Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: The flag referendum: complicating your decision

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  • Steve Barnes,

    "If the flag changes as a result of the referendum tomorrow…with the greatest of respect, I don’t think many people will remember I was prime minister at the time.

    Like I said…
    WE shall see….
    Personally I hope he will be a forgotten PM but after the amount of damage he has done to OUR democracy I doubt whether we shall ever forget the Banker…

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    WE shall see…….

    Well he will be remembered for promoting 'double standards'...
    ...and looking after his 'fronds' in high places.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    There are two sides to a frond...
    Perhaps this will be his Pinnatimate action....
    Penultimate sounds so last year...
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    ‘Birth of a Pinnation’ has a certain ring to it.
    I’m ready for my close up Mr Griffith…
    :- )

    <edit> Can't decide if I mean D.W. Griffith or Bill Griffith

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Can’t decide if I mean D.W. Griffith or Bill Griffith

    Seems you are not alone...

    Trust me, this KKK endorsement claim Zippy wants everyone to believe in, is about as accurate as that comic book Bible he likes to likes to hold in his hand

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Lewis Holden, the "lead campaigner" for the change group, is hosting a Change the Flag results party in central Auckland. Half an hour after kickoff only four people had turned up. Then during a Mediaworks live cross to the event, one of the two Kyle Lockwood flags fell down.

    A suitable metaphor for the whole failed process, innit.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1385 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/2016_flag_referendum2/

    Current flag 56.6%
    Key Lockwood 43.2%

    <now we can all get some sleep>
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    So the numbers are close enough that if we actually chose a better flag we probably would change it

    Let's try for the Hundertwasser next time

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Whilst Key should be a bit sad about the result he can at least be happy that his voters seem to have turned out in many places. Rural / provincial National Party voting NZ seemed to be on board, which, as someone from that group surprises me greatly. Look at Clutha or Waitaki's results!

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Ben Austin,

    Not too surprisingly, the Lockwood flag was strikingly unpopular in the Māori electorates – accounting for 7 of the 8 electorates where it had lowest support among those who voted. The lowest support rates for the Lockwood by electorate were: 21.1% in Te Tai Tokerau; 22.1% in Tāmaki Makaurau; 22.6% in Ikaroa-Rāwhiti; 23.8% in Waiariki; 25.4% in Hauraki-Waikato; 25.9% in Te Tai Hauāuru; 28.9% in Māngere; 31.9% in Te Tai Tonga.

    Considering the implications of the partnership between Crown and Māori, I suggest that any future attempt to change the flag should require the replacement to receive a majority of votes both in general and (also, specifically) in Māori electorates. A new flag has to be something that Māori can accept as representing and including themselves; otherwise, how can it possibly function as a symbol of national unity?

    Conversely, the Lockwood flag actually achieved a majority of votes cast only in the following six electorates:
    Clutha-Southland (50.4%); Ilam (50.8%); East Coast Bays (51.1%); Bay of Plenty (51.4%); Selwyn (51.7%); Tāmaki (51.9%).
    Regardless of the high voter turnout in solidly National electorates, I would suggest that the overwhelmingly consistent direction of results should not be that encouraging for the National party.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Attachment

    You might suspect that voter turnout was correlated with support for Lockwood. This is broadly true across all electorates; but the graph suggests a major divide between two clusters of electorates: a smaller cluster with turnout below 52% and support below 35% (which includes all of the Māori electorates); and a larger cluster with turnout above 55% and support in the 36-52% range. Within each cluster, the trend is less clear.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to linger,

    Conversely, the Lockwood flag actually achieved a majority of votes cast only in the following six electorates:
    Clutha-Southland (50.4%); Ilam (50.8%); East Coast Bays (51.1%); Bay of Plenty (51.4%); Selwyn (51.7%); Tāmaki (51.9%).
    Regardless of the high voter turnout in solidly National electorates, I would suggest that the overwhelmingly consistent direction of results should not be that encouraging for the National party

    I think that for all for National and their mothpieces decrying how Labour and the Greens have been making this a partisan vote, the most partisan voters seem to have been National supporters

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Beaten Black and Blue
    YES! The Union Flag remains, I wonder if the word Union is what frightened the wingnuts into thinking OUR flag represented people standing together against a sea of troubles and in doing so we should shuffle off this mortal foil, that is the Key....

    The Oppressor's wrong, the proud man's Contumely,
    The pangs of despised Love, the Law’s delay,
    The insolence of Office, and the Spurns
    That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
    When he himself might his Quietus make

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    the most partisan voters seem to have been National supporters

    Very much so, looking at the regression graphs of electorate party support and flag voting.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    the most partisan voters seem to have been National supporters

    Encouragingly Chchch Central pretty much mirrored the final breakdown
    56.4% Current flag
    43.4% Key/Lockwood
    (Auckland Central was much the same)

    Hopefully that indicates Nicky Wagner's exit from the electorate next year...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to David Hood,

    Attachment

    The graph for Lockwood support against 2014 National party vote.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to linger,

    Attachment

    The graph for Lockwood support against 2014 National party vote.

    Yes, and if you remove the relationship between National party support and support for changing the flag, then there is no relationship between flag change and political party support

    I've put graphs for all the parties, and an explanation of what it is saying, over here:

    https://thoughtfulbloke.wordpress.com/2016/03/25/a-national-flag/

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Steve Braunias -- Secret Diary of John Key following the flag referendum.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1385 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to David Hood,

    Certainly National party vote is the single strongest direct predictor out of the data available (it gives the single highest correlation coefficient, with a nicely linear graph, and as you show, other party votes don’t account for the residual variation), and there may even be a direct causal connection; but there is probably also an indirect (causal) connection buried within that, in that
    (i) National party vote is correlated with 2014 voter turnout (on the grounds that many people didn’t support National but couldn’t see anything positive to vote for among the other parties);
    (ii) 2014 voter turnout is correlated with referendum voter turnout (on the grounds that people who are more likely to vote are more likely to vote); and
    (iii) flag referendum voter turnout is correlated with desire to change the flag.
    Teasing that out of the data would be challenging, though!

    There’s also a question of whether to include the Māori electorates within this analysis: they seem to constitute an internally-consistent set of outliers on all of these scales, with possibly different causal motivations (e.g. more systematic opposition to the Lockwood design in particular because it fails to reflect any element of Māori culture or design).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to linger,

    I'm just starting to tease out some of the turnout things. Early stages but:

    - The Māori electorate flag turn seems to be up slightly (or rather, down less) when compared to where it might be expected to be if it was down by the same amount as general electorates (this is considering the effect of the flag referendum rather than general voter engagement) which is kinda interesting.
    - Turnout isn't really linear with respect to political party support, it looks more clustered to me. If you look directly at flag referendum turnout it is the Māori electorates & a few others in one cluster, if you look at it as the flag referendum relative to general election outcomes the Māori electorates group with the majority of other electorates leaving the few others as the outliers.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to David Hood,

    If you look directly at flag referendum turnout it is the Māori electorates & a few others in one cluster

    as noted above (with scatter plot attached)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to linger,

    Yep, and if you do turnout relative to the general, on the above graph it would shift the Māori electorates to the right a bit.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Attachment

    Just for a bit of a laugh, I put this (rough draft) pic together. Feel free to suggest further additions.

    And one for Graeme Edgeler: what risk of getting sued for this?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I am puzzled by the politics of the media reaction back home to all this. Audrey Young, Claire Trevitt and (apparently) Paddy Gower wrote immediate pieces that amounted to being apologists for and defenders of Key, an extremely odd first blush anglet for a supposed independent media to do, and which only reinforces in the mind of an external viewer that this was always mainly all about John Key.

    Secondly, I cannot believe Key’s basically walking away from his defeat by buggering off on holiday hasn’t attracted a storm of media scorn and unfavourable comment. Again, from a distance it seems an obviously petulant act that no one seems interested in commenting on.

    The final peculiar thing that puzzles me is the near universal and undebated acceptance that this won’t damage his popularity. Surely it must? It seems to me that being exposed so comprehensively as egotistical and out of touch must rock voter faith in Key, it would anywhere else. Surely the ambient vibe towards Key must have taken a hit? What is going on?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2211 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Attachment Attachment

    Here is the difference in turnout in relation to the 2014 general election, Māori electorates in red.

    Looked at this way (engagement compared to the general election) Māori electorates could either be described as much more negative than expected given the level of engagement, or much more engaged than expected given the level of support for change (this is describing the same effect from different directions).

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

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