Posts by George Darroch

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  • Hard News: Meanwhile back at the polls, in reply to Henry Barnard,

    Polls bounce. The last poll may have been up a lot – 13.5% is well into the upper range of current Green polling – and thus the actual drop may be less. In the order of 20 or so voters saying that they would vote for someone else on the telephone. Real, but not sufficiently concerning until it is replicated in one or two more polls.

    I’m becoming more and more convinced that there is serious landline bias, but I don’t believe it’s the saviour of anyone. It isn’t large enough to magically form a new government, and its effect on pundits is to encourage them to keep on with their current set of stories about politics. Mike Smith has started outlining his thoughts on this problem at the Standard (don’t read the comments), and I’ll be interested to see what he has to say.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Meanwhile back at the polls, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    As a point of anecdata, I had a conversation with an in-law who used to vote Labour but wouldn’t this time because he thought The Greens would then get to control the country.

    Quite so. There are likely to be many, and private polling by Labour (they wouldn't have money to do a lot of it, but I'm sure it's been done) will let them know roughly how many there are.

    However, I suspect it's no better or worse than in late 1999. The problem is that this is not a 'change' election, it's a 'better' election. Change compels an entirely different set of responses.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Meanwhile back at the polls,

    I don’t think the spluttering was really that coherent, but it probably is true that a large-ish group of non-tribal voters sees a multi-party centre-left coalition possibly relying on New Zealand First and Kim Dotcom as less secure than what they currently have with National.

    This is something I have been saying for quite some time, based on my own prejudices, conversations, and understanding of the polls. For every person who likes NZF, there are 5 who dislike it. That in itself is not a problem for NZF, because those who dislike them don’t vote for them, and are thus inconsequential. But the problem Labour has is that among those who dislike NZF, there are plenty who are confirmed or potential Labour voters. The ratio is almost certainly worse for IMP, currently polling around 1%. The path to 61 isn’t a pretty one.

    Labour’s other problem is that the Greens also come with a bunch of both negatives and positives, and that these negatives are a risk, but that the perception of being unable to form a government or a government worth voting for is a huge risk. They have chosen not to take one possible way of reducing that risk, in the form of an entente cordiale with the Greens. They have also chosen not to associate with the positives that the Greens bring to Labour, something backed by hard polling data: 93% of those voting Labour at the last election chose the Greens as their prefered partner. On current performance the figure is likely to be similar, if not even better.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Lighting the Dark,

    Not All Elliot Rodgers.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Why does the top 10% paying…,

    Nice chewy viz, and it tells us something interesting. But you're missing the GiST of the story.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Budget 2014: Yeah okay., in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yeah, though I can't work out with absolute certainty whether that means what it looks like it means. I'll assume it does for the moment.

    Interestingly there's a big increase ($180m) for Defence. New helicopters and frigate upgrades, mostly. Which, you know, might be justifiable - there are arguments for and against things.

    But it's peculiar what gets funded and what doesn't. Why not a systems upgrade for civilian bicycle lights? After all, the threat to me is immediate and proximate (about 5 minutes and 20 metres away). I'm more likely to suffer in the next few years from a unguided vehicle than a guided missile. Now that we have free GP visits for the under 13s and 18 weeks of paid parental leave* we'll consider these part of the landscape and it will take a fundamental shift in thinking to step back from them. Our decision making is ad hoc, traditional and incremental, but sometimes that denies us the ability to think more clearly about what gets us to what we really want.

    *Laila Harre had to fight the Clark Government to get 12, proving the point. Parental leave is now established in the expectations of the population and their politicians.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Autism and celebrity,

    For every medical condition, some people will get worse, other people will get better. If you’re interested in a particular ‘cure’, then you will notice that some people will get better at the same time as the ‘cure’ is administered. In many cases, more severe the disease, the more likely it is that person will transition to a less severe form of that disease.

    This is why we have science: if there is a plausible mechanism, then it can be investigated. In the case of gastro-intestinal inflammation, it appears that since the immune system is implicated in many diseases, it was considered worthy of study. Trials were conducted, and no association was found. The problem is that autism's mechanisms are still not well understood (AFAIK) and so cures can be thrown around without needing to be justified under any criteria.

    I just wish there was a willingness among our media institutions (the management as much as the journos) not to be party to these self-promoting auto-didacts.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Sponsored post: Speed and Safety,

    personally I think we should all have Morris Minors that we can work on and drive sedately in…
    …what’s the rush?

    A nice modern safe quiet electric/hybrid vehicle for me, please.

    Speed limiters would be useful. You get to 105km/h, and the vehicle starts playing soothing music, pulls over, and tells you how life is about the journey, not the destination.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Sponsored post: Speed and Safety,

    I'm utterly astounded by the comments of (seemingly intelligent and otherwise rational) people here that speed doesn't matter.I won't repeat the arguments I've made, because they were clear enough in the first place.

    It's clear that more advertising over a long period of time will be needed to correct significant misperceptions among male drivers who consider themselves above average in skill and competence.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Sponsored post: Speed and Safety, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Coupled with the new car/ute/SUV front design which seems higher and blunter these days, no more ‘cow-catching’ of struck pedestrians and sweeping them over the bonnet, it seems…

    Cars sold in the EU have had pedestrian impact standards as part of their safety testing since the early 2000s, and I know that other jurisdictions have introduced them over time. Which means that any vehicle is considerably less likely to kill a pedestrian in a collision at survivable speeds.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

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