Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Democracy Night

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  • Emma Hart, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    but I find it odd that nobody was talking about Christchurch Central as a marginal when between 2002 and 2008 Wagner reduced Labour's majority from almost ten and a half thousand to 935.

    Burns's 2008 majority was 935 votes, down from Tim Barnett's 2005 figure of 7,836.

    Yes, it is odd. But. It's also slightly disingenuous to compare figures in Chch Central without noting the boundary redraw. Which co-incided with the stepping down of a long-term MP with a great deal of personal support. So no, I'm not buying "Wagner reduced".

    (I should note I'm actually in Port Hills, not Central, but very much on the margin. Our booth took as many Central votes as it did PH.)

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4340 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    When the result is so close, and a number of seats are undecided which will determine any coalition composition, why is anyone allowed to say they have formed a government? Seems to me that is the National strategists end-running the democratic process.

    And the media, especially newspaper reportage: MMP means you sometimes have to wait a couple of weeks to call a winner, OK? Reporting is still done FPP-style under an MMP system: it doesn't work and even worse is allowing old snakes like Steven Joyce to start forming a "government" when the count is not over.

    The media are as gullible now as they were in the first MMP vote; curiously not able to wrap their heads around a different voting system, and the politicians who understand it like Joyce play with them. My partner was a political reporter in the first MMP election when Winston Peters was spinning out the talks and saying nothing, driving the media into a frenzy. Winston emerged from what was said to be the caucus' deciding vote to a herd of hacks. He paused to speak to my man, sending even the TV reporter into a sonorous voice-over about him giving favoured hacks a clue about his coalition intentions and the rest scramlbing. What he said, with a serious face and a huge twinkle in the eye, having just heard on the grapevine: "Having twins are you? Congratulations."

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2573 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    An interesting comment on Joshua Arbury's blog. How many left voters went to Australia? It's not an abstract question, and I don't think asking it makes one a sore loser.

    Almost by definition, if you're doing well you'll stick around, and those who've gone tend to be younger, browner, and feeling cheated by their current circumstances. Over 40,000 left NZ last year, and about that many the year before. Doesn't take too many of those and you're looking at sizeable parts of the electorate.

    It's also been my experience talking to recent immigrants in South Auckland that most feel reluctant to engage immediately with politics; there's a lot to understand, and casting your lot with any group is something you don't do lightly. All of this makes for an interesting mix, and presents an opportunity for any party that is willing to engage (and not merely patronise, as some have done, producing a weak and sometimes fickle engagement).

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2132 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Clint Fern,

    The best I'm hoping for is for the specials to deliver a result that will put a brake on the asset sales, but Key will be PM for the next 3 years.

    I don't think a brake will happen. I hate to say this, but in a wide enough sense of a mandate, Key does have one for asset sales because it was so hotly contested, such a major part of the campaign, indeed it was Labour's main policy plank. If there is a Key government, and there probably will be, they will forge ahead with this unless there is literally violent opposition. Which there could be.

    The Waitakere Man I spent my election night with, who voted Labour+Green, had an interesting forecast. He actually thought Key himself was going to be the only moderating influence that could prevent asset sales, because he is deeply populist, and if asset sales do suddenly erupt into a shitstorm of demonstrations, activist direct methods, etc, he might back down to keep National in and grant himself election equal success to the Clark government, out of sheer vanity.

    I was not so sure, because I have read The Hollow Men and I sincerely think this has been Key's master plan all along. Asset sales have always been what it's all about, and not out of ideological vision. It's much more naked than that - asset sales are going to be an absolute bonanza for the merchant banking industry, which is his tribe. There are some absolutely obscene fortunes that are going to be made over the next 3 years.

    Populist leaders in their last terms are always the most dangerous of all, as their popularity departs. They burn bridges with impunity. I see this in Key, a ruthlessness that bides its time for the perfect moment. Having suffered a structural defeat to the Left, but building a massive singleton party for the right, now is the time. They won't get another shot - MMP will be returned, and will crush the political right in the next election, I am sure of this.

    NZ, prepare to be reaped. What are you going to do about it?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    An aside from Te Herald about Maori Party and asset sales.

    Unlike Act and United Future, the Maori Party did not pledge its support before the election. And it appears to be playing hardball. Mrs Turia is speculating its price for a deal could include a major change in Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Maori Development, from a policy agency to a more operational ministry geared towards employment.

    Last night, the Prime Minister said support for partial asset sales would likely be part of agreements with Act and United Future but not with the Maori Party, which opposes the plan.

    Bound to be coverage elsewhere too.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16479 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Chch Central was always a bit of a worry: the emptied-out city centre, a fewer than 1000-vote majority, redrawn boundaries a few years ago and Brendon Burns being a nice guy without an ounce of mongrel in him. Craig didn't know the seat any more than I know Auckland Central, so he didn't pick it.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2573 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Hill, in reply to Clint Fern,

    then Nat/Act/UF would have 60 seats.

    Which to my mind would still make them the Govt, just one that may not be able to pass asset sales.

    Absolutely – there’s no way that Labour/Green/NZ First/Maori/Mana could (or should) attempt to form a government in such a scenario – it’d be disastrous. However, with a small majority and the global economy is disarray the next 3 years are a real hospital pass.

    And, if the Maori Party do decide to rejoin National in government, what’s going to happen when (if?) Tariana and Pita step down during the term and we get by-elections for Te Tai Hauāuru and Tamaki Makaurau? The Maori Party really are between a rock and hard place.

    Palmerston North • Since Mar 2008 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to George Darroch,

    Almost by definition, if you’re doing well you’ll stick around, and those who’ve gone tend to be younger, browner, and feeling cheated by their current circumstances.

    Is that evidence based?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2586 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to George Darroch,

    if you're doing well you'll stick around

    but if you're *not* doing well you may not be able to afford to leave

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16479 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hebe,

    a nice guy without an ounce of mongrel in him

    sounds all too familiar

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16479 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Hebe,

    Craig didn’t know the seat any more than I know Auckland Central, so he didn’t pick it.

    I don’t expect Craig to know the seat. I would have expected the media to realise Chch Central was going to be really interesting this time around. When I got home about half ten on election night, my Twitter feed was full of people talking about the tightness of the Central count. Neither One nor 3 mentioned it for another hour or so – until significantly after the drawn final count was in.

    I guess I’m just disappointed that nobody* picked it out during the campaign as an electorate with an interesting story that was going to be significant, and in which it was going to be important that people voted.

    *so far as I’m aware.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4340 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to steven crawford,

    Not entirely. In the last decade Maori have emigrated at a much higher rate than Pakeha New Zealanders. The rest is based on anecdata.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2132 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to George Darroch,

    Almost by definition, if you’re doing well you’ll stick around, and those who’ve gone tend to be younger, browner, and feeling cheated by their current circumstances. Over 40,000 left NZ last year, and about that many the year before. Doesn’t take too many of those and you’re looking at sizeable parts of the electorate.

    I read once that a lot of PI's returned to the Islands during the 1991-1992 recession, when unemployment rates last breached double digits. And more to the point, no one - not even the PSA - has asked how many sacked public servants have moved to Australia.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4155 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Yes, it is odd. But. It’s also slightly disingenuous to compare figures in Chch Central without noting the boundary redraw.

    Fair enough as far as it goes, but in my own defense Public Address is very dangerous ground for confidently pontificating above your level of competence. :) I don’t know how boundary changes in CCC changed the game, at least on paper, but I think they can be over-stated. Or at least over-spun.

    Did boundary changes in Wellington Central do Prebble any favours in 1999? No, but frankly I think it was utterly disingenuous of him – and unfair to Marian Hobbs and a pretty slick and disciplined campaign – to paint himself as the victim of boundary creep. More recently, boundary changes in Palmerston North notionally made Iain Lees-Galloway more vulnerable. Instead he almost trippled his majority.

    So no, I’m not buying “Wagner reduced”.

    Just as well I’m not selling it, then. Simple statement of fact – and one you might have thought would have placed CC on the media’s radar. OTOH, given the spew-inducing “battle of the babes” coverage of Auckland Central we might have dodged a bullet there.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11864 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to George Darroch,

    The rest is based on anecdata

    Surprised that media weren't all over it then. They love that shit. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16479 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to BenWilson,

    If there is a Key government, and there probably will be, they will forge ahead with this unless there is literally violent opposition. Which there could be.

    I have some propaganda handy, just in case.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4155 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to George Darroch,

    I believe Wellington central has taken a hit, regards well educated civil servants. Some of them are brown, young and under valued.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2586 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Did boundary changes in Wellington Central do Prebble any favours in 1999? No, but frankly I think it was utterly disingenuous of him – and unfair to Marian Hobbs and a pretty slick and disciplined campaign – to paint himself as the victim of boundary creep.

    Prebble once boasted that Welly Central was the smartest electorate in the country, and in the long run he's been proven right.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4155 posts Report Reply

  • Conrad Lake,

    I am a Christchurch Central voter. I voted National and Nicky Wagner. I'm in Saint Albans, the area that gets called Merivale when you sell houses. And honestly I'm dumbfounded by the Christchurch Central result. I honestly thought Brendon Burns had done a great job after the earthquakes and would be rewarded as a result and I predicted the seat to actually do even better for Labour than 2008.

    After 2008 and seeing how close it was I did think it was a seat National could target and I do think Christchurch was turning away from Labour to an extent. And will do so in the future too. I certainly can't see Christchurch being a Labour stronghold as it has been in the past. But ultimately when we had our earthquakes everything changed and therefore I thought Burns would do excellent. Clearly, that wasn't the case.

    CHCH • Since Apr 2009 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Interesting thought I have gadgets over the past few days is that when the government does eventually change (2014 or 2017 I guess) it seems likely that it will be Labour and the Greens over powering no-friends National.

    In other words in 2014 we could have a Labour PM but National be the largest party. Hopefully the country is mature enough to handle such an outcome.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Hebe,

    Craig didn’t know the seat any more than I know Auckland Central, so he didn’t pick it.

    Oh, I always thought Christchurch Central wasn't as firmly on Team Phil (would that make Key a vampire or a werewolf?) as the conventional wisdom had it but damn... a dead heat? Shame the TAB doesn't take bets on the election, because anyone who called that would be my new best friend. :)

    Auckland Central, I think, was easier to call as a real battleground even without the patronising "battling babes" media-swill.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11864 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Did boundary changes in Wellington Central do Prebble any favours in 1999? No, but frankly I think it was utterly disingenuous of him – and unfair to Marian Hobbs and a pretty slick and disciplined campaign – to paint himself as the victim of boundary creep.

    Prebble did way worse than that. It's one thing to say significant boundary changes will make it harder for you to hold your seat; that's more or less a statement of fact.

    But Prebble -- with the protection of Parliamentary privilege -- lost and then accused the Surveyor General of corruption. What an arsehole.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18708 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Have had* Damn you auto-correct.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Shame the TAB doesn't take bets on the election, because anyone who called that would be my new best friend. :)

    Dude, iPredict. You can gamble on there to your heart's content. It's been around for quite a while and it was by far the most accurate predictor.

    I'm not sure how they handle dead-heats, though. The house wins?? LOL.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joshua Arbury,

    in 2014 we could have a Labour PM but National be the largest party. Hopefully the country is mature enough to handle such an outcome.

    Hopefully it is prepared maturely for the prospect - by the left - before then. Cos you know how Joyce and co will be spinning it in the meantime, and we've just what happens if that's not countered forcefully.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16479 posts Report Reply

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