Posts by Dennis Frank

  • Hard News: Where are all the polls at?, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    This is a great re-read;

    http://www.nzfirst.org.nz/rt_hon_winston_peters_budget_speech_2017</q>

    Taken at face value it provides reasons to assume he'll be favourable to the Labour/Greens option. May seem a tad naive to assume he means what he says, but I'm inclined to regardless. I suspect he's now primarily motivated by the need to create his legacy.

    Provided Labour pull finger and transcend their sectarianism, a new government designed on common ground is feasible. I'm confident James and Jacinda have the goodwill and intelligence required to produce a suitable outcome. I'm not confident that Winston is sufficiently adept to yield to the public interest when necessary.

    He probably has a sense that the win/win/win three-way coalition is possible, and I bet his bias against the Nats is so strong now that he won't repeat that mistake from 20 years ago willingly, but being stubborn and holding out for all his bottom lines could yet be the character flaw that denies him an exceptional legacy.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Election 2017: the Special…,

    So the youthquake came in at 0.9%. Kinda like a tsunami coming in here six inches high after travelling across the Pacific. The Couldn't Care Less Party measures 21.2%, coming third after National & Labour. No point voting when the same old shit happens regardless who wins, eh?

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Where are all the polls at?,

    We're likely to get our first ever refugee into parliament due to the usual boost to the Greens from special votes. Golriz is a specialist in human rights law, so will add considerable value. Her bio describes her as Kurdish/Persian (Iranian).

    As James Shaw has been pointing out, the three parties who campaigned to change the government have a substantial majority. Presuming they will collaborate is unwise: none of them signalled any such collaboration to the electorate in advance of the voting. The failure of the leftists to invest the MoU with any substance instead signalled to the centrists that they must keep supporting NZ First, so they did.

    The congenital inability of leftists to comprehend that swing-voters are centrists who control the outcome of our elections is sociopathic. Most humans learn from experience. Leftists don't. It has long been obvious that our governments change when centrists can see a viable alternative government in waiting. The leftists who control both Labour & the Greens gambled that they didn't need to provide that collaborative design. A foolish gamble, competing instead of collaborating. Zero-sum thinking that fails to cater to our common interests.

    Best outcome now depends initially on the extent to which Winston has already identified common-ground policy priorities with Labour/Greens. If he reaches a significant extent of consensus in the preliminary negotiations, a viable three-way coalition becomes more likely. I'm seeing the preliminary election result as a verdict on neoliberalism: as Gareth Morgan said, the nation voted on the basis of self-interest, and nearly half the country want the status quo. If Winston really sides with those who aren't getting the trickle-down, since he now has the opportunity to help shape a genuinely-progressive new government his negotiating strategy ought to prioritise that design.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Where are all the polls at?, in reply to linger,

    The previous day's advance votes are not tallied until 2pm on polling day – but the actual results are not scrutinized and therefore are not released until after close of polls.

    Okay, but I was commenting on the basis of seeing a couple of political reporters telling us that the results from advance voting are likely to be reported soon after 7pm. One would think they'd have inside knowledge to justify that expectation.

    Also, if I were running the process efficiently I'd expect my counting team to report their tallies at the end of each voting day of the advance voting period, so the tallies get regularly updated, so as to enable today's count to be expedited. I grant our civil service haven't become famous for having a culture of efficiency. Anyway, we'll see early evening if the advance voting tallies get reported promptly.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Where are all the polls at?,

    If the skewing effect on the polls since advance voting started is real, highly-motivated voters who are quick off the mark will already have been tallied prior to the polls closing tomorrow and the first media reports thereafter will be of their tally.

    If they mostly want a change of govt we'll see evidence of a swing to Labour/Greens as these first counts are reported - but later in the evening it'll even up (due to most traditionalists voting tomorrow). If this effect happens, early electorate results may contradict recent polling to a surprising extent, but then things will even out later in the evening...

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Where are all the polls at?, in reply to David Haywood,

    early Labour voters would then be excluded from opinion polls, then the polls would record this as a *drop* in Labour support (since the remaining pool of voters available for polling would be skewed disproportionately away from Labour)

    Both of you are onto something with this. I bet the polling companies aren't adjusting their methodology to compensate for the skewing effect of early voting - due to the relative novelty of the option. Mainstream media ought to be pointing out the likelihood of the skewing effect, to put pressure on polling companies to redesign their polling technique. If the actual vote tally contradicts the current big National margin over Labour, your critique will seem robust.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Where are all the polls at?,

    Looks like the latest Colmar Brunton poll has confirmed the prior Reid Research poll: a lead reversal back to National by a large margin and partial deflation of the Ardern effect bubble. My take is that publicising the Labour `make it up as you go along' tax policy has worked for the Nats big time. Labour has not offered any excuse to the public to explain why nine years of opposition isn't ample time to design a credible economic policy - they just keep dodging the question. The Nats just needed to point this out to floating voters to deflate the bubble.

    Undecideds are back up to 14% apparently, so the volatility factor is predominant now. Greens back up to 8%. NZ First down to 5% is a surprise - tempting to see it as a rejection of Winston's refusal to signal his coalition preference to voters. The final poll comes out tonight (newshub).

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Where are all the polls at?, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    Scientists are generally aware of the difference between reporting facts and offering interpretation, and scientists generally seek to test their interpretations by constructing experiments which will either convert interpretation into fact or dismiss it as erroneous speculation.

    Yes, this general practice is a laudable mental discipline. I was referring to the myth of scientific objectivity, and the way scientists participate in public life. The media expect them to report facts but they normally get opinions instead. Since I graduated with a BSc in physics long ago, there's been an unending stream of such media misrepresentation of contraversial issues. Most obviously in recent years in climate science. Scientific assertions about whether or not the evidence means anthropogenic global warming is driving climate change have masqueraded as fact for many years because those making the claims (on both sides) believe they are reporting facts when they are actually reporting their interpretations.

    Same happens with statistics, which probably originated the old adage about `lies, damned lies, & statistics'...

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Where are all the polls at?,

    Yes it does rather incline one to doubt the methodology used by polling companies. Corin Dann commented that Colmar Brunton is being consistent in putting Labour ahead three polls in a row. The margin in tonight's is four points - greater than the margin of error.

    Yet the National lead of ten points in the TV3 poll the other day was also greater than the margin of error! We're supposed to have confidence that both represent political reality, while they contradict each other. I did pass exams in statistics at the University of Auckland, but that was 48 years ago and my perception of the discipline as voodoo science hasn't changed since. Any reader who takes it seriously is welcome to explain why, if they reckon I'm wrong; I won't bother arguing! Interpretation of scientific results is inherently subjective - despite most scientists being addicted to their denial of this fact.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Where are all the polls at?, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    we need to seriously reform our media landscape

    I've felt much the same during the past half-century but there are structural problems that explain why such reform never happens. Primarily the historical fact that private media emerge from an older & more embedded capitalist culture than public media.

    Then there's the reluctance of progressive folks to work in unison - as illustrated by the zero-sum game played against each other by Labour & Greens the past twenty years. When the Greens flagged they'd not stand a candidate in Ohariu to help Labour oust Dunne, Labour failed to reciprocate. They could have taken note of the large electorate vote for James Shaw last time & stood aside to ensure themselves a coalition partner. But no, Labour politicos are too mean-spirited to collaborate.

    Angst about the powers that be using the old divide & rule strategy deployed by empires for millennia seems pointless when the people are so keen to divide amongst themselves all the time anyway.

    I see Labour are now touting a public service tv operation run out of RNZ (instead of transforming TVNZ back into a public broadcaster). If they chartered it to act in the public interest, could be a goer...

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 127 posts Report Reply

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