Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Prospects

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  • Steve Parks,

    [Richard:] It would seem that New Zealand's long national nightmare of peace of prosperity is finally over.

    Nice.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    It says that our main assets are food production, scenery and Kiwi ingenuity. That's why you'll never see a farmer on a bike.

    Ah, the old food, scenery and ingenuity speech. Where did the ideas in that come from? Some New Zealand tourism promo film from the '80s?

    In other news, JohnKey.co.nz still declares him to be "Leader of the Opposition".

    Considering how quickly the Democrats got the Change.gov website up and running, it's unacceptable that Key's website hasn't been updated. It's the interweb not a fax.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Ah, the old food, scenery and ingenuity speech. Where did the ideas in that come from? Some New Zealand tourism promo film from the '80s?

    The future is beige.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Where did the ideas in that come from? Some New Zealand tourism promo film from the '80s?

    I think it came from a poster on Murray Hewitt's wall.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Michael Cullen is stepping down from the deputy leadership of the LP according to the radio news. Sorry to lose these two great intellects from our country's leadership. I hope he and Helen find time to write their memoirs.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    @Paul

    I don't begrudge the Nat's their win. I'm thankful for the last nine years (of course I have some worries for the next three years). I'm pleased however, that Labour's renewal is well advanced. 12 new members, some exceptional, will ensure the Opposition is energetic.

    Quite. I'll post on this in the morning, but I hardly think the centre-left is bereft. As I've said all along, I'd like to have seen some of that new Labour talent enter three years ago, but the potential for refreshment and renewal is real. And, frankly, they needed refreshment and renewal whatever happened in the vote.

    And it certainly was helpful for Sir Roger to scare the piss out of everyone in his election-night interview. That new Act caucus is a chamber of horrors.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Michael Cullen is stepping down from the deputy leadership of the LP according to the radio news. Sorry to lose these two great intellects from our country's leadership. I hope he and Helen find time to write their memoirs.

    He'll be missed more if he decides he'd like a more sensible workload: Labour have leaned heavily on Cullen.

    But, again: refreshment and renewal.

    Cullen himself said it was "time to move on from a leadership position as the party rebuilds".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew E,

    It says that our main assets are food production, scenery and Kiwi ingenuity.

    Anybody noticing the similarity with 'Our main weapons are...'?

    Key, Hide and Dunne - nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

    174.77 x 41.28 • Since Sep 2008 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew E,

    Or is that Sue, Grabbit and Runne from Private Eye fame?

    174.77 x 41.28 • Since Sep 2008 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    I'm left wondering if that smacking bill which so divided the nation, had been saved for a referendum, would this result be any different.

    probably not...but.... divisiveness is divisiveness and sometimes in the interests of political self preservation, it's just better letting the people decide.

    I'm hoping to see more referendums in NZ. Hoping Key's emphasis on technology and the internet will give NZ a greater share and stake in the
    reality of what NZ represents.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    This has probably been said, but the key (sorry) thing is that this is not a victory for the right, but a victory for the centre. I think it was Steven Joyce on Agenda, certainly someone from the Nats, who said that this wasn't won in the provinces -- which the Nats already owned -- but in the suburbs of Auckland and Chch. In electorates like Mt Roskill and Mt Albert, or Wigram and Port Hills, you saw Labour MPs comfortably re-elected (call Jim Anderton Labour for the purposes of this) but a National party vote coming in surprisingly high. In Roskill, National's party vote was higher than Labour's; in Wigram, National's party vote was within hundreds of Labour's. Clearly, people were splitting their vote, one red and one blue, and I'd be interested to know if that's ever happened like this before. And so it's nothing other than a vote for the exact middle. Definitely not a vote for Act, and esp not for Douglas. If Act exerts any influence, then Key will disappoint a lot of people who thought nothing would be very different under this kinder, gentler National government.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Shep:

    There should be a bloody great kick up the bum to the Labour Party Central Body who've inflicted Burns on Christchurch Central.
    They passed over the best candidate for their Wellington insider and almost lost it.

    Forgive me if I'm a little slow here, who's this best candidate you mention?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Good god, up until Saturday morning we were being told that there was serious economic crisis that necessitated new leadership but watching Campbell Live the new PM's not talking about the reform agenda... we're having family homes movies. This interview's not got a happy ending has it.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    call Jim Anderton Labour for the purposes of this

    A quick hand-poll at the Young Labour Christchurch election party ("Be honest, you all voted for Jim, didn't you?") demonstrated that this opinion was rather widely held.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    In electorates like Mt Roskill and Mt Albert, or Wigram and Port Hills, you saw Labour MPs comfortably re-elected (call Jim Anderton Labour for the purposes of this) but a National party vote coming in surprisingly high. In Roskill, National's party vote was higher than Labour's; in Wigram, National's party vote was within hundreds of Labour's. Clearly, people were splitting their vote, one red and one blue

    Indeed,I still can't get my head around the way some people voted like that.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Rodney Hide and John Key together now on Sunday, revealing that their policies and plans are very different.

    Er, shouldn't this interview / debate have happened on TV One before we voted?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1332 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew E,

    I still can't get my head around the way some people voted like that.

    It's easier if you see Labour and National as centrist parties with only minor variation on how they want to run the show.

    MMP has enabled those who no longer feel comfortable putting more radical views inside the tent of those two parties to move outside (or be forced out) and present their own offering.

    So, if you want some policies based on ideology, vote Green, Progressive or Act. If you slightly varying flavours of 'this is how we're going to manage a capitalist mixed economy', vote Labour or National. Ergo, easy to rationalise splitting your vote between Labour and National. Less easy to rationalise a split between Progressives and National, Green and National, Act and Green etc.

    174.77 x 41.28 • Since Sep 2008 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Well it has been reported to me (and we see the numbers tomorrow) that at my voting place some voters voted for the national candidate (she was the one that got sucked into banning water) and then gave their party vote to the Greens..go figure that!

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 578 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    The effect of National Testing in the USA is to dampen the innovative teaching and learning. Some exclude other aspects to concentrate on teaching to the tests. USA and Britain envy our targeted testing' learning. There is plenty of disaster evidence around National Testing standards.
    Wonder if Private Schools will be included?

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Wow, I just found a reason to smile. Provisional results from our local polling booth:

    Labour 414 votes
    Greens 159
    National 140
    New Zealand First 28
    Act 8 - just one more than "informal party votes"!
    Maori Party, Legalise Cannabis and Progressives 6
    United Future 3

    I'm going to start a secessionist movement forthwith.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    How do you find out those figures, Giovanni?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Parker,

    Im a bit intrigued as to how the literacy and numeracy crusade is actually going to workout, without the extra bureaucrats. But more so, how the ingenious students are going to develop there "kiwi ingenuity skills" while being humiliated by endless reading writing and numeracy evaluations.

    I actually think they haven't thought this through at all. I am assessing my kids all the time-just not with standardised written tests. They are 5 after all. My worry is what happens once I have done all this testing (over and above what I already do) and some of the children don't achieve the "standards", because this will happen. That's not to say the children have not progressed or that they are not achieving. Does my pay get cut, does the school get a smack over the hand? It could be used as big stick with which to beat the teaching profession. Mind you National have always hated teachers anyway.

    Napier • Since Nov 2008 • 232 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Simon

    Rodney Hide and John Key together now on Sunday, revealing that their policies and plans are very different.

    Er, shouldn't this interview / debate have happened on TV One before we voted?

    Not that should be of any surprise to anyone really. (Key wouldn't want to say anything that would scare the punters for the reasons philipmatthews pointed out above, Hide...well...I don't think we need to go into too much detail).

    But you're right, I do wonder, as mickey mouse and ultimately unrewarding as the debate formats (the ones hosted by Sainsbury were largely a complete shambles, with the exception of the final one) are, I can't help if we'd all been better served by there being at least one where all the parties in parliament shared the same stage. Not that we would have got much out of it, but at least it would've got away from the "two horse-race" coverage that dominated proceedings throughout. MMP is often about the minor detail before the consensus is reached.


    I will say, what really disgusted me about Roger Douglas's appearance on the Saturday night coverage was how contemptuous he seemed. This did not seem like a man happy to be back in parliament- at least not in the traditional sense of the word. Oh no, this was a man hellbent on retribution. Now, of course, the likelihood of him getting anywhere near that is another matter entirely.

    Lucy:

    A quick hand-poll at the Young Labour Christchurch election party ("Be honest, you all voted for Jim, didn't you?") demonstrated that this opinion was rather widely held.

    Funny fact- Jim Anderton has been the leader of the Progressives for as many elections (2002, 2005 and 2008) as he was with the Alliance (1993, 1996, 1999). Now, of course, you could argue that it's much easier to be a "leader" when you're only going to get (at the most) one other MP into parliament.... ;)

    I think his transformation back into Labour surrogate is one of those "through-the-looking-glass" moments that most wouldn't've counted on back in '93. Then again, if you told me before the 2005 election that Winston Peters would be our foreign minister under a Labour coalition (to say nothing of what happened afterwards) I would've probably questioned what you were having for breakfast.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    How do you find out those figures, Giovanni?

    All the polling booths are listed by electorate here.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I still can't get my head around the way some people voted like that.

    I find it easy to understand. Betting a bit both ways is signaling you like both, or what you dislike in each is similar in magnitude.

    Party faithful find it hard to understand because they fundamentally believe that the differences are huge and philosophical. People who swing either 1) don't give a crap about that, or 2) disagree with it, or 3) are themselves philosophically undecided. I put myself in the latter - I just don't buy either story wholesale.

    Which is funny because it is the swing voters who decide the election result. These people who don't rate as important the huge, philosophical differences that make a Grand Coalition impossible. And yet the leaders must reach out to them or they will lose, across the mental canyon that this supposed dichotomy divides.

    Are they irrational, these swing voters? I don't think so. In the 3 cases above:
    1) Not giving a crap about philosophy is total pragmatism. These people vote entirely on an issue by issue basis, weighing against their gut feelings about morality and self interest. Not a bad idea.
    2) Disagreeing that there is a huge divide has some arguments. Firstly, both parties have altered their views quite a lot over the years. There are some ways to enumerate issues and describe the range of views which put those parties in a tight cluster next to each other. How is that a huge divide?
    3) Suspending disbelief. My own personal view. I do not hold fast to any particular truth, because I believe doing so makes it harder to actually find it. I see the likely set of 'profound differences' simply as competing theories which each have evidence for and against. My 'level of belief' doesn't really indicate that I think either is true, it's more of a 'I'm willing to try it' as an experiment. Sometimes, I can be willing to try either view. That's still a vote against any of the other ones. Voting Labour and National is voting against trying ACT or Green or whatever.

    I also think betting both ways is something of a signal that a Grand Coalition could be an option. Clearly quite a lot of people can see a reason for it. I certainly can, if it turns out that ACT will not allow the Nats to form a centrist government, then Nats and Labour could easily do so. Just the threat of that will keep ACT from getting too carried away. Keeping it off the table is IMHO resoundingly irrational, showing that the tribe mentality runs very deep in NZ.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

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