Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Let's be hearing it

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    Paul Rowe wrote:
    The National Party will have more success if it has a viable coalition partner on its right.

    Yes, and wouldn't it be nice if ACT got it's shit together and started acting like the 'party of personal responsibility' instead of blaming National for (gasp!) learning from experience in Wellington in '96 and '99, and not cluster-fucking its own candidate in Epsom in pursuit ofan entirely misguided 'electoral accomodation'. Kudos to Rodney for winning Epsom by the usual means of getting more votes than the other candidates. That's how it should be done, not backroom deals that voters have shown they don;t react well to.

    I want to see ACT in the next Parliament as a strong, long-term partner in a center-right National-lead Government. The way that's going to happen is by dealing with its own internal divisions, rebuilding the membership and donor base, running a strong nationwide campaign based on good policy, and (dare I say it) not getting into ugly public pissing matches with your most likely coalition partner. (And to be fair, I think National's got to lift its game on the last point as well. Both National and ACT have to be clear on their points of difference, and well as what they are compatible on. You know, folks, like Labour and the Greens managed after the toxic waste sniping back in '02. That could have been hugely damaging to both parties if National was in any position to take advantage.)

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

  • David Slack,

    It was almost enough to get elected, but they drove away enough centrists (and economically dry but socially liberal voters) not to win.

    I'm intrigued to see what happens to the NZ First vote in the next election. That's a good 5-7% of centrist vote going begging.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    There's some interesting research which I read a while ago, but which couldn't find now, about how people's actual voting patterns are very unlikely to correspond to what 'political type people', which a fair number of people posting above certainly are, consider logical left-centrist-right patterns. I think it related to American elections, but it was still very interesting.

    It was about the nature of people who when asked a series of policy questions clearly identified themselves as predominantly left-wing, or right-wing, through their answers. Then ask them how they voted and the patterns weren't even particularly clear. People mostly didn't understand left/right/centrist, and didn't necessarily sufficient information on the parties/candidates standing in the election to be able to figure out who aligned with their beliefs, which they could clearly state. There was an astounding number who used other factors to decide who to vote for - personal contact with a candidate, gender or race of a candidate, thinking they were a good speaker, had certain skills, came from a certain background etc.

    It pushed you to all sorts of interesting conclusions about whether the left-right spectrum was still a very useful analysis tool for politicians, as not only did people not identify with it, their voting pattern didn't necessarily relate to what a politician would interpret their beliefs as being on the spectrum.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Good point Kyle, especially in respect of the NZ First vote. I might recast that as "That's a good 5-7% of the vote going begging."

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Compie,

    Russell,

    always interesting in new media responses to breaking news and am an avid reader of online newspaper forums.

    Do you have stats on hits and responses over the last few hours?

    I'm guessing there was a spike in both.

    Cheers & fun times, looks like the city council meeting is turning out to be the predictable circus.

    Dunedin/Vancouver • Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Verpal Singh,

    I never saw him as "honest Don." I saw him as a technocrat lacking in the broad political and community experience required in a party leader. His hierarchical and autocratic corporate background made him ill-equipped to deal with the multi faceted nuances of modern New Zealand and was the source of his constant gaffes.

    Tom that is exactly my impression of Brash. Don Brash was as much responsible for increasing National's seats in the last elections as George Bush II was for winning the 2000 election for Republicans. And that should be a worry for those who want the demos in democracy to retain their primacy in the whole process. The spin doctors, the "political consultants", the divisive "strategists" are increasingly playing the people as pieces on the chess board. It should be instructive that TV One News showed a youngish guy on the street saying, "I think John Key should succeed Don Brash. I don't know why, but he seems to be the right person." (paraphrasing mine)

    John Key is another media creation. A completely untested entity to whom people, led by the media, are ready to entrust a whole country, without knowing why. I found it quite interesting that the moment John Key appeared on the scene, Dr Brash was increasingly referred to in the media as living on borrowed time. The culmination was the statements that John Key is going to replace Brash, the question is when in the next couple of weeks. Just look at the Listner cover (Nov. 10-17?).

    Perhaps we should be paying more attention to why media finds John Key so fascinating. And let's ask what exactly are John Key's qualifications to be in a position to possibly lead this country. I would vote for a down to earth Bill English any day than for poseur John Key (remember his posing in the Green Room during his appearance on Agenda some time back?!).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I would vote for a down to earth Bill English any day...

    Well, I keep hearing that, but then you hit the hard wall of reality that is the 2002 general election.

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

  • hamishm,

    Since Nov 2006 • 357 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    damit! pipped to the post by hamish.

    good to see they're "acting as individuals" in Victoria too, just as they did in Tasmania.

    with exactly the same message. and agenda. and almost the same method.

    but i suppose a misogynistic cult is a misogynistic cult. <strike>burkha</strike> headscarve for your ladies gentlemen?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Verpal wrote:

    John Key is another media creation. A completely untested entity to whom people, led by the media, are ready to entrust a whole country, without knowing why.

    I know you're making a slightly different point, Verpal, about manipulating the political puppets we vote for, but there are few leaders in opposition who *do* look like being good/great prime ministers. Lange is the only exception I can think of. Bolger grew into the role only after five years in the job. Clarke took years as leader of the opposition to build any real gravitas and none of Shiply, English or Brash had enough time to manage it.

    Perhaps Rowling, McLay, Shipley and English committed the worst political sin of a leader - bad timing? If so, Key's is superb!

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Don Brash was as much responsible for increasing National's seats in the last elections as George Bush II was for winning the 2000 election for Republicans.

    The record says otherwise. IMO it was Brash's "honest", professorial public image that facilitated the profound shift in our nation's conversation on race relations that occurred after Orewa.

    Chris Trotter had often warned something that the left's Treaty consenus was too far ahead of the national mood. But for whatever reason, Brash, and Brash alone, made the issue get political traction.

    I have my own reasons for not liking Brash, but give the man his due.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Brash#National_Party_Leader

    "Though the sentiments expressed in the Orewa speech differed little from established National Party views (as voiced previously by Bill English, for example), these comments quickly gave National an unprecedented boost in public opinion polls. National gained 17 percentage points in the February 2004 Colmar Brunton poll for Television New Zealand, taken shortly after Brash's Orewa speech. So startling was the turnaround that TVNZ instructed Colmar Brunton to double check the figures. It was the biggest single gain by a Party in a single poll in Colmar Brunton’s polling history. In the months that followed, changes of emphasis in Labour's policy agenda became apparent as Labour attempted to recoup the ground lost to National in the February poll."

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3875994a19855,00.html

    "I think credit will always be given to Dr Brash for rescuing the National Party from oblivion," Mr Ryall said.

    "This is the man who singlehandedly dragged us back from 20.9 per cent to being a very credible political force again," Mr Power said.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    weston, i think you might find that the largest movement on treaty politics was in fact advanced by 'the right'.

    the 4th Labour Government opened the pandora's box of historical grievance, but then did nothing to address the results (i'm thinking specifically of Prebble's patronisation and mishandling of the Tainui settlements in the late 1980s).

    meanwhile, National under Bolger and Graham picked up the ball and produced a workable solution. the late 90s (and current) treaty consensus descends directly from that work.

    Brash's Orewa speech was a quantum leap backwards into colonialism and assimilation of 'the hories'. fostering racial dissent is not a reflection of democracy in action, i.e. tapping the 'national mood', it is demagoguery or the worst kind.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    I quite enjoy reading Trotter, though I take everything he writes with a grain of salt (cynical, moi?). I was alarmed to say the least when he wrote in this week's Independent:

    In the increasingly likely event the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup in 2007, Clark & her advisors may have calculated the preparations for 2011 would provide her Labour-led Government with an unparalleled opportunity to become the principal performer in a four-year-long patriotic orgy.

    Please, there is no need to tempt fate over the World Cup! It is not "increasingly likely" the ABs will win it at all. FFS!

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This just in: The injunction was lifted 10 mins ago. Whitcoulls doesn't have any copies, but I bet the till's running hot at Bennett's.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Che,

    Brash's Orewa speech was a quantum leap backwards into colonialism and assimilation of 'the hories'. fostering racial dissent is not a reflection of democracy in action, i.e. tapping the 'national mood', it is demagoguery or the worst kind.

    I can only agree that fostering racial dissent is unacceptable. I didn't mean to dive back into the crucible of the race relations debate.

    Brash brought the National Party back from brink of irrelevance - that is all I meant to say. Had he succeeded in eliminating ACT from Parliament it may have served some useful purpose...

    The ARC votes for Eden Park...

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    weston, wasn't meaning to sound angry. it's just that the orewa-line really grinds my gears.

    i can't really comment on National party policy or lines of argument, but can say with conviction that the "saved from irrelevance" argument always seems trite. when has the National Party not been the natural alternative govt?

    maybe they just needed to understand that 'minority bashing' and 'consensus-building' are two entirely different animals? brash obviously didn't.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    What I originally said was that Orewa attracted a wave of popular support, reconfigured the NZ race relations debate and reinstated National as a serious force in NZ politics. I said I thought that Don Brash's academic public image played a role in this, and that the 20% jump in National's support that occurred post Orewa was historically unprecedented.

    Russell Brown's blog entries around February 2004 provide a partial record of some of the more considered contributions for and against, but I don't want to rehash that here. This only came up because we were discussing Brash's legacy, and because Orewa is a big part of that.

    But speaking of racial abuse, let me just say that i think the NZ Herald is sh*t (and yes, I am shamelessly changing the subject):
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/search/story.cfm?storyid=00043709-0942-1566-834083027AF1010F

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

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