Hard News by Russell Brown


Don't bother voting

Do you think we can get the deposit back on the halls? The Herald's editorial this morning says that failng "some cataclysmic occurrence, an event resounding enough to shatter the current template", the 2008 general election is over and National has won.

This bold assumption relies on an exclusive belief in the Herald's Digipoll poll. On the other hand, the 3 News poll published yesterday prompted a story that led like this:

The latest 3 News political poll shows the Maori Party will choose the next Government, and the Greens enjoying their best result in more than five years.

The poll is not good news for National: it effectively means the National and Labour blocks are neck and neck, despite National being by far the more popular major party.

Moreover, Audrey Young's story in the Herald this morning about the potential for a Parliamentary overhang -- meaning that National could exceed 50% of the vote and still not achieve a majority of seats in he house -- also suggests that the election campaign is more interesting than the editorial writer would have us believe.

Meanwhle, DPF is looking for crumbs from the Electoral Commission's decision that New Zealand First did not break the law with its 2007 donations return. We're down now to the police investigation, which might yet provide some comfort for those who hope that Winston Peters will be found guilty of something more serious than gross hypocrisy (and misleading Parliament), but the way things are going you wouldn't bet on it.

And if Rodney Hide is totally okay with the commission's finding that Act failed to declare $20,000 worth of office space donated to its Parliamentary wing by Bob Jones, why didn't he front up on Morning Report today and say so?

John Ansell has helped DPF's Free Speech Coalition spend the rest of its money with a Ponsonby Road billboard attacking Clark and Peters over donations. Don't fret: they're a registered third party.

PA reader John Kelcher notes a rather lively discussion about morality and money between Ansell and a correspondent called Johnny Penn on Ansell's blog. In the future, everyone will be called "John".

Meanwhile: is Alan Greenspan losing his religion? Marketwatch conjures a Casablanca comparison.

New York magazine heads a story Coming Soon: Stories on How Sarah Palin and John McCain Hate Each Other.

The US election campaign has seen an explosion in traffic for The Huffington Post, whose 4,545,000 unique visitors in September represents more than twice the audience of The Drudge Report. Wow.

WFMU has loads of funny photoshops of that weird McCain debate picture.

"Give Obama the floor" declares Jay-Z in his guest vocal on the latest remix of M.I.A.'s 'Boyz'. He still kinda gets owned by M.I.A. though …

And … the Guardian has a story about Tourism New Zealand's new weapon in the war for the British tourist dollar: Ladyhawke.

PS: Thanks heaps to the 600 or so Public Address readers who clicked through to NZ On Screen on its first day on air. You really got the ball rolling.

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