Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Democracy Night

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  • Ross Mason,

    But before I move on and out into this beautiful sunny Sunday. Congratulations to the National Party. You fought well. You discovered the right buttons. You had the best teflon coated leader ever, You found the weakspots and carressed your fingers and much salt well into the sores.

    I am sure we all are looking forward to three years of stable government.

    And even though my vote got nowhere near them, I have to confess that these next three years may be interesting times in the science and technology area. The Advanced Techology Institute of New Zealand (preliminary mouth full name) that IRL is likely to be morphed into will influence future work life considerably.

    But Winston.......Winston.....Winston.......Jesus Wept!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1458 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I think Labour has to transform now. The union movement doesn’t justify its constitutional status in the party at the moment. It’s just wrong that Darien Fenton is safe and Carmel Sepuloni is gone. And that Labour’s only new list MP is Andrew Little, who ran a useless campaign in New Plymouth.

    The Labour party is, at the moment, now an urban phenomena. Labour was beaten in the cities, but wiped out in the provinces. Apart from the West Coast (which elected a white male Labour MP who is out of favour with the powers that be in Labour) and Plamerston North Labour holds no provincial seats. Even in those two seats, Labour was trounced in the party vote. The sea of blue that engulfs provincial New Zealand is the legacy of the party that your generation were active in helping create (yet, in the end, even you could not be bothered enough to bring yourself to write an actual blog post saying “vote Labour” before polling day on this site). That Labour Party is over. The Labour party is at a dead end at the moment. A party of incumbency protecting, out-of-touch urban liberals at the top running the organisation in the name of the poor and working poor is not a tenable project.

    The Clark era is now over, for sure. It delivered nine years of tinkering at the edges neo-liberal managerialist government (papered over with a veneer of social liberalism) at the cost of losing it’s soul in the provinces and amongst the blue collar middle class. I used to think history would judge the economic cowardice of the Clark/Cullen era as the only possible pragmatic response to the neo-liberal juggernaut, but now I am not so sure. Anyway, that is for time to better judge. Right now it is time for Labour to get back to it’s knitting. Let the Greens discover how many votes there are in championing anti-smacking legislation and gay marriage and all that stuff. Labour needs to reconnect with the issues that affect the self-employed Joe Six Packs living life on struggle street.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    So it takes an earthquake to change a staunch labour electorate. The Nats should pray for a few more in the next three years.
    Bad taste, Ross. Very bad taste.

    Says the man who can't make a single post without a gratuitous, explicit sexual reference. Pot, kettle, black, Craig.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Got lost in the booth & left the part B question on MMP blank. Happy as with this vote MMP wins in FPP style.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Tom, that seems a little harsh in tone but I agree your conclusion. However, Labour's policies would have directly and immediately improved struggle street, they just didn't connect. Incidentally, I'm very sorry Kelvin Davis is not returning to parliament, he has the qualities to reinvigorate the membership.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Paul Williams,

    I read reports of National’s party vote being up in the 80% range in some provincial seats. How can you connect with your policies when your brand has been that thoroughly trashed?

    You know what? Just for once I want Labour to be on the side of the majority on a social issue. At the moment, the party has got itself into an almost masochistic pride in kicking against the majority. Labour used identity politics to mobilise an activist base to replace the one it wiped out with Rogernomics, but those are not made of the same stern stuff as the previous generation of tribal activisits who either knew tpoverty or came from families that had. National still has those true believers, and Labour now has to get it's ones back.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I think those people going on about Labour’s list being old and tired are mistaken. It was a completely new list from last election. The long term ‘front benchers’ on the list that Danyl doesn’t seem to like are Goff, King, Dyson, Mahuta and Mallard, all of whom easily won their electorates. The rest of the list are all newish first or second term MPs.

    I think what happened is that at the last minute a lot of Labour voters decided to give their party vote to NZ First just to spite the right .

    But this is a good chance for the left to refresh and regroup and collaborate, and work to support those NZers for whom things are about to get a whole lot worse.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Brash and Banks are blaming the media for ACT's mediocre showing. Because of course it's the media that told Hide to binge on perks, who told David Garrett to take a dead baby's name, who told them to argue with each other, who told Brash to bang on about marijuana...

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Conrad Lake,

    In fairness Labour and left-wing commentators are also blaming the media. You lose blame someone else for that. All pathetic in my opinion.

    CHCH • Since Apr 2009 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Tax revenue is presently running well behind the forecasts in the PREFU - how unsurprising.

    Tax increases, perhaps reducing WFFs and spending cuts are going to be the taste/flavour of the future for the next say 2 to 5 years.

    Globally the Euro zone is in the crap, China is floundering and Australia is having problems. The Reserve Bank will slash interest rates to reduce the NZ $ and promote growth/reduce the rate of the slow down. The Chch rebuild will be important for the National outlook.

    The govt will now move away from doing nothing much and start a major "sort of" drive to getting the budget into surplus as soon as palatable - they will hope in earnest for a recovery.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I think those people going on about Labour’s list being old and tired are mistaken

    I think it also about the tiredness of Labour's political method. National didn't renew after 2002, but they parachute in a new leader and they did clear out the deadwood on their 2005 list. Combined, that gave then the look and feel of a new direction in method and direction.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Even though, really? It's the 80's revisited, not only in some of their policies, but also in their caucus.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3112 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Green,

    Did anyone else LOL at the venues for election-night parties? Seemed fitting to the point of cliché:
    National: Sky City
    Act: Barrycourt Motor Lodge
    Greens: St Kevin's Arcade
    NZ First: Spencer on Byron
    Labour: Mt Roskill War Memorial Hall
    Mana: On the street

    Waitakere • Since Jul 2008 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to JacksonP,

    political developments...

    <RB did ask for photos, innit?>

    ..and it has got some neck innit
    and quite a bit of 'bottle'...
    love the inference that Winston
    is wireless and no-one's puppet,
    that he's one outta the bag
    here to sack the system and yet
    he may be Parliament's bagman...

    plus the whole 'Boo' bogeyman thang
    - one stroke over par at the hole, indeed...

    ev'ry pitcher...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4187 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I think what happened is that at the last minute a lot of Labour voters decided to give their party vote to NZ First just to spite the right .

    But this is a good chance for the left to refresh and regroup and collaborate, and work to support those NZers for whom things are about to get a whole lot worse.

    Hilary, that is the essence of the Labour problem: middle-class liberals representing blue-collar workers and the dispossessed by telling them what is good for them. The old tradesmen-type Labour voters are more likely to be four-door-new- ute-driving pragmatists who vote with their wallet now. The hierarchy of the Labour party are the educated who are do not listen to the people they claim to represent, who in turn feel so shut out of politics and having any form of influence that they do not even bother to vote anymore, let alone become members of political parties.

    And for that dreadful state of affairs I hold Helen Clark and her gang responsible. Their vice-like grip on the party for years strangled inclusiveness and internal debate, reducing it to constant bitchery and cobra-like process addiction. They did not do any form of succession planning, just focused on staying in power and their “legacy”.

    As someone who came to the middle class from a place where a job at the freezing works was aspirational, I despise those pollies who claim to be of the people because they had holiday jobs at the works on their summer break from university.

    For Labour to survive, it must give true representation to all sorts of people within its ranks, and be seen to be doing so.

    Declaration: I am Green, have been for years and years. Mainly on the basis that if you don't have a healthy planet, you have nothing.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2442 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    oddly, a little garage at the top of Upoko St.

    That odd little garage is a neighbour. He cleans it out every three years. Its where I vote, usually. Its been a polling booth for a long time - there's no public buildings around here, unless you count the public toilet near the top of Mt Vic.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Question, what percentage do The Greens need to reach to get one more MP?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Hebe, now I think you are being a little harsh! I don’t agree that

    The old tradesmen-type Labour voters are more likely to be four-door-new- ute-driving pragmatists who vote with their wallet now.

    If you actually talk to such people you discover they are just old school Labour. They support gay marriage because they think the government shouldn’t tell you what to do in your bedroom and pragmatically because whatever makes you happy is fair enough. But they opposed the smacking legislation for the same reason – the government shouldn’t be telling you what to do in your own home and personal life.

    But I agree with the broad thrust of what you are saying. Socialism has always to me been a liberating philosophy, not a liberal one. Socialism frees you from want and – as importantly – is an ethical antidote to reactionary governments who adopt the moral tone of the capitalist ruling class in their dealing with the vulnerable. It is time socialism reclaimed the language around choice and freedom. And Labour isn’t going to do that when the party is currently occupied by a hostile liberal philosophy that is just as interested as the right in imposing their own tone of morality on the poor.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kracklite,

    If National is so publicly committed to asset sales and there is such overwhelming opposition, then logically, they should have lost badly.

    No, Ambassador Sarek, I think your logic is flawed where you son is concerned. Obviously, Labour took a hell of punt that this was not only unpopular but an absolute triple-bottom line deal breaker for a critical mass of voters. Apparently not. Just as, I suspect, in 2005 plenty of Labour voters didn’t actually like the {sarcasm} politically correct Marxist tree-hugging, Maori lezzer-coddling front-bottom social policy agenda {/sarcasm} but not enough to vote elsewhere.

    Not for the first time, I think voters are a little more complex – and a lot less stupid – than the media-political complex gives them credit for.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Actually Craig, I was expressing my scepticism of such simplistic equations – it is, sorry about the jargon, a falsifiable hypothesis that has indeed been falsified. Add some quote marks to the “should” (there, I’ve done it).

    Not for the first time, I think voters are a little more complex

    I agree with you.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 955 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    If you actually talk to such people you discover they are just old school Labour.

    Agreed. What I mean by pragmatist, wallet-voters is that they know they must support themselves and their families and go with the vote that they think will help them best do that.

    As for the ute-driving caricature, I don't mean it offensively. I live in the city of the cracked; 4wd negotiates the constantly appearing sinkholes in the streets around my way better than a hybrid; me and my greenie friends drive them guiltlessly now. In the south and east parts of Christchurch the most common vehicle on the road is a big ute, laden with tools, driven by a bloke having a quick bite on the way to the next job. (And I'm totally grateful for that: the EQR plumbing bloke has just fixed the toilet for the third time since February.)

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2442 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Not for the first time, I think voters are a little more complex – and a lot less stupid – than the media-political complex gives them credit for.

    Totally agree.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2442 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kracklite,

    Actually Craig, I was expressing my scepticism of such simplistic equations –

    Quite right - and sorry for not being entirely clear about that in my snark of a silly idea you don't actually hold.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Well I would like to thank all the lame arsed tossers who thought their little protest vote against Labour, by voting for a Green candidate who never had a chance of winning the seat, was the height of political intellect, thank you very much for allowing this conniving wunch of bankers to, once again, hold the reigns of treasury.
    You have single handedly thrown our assets to the dogs.
    I hope you all choke on the babies you intend to eat for lunch.
    GRRRRRR.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4437 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I wish the Green party would get strategic about where electorate candidates stand. But Steve, a lot of Green voters would no more vote for Labour than they would for ACT; they just do not believe in Labour's approach: they are NOT protesting, they are voting for what they believe.

    Labour does not hold the monopoly on anything slightly leftish. Pundit Unsworth in the NZ Herald this morning predicts the Greens will overtake Labour in the next couple of elections. That will be fine, as long as it doesn't mean that Labour imports bring that culture of smug righteousness with them and try to take over the Green Party culture.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2442 posts Report Reply

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