Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Limping Onwards

969 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 4 5 6 7 8 39 Newer→ Last

  • dc_red, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    It may be reasonable to posit that if Goff was more personable and likeable he may have better numbers

    He seems pretty personable and likeable to me. Actually more personable than his extremely successful predecessor?

    Although for some reason a little timid and uncertain of himself at times, as RB alluded to in his original post. Strangely, none of those qualities were evident when he was Minister.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Well, I don’t think the idealised, egalitarian New Zealand of the ‘many, not the few’ speech necessarily includes the sort of one nation idiocy of the Nationhood speech.

    You speak as if there are some firm, preordained limits on political achievement given a certain point in the cycle. You also seem to think that National’s performance and Labour’s performance are not mutually dependent variables. First, true, there are circumstances which mitigate against performance in play; but the job of opposition is to overcome these. If they can’t then by definition they’re failing. Second, also true, there’s not a strict zero-sum dynamic between the two parties, but to the (very considerable) extent that they appeal to shared principles, they are closely linked. If National does well it’s because Labour are doing badly, and vice versa.

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Sacha,

    I don't even know what that means (lack of classics education?).

    You introduced the term "empirically incorrect". I'm saying it pays to measure the right thing.

    I disagree. Whether or not Labour has defined itself is actually empirically observable. And that's not a given - a lot of parties don't bother to say what they stand for or make bold ideological statements. Like him or not, Goff has done that. Whether or not the electorate has heard him is an entirely different issue, and it has a lot more to do with how politically apathetic and poorly served by the media New Zealanders are than anything else.

    What's your solution? Doing a Brash (ie saying something so outrageous that people will listen)? Going door to door? Boiling down your platform even more, so that it fits into a slogan? These aren't problems one can easily blame this or that politician for - they go to the heart of how superficial and uninformed our political conversation is. There are no obvious or easy solutions.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red, in reply to Sacha,

    I believe the problem is broader than that – and Labour is not the whole opposition either.

    Yes, come to think of it: how many voters could outline a single Green policy? Or name both Green leaders? Or recall the last time the Greens were in the news for something?

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to dc_red,

    Although for some reason a little timid and uncertain of himself at times, as RB alluded to in his original post. Strangely, none of those qualities were evident when he was Minister.

    Maybe top-rate captains don't always make for top-rate generals?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4365 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    There are no obvious or easy solutions.

    And yet they managed in the past. What's changed?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Ah, blaming the media. And the voting public. Check and check on the great list of apologists' excuses.

    I've gone into great detail about what Labour can do, and indeed, none of it is simple. In a nutshell it's about moving away from a policy-led rational-actor model and towards a model which more adequately explains and predicts political behaviour. I won't rehash the last couple years of my writing on the topic here, but I'm sure you can work out where to find it.

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    At the time, Key had known about the allegations for a fortnight – the same length of time that Goff kept his own counsel on Hughes.

    If they sat a bit more than once a fortnight we might see this "length of time" taken, shortened. Jus' sayin'

    I think it’s fair to say that Key had far less to lose by throwing Worth under the bus than Goff did with respect to Hughes, his popular party whip. OTOH, Goff chose to make political capital capital our of Key’s prevarication.

    Of which Goff admits on reflection, he did wrong then,. after realising what is involved when one is being investigated because of a complaint.Remember, the Police told him "a couple of weeks" which meant it could have been sorted before the next sitting, which would then have been ok if it was an unfounded allegation,which,Goff had been assured of.
    Also, I suspect Key wanted to lose Worth from the day he put up his own Billboards in Epsom. He wasn't meant to do that, it went against Key's plan for Epsom.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6281 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Lew Stoddart,

    Ah, blaming the media. And the voting public. Check and check on the great list of apologists' excuses.

    If the outright ridicule of counterarguments works for you, don't let me interfere.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Blaming the media and voting public is not a useful counterargument. The media is what it is; you live with it and work with it, or you fail. In a democracy, the voters are the people you have to persuade to support you; either you do what needs to be done to achieve that, or you fail.

    The surest sign of failure: blaming them for doing what they do and being what they are.

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Lew Stoddart,

    Blaming the media and voting public is not a useful counterargument. The media is what it is; you live with it and work with it, or you fail. In a democracy, the voters are the people you have to persuade to support you; either you do what needs to be done to achieve that, or you fail.

    So, Brash at Orewa = win? I'm not sure it's the kind of conclusion you want to draw.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Islander,

    but my vote wont change.

    +1

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6281 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    As a minor side note: if you think I’m Labour apologist you might be ever so slightly misreading my politics

    Art of understatement - you haz it.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2173 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    (And incidentally, I'm not 'blaming the media'. More making the obvious, uncontroversial point that there is very little informed political discourse in New Zealand. I happen to think it would improve if progressives weren't so afraid of their convictions, but that doesn't mean I'm right.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Yes and no. Brash at Orewa was a strategic loss. It was a tactical win, however.

    Appalling policy platform and a bad direction for the country, but that’s independent of its quality as a political move.

    Re the media -- my only point is that a political movement which wants to be successful responds to how things are rather than how things might be.

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Like him or not, Goff has done that.

    And yet, how many times have you heard Goff interviewed on the radio and come away wondering what the hell he actually said?

    I think there has to be an ability to consistently and convincingly speak from the position you’ve set out for yourself.

    The thing is, a number of Labour’s MPs – most notably those in Christchurch of late – have been effective and informed Opposition members. It’s not as if the whole Parliamentary party is performing poorly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And yet, how many times have you heard Goff interviewed on the radio and come away wondering what the hell he actually said?

    Oh, no question. And I think there is cause for doubting whether Goff actually believes in the platform. Again, I'm the guy who thinks they ought to kick him out. However that doesn't reassure me that the next leader - so long as he might be more interested in being 'successful' (as per Lew's diktat) than right - will articulate an equally anti-cuts agenda. And I'm rather attached to that aspect of the current Labour incarnation.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Rex Widerstrom, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    M’kay… sounds like there’s some abuse apologist bingo going down at Brian’s house – and his later defence in response to my comment would be funny if it wasn’t so damn creepy.

    I can offer a by-no-means-unique but still reasonably rare perspective on this, I think. It's understandly easy to take umbrage at the minimising that goes on round sexual offending, but that ought not to blind us to the fact that untruths are uttered by alleged victims, for a variety of reasons.

    In my own case it was a young and thus impressionable young girl* who was alternately threatened and cajoled by police and blatantly lied to (the old "we need you to nail him on behalf of all the other victims" claptrap). They wrote her statement for her, despite her explicitly stating during the interview that the things they were recording had not happened. And there were political (in several senses of the word) undertones, as disclosed to me by some of the officialdom involved.

    As an aside, I find the "apologist bingo", relating as it does to Julian Assange - a case with definitie political undertones - offensive in its smugness and certainty given that the evidence against him has yet to be properly aired, let alone tested.

    In other instances, a victim maybe be genuinely adamant yet honestly mistaken, as in the case of David Dougherty amongst others. "Eyewitness" testimony, esppecially in the absence of objective correlation, is known to be wholly unreliable yet is trotted out time and again by prosecutors. That unreliability is not due to any malice but because of well-documented perceptual and recall failures, especially under stress.

    And then there are the small number of complaints that are motivated by malice. It'd be nice to believe no one would ever use an accusation of sexual misconduct as a weapon, not only because it has a devastating effect on the accused but provides fuel for the apologists, but some do. Spend a day or two in the Family Court and you'll find that "all men are (child) rapists" is less an offensive slogan and more a pro forma starting point for most actions.

    Undoubtedly some people who come out of the woodwork at times like this fit your description of "creepy apologists" Craig, but some people, myself included, are particularly attuned to the condemnation suffered by the accused long before the allegations are properly aired in any independent tribunal and the ease with which unsupported allegations can be made against an individual whose life is then destroyed regardless of the veracity. I just hope Darren Huges isn't one of them.

    And with all standard trigger warnings in place, Michael Laws is reliably vile – here’s a hint, as soon as he starts using the word “sensual” avert your eyes. Prick.

    A "let's be reasonable and let the judicial process take its course" column from the man who only a week ago was calling for looters to be lynched and describing an accused person as a "feral inbred"?!

    Does this numpty have any self-awareness left or is his entire thinking process now one giant masturbatory fantasy in which the rest of the world are the people who bullied him at school and he now has the media muscle to exact revenge?

    * At 13, as she was then, I think "girl" a not inappropriate description. At 18, "boy" is a description loaded with all sorts of judgments. And I say that as the father of an 18 year old male.

    Perth, Western Australia • Since Nov 2006 • 157 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner,

    I notice that many people in this discussion seem to know a heck of a lot more about the inner workings of the two main parties – and politics in general – than I do.* In the predawn glimmer of an upcoming election, I’d like to ask about the effect of swinging votes.

    It seems to me that each party has a core of voters who always vote for that party, out of principle or prejudice. The government can only change if (1) there’s some change in the contract between parties that make up the government (2) non-voters decide to vote (or vice-versa) or (3) voters change their allegiance.

    To what extent is each of these phenomena likely to affect the outcome of the next election? (Is it true, for example, that a higher voter-turnout tends to favour parties of the left? Is there some research on this?)

    To what extent do swinging-voters vote in their own personal interest, and to what extent do they vote in accordance with their understanding of the principles and policies of the parties? Is there much research on this? (Are swinging voters better-informed about politics than most of us?)

    Overall, to what extent are election strategies aimed at the self-interest of swinging voters? I have this image in my mind of a democracy’s fate being decided by the self-interest of a few, no matter how the majority of party-loyal voters (principled or prejudiced) cast their ballots.

    I’m sure there are challenges in measuring these properties, but analogous qualities seem to able be quantified for statistical studies of other social and psychological phenomena.

    To someone who’s studied this sort of thing, my questions might seem naïve but, as far as I can see, factors such as how the leader of a party is perceived by swing-voters are just as likely to affect a party’s likelihood of achieving the treasury benches, as the thought given to its principles and policies.

    I guess policy discussions within a party are aimed at appealing to party members and followers, according to ideals and ideology. To what extent are swinging-voters taken into account when policies are discussed?

    I realise there are a lot of questions here but (1) some of you seem to know quite a lot about this sort of thing and (2) our lives are affected by it, whether we’re “into politics” or not.



    *I do wonder if correspondents are sometimes trying to give this impression, when it’s not in fact the case.

    Since Nov 2006 • 202 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Again, I'm the guy who thinks they ought to kick him out. However that doesn't reassure me that the next leader - so long as he might be more interested in being 'successful' (as per Lew's diktat) than right - will articulate an equally anti-cuts agenda.

    I recall talking with Colin James just before English toppled Shipley. His view was that while English wouldn't have choosen the particular timing, his colleagues had and if it wasn't him, it'd be someone else. I don't think that's the case with Phil. Although I'm concerned for the Party - and for the sake of clarity I mean the Party's ability to prosecute alternative policies to Key - I recall Helen's polling being very low too (and still seeing off a challenge). I think dc_red, upthread wondered about King's position; the parallels are strong (even if the circumstances are very different).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red, in reply to Paul Williams,

    I recall Helen’s polling being very low too (and still seeing off a challenge).

    16% under Helen Clark at one point, Paul. That's half what Labour's regularly polling now. And look what Clark (with Cullen) went on to achieve...

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Rex Widerstrom,

    At 18, “boy” is a description loaded with all sorts of judgments.

    Followed by " recently out of school" to add to the loading.
    Totally agree with this you say Rex. Totally understand, having been on the receiving end myself although not of a sexual implication, still similar as you.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6281 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Marcus Turner,

    My uninformed guess would be that swinging voters decide on the day, and for a Party to try to recruit those people, is pretty difficult with the ambiguity. So a Party aims for a middle ground in places where they might claw that voter. As you see, the Parties that don't aim midway, tend to be labelled extremist.
    Depending on your own ideology, can make a dedicated voter when one sees the Party remains true to their allegiance, hence red and blue and green and black etc.
    I do think though that, to be as well informed as possible helps one to make better decisions for themselves because it is personal.
    If ever in doubt, email any politician and ask questions. What you just asked could be copied over to any of them and they are meant to answer. Although Judith Collins wont respond to me.:)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6281 posts Report Reply

  • Rex Widerstrom, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Followed by " recently out of school"

    And let's not forget "naked". While DPF is by no means the worst on this topic, I had a headdesk moment over this:

    can you politically endure an incident where a naked 18 year old, less than three months out of school, ran naked out of the house

    I just had to respond:

    Oh, and did we mention he was naked… I mean, totally without any clothes on?!11!!!1111

    And how much better does “three months out of school” sound than “two years past the age of consent”, eh?

    Given we have an age of consent (a legal construct which, like arbitrary breath alcohol limits, I find artificial and unfair, but probably all that's practicable at this point, but that's another topic) then sex with anyone over that line should have but one issue - that of consent.

    There are a vast number of stable, loving, long-term relationships (including my own), which wouldn't make it under the alternate "half your age plus seven" law I saw floated amidst this controversy, and in which the participants' ages are at significant variance. So... bloody... what?.

    Perth, Western Australia • Since Nov 2006 • 157 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Marcus Turner,

    Overall, to what extent are election strategies aimed at the self-interest of swinging voters? I have this image in my mind of a democracy’s fate being decided by the self-interest of a few, no matter how the majority of party-loyal voters (principled or prejudiced) cast their ballots.

    I'm a tribal Labour voter, although that's partly for a lack of alternatives. In a really diverse political market I might be able to jump between various centre-left parties, but even MMP party politics requires a degree of inertia you only get from larger, broad-church parties.

    I’m sure there are challenges in measuring these properties, but analogous qualities seem to able be quantified for statistical studies of other social and psychological phenomena.

    To someone who’s studied this sort of thing, my questions might seem naïve but, as far as I can see, factors such as how the leader of a party is perceived by swing-voters are just as likely to affect a party’s likelihood of achieving the treasury benches, as the thought given to its principles and policies.

    It's the curse of modern politics that so much time has to be spent wooing a bunch of people who can't decide how they want to vote.

    One very savvy thing that Helen Clark did after becoming leader -- or after seeing off the attempt to roll her anyway -- was to go and meet a lot of people, around the country. It's surprising how effective, even in the age of modern electronic communications, meeting people is. Len Brown met a lot of people in his campaign.

    But Clark, even though she was poor on TV for a long time, was actually always bloody good face-to-face. She could work a room. And that's what has shocked me seeing Goff up close a couple of times -- how bad he was at that. He can't always have been that bad -- he has a very safe seat and an excellent local electoral organisation -- but he just seemed all at sea.

    Unlike Lew, I expect Labour to be policy-driven, and for that policy to be evidence-based. One of the things that really irks me about the present government is that it is neither of those things.

    In areas I know a little about -- from broadband policy to regional TV funding -- National has made a habit of thumbing its nose at process, of and pulling a swifty on stakeholders. It merely seems to be a matter of what Steven Joyce says that goes. It is a piss-poor way to run a country.

    I realise this isn't much to do with "The Left" -- tbh the finer details of arguments between Lew and Chris Trotter elude me -- and it's probably not much of a concern of the "average voter" and certainly won't interest Duncan Garner, but it does matter.

    For my money, one of the more impressive achievements of the Clark government was telecommunications reform. Long, hard, boring and still only partially effective -- but important.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 4 5 6 7 8 39 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.