No More. The Left Falls.

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The Left Falls No More

We cannot be beaten down

Because we are down already.

We can only rise up

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and if you should beat us down,

We will rise again. And again. And again…

And when you tire of beating us down,

We will rise up once again,

And look our Oppressor in the eye,

and say, ‘Rise up with us, brother,

for you may yet share our pain’.

                                                      – FM

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As passions settle, disappointment wanes to something approaching tolerable, and we start to look at things a bit more rationally, it’s time to review the last few days, weeks, and months…

Without a doubt, it is safe to say that the Left never expected expected the two results of the Election Night figures.

  1. That National would score so  highly, at 48.06%, (Specials still to be counted)
  2. That the Left would fare so poorly that even NZ First’s credible 8.85% result would make no appreciable difference to National’s success.

Once again, it appears that the Non-Voters – traditionally mostly Labour or left supporters  – gifted National the government for a third term;

Roughly a million people didn’t show up to vote for Saturday’s election, making it one of New Zealand’s worst turnouts in the last century.

An estimated 77.04 per cent of enrolled voters took part in the election, slightly higher than the 74.2 per cent turnout in 2011, which was the worst in percentage terms since before women got the right to vote in 1893.

This year’s result still ranks as the third-worst turnout in the last 100 years, with the number of non-voters almost tallying to the number of votes that went to National.

The estimated results are based on the 2,405,652 votes received before voting closed, which includes nearly 300,000 special votes that are yet to be counted.

Interestingly, in the same Fairfax article,  Victoria University politics professor Jack Vowles said,

“A small increase in turnout is what we would expect. There’s been a downward trend of turnout for some time, so any increase shows something has changed.”

My suspicion is that the polarising effect of John Key may have motivated more people to engage in voting. My own experience lends some credence to this, with past non-voters this year keen to engage in the electoral system. In plain english, Key has pissed off people to such a degree that they expressed their feelings through the ballot.

Unfortunately, the Left was in no position to focus this anger in any meaningful way. Young people chanting in unison, ‘Fuck John Key‘, may have been fun and cathartic – but it ultimately failed to translate into valuable votes.

Meanwhile, I offer my post-mortem, observations, and views of events…

David Cunliffe

I am not one to pick and choose Party leaders – especially for Labour. Besides which, I’ve always been more interested in policy factors than pretty faces.

However, I will offer my ten cents + 15% GST worth.

Has it ever occurred to the Labour caucus that replacing your Leaders after every electoral loss is counterproductive? I offer three reasons for this assertion;

1. How do you test your Leader in the fires of adversity, if you keep replacing him (or her) after each electoral loss? If your Leader is proven in victory – but unknowable in defeat – are you not missing a vital measure of the man  (or woman)?

2. Replacing your Leader after each defeat sends a curious message to the public. It suggests that you’ve made a mistake with your Leadership selection. In which case, if/when you choose a new Leader to replace Cunliffe – is that a mistake as well? If you have no faith in your Leader, even in dire adversity, why should we – the voting public?

3. It takes years for a Leader to become known and familiar to the public. Years to gain their trust. If you keep rotating your Leadership, you are in effect putting an Unknown Quantity before the public who will never get a chance to assess the man (or woman).

It took three terms for the public to get to know Helen Clark. After which she led three consecutive Labour-led governments.

For god sakes, learn from history.

Or be consigned to it.

David Shearer

I understand David Shearer’s simmering anger. I really, really do. If I was in his shoes, I would’ve gone ‘thermo-nuclear’ by now.

But he does himself and the Labour Party no favours with his behaviour in front of the media.

Shearer has every right to be angry. But dignity and self-discipline is a far better course of action than publicly under-mining his Leader. After all, when/if he assumes the Labour leadership again, he would expect a modicum of public loyalty shown to him.

Two words: Kevin Rudd.

Hone Harawira

The more times I met Hone Harawira, the more times I have been thoroughly impressed with this man. The word ‘mana’ was created to describe his real personality- not the isolated snippets chosen by the media to portray him as a “mouthy brown boy”.

Hone was condemned – mostly by the Right and a headline-seeking media and commentariat – for the ‘crime’ of having a rich benefactor.

Meanwhile, the National Party has a plethora of rich benefactors – and no one bats an eyelid.

Unfair? Of course it is.

But that’s New Zealand in the 21st Century. As a society, it seems we left fairness behind when we allowed ourselves to be tempted by neo-liberalism’s promises of  “aspirationism” and shiny consumer goods.

Men and women like Hone Harawira still exist in our fair, if considerably less-than-100%-Pure, country. But their values and notions of fairness, decency, and helping one-another is something that the public view with suspicion as a quirky notion from last century (much like Queensbury rules when two men engaged in fisticuffs) – and which an increasingly cynical, lazy,  and politically-captured media treat with disdain and derision.

The media subtext of Hone’s relationship with Kim Dotcom was simple; “You can be a ‘champion of the poor’ as much as you like. We’ll write patronising (if somewhat racist) stories about you to paint you as a loud-mouthed radical engaging in ‘envy politics’.”

But the moment Hone’s Mana Movement got all cashed up, things changed.

National is allowed money.

Even Labour.

NZ First and the Greens rely on branding for success.

But parties representing the poor?  No way. The rule from On High was simple: You want to represent the Poor and the Powerless? Fine, but you stay poor and powerless.

Hone broke that rule.

John Key

Key’s victory speech was par-for-course, and well scripted for him  by his tax-payer funded spin-doctors and media minders. The speech was a mix of humility and delight in his victory.

Part of Key’s election night victory speech referred to “serving all New Zealanders”,

“I can pledge this to you, that I will a government that governs for all New Zealanders.”

In fact, it seemed a re-hash of his 2011 victory speech,

“I will lead a government that serves the interests of all New Zealanders…”

Key’s sentiments were repeated in a John Campbell interview on 22 September, (the interview is worthwhile watching) where he spoke at length about his concerns for the most vulnerable in our society.  He pledged a third term Key-led government to improve their lives.

Trouble is –

  • His government has spent the first two terms doing very little about rising child poverty,
  • tax cuts have benefitted the most well off,
  • Increases in GST, prescription charges, and others costs-of-living have impacted on the poorest,
  • Inequality has increased,
  • Wages have fallen even further behind Australia

If Key failed to address the lot of the poor in the first six years of his governance – why should we take his word for the next three? Especially as National has lined up new legislation to further cut back worker’s rights; the Employment Relations Amendment Bill.

Marginalising  workers’ rights will not reduce poverty; create jobs; or lift wages. It will only maximise profits for companies at the expense of workers.

As the editorial for the Otago Daily Times stated on 22 September,

“But while he is rapidly becoming one of this country’s most ”popular” prime ministers, there remains a gulf before he can go down in history as a ”great” prime minister. If that is Mr Key’s ambition, he is going to have to show that his role is, indeed, to serve all New Zealanders.

He and his Cabinet will have to strive to care for families, to try to ensure the poor are supported and not consigned to a demeaning and destructive underclass future. As well, alongside pursuit of economic development, this Government is going to have to protect the environment.”

Talk is cheap.

Actions count. So  far, we’ve seen precious little of it.

I look forward to being proved wrong.

Kelvin Davis

The day after Election Night, my feelings were running high and my views coloured by my passions. I may have written some things that, as my passions cooled, I reflect more wisely on matters in the clear light of day.

Not so with Kelvin Davis.

I stand by my initial statements;

Davis did not “win” Te Tai Tokerau. It was “gifted” to him as a dirty little rort, when John Key, Winston Peters, and the Maori Party told their supporters to vote for Davis, over Hone Harawira.

This was a disgusting, shabby example of dirty politics.

Kelvin Davis is “Labour” in name only and, like Peter Dunne and David Seymour,  he should not forget who his political patron really is: John Key. Davis is John Key’s errand boy.

Who knows – one day Key may call in the debt David owes him?

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”

Kim Dotcom

Kim Dotcom has been vilified and made the scape-goat of the election by many.  As if Hone Harawira’s defeat has validated the views of the Right Wing, and those who see Kim Dotcom as the villain of the piece.

I offer a counter-view, and one I believe equally as valid.

Let us not forget a few pertinent facts about Dotcom;

  • He was allowed entry into New Zealand by John Key’s government.
  • Dotcom has committed no crime in this country. He has yet to be tried for copyright infringements – a civil matter, not a criminal offense. And his convictions in Germany happened when he was 19 years old – a time when young people often fall foul of the law with drugs, alcohol, violence, driving offenses, teen pregnancies, etc. He is no criminal “mastermind”, despite the obsessive rantings of the Right. Dotcom’s past criminal record is only an affront to Right Wingers because he supports the Left.
  • Dotcom was instrumental in uncovering the fact that the GCSB had illegally spied on eighty eight New Zealand citizens or Permanent Residents. Until then, we had no idea what had been happening under successive Labour and National governments.
  • Dotcom has also uncovered the very real likelihood that the NSA/GCSB has been engaging in mass surveillance in this country – despite protestations  to the contrary by our Prime Minister (not noted for his scrupulous honesty) and the former GCSB director Sir Bruce Ferguson (under whom illegal spying had been taking place for years).
  • And Dotcom uncovered John Banks’ own dishonest activities regarding his election financial returns, resulting in the former ACT minister’s conviction and resignation from Parliament.

Kim Dotcom’s real ‘crime’ has not been copyright infringement.

His real ‘crime’ has been to turn his back on his fellow millionaires and political elites – the Oligarchs for whom power is the oxygen that sustains them – and to give financial support to one of the few people in this country to threaten their privileged positions:  Hone Harawira.

For the Right Wing – and the infantile lackeys who act as their on-line henchmen by constantly posting anonymous message demonising Dotcom – this was an intolerable situation. They could barely tolerate Hone Harawira’s existence. But as long as Hone was one lone voice in the political wilderness, he was left alone. Kelvin Davis’ previous attempts to unseat Hone came to nothing.

But when radical left-wing politics and Big Money became entwined, Hone Harawira became a threat that could no longer be ignored by the Establishment.

First, some in  the media responded. The venom dripped from this typical comment on social media, and was only less overtly spiteful in the mainstream media;

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

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Because Big Money funding the National Party is not  “rorting MMP”.

The vendetta – and that is precisely what this was – culminated in National, NZ First, and the Maori Party rushing at the last minute to endorse Labour’s Kelvin Davis;

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Key wants Harawira to lose Tai Tokerau seat

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Hone's call to arms after Winston backs Kelvin

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Harawira’s fall was compounded by the ‘Moment of Truth’, on 15 September,  failing to deliver certain promises made and hyped by Dotcom.  Ironically, it was not sufficient for New Zealanders to learn that were were living in a Surveillance State and all our meta-data was being collected by shadowy agencies. It was not enough to realise that our on-line and telephone privacy was a thing of the past.

We wanted the ‘dirt’ on John Key. That’s where the real sensationalistic headlines lay for the MSM. That would sell several million bucks worth of advertising to the punters.

And when Dotcom failed to deliver – stymied by legalities, I am informed – the media and noisy aspects of the public turned on him. Being spied on by the State was apparently nowhere as bad  as being denied a good political drama. We wanted Reality TV, made real, in our lounges, and our insatiable appetite for sensational gossip to be sated.

When that was denied us, we turned – like children denied access to our favourite TV programme or ‘grounded’ from internet access for 24 hours – on he who had promised us so much. We howled with rage and had Dotcom lived in our village, the good people would have gathered up their pitchforks and torches and made for his hut.

However, this is the 21st Century. We don’t do pitchforks and  blazing torches any more (OSH would have a fit!). The mob is more sophisticated now. We do lynchings on-line and in the media.

Far more effective.

Fewer blood stains to wash out.

It has been said that part of our peculiar national psyche is something called ‘The Tall Poppy Syndrome’. In this case the tall poppies were two men who dared challenge the Establishment, and were cut down for their troubles. This time, though, it did not happen in secret, behind closed doors, concocted by shadowy figures.

It happened in full public view.

If you think this happens only in movies, in America, and the good guy(s) always win – think again.

It happened here. We just witnessed it. And the good guys didn’t win.

Not this time.

See also:  Brand Kim Dotcom: what has changed?

Labour

One thing that Labour  apparently excels at is self-mutilation. As a fund-raiser, it could make truckloads of cash by catering to certain folk with BDSM inclinations. One hour of a good, hard flogging, $250. Humiliation and discipline – $150 per half hour. (So I’m reliably informed…) Ok, so you have to wear a lot of sticky leather or rubber gear, but hey, it’s all for a good cause, right?!

Since Labour’s loss on election night, Labour MPs have been more vocal and active than all their last campaigning over the past six months. None it it, though, any good. Airing the party’s “dirty laundry” is an act that beggars belief.

If Labour MPs believe that their current media appearance on Radio NZ, TV3, TV1, et al, are doing them any good – let me disabuse them of that belief. It is self-destructive. It is self-harm on a party-political scale. It is sheer, unmitigated stupidity.

Attentions Messrs Shearer, Goff, Hipkins, et al – the public are watching.

Whoever leads the Party – whether it be Cunliffe or X – will be accepting a poisoned chalice that would fell a totara. It makes the Labour Party look like a bunch of self-serving fools or witless muppets – take your pick.

Is there any wonder why Labour keeps losing? Let me spell it out.

After each election defeat – 2008, 2011, 2014 – Labour indulges in public self-flogging and blood-letting. There is nothing remotely subtle or civilised or clever about the unpleasantness that follows.

 

It turns people off in droves.It turns voters away from Labour.

 

Three years later – another defeat.

 

Repeat cycle.

 

At this rate, Labour will become a third-rate Party, supplanted by the Greens which will become the main Opposition Party – and ultimately, along with NZ First (or it’s successor under Ron Mark) – lead the next Coalition Government.

 

This is how a once proud, proactive political party becomes an ossified institution, and ultimately irrelevant to peoples’ lives. Think – Alliance, post 2002.

 

To all Labour MPs, take my advice: STFU. Listen to your Leader (whether you support him or not) and keep your mouths closed. Sort your sh*t out in private, and in public, smile a Happy Face.

 

Otherwise, you can kiss your chances goodbye for 2017.

Media

The media pack is in full hunt. Their quarry – David Cunliffe.

I swear TV3’s Patrick Gower was salivating at the prospect of doing a “Nosferatu” on Cunliffe’s neck;

“Labour is in crisis tonight with leader David Cunliffe apparently refusing to give up the leadership, despite the party’s humiliating election defeat…

[…]

So Labour is now in a civil war, with Mr Cunliffe trying to gag MPs.

[…]

The five potential contenders show just how fractured Labour is. The caucus has atomised and another leadership spill is the last thing it needs.”

With some journos seemingly actively campaigning for Cunliffe’s resignation,

Labour MPs have emerged from a seven-hour crisis meeting – and leader David Cunliffe is still refusing to go.

After presenting the party’s new chief whip Chris Hipkins and his junior Carmel Sepuloni, he gave a short statement, but refused to say what happened in the meeting.

His MPs have given him a bloody nose with their choices.

Including this anonymous (Mr Armstrong, I presume?) NZ Herald editorial;

“Labour needs to face the question of its leadership, nothing more. If Mr Cunliffe is going to appeal over the heads of his caucus to the membership and affiliated unions who elected him last year, he must imagine he can continue to lead a team that has little confidence in him. This will do Labour no good, as surely its members and unions now see.

It is in the nation’s interest that the party finds a new leader quickly.”

This isn’t reporting the news. This is actively manufacturing it.
Is this how news “reporting” is now done in Aotearoa New Zealand?  The Fourth Estate appears to have become a de facto, quasi-political party.

They simply haven’t announced it to the public.

Stuart Nash

Some commentators (media, political, and blogs) are still adhering to the fiction that Stuart Nash “won” the Napier seat. Election night results, however, paint a different picture entirely;

 

McVICAR, Garth: (Conservatives) 7,135

NASH, Stuart: (Labour) 14,041

WALFORD, Wayne: (National) 10,308

 

Contrast to the 2011 result:

 

NASH, Stuart: (Labour) 13,636

TREMAIN, Chris (National) 17,337

 

See where Tremain’s 7,000 votes went three years later?

Nash has now hinted  he is “not ruling out”  throwing his hat into the ring for an up-coming leadership challenge. If true,  Nash’s colossal ego has outstripped his common sense entirely. He is deluded if he really believes he won his seat on his own merits. An extra 405 votes is not a mandate when his ‘success’ was predicated on his  opponant’s vote being split by another right-wing candidate.

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The heading of this piece is wrong. It’s not, “No More. The Left Falls.”

It should read,

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The Left Falls, No More.*

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* With acknowledgement to a recent BBC movie, about a certain quirky time travelling hero in a blue box.

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References

Electoral Commission:  Election Results — Overall Status

Fairfax media: Voter turnout near record low

Youtube: Fuck John Key! [New Zealand Revolution]

TV3: Former GCSB boss denies Snowden’s claims

Maori TV: Key wants Harawira to lose Tai Tokerau seat

NZ Herald: Hone’s call to arms after Winston backs Kelvin

Fairfax Media: Hone Harawira accuses Maori Party of sabotage

Electoral Commission: Election Results — Napier

Wikipedia: 2011 Election – Napier

Radio NZ: Tussling starts for Labour’s top job

TV3: National Party wins third term

John Key: 8 November 2008  – Victory Speech

Previous related blogposts

She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!

The secret of National’s success – revealed

Patrick Gower – losing his rag and the plot

Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation

Other blogs

Why chanting “fuck John Key” is a battle cry not profanity

Brand Kim Dotcom: what has changed?

Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection

 

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= fs =

35 COMMENTS

  1. I’m not convinced the comparison with Helen Clark is valid. There’s a difference between indifference and dislike. In 1996, Helen hadn’t quite captured the mainstream voters’ imagination, but she was not disliked. The majority of people really do not warm to Cunliffe, and he is viewed – clearly with some justification – simply as a poor statesman. He completely lacks a good leader’s intuition for saying the right thing at the right time. You can turn around indifference, but never dislike. I was originally pro-Cunliffe, but now reluctantly believe Robertson is the least-bad option, because at least he has a statesman-like aura. A lightweight Lange is better than a fulltime bumbler.

  2. …AS always Frank…Bang on the mark!!!

    Those who work in the Media should be ashamed of them selves in how they treated Mana-Internet and Hone in the their biased text!!

    How can they write their articles pro-election is without an earnest opinion is beyond me…. Their names should be advertised along with pedophiles and scum of the earth.

    Once again Frank , Thank You for being Unbiased and True …..

  3. I do agree with everything you have said about Hone and Dotcom. The way those politicians and media have behaved over this has been revolting.

    If they think they can bring Hone down they are wrong. They may (possibly) have destroyed Mana but the Mana people are still here. The fight for a better world goes on.

    I don’t exempt Labour from what has happened to Mana in fact I blame them the most. Why do they not support those to their left? Why do they not support the people at the bottom?

    I grew up in a Labour household and I know that many of them have had a bad attitude for a long, long time. My mother left the party in the 70s because of how she saw them act against Values. I doubt I will be able to bring myself even to give them my electorate vote in the future.

    Politics is a blood sport. For Hone personally being out of parliament could be the best thing for him and his whanau.
    We have a bleak three years ahead.

  4. I think there were two crucial things that happened in this election…
    1) Just before the election day, the media came out with “Winston is going to be kingmaker” so one set of people went “I don’t want Winston being the kingmaker” and voted National and another set of people went “I want Winston to keep them honest” and voted NZF. That’s where Labour lost it’s votes.

    I’ve always been against restricting polling during the weeks before elections because it gives information about the parties around the threshold. However, I now think it needs to happen because people vote based on the polls and not on the policies. As a consequence the threshold has to go down – it people don’t know how much support small parties are getting because there are no polls they wont want to risk a wasted vote.

    2) John Key could bluster and never respond to some pretty damming accusations because David Farrah over at Curia was telling him his polling stats were holding and he didn’t need to. The left shouldn’t give Curia/National strategic information – anyone with even a slight left leaning should refuse Curia/National “polls”.

    ~~
    Labour should drop the capital gains tax it’s not a vote gainer – the baby boomers are the biggest voting block and they are the ones looking to downsize their homes and sell their businesses. Labour should go with the financial transaction tax – National can’t go there without upsetting it’s big donors but for most NZers it will have minimal effect but pull in big revenues. It may even catch a little of the cash from those corporates who take their money off-shore to pay tax in another country.

    • I agree! I think the polls and constant speculation over polls is very damaging to true democracy and becomes a media obsession and sways and influences peoples voting decisions! Seems to have worked very well for the Natz over the last 3 elections so I can’t see it changing though!

      Saddest aspect of this election was Hone having his seat stolen and for that reason I will never again vote Labour as they were part of the gang up!

      To now watch drippy David Seymour who clearly has no clue what he is doing enter parliament after being gifted his seat and Peter Dunne limp back in is like salt into the wound, knowing a true warrior with a long history and good heart was forced out is insult to injury!

      Especially as we, the taxpayer, are paying their wages and ensuring David Seymour can fly to Wellington on Jetstar as he apparently has no loyalty to the national airline and likes to support Australian competitors! Oh what amazing work he will do for New Zealanders!

      • Dawn says “David Seymour can fly to Wellington on Jetstar.”, but was too kind to mention the in-flight quiz.
        I bet our South Pacific residents aren’t impressed with his geographical knowledge- he thought Suva was the capital on Tonga!

    • Point 1: totally agree – it certainly appears that way from the voting in our electorate. I think there was also that element of “scary – Winston’s going to bring in Kim Dotcom because of that ‘4 headed monster’ so you need to vote for National” (blue conservatives) and “scary – Labour’s going to bring in Kim Dotcom, so we need Winston in to keep Labour honest” (red consevatives). NZ First always seem to thrive under a controversy.

  5. Hallelujah praise The Lord! Finally someone is speaking the truth as I see it anyway! Thank you for articulating so clearly and consisely all that has been in my head for days, weeks, months & years! Kia Ora!

  6. I voted Labor on Saturday. Worst. Decision. Ever.

    Next time it’ll be the Greens. Or Mana, if Hone decides to stand again.

    To hell with Labor, their petty infighting, their disloyalty to their leader, their selfishness in ousting Harawira simply to gain one seat, and all the other self-serving bullshit we’ve come to expect from that bunch of time-serving troughers.

    Bang on the mark, Frank, it’s like you have a fly on the wall of the Labor Party and are able to look into their souls.

    • As much as I hate to admit it, I kind of agree. I was positively astonished at how some winning Labour electorate MPs increased their majorities, but at the same time their party votes plunged. Is this how their supporters see it? They like to have a Labour MP in their own patch but don’t want them anywhere near the treasury benches. I am wondering whether the Labour Party will split into two – one section going along the old Socialist style Jim Anderton path and the other (probably larger) becoming a kind of National-lite party. You could say that Hone’s Mana Movement might represent the former, but Hone has two problems – he is associated with the radical left and is still seen as an alternative Maori party rather than a mainstream party. Plus his association with Kim Dotcom ultimately did him no favours either.

  7. “Once again, it appears that the Non-Voters – traditionally mostly Labour or left supporters – gifted National the government for a third term.”

    Can we please move beyond blaming the non-voters for National’s victory. A 77% turn-out of registered voters in a general election, where voting is not compulsory, is probably about as good as it’s going to be form here. Furthermore, I actually know some National voters who didn’t vote in this election because of Dirty Politics. As for the missing ‘left’ voters, unless someone has a brilliant idea for cheap registration and get out the vote campaigns I suggest we work on winning the votes of those who want to participate. I believe that your suggestion that Cunliffe is not replaced is central to this.

    • “A 77% turn-out of registered voters in a general election, where voting is not compulsory, is probably about as good as it’s going to be form here”

      How so? Such a bold statement deserves some back up.

    • I agree with you – I’m unsure how many of the nonvoters are actually supporters of any party and that the effort to rally the missing million was misplaced. Where were all those young ones who went to the Internet Mana rallies? Did they need a bloody dressup compitions and a chance for their faces on tv or the papers to get off their arses on the actual day (such a bloody disapointment for Internet Mana’s hard work).
      I went out doorknocking on election day in Highbury on homes who identified as Labour. It was really wonderful: all these household “yup, already voted” and “Just off to vote now” . Then the other houses – when the either looked at you sideway or sent the kids up and ignored you and you KNEW they were’nt going to vote – it just broke my heart and I knew they weren’t missing: they were lost and not looking to be found in the near future.

  8. Mostly deft and accurate analysis. The left must start to understand a few things if they are ever again to wield leadership.

    The Audience in the Stand:
    The self-centred free-market right-wing exists, all 15-20% of them. They will vote national even when going down with the ship. The middle ground exists and it is getting larger – they live on fear and just want the world to be all ok. They are like the ostrich, if the leader says everything is ok, so it shall be. The left is fractured. National has made many home-owning people in the middle ground “wealthy” – on paper anyway. They feel wealthy and don’t want to lose it.

    The Opposition Captain:
    John Key is liked. He is seen to be a successful business person even though he has never been in business in his life – money trading is not a business, it is speculation. His popularity is such that he would need something serious to undermine it – and DC helped it …. note that DC stated in the debates on the economy that “no-one can deny that National did a good job through the earthquake and GFC” – that was DC’s biggest mistake, congratulating the opposition on the most important platform in the mind of the middle voter was a shocker. The response should have been … The earthquake saved National. Large capital inflows saved National. The best dairy receipts in history saved National. Where are the ideas?

    The Team:
    Well where were they? Some just didn’t want to play at all, sulking in the changing sheds hoping for not too big a hiding so they can come out and be the hero that saves it all.

    The Reserve Bench:
    Then there is the DotCom – it wasn’t about you Hone, no-one wanted DotCom and a bunch of foreigners to influence our election. It galvanised people, confirmed to people that the status quo was ok. The Internet Mana party did more harm to labour than anything else in its election history. Then of course, the green party who are losing the right to be the green standard bearer, and Winston who attracts the non-voter who votes anyway.

    The Coach and Medics:
    Poor leadership, poor campaign team, confusing messages, not resonating with the audience, a focus on asking the money from its supporters rather than a rallying cry and key messages to spread.

    The Empty Seats:
    And of course the 750k registered people who just didn’t turn up. Note that they took the time and effort to register. So count out apathy. The weather? The “I am just over it” syndrome?

    The Referee:
    Then it’s the media. Yes the 4th Estate who religiously and venomously defend their position as being neutral observers. Absolute and total liars, they would have to be dead in the brain not to have a bias, impossible considering that they by their very nature enquire. The mainstream is more right than centred. Ask Rupert Murdoch.

    The Result:
    All things considered, Labour getting 24.69% on election night was a good result.

  9. I stand by my initial statements;
    Davis did not “win” Te Tai Tokerau. It was “gifted” to him as a dirty little rort, when John Key, Winston Peters, and the Maori Party told their supporters to vote for Davis, over Hone Harawira.
    This was a disgusting, shabby example of dirty politics.

    How come it was OK for you to promote “tactical voting” in Ohariu and Epsom, but when Key, Peters and MP did it, it’s a rort?

    You know that the Right Wing read these blogs and no doubt ‘borrowed” the tactical voting plan.

    Maybe you and every left-leaning blogger that contributes here should organise a private meeting with Labour in a lead-lined room, shielded with copper wiring to thwart the GCSB and MSM and help them strategise towards winning the 2017 election.

    Mum’s the word….

  10. As for the non-voters who really decided the election’s fate. I quote others wiser than I.
    “For evil to prosper, all it needs is for good men to do nothing.”

  11. Best post election piece so far, Thank you.

    “But parties representing the poor? No way. The rule from On High was simple: You want to represent the Poor and the Powerless? Fine, but you stay poor and powerless”

    Well said, and hasn’t that proven to be true! Meteria spoke to rich about the poor, Hone spoke to the poor and he got squashed.

  12. Your question asking if we can learn from history, and stop changing Leader sums it up.
    The trajectory has been down wards since Key took over, and the targeted negative narrative against each successive leader has built.
    Every time we change leader, we increase the image of weak and unstable, directly reinforcing the illusion of “strong” and ” stable” on the right.
    It turns off young, disinterested voters, as indeed, it appears that both sides are ” as bad as each other” further serving to lower voter turnout ( favouring the right as we know)

  13. “Every time we change leader, we increase the image of weak and unstable, directly reinforcing the illusion of “strong” and ” stable” on the right.”

    Damn. You said it better than me, ‘Goodness’.

  14. There are a few contradictions here. You say Dotcom supports the Left and imply that he is kindof an ok guy. But the isn’t the whole reason he could ‘uncover John Banks’, because he was the one to give huge donations to Banks, as Act party leader?

    I don’t believe that Dotcom supported Internet/ Mana because he cares about poor people. He was only hijaking the Left to settle his own personal score with the government. Hone’s accepting this guys allegiance showed a severe lack of judgement and worse, a willingness to compromise his own strong values. He lost his integrity by being swept up and sadly, lost big time because of it.

    • Dot com gave $50,000 to John Banks to run as “Mayor of Auckland” ..Not to be Act Candidate ..but Who needs a few Facts to Spoil things. Grant Openly Gay Robinson would finnish labour if he was leader. I don’t believe the Unions Would Get in behind a Gay Labour Leader But maybe they have all become Metrosexuals now?

  15. Also… where is the evidence that non-voters would generally support the Left? Anecdotally, the only non-voters I encountered this election said ‘I just consider a non-vote to be a vote for National” (whatever their deal is). People always imply that if non-voters voted, the Left would win by a lnadslide. It may be true, maybe not, but how do we know this?

    • Because the majority of known non voters are reported to be maori who, unless lucky enough to count in the elite ‘brown table’ who are embroiled in deals with government, would likely have no love for national policies or right wing ideologies on offer this election.

  16. THanks Frank – this is really useful and intelligent analysis- very fair and balanced. Its hard to keep up with all the news but reading this article was a great way of coming to terms with the issues brought up by the election. It just so happens, i agree with just about everything you’ve said but you say it so well – all the best – bruce

  17. Wait, so if National, the Maori Party et al all advise their voters to support Davis that is despicable, dirty politics, but the Labour Party failing to offer Davis anything but the bare minimum of support and actively preventing him from attacking Hone for selling himself and his party out to KDC so they could potentially have had Internet Mana as a coalition partner is just as clean as can be? Seriously? That’s the kind of deluded, hypocritical thinking that cost the left the election; they desperately tried to paint the right as ‘dirty’ using dirty tactics! The voting public saw Hager and Dotcoms manipulations for what they were – KDC only cares about one thing; avoiding extradition, and Hager is an activist with an agenda. And the whole “Vote Positive” thing? Only made sense ONCE the book and KDC’s machinations came to light, and anyone with half a brain linked it all up. And yet you’re all still baffled as to why you lost! We’re the good guys! We’re always right! How can everyone else not see that?

  18. Wonderful article. WTF is society coming to when independent bloggers serve the public better than the institutions set up to do so (aka the mainstream media). The saddest part is far fewer people will see this than if it was published on stuff, the herald etc.

    Anyway, ranting aside… well done on a balanced, well articulated and thought provoking article.

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