniform styles though.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5433 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Testing only shows what might be happening at this moment. Should be out of date tomorrow.
    Testing should leave the child's confidence intact.
    It should have a particular purpose.
    If it is not relevant and appropriate for this particular child it will fail the above.
    Should provide a guide for next step.
    As for published league tables and in the USA pay is tied to test success.
    "hey. Let me choose who is in my class. No dumb ones please."
    And there is a lot of evidence in the States of Teachers straight out cheating to survive.
    Schools become condemned if they happen to draw on low socio-economic families.
    Will the Private Schools be tested in such an insane regime?

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Fixed it for you!

    I'd rather not have bothered, but we woman-hating suburban fascisti need to keep in practice.

    Nice.

    I think "crap" is the word you're looking for.

    Good god, up until Saturday morning we were being told that there was serious economic crisis that necessitated new leadership but watching Campbell Live the new PM's not talking about the reform agenda...

    Probably for much the same reason Obama's deciding to wait until he's actually been sworn in, and had more than a photo op and cup of coffee with his economic advisers (which may or may not include the next Treasury Secretary). "Deliberate haste" is a phrase that makes your eyes roll, but avoiding pulling policy out of your arse to keep the media fluffed sounds like a good move to me.

    Anyone else disappointed that it's been a whole twenty-four hours or so and the Apocalypse has not arrived? Perhaps tomorrow.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Anyone else disappointed that it's been a whole twenty-four hours or so and the Apocalypse has not arrived? Perhaps tomorrow.

    Love you and love your work, Craig, but you can be such a dick sometimes.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The most recent graphical data I have available is from the 2005 election, but I'd imaging the pattern wouldn't be too different this time round.

    Yep, Berhampore is still a stanch little suburban nugget of redness. I'm going to go out and kiss random neighbours tomorrow. (Seriously: Labour + Greens 74%, National + Act 22%... the chances of kissing a Tory are minimal.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Love you and love your work, Craig, but you can be such a dick sometimes.

    The disregard is entirely mutual. I find it enchanting that Roger Douglas has already been appointed Minister of Very Nasty Things, the economy is already doomed (but that will be very good for Labour, so never mind), John Key is a drooling retard and anyone who voted for him is a stupid greedy misogynistic fascist, and David Slack's already decided the new MP-elect for Auckland Central is a vacuous corporate bimbo.

    Dicks? That would be insulting to penises and people named Richard.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The disregard is entirely mutual. I find it enchanting that Roger Douglas has already been appointed Minister of Very Nasty Things, the economy is already doomed (but that will be very good for Labour, so never mind), John Key is a drooling retard and anyone who voted for him is a stupid greedy misogynistic fascist, and David Slack's already decided the new MP-elect for Auckland Central is a vacuous corporate bimbo.

    And it is your penchant for making straw arguments of other people's concerns that endears me to you so. I suggest you go and reread Jackie's bit on page 28, and then try to re-spew the above.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    Ben, maybe one day politicians from the two main parties may breakaway and form a centrist party. Only time will tell the direction we are heading and from that, people will form views about political parties and politicians.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I find it enchanting that Roger Douglas has already been appointed Minister of Very Nasty Things, the economy is already doomed (but that will be very good for Labour, so never mind), John Key is a drooling retard and anyone who voted for him is a stupid greedy misogynistic fascist,

    So. Craig I can finally agree with something you stated with your, more than familiar, rhetorical abandon.
    Anypoo, Pub was soooo good, a bit like an MMP table conversation where I convinced all the National voters that their reason for voting National (because Labour has been in for 9 years) was we needed a change, was a brainless and lazy reason. They all admitted that Helen had been, at least, one of the best Prime Ministers of New Zealand, ever.
    Most felt guilty for voting for John Key once they heard Helen resign. Go figure,. Should we blame the MSM?. Maybe.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Man you people have posted a lot since I went to a party last night.

    Holograms on TV.
    Totally pointless or just a con and a gimmick?

    What struck me about the pointlessness of it, was that the magic of holograms is that they are a 3d image in front of you. I'm sure it looked incredible for everyone in the studio.

    Broadcasting that onto a flat 2D screen. Byebye magic.

    Duncan could have said they'd be crossing to everyone, including Key. He didn't. And hey, turns out they've got the first exclusive with him tonight too. Imagine that. Great with a bit of ass-kissing does.

    The first interviews are decided by a coin toss. The station that wins the toss gets to choose which leader they interview first, while the other station does the other leader. TV3 won, they choose Key. No ass-kicking involved.

    The electionresults site is also using umlauts

    You can't force someone to show umlauts if they don't have an appropriate font via html easily. They need to have an appropriate font on their computer.

    He expressly said he would not be firing anyone, just that he would 'cap' the civil service at current levels.

    It will be interesting to see how this works out in reality. They might shift work from contractors back to employees, while not increasing the number of employees. The contractors would then be out of work, but he wouldn't have fired anyone.

    And as long as our population is growing, it's not unreasonable to assume that our civil service should grow at a somewhat similar rate. I guess he would say that its grown faster than population the past few years.

    I've heard this as an argument against MMP from the other side as well. The standard argument goes "Oh MMP give smaller parties too much power". It's more the Winnie Peters kingmaker affect than anything else.

    My political theory would say that a party on the far right/left supporting a major party inside them, is going to have less influence.

    The minor party is going to be happy with most of the things that the major party does, just wish them to go further. They won't bring down that government, because the only option is the other side of the spectrum, which they don't want at all. They get thrown a few bones, but it doesn't make a major difference.

    The smaller centrist party is more powerful. They are much less likely to support everything that the major party wants, often they won't want change, or will want change in the other direction. And they can possibly bring down the government and go to the other side.

    So Act will get probably one major ministry, one or two minor ones. We just have to feel sorry for whichever area gets a yellow jacket at their head - a bad few years for the people in it.

    how were people supposed to know how close things were and that voting tactically could have rid them of Dunne?

    It was my understanding that Dunne's seat was a lock. If I'd been in it I would have thrown my vote somewhere else based on the understanding that it didn't matter. I did the same thing in North Dunedin - if I'd ever thought it was close, I would have taken my electorate vote seriously.

    I suspect it's an electorate seat which might see more of what you're asking for next election, now apparently it's not Dunne's god given right to win.

    Also, I think you assume that people who voted for the Green candidate wanted Green in government. I suspect a sizeable portion of them didn't. They might have just ticked a random box, they might have voted for any of the other parties but thought he'd make a good MP. A lot of voters don't double tick with one party.

    Wouldn't it have been much simpler if the Greens had not run a candidate in Ohariu and then encouraged Green supporters to vote Labour?

    Greens should run a candidate in every electorate. There are advantages to having electorate candidates which flow through to your party vote.

    I will say, what really disgusted me about Roger Douglas's appearance on the Saturday night coverage was how contemptuous he seemed.

    I remember him being positively gleeful when he came to campus and explained the Fourth Labour government in the mid-90s. It was basically "Yeah, I screwed you. Tough shit". He's a scumbag, and not worthy of sitting in the house.



    To me the most interesting thing to come out of the election is the potential death of a couple of centrist parties - NZ First and United Future. If that leaves a sizeable space in the middle of the political spectrum, how will it be filled? A split from National or Labour? Surely by 2014 there will be a new party in there.

    And Turia said this will be her last election. If MP and Labour get together, and Labour give MP the seats, and MP tell the voters not to give their party vote to MP, that's 7 free seats to add to your Labour-MP coalition, probably 8 next time the Maori roll option comes around.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Andrew E & Matt L: It's a safe bet that many of those who swung to Key on Saturday wouldn't be too pleased if Rodney & Roger end up wagging the dog. If that came to pass, Rod & Roger shoudn't be too surprised if it all goes French.

    Oh, as I've said a couple of times on this thread already, I doubt Douglas will be given so much as a chewtoy by John Key. I was more angry with how bitter he seemed on television. I mean, he's been given a second chance at political life, why he doesn't accept it in any form, even if it is someone who will sitting at the back? It seemed really ungracious of him, is all.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Those electorate breakdowns are interesting Giovanni.

    I have to feel sorry for the people working at Concord School, Dunedin North on Saturday. Zero votes all day. You'd be wondering if someone played a really big joke on the whole country.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    ..."maybe one day politicians from the two main parties may breakaway and form a centrist party."

    Blake - Peter Dunne did this in the early 90s,took some from Labour and National and formed United something, and its been morphing ever since, until there is now just him. However, I prefer the Pretender version and I hope this TV series now gets rescreened at a better time.

    Steven Crawford. Are you seriously supporting the Nat's special ed policy of building more special schools and satellite classes? Even in rural areas, and towns where most kids with special educational needs are already mainstreamed? The policy also calls mainstreaming ideological. Did anyone in the National Party ask the kids themselves what they want before making this statement? Best practice evidence is that a properly supported mainstream education is best for ALL kids, is what kids with disabilities choose if they get a choice, and is actually a right under the new UN convention as well as our Education act. More ORRS funding would be a good idea but that current figure of 1% was brought in by the last National Govt on advice from Treasury (while Labour has added to it in various ways)

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3218 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Joe:

    Yeah that was a bit cryptic on my behalf. Megan Woods is the better candidate for Labour & Christchurch Central.

    She stood priviously for Progressives here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christchurch_Central

    And did a fine job going for mayor against Sideshow Bob.
    http://archived.ccc.govt.nz/Elections/2007/Results/#Mayor

    The 2004 mayoral campaign had a few dirty tricks in it but I'm reluctant to point any fingers with this "Bad Luck" Megan had in 2007
    http://www.starcanterbury.co.nz/localnews/storydisplay.cfm?storyid=3741171&thesection=localnews&thesubsection=&thesecondsubsection=

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Shep:

    You could draw up an interesting shadow Parliament (or three) of folks who might have been pretty decent MPs but, for any number of reasons, the planets didn't quite line up for them while major league oxygen thieves survive and prosper. I'm still trying to figure out what dirt Brian Connell had on who to secure the Rakaia nomination after Shipley retired. Because that's the only way I can explain his (mercifully short-lived) political career.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Thanks for that Shep - as I live in Chch central I'm familiar with Megan's mayoral bid, but I had no idea that she'd been a contender for the labour candidacy after Tim Barnett's decision to step down. No disrespect to Megan, but big shoes to fill.
    Whatever Tim's real reasons for quitting, it must have rankled to see the awful Judith Tizard given a semi-ministerial role while his obvious talents languished because Helen feared frightening the chooks by promoting an openly gay MP. Goodbye Tim and thank you - you achieved a hell of a lot.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    This has been an amazing thread. I've learned a lot, and I've been given portals/e-links to a lot more.
    Thanks, everybody!
    I've also learned there are sour wee shits out there with whom I'll never have converse again. I feel happy about that, because their tedious & vapid snarkiness hasnt added a helluva lot to my general knowledge - or anything else.
    To everyone else - it's going to be an interesting 3 years!
    Let's flow-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Brian Connell wiki page says he has gone to live in Brisbane. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Connell
    What was that Muldoon quote again...:)

    Labour nominated another clanger with Yau in Ilam. Pissing in the wind to start with being Ilam, but it would seem like 1000 of the Labour Party voters split their candidate vote for the Green Party guy.
    http://2008.electionresults.govt.nz/ppstats/18_ILAM.xls

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

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