Election ’17 Countdown: The Strategy of Ohariu

By   /   February 17, 2017  /   40 Comments

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Had Dunne been ousted from Ōhāriu in 2014 our recent history would have been completely altered. Anyone who believes that the Labour-Green accomodation was a “dirty” deal might ponder the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ whilst spending the night in a car or under a tarpaulin. Preferably in winter.

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(Or, “It’s only ‘hypocrisy’ when the Left do it!“)

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kalenderblatt_23_september_2011

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The Labour-Green New Deal

On 14 February, the Left finally woke up to the realities of MMP. A deal was brokered and the only possible, logical  outcome arrived at;

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rnz-green-party-will-not-stand-in-ohariu-election-2017

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The Radio NZ story is correct; Dunne retained the Ōhāriu electorate by only 710 votes.

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ohariu-2014-election-result

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Had Green voters given their electorate vote to the Labour candidate, Virginia  Andersen would have won Ōhāriu by 2,054 votes and National would  have lost one of their coalition partners.

With the subsequent loss of Northland to Winston Peters in March 2015, National would have lost their majority in Parliament and would have had to either rely on NZ First for Confidence and Supply – or call an early election.

A major victory for the Left (and all low-income people in our community) would have been the abandonment of National’s state house sell-of. (Current state housing stock has dropped from 69,000 rental properties in 2008 to 61,600 (plus a further 2,700 leased) by  2016.)

National has sold off  7,400 properties. Meanwhile, as of December last year, there were 4,771 people on the state house waiting list;

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msd-housing-nz-waiting-list

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Had Dunne been ousted from Ōhāriu in 2014 our recent history would have been completely altered.  Anyone who believes that the Labour-Green accomodation was a “dirty” deal might ponder the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ whilst spending the night in a car or under a tarpaulin. Preferably in winter.

Green Party co-leader, James Shaw, rightly pointed out the obvious;

“I think New Zealanders will understand that, in an MMP environment, it makes perfect sense for us to not stand a candidate in Ōhāriu. Ōhāriu has a significant impact on the makeup of Parliament.

Not standing in Ōhāriu increases the chances that we will be in a position to change the government in September – it’s as simple as that.

I would actually argue that we’re being more transparent here by actually simply saying we’re not going to and it’s within the structure of the memorandum of understanding with the Labour Party that we signed last year, where we actually held a press conference saying that we were going to work together to change the government.”

Shaw has rejected any suggestion that this is a “dirty deal”. Again, he is correct. the Greens and Labour are simply working by the rules of MMP as National determined in 2012/13, when then-Dear Leader Key refused to eliminate the “coat-tailing” provision.

Shaw should have thrown the description of a “deal” right back at critics such as right-wing blogger and National Party apparatchik, David Farrar, and TV3’s faux-moralistic Patrick Gower. Shaw’s response should have been hard-hitting and ‘in-your-face’,

“Damn right it’s a deal. Those are the rules set by  National and we  play by them. If people don’t like it, take it up with the Tories.”

Some context

In 2012, National followed through on an earlier government committment to conduct a review into the MMP electoral process. The Commission called for submissions from the public, and over 4,600 submissions were duly made on the issue. (This blogger made a submission as well.)

As a result, the Commission made these findings;

The Commission presented its final report to the Minister of Justice on 29 October 2012 with the following recommendations:

  • The one electorate seat threshold  [aka “coat-tailing”] should be abolished (and if it is, the provision for overhang seats should also be abolished);

  • The party vote threshold should be lowered from 5% to 4% (with the Commission required by law to review how the 4% threshold is working);

  • Consideration be given to fixing the ratio of electorate seats to list seats at 60:40 to address concerns about declining proportionality and diversity of representation;

  • Political parties should continue to  have responsibility for selecting and ranking candidates on their party lists but they must make a statutory declaration that they have done so in accordance with their party rules;

  • MPs should continue to be allowed to be dual candidates and list MPs to stand in by-elections.

The first two recommendations were a direct threat to National’s dominance in Parliament, and then-Minister of Justice, Judith Collins rejected them outright;

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govt-rejects-recommendations-to-change-mmp-system-nz-herald-mmp-review

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Key offered a mealy-mouthed excuse for not accepting the Electoral Commission’s report;

“If you’re really, really going to have major change to MMP you’d want to have either consensus or to put it to the people.  It’s not a matter of blame – it’s just a range of views out there.”

Yet, submitters had been fairly clear in their views and failure to obtain “concensus” from the smaller parties in Parliament said more about their own self-interests than public-interest.

A NZ Herald editorial pointed out;

All of National’s present allies, Act, United Future and the Maori Party, take the same view of the single electorate entitlement and all but the Maori Party have benefited from it at some time. Self-interest may be their underlying motive…

[…]

National seems not to want to disturb the status quo because it discounts its chances of finding stable coalition partners under the simplified system proposed.

So the hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars spent on the MMP Review; seeking submissions; listening to submitters; and providing the Report to Parliament was all an utter waste of money.

The “coat-tailing” provision would be set to remain because without it National would find it harder to find potential coalition allies, and therefore govern.

It also meant that all political parties now have to play by the same rules, or else be disadvantaged.

(Hypo)Crit(ic)s

— Gower

Patrick Gower (with Jenna Lynch sharing the byline) writing for  TV3 News was obviously having a bad coffee-day with this vitriolic comment, condemning the Labour-Green accomodation;

Labour and the Greens have just done the dirtiest electorate deal in New Zealand political history – and it is all about destroying Peter Dunne.

The tree-hugging Greens will not stand in Ōhāriu to help the gun-toting former cop Greg O’Connor win the seat for Labour.

This is dirtier than most electorate deals because for the first time in recent history a party is totally giving up on a seat and not running rather than standing but giving a ‘cup of tea’ signal for its voters to go for a minor party candidate.

The degree of hypocrisy to Gower’s comment is breath-taking.

Note that he suggests that it is preferable to “giving a ‘cup of tea’ signal for its voters to go for a minor party candidate” rather than withdrawing a candidate and openly declaring an accomodation.

In effect, a journalist has advocated for “open deception” rather than transparency. Think about that for a moment.

Gower antipathy to left-wing parties using current MMP rules is not new. Three years ago, Gower  made a scathing attack on Hone Harawira and Laila Harré over the alliance between the Internet Party and Mana Movement;

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patrick-gower-twitter-laila-harre-mana-internet-party-alliance

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By attacking parties on the Left who choose to work together (but not parties on the Right), Gower is either displaying crass ignorance over how MMP works – or undisguised political bias.

I will not be surprised if Gower eventually ends up as Press Secretary for a National minister.

Postscript: Re Gower’s comment that “for the first time in recent history a party is totally giving up on a seat and not running“.

This is yet more ignorance from a man who is supposedly TV3’s “political editor”. Political parties often do not yield a full slate of candidates in every electorate.

In the 2014 General election there were 71 electorates; 64 general and seven Māori electorates;

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party-and-candidate-lists-for-2014-election

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The Green party had only 57 candidates out of 71 electorates. Notice that even National did not offer candidates in every electorate.

Only Labour fielded a candidate in all 71 electorates.

So as usual, Gower’s political knowledge is disturbingly lacking. Or partisan. Take your pick.

— Farrar

Soon after the Greens announced their accomodation deal, National Party apparatchik, pollster, and right-wing blogger – David Farrar – was predictable in his criticism. Cheering for Patrick Gower, Farrar  wrote;

…Labour and Greens have spent years condemning deals where National stands but tells supporters they only want the party vote, and now they’ve done a deal where they don’t even stand. I don’t have a huge issue with them doing that – the issue is their blatant hypocrisy.

They’re so desperate to be in Government they’ll put up with that, but the irony is that if Winston does hold the balance of power and pick Labour, he’ll insist the Greens are shut out of Government.

Yet, in 2011 and 2014, Farrar had different thoughts on deal-making when it came to electoral accomodations;

This is sensible and not unusual. Off memory most elections there have been some seats where ACT doesn’t stand a candidate to avoid splitting the centre-right electorate vote. One of the nice things about MMP is that you can still contest the party vote, without needing to stand in an electorate.

And,

I think Epsom voters will vote tactically, as they did previously. But the choice is up to them. National may say we are only seeking the party vote in an electorate – but they still stand a candidate, giving voters the choice. Epsom voters are not controlled by National. If they don’t want to tactically vote, then they won’t. All National will be doing is saying we’re happy for people to vote for the ACT candidate, as having ACT in Parliament means you get a National-led Government.

So, according to Farrar, it’s ok  that “ ACT doesn’t stand a candidate to avoid splitting the centre-right electorate vote“. He describes it as “one of the nice things about MMP“.

So as long as a deal is presented dishonestly – “All National will be doing is saying we’re happy for people to vote for the ACT candidate, as having ACT in Parliament means you get a National-led Government” –  then that’s ok?

Both Labour/Greens and National/ACT have presented electoral accomodations – but in different ways.

One was transparent.

The other was doing it with a “wink, wink, nudge, nudge”.

It is unreasonable and hypocritical to support one side to exploit current MMP provisions to their benefit – whilst expecting others to work to a different set of rules. Perhaps Mr Farrar should look at how National/ACT presents their accomodations to the public – or else do away with the coat-tailing provision altogether.

Ōhāriu Green Voters

Following the 2011 General Election, I noted that Green voters had failed to make full use of strategic voting under MMP;

Dunne’s election gave National an extra coalition partner  and his win  therefore assumes a greater relevance than a “mere” electorate MP.  In effect, 1,775 Green voters sent John Key a second Coalition partner, after John Banks.

And again, post-2014;

Some Green supporters are either woefully ignorant of MMP – or have been smoking to much of a certain herb. Or, gods forbid, they are so desperate to remain ideologically pure in their principles, that they are willing to allow a right wing candidate to be elected, rather than supporting a candidate from another party on the Left.

In  Ōhāriu (as well as other electorates) Peter Dunne was returned to office because Green Party supporters cast their electorate votes for Green candidate Tane Woodley, instead of the Labour candidate. Preliminary election results for Ohariu yield the following;

ANDERSEN, Virginia: (Labour)11,349*

DUNNE, Peter: (United Future) 12,279*

WOODLEY, Tane: (Greens) 2,266*

Had supporters of the Green Party given their electorate votes to Viriginia Andersen, Peter Dunne would have been defeated by 1,336* votes.

The Greens need to get it through to their supporter’s heads that giving their electorate votes to their own candidates is a waste of effort and an indulgence we cannot afford.

When elections are close-fought and majorities slim, such indulgences cannot be tolerated, and the Greens need to educate their supporters quick-smart, if we are to win in 2017.

(*Note: figures above were preliminary and not final results.)

If there was an element of frustration and anger in my comments above, it was a ‘face-palm’ moment.  The  poorest families and individuals in New Zealand have paid the price by enduring two terms of National because Green voters chose to indulge themselves by casting both votes for the Green candidate, rather than strategic vote-splitting.

I can understand affluent, propertied Middle Class voting for self-interest.

I find it less palatable that Green voters cast their ballots for some bizarre feeling of political purity. That is selfishness in another form.

Beneficiaries being attacked by a souless government; people living in cars, garages,  rough, or crammed three families into one home; people suffering as social services are slashed, will find it hard to understand such selfishness.

In the United States, blue-collar workers voted for a populist demagogue. The workers who voted for Trump believed that the Left had abandoned them.

We dare not allow the same despair to flourish in our own country.

If politics is a contest of ideas; a battle of ideology; then strategy counts.

The Greens have woken up to this simple reality.

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References

Radio NZ: Green Party will not stand in Ōhāriu

Electoral Commission: Official Count Results – Ōhāriu

Radio NZ: Winston Peters takes Northland

Radio NZ: Thousands of state houses up for sale

Housing NZ: Annual Report 2008/09

Housing NZ: Annual Report 2015/16

Fairfax media: Samoan family stuck in makeshift, mosquito-ridden tent – ‘through no fault of their own’

Ministry of Social Development: The housing register

Radio NZ: Labour-Greens deny deal over Ohariu seat

NZ Herald: Political Roundup – Embarrassing but strategic deal for the Greens

Electoral Commission: 2012 MMP Review

Electoral Commission: What people said on the MMP Review

Electoral Commission: The Results of the MMP Review

NZ Herald: Govt rejects recommendations to change MMP system

NZ Herald: Editorial – National too timid on MMP review

Electoral Commission: Financial Review

NZ Herald:  Govt rejects recommendations to change MMP system

Radio NZ:  Collins defends not trying for changes to MMP

Fairfax media:  Government’s MMP review response slammed

Scoop media:  Minister’s response to MMP review a travesty –  Lianne  Dalziel

NZ Herald:  Editorial – National too timid on MMP review

TV3 News: Patrick Gower – Labour-Greens do double dirty deal in Ōhāriu

Electoral Commission: Electoral Commission releases party and candidate lists for 2014 election

Kiwiblog: The double dirty deal in Ohariu

Kiwiblog: Marginal Seat deals

Kiwiblog: National’s potential electoral deals

Additional

Electoral Commission:   2017 General Election

Other Blogs

The Standard:  The coat-tail rule and democracy (2014)

Public Address:  Government votes not to improve MMP (2015)

The Standard:  Greens stand aside in Ōhāriu

Previous related blogposts

Patrick Gower – losing his rag and the plot

Judith Collins issues decision on MMP Review!

Judith Collins – Minister of Talking Crap

Letter to the Editor: Mana, Internet Party, Judith Collins, and “coat-tailing”

Letter to the Editor – Dom Post editorial off into LaLaLand

John Banks: condition deteriorating

The secret of National’s success – revealed

Election 2014 – A Post-mortem; a Wake; and one helluva hang-over

2014 Election – Post-mortem Up-date

Post mortem #1: Green Voters in Electorates

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Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

 

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= fs =

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40 Comments

  1. Richard Christie says:

    Many problems in regard to undue influence of otherwise insignificant parties would be solved by a rule forbidding such parties (with under two or three, maybe few more) MPs from holding a ministerial position.

  2. Priss says:

    Well reasoned Frank.

    When hypocrites like Gower and Farrar insist that the Greens and Labour play by a different set of rules, especially after Collins refused to remove the coat-tailing provision, it’s like playing a game of rugby when one side is playing by soccer rules.

    It’s time we all grew up!

  3. Well researched, well argued.

    Sometimes it’s true that if you’re taking heavy flak, you’re on the right track.

  4. CLEANGREEN says:

    Yes Frank,

    What springs to mind is; – “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander too” eh?

    Funny the Nat’s don’t like it when others steal their plan, as they do this all the time to other parties plans right?

    To many to recite.

  5. e-clectic says:

    Great work as usual Frank.

    It’s time to biff MMP and move to STV. The promise of it properly reflecting the proportion of voters hasn’t been met.

    The rejection of the Commission’s recommendations was a farce.

    Remember, at the last election the total party vote for Nat/Act/Maori/UF was 49.27% of the vote – less than 50% – but turned into 52.9% representation in the House. That’s a crap system.
    Four issues:

    1. Adjunct parties
    The coat-tail isn’t the subtle issue it once was, it’s now the adjunct party. Act and arguably UF are adjunct parties to National. This is the real MMP rort. They finagle two seats in the House as electorate seats on top of National’s party vote.
    If we keep MMP, then a new threshold needs to be introduced. That is that for an electorate MMP to get in their party vote needs to exceed 0.083% (1/120) to ensure they’re not picking up a seat for free for another party.
    The corollary of this is that in some electorates e.g. Epsom, Ohariu some voters effectively get two party votes when the rest of us only get one.

    2. Wasted votes
    If 10 people vote for ALCP then effectively 5 of those votes go to National.
    The system penalises people for voting for small parties as “wasted votes” get reallocated the parties that meet the threshold.
    If we keep MMP, some sort of preference system needs to be introduced so that if the party voted for doesn’t meet the threshold then the vote goes to a party that does. Every vote should ultimately count.

    3. FPP for electorate votes
    Ridiculous that we still use FPP for electorate votes – needs to change.

    4. Voter intention & tactical voting
    Some years ago the Electoral Commission were chuffed that 80% of NZers recognised the party vote as the more important vote. But in some electorates, the electorate is equally or more important e.g. Epsom, Ohariu.
    I have no confidence that the votes submitted by electors actually deliver their voting intentions. Did the Greens voters in Ohariu really know what they were doing by voting for the electorate candidate?
    A study needs to be done to ascertain whether MMP actually reflects voter intention.

  6. Sam Sam says:

    Dunne has signed off on many things concerning adults but when it comes to children his record of Franks estimations is 3-1 for adults recieving medical marijauna, that balance must be corrected.

    Happy to be corrected

  7. Samwise says:

    Far far and Gower are hypocrites? Well colour me surprised! (Note sarc)

    it’s high time the left got with the programme and if the Nats and act want to make dirty deals the order of the day, then that’s how we should play the game.

    Those who cry”hypocrisy” are just bleating that the left is finally going to play hardball with the right.

    As for Gower, the man is a disgrace to his profession. No wonder trump pours scorn on the media. (And I’m no fan of the orange-haired fascist)

  8. Strypey says:

    For years corporate media shills like Gower and Farrar simply ignored the possibility of a green-left government. Since the MoU was announced, they’ve gone to great effort to pour scorn on the very idea. Now going into attack mode, with all the double standards and hypocrisy that Frank’s excellent piece reveals in all its glory.

    ‘First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.’ – Gandhi

  9. Gosman says:

    “Anyone who believes that the Labour-Green accomodation was a “dirty” deal might ponder the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ whilst spending the night in a car or under a tarpaulin. Preferably in winter”

    The ends justifies the means. Where have I heard that before? That’s right every single totalitarian social movement.

    • Sally's Husband says:

      Are you addressing Farrar with that judgement, Gosman? Because don’t forget that up till now it’s the Nats and ACT and Dunne who’ve been doing the deals, not the left.

      Have you actually read what Frank wrote?

      Please feel free to explain to us why it’s ok for National and David Seymour and Peter Dunne todo these deals but not Labour and the Greens. Because I’m really curious what justification you can possibly have for different rules for the right and left. Are you able to do that? Can you justify it?

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      ^

      McCarthy reading extremist.

    • That was pathetic, Gosman.

      Now, try to address the points I raised instead of silly attempts at deflection. This is important as it affects your own party, ACT, which has materially benefitted from deal-making with National.

      • david says:

        Actually, i thought he was succint. There is nothing wrong with the labour/green deal. It makes sense under MMP. However, it’s the hypocrisy that rankles.
        One advice is to acknowledge the hypocrisy, saying that we take back the previous criticism.

        People hate liars but can forgive those who accept they are not perfect.

        • David, as I pointed out above in my story, the Electoral Commission recommended that the coat-tailing provision be done away with.

          Up until that point, Labour and the Greens had criticised the deal-making between National and other bit-players.

          National refused to implement the recommendations.

          That left Labour and the Greens with no choice but to play by the rules as National had determined they should be played.

          That is the time-line.

          So it is not “hypocrisy” at all.

          Otherwise the “hypocrisy” you allude to is code, using faux-outrage/morality to push back at Labour and the Greens for accepting the MMP system as it currently stands – rather than criticising National for failing to implement reforms recommended by the Electoral Commission.

          • david says:

            It’s a fools errand criticising a media commentator, he is only using the same language that the Labour/Green parties had used in the past. He can’t be a hypocrite, can he? He is reflecting back the positions of the past.

            So much angst, does suggest he has hit some buttons.

            Better to accept that we are all hypocrites to some extent. But those sanctimonious hypocrites, that deny the obvious, are harder to forgive.

            • You’re still unable to address any of the points raised, David. In fact, your comments come across as a weak attempt to be an apologist for Gower and the hypocrites on the Right who would exploit the “coat-tailing” provision for themselves – whilst at the same time throw the “H” word at the Left for a belated decision to use the same provisions, after National and ACT resisted Electoral Commission recommendations to remove this anomaly to MMP .

              In fact, you were very quick to come to Gosman’s aid, to support his comments. Gosman is an ACT Party apparatchik. ACT has benefitted from the coat-tailing provision, and has objected to removing it.

              So that puts your apologism into context.

              I put my sub-heading – “It’s only ‘hypocrisy’ when the Left do it!“ – above for good reason. It was fully expected that someone like you, and Gosman, would come along to try to reinforce the Right’s bullshit narrative of “hypocrisy by the left”. Predictable.

              • david says:

                You seem to conflate the electoral commission findings with the electoral deal hypocrisy. They are separate issues. Is this an attempt at misdirection?

                An Electoral Commission report is an opinion from an appointed group, not a scientific document. You can take it or leave it. I would personally remove all thresholds; Pure proportionality.

                • An Electoral Commission report is an opinion from an appointed group, not a scientific document

                  Rubbish. It was never meant to be a “scientific document” and for you to assert so suggests your lack of understanding of a commission process.

                  Your suggestion that I “seem to conflate the electoral commission findings with the electoral deal hypocrisy” – is nonsensical.

                  The Commission sought public submissions and many of the submitters pointed out “electoral deal-making” as unacceptable. The Commission duly reported those findings back to the Minister, along with recommendations. (Who then rejected them.)

                  You seem utterly bewildered at how a Commission on Inquiry operates.

                  If anyone is deflecting, it seems to be you, David. You are avoiding the issues raised and bringing up irrelevancies.

                • Priss says:

                  “An Electoral Commission report is an opinion from an appointed group, not a scientific document”

                  Commissions of enquiry aren’t supposed to be a “scientific document”, David. Where did you get that notion from?

                  I think you’re being wilfilly obtuse, and playing silly word-games. This is apparent as you bring up red-herrings instead of addressing any of the issues raised by Frank.

                  I think it’s perfectly clear, and that is why you’re trying to muddy the waters. The purpose of which is to hide the fact that National failed to implement the Commission’s final report and this has thrown the cat amongst the pigeons. The left can now play by the same rules as the right. This is something you are either unaware of, or trying desperately to gloss over.

              • e-clectic says:

                The Nat/Act compact in Epsom is unaffected by a change to coat-tails – makes not one iota of difference.
                What is happening in Epsom (Ohariu) is a different game; it’s the adjunct party rort. Act is effectively an adjunct party to National.
                Example: National gets 50% of party vote so gets 60 seats total, regardless of whether they win Epsom or not.
                Epsom electorate goes to Act. Act gets total party vote of squat – not even enough to get one seat proportionately – but they do get a seat via electorate vote (same thing happens in Ohariu).
                Net result National/Act get 61 seats from 50% party vote.
                Effectively, Epsom Nat voters get two party votes – unlike the rest of us who only get one.
                This rort is far worse than the coat-tails provision.

            • Sally's Husband says:

              David, you’re not the least bit credible. Would you mind telling us your affiliations to National or Act? Because you sure come across as either one of their shills.

              • David says:

                No affiliations. Just stating the obvious. Complaining about a media commentator is like a sailor complaining about the ocean.

              • David says:

                If it comforts you. Cam Slater banned me his website, for pointing out his rank hypocrisy. His troughing from the israeli government, when he went on about others ‘troughing’.
                Bullshit detector.

  10. Siobhan says:

    As a life time renter on a low income, but as someone who will probably be able to avoid extended homelessness, and never has a chance of getting anywhere near a housing NZ waiting list……
    I am still struggling to understand what Labour will be doing to stop constant rent rises and ensure renters have secure housing to raise their children in, and live in during retirement.
    You know, be able to live as part of a community and without constant grinding fear about how you will afford the next house and the next increase.

    I suspect that makes me part of a large, and growing, group. Probably one of the biggest groups as the baby boomers start to leave this mortal coil.

    I’m just not feeling that motivated to vote for a party that thinks $500.000 is an affordable house, and that ‘The Kiwi Dream’ is something only for homeowners.

    Some moves towards helping the very worse off seems more like a vote winner for home owners feeling a bit guilty about the very poorest in society.

    So, okay, I will probably will vote Labour to help out the homeless, but I’m very disappointed to be voting for more of the same, all because politicians are scared of killing off the housing market.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      I so agree with what you commented here!

    • Doug says:

      Why would you vote for labour then? It’s not first past the post any more.

      Why not vote Mana, or Greens or TOP of you want real change?

    • Pete says:

      So voting isn’t the answer, voting for someone who has the answers is the answer.

      What are the answers? We don’t want it that $500.000 is an affordable house but what is an ‘affordable house’?

      What is the ‘The Kiwi Dream’ ? Quite specifically, not just what needs to be changed to see the dream achievable, changed to what?

  11. Ovicula says:

    The problem is that if the NAct and UF votes are combined, GP+Lab are still way behind. I know there are other variables in an MMP environment, but people seem to ignore the basic arithmetic.

  12. Simonm says:

    “I will not be surprised if Gower eventually ends up as Press Secretary for a National minister.”

    Yep, he’s always struck me as a poor man’s Bill Ralston (if it’s possible for that someone could be that poor…)

  13. Mike in Auckland says:

    Oh, I love to hate that Gower man, the TV3 Newshub hatchet man of sorts, this despicable character deserves to eat manure.

    As for Frank’s post, yes, it is so important to get this government out of Office, if only enough would bother to vote.

  14. Stuart Munro says:

    There’s every reason a pathetic shill like Gower should end up redundant.

    Real journalists are valuable, Gower is worthless and perfectly dispensable.

  15. mikesh says:

    Changing the rules would require 75% majority support in parliament. I’m inclined to think that under those circumstances change will almost never come from parliament alone since MPs will generally act in their own interests rather than in the public interest in this matter. And of course the public is also so partisan that they will in any case continue to vote for parties that rort the system; so the “ballot box” corrective is also no longer operative.

  16. Gerald says:

    Paddy Gower, the voice of the Nation Party.

  17. saveNZ says:

    No one thinks it’s a dirty deal apart from idiots and right wingers – Gower is both.

    Good on Greens.

    Labour and Greens need to do more deals.

    They should also be doing deals with Winston Peters, NZ First should be taking out Nat votes like Northland. Even Nat supporters are fed up with the dodgy dealings of the Nats!

    Personally would be quite happy with a Labour/Green/ NZ First and hope Mana with Hone Hawawira gets in too.

    To my mind we need to have a broad group of parties to represent NZ groups. When one group gets too much power AKA the Natz we get devastating results.

    So if the conservatives swap from National to NZ First, Labour becomes the centre, Greens are Green and Mana represents the left – we might just get a government that does represent the people of this country, not a bunch of cashing up Kleptocrats and their ambitious careerists networking to get their next lucrative overseas job and tax free bribes and incentives.

    • Jack Ramaka says:

      Agree Labour/Greens/NZF covers all the bases and Mana if required Hone Harawira is actually quite sensible when you listen to him and is portrayed badly by MSM as is Winston Peters NZF.

      • saveNZ says:

        Exactly JACK RAMAKA, even if I don’t agree entirely with either Winston or Hone on everything – but I do agree with about 80% of what they say.

        The big factor is those politicians genuinely want the best for NZ and New Zealander’s – even if they have different ideas about how to go about it.

        Makes a change from the power and money hungry careerists out there mostly in National and ACT, just doing things for themselves their lobbyists and backers who might not even be in NZ.

        Even if they are nice people in Natz they tend to be in a ideological bubble, of private school, followed by working in a nice job they are helped into and then to politics, so have no idea of reality, which is just as dangerous.

        Both Winston and Hone are demonised in the MSM because they do have integrity and won’t sell out, and therefore deemed ‘dangerous’ to many. In fact you can tell the better politicians just by seeing how many smears against them are published in MSM.

        Likewise Andrew Little wants the best for NZ and so do the Greens as an institution – (they may have lost their way a tad over too many Gen Zero development ideas) but they also have the integrity and will help lead NZ into a much brighter (and real) future.

        Anyway I’m hopeful for a change of government that has genuine people as politicians who want the best and have enough nous (that is where Winston and Hone come in) to not believe every free trade/arms/foreign policy/corporate lobbyist salesman coming in, or blow up the middle class (cultural revolution style, Greens) or through free trade globalism (Blairites in Labour) that has worked so well in the USA and UK (sarc).

        Surely that is how MMP is supposed to work? That is the broad church betweens parties that genuinely want the best for their country and can collaborate to do so. Not just take short term gains for a few for long term destruction as our present government are doing.

  18. Robert Atack says:

    Accommodation for the idiot breeding masses has been a problem since we overcrowded our first cave
    There simply isn’t enough ‘planet’ left to supply 20 degree celceus homes for over 7.5 billion people, and all the infstructure that would require
    And as we are seeing it is not just housing we are despirately short of, with the population increasing @ the speed of the Hutt Valley per year New Zealand is several hospitals, high schools, child care, powerstations and roads etc short of supporting the 70,000 extra people turning up at imagination or the maternity wards, it just defies logic to say we can do anything about it.
    And we have politicians who profess knoledge of the planets limitations, while at the same time saying they are proud of adding to the problem?
    Russia sort of solved their housing problems @ the point of a gun basically by filling all vacant or under utalised homes with people. That is the only way this problem is going to be solved
    Until the pig ignorant breeding growth based masses understand you can not fill a life raft with a crusliner full of people we will never sort this shitfest out.
    And voting is just everdence the people are stupid
    As the story goes it took a 10 year old boy to point out the king was naked, I feel like that kid, and my spelling etc shows it 😉

  19. […] blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 17 February […]

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