Posts by Keir Leslie

  • Speaker: Meet the middle, in reply to David Hood,

    Electorates with lower turnout do tend to elect more Labour MPs. But rich states in America tend to elect more Democrats -- doesn't mean rich voters are more likely to be Democrats!

    I'm not saying that the non-vote is identical to the voting population. Apart from anything else, they don't vote! But I don't think there's significant evidence that it differs from the voting population in ideological terms, particularly not at the kind of 40,000 ft level we're talking about here, and not in simple left/right breakdowns.

    In terms of winning-a-marginal-constituency, of course motivating the (left!) non-vote is crucial, and sometimes that means base-mobilisation strategies. But, importantly, many of the key tools for turning out voters are non-ideological - they are social and, frankly, pestering. But in terms of "where should Labour position" I think it's easy to use the non-vote as a sort of reservoir that will supply the numbers, and I am quite wary of it.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Meet the middle, in reply to David Hood,

    Yes, age and ethnicity are factors. But New Zealand is a reasonably homogenous population - New Zealand Europeans make up what, 75%+ of the population? And more in the voting age bands (a third of Pasifika are under 15, for instance.)

    People of Māori descent make up ~15% of the population. The difference between Māori and non-Māori voting rates is ~10%age points. Therefore you'd expect Māori to make up ~15% of the voting population. In practice, Māori probably make up ~13% of the voting population.

    (Repeat similarly for Pasfika and Asian New Zealanders, and you get a difference for all those groups taken together of maybe, what 5% fewer than expected, no? And remember that Asian New Zealanders vote in different patterns than Pasifika who vote differently from Māori, and in ways that may well cancel each other out.)

    In terms of age, yes, old people vote. (But don't tell political parties that, they're already obsessed with old people.)

    So, look, yeah, I think that in terms of winning tight races, this kind of analysis of the people who turn up to vote is a really important tool. Also for local government elections, where turnout is very low, it's really important. But in terms of big fuzzy picture, looking at the ideological centre of gravity of the nation? I don't think it's a huge distortion, certainly not compared to some of the other simplifications going on!

    Since Jul 2008 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Meet the middle,

    I don't know if there's much reliable grounds for thinking that non-voters differ ideologically that much from voters though --- certainly in NZ left-wing parties can win on low turnouts and high turnouts, and ditto right wing parties.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Buying a fight with democracy,

    I am not aware of any political party (anyone that's not the EC, in fact) actually scrutinizing the rolls to check for false details prior to an election - it wouldn't be at all practical, considering the scale of modern electorates. It's a polite fiction from the days of limited franchises and much smaller electorates.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A week on from the housing controversy, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Presentation of the CGT policy by Phil Goff (Christchurch Town Hall) was likely a major factor in swinging the swing voters away from Labour in the election last year.

    Er, I could be wrong, of course, but wasn't David Cunliffe as the then the leader of the Labour Party the one on stage at that debate?

    Since Jul 2008 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: House-buying patterns in Auckland, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    (A) if you can't do something in a non-racist way then maybe you shouldn't do it and (b) yes it is very hard to talk about "floods of Chinese money" in a non-racist way because you've explicitly framed it in a racist way that makes it about race in a way that echoes previous racist discourse.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Unity, success: Chicken, egg?,

    Unfortunately the people you think are incompetents who should move on will be people who many others would see as important champions of whatever. It's a universal rule that everyone wants to get rid of the dead wood but very few people agree on what, specifically, the dead wood is.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The epitome of reason,

    Labour holds the Māori electorate Tāmaki Makarau. Peeni Henare.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The epitome of reason,

    Erm I think if George and Danyl say that factions or factional behaviours exist (to some extent) in the Green Party then that is evidence in and of itself given their political backgrounds.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The epitome of reason,

    The last major reform of Labour happened in the 1970s, carried out by Anderton and Clark. It is still, essentially, a First Past the Post political party.

    I actually disagree with this. There have been three really big changes made to the party post the 70s. The first was in the 80s, and especially under Ruth Dyson, when a bunch of alterations were made as part of factional warfare. The second was in the latter half of the nineties when the Clark ascendancy was put together. And the third, like it or not, was in the last term, when a bunch of reforms were made that didn't really help that much, at least in the short term.

    And I also disagree with the thesis that the NZLP is an FPP party. Like almost all NZ parties, it is a hybrid between FPP and proportionality, because like all NZ parties it operates in a hybrid system. (The Greens are the only pure PR party in NZ at the moment, and this is a specific adaptation to imposed demand.) Labour's problems of reform are big but I think conceptualising it as FPP/not-FPP is a bit whiggish in terms of the whole implicit-narrative-of-progress. Part of Labour's problem is a regression since the Clark era.

    The fact is that I would estimate that probably half if not more of the current senior organisational leadership are at least one of (a) burnt out (b) incompetent factional hacks (c) primarily interested in protecting their own power base. Under Clark this didn't matter because her and Cullen pulled the strings and the organisational wing was pretty much ornamental, particularly one you got beyond the Party President and General Secretary.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1427 posts Report Reply

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