Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Taking the stage in Mount Albert

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  • Glenn Pearce,

    Could this by-election set a record for the lowest turnout ever?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    The ods are that on February 26 it’ll be three out of five.

    Aren't those odds 100% now? Whoever wins the by-election will become the MP for Mt Albert.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    Aren’t those odds 100% now? Whoever wins the by-election will become the MP for Mt Albert.

    Ha. Right. I meant, y'know, Labour MP, as they've all been.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Obviously I’m thoroughly partisan, but I thought Andrew gave a really good speech.

    Something else that was interesting was that there are a lot of younger activists getting involved. Jacinda had a team of mainly young people lined up to go doorknocking after the speech. I headed off to the pub afterwards with Andrew and Priyanca Radnakrishnan and Jenny Salesa, and a whole heap of young people who were all sorting out something for Priyanca’s campaign. I’m thoroughly over the on-going lament about young people not being involved in politics: sure, there’s plenty who don’t vote and don’t get involved, and we’ve got a huge task on our hands connecting with them and encouraging them to vote, but we’ve also got plenty of young activists too. Young being under 30 or so… which looks increasingly young to me.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Deborah,

    Something else that was interesting was that there are a lot of younger activists getting involved.

    Yes. I’ve been to local Labour events that have had the distinct feel of God’s Waiting Room.

    Jacinda had a team of mainly young people lined up to go doorknocking after the speech.

    That was a great move. It said “It starts now! Who’s with me?”

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    or perhaps what Simon Wilson described recently as an “Andy Plan” actually exists.

    Sigh - clearly the most important thing is how he appears. Not content.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    In this day and age (ie since television became ubiquitous), unfortunately, appearance is all important in politics.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Sigh – clearly the most important thing is how he appears. Not content.

    Presentation is part of politics. As irksome as it may seem, Helen Clark's political stocks rose after she got styled.

    But it's not only appearance: being able to speak and present your ideas engagingly is vital.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Melchior,

    In terms of appearance, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews went through a similar process here in Australia - lost weight, got better clothes, started trotting his attractive family out at events etc. Depressingly, it seemed to make a difference. still wears glasses though.

    Melbourne • Since Nov 2006 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Russell Brown,

    being able to speak and present your ideas engagingly is vital.

    And the Simon Wilson prescription for content is bloody good too. Hope someone in Labour is reading it ...

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    being able to speak and present your ideas engagingly is vital

    The guy not waffling and hedging like a lawyer when interviewed would be good to see. He has always seemed more confident with the prepared speeches.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Being old enough to remember when Norm Kirk got a decent suit and David Lange did that plus weight loss it is amazing how this still really does work or rather did for them.
    Personally I think who ever hung "Angry Andy" around Little's neck did the most to stop him ever making PM.
    That plus his default "chase every car" modus operandi but hey he has just short of a year to convince 35% of the voting population that he really has the goods, bring it on.

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 576 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    being able to speak and present your ideas engagingly is vital.

    I do get that, I really do. Despite, perhaps because of, not being good at it myself.

    But I'm tired of Labour leaders, particularly the white male parade we've had, having no real policy in which they believe.

    Yeah that's unfair on Shearer - Shearer had values and policy for Africa (sorry couldn't resist) but suffered from an inability to believe his "colleagues" would shaft him at every opportunity.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    just short of a year to convince 35% of the voting population that he really has the goods

    I rather think that we (the left) have just under a year to convince all those people who hate the kind of shit that just went down in the USA to actually suck it up and vote even if their party of choice isn't perfect.

    Because the alternative is more of this current lot who really do not care about the people of New Zealand.

    It's not about voting Little into power - it's all about voting National and ACT out of power.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    I’m SO HAPPY that National’s not running, because it gives us an opportunity for a tighter race between Labour and the Greens – with two eminently competent candidates, no less.

    I’m a big Jacinda fan, but Labour’s performed so poorly for the last six years – maybe a nasty scare in Mt Albert would light a much-needed firecracker under their campaign.

    Stoked to be able to vote for Julie Anne this time around.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • EE,

    Russell said "National probably made the right call when it declined to contest the Mount Albert by-election". But I'm not so sure.
    4,000 National Party voters probably voted for Shearer at the last election...
    ( http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2014/electorate-27.html )
    About 10% of the electorate.
    Will these National voters again like the calibre of the Labour candidate?
    And if so, will they continue to endorse Jacinda over Melissa Lee at the General Election?
    If Labour romps home at this by-election... Well no wonder National were running scared.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to EE,

    Yes, it's a curious question: What will National voters do? Presumably decoupled from tribalism, they vote on their consciences, send signals, or whatever it is that people are meant to do with their teaspoon of political power.

    We will soon find out. My money is on Ardern winning it easily.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce, in reply to BenWilson,

    What will National voters do?

    Not bother voting at all would be my guess

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to EE,

    And if so, will they continue to endorse Jacinda over Melissa Lee at the General Election?

    It really doesn't matter as long as they still give their party vote to National. Though who in their right mind would choose Melissa Lee as a local representative over Jacinda Ardern?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    I rather think that we (the left) have just under a year to convince all those people who hate the kind of shit that just went down in the USA…

    Considering trade, defence and immigration there are other NZ parties closer to Trump than National.

    Since Nov 2016 • 351 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark,

    "What will National voters do?"

    While National voters will disproportionately stay at home, I suspect a core of loyalists will hold their collective noses and strategically vote Green in an effort to help slash Labour's majority, humiliate them and sow a bit of discord on the Left.

    Not necessarily a majority of Nat voters (I agree that for many it will just go too much against the grain) but quite possibly a large minority of the maybe 30-35% of Tories who do get out and vote. Would still mean more than 2000 - perhaps 2500 - heading towards Genter.

    At least as importantly ... What will Green voters do ?

    73% of Green Party-Voters backed Shearer in the Candidate-Vote at the last Election. That was way ahead of the average Labour MP – in the Country as a whole, just 47% of Greens Candidate-Voted Labour.

    Indeed, Shearer was one of those rare Labour MPs whose Candidate-Vote was derived, first and foremost from non-Labour voters.(arguably making the Mt Albert Labour majority uniquely vulnerable).

    So, in a one-vote By-Election, where voters can’t enjoy the (General Election) luxury of being able to separate out their core political allegiance (as expressed in the Party-Vote) from their favoured personality ( Candidate-Vote ), it’s reasonable to assume that a significant chunk of that 73% of Greens (5810 voters to be precise) are going to reaffirm their primary political allegiance and choose Genter. All the more so when there is no National candidate to scare them into strategically voting Ardern.

    I doubt that Ardern is any great danger of actually losing the seat …

    But – with a potential majority of 2014 Green-Shearer voters combining forces with a potential large minority of Nats – it’s quite possible Genter will slash Labour’s majority. ... This in a seat that Farrar has already loudly proclaimed one of “Labour’s” safest (in fact, it’s a Shearer stronghold, not a Labour one. Labour received just 29% of the Party-Vote at the last Election).

    So you can imagine the media headlines. Potentially, at least, an own goal for the Left. Hope not, but fear it may be.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Lynn Yum,

    It may probably be just me, but nowadays I don't care much about flowery speeches. Winston Peters is always a good orator, but most of the time the actual substance is crap. Seeing John Key speak is like seeing Kellyanne Conway: all smiles all the time, no matter what is being said. And then there is Obama. Great speeches, but a lot of times they are not meant with action.

    So if Andrew Little is now a more compelling speaker, I don't really care.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2016 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lynn Yum,

    Flowery is not compelling. Speaking clearly in a way that connects with what is important to voters is a basic political competence. Somebody had better be coaching Little to repeat key points and themes whether or not it feels natural to his cautious lawyerly self to do so.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to Mr Mark,

    73% of Green Party-Voters backed Shearer

    I wonder how many of those voters were former Labour Party voters. I live in Mt Albert and I voted for Shearer (electorate) and for the Green Party. I previously voted Labour.

    I rate Jacinda and think it would be great for her to have an electorate seat in the bigger picture. I think other Green party supporters will do the same.

    I would like the Labour party to come out with some policy of interest even if it means swiping it from the Gareth Morgan think tank.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 364 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    It's not about voting Little into power - it's all about voting National and ACT out of power.

    Wrong. Protest voting has proved to be ineffective. If protest votes worked, national would have been out of office in 2014. Instead, they managed to persuade enough people that a) nothing would change and b) Labour weren't ready to govern. (Actually, they weren't, but that's a whole different can of worms*). People believed them and many stayed home. And more people who didn't stay home were National voters.

    More people will vote if you give them a vision to vote for. They need to know how you're going to change things for them, personally. That's what they'll vote for.


    *Labour didn't even believe that they could win. I sat in a meeting with Shane Jones (and others) over the Kapiti Expressway, and he was promising everything under the sun but in such a desultory way, I could see he thought he would never have to deliver them. And he came to that meeting specifically representing the Labour caucus. And, Shane Jones, yes, I know, but he wasn't the only Labour politician there and he wasn't the only one I heard that sort of thing from.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

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