How the Pandemic impacts the ballot box in September

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7 months until the 2020 election and on the most recent polling, the next likely Government is National ACT.

The current Labour Leadership had become hostage to internal UMR polls telling them they are beating National and see no threat looming, if the possible pandemic hasn’t shaken that complacency, then nothing will.

I won’t even pretend to quantify the fear, anxiety, economic carnage and public health pain the pandemic is about to produce, I write this as a sober articulation as to where this uniquely destabilising event puts us 7 months out from the general election because this virus will over shadow everything else.

 

Electoral landscape has suffered a pandemic earthquake – all roads lead to Wuhan:

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While woke activists downplayed the virus and went as far as to claim criticism was racist…

…The Daily Blog was one of the first to point out that this novel virus was not an identity politics issue but had all the ingredients of a dangerous pandemic and could cause enormous damage to the economy and generate a public health crisis.

We are seeing those fears play out now.

This isn’t even the beginning, things are going to get far worse, especially if the virus becomes a pandemic here. The good news is that normalcy will return once we get a vaccine, the bad news is that’s 18months away.

The entire globalised ‘just in time’ capitalist system is designed on a market ‘flexibility’ that has no resilience.

EVERYTHING is now about the virus and how each Party responds to that new paradigm will shape political victory in September.

LABOUR:

The Government has shown real leadership with the $12b package – but the Treasury forecast of a 3% GDP contraction is bloody grim. ‪If a NZ Government is willingly giving beneficiaries more money you know we are in danger economically.

Labour were slow to appreciate the risk here and were clouded by their own woke activist base claiming criticism was racism. Following best international practice looked shallow and the early restrictions looked weak.

When the Labour front bench saw the panic buying, they appreciated the pointlessness of not spooking people when they were already terrified.

That early caution was replaced by enormous travel restrictions, the massive $12b relief package and Jacinda once again having the emotional intelligence to appreciate people were actually frightened.

Jacinda has stood up and she will lead again at a time when people start panicking, NZers will rally around her as long as a leak into the country can’t be traced back to incompetence at the border.

I think people will rally defensively around Jacinda because her reassurance as a tested leader who led us through the Christchurch atrocity as well as a volcanic eruption has been hard won.

This in of itself politically brings about a new problem for Labour. I believe Jacinda will dazzle with her leadership during this crisis, and Labour will probably have the highest Party vote, but she will totally and without blemish, overshadow NZ First and the Greens so much so, that their only survival back into Parliament would be by gifting each an Electorate seat.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. This is the time for Grant Robertson to shine. All his life he has played it safe to reassure the Wellington Public Service establishment that he would be a secure pair of hands on the wheels of power.

Well, the black swan is here and now is the time to throw that hard fought caution to the wind, now is the time for ingenious ideas and solutions. Now is the time to eye up the ACC fund and Super Fund for a type of reinvestment desperately needed if we are to escape the immediacy of pandemic and reignite the economy in time to pull it out of Depression.

This is your moment Grant, and facing something that will cause enough damage that you are required to rebuild the economic super structure means you must seize the opportunity to be transformative as opposed to managerial.

This is not a time for Managers, it is the time for Visionaries.

 

NATIONAL:

To date, the plan has been small Government red tape mythology, bash the dirty filthy bennies, bash the gangs, bash the prisoners, bash the tenants and actively bring back the housing crisis so middle class property speculators feel pretend rich again.

This was going to be enabled by a social media campaign targeting old white working class men who feel alienated by woke culture.

That strategy just won’t work now.

Now the public will be screaming for a strong state, not a small underfunded one. This pandemic will force voters in no uncertain terms to look at the kind of willy nilly childish slashing of regulations National are promising as the last fucking thing anyone would want.

Bridges only hope is that the virus leaks into NZ and he can trace it back to a perceived incompetence that he can claim was a lack of leadership.

He’s got nothing else, and all National’s punitive social policy shit will just look petty in the face of what we are collectively facing.

Because Simon has marked his leadership through belligerence, he can’t do anything magnanimous and reach out a hand to the Government and announce a united front in fighting the pandemic.

He’s stuck with being the spoiler hoping that Jacinda’s  dazzling star performance eclipses oxygen to NZ First and Greens so they both slip beneath 5%.

National may not get the highest Party vote on election night, but if NZF & Greens don’t make it, National + ACT could still become the Government.

 

GREENS:

Who? Jacinda will suck the very marrow from their bones. They are already slumping on 5%, the ease with which they could slip under is well founded.

They don’t have the intellectual grunt to propose a new green deal and certainly no one with the charisma to sell it. The cannabis referendum will help them and some type of argument that the system of globalised capitalism creating the pandemic also powers climate change will make them relevant but anything that doesn’t get them back into the pandemic debate will become white noise.

The Greens are in survival mode again but they don’t know it.

To guarantee the Greens get back into Parliament, Labour should give them Auckland Central for Chloe Swarbrick to contest against Nikki Kaye.

 

NZ FIRST:

Currently at 3% and desperate. Might have been able to gain more traction bashing migrant workers if they acknowledged its NZ businesses who are exploiting those migrant workers. Thankfully Shane Jones is the laziest bugger in Christendom and can’t be bothered writing a policy so beyond flamboyant race baiting on Sunday morning political programmes, the great Waa Waa of the North is as productive as Winston’s old Rugby injury.

All they have now is as a voice for regional NZ desperately wanting pandemic relief.

Robbed of their favourite dog whistles and eclipsed by Jacinda in crisis mode, NZ First can’t crawl over 5% so will need a Northland deal with Labour to return to Parliament.

 

ACT:

Has harnessed the censorship left resentment on free speech and is now polling 3% in private polling. Could bring in extra MPs and give National the numbers they need to become the Government.

The Hate speech legislation will only win ACT more support.

 

MĀORI PARTY:

If JT wins Tamaki Makarau and brings in another MP off the Party list, it could be the Māori Party who become the King or Queen maker.

 

CONCLUSION: 

This is only the start of the first wave of pandemic, the second wave will be more dangerous and we aren’t sure that you even get a natural immunity from being infected.

A perfect storm of climate crisis, rotten global capitalism and a decade of growth built upon debt, snot and greed are culminating into a unique once in a  generation event.

Capitalism’s Black Swans are coming home to roost and it will interrupt our election directly with social distancing necessary at polling booths and philosophically as the 30yr+ free market neoliberal experiment is tested in a way whereby failure is intellectual ruin.

When this is over, there must be an enormous rethink of what State we want, a well funded one that has capacity for these events or a threadbare cheap one that can only manufacture excuses.

19 COMMENTS

  1. We are just so very privileged to have a caring government.

    National would reduce the minimum wage and give business tax breaks of which none would help in this case.
    Not enough Bridges said? Well he may want to go back and look at the disaster the EQC and the “help” National gave Christchurch. No Mr Bridges you most definitely are not fit for office.

    Woof woof woof!

    • Seriously so what about what about “what about National?” National did this or that blah blah. We are fighting the 2020 election not the 2017 one.

      The systems has been found wanting with a 3% permanent reduction of the GDP. And the economy is unlikely to recover because that loss of production has to be pulled back onshore to raise a buffer so we have a bit of performance for times like corona when performance drops.

      That leads me onto the China FTA (free trade agreement) for NZ companies wanting to do business in China they have to give 50% of there company and capital to Chinse Investers and kiwi entrepreneurs was willing to do that because Chinses labour costs are so low. And now this roaster is coming home to roost. Chinese Investers still have 50% of our capital and we aren’t getting the full impacts of cheap Chinese labour. So we are getting screwed over.

      There isn’t much that can be done to renegotiate the China FTA. So while we was making hay The National Party was giving tax cuts. And now the government has been caught with there pants down. It’s lucky they’re growing up fast.

      So yeah, to make up for all those unrealized labour costs the government is going to have to permanently raise spending by $9 billion for medical, energy, transport, housing R&D and long term production just to keep a permanent 25% buffer of stockpiled medical resources, housing, public transport and so on and so on. The government can borrow to meet the immediate short fall but they’re going to have to implement new taxes so the tax take can meet new spending requirements.

      • Wow Sam. You have a good understanding of what’s happening and about to happen. Way better than me in comparison. I have no understanding. However the bottom line is. There will be no tax. Maybe at countdown and New world. Someone has to make a buck.

        • IT revolutions do okay for GDP growth. Not as huge a GDP boost as export driven primary industry but if some pharmaceutical and transport energy production was brought on shore we could get import costs don’t enough for that our exports can pay for everything.

  2. “Seriously so what about what about “what about National?” National did this or that blah blah. We are fighting the 2020 election not the 2017 one”

    If you are inept enough to neglect what National is capable of then the 2020 election is lost.

  3. Pretty fair synopsis except I’d do it without the Jacindalove.
    Government was late to act with the virus but the stimulus package is a step in the right direction.
    Just for perspective though, 12 billion is what labour greens gave you North Islanders for your roads, so yeah billions shcmillions
    .
    A well handled crisis is a free hit for an incumbent government so Labour Green could pull themselves ahead if they can steer a clear path from here.
    Pushing on with censorship laws in secret guarantees my vote to not go with them regardless.
    Most open transparent government something something

  4. So, is this, to be clear, another $12b? On top of the recently announced $12.3b Infrastructure package?
    The latter been within the budget with no need to borrow and then todays Virus $12b drop equates to 4% of borrowed money?
    A lolly scramble pre election?
    That’ll make it hard for Simple and crew to argue with?

    • ….Agree…Looks like Labour and the coalition govt are on to a winner…the masses will aplaude and rightly so…what can Simeon offer except more of the same corruption?

          • That is a distinct possibility….but with the Labour coalition government looking after New Zealanders in this crisis …which is not of New Zealanders’ making…and pumping extra money into their pockets, the masses can overlook a lot of things….and rightly so!

            ….this is why Simon the SIMIAN and SIMIAN friends are goneburgers

  5. One thing I’d like to see is a quiet chat with F&P Healthcare. It’s unlikely we stop it at the borders and one bit of kit we’re going to desperately need is ventilators. We should be crashing their production schedule and prioritise the building of these machines above all else.

  6. The rescue package is designed to defend and maintain the very neliberal economic system that has created a lot of the problems the government has struggled to deal with.

    So we are saving jobs in tourism and other sectors, some of which are creating a significant carbon foot print and also a lot of other pollution, waste and degradation of the environment.

    We will have companies and workers saved from ruin so they can carry on as per usual, once COVID19 has either been isolated and wiped out, or once it has become so widespread and established, it would be impossible to beat it.

    The worst case scenario will be the virus stays around, will kill off many elderly and seriously sick people, and the business lobbyists will force the government to stop ‘wasting’ money on trying to wipe out the virus, and rather focus on carrying on with business as per usual.

    The increase in benefits is rather moderate, given years of non action on that front, it was done as a useful stimulus instrument to boost local spending that supports retailers, and also as a bit of an election bribe for the poor to go and vote Jacinda in again.

    I welcome the increase and the doubling also of the Winter Energy Payment, but wait for the fallout to come, we may face cost increases here and there, neutralising the increase rather soon.

    Billions will be pumped into businesses to help them carry on as per usual, debt will increase but we will have NO TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE at all on the environment and social and economic front, as unsustainable wasting and polluting and burning will continue well into the future.

  7. National know they already have lost the election. Neoliberalism can and will be saved with a kind and charming face at the helm, making critics sound like nasty little pricks, and making the mostly brainwashed urban populace feel they have a duty to support the leader.

    No need for Nats, as the ones in charge now, they are as trustworthy, or even more, business is mostly happy with actions being taken.

    In essence nothing much has changed, major issues have not and will not be solved, there will be no true transformation, and business will carry on much as per usual, just note the satisfaction amongst their leaders and lobbyists about the package just announced.

    Never mind housing unaffordability, child poverty, the gap between the better off and not so well off, the climate crisis and continued pollution wrecking the environment.

    Thanks to a virus that nobody had ever heard of only months ago.

    What though, if another virus or a more devastating strain of the Coronavirus will suddenly surface and spread? All that spending up for nothing?

  8. … ” Jacinda has stood up and she will lead again at a time when people start panicking, NZers will rally around her as long as a leak into the country can’t be traced back to incompetence at the border ”…

    But I wouldn’t go too hard on NZ First , by the way….

    As for the corona-virus,… lets have a beer…

    Devil’s laugh
    https://youtu.be/0SQazmrMKqU

  9. Well said Martyn,

    I side with Wild Katipo here.

    NZ First will need a seat but will survive as the 70yr olds and those appproaching retirement will need this party, and Winstons simple logic and you will see it on display yestrerday in parliament so watch this and see Winston saying it now.
    try to open the video here.

    Government Statement – Emergency economic package – Video 5
    Open in new window
    https://www.parliament.nz/en/watch-parliament/ondemand?itemId=211628

  10. Well, if Labour push ahead with the hate speech laws I will seriously consider voting ACT.
    I care about housing, I care about poverty but none of that is as important as free speech and democracy.
    Fuck Andrew Little and his band of fascist bastards.

  11. I have to mention a conversation with a contractor that I had only today.
    We were talking about how the COVID 19 virus was impacting on his work and whether the government was doing the right things.
    He said bluntly that he wasn’t a fan of Labour or Jacinda but he had to give her credit for facing up to (now) three major disasters – March 15 mosque attack, White Island volcano and now the virus. She had proved she was a capable leader and he took a lot of comfort in her being at the helm right now.
    Telling words, I think.

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