Jane Bowron goes completely off the rails in today’s Dominion Post (p3, “Motels, memorandums and dunny misalliances”; the online version has a different title). She starts promisingly enough by noting that Greens have NOT sought any electorate lifeboat from Labour despite “disaster polls” … but then spends four slanderous paragraphs imagining that Shaw did just that in Wellington Central, using her fabrication as a platform from which to mock the Greens as “unsustainable” and a “pity party”.
Is it too much to ask supposedly serious political commentators not to veer into pure fantasy? (Note also the exaggeration of “disaster polls” – I thought there was only one unexpectedly low result so far?)
Well, not sure if it's really all that popular, except among the rich pricks that dominate the commentariat (so it gets a lot more airplay than it should); and in some sectors a lack of trained individuals is a reality rather than a myth (largely the result — as others have noted above — of the past 20 years of user-pays education and the dismantling of continuing-education programmes) ... but it's certainly part and parcel of Blinglish's bullshit about dole recipients being unskilled lazy druggies.
Numerical system diversity
What does that include? Unit conversions should be straightforward enough (though not doing them has resulted in several expensive accidents). Are there any other tricks to handling American-sourced data (oh, other than their idiosyncratic date order convention)?
Exactly. Whatever side of the house the Greens end up sitting on, our Parliament would be a much poorer place without those voices being heard at all. We need them to be there, and that may well mean voting for them.
In a truly bizarre overreaction, I/S argues that the Greens should be aggressively pursuing electorate as well as party votes. That would only make any sense if there were at least one electorate that the Greens could hope to gain a plurality in; and it would only make sense within some such electorate(s). Otherwise it's a waste of their resources: if they can't win one electorate as a backup plan, then they absolutely need all the party vote share they can get.
The second question is much easier: NZF will vanish without Winston, as nobody else on their list has much media exposure or experience in office or even basic competence.
Don't know where NZF supporters would turn next (though I would guess probably slightly more to National than to the Left).
being dumped at the instigation of Peters and then pliantly giving that government a free ride on confidence and supply
Yes, it's possible; after all, it's happened before.
But, what else would you have the Greens do?
Peters doesn’t actually have to choose sides at all, of course. in some ways, sitting outside as an independently vocal opposition to a minority government, without any of the concomitant responsibilities of government, might be the best outcome for Peters at this stage in his career.
Meanwhile, what I would take from the poll result is that the Greens have wasted much of the media recognition they had built up. Metiria was a recognizable public face for the party. The other one (James Shaw?) is not yet as instantly recognizable a media presence. Even if the Greens cannot officially choose a new co-leader yet, they desperately need to have at least one more regular, recognizable, competent spokesperson to fill the media void (and Chloe would seem the most likely choice for that role).
It also seems perverse to think of punishing the Greens for something Winston First may do.
You can dream all you like Rob, but Labour won’t gain more votes than National this time. (Yeah, I don’t know why National remains so popular either, but there we are.) So Labour’s chances of forming a government really do depend on their possible coalition partners and how closely aligned to Labour they are.
Winston First, and Dunne (if he gets in), are least aligned. Both have a history of supporting the party with the largest vote share. They could work with Labour, but are more likely first to give National a chance to form a government. Winston also has historically been reluctant to lend any support to the Greens.
Greens, Mana (if Hone gets in), and (probably) Maori are at the moment more likely to align with Labour, but their numbers are looking uncertain.
TOP? Dunno. Unlikely they’ll make the threshold, so that’s potentially 3-4% of the disillusioned-with-National vote (which might otherwise have been a Left vote) wasted there. [Edit for Stephen: yes, a vote for an ultimately unsuccessful party signals something, it's not entirely meaningless ... but if, even as you vote, you know they won't get in at all, it doesn't directly help change anything either, and in that sense is a wasted chance for change. Nevertheless, I agree that voting for something is better than not voting at all.]
Labour’s best overall chance of success, strategically, is to campaign on party vote rather than electorate support against Harawira and Dunne. Other than that it’s tricky: Labour needs to increase its party vote share, but not at the expense of removing the Greens.
That said, this poll probably underrepresents Green Party support, and it is almost certain that they will make it over the threshold. For one thing the Greens have usually done rather better among expats and other special voters, who are underrepresented in polls.