Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Meet the middle

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    enter the jabber wookie...

    I’m not going to be too exercised by snark either way.

    Oh I don't know ...there is much exercise to be had in the quest for boojums and bandersnatchs...

    ...and a doddle for someone with a surname (and profession) starting with a B.

    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    But we know that support for Labour and National has traditionally had an urban/ rural divide. So it is not geographically even.

    Also, for the NZES 2014 survey data, of the 2835 surveyed people. 90 fewer voted for Labour this time than last time (same people in the survey casting their mind back to the last election) and 53 fewer voted for National. This is not a closed system where the votes move between in a line between parties. It is an open system with people moving into did not vote land. Since Labour seemed to have shed more votes to the Apathy party, I think there is more scope for actually inspiring people to return, since as previous Labour voters they can be assumed to have some Labour sympathies.
    I don't think it is easy to use as a reservoir, precisely because shedding votes means a blind-spot to the constituency (or they would be supportive) and blind spots are hard to see. I just think there is more scope for Labour than National.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to David Hood,

    It is an open system with people moving into did not vote land.

    Yes, the swinging voter can jump off the swing. I'm interested in the possibility that that is the more likely outcome, that being determined to vote but unsure of who to vote for might seem less rational to a lot of people. I'm one of them, a swinging voter that has voted in every election (with the exception of the one where I was living abroad). But more of the people I know who change the way they vote do it by not-voting. I'll have to dig into the data a bit deeper to see whether I'm atypical, or my friends are.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm happier when there's plenty of debate and no snark, but I'm not going to be too exercised by snark either way.

    I was just a bit confused about the "subtweeting" bit. Surely one can snark on Twitter in response to a patronising article without having to tag the author, who happens to also be on Twitter (probably) but whom one doesn't follow. I mean surely!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Chariot... for a chary lot
    The pendulumpenproletariat
    also swing low and high,
    swingeingly in fact...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’m not going to be too exercised by snark either way

    Snark exists on Twitter so some of us (ie, me) don't come and ragepost all over your nice polite threads, Russell. You should be grateful for it. ;)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yes, the swinging voter can jump off the swing

    To further complicate it, I think it would be a mistake to treat non-voting as one destination. As measured by the data, a ACT supporting non-voter may be in a very different voting space to a Internet/Mana one.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Just posted tis on another thread but so angry I will post it here too...


    I suppose I am a bit late with this news but I am so pissed off that I had to post it somewhere.

    Dita De Boni ‏@KeepingMum Aug 9
    Hi all. In answer to questions, it is true the Herald has discontinued my column as of three weeks from now. Reason given = budget

    The rolling maul of National's road to our insignificance rolls on.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Rob Salmond,

    And Mike Smith is certain NZ Labour’s supposedly sharp tack left won it the 1999 election, rather than, say, comically self-destructive opponents.

    Except that Labour didn’t technically win that election, or any subsequent election for that matter. Labour haven’t won an election since 1984. In 1999, even with Alliance support, the collective was still two seats short of an absolute majority and was only able to form a new government with support from the Green Party.

    In the 2011, Labour, The Greens, New Zealand First, the Maori Party, Mana and United Future combined had 61 seats, i.e a majority. It wasn’t a lack of votes from the general electorate that held back the centre left from holding office. It wasn’t a question of policy, it was quite simply a failure – as opposed to an incapacity – to successfully negotiate the formation of a Government.

    Starting narrowly, anyone who looks at Labour’s successful 2005 platform and sees anything other than an appeal to the centre is dreaming.

    etc..

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    That's fucked.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I suppose I am a bit late with this news but I am so pissed off that I had to post it somewhere.

    Dita De Boni ‏@KeepingMum Aug 9
    Hi all. In answer to questions, it is true the Herald has discontinued my column as of three weeks from now. Reason given = budget

    I wonder how much of that budget has been diverted to buy Mike Hosking another Ferrari?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    I wonder how much of that budget has been diverted to buy Mike Hosking another Ferrari?

    I said as much in my latest comment to her. It probably wont get in but her last piece is well worth reading. Dita De Boni, Her last Herald article
    Another good writer pushed under the bus.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to chris,

    Labour haven’t won an election since 1984

    * As opposition, I should add, in case that’s fodder for rebuttal. So yeah, since 1987 – : The Cold War, Iran-Contra testimony , The Last Emporer, Wall Street, Got my mind set on you, King’s Cross fire, Black Monday. No majority. We can keep kidding ourselves that a tweak here and there will restore the glory days, but it no longer appears to be the way things work.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    "...in response to a patronising article..."

    Yep.

    For example: "Rule 1 in politics is "learn to count" 33 < 50".

    Or his apparent assumption that none of us have ever heard of Anthony Downs' seminal thesis (most of his critics of the last week or so do, in fact, hold Pol Sci degrees)

    Convenient, too, how New Labour's win in the 1997 UK General Election apparently had everything to do with Blair's Right turn and nothing whatsoever to do with his comically self-destructive opponents (Black Wednesday, a series of major Tory corruption and sex scandals, endemic Tory disunity over the EU...), but the NZ Labour / Alliance victory in 99 apparently had nothing to do with the political alternative being offered and instead was entirely down to Shipley Government ineptitude. Funny how that happens.

    I'll be posting a considered (largely, but not necessarily entirely , snark-free) response on my sub-zero politics blog (although, given severe time-constraints, it might not be for a week or so - by which time everyone will have lost interest). But I'd really like to get to the heart of things and move the debate along a bit.

    In the meantime, here's Stephanie Rodgers' quick reply... https://bootstheory.wordpress.com/2015/08/26/a-quick-response-to-rob-salmond/

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’m happier when there’s plenty of debate and no snark

    On this topic that's a big ask. I'm amazed it's as civil as it has been. We are, after all, talking about the most hotly contested political competition in the country, and how it should best be won. To maintain an aloof abstraction about it is only possible if you:

    1. Don't actually care, or
    2. Are naturally aloof, or
    3. Are carefully maintaining aloofness for whatever reason.

    I'm 3 myself. The reason is, because it's a debate worth having, because it's constantly being had elsewhere, with a lot of heat and little light. Maybe we can do better. It needn't be a repeat of the same debate on countless other sites, with all the usual suspects dominating. Perhaps at least some new information and analysis might make this a go-to thread on the topic.

    Also, my own interest is driven by not having a strong opinion. Which is to say I have considerable doubt about both sides, about both major strategies. My doubt mostly comes from a feeling that the basic terms of the discussion are not nailed down. "Left", "Center" and "Right" are poorly defined, and that means that avoiding cross-purpose discussion is virtually impossible. If we make any progress on at least that, then we've made progress generally.

    I'm not optimistic, but I'm at least trying. It's an extremely complex question. Perhaps precision is impossible. If so, I think that a data driven discussion is also impossible, and the whole thing comes down to shouting. So I'm just working on the assumption that this is not the case, because it's the only hopeful position, since I'm not optimistic about my chances of shouting down the Internet.

    Even if we do nail down the most basic terms under discussion, that isn't going to solve the problem in itself. After that comes evidence about the strategies and how they've worked out. We've got plenty of anecdotes...anecdotes for Africa are like coals to Newcastle (and cliches for Hollywood) in this debate.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to David Hood,

    To further complicate it, I think it would be a mistake to treat non-voting as one destination.

    Yes, you can jump off the swing anywhere. Also, you can jump back on the swing, from anywhere.

    ETA: Presumably this means that you can also move around off the swing as well as on it.

    ETA2: I'm not sure if this is an unacceptably mixed metaphor. Maybe swing voting is actually more like swing mooring, rather than swinging in a playground. As in the boat is attached to the mooring, but will swing with the tide.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Whether its subtweeting is surely about whether they follow you, rather than whether you follow them?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • tony j ricketts, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Island Bay isn’t an electorate?

    A lot of that is because Green (and maybe NZF) voters support the Labour candidate rather than their party candidate (NZF didn’t contest Mt Albert). The rest I guess is voters hedging their bets: who either support National and don’t care about the electorate vote, or support Labour and wrongly don’t care about the party vote, or support National but want David Shearer to do well in the Labour party.

    Sorry, yes, Rongotai, not Island Bay. By the way, I canvassed several National voters who intended voting for Annette as a great electorate MP.

    wellington • Since Aug 2012 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to BenWilson,

    Brent asked:

    It is interesting to note that a significant number of people (~80) put National at 0, and a similar number of people put Labour at 10. Were they the same people ?

    Ben replied:

    Interesting question…we’ve got the data. Any thoughts about how to answer that question? You want to know specifically about those 160-odd people?

    Perhaps a graph of where National was placed for those who ranked Labour at 10, and a graph of where Labour was placed for those who ranked National at 0, would be enlightening.

    Similar graphs for where they placed themselves (including did not or invalid ?).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Danielle,

    Snark exists on Twitter so some of us (ie, me) don’t come and ragepost all over your nice polite threads, Russell. You should be grateful for it. ;)

    Well, now you put it that way ...

    With a couple of other things going on yesterday, I was feeling a bit weary of being between warring parties (not political parties, or "party" parties).

    Otoh, I had an experience with a whale* yesterday and that was incredible.

    *Not the blogging kind of whale.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    several National voters who intended voting for Annette as a great electorate MP

    I'm a bit cynical about the "great electorate MP thing". You can come across as wonderful if you listen to what people say, agree with them vehemently and then do stuff all about it. As practised by the UK Liberals, most local councillors, etc, etc.

    Another top tip for Rongotai Labour is that if you're going to do the "fake local paper" thing, at least do it more than once every three years.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to BenWilson,

    I’d like to see this expanded upon actually:

    To maintain an aloof abstraction about it is only possible if you:

    1. Don’t actually care, or
    2. Are naturally aloof, or
    3. Are carefully maintaining aloofness for whatever reason.

    Some people are just too damn busy to spare sufficient energy, some people don’t understand or feel they aren’t (yet) informed enough to contribute more, others are perhaps biding their time until another makes their mind up for them, perhaps 3 could loosely apply there, heck some people are in prison, legally coerced into political aloofness. I’m seldom persuaded by limiting arguments of this nature when it comes to nature, could this train be worth pursuing wrt examining low turnout and swing voters?

    We’ve got plenty of anecdotes…anecdotes for Africa are like coals to Newcastle (and cliches for Hollywood) in this debate.

    Also the metaphors and similes, some quite profound in their enhancement of the issues such as your latitude post, very helpful, a case of a few words painting a thousand pictures - well, one very clear image.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to BenWilson,

    Whether its subtweeting is surely about whether they follow you, rather than whether you follow them?

    No sorry this is madness. A bunch of politicians follow me, I don't feel compelled to tag them if I want to comment in public about something they do. I reserve my right of choosing when I want to talk about someone instead of to someone. It's not rude - it's rude to think everyone is entitled to demand that you address them directly. I was accused of "talking behind Grant Robertson's back" once on this very ground. Bizarre.

    Subtweeting, to me at least, is when I have a relationship with someone - ie we follow each other, and habitually talk to each other - to the point when talking about them without tagging them would be a departure from the normal conversation. And possibly a rude one although not necessarily.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    *Not the blogging kind of whale.

    Saw your vid. Glad to read that he refloated. Hope he made it through the channel out to the ocean without incidence.
    I've been priviledged to get up close to a whale (for filming purposes, thanks CBS) It is very special. Sticks with ya.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Agreed. What I meant is that you can't subtweet someone who doesn't follow you, can you? Whether or not it's rude to subtweet those who do...which I...um....don't really have much of an opinion on, not being that much of a twitterphile.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

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