Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: All John's Friends

100 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

  • Steve Withers,

    Elections in NZ have devolved into a contest between "Me" and "We" factions. The split is too close for my liking. I thought NZ had more regard for "We" than recent elections demonstrate.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to martinb,

    Disagree dude. They are far right

    And I disagree with your disagreement. Seriously The National party are not really very right wing in world terms. Somewhat right leaning for NZ but in Texas they would be considered raving communist/socialist/looney left wing nutjobs.

    But what this particular group in power do have is a level of corruption that is unusual in NZ politics. It's fairly rare to see those in power blatantly sell public assets to their mates or subvert normal political channels to give advantage to their mates. That kind of nest feathering is normally associated with extreme right wing politicians although there have been left wing socialist examples as well. So it's easy to see this lot as right wing when The Party is still fairly central or even left of center by world standards.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report Reply

  • Johnny Canuck, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Interestingly, the Harper Government (tm) did get away with a "light bulb ban", effective 1 Jan 2014. Bravely going where the Clark Government was ultimately unable to tread...

    Vancouver BC • Since Feb 2013 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Johnny Canuck,

    Interestingly, the Harper Government (tm) did get away with a ”light bulb ban”, effective 1 Jan 2014. Bravely going where the Clark Government was ultimately unable to tread…

    And Dubbyah, of all people, signed off on an efficiency standard for light-bulbs in the US market.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    We still have a fairly progressive tax system.

    Yeah but nah.
    Not by historical standards in NZ. 15-33% isn't a great range, and GST is flat-to-regressive.
    And not by international standards (no estate tax and no CGT means the wealth of many of us wealthy bastards tax doesn't even touch).

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to martinb,

    Disagree dude. They are far right

    OK, martin, I guess it all depends on where your political center of gravity is but if you think this government is "far-right" I'd sincerely recommend you get out of the house more and check your premises.

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

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Johnny Canuck,

    Easily LED...

    a ”light bulb ban”, effective 1 Jan 2014.

    Was there no incandescent rage?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I disagree Craig: the Key government is ideologically driven out of the very-definitely-right school of thought. It's present actions and programme are set at the pragmatic "what the electorate can be persuaded to accept" level of right wing; that will deepen next term as systemic changes wrought over the last five years bed in and as the inevitable arrogance of a three-term government (of whatever hue) kicks in.

    A third term will see a right-wards path that will be very hard to reverse or halt for any subsequent government and that will be buffed to acceptability for several
    years by a booming economy fuelled by the Christchurch rebuild and dairying and unhampered by inconveniences like the need to adapt our economy to a changing climate.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Hebe,

    I disagree Craig: the Key government is ideologically driven out of the very-definitely-right school of thought.

    Um, yes, as am I? But if that consititues "far-right" in any sense other than the kind of hyperbole where, according to DPF's resident trolls, the New Zealand Labour Party is downright Stalinist (even more so than the incumbent President of the United States), I think we're going to have to agree to disagree and move on.

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

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Hebe,

    A third term will see a right-wards path that will be very hard to reverse or halt

    Yep, and that worries me because we're hoping to get back to NZ in time for such a government. But the opinion polls I've been reading about have me hoping there's a chance a 3rd term Key government would be too unstable to be able to push their agenda through.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Um, yes, as am I?

    I dunno, Craig. All I know of you is what you post here, and for the whole time John Key has been PM, I've spent all of 10 days in NZ, but I certainly get the impression you're a much friendlier, more reasonable kind of right wing than our current government.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    It seems to me that Craig is talking about the place of the Key Government (or more correctly, the National Party as a whole) on the spectrum of global left/right, in which case centrist is dead right. This is because left and right around the world (with a few exceptions like Cuba) got enraptured by the promise of Chicago school economics and “trickle down” (a.k.a. being pissed on from a great height) and all embraced market economics.

    Within a NZ only perspective, this is one of the more right wing governments we’ve had since the first Labour government came to office, and the most corrupt and disregarding of the rule of law, but globally speaking, they are pretty wimpy. This is not to say that the National Party is either centrist or wimpy, but there we get into territory that I dare not approach. ;-)

    Having been a public servant through the Bolger/Shipley/Richardson gummints, this one is much worse, in my opinion. At least Bill Birch had some idea – Bill English has none.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    you’re a much friendlier, more reasonable kind of right wing than our current government

    My impression is there is a huge gap between what The National Party sees as the way to make NZ better and what this caucus is happy to do. It is one of the issues with the system that the political party is not necessarily the same thing as the group of politicians who are occupying the seats in the house.

    For most governments we've had there has at least been a reasonably clear connection. Which is good because most of the public are voting for the party and the policies of the party.

    But we've had times and I tend to think this is one of those periods where those in the house feel they can do whatever the hell they like and to hell with what the party thinks, let alone what the people of the country want ... usually because they think they know what's best for us all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    But we’ve had times and I tend to think this is one of those periods where those in the house feel they can do whatever the hell they like and to hell with what the party thinks, let alone what the people of the country want … usually because they think they know what’s best for us all.

    Yep.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    The political compass certainly locates National fairly far-rightwards.

    I've not dived too deeply into their methodology, but the chart at the bottom of the analysis page shows that relative to other parties globally, they're fairly central. However, relative to the central vertical axis, they're pretty far rightwards. Compared to where I sit, and where I suspect most people on this site sit, they're over the horizon.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Holly Grover, in reply to Rich Lock,

    I've been reading this whole convo thinking 'political compass'

    And also, that we need all to think about the way we think, as shown in this old, yet very fantastic RSA animate... and anything from the RSA about EMPATHY.

    That city • Since Jan 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    My theory is that the biggest unspoken assumption/misconception/fallacy in modern politics is that the 'left'/'right' line or axis around which parties argue, and around which the voters group accordingly, doesn't move. Ever. So supposedly 'central' parties (Labour, National) trim their policies year-to-year leftwards or rightwards on the economy (and 'up' and 'down' in terms of personal rights and freedoms) to attact the necessary weight of floating voters who cluster along this un-moving axis. Whoever gets the receipe the most correct in an election year wins, but we're still all dancing around a fixed line. So a Labour government will always be, by unquestioned definition, left-wing.

    However, over the last few decades, the line has drifted (drifted at some speed...) rightwards, so what we really get (in comparison to, say, 1920-1970) is different shades of right, no matter whose arses are warming the benches. It suits pretty much all the political machines involved to keep buying into this assumption, but over time is leading to a fundamental disconnect between voters and representatives. Perhaps not so much in NZ yet, but certainly for example in the US and the UK, where turnouts are steadily dropping, and recent surveys indicate increasing disconnect and anger with poiticians.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to nzlemming,

    Well put. In a New Zealand context this government is right-wing, very. Globally, not so much but they're trying. And NZ is where we are, with one of the most workable of Western democracies, so why do we need to go down the path others have taken? They could learn from us rather than the reverse.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I’ve spent all of 10 days in NZ, but I certainly get the impression you’re a much friendlier, more reasonable kind of right wing than our current government.

    That's very kind, and flattering, but I assure you I can be spectacularly unfriendly and unreasonable with no prompting whatsoever. :)

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

  • Stewart,

    I am disheartened by the fact that 'both sides' (the major parties National & Labour who would dominate after the election) seem to be happy to carry on with all the old parameters and paradigms that I see as having no benefit. To carry on along the 'accepted' economic and fiscal policy lines just seems to leave AotearoaNZ dead in the water, carried along by global currents.
    I feel the Greens have far better vision in this regard (as someone mentioned earlier about them considering more than binary options).
    Many of you will have read an article in the Guardian in the last few months (early December, it seems) by David Simon - this should be compulsory reading for candidates and the electorate.

    Note sure if I can manage the link, but here goes:
    here it is

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Well, that didn’t take long:

    Nw Zealand First leader Winston Peters has described Maori Party policies as akin to apartheid.

    Mr Peters, speaking at celebrations at Ratana Pa, said his party would never support separatist Maori Party policies such as having separate Maori units in prison and the separate Maori social welfare system Whanau Ora.

    He described them as “racist policies based on colour and ethnic preference”.

    “What Maori need is housing, decent healthcare, decent education system and first world jobs and wages,” Mr Peters said.

    “The Maori Party has abandoned that for socialogical objectives which are of no interest to Maoridom at all,” he said.

    “Apartheid policies are based on racial preference. This is, too."

    If Winston is going after Maori, rather than refugees or Asians, he must think he’s got a better shot with National than Labour.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    If Winston is going after Maori, rather than refugees or Asians, he must think he’s got a better shot with National than Labour.

    Maybe the patrician condescension of Labour rangatiras such as Clark and Palmer towards uppity natives is all in the past, but it still seems a grey enough area for Winnie to play sillybuggers without revealing his hand. He was a minister in the Clark government through the foreshore & seabed "wreckers and haters", and raised no objection to her very public statement that the targets of the Urewera raids that took place on her watch were guilty of serious offences.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Stewart,

    Thanks for the link to the David Simon piece.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    I certainly don't think that Labour's front bench is that much more Maori-friendly than National, but in terms of the calculus of MMP, Winston has more to gain from attacking Maori in general, and the Maori Party in particular, if he intends to side with National. If (and it's a big if) Labour manages to take back some of the Maori seats this year, the Maori Party is going to be weakened, adding the potential value a strong NZ First would bring to a National coalition.

    Furthermore, NZ First will only have to compete with ACT and (potentially) the Conservatives on this idiotic "One law for all" crap. National won't overtly do anything to slag off Maori-specific policies to keep the Maori Party happy, but I doubt anyone in the party will be unhappy that Winston is taking this track.

    On the other hand, it makes it harder to see NZ First working with Labour, because even if the Labour caucus isn't particularly Maori-friendly, Labour voters tend to be much more in favour of policies like Whanau Ora than National voters.

    It's all just speculation until Winston signs a coalition agreement after the election, and the Winston we see today might not be the Winston we see tomorrow, but this speech has the hallmarks of a run at a National coalition government, at least.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    National won’t overtly do anything to slag off Maori-specific policies to keep the Maori Party happy, but I doubt anyone in the party will be unhappy that Winston is taking this track.

    Certainly not publically. One has only to recall Georgina Te Heuheu's stoicism when doused with a bucket of political ordure in the aftermath of Brash's Orewa speech. Given the feudal nature of establishment Maori politics, and the interest of the two major parties in keeping it that way, she really didn't have any option.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.