Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Unity, success: Chicken, egg?

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  • George Darroch,

    It certainly smells like a faction of the disaffected from over here. I’ve been told Nash polled on running as an independent in the last election, before deciding to stay with Labour.

    There’s a reasonable degree of coherence in Labour at the moment, driven by a recognition that it’s a centre-left party that will advocate for a degree of regulation in most sectors of society, and a considerable redistribution of resources from the top to the middle and bottom. Some argument over the details, but not the philosophy – except from marginal ‘third-way’ types such as Pagani.

    It’s been noted by others that Key could easily fit into the Democratic Party of the US, because the Government he runs is well within its mainstream. Liberal, but not ahead of public opinion, and willing to spend to rectify problems in society. His Government is probably to the left of the Obama administration.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    The other major perceptual issue that Labour and other parties had was the ‘inability to form a government’. You have to be able to get to that line to start to present a ‘stable’ and ‘positive’ government, and that was sorely lacking.

    What the ‘Progress’ faction would do is to kick Labour’s allies for political gain. That might be worth a small poll bump, but it makes the maths harder and puts it in a further position of extreme vulnerablility. Ironically, it is something that has to be done from a position of strength. (I know, easier said than done.)

    Labour could do it in 2002, and again in 2005. It couldn’t do it in 1999, 2011 or 2014.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    another voice promoting positions left of the current government is a good thing

    I don't really see how the attitudes of Pagani and Quin are left of the current government. They're just people (like Shane Jones, who already jumped ship) who are basically Tories, but came from a background where supporting the National party was unacceptable, so they joined Labour instead.

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

  • simon g,

    There is no way around the basic problem: perceptions of Labour MPs are longstanding, because the MPs are longstanding. Or sitting.

    Nobody will ever think differently (better, or worse) about Goff, King, Mallard, Dyson, etc. All the reviews in the world won't change that. Goff's reinvention in 2011 didn't work, because whatever the (considerable) merits of the policy platform, voters didn't believe it, didn't buy it.

    It's painful to watch all this from the outside, knowing that we are powerless until the MPs themselves make a move. I can't vote to change the caucus. We just wait for Father Time. Meanwhile, National grow more arrogant by the day. It's a bleak prospect.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to George Darroch,

    There’s a reasonable degree of coherence in Labour at the moment, driven by a recognition that it’s a centre-left party that will advocate for a degree of regulation in most sectors of society, and a considerable redistribution of resources from the top to the middle and bottom.

    Also, the cyclical nature of politics means that it's about time, too. Winning the last election was still an outside shot, however we Lefties may feel about it. Not once in NZ history has Labour ousted National after only 2 terms. It's probably the best time to be jockeying around for position, rather than team focusing all out on a win. Now, they statistically have a real shot at government next time - it's theirs to win. Already the policy worm has swung in their favour. At this point, when the scent of actual power is in the air, even ambitious hopefuls in Labour can see that the best way to rise right now is to win the election, rather than fuck up their teammates for cheap position.

    I don't think all the tacticians in the world playing all sorts of games with polling and philosophical debate are really needed in Labour now. It's now about overall strategy, about getting the team match fit for the big fight in 2 years. Right now, they need game time. All of them. Well, not the oldies, they could do with a bit less game time, a bit more supporting from the benches, mentoring, supporting, fundraising, etc.

    We just wait for Father Time

    With those particular characters, that feels like the story of my life. We really still have the people running for office who finished free tertiary education when I was a kid? That was like 25 years ago. I pretty much expect their Hail Mary is to get rid of universal pensions. Now that they've got theirs, of course, just like with education.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    When people in focus groups reported having voted Labour in the past, but reported planning to vote National in 2014, they were often asked: “why have you changed your mind?” In response, issues of unity, backstabbing, in fighting, and so on came up immediately, spontaneously, and repeatedly. Sitting behind the one-way glass listening to that was no fun at all.

    I'm on a tangent but by comparison was there much expression of fear of likely coalition partners, like the Green Party and (possibly) NZ First and whoever else?

    Much of the anti-Labour/pro-National publicity in the past has seemed to focus on trying to frighten people about this, which I've assumed means that the governing party think there's something there to be set alight.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Pharmachick,

    I think that it would be a real pity if Labour dismissed this new group out of hand. Sure, they're ruffling feathers, but at least they are trying to roll out some new policies and ideas to talk to the electorate about. Right now, Labour needs to re-attract the swing vote and same-stuff-different-day won't do that.

    Since Apr 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The policies of this faction are far from new. Tired 80s/90s neolib nonsense.

    What irks me most is rather than engage with their party's existing policy and candidate development processes, they are trying to set up their own parallel ones as if the rules do not apply to them. That's hardly a recipe for coherent campaigning, is it?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Pharmachick, in reply to Sacha,

    Yes, I agree this parallel process thing isn't the best way of going about it. But seriously, Labour isn't getting any traction right now - cant hurt any worse than e.g. Trevor's Moa gaffe? So maybe will attract some new eyes and votes. Also, with respect, I think the whole neolib/neocon labels are really unhelpful. Most Millenials don't' even know what it means.

    Since Apr 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Most Millenials don’t’ even know what it means.

    Well, Josie (?)

    It means having to pay $250 a week for a room in a slum miles from anywhere.
    It means working three years for a degree and getting a job in a supermarket.
    Or leaving school with good NCEAs and getting a minimum wage job at Maccas.
    Or if you haven’t got NCEAs, begging.

    Maybe by 2020 (when millenials actually get to vote in an election), they might pick up on this?

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

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Well, Josie (?)

    don't be mean

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to George Darroch,

    It certainly smells like a faction of the disaffected from over here. I’ve been told Nash polled on running as an independent in the last election, before deciding to stay with Labour.

    And then had a big whine about being left out of Little’s caucus rankings altogether. He has a higher opinion of his abilities than his colleagues do.

    There’s a reasonable degree of coherence in Labour at the moment, driven by a recognition that it’s a centre-left party that will advocate for a degree of regulation in most sectors of society, and a considerable redistribution of resources from the top to the middle and bottom. Some argument over the details, but not the philosophy – except from marginal ‘third-way’ types such as Pagani.

    As noted here previously, the Future of Work project is coherent and electorally relevant. Robertson sounded quite impressive in his interview with Brent Edwards over the weekend. I think there’s more in that in anything Pagani says.

    Assuming, of course, they can make the step from discussing policy directions to clearly presenting policies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Well, Josie (?)

    don’t be mean

    Quite. It was a good-faith comment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Pharmachick, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    No, I'm not Josie. I've been around for a while (although I'd never have guessed 2009 - where does the time go!). I read the posts and comments here far more often than I write/reply and usually have to feel pretty strongly about something to reply. In this case, I'd like to see Labour try some new things to win voters. I have voted both Labour and National in my time (not that it matters) and there have been some stellar Labour politicians and governments. At this point, I think National has been a bit disingenuous with the public in some cases and that at the *very* least, a strong Labour opposition will hold them to account. I also think we need to look after our weaker/less able members of society in NZ and that seems to be eroding. It concerns me. So I was hoping this group of people, although what they're currently saying won't be popular within Labour, might at least start a debate and bring back some more moderate Labour voters - who, IMHO have left in droves as the hard left has become a bit strong within the party.

    Since Apr 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Assuming, of course, they can make the step from discussing policy directions to clearly presenting policies.

    yes, well

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Of the two Labour Christchurch rebuild spokespeople who were appointed post Lianne Dalziel's sidelining and eventual departure, Clayton Cosgrove has gone missing and Ruth Dyson barely puts her head above the parapet. Now we have this blatant stitch-up, while the Party of Social Justice oils up for a fresh round of navel-gazing. Jesus freaking wept.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to George Darroch,

    It’s been noted by others that Key could easily fit into the Democratic Party of the US, because the Government he runs is well within its mainstream. Liberal, but not ahead of public opinion, and willing to spend to rectify problems in society. His Government is probably to the left of the Obama administration.

    The Political Compass suggests he's slight more to the Right of Obama.

    NZ 2014
    USA 2012

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

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Pharmachick,

    Sorry :-)

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

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Pharmachick,

    So I was hoping this group of people, although what they’re currently saying won’t be popular within Labour, might at least start a debate and bring back some more moderate Labour voters – who, IMHO have left in droves as the hard left has become a bit strong within the party.

    Once again, this Puddlegum blog article begs the question: did Labour really lose votes to National, given the Nats' actual number of votes barely changed, or did Labour lose votes to the "missing million"?

    Personally the first step the Labour caucus needs to take is to tell the seat-warmers in its midst to know when to quit. There's a point where valuable experience turns into gerontocratic self-preservation.

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

  • Pharmachick, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    No harm, no foul kiddo.

    Also, your points about being unemployed after Uni etc are well taken (and the ridiculous rent thing too). To address those points I would say the following:
    (1) Not everyone can afford to live in Auckland. Get over it and move where the work is. I have done this multiple times in my life out of necessity,
    (2) I don't understand why anyone thinks they're *entitled* to a house in Herne Bay or Khandallah right out of School/Uni. Our parents *aspired* to that and worked their way up the ladder.
    (3) Working in the trades is beneath precisely *nobody* I mean, my God do yo know what plumbers earn? They work very hard, but they do well. So perhaps instead of all this Uni/NCEA nonsense, for some people we need to re-emphasize the Trades.
    (4) Build more housing. The Auckland chokehold is ridiculous. Yes, I understand that rampant expansion cannot continue, but as Kiwis we have more land than we pretend to.
    (5) There are winners and losers in life. I have been both a winner and a loser in my time. Learn this. learn how to pick yourself up when you "lose" and don't throw a hissy fit (well, not for more than the "allowable 24 hr pity party") then go back at it - this applies to current grads and the Labour party.

    Cheers

    Since Apr 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to George Darroch,

    ‘inability to form a government’

    Given their perceived inability to talk to each other that seems a fairly obvious corollary.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    do yo know what plumbers earn?

    $60k a year, tops

    People conflate what a company charges for trade services with what the worker earns (this applies as much to professionals like dentists - I'm quite glad IT people mostly don't do work for consumers). The tradies with those V8 pickups are the business owners (and the truck is probably on credit)

    Plus, once the Christchurch rebuilding is over and the Auckland property market tanks, there'll be a lot of tradies on the dole.

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

  • BenWilson, in reply to Pharmachick,

    ) I don’t understand why anyone thinks they’re *entitled* to a house in Herne Bay or Khandallah right out of School/Uni. Our parents *aspired* to that and worked their way up the ladder.

    Well…actually, my Dad bought his house in Herne Bay when he was at Uni. I’ve got photos of him in his graduation regalia in the back yard. Admittedly that was postgraduate – when he was undergraduate he could only afford a house in St Mary’s Bay.

    *ETA: Ooops, make that 2 houses in St Mary's Bay - I forgot they owned the one next door too, which they sold so they could go on their year long vacation to Europe.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Pharmachick, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I know a self-employed Plumber in [small town NZ] that makes 120K after costs.

    Since Apr 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Pharmachick, in reply to BenWilson,

    Really? That's very cool!!!

    Since Apr 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

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