Stolen Policies

March 3rd, 2008 at 11:30 am by David Farrar

Last week a commenter, Bogus News, has seemingly been busy doing some research. He produced this list, which was reproduced and added to by Keeping Stock:

Removing the $1,890 cap on charitable donations. Donations of any amount, up to an individual’s total net income, will be eligible for the 33.3% rebate. Removing the 5% cap on the level of donations that can be deducted by companies and Maori Authorities.
announced on 27 February 2007
Government announced in 2007 Budget

Full-cost funding for community groups that better covers the true costs of service delivery. Less bureaucracy and fewer compliance costs.
National announced on 16 May 2007
Government announced in 2008 Prime Minister’s Statement

All payments which reimburse volunteers for actual and reasonable expenses will be tax free, regardless of the amount of the payment. Honoraria payments will be tax free up to an amount of $500 per year per person.
National announced on 16 May 2007
Government released a discussion document on 1 November 2007

A greater emphasis on trades training in schools. Giving schools more flexibility to offer their students trades and industry training opportunities outside their school-gates. Expanding school-based apprenticeship training.
National announced on 18 June 2007
Government announced on 30 January 2008

Giving the police the ability to issue time-bound, on-the-spot protection orders to protect families.
National announced on 1 November 2007
Government issued discussion document in mid-December 2007

Committing all fuel tax revenues to the National Land Transport Fund.
National had in 2005 election policy;
announced on 25 July 2007

Serious consideration of Public Private Partnerships for roading projects.
National policy for many years – most recently confirmed on 17 Sep 2007;
Government announced on 7 February 2008

Allowing lines companies to invest in generation, especially from renewable energy sources.
National had in 2005 election policy;
Government introduced with Electricity Industry Reform Amendment Bill, first reading 11 Dec 2007.

Devolving carbon credits to post-1990 forest owners
National announced on 6 March 2007;
Government announced on 20 September 2007

An emissions trading scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
National proposed on 6 October 2006;
Labour announced on 20 September 2007

A multi-year programme of personal tax cuts
National policy for many years;
Government announced on 7 February 2008

Reducing the rate of business tax from 33% to 30%
National had in 2005 election policy;
Labour announced in 2007 Budget

Promoting housing affordability by freeing up the supply of land and cutting building compliance costs
National announced on 5 Aug 2007;
Government announced in 2008 Prime Minister’s Statement

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65 Responses to “Stolen Policies”

  1. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    When will we see the MSM giving National credit for all this?

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  2. Richard Hurst (859 comments) says:

    Somewhere in a bunker deep under Wellington Helen sits poised with pad and pencil awaiting Labours next policy to be announced by John Key.

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  3. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    When will we see the MSM giving National credit for all this?

    They kind of did on 3 News on the weekend, but they only stated four policies if I remember correctly. Their piece was on policies National has stolen off Labour, then offered as “balance” four policies Labour has stolen off of the Nats. Mind you I gave up looking to 3 News for fair and balanced reporting a long time ago!

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  4. Bryce Edwards (248 comments) says:

    This list is excellent, and very useful. I look forward to seeing it updated.

    But equally useful would be the counterpart list of all the policies that National has adopted from Labour, which I assume is probably even longer. I’ll try to develop such a list on my liberation blog.

    Bryce
    http://www.liberation.org.nz

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  5. James W (271 comments) says:

    When can we see the list of policies that National have “stolen” from Act over the last few years? :)

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  6. Inventory2 (10,342 comments) says:

    Cheers for that DPF, but I actually pinched it from Lee C at Monkeys With Typewriters, who had, I believe, lifted it from your own very pages – all sounds a bit incestuous doesn’t it!! I guess it shows though that cross-pollenation across multiple blogs can be an effective tool in disseminating the information that the MSM should be sharing with us.

    To his credit, Duncan Garner did try to talk this up on his “week in politics” piece on 3News last night, although he went arse-about-face at it, initially listing all National’s me-too’s before saying “in the interest of fairness…” and listing some of Labour’s thefts – some, but nowhere near all too I might add.

    Anyway, big ups to Bogusnews who did the hard work – that man deserves a DB!!

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  7. clintheine (1,571 comments) says:

    Facts, facts and more facts David… however much we throw out there there are still idiots out there who will blindly vote Labour no matter what. Labour has managed to keep a stranglehold on a fair amount of stupid people…some stupid enough to want to even stand for them :)

    A good list but when have the left ever depended on facts?

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  8. Chris S (111 comments) says:

    Not sure about you guys, but I’m not totally offended and outraged that our politicians are sharing good ideas with each other. National are not in power, they can not pass legislation. But if a party has an idea and the governing party implement it – whats the big problem if it’s best for New Zealand?

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  9. Chris S (111 comments) says:

    Inventory2: It shows the oft-repeating echo chamber that is the right-wing blogohemisphere.

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  10. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Chris S: no problem at all. But when you get to the point where all Labour’s new policy is actually National policy, well, wouldn’t it be smarter to get the ones with the ideas to run things, rather than the cheap imitation?

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  11. Inventory2 (10,342 comments) says:

    Chris S – your second comment debunks the moderate nature of your first!

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  12. clintheine (1,571 comments) says:

    Chris you missed the point. If you saw Labour politicians work themselves into a lather about these policies in front of the tv cameras only to sneak them into legislation themselves then you wouldn’t be saying that. It sums up Labour succinctly, dishonest and on their way out.

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  13. battler (116 comments) says:

    The Business Tax review was part of the supply and confidence agreement with United Future. National voted against the legislation that cut the tax rate from 33% to 30%.

    United future also pushed for the better deal for charities.

    Before everyone starts crowing that these are ‘stolen’ National party policies, they should remember that National had 9 years in office and did nothing about either of these issues, then voted against the legislation for them.

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  14. GerryandthePM (328 comments) says:

    In her interview with Paul Holmes on NewstalkZB this morning, Helen Clark was talking up Labour’s chances in the Elections with this: “We’re not just resting on our laurels and saying ‘ Well look, we’ve got a great record, vote for us – we’re saying vote for us because we do have the best all round plan for the future’ “.

    Now that begs three questions:

    What laurels ?

    Which great record ?

    Best all round plan for the future ?

    Clark’s constant state of denial of reality is matched only be her audacity in suggesting that the poll results are a bit extreme.

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  15. Chris S (111 comments) says:

    Paul: And in the next election, you may just get your wish. National may govern, the world turns, our democracy works. I’m just surprised that this is being portrayed in such a negative light. I think a successful government needs to take policy from all ends of the political spectrum to make a functioning society and I believe National are learning that too as some of their policies drift decidedly left.

    And Clint, I think you missed the point. I’m saying that policies that are going to benefit our country shouldn’t be stalled or ignored because the political pundits treat this as a petty popularity contest.

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  16. Sam (502 comments) says:

    The analysis is a bit superficial methinks, especially when presenting policy proposals alongside policy announcements – e.g.

    An emissions trading scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    National proposed on 6 October 2006;
    Labour announced on 20 September 2007

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Labour had been proposing such policy well in advance of National – it took a change to the Labour-lite National Party to recognise that ‘Green’ issues needed addressing (if not for actual scientific reasons, then at least for polling concerns).

    Don’t get me wrong, I recognise that policies are going both ways across the floor, in a manner that makes it hard to take any existence of Party principles seriously (I count both Labour and National on that front), but this particular analysis seems to be more hype than substance.

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  17. Sam (502 comments) says:

    What you are suggesting Chris, is that politics have been reconfigured away from natural left/right factions, into some kind of centre-ground free-fall-all. When parties start promoting policies that belong to the other ‘wing’, so to speak, it becomes hard to cast a vote based on traditional left/right principles. You could posit that democracy suffers iin that each election cycle can only hope to bring more of the same ad infinitum…

    I leave you to decide whether that is a good or bad thing…

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  18. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    “When will we see the MSM giving National credit for all this?”

    Well, at about the same time I guess we will see the MSM give Act the credit for most of National’s policies in 2005.

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  19. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    By the way, I don’t think that for the opposition to say they won’t change existing laws, is “theft of policy” in the way that the government enacting new policy from the opposition is.

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  20. Bryce Edwards (248 comments) says:

    Chris S – one of the big problems with one party “stealing” the policies of the other party is that it leads to the two main parties being ideologically similar. This effectively denies voters an electoral choice. Elections are supposed to be mechanisms through which the population decides where the country should go, and if both Labour and National just offer variations on the same route, this means that democracy is rather poor.

    Of course you could argue that there might only be “one route” or that, as you say a particular policy “is good for New Zealand”. However, generally there are many routes, and often policies are not “good for New Zealand” but are actually good for particular sections of New Zealand – we don’t all have the same economic and social interests.

    There’s many more reasons for “policy stealing” to be a bad thing, but one that I’d quickly mention is that often this stealing is done not because a party recognises that their political opponent has a “better policy for New Zealand” but because the policy is seen to be more popular. This means that some parties don’t actually put forward the policies that they think are best, but they put forward lesser policies merely to help them get into office.

    Bryce
    http://www.liberation.org.nz

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  21. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Thanks for the ONLY sensible comments of the entire thread so far Bryce. Indeed, the fact that both the main parties continue to share ever more policy in common simply shows that there’s a new kind of “third way” (in the Giddens sense) consensus beginning to form in NZ which excludes both equality of outcome, and purist/fundamentalist market solutions to social problems, whilst embracing equality of opportunity (WFF) and the general principals of a market economy. It will be interesting to see how long this consensus lasts.

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  22. Sam (502 comments) says:

    ONLY, Roger? or do you selectively read… Bryce echoed my comment of four minutes earlier (only he put it much more clearly)…

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  23. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Apologies to Chris S and Sam – you guys seem to get it as well. To bad the many right wing frothers here don’t seem to be able to get their heads around the idea.

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  24. Chris S (111 comments) says:

    Thanks Bryce, great comments. I concede the point that “better for NZ” is an opinionated gotcha and will differ with who you ask!

    And Sam, is it any worse than having policy flip-flop between election cycles? What’s the net gain for NZ then? Also, you have to recognise that the “political spectrum”, as it were, is getting more and more complicated from the left & right we’ve had drilled into us since day dot. If you haven’t already, see the Political Compass for an example.

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  25. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    No wonder Helen has been banging on her you haven’t released any policy drum. Shes out of ideas.

    Ther only thing they’ve origonated is self serving anti-free speech and public funding for Labour laws.

    How hollow is that!

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  26. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Bryce – one question I have for you. Is our democracy really that poor when genuine alternatives to both the left (Greens, Maori Party) and the right (Act) exist, but the majority of people just choose to not vote for them? Also, the consistency of policy between the two major parties could be read as good in so far as it offers stability to the country? i.e. we don’t get the shocks and subsequent inefficiencies which major policy changes bring.

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  27. dad4justice (8,238 comments) says:

    roger -one question – what language is that because I cannot understand a word of it?

    Poor Helen cannot understand that everybody in the world hates her.

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  28. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    So many words, so little meaning Wodga. WTF are you dribbling on about now?

    Its over, follw the rats to the life boats or learn how to tread water.

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  29. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left (786 comments) says:

    Sam said “but this particular analysis seems to be more hype than substance.”
    I can think of a few blogs that could fight over that slogan. Or just groups…..
    Family First – more hype than substance

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  30. Sam (502 comments) says:

    Chris – I didn’t make a call either way, just extrapolated on your comment. I am well aware of the Political Compass and what it measures and the growing defunctness of the left/right spectrum, but I think that your initial melting-pot ‘model’ is a poor reflection of (and dangerous direction for) contemporary politics.

    I believe that a robust democracy is best served by there being a greater diversity of choices than your melting-pot might otherwise deliver (and the Poltical Compass that you refer to shows how this might exist today). Centre-ground conformity (which your original model implied) could well dumb down politics to being poll-driven and short-term focused (are we there yet?). Without broad spectrums of thought, there would be a lesser range of insight into policy solutions as well.

    As you well know, “policy flip-flop” between cycles is not always possible, and is thus hardly problematic… But the net gain is possibly a greater responsiveness to issues that are not working in the current system.

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  31. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Sorry about the vague writing Dad and Muzza. If you have any specific questions about what I have meant in those above comments, feel free to ask.

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  32. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Labour had been proposing such policy well in advance of National – it took a change to the Labour-lite National Party to recognise that ‘Green’ issues needed addressing (if not for actual scientific reasons, then at least for polling concerns).

    Labour just wanted to tax the country into submission – sorry recession, god forbid they admit a trading market would be the way to go.

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  33. Sam (502 comments) says:

    What a funny kind of concesion that is Bevan ;)

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  34. dad4justice (8,238 comments) says:

    roger gnomic, I don’t debate with crazy cretins who send me nude photos of a Californian governor holding a child’s doll.

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  35. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    What a funny kind of concesion that is Bevan

    No worries Sam, Im willing to consede that Labour are a bunch of idiotic nutjobs who let their ideology get in the way of advancing the country. :-P

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  36. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Dad – you don’t debate ….. full stop.

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  37. Inventory2 (10,342 comments) says:

    roger nome said “Apologies to Chris S and Sam – you guys seem to get it as well. To bad the many right wing frothers here don’t seem to be able to get their heads around the idea.”

    Oh roger – I do despair about you. First you come in with a sensible, moderate comment, but then you revert to type, and your anti-right venom comes out. Whatever are we going to do with you?

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  38. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Inventory – You’re right, that wasn’t constructive. Guess I let my frustration at the one eyed commentators get the better of me at times. My bad.

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  39. Johnboy (16,651 comments) says:

    Understand it all now nome what a master plan. Once Labour and Nationals policies merge into one the fringe parties and their followers can be liquidated and the stability of the one party state will be upon us. I think its been tried before by a couple of short arses with moustaches and it all ended in a lot of grief.

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  40. dad4justice (8,238 comments) says:

    roger – sent anymore nude photos to your friend in you know where? Really gnome try and think about what you are doing. You are far from clever and quite frankly I feel very sorry for your miserable life.

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  41. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    What the hell are you going on about dad?

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  42. Inventory2 (10,342 comments) says:

    Sam – I don’t have a problem with similar idealogies from the two major parties, and to a degree, that is inevitable in an election year. However I DO object to Helen Clark constantly slating John Key and National as lacking in substance, and crying out “Show us ya policy!” when there is clear evidence that National has released policy, and equally clear evidence that Labour has not only accepted that some of National’s policies are sound, it has embraced them as its own! Let’s have a bit of honesty here.

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  43. dc (144 comments) says:

    battler, it’s a bit disingenuous to imply that National voted against lower company tax rates. As they made clear in Parliament they voted against the “Taxation (Annual Rates, Business Taxation, KiwiSaver, and Remedial Matters) Bill” because it didn’t lower personal income tax rates.

    Labour’s stated intention when cutting the company tax rate was to compete with Australia, but Australia didn’t cut to 30% until 2001, so you can hardly blame National for failing to compete with Australia when they weren’t in power (indeed it’s a shame Labour took 6 years to respond).

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  44. Sam (502 comments) says:

    I2 – I have no objections to your objections, and entirely agree regarding the hysterical rhetoric that seems to be all that Labour can muster at the moment… the only thing I could say in HC’s defense is that National Policy announcements a pretty light on detail, but unlike HC – this is exactly what I would expect at this stage of an election year.

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  45. Inventory2 (10,342 comments) says:

    Sam said “the only thing I could say in HC’s defense is that National Policy announcements a pretty light on detail, but unlike HC – this is exactly what I would expect at this stage of an election year”

    Agreed Sam, and that’s why it should come as no surprise to anyone that National is “keeping its powder dry” until a little nearer the election, and at least until after the budget.

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  46. Chris Diack (741 comments) says:

    It’s trite to accuse one party of stealing the policies of another because it depends on when u start your comparison.

    Of course policies flow back and forth between the parties in Parliament. Public policy debates aren’t static nor are the views of voters on these issues.

    And as others have indicated there is a variety of reasons why some policies become that status quo of both big parties – of course that would be an indicator that we have two fundamentally conservative status quo parties one centre left one centre right. In this light, the 4th Labour Government was more akin to its forebears – it sought to radically alter New Zealand. Helen Clark’s 5th Labour led Government represents the final taming of any radicalism.

    Looking closely at the august list, by golly what an utterly underwhelming list of achievements or poaching. I mean heady stuff – its certainly raising my flag. I mean strap-yourself-in it’s gonna be giddy days with a new National led Government – right up their in the excitement stakes.

    National has no hidden reform agenda they only have one big idea and it is very explicit – they will better manage things now that Helen Clark and Labour are looking tired and outta steam.

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  47. ton (35 comments) says:

    So last year when John Key accidentally said “under a Labour Party I lead” (or whatever he said exactly), he probably didn’t realise his slip up would become reality!

    John Key (or National) come up with a policy, Labour implements it! Therefore John Key is (effectively) leading the Labour Party!

    Ha ha!

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  48. Bryce Edwards (248 comments) says:

    Roger – good question, and I’m not entirely sure how to answer it. But here’s a quick attempt:

    [1] The Greens, Act, and Maori Party are increasingly part of that same consensus that you identify as being the Third Way. Increasingly all these parties are also shifting towards the centre. Both the Greens and Act no longer emphasize their economic policy of rolling back the neoliberal reforms (Greens) and extending out the neoliberal reforms (Act). Instead they’ve chosen less radical (and arguably populist) areas of policy to concentrate on. The Maori Party is essentially a centre party already, with leftish and rightish factions.

    [2] The major parties have created a climate of centrism whereby radicalism and reform are derided. They have become increasingly poll-driven and pragmatic which has a self-perpetuating role of pushing voters towards the centre.

    [3] The MMP electoral system is still very anti-democratic due to the existence of the 5% threshold. This means that its not a proportional representation system at all. The 5% threshold not only keeps out smaller and new parties that might be more radical, but it forces the minor parties that dwell around 5% (Greens, NZ First, Act, etc) to be more populist in order to ensure that they don’t drop beneath the magic number. This all has an affect of reducing political diversity in elections.

    In terms of the stability argument – that’s perfectly legitimate. But we certainly haven’t had a problem with stability in NZ politics since 1984. Regardless of which major party has been in power, the same economic framework and most of the same social policies have endured when Labour and National has swapped over. This has led to huge dissatisfaction amongst voters (especially in 1990+) and the consequent decline in voter turnout.

    Bryce
    http://www.liberation.org.nz

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  49. Richard Hurst (859 comments) says:

    Bryce: the threshold is used for the same reason the Germans use it : to keep out the fruitcakes and nut jobs e.g Nazi’s, communists, white power, the red brigade, etc etc. Can you imagine the damage just one or two extremist List MP’s could do running lose paid by taxpayers for 3 years? Sorry but if I have to accept a voting system that isn’t 100% proportional in exchange for a stable society and government its an exchange I’m happy to make.

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  50. tim barclay (886 comments) says:

    The Labour Party ran out of ideas a long time ago. You just need to read all those stupid Ministerial press releases announcing some grant to this or that organisation to realise that the Government has stopped thinking and is just processing a civil service agenda. Time to withdraw the various confidence and supply agreements and have an election.

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  51. Brownie () says:

    Perhaps Dad has run out of his monthly Prozac prescription allready. Don’t worry Dad, only a few more days to go till the end of the mon…………. oh………. oh dear…… whats the date today?

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  52. GerryandthePM (328 comments) says:

    Bryce Edwards says : ” [1] The Greens, Act, and Maori Party are shifting towards the centre. Both the Greens and Act no longer emphasize their economic policy of rolling back the neoliberal reforms (Greens) and extending out the neoliberal reforms (Act). Instead they’ve chosen less radical (and arguably populist) areas of policy to concentrate on. The Maori Party is essentially a centre party already, with leftish and rightish factions.”

    In particular, the suggestion that they are “increasingly part of that same consensus that you identify as being the Third Way” is less about a shift in policy so much as the “donning of sheep’s clothing” to gain acceptance as a fallback position for disenchanted voters seeking a second choice. Should this result in their party winning enough seats to become a coalition consideration, then their less attractive policies become their bargaining bottom line. Third way? Don’t think so.

    This is the distasteful outcome of MMP, where electors are used as collateral in the backroom machinations of the power hungry.

    Maori voters who are enticed by the “electoral carsalesmen” to give their party vote to Labour are being suckered.

    Wouldn’t have thought they needed a history lesson.

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  53. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Bryce – Interesting stuff. I agree that the Greens and Act have become more centrist over the last 5 years. I disagree with your labeling the Maori Party as centrist however. They are a centre-left party, and I think their voting record in parliament confirms this.

    i.e.

    Audrey Young reports from the Maori Party conference, and mentions that some analysis had been done on how often the Maori Party votes with and against the other parties. The findings were:

    * Greens – 108 with, 55 against
    * Labour 89 with, 80 against
    * National 55 with, 112 against

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2007/10/how_the_maori_party_votes.html

    So while I agree that parties are tending to become more centrist, there’s still plenty choice.

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  54. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    >>whilst embracing equality of opportunity (WFF)

    in what world is WFF equality of opportunity? taking my money so that i can’t afford to have kids, and giving it to someone who had kids they ‘apparently’ can;t afford is not equality of opportunity, its theft.

    drop taxes and let us make our own decisions with our own money, thats equality of opportunity.

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  55. Inventory2 (10,342 comments) says:

    3 News poll out tonight – headline is “More bad news for Labour”

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/03/3-news-february-poll.html

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  56. Bogusnews (474 comments) says:

    As a point of interest, much as I’d love to say I researched all this, I in fact had the list sent to me. The only work I did was to check it and make sure it was accurate.

    Certainly does put paid to the nonsense spouted out by many of the lefties who say National has no policies.

    Nice to see you are putting it up on site DPF.

    [DPF: You mean you are getting National talking points that I haven't seen? Oh God there go the conspiracy theories. Of course I haven't actually seen any Nat talking points in over two years but regardless people seem to think I have some secret source]

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  57. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    roger nome opines:

    …genuine alternatives to both the left (Greens, Maori Party) and the right (Act) exist, but the majority of people just choose to not vote for them…

    I think your argument fails on the word choose roger. If in fact the majority of people were even half as engaged and informed as even the least informed commenter here, you’d be right. If the average New Zealander could recite even basic political history with as much depth of understanding, not to mention passion, as they can recite the All Blacks’ or the Black Caps’ match histories and statistics, then yes.

    But when, for instance, the people of Ohariu continue to inflict Peter Dunne on the rest of NZ “because he’s a good local MP” (at least that’s the only excuse I’ve ever heard), thus implicitly rejecting the notion that anyone else could ever do as good a job of opening school fetes and lobbying for new pedestrian crossings – because they’re simply too bloody lazy to think and see the bigger picture – I don’t think there’s a lot of intelligent choices being made.

    Similarly, when both major parties think they can get away with a “two ticks” message – let alone benefit from it as they do – because, years after its introduction, so many people haven’t bothered to understand MMP – then I don’t think there’s much intelligent choice happening.

    Far too many NZers still vote with their gut not their brain. That’s why National thinks it can simply float across the finish line on a tide of anti-Labour sentiment. And they may well be right. Because when enough people get fed up with one of the major parties they’ll vote for the other one rather than expend the time and mental energy examining any alternatives.

    Their “choice” is no more informed than that of the young woman featured in the Herald a while back (and mentioned by DPF) who was going to vote Green because it was “cool”.

    I’m not sure what the answer is…. compulsory civics education would be a start, certainly. Perhaps we need to make politics into show business the way the Americans have done. I still like the idea of an IQ test / political current affairs quiz as a prerequisite to voting though ;-)

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  58. dad4justice (8,238 comments) says:

    “Perhaps Dad has run out of his monthly Prozac prescription allready.”

    No Brownie, unlike your Liarbour idols I don’t need loony pills. While were talking about stolen things, I do wonder how many tax payer funded pills the Labour front bench is on everytime they open their silly cake holes trying to impose their rants, which are merely a loose collection of intellectual conceits?

    I am really cranking up the thumbs down on this thread. Good I couldn’t give a continental hoot.

    Liarbour will leave a liability not a legacy!

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  59. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Rex – point taken. The choice between parties is often quite an empty one when it’s made without any real consideration. However this doesn’t mean that there’s a lack of choice, just that New Zealanders are often politically apathetic.

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  60. John Dalley (394 comments) says:

    Now that i have stopped rolling arond the floor laughing, i have to say “What National Policies”
    Natiional Musings maybe but national Policies, i don’t think so. National has still to get of the top of the fence from where it has been dancing for so long.
    With the elections still some way of, the scrutiny of National and John Key is non existant. Whatch there ficticious poll lead rapidly evaporate when policy starts to be released.
    DPF – Your list above is just a rehash of all things said before.

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  61. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    JD why are they going to come out with anything this early on and let Labour steal it.

    Even your mate Chris Trotter was on the radio tonight stating your beloved leader is out of ideas.

    Suck it up buddy its going to be a long and painful year for the left.

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  62. dad4justice (8,238 comments) says:

    Dalley come election time Liarbour will be joining the 20% broken arse club.

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  63. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    AN EARLY PREDICTION.
    National annoucement, early 2007 John Key annouces that the Liarbore party are heading for an election loss in 08.
    Liarbore annoucement, March 2008 Liarbore arse lickers in deep dispair proclaiming Dear Leader and Liarbore are dog tucker come the next election.

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  64. kehua (225 comments) says:

    Rex and Roger— This is presicely where the Maori Party has an advantage over other Parties every Hui, 21st, Wedding and Tangi are akin to an organised Party meeting with lots of time to debate the issues of the day by a very diverse, economic and geographically resident, network. Pretty much the way that Grey Power operated in the early NZ First days.

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  65. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    kehua – very, very good point. That is how NZF operated. And even more informally… every time more than two people with any grey in their hair got together for tea and scones it was an informal party meeting :-D But with it’s high level of Maori support at the time it wasn’t just Grey Power meetings. I remember attending the tangi of my then-partner’s father and grandfather during my NZF days and much of the talk then was political. And word-of-mouth beats money any day when it comes to influencing votes.

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