Labour’s Angst

By   /   September 30, 2014  /   34 Comments

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Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage?

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Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage?

My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late swing from the Greens in favour of Labour, though partially offset by a drift from Labour to New Zealand First, and a late drift from NZ First to National. The combined major party vote held up much better than usual; certainly much better than in 2002 when it was National’s turn to score in the low twenties. The minor parties scored 27.6% of the advance vote compared to 27.1% of the election night vote.

So the analysis of failure needs to focus on the left in general, and not just on Labour. It was the Greens who disappointed most; relative to expectations, and relative to the final polls. We all knew Labour would score in the mid-20s; we were sure the Greens would be closer to 15% than to 10%. Had the Greens won 13% of the vote and Labour candidates won Christchurch Central and Waimakariri, then Labour would not have won any list seats.

I have looked at the St Lague results – St Lague is the rounding method that is used for MMP in New Zealand – and predict that on Saturday Labour will lose one MP (Andrew Little) and National gains one (Misa Fia Turner). The next most likely outcome of the special votes is no change. The Greens will need about 16% of the special votes to get another MP.

Much has been made of the issue that Labour scored much better on the electorate vote than on the party vote. While it is clear that the New Zealand electorate does understand MMP, many of these commentators still do not quite get it. Voters get to vote for the party of their choice, and then get a second vote to choose their local MP. Too many of the commentators on the TV programmes still talk as if the electorate vote is the first vote; they say things like “people voted Labour in the electorate, and then voted for some other party”.  Then there was Campbell Live and its ‘lolly polls’ which completely fudged the issue about whether it was the party vote or the electorate vote that was being polled.

Commentators please note. (It would help to be a bit of a sports fan.) The Party Vote – the first vote on the ballot paper – reflects the party contest, which is like a fleet race in sailing, or like stroke-play in golf. The second vote – the electorate vote – is like an America’s Cup match race; or like match-play in golf. Each electorate constitutes a separate match.

In most cases that match is between a Labour candidate and a National candidate. In Epsom it was a match between a national candidate and an Act candidate. In Ohariu it was a match between Peter Dunne and Virginia Andersen. Match-play is winner-takes all, though the stakes are generally low in each match. In stroke-play the rewards are doled out in order of success, with every participant who achieves the cut-off getting something in proportion to their efforts.

It is the stroke-play contest that matters. Voters know that. The match-play contests are side-shows. Nevertheless, an important feature of this election was that, with the exception of Hone Harawira who faced special circumstances, all sitting electorate MPs who re-stood got re-elected. Only Trevor Mallard struggled to hold his seat. While we claim to be cynical about politics, we actually like our sitting MPs, just as we generally like our Mayors. In the electorate contest, the incumbent holds a huge advantage, no matter what party he or she is from.

 

Policy

Not surprisingly to those who’ve read my earlier postings. I think that policy was the main problem that Labour had control over. (The economic cycle and the campaign side-shows were outside of Labour’s control; however Labour’s past willingness to indulge in ‘gotcha’ politics – sometimes scoring own goals – will have led voters to attribute dirty politics to both parties.)

From the point of view of the hip-pocket, Labour offered nothing to the ordinary voter. However it was Labour’s macroeconomic policy that was problematic. As an economics’ teacher, I can say that Labour was offering a contractionary policy to reduce aggregate demand through higher taxes and increased saving, offset though by a promise to increase net exports. While a few targeted people may have gained – eg minimum wage workers and beneficiaries in part-time work – those not targeted will have lost.

On the whole, Labour’s policy will have led to both higher unemployment and higher inflation. The two principal theories of unemployment are that unemployment increases when the minimum wage is increased (neoclassical theory) or when aggregate demand decreases. Labour was offering both. (I should note that I think that Labour’s proposed increase in the minimum wage will have had minimal impact on unemployment.)

Basically Labour’s macro-policy was one of export-led growth offset by domestic contraction. The proceeds of export-led growth were to be captured by the government into the new sovereign wealth fund. The driver of the export-led policy was to have been changes to monetary policy that would have ensured a reduced exchange rate. (There are signs that monetary policy is already changing in this regard.) While not necessarily a bad idea in itself, a lower exchange rate monetary policy raises inflation. Again that’s not necessarily bad. But it means that the many people employed in lowish-paid jobs in the service sector face falling living standards, or at least lower living standards than they would otherwise experience.

To get a Labour-led government in 2017, we will definitely need a Labour Party with policies both to boost aggregate demand and to reduce hip-pocket inequality. The phase of the economic cycle in 2017 will be somewhat less auspicious than it is now. There will need to be explicit tax cuts to the bottom eighty percent of taxpayers. Labour will need to offer bigger tax cuts than National to the bottom sixty percent, and (unlike National) require all taxpayers earning over $100,000 to pay more (albeit offset, for some, by a universal child payment).

Labour will need to raise the trust rate of tax (33% at present) and the ‘PIE’ rate (28%). It will need a two-tier company tax rate, set at the trust rate for firms that do not compete internationally.

We are living in a developed world in which labour income represents a shrinking pool. Labour must enter the twenty-first century, and develop policies that enable ordinary people to access more income from the non-labour pool.

Finally, Labour will need to reduce the scope of targeted assistance and raise the level of universal benefits; quite the opposite of the present rhetoric of Labour Party policymakers who themselves do not appreciate the Kafkaesque nature of these targeting mechanisms. Too many chardonnay socialists believe in both austerity and targeting; ‘why’, they say, ‘should benefits go to people who do not need them?’ Saying these things simply betrays a lack of understanding of universal provision, and a lack of awareness of our social and economic history.

Universal provision works by taking more and by giving more back. For the rich the taking more and returning more cancel out. What matters most is that universal approaches do not require the dehumanising bureaucracy associated with targeting.

Labour can make itself relevant again to ordinary voters. It must focus on hip-pocket issues, and avoid policies that target, that discriminate.

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34 Comments

  1. Andrew R says:

    The other necessity is that any demand stimulation needs to ensure any simulation doesn’t result in increased carbon emissions, etc.

    One way of seeing this is Kate Raworth’s donut model. There is a minimum we must exceed for social justice, we must not exceed environmental theshold limits, we have to live between the two. http://www.kateraworth.com/doughnut/

    An explicit full employment target, coupled with an understandable sound bite argument re government deficits not mattering (need to keep money circulating, when private sector can’t circulate enough, government needs to do the heavy lifting). MMT gives a theoretical base.

  2. raegun says:

    Kim Dotcom was the A#1 reason why the left lost this election as badly as it did.
    Without him and him alone, Hone Harawira would still be there, maybe even have a bit of company, the Greens might have still got closer to 15% and Labour would have got a few more percentage points.
    Throughout the world there has been a shift to the right and that would have still applied here, but nothing like it did this election, I mean to say, Labour winning in electorates but National outdoing them in the party vote??? Please just ask yourself why, There is only one common demoninator and that is Kim Dotcom, sorry folks.
    The Internet Party could have still evolved, it still could have hooked up with Mana but the biggest bulk of NZers (rightly orwrongly) detest KDCs interference in the political system.
    You need look no further

    • fambo says:

      If I look back personally, there were two defining moments of disappointments for me. One was Kim Dotcom deciding to start his own party (although I did try to see the benefits in that once that happened) and second was Labour rejecting the Greens’ approach for some sort of campaign partnership.

      • raegun says:

        He could even have had SOME involvement with the party maybe on a technical basis LOL but putting himself out there just riled people to the point that we have the election result that we do.
        I do think much of it was a butt saving exercise for him and I even strongly suspect that Key was the engineer of him being here in a holding pen kind of way, until the FBI were ready to act on him. I even have a bit of sympathy for the idea that maybe he could have promoted artists without them having to go through the behemoths that are recording companies, but in the meantime he was becoming a behemoth himself, and in more than just the most obvious way.
        I even think John Key is one of the sneakiest PMs we’ve ever had and while presenting himself as kind of a middle of the track guy, he is actually quietly putting in place things that will more and more privatize activities in this country that have always been the responsibility of the collective as represented by the current govt. Things like health and elder care, essential services (fire, police etc), education, the supply of utilities, conservation and environmental protection – stuff like that.
        I don’t think a lot of people who commonly find themselves in the political “middle” actually really understand this and may be in for a big old fright when they see what is going on under their noses, if they ever do, of course

    • e-clectic says:

      interference
      “Interference” is a pretty loaded word.
      Let’s try and take a more dispassionate look at it – and I’m not saying you’re wrong about NZers “detesting” this “interference” but perhaps that’s how it was constructed by those who were threatened.
      “Interference” means involvement in the activities and concerns of other people when your involvement is not wanted. So the relevant bit is “not wanted” – and that part didn’t come from KDC. Indeed, when the IP was launched it looked fresh, new, innovative and likely to engage with an unrepresented demographic.
      KDC, no fool, would have looked around and discovered that no minor party in NZ has got into parliament without a waka jumper (Colin Craig may be the first to do so at the next election) and despite an apparent philosophical gulf approached Mana. KDC went to the Mana party conference and the party voted – not just Hone’s call. The “not wanted” tag clearly didn’t apply to the Mana party faithful, nor did it apply to Laila Harre or indeed the many people who put themselves up for candidacy.
      In a short space of time the IP had gone from ignore them, to laugh at them, to fight and fight they did. I contend that KDC was too effective, too smart, too savvy and made a big impact far too quickly for sleepy NZ, the IMP suddenly became a real threat – imagine Hone, Laila, Annette and John in parliament quelle horreur!
      As an aside, how much can you Raegun or most other readers here tell us about the IMP policies? Not much I’m guessing because they got no airplay from the media. They focused on personality and KDC was an easy target and ultimately Pam Corkery lost her cool.
      Everything KDC did was entirely legitimate, form a party, create an alliance, take advantage of coat-tailing – and he was open and upfront about the funding.
      It will be very interesting to see how things progress from here, KDC will have learnt a lot as will his IP and Mana colleagues.

      • raegun says:

        Sorry, but average Joe kiwi could not stand KDC and guess what, average Joe kiwi voted. You can’t really get around it.

        • e-clectic says:

          If you read my comment, I don’t disagree with the notion that the average Kiwi couldn’t stand KDC.
          I’m much more interested in why – and I don’t think it’s down to simple personality. I think KDC mustered a credible threat in a very short space of time. He provided a threat of disruption, a shift in the normal order of things. That was why the response was strong, swift, brutal and Hone the most obvious casualty.
          Which is why Dita de Boni’s article on KDC stood out like a beacon. And, she nails the hypocrisy – “Thinking big, finding a niche, exploiting it, overreaching, failing and rising from the ashes are the ingredients of countless stories about our most prominent entrepreneurs, and business audiences lap it up.

          Strangely, that narrative has failed to adhere to one famous local entrepreneur, Kim Dotcom. The National Party spin doctors have been hard at work, painting him as an evil German trying to subvert democracy, throwing in a side smear of “secret Nazi”.

          I guess my issue is about people being angry with KDC and falling for the spin. I’m not. I believe he allowed us to see in stark tones how sensitive the system and Kiwis are to change and disruption.

    • Crickey says:

      i think NZzers care, but party vote National in the belief they can protect their wallets

    • Brendon Harre says:

      I agree Raegun. I think a big percentage of voters wanted to vote against KDC and Hager (I think voters are done with election year Hager books). For Pakeha that meant voting National and for Maori it meant voting Labour.

      I think for Labour the problems they can control are stop infighting in the caucus and pull together like a team under the new leader whoever he may be.

      I don’t agree with Keith Rankins economic analysis. John Key will be inserting in the publics mind for the next three years that economic stability/growth is associated with tax cuts.

      There is in fact little economic evidence to support this strategy. There is more evidence that economic stability is associated with places high quality public institutions and more egalitarian societies.

      NZ is having major problems with non-corrupt regulatory regimes leading to many poorly performing duopolies. Exposing the average kiwi to excessive prices and poor service. Plus dysfunctional planning and infrastructure provision leading to expensive housing and poor mobility for workers. This is not an environment that fosters productivity and a fair economic return to the worker.

      Labour should not play into National’s hands with poor analysis and worse strategy. Labour should go back to the basics and represent their namesake.

      • raegun says:

        All of that, but I just hope Labour comes back better than before, I reckon they need to offer something really different and for me that would be a financial transaction tax with the view to it replacing GST altogether and perhaps nullifying the need for a CGT or perhaps making it possible for a CGT to be very low, therefore not so scary.
        Financial transaction tax would be low (low single figures even) and apply to everything even getting $20 out of the bank, but without GST it should still leave some change in people’s pockets at the end of the week. It might even free up enough money in the general economy for more jobs to be available.
        Then there’s the retirement age, that is never going to fly as long as people can vote, let’s face it. I think maybe asset or income testing might be more able to be swallowed by most.
        They can pinch the idea of income splitting off Peter Dunne that idea’s time has well and truly come and would be better than just handing out money willy nilly to people with kids, although I do think it IS the responsibility of the collective to look out for the vulnerable in society. We seem to have lost track of that notion and that “no man is an island”. I liken it to a shipwreck where the hale see to it that those that need help get off first as opposed to one where it is every man for himself (and I use man and himself quite purposely as that is who is advantaged by that way of doing things, it is no surprise to me that growing a full beard is again fashionable but that is another story)

  3. peter aka sleepy hobbit says:

    I agree. If Dotcom had given his money and then gone on holiday and left New Zealand politics to new Zealand politicians the result would have been much different. His attack on John Key was viewed as an attack on new Zealand by many in the middle and National got a significant sympathy vote as a result.

    • Aaron says:

      I’m really wary of forming a firm opinion about the causes of the election result. This was such an unusual election campaign I bet everyone was surprised by the result in the end.

      If the election had been held a couple of weeks earlier we may have seen Internet Mana with 5 MPs, NZ First and the conservatives below the threshold and… and I can’t figure who would be the government.

      If we held it a bit later when people had more time to digest the Dirty politics it might have been different. If Dirty politics hadn’t been released it would have been different again.

      I think this one was a fluke and if National behave as if they have a mandate to do what ever they want they might come unstuck really quickly – although I’m not betting on it :-).

      • cleangreen says:

        Aaron it was a rigged poll but we will never know because the program they input to skew the result they want by “source codes” cannot be traced afterwards.

        Remember when John Key was saying “it is going to be a close election”?

        You know how also the media were mind boggled on the night saying this was the first time in history this election didn’t go down on the night for the NatZ?

        Follow the logic and watch the video friends.

        Programmer under oath admits computers rig elections – YouTube

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1thcO_olHas

        Software programmer says US elections are rigged and that US Representatives tried to pay him to rig their election … Programmer under oath admits …

        US elections, rigged and computer codes. ELECTION FRAUD! – YouTube

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7R1_ixtlyc

        … testified before a congressional panel that there are computer programs that can be … election rigging software would … to rig their election …

        Program to RIG ELECTION in 2012 MURDER SPIES AND VOTING LIES: The Clint …

        newsin15.blogspot.com/…m-to-rig-election-in-2012…

        … The Clint Curtis Story is an incredible documentary which tells the story of a computer … the Florida Dept of … Program to RIG ELECTION in 2012 …

        Political Cartoons – No Votes To Recount In Florida

        http://www.allhatnocattle.net/november92002.htm

        To write software to rig an election you must have the real time and … Why is this hardware needed to rig an election?

        • George Hendry says:

          Blogsites busier than ever, most comments made assuming the vote has not been falsified. For alleging it has and even citing sworn testimony from some involved, Cleangreen has been voted way down. Why?

          Two points.

          #1

          Among all the claims that lying is ok, the left do it too etc, I’ve not seen any attempt by MSM, National etc to claim that they don’t lie. So we can take it that they lie – yes? What do a few computer programmers have to gain by alleging vote rigging by powerful interests, what are they risking, and if taking such risks why do it telling a needless lie? Whereas National has much to gain by vote rigging, and little risk if caught in another lie, they are so experienced at it.

          #2

          Among all the claims that mass surveillance is not happening, I find only claims that government isn’t, doesn’t and wouldn’t, none that they couldn’t. For any software programmer who can arrange for mass surveillance I expect rigging a single election would be child’s play. Given its advantages and what else we know about them, why would they not? Be so dishonest about everything else but not about this? Come on!

          There’s an irony about politics – we appoint specialists in it so we don’t have to do it ourselves, fine so far, we have tradies to choose among for other specialist services, all fine and freemarket. If a tradie showed up claiming we’d asked them for a service, we could deny it because we’d know. A political company turns up telling us we appointed them, and we can’t deny it because, say what you like, we don’t actually know.

          Like ringing for a plumber or electrician and not being able to choose one you like, just taking your chance on whoever turns up. Not so freemarket after all.

          As a democratic tool the nationwide vote may be reaching the end of its useful life. That a new way is not currently obvious certainly doesn’t mean one can’t be found.

  4. thomas says:

    theres an assumption with labour that its a 2 party system still and they are neck and neck with national, they arent percentage wise at all, the best strategy for them would be to see themselves as they are and work with other parties dont try and play key at his own game, you wont beat him, there is no labour key, and thats a good thing, try getting some one that has some integrity like shearer, have some realism, work with greens and the other parties, not for labour or your party, try working in the interests of the citizens thats what a democracy is, be authentic in your motives and sell your self on it, that would be a force against key, he is working in his interests and the interests of a very few, he appears to be citizen friendly outwardly – his actions show otherwise, you could capitalize on facts of what he is doing

  5. thomas says:

    the voting percentage to national didnt go up from last election

    http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2011/partystatus.html

    1,010,464 to national 2011 election
    people that didnt vote for labour didnt want another version of national so voted elsewhere or didnt vote

  6. Greg C says:

    Hi,

    In my view this election was a debacle from start to finish. But it’s not Labour’s fault. Yes there were problems with their campaign – it was flat and boring, low on money and ideas, and unable to sell them, and the leader isn’t that exciting. But all the left leaning parties got hit, and that’s nothing to do with Labour.

    This election was reframed – twice, and in the end policy and leadership became distant memories to the one issue that mattered to so many voters – John Key. They didn’t vote National or right wing policies. They voted John Key.

    To put this into context lets start at the beginning – Dirty Politics. Now I’m a cynic. I’m sure Hager had two reasons for putting the book out when he did. To change the governement (ironic really) and to sell a lot of books. But Dirty Politics savaged both Labour and National. Two reasons. It looked bad for National and it cost them a minister, but many voters simply saw this as all politicians are bad and voted by non voting – a plague on both your houses. So the polls dropped a couple of percent for National and Labour, but the greens, conservatives and NZ First thrived. Why? Because they weren’t tarnished with the same brush. They’re seen as newer and potentially more idealistic.

    The other thing that Dirty Politics did was put John Key front and centre. So every night we got to see John Key confidently and seemingly honestly deal with the fall out, and looking presidential. That counts in voters’ minds.

    If that had been the only thing that had gone astray this election, we would have seen National end up on 45% more or less. Unfortunately then came “The Moment of Stupid.”

    KDC has been promoting for over a year this one event. The day when John Key goes down. He produces an email, then refuses to back it up. Or in boxing terms a huge swing and a miss.

    So for nearly a month we have had this public contest between him and John Key, and an electorate already rocked by Dirty Politics, really asking themselves only one question – is John Key a liar? KDC swings, misses, and suddenly John Key is truthful, honest and a saint. Five days before an election, the only politician who has been getting all the air time and looking presidential, is proven truthful. That was the end of the left’s hopes in one fell swoop.

    What followed from there was inevitable. The right voters came out in droves. They were incensed. They had to support their saintly leader who had just been proven on national tv to be a good man beset by liars and fakers with fake emails. The left died, because they had no motivation to get out of bed, because they had been tarnished as liars and fakers by simply being associated with KDC.

    If you want to check the analysis, do a survey of non-voters. I’ll bet oodles that of the million who didn’t vote (and so for the next three years should never complain about any political decision), the vast majority are left leaning.

    But there was one other event that almost gets overlooked in this mess. Colin Craig’s press secretary. Two days before an election she not just quits but publically denounces her leader calling him manipulative? That seems so calculated to me. And in that moment a party that was on the cusp of 5% dives to 4.1% and suddenly the elections out of 96% instead of 100%. And Nationals 48% out of 96% is fifty percent of the counted vote.

    This election was a circus. And if Labour, the Greens and Maori need to do some soul searching it should be about political strategy and naivity. They simply failed to realise that policies, and anyone’s personality save Key’s had suddenly become a second string issue.

    What they needed to do was push their policies, and push them hard. They needed to distance themselves from both Dirty Politics and KDC. And they desperatelyneeded to steer the election conversation back to what mattered – which oddly enough isn’t whether or not John Key is a liar.

    Now Labour’s got its knives out and is looking to blame one another. But really what they need to do is regroup, think and do a proper analysis before making any decisions.

    And really in my view someone needs to look at KDC and the press secretary and see if there have been deals made. Because lets face it, KDC is a clever man, and he had to know in advance what his failure would do, before he chose to fail to back his claims. And the other just looks incredibly conveniant timing.

    Remember a circus usually has a ring leader.

    Cheers, Greg.

    • Dialey says:

      I agree with your analysis that the focus was on JK – the old adage any publicity is good publicity comes to mind. It didn’t matter how corrupt and truth aversive Key was/is, that fact the he was in front of cameras just about every minute of every day was enough to get the vote of everyman.

      • downwithnats says:

        JK was in front of the cameras, for sure, doing just what the guys with money wanted. Lying, lying, and more lying.

    • Tom says:

      KDC has been promoting for over a year this one event. The day when John Key goes down. He produces an email, then refuses to back it up.

      The question nobody appears to want to answer is “why?” I’ve heard legal advice and so on, but KDC has been adamant for over a year that he had hard evidence of Key’s involvement, and the email would fit that bill exactly. It’s all quite puzzling, and no explanation I have seen appears very credible. My guess is that the truth will come out years from now.

      I don’t think it’s credible to blame KDC for Labour’s travails. From the beginning of the year almost the entire NZ establishment was engaged in a co-ordinated campaign to discredit Cunliffe, with Mediaworks and the Herald the worst offenders. Even the All Blacks campaigned for National. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it in NZ politics – you could call it “total politics” (like total war) in which every conceivable resource was employed to “other” the Labour leader and the Labour party.

      It’s like a very soft nationalistic fascism in which one team has decided to abandon all the usual restraints of democracy by making anyone who disagrees “fair game” and subject to any tactic no matter how unethical. If people stand up to the government, then they’ll find themselves pilloried by bloggers and tame journalists, and cheered on by the mob. The government has adopted maxim that crime once exposed has no refuge but in audacity, and the audacity seems to work just fine. They literally don’t give a fuck about facts or ethics – those things are for the small “reality based community” to care about.

      • dave brown says:

        Tom I think you are pretty close to the truth. The NACTs have build a regime that is pretty ‘total’. The main characteristic is the attack on democratic rights and principles. I would call it ‘Bonapartist’ since that traces this development to clear historical causes covers the idea of ‘soft nationalist fascism’.
        It explains the many symptoms that should not be taken separately. The inroads into democracy in Canterbury; ‘disaster capitalism’ in Christchurch; the inroads into the bureaucracy by Ministers; JK’s overarching role as quasi-Presidential figure, wrapping himself in the flag etc as if above the fray; party political appointments to administrative and advisory roles; ‘dirty politics’ which is really much wider than a PM covertly discrediting the opposition with impunity; the incorporation of the MSM into the state ideological apparatuses; the attack on countervailing organisations like PPTA etc. The list goes on.

        http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2014/09/capitalism-lives-by-dirty-politics.html

    • SouthDeez says:

      “So the polls dropped a couple of percent for National and Labour, but the greens, conservatives and NZ First thrived.”

      Eh? The Greens share of the vote declined and they lost a seat.

    • migrantleftie says:

      +1000 said it eloquently

  7. Save NZ says:

    I agree with most of the analysis. And here is mine.

    1/STRATEGY National has been playing dirty tricks, has a compliant media and has cannibalised it’s alies (Maori, Act) and mimics it’s rivals (Labour, Greens).

    round one National

    2/ ECONOMY National has kept interest rates low. Most NZ’s are in debt. Anything that might increase interest rates are very scary. Middle NZ are a few mortgage or business payments away from ruin.

    Labour’s economic messages looked to increase interest rates. Greens missing in action.

    round two National

    3/ ECONOMY not sure of exact figures but NZer’s love property and about 65% (could be higher) still own their own house. A family bach is the dream for middle NZ. Capital gains taxes failed both because the policy attacks the NZ dream of owning a house, bach etc but also the actual tax is too complicated and does not return much tax initially to actually benefit anyone. It was pitched to lower the property market (UMM thats going to take money away from 65% of home owners) so that a small percentage of people say 10% can get easier access into property i.e. by taking away profit from the other 65% of homeowners). This is a vote KILLER.

    round 3 National

    4/ TAXATION Labour policy to increase taxes to the ‘rich’. Again attacking the dream of being on a higher income for middle NZ. Doctors, Dentists, anyone on PAYE is going to be against this one. Again too complicated and targeted, one of Labour’s favorite ways to penalize special interest groups by giving money back to other special interest groups.

    round 4 National

    5/ CORRUPTION Judith Collins and her 1st, 2nd, 3rd chance. This is the JUSTICE MINISTER who appears to be lying and cheating and links back to Oravida scandal and Hoskins (where middle NZ lost their savings). At the very least have definite links to Cameron Slater. Finally the media engage hesitantly against National.

    round 5/ Labour, Greens

    6/ National removes Judith Collins temporarily but looks rattled.

    round 6, draw

    7/CORRUPTION Dirty Tricks – National got caught red handed with pants down by Nick Hager – book a sell out and in the media.

    round 7 Labour, Greens and Internet Mana

    8/CORRUPTION Serious allegations against Judith Collins are ignored by Labour and Greens cos they are too busy campaigning – Dirty tricks spun as just something everyone is doing.

    round 8, National

    9/ POVERTY Many NZer’s are in poverty put again not really pitched as an election issue. Greens missing in action, Labour’s above mentioned policies appears that it will cost middle NZ. National pitches the above mentioned taxes from the middle classes will go to prop up beneficiaries.

    round 9, National

    10/ THE MOMENT OF TRUTH/CORRUPTION/SECURITY – The town hall is filled, media and internet streamed live, John Key so rattled he starts abusing pulitzer winning journalists.

    round 10, Internet Mana

    11/ THE MOMENT OF TRUTH/CORRUPTION/SECURITY – For a legal reason KDC released the email earlier that day – this is spun by National and the media to somehow invalidate the email. A poll by Herald showed 2/3 still believed KDC over JK. Internet Mana failed to reinforce any messages about the actual content of the message of surveillance and Labour and the Greens again missing in action. National very concerned their carefully crafted campaigned now off the rails on a new issue about corruption, security, surveillance and things that they are the weakest on.

    round 11- draw

    12/THE MOMENT OF TRUTH/CORRUPTION/SECURITY – National sends out new message that KDC has lied and Media and Labour and Greens reinforce message by attacking KDC too. Since Greens campaigned on Nuclear Free NZ hard to work out why the TTPA which should be the fear of any Green voter is not an issue in their campaign. Human rights, corruption, anti war again key Greens policy ignored. Sovereignty again ignored.

    round 12 – National can’t believe their luck they actually won that one. Thank god for the stupidity and lack of cohesion of the left!

    13/ Aftermath – testimony to National messaging that the Labour, Greens and even Internet Mana now think that the biggest threat to National which was Corruption lost them the election. Labour still going on about leadership, Greens missing in action. Internet Mana – threat destroyed for now. Corruption still going on – BONUS!

    round 13 – National by a long way. The only threat was The moment of Truth and Corruption and Sovereignty issues but luckily only Internet Mana picked up on it and Labour and Greens actually helped National poison the messenger.

    score – 8 National
    1.5 Labour / Greens
    1.5 Internet Mana
    2 draw

  8. countryboy says:

    ” Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? ”

    Yes . The cowardly , the selfish and the weak minded like to suck up to their abusers .

  9. Brian says:

    Unemployment is always a monetary phenomena,and necessarily a govt. imposed crime against humanity.The currency is a simple public monopoly.The dollars to pay taxes ultimately come from govt. spending, or lending.Unemployment,can only happen when the govt. fails to spend enough into the economy to cover the tax liabilities it imposes and any desire to save financial assets that are created by the tax,and other govt. policies.Said another way ,for any given size of govt.,unemployment is evidence of over taxation.Motivation not withstanding,Key and his govt. have been aggressively promoting policy that creates and sustains unemployment.The so called left parties are not much better.Austerity was shown to be a bucket of pus back in the thirties.We face a day of reckoning with our private debt.It could be triggered by the oil wars.That is there a trillion dollars invested in fracking, tar sands.The Saudis who control the price of oil are looking to push the price of oil down to 75 dollars a barrel.That will put all those investments in fracking etc. into bankruptcy.Another G F C anyone.Where were the lefts policies concerning the TPP.If this goes ahead you can kiss our sovereignty goodbye.

    • cleangreen says:

      Right Brian,

      Key Government are just juggling a massive increasing pile of crown Debt as they continue to borrow another $300 million every week since 2008 now standing over $66 Billion.

      It was $8 Billion when hey took over and they have sold most of the assets as well.

      Our Crown Debt now stands at 26% of GDP.
      When they took over it was just 6% of GDP.

      We are heading for the wall and so is the global economy.

      Latest word is they haven’t got any more room to falsely increase the value of Global assets to borrow more money against them.

      This is how they have been getting by since 2007 since the economic slump.

      The Globe is heading for the worst slide in history and maybe Key will be drowned in this next cascade of plunging economic devastation.

      He knows this hedge funding was what is destroying our global economy again, but looks daunted already as he knows he is on the track and cant stop the train.

      How would’ve Labour got on with this then?

      Probably we may need cross party help when the crash comes.

  10. Brendon Ross says:

    Loved the article… have been thinking many people on the left would benefit from having a more robust grasp of economics and monetary policy as Keith Rankin laid out above. Anyone have any reading suggestions? My library only seems to have economic books along the lines of “Retire at 30 with these simply ideas”, and as I’m 40, well I missed the boat.

  11. Brian says:

    Hi Brendon, you might like to start off with The Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy,by Warren Moseler. Although it is american,it is applicable to N.Z.Bill Mitchell is an Australia economist who his worth reading at billy blog.Richard Wolff is a marxist and is worth reading and has his own web site. Micheal Hudson is an economic historian who worth reading also.They will lead to others Good reading.

  12. Save NZ says:

    Talk about beat up of David Cunliffe on the Herald.

    They are really going for him. The MSM are desperate to get him out. Lets see this smear campaign by our oh so independent Herald. Current headlines….

    13 bizarre things David Cunliffe has said in the past 24 hours

    David Cunliffe’s wife Karen Price reportedly targeted his rivals on Twitter

    Labour MPs undecided over front-runners

    I guess Cosby Textor has worked out he is the most likely to be a threat to John Key.

    Nothing negative about the other candidates.

    • downwithnats says:

      Attack after attack on a moral man, his family, and party.

      The “journalists” given license by the right-wing MSM to do this must be very certain of their own closets. Their repetitive invective has no balance.

  13. finbar says:

    They have lost their bourgious support,why,the others offerd more.Labour,are no more lumpen proliatariat concerned,have not been since mid eighties.They tried to shrug it off as a apperation of fools gold.The apperation is among their being today, and shameless in its solid vision,market terminology and market favouratism with its policies and direction,its present would be challenger of leadership says,i would like to lead a progressive modern Labour Party,market speak.A speak that elects market above its grass roots inception.

  14. cassie says:

    Another reason National won:
    – Having a solid Marketing Strategy, and being on the ball already MONTHS ahead, with

    ..Two popular magazines earlier in the year, spaced apart, featuring cozy articles on John with Wifey, to warm the hearts of NZers at home..
    ..His own book with his big smarmy smile on the cover

    …Billboards out everywhere, way before anyone else, and outnumbering everyone else’s , at least 5 to one.

    BUT, their biggest ally of course was THE MSM, in particular the Herald.

    I just wish people would get it into their heads the reality today that the MSM is NOT independent.
    It is a giant Business entity, and as such, it serves Big Business and their agenda (whilst conning the public with occasional items to pretend otherwise).
    The MSM is manipulative, unscrupulous, dishonest, and has no accountibility .. (pretty much like our PM and others)

    And, with no independent Media to represent truth honesty,and genuine human concerns, as a nation of people (except for the elite) we are SUNK..