Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Congratulations, Mr Key

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  • Danielle,

    I'm not so keen on ensuing everyone can live the life of Riley

    Oh yes. Poor people in NZ are just *raking* it in.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    ... Greens'... tossing...

    Excuse me.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Craig, I think Winston should have been sacked for his policy speeches alone, even if he'd never, ever taken a dodgy dollar.

    But he had his leeway. Now if Key wants to exercise greater control over ACT minister(s), then he's got to be prepared to sack them. And it is a stone-cold certainty that he'll soon be faced with that problem.

    Wouldn't it be better to keep them at arms' length to start with? Otherwise it'll just be the same old dilemma: is the government divided or the PM weak?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 782 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I hope he grows a pair soon. So far he looks less like National's leader than its mascot.

    Really? I'm pretty sure Helen Clark has some pretty impressive scar tissue on the inside of her lips, from all the times she bit it. Hard. At least in public.

    I thought they'd get LESS crazy in victory. Obviously not.

    *sigh* I'll see your Kiwibuggers and raise you another crazygram from Chris Trotter in today's DomPost (a little more temperate that yesterday's effort.

    But I really had to smile at this, and hoped Trotter saw the joke:

    In the intervening three years, the angry drumming of the Right's multi- faceted campaign has never ceased to assail our ears.

    Talkback radio: hard-right from one end of the dial to the other.

    The daily press: partisanship on a scale not seen by New Zealanders in more than 30 years.

    Television: dumb and dumber.

    Considering this flows from the keyboard of the media's go-to leftie, the irony has rust. I don't think Trotter's done much to generate more light than heat across the media landscape over the last three years.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    This is the table I'm using and it already includes advance votes of 235.000 (incl 25,000 specials)

    overall status 2008

    Does anyone know if there are more specials votes to be counted - or are we getting faster at the post election tally?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Rik, so you'd agree then that both main parties are front runners in the Robin Hood lookalike show, albeit with different means. Bonza.

    On the topic of tax, why did the Maoris' idea of reducing GST not get more traction, and why was it not adopted also by the Greens?

    Seems like totally bloody standard entry level workers' politics (not that either party need be solely concerend with workers, of course).

    Oh yeah. I remember the day in the late 80s Dougless announced it. I was slurping a kona coffee and a croissant on the Kestrel ... thems wuz tha days ... ugh ... backflow ... repeating on me ... day of the dead ...

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 213 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    in the US the top tax federal rate of 35% kicks in at $357k

    But you have to compare apples with apples - in Calfornia I paid 9% state tax (for stuff like schools, police, etc etc) so you have to add them together - the NZ 39% rate is equivalent to a US federal 30% and state 9%, you also pay 6% extra social security tax (superannuation) on the first $90k you earn so 24% - best comparison is the US 25% rate which kicks in at $32k (filing singly which is all you can do in NZ) at that point the state tax is ~8% so 25+6+9 = 40% close enough to NZ's 39%.

    So in California (other states do their taxes very differently, but CA represents 20% of the US) you hit the NZ top tax rate at ~US$32k of income, given the current exchange rate it's almost comparable

    Of course the US top rates are much higher than NZ's, they just keep going up - in CA top tax rate is 35% Federal and 10% state - total 45% (plus 6% on that first 90k)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2176 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Considering this flows from the keyboard of the media's go-to leftie, the irony has rust.

    Doesn't mean it's not true, though, does it?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    Craig:

    Oh I know Chris Trotter is batshit, I was just thinking in the same sorts of terms as I was with the US... with Bush out of power, what's going to motivate Jon Stewart these days? Not to mention the Daily Kos.

    Although given the way Redstate/Little Green Footballs/Michelle Malkin behaved while the republicans were in charge... more realistically, I'm expecting more shrillness from the left (most of which I will probably agree with in substance if not in tone - shrillness hurts my ears), and continued idiocy from the Kiwiblog right.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 270 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    Hide's performance was informative. Clearly he is signaling hardball....and positioning his party to capture more of National's vote.

    It may be ACT's game plan to have a bust-up at some stage and claim to be the "real" National Party. It has that feel about it. Maybe even an early election. That get's around the issue of a referendum on MMP....which ACT has said it would support but would be crazy to actually follow through on (based on what Hide said in that interview).

    Key needs as many allies as he can get accross the spectrum. He may find ACT to be something of a poisoned chalice if he drinks too deeply from it. The Maori Party...and even the Greens and Labour should not be afraid to marginalise ACT in policy areas where National wants to do things ACT won't support or national can't stomach ACT's terms.

    Key also have to be careful about what he does and who he does it to. many of the new voters he won over on Saturday were most likely loyal Labour voters through 3 elections who had grown tired of Helen Clark. A new Labour leader by itself may not be enough to win many of them back, but worse lower wages and conditions combined with reduced services could do it.

    Also be alert for the "Shock Doctrine" approach to the global financial crisis. I am already hearing business leaders attempting to co-opt this event to justify their own pet policy changes.......

    Combined, this could all quite easily make this National-lead government a one-termer....and it may not be the whole term at that.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 280 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    given the current exchange rate it's almost comparable

    And we don't have to pay out of pocket for our health care, either.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Rogan Polkinghorne,

    Re: Voter Turnout
    Really unscientific, but a quick poll of people my age (mid 20's: co-workers, family, friends) over the weekend showed me that A LOT of people my age didn't vote...most of them seem fairly well informed, and their comments were based around not liking any of the parties enough to vote for them, rather than general apathy.

    And I know of a fair number of people who aren't even enrolled...whoops.

    A-town • Since Nov 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Doesn't mean it's not true, though, does it?

    Having done it myself, blaming the media is always the easy call. But it's never true. You know something, we Tories didn't get terrible media in 2002 because the media were agin' us (I'd actually say, personally, most of the Press Gallery were personally well-dsposed towards English). The campaign was shit in so many ways, we couldn't even score off the Labour and the Green beating each other over the head with genetically modified corncobs.

    But I digress -- I'm just saying Trotter's performance as a media Mary Magdalene would be a little more convincing if he wasn't still turning tricks.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Craig, I won't disagree (with the last sentence), but Trotter is merely a sideshow.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Sorry, but isn't that an insult to Ferengi?

    Oh well, at least there's no more Copeland, Dail Jones or Taito Philip Field to have to put up with, either. Incidentally, take a look at my blog for more on the aspects of the Obama victory. It may not have been a happy night for advocates of same-sex marriage, but it wasn't for the Christian Right, either.

    (1) Pro-choice/pro gay President and Congress
    (2) Federal Freedom of Choice Act- strikes down all incremental state anti-abortion laws
    (3) Anti-abortion referenda failures- South Dakota, California, Colorado (!)
    (4) Passage of physician assisted suicide referendum in Washington state.
    (5) Defeat of Marilyn Musgrave, federal sponsor of anti-SSM Federal Marriage Amendment, in Congressional election.
    (6) Probable passage of ENDA- US federal antidiscrimination law- for lesbian and gay Americans.

    I'm sorry to lose Helen, but it looks like Obama's victory was even more significant than we dared hope...

    Craig Y

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    And no, I haven't forgotten about Peseta Sam Lotu'Liga and Jonathan Young, either, although Harry Duynhoven (New Plymouth) was unusually socially conservative for the Labour caucus. I shall be keeping an eye on both these gentlemen. It's good to see that the voters of Wellington Central forced Stephen Nos Franks Tu back into his coffin, too.

    Craig Y

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 370 posts Report Reply

  • Lynda Johansson,

    Danielle: And we don't have to pay out of pocket for our primary and secondary education either (ie, you can send your kids to the local state schools here)

    By the way, did anyone see the valedictory piece on Helen Clark on last night's TV one news. It was terribly mean-spirited given that such things are usually reasonably generous.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    These people genuinely seem to regard pre-election undertakings as there to be abandoned.

    It's that 80's neoliberal mindset. Democracy is a problem which pevents "necessary" "reforms". The people are just a "special interest group" (as opposed to the rich, or business). Blitzkrieg! Crash through or crash!

    Sadly, this means National probably won't have a problem getting urgency.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1660 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    the public accounts are "in good shape"

    Take a bow Michael Cullen.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1616 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    Actually, re Chris Trotter - I found his column in yesterday's SST really nailed the election result from my point of view.
    Possibly written with an emotive election night hand but good stuff.

    I was dismayed to read in the same paper a small interview with National's candidate for Mt. Albert, Ravi Musuku.
    He pulled out that appalling line about 'having no kids makes you inferior' - citing the fact that the front bench of the Labour Party had one child between them whilst the National Party had 23.
    This is the sort of attitude a lot of these people have - right wing, bible banging, so-called 'morals'.
    Pretty scary.
    There are still a lot of people out there (men and and women alike) who really HATE Helen (and I use the word HATE in caps because it is just that) because she has no kids and 'looks hard', 'doesn't smile much' etc etc.
    I know this because my mum is one of them!
    Unfortunately people still can't get past physical looks and preconceived ideas and a majority of those people have voted for a government made up of similarly minded people...

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Re: the numbers. If the Maori Party abstain on a vote, would National be able to pass legislation alone?

    Yes, just. But I can't see them doing that on legislation (since they run the "is it good for Maori" ruler over everything and vote accordingly). They might however agree to abstain on confidence and supply in exchange for a few policy concessions and consultation rights. This would devalue ACT's hand, though the neolibeals in national's caucus will strengthen it.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1660 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    the manners and countenance of a Ferengi trader

    I'm thinking the countenance of a Sontaran at least, even after he lost weight.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 980 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    On the subject of Nikki Kaye and Auckland Central.

    Judith wasn't really to be seen but to be fair most MPs were seemingly locked down to a point... maybe she thought she'd get in easy.
    However, it does make sense that AK central is National voting - after all, it's not much different than the make up of Epsom these days.
    ie. lots of Range Rovers. Sure it still has large Green and Labour support - you could call it 'monied people with a conscience' if you like.
    I take it the voters there decided they would forgo a little of that conscience so they could afford to update the Audi next year, with an additional tax cut.

    I did hear Nikki Kaye make what I thought was an extraordinary comment re her electorate.
    Something along the lines of how she has "noticed lots of young families in the area and how housing affordablitiy is an 'issue' for them".
    WTF? We are talking AK Central here - Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Freemans Bay, Herne Bay etc!
    Unless these 'young families' are incredibly well off they have very little hope in affording a house in AK Central.
    Housing affordability would be an 'issue' for anybody who wanted to move into that area, not just young families.

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Actually, re Chris Trotter - I found his column in yesterday's SST really nailed the election result from my point of view.
    Possibly written with an emotive election night hand but good stuff.

    *sigh* I give up -- if you really think there's a sane analogy to be drawn between losing an election and the murder of over three thousand human beings, and anyone who doesn't agree with you is a fascist, I'm not going to move you.

    This is the sort of attitude a lot of these people have - right wing, bible banging, so-called 'morals'.

    And some of the most vile bigots I've ever come across in my life -- contemptuous of anyone who doesn't look exactly like them -- are staunch Labour voters. And brown. And members of my own whanau. Would I like to extrapolate that out into a string of mind-bendingly crass generalisations in a national newspaper? Pass.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "Really unscientific, but a quick poll of people my age (mid 20's: co-workers, family, friends) over the weekend showed me that A LOT of people my age didn't vote..."

    Agreed, I went around and a mate & his girlfriend who were in the "didn't give a shit" mode. She's ex-West Coast which reflects Labours turn out there.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

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