Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: A hazy, intriguing crystal ball

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  • John McCormick,

    I guess it's a bit morbid to talk about death, but it's highly relevant to politics. Let's talk about ill health instead. If Winston were to become ill and have to step down as leader, it would have a major impact on the election.

    In my view there isn't really a NZ First party, there's a Winston Peters party. How many NZ First voters could name even one other NZ First candidate? When Winston finally steps down, the party will limp along to the next election, miss the 5% threshhold by miles and then vanish.

    What happens next is hard to tell. Many NZ First voters despise National, but they're not too keen on Labour either. Perhaps the remnants of NZ First and the Conservatives could combine to form a viable party? It will be fascinating to find out.

    I think it is highly likely that Winston will continue into the 2017 election, but 2020, not so sure. Sooner or later both National and Labour will have to grapple with a post-Winston world.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    He could just get old and tired and bored, like what happens to a lot of people.

    Many NZ First voters despise National, but they’re not too keen on Labour either.

    I'm not so sure about the second part of that. I'd say they've got a much bigger Labour defector component than National defector. You could maybe say that the traditional old ones were probably National defectors. But that was like 20 years ago. Nowadays they would most likely see National as the party that sold off power companies, legalized gay marriage and encouraged Asian immigrants to buy up all the land and take the jobs. They probably see Labour as the lesser of two evils, and many ex-Labourites also see NZF as the lesser of two evils, if National is the other one. Possibly for all the same reasons.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Harry Musgrave, in reply to Thomas Lumley,

    For comparison to the 58% implied chance of National winning the 2017 election, iPredict only has a 62% implied chance of the 2016 Presidential election going to a Democrat. That doesn’t mean either election will be a cliffhanger – it’s quite likely in both cases that the winner will be clear six months out.

    I can see it is likely the US election will have an obvious winner but I don't think the NZ election will. I think it's the nature of MMP (here anyway) that elections are always pretty close.
    I don't think we've had a genuine old school clear winner in our MMP elections so far. The country as a whole (the part that votes wanyway) is fairly evenly split. Even when the big parties do really badly it results in big gains for other similar parties - United Future 10 (13?) years ago, NZ First last year.

    Since Jul 2009 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    That's nice that iPredict did better than polls in 2011. And what were all the margins it predicted, then and in the last election? What were the actual results in comparison? Not that a sample size of 2 seems overly meaningful (although I am absolutely not a statistician).

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas, in reply to Deborah,

    My guess is that the “backing yourself or your friend or colleague” effect is swamped by genuine predictions from political junkies who are not personally involved in particular races

    Not really. It's pretty easy to dominate an obscure stock for a week by sinking a few hundred dollars into it. There were fascinating instances of stocks behaving abnormally around Len Brown quitting and prior to that Bob Parker.

    It came up in Dirty Politics too in which a protagonist boasted of altering the market enough to generate a few news headlines.

    But these larger party-vote stocks would cost a bit more to alter as there are more gamblers playing them. My guess would be a couple of thousand to push a stock 5% for a week. Being persistent you could alter the herd thinking for longer as well.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I wouldn't be surprised if there was some kind of major world recession before the next election. Probably not the collapse of capitalism, but enough for people to question some of their assumptions. It could be linked to the realisation that we all have to do something urgently and drastically to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3188 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I guess it comes back to whether or not NZ First has a natural constituency that extends beyond the oily charm of Winston Peters working a rest home audience. One of the biggest problems with working out NZ First’s support is that of all NZ political parties it is the one that has the “shy Tory” phenomena the most. None the less, I know some people who vote for NZ First and I’ve anecdotally come to the view that these days Peters is more a hindrance than a help in attracting new voters. The natural political constituency of NZ First is as a populist party appealing to anti-corporate, socially conservative, low to middle income little New Zealanders of the provinces AND socially conservative, lower income new migrants. In other words, the largely invisible people our political establishment no longer represent and who the media elites are not particularly interested in except as amusing caricatures. A Peter-less NZ First that can get a half decent leader (a big assumption) and ditches his tired and reflexive racism in favour of a more subtle rejection of bi-culturalism that embraces a “melting pot” vision would stay quite electorally appealing to a lot of people IMHO - possibly even more popular than the Greens.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2210 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    ditches his tired and reflexive racism

    But why would they? Since Labour have now picked up that mantle in an attempt to corner that market, ANZ’s ideological centre has arguably been shunted further right - conservative Labour voters now face less of a philosophical hurdle if deciding to vote NZF.

    I read a little about Twyford’s bill this week and I’ve been trying to find what measures are being proposed to enforce this:

    those with visas for more than 12 months would have to sell any home if they left New Zealand.

    Will the state be confiscating/ forcing fire sales on properties the market hasn’t met? How will this work?

    nice caricaturisation btw.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to chris,

    But why would they? Since Labour have now picked up that mantle...

    God, are the permanently outraged on the behalf of others brigade ever going to stop banging that dubious drum?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2210 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    By “others” you’re referring to my wife and in laws? No not permanently, I wouldn’t categorise it as outrage per se, but from time to time, when I consider the FTA and the subsequent knee jerk I do find myself mildly bemused, given that any ANZ property investment portfolios in my extended family are all held by overseas based caucasian male New Zealand citizens, but that’s largely by the by. I’d assumed that Labour’s right turn may have been in anticipation of the migration that will occur on Peters’ exit. Can you shed any light on that aspect of Twyford’s bill?

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some kind of major world recession before the next election. Probably not the collapse of capitalism, but enough for people to question some of their assumptions. It could be linked to the realisation that we all have to do something urgently and drastically to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

    On that note, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has sounded the alarm. It could be the first pin held to the NZ housing bubble.

    And I'm curious to know how many 'floating voters' prefer Labour to go with NZF instead of the Greens, or even the unlikely case of an outright Labour majority or a Labour-National grand coalition.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    The thing with climate change is that for a country the size of New Zealand, rising sea levels is not the most pressing of concerns, in that report Jan Wright says:

    engineering options there may work a bit for a while but they’re not really a long or even a middle term option

    However:

    The modern word dike or dyke most likely derives from the Dutch word “dijk”, with the construction of dikes in Frisia (now part of the Netherlands and Germany) well attested as early as the 11th century. The 126 kilometres (78 mi) long Westfriese Omringdijk was completed by 1250

    An age old problem with tried and tested responses. You mention a NZ housing bubble as opposed to something more localised while living in a capital city where a 1 bedroom studio apartment can be purchaced for $100k, a 3 bedroom house for under $300k.

    Talk that we should start planning for the financial fallout from rising sea levels is good sense. In addition, Labour’s proposed UBI or some equivalent will be essential to battle inequality arguably a leading influence in our low house ownership rates.

    New Zealand is the 75th (by area) largest country in the world and the 122nd (by population), it’s difficult to argue that we’re even close to nearing our capacity.

    What we currently have is considerable sums of money flowing into the a country for little more than a plot of earth, the space between four walls and the accompanying infrastructure, this is money that is driving the construction industry to produce more sorely needed accommodation as well as develop infrastructure.

    Labour’s plan to outright ban instead of proposing the implementation of a hefty stamp duty and increased rates for offshore buyers in order to harness some of this cash flow to use in building subsidised housing for first time buyers; for the development of infrastructure; to help fund a universal BMI; is staring down a gift horse.

    Despite its mixed fortunes among New Zealand voters, Labour’s lack of imagination and vision with this proposal should be cause for concern for overseas buyers and New Zealanders alike leading up to 2017. Another “show me the money” moment looms.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Geoffrey Palmer has just published a learned plea for action on climate change in an article in the latest Policy Quarterly from Victoria University http://igps.victoria.ac.nz/publications/files/c81a9820055.pdf

    (And if you read further in the issue you can also find an article about special education by Giovanni and me)

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3188 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to chris,

    An age old problem with tried and tested responses.

    Do you have any concept of how much building a sea wall around NZ would cost? We don't live next to the North Sea with it's unending gentle drizzle on shallow and sheltered coastal waters, but the vast Pacific Ocean with it's Cyclones, Tasman sea in the roaring 40's, and Southern Ocean with waves that build for thousands of kilometres.

    We're not the wealthiest country on earth in our time gaining new and highly productive land next to some of the largest and cheapest trading networks on earth that it also profits from, but instead trying to maintain often a dodgy profit of any sort on young and sandy soils on the far side of the planet from most of our customers.

    Those people spent centuries building a patchwork of walls with constant missteps and floods and tens of thousands of deaths and paid for it all with the new highly productive land they created and sold, as it acted as flood protection for their rapidly growing trade capitals. The land itself had only recently gone underwater due to the glacial rebound trend in that part of the world, most was old sunken river deltas.

    The estimated costs of long-life sea walls facing the pacific are tens of millions of dollars per kilometre, plus the ongoing costs of raising the rivers and pumping out floods, and you're talking NZ with 15,000 km of coastline, instead of Netherlands with 450 km of coastline, just to hang onto small amounts of often marginal land.

    The entire area of Denmark recovered by dykes today is about 40 km^2 per km of coastline, NZ only has 10 km^2 per km of coastline if you include all the mountains.

    Economically, it's a struggle in Dunedin now to figure out how protecting the older parts of South Dunedin can be paid for without mostly outside assistance. Protecting coast farmland is a joke, we already can't keep the suburbs dry.

    We really have very little and relatively unproductive land to protect, and a very large amount of rather angry sea to protect it from. Even Denmark has given a lot of what it took back to the sea over the years because it simply wasn't profitable to reinforce it in the face of continued subsidence.

    And that was all sinking at a small fraction of the speed that's expected in the next 2-3 centuries. This will largely be the problem of future generations, who will be dealing with it in a post-oil world with heavier flooding events and larger cyclones that persist further from the equator. Dikes simply aren't going to happen.

    Since Nov 2006 • 607 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to tussock,

    Do you have any concept of how much building a sea wall around NZ would cost?

    Yeah you’re quite right, I’m not qualified to provide the figure.

    So just to be clear here; you are advocating Jan Wright’s opinion that we are out of engineering options, that the engineering feats required of us may work a bit for a while but they’re not even a middle term option? Or is it that you’re captivated by an obvious 900 year old ongoing functional engineering example to the extent that it’s motivated you to shift the heat off a Government minister with a physics but no engineering qualification who is broadcasting that the field of engineering is out of its depth with regards to conjuring up any middle term options appropriate to our country's situation?

    I have to admit, there is a distinct possibility that you are absolutely right, I’d wager that those astronauts orbiting us in that hocked together international space station looking back at the Pyramids, and the Great Wall and the Suez Canal and the Panama, at the dykes and the Three Gorges Dam, at Venice, at The Palm, at the Aquaduct of Segovia and the Millau Viaduct, at Kansai Airport and The Bailong Elevator through their miniature digital cameras zoomed 40,000x while discussing the Large Hadron Collider and the Chunnel would probably agree with this New Zealand Government minister that engineering is incapable as a profession of providing middle term options for dealing with H²O. In fact they’d probably agree in a professional capacity as astronauts that we should focus exclusively on dykes and about what we can’t do and neither contend nor discuss alternatives because it’s end of days, apocalypse now; the major opposition party wants to ban investment by foreigners while old Gov’s racked up $90 billion debt in less than a decade on – well we don’t actually know – and that does absolutely mean that we couldn’t possibly consider forking out exactly as many dollars as may be required to pay for middle term options prioritising the protection of our urban areas because doing so would entail building a sea wall around New Zealand regardless of coastal altitudes, and that all things considered there are not enough true kiwis left who would – knowing there might be a bit of heavy lifting involved – pull up sleeves and offer to chip in for future generations and the long term protection of our country because we are just not worth it.

    http://www.wikihow.com/Build-an-Ark

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to chris,

    embanking on the future...

    ...enough true kiwis left who would – knowing there might be a bit of heavy lifting involved – pull up sleeves and offer to chip in for future generations and the long term protection of our country...

    We could think of it as our 'space' programme...

    ...as it's coming up to the doorstop sized book reading season, here's two - Neal Stephenson's Seveneves takes a good look at getting the space ark concept off the ground and all that that entails. and what might ensue, the challenges such a trip might encounter are also well covered in Kim Stanley Robinson's novel Aurora

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7869 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to chris,

    We do have a climate change thread open, so I’ve moved my response (a link to a current BBC Radio 4 series which has an episode on solutions to climate change) over there.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1870 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to chris,

    Attachment

    ...pull up sleeves and offer to chip in...

    We have the poster for this...
    All hands on dike!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7869 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    So it seems that regardless of how hazy a crystal ball it was, it'll no longer be any kind of crystal ball at all:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/74438852/ipredict-to-close-after-govt-refuses-antimoney-laundering-law-exemption

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    So Bridges doesn't like Farrar and is taking his toy away?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    That is quite fucked up. If there was evidence that money had actually been laundered through it, that might make a bit more sense. But to shut down a one-of-a-kind service like that because of a vague risk of money laundering is just ridiculous.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    the North Sea with it’s unending gentle drizzle on shallow and sheltered coastal waters

    I just saw this, and it reminded me of the time I was out there on a 50,000t ship in 80knot winds, with waves breaking on the bridge.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I mean seriously "three traders hold portfolios on the website worth in excess of $10,000". Dear God, the world is coming to an end! The gigantic sum of $30,000 could maybe (but most probably not) be used to launder all the dirty drug money of one small time cannabis grower. Or, alternatively, they could just walk into Sky City with ten times that amount and play blackjack, because that is something our government not only allows, it is willing to make big exemptions for.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'm not the world's biggest fan of David Farrar, but he doesn't deserve to have his business killed for basically nothing. Especially since it represents something rather unique.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    iPredict is no more.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1372 posts Report Reply

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