Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Five further thoughts

465 Responses

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  • James Littlewood*,

    Regarding point 5, coalition with Greens, interesting idea.

    The Greens have everything Labour need: a progressive outlook (tax the rich); appeal among younger voters; and a philosophy which is widely shared across a range of economic and social strata: the environment is finite, and worth protecting. Labour's neo Marxism-on-a-good-day philosophy won't compete with that in the foreseeable.

    Labour have clout history and experience.

    Sometime, the Greens are just goings to have to run candidate campaigns: Metiria in Dn North, and possibly some other good folks in urban seats, and possibly Coromandel or somewhere (did I read they beat Labour in the PV in West Coast of all places?).

    Perhaps Matthew Hooton would prefer the two parties have a cup of tea. But coalition would be far more effective. And fairer to both voters and candidates. And more aligned with the parties' own values. And maybe even demonstrable of a better, more LabourGreenish way of doing stuff.

    In other words, Green cannot grow but at Labour's expense.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Found two disabled people who voted Nat. One is a beneficiary who just loves Paula Bennett. The other is retail worker, non unionised, who does long shifts standing, never gets two consecutive days off, and is still on the minimum wage after 10 years. Voted for Key and Nat electorate candidate because he liked Key ('he has done a good job'). Knew very little about any policy. Was a bit shocked when I told him about the Nats first up legislation to lose legislated tea breaks.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to steven crawford,

    * I didn’t party vote Labour, just saying. But I might next time if I see some refinement, and consolidation. It’s more important to be on standby ready to take the helm, than be all over the place trying to figure out how to best blow smoke and arrange the mirrors more convincingly.

    Sorry, I need to rewrite that. I didn’t vote Labour this election and it’s very, very unlikely I ever will in the future. But I appreciate there efforts, mostly.

    That actual Labour party ended long ago, when I was a kid. What we’ve had since is a different thing, a slightly more socially progressive and slightly less economically hard-line neoliberal party. And maybe there is actually only room for one party like that in government, and it’s called the National Party.

    Thats bang on.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4304 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to Yamis,

    The seats are meaningless. The gain is the Green voters being better with the tactical split this time. They lost a bunch of seats to National by splitting the candidate vote in 2011, not this time. Well, Central Auckland, never mind.

    Since Nov 2006 • 607 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to BenWilson,

    I’m being told how I should feel rather than actually feeling it.

    Do you want to feel poverty. It can be arranged.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    I honestly can’t see any good reason to have published polls like that during the election.

    It's probably a bit like band wagon sports fans suddenly deciding they are a fan of a team that just happens to win a lot (purely coincidental of course ;) ).

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Jack Harrison,

    Do you want to feel poverty. It can be arranged.

    More poverty, you mean? I actually hit my last dollar last Friday.

    No, thanks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10630 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to BenWilson,

    That's a feeling, not a good feeling.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    As soon as Labour does that, it is saying "we are not one of the big two mainstream parties, alongside National, but just one of a bunch of parties on the 'progressive' side of politics".

    But that's the reality of the situation as far as I can see. Perhaps not "one of a bunch", but certainly it seems highly unlikely that they will ever be in a position to govern alone. It's time to acknowledge that fact. A swing to the left that would help Labour will also help the Greens. Labour have been ignoring the Greens for more than a decade, hoping they would go away. They haven't, and won't unless they self-destruct somehow. They're not some puppet party like ACT or United Future being kept a float to game the system. If Labour thinks the way forward is to continue to pretend they are the only significant party on the left then good luck to them, but they have no chance.

    Personally I believe climate change is the most significant issue the world has faced since the second world war. I have voted Green purely on this issue and I will continue to vote Green at least until another party makes it the top priority. This election climate change got zero attention. The One News Vote Compass didn't even have a question about it for fuck's sake. That makes me very angry.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve,

    Not entirely sure this is the thread for it.... But I have this broad theory about left-wing vs. right-wing political theory...

    It seems to me, from an entirely shallow and unscientific analysis, that right-wing policy is generally built around "common sense" - they ideas at the core of much right-wing policy are predicated of simple common sense thinking. From things like lowering tax to privatisation, from minimum wage and employment relations...

    The ideas they express just make sense when they're outlined... Reduce taxes, because we are better at spending our money than the government... Privatise things because companies will be motivated to be more efficient by the lure of profit... Raising minimum wage will mean companies lay off staff... Make it easier for companies to hire and fire people so they can be more efficient and flexible...

    All those things are simple and seem intuitive. You hear someone like Jamie Whyte or Colin Craig express those ideas and there's a definitive "well, of course" sensation...

    On the other hand, left-wing ideas seem, in general, to be more complicated and sometimes unintuitive...

    It seems that left-wing parties have a much harder task in clearly explaining and justifying their policies in the face of the right-wing common sense ideas. And, frankly, they don't seem very good at it.

    This is only something that's really occurred to me in the last few weeks, but in seeing the campaigning from the right (especially Conservatives, where every policy outline ended with some variation on "it's just common sense") it really looks like they know how to make this work for them.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • barnaclebarnes, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    I'm wondering if the Greens ran truly independent what their party vote would be? There a lot of Blue/Green would be voters out there. How many votes would they pick up from National voters and how many would they loose from Labour? Has anybody done the sums on this? More than one National voter I have spoken with would have voted Green if they had not ruled out working with National.

    If the Greens are ever to become an equal or better to National/Labour they can't "me to" onto Labour. They shouldn't settle for third place.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*, in reply to Jack Harrison,

    I'd like to agree. But I think Downbeat dan and Peter Cox are closer. Turnout was stronger than previous election. One party won by a ton. One party got hammered, and a million people stayed home.

    Pretty obvious which party failed to motivate its voters.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to barnaclebarnes,

    More than one National voter I have spoken with would have voted Green if they had not ruled out working with National.

    Didn’t the Green’s specifically not rule out working with National?

    Not sure how independent they can be when they clearly have a financial policy outlook that is quite far from National’s.

    Edit: The Greens could work with National... But then, oh no, five days later, no way!

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    I honestly can’t see any good reason to have published polls like that during the election.

    Only gain is for the media that can spend several pages/minutes discussing the poll instead of policy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    It seems that left-wing parties have a much harder task in clearly explaining and justifying their policies in the face of the right-wing common sense ideas. And, frankly, they don’t seem very good at it.

    Yes, evidenced based explanations are a lot harder than gotchas. What goes up, must come down, right? So space travel is impossible and that's just common sense. No wonder Colin Craig believes that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10630 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    Also, National finds itself torn apart by factionalism when its poll rating falls below 35%. When it is above 35%, these factions strangely disappear. I suspect something like that is true in all major political parties. Labour never seemed to have any factions 1999-2008, for example.

    Chicken and egg. If you don't show any factionalism, you are presenting a vision everyone can live with, and you get over 35%. It's the same for the minor parties, when they bicker and divide it fucks them up.

    Since Nov 2006 • 607 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison,

    It’s a game a bit more complicated than that. Also turn out was poor, That’s what they’re saying.

    You can’t win by a ton because its a measure of weight. They won with 48% of the vote. 45% and other arrangements , they may have lost. Not a ton.

    Everyone gets itchy after a loss.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to barnaclebarnes,

    I’m wondering if the Greens ran truly independent what their party vote would be? There a lot of Blue/Green would be voters out there. How many votes would they pick up from National voters and how many would they loose from Labour? Has anybody done the sums on this? More than one National voter I have spoken with would have voted Green if they had not ruled out working with National.

    If there was a credible leftist alternative to the Greens this would make perfect sense. That almost happened. They'd have lost my vote, but could just as easily pitch for some free market person who still thinks the market will save the planet, and no actual total support would have been lost, and we'd be all round happy. They could be environmentalists rather than half-socialists, and actual socialists would have somewhere to go. All finished now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10630 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    The ideas [the right] express just make sense when they're outlined

    No. That's their presentation, not their fact. The problem for the left is our policies are true and based on evidence, and thus complex, while the right's policies are terrible and hateful and based on lies, and thus very simple.

    So the left keeps trying to explain why they're correct, and the right just says "the sky is orange" without blinking and moves on. You do a thousand pages of detailed costings unlike anyone else but you're the "loony Greens" so no one even notices. Simple lies repeated often beat complex reality every single time.

    Seriously, the National party has openly said that cutting people's wages is a great way to increase people's wages. Up is down for those people, they just say it with unbridled confidence.

    Since Nov 2006 • 607 posts Report Reply

  • Rob S,

    Labours campaign was too diverse and complicated by all the policy they had to defend whereas I can't think of a single Nat policy. They were marketed more like a brand of soap or detergent an almost meaningless we're better than the others wrapped around "that nice Mr Key".
    I would have had three main planks, build more houses, we've done it before and it helped John Key get where he is today.
    A higher minimum pay to get people off welfare by paying them properly policy.
    Attack the Nats continually on there economic mismanagement with the Country in debt to the tune of 88 billion and they want to cut taxes and make your kids pay for it later, are they mad?
    Stay ruthlessly on message.

    Since Apr 2010 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*, in reply to barnaclebarnes,

    Like Winston you mean? Yeah, it's appealing, ain't it. I know that when National came in in 2008 everyone was queuing up to hang out with them. The Maori Party went ahead with it. The Greens look at that and don't see any reason to follow suit.

    Since then, National has become a basket case from the Greens perspective. There's nothing much there they can work with. And so I believe them when they say, guys, it ain't gonna happen.

    That said, I know for a fact there are national defectors who go Green but would never go Labour. But they have to know theyre defecting.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison,

    Rob Muldoon won an election with the bamboozle of a rugby tour. Politics is a hard read but too complicated for many. Education is trying to fix this, politics need to be understood as a core programme of our nation.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to tussock,

    No. That’s their presentation, not their fact.

    But the point is that their ideas, whether right or wrong, are simple and intuitive. They just make sense.

    Complex but well evidenced alternatives aren't a great counter to that. Look at Jamie Whyte's argument against raising the minimum wage in the Campbell Live minor leaders dinner... It makes sense that raising the cost of something (human labour) will reduce demand (jobs) for that thing. The reality is that it doesn't, but that isn't intuitive so in that discussion it's too hard to present the alternative point of view.

    I think that broadly holds true of a lot of right wing policy, and I'm not sure how you combat something like that... Because the alternative is complex.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to barnaclebarnes,

    More than one National voter I have spoken with would have voted Green if they had not ruled out working with National.

    People really need to go read the Green party's core principles. The four pillars.

    * Ecological wisdom
    * Social justice
    * Grassroots democracy
    * Nonviolence

    They're not kidding. It's not about posturing for them, they are honest brokers, if you want to get vote they're not getting you need to move yourself because they will not shift. They have never shifted. The fucking Values party was the same thing before you were born. They will still be the same after we are all dead.

    They can work on their messaging and presentation, they can't give up devolution of power and social justice to hunt National votes. It can't happen. If anyone wants to hunt National votes, it has to be Labour. They've got the credibility for that from the 80's, not to mention the 90's.

    Since Nov 2006 • 607 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Jack Harrison,

    It’s a stuffed isthmus.

    Couldn't agree more. I blame planners. I'm a planner but don't practice it, aside from voluntary/advocacy work. And I love that aspect of the work.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

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