Labour never learn

September 5th, 2008 at 4:51 pm by David Farrar

have learnt nothing from the . It was a partisan attempt to skew the electoral laws in their favour. And they have done it again their announcement of an expert panel to review electoral administration and political party funding.

Electoral law does not belong to Labour. It represents the basic constitution of our country. And once again they are desperately trying to bring in further state funding of political parties.

Labour have announced the expert panel just weeks out from a general election. That is bad enough and a breach of conventions. A panel which reviews electoral law is a bloody significant appointment. But they totally failed to consult the Opposition on its composition. Electoral law issues should be as bi-partisan as possible. Sure at the end of the day, parties may have to agree to disagree, but you do not start off the process by excluding the major Opposition party.

I made this point back in June, when the proposal was announced. I said:

  1. The independent experts must be chosen by a super majority of parliamentary parties, not just by the Government of the day. The formula which I like is that any appointments must be agreed to by party leaders representing over 75% of the MPs and over 50% of the parties in Parliament. This means that not only must both major parties agree, but so must at least half of the minor parties.
  2. The issues, terms of references and high level process must also be signed off by that super-majority. The most unforgivable crime that Labour and the have done with the EFA is to treat electoral law as a bauble for the winner, rather than a bipartisan constitutional law.
  3. Issues referred to a Citizen’s Jury should be in totality, not just a narrow aspect such as of political parties. It is ridicolous to exclude from consideration all the issues dealt with by the Electoral Finance Act. In fact the EFA should be abolished immediately upon a change of Government, and a citizen’s jury could be used as part of the process of consulting on and determining its replacement.

You see the concept of a panel of exports and a citizen’s jury is not without merit. But as usual Labour’s desperation to skew everything, destroys what should be a worthwhile endeavour. Now that was not just my view back in June, but also Green co-leader Russel Norman agreed partially with me:

David Farrar says some silly National Party things about the citz assembly but he also makes some good points over at Kiwiblog. He says the political party buyin should be as broad as possible – I agree with that but don’t know how to acheive it give the politicisation of the issue.

He also says that the terms of reference should be broad. I agree that they should be broader than simply ’state funding of parties’ but after talking to Jonathan Rose (an expert on citz assemblies) I’m not sure the ToR should be too broad. He says that if they’re too broad the assembly lacks focus. maybe there is a compromise in there somewhere.

So did Russel stand up to Labour and say don’t just appoint a panel without consulting the other parties. We insist you go to National and ask if they have any recommended panelists and what they think of the ones you propose? No they roll over, as usual:

“The Forum will provide much needed independence in the review of election funding”, Green Party Co-Leader says.

Independent? When the Government hand picks the panel that will advise them?

“While the Act was needed to close loopholes in the law revealed at the last election, we need a more inclusive and disinterested process to further consider the bigger picture of political party and election funding.

“We hope that all New Zealanders will support this process and that we can find a place to have some non-partisan reasoned discussion about the future of our democracy.”

Non-partisan??? Fuck all hope of that considering there was *zero* consultation with the Opposition.

Now I am not attacking the integrity of any the three panelists. I know two of them, and they have a lot to contribute in this area. However the Government has obviously chosen the panel, based on the known viewpoints of some of them. Associate Professor Geddis has written supportively of state funding on many occassions and in the Press described the issue as:

This failure to really debate the pros and cons of public funding is regrettable. The public was never given the choice of whether it would rather politicians get their money from large, hidden, private donations or taxpayer grants.

Now if the citizens assembly gets the choice described to them in that terms, I can guarantee you what they will say. Just as if you describe it as “Should parties raise their own money from volunteers and supporters or take it from unwilling taxpayers” you would get a quite different result from the assembly.

Now I am not saying Geddis, would put choices in as crude terms as he did in The Press article. He has written some very useful stuff on the issue. I am not even saying I would not have him on the panel. What I am saying is that the process has been tainted from the very beginning by the lack of consultation with the Opposition.

Also ironically now is the victim of something he advocated against:

First, the failure to consult with opposition parties before introducing the Bill to the House leaves it vulnerable to allegations of partisanship. Electoral law should not be, nor be seen to be, a vehicle for one party to gain an advantage over others.

Geddis is right. Maybe he should have made a condition of his participation on the panel, being that the Government consult on its membership.

The panel and assembly should be terminated if there is a change of Government. However I would advocate that a National-led Government look at using a similiar mechanism in reviewing parts of the Electoral Act post-election. And they should consult with and get buy-in from all the parties on the composition and terms of reference of such a panel.

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48 Responses to “Labour never learn”

  1. freethinker (648 comments) says:

    Agreed Labour never learn – but will John Key – time to take a firm stand now and tell the electorate this bill or whatever will be canned instantly by a National government and a proper process undertaken – use this as a pilot to check if firm leadership does garner support.

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  2. Buggerlugs (1,609 comments) says:

    I do hope the Nats will do everything in their power (even if it is slightly wrong) to ensure the only job Annette King can get after the election is as an oral hygienist. I’m so angry about yet another corruption of power that I went next door and kicked their cat.

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  3. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Helen Klark/ Labour have always been obsessed with getting the mug taxpayer to pay for their party propaganda. What absolutely disgusting people we have in control of our country. Baffling to me that they can still muster the support they do. I guess that is what happens when for so long, you don’t have a real opposition prepared to offer real alternatives. We need Sarah Palin.

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  4. Labour are scum (58 comments) says:

    It’s all explained in “The Communist Manifesto” (1848). Read it!
    http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html

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  5. GerryandthePM (328 comments) says:

    Labour have learnt nothing from the Electoral Finance Act. It was a partisan attempt to skew the electoral laws in their favour. And they have done it again their announcement of an expert panel to review electoral administration and political party funding.

    It is National that has learnt nothing.

    Are you suggesting that the EFA was not intentional? That the confusion created is not welcomed by the left?

    Labour’s attitude over electoral law is akin to the ripoff businessman’s retort “So sue me”.

    Labour acts this way because they can.

    So who you gonna call?

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

    Talk about death by a thousand cuts we have death by a thousand corrupt laws. God this place is going to the dogs, is there nothing short of armed intervention to make these evil bastards see the error of their ways. Prehaps the most scary thing about this government is the way they have dumb down, conned, bribed and bullshitted the people to believe they have no option other then vote for the evil empire. Some days I despair.

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  7. andrei (2,430 comments) says:

    I don’t know why you are crowing Farrar – day by day is obvious Key and National are far from ready for the big time – once again I see Mallard releasing National party policy – useless as it is.

    God know what the humble voter is to do but despite Labour being the most appaling government ever . Key and National are worse than useless I might even vote Labour just to hope that one day National will be a credible alternative because they are not now and that is for sure.

    I don’t want Lab0our lite and your useless crew

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  8. homepaddock (429 comments) says:

    A commenter on my blog said Stepehn Levine who is a member of the panel stood for Labour in the 70s.

    It can’t be coincidence that state funding is in the terms of reference and Clark suggested it as the solution to NZ First’s donations debacle this week.

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  9. stayathomemum (140 comments) says:

    This is just incredible – this woman knows no bounds. I am outraged with the outright corruption that this Labour-led government and Helen Clark constantly display.
    They must be stopped, but there seems to be no way left anymore – they have covered most of their bases and we have only one left – to vote once every 3 years.
    The media always seem to be aligned to the current regime, and the alternative voice is not allowed to be heard anymore since they ruled that as illegal.
    There is going to be a civil war in this country if this unwanted government scrapes its way to power again.
    God save New Zealand.

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  10. newman24 (31 comments) says:

    The EFA is as silly a law as you can get. Labour are self-serving as are the leeches that hang off them.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the minor parties and especially the parties outside of parliament do in relation to their campaign given the effective gagging that they get from the EFA.

    side show bob – don’t despair! People that i talk to are looking for change (just like you and me) and they feel that National will deliver this with the support of ACT. Question to ask is will ACT offer enough seats to form a coalition or do they need another party to help form ranks.

    Where will a credible alternative come from that is enough to the right to muster arms, but has a credible enough campaign strategy – coz 5% threshold ain’t going to be an easy goal for any of them to achieve.

    Unless they can win an electorate, they’re history!

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  11. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Just as a personal observation, Geddis is a dick.

    What’s more, he’s a blatantly left wing dick.

    Thank god he was on sabbatical when I took the compulsory public law paper at Otago.

    This panel is yet another charade.

    Time to go buy shares in Banana plantations, I think

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  12. Buggerlugs (1,609 comments) says:

    Not a big or as gullible a dick as andrei, though.

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  13. andrei (2,430 comments) says:

    The only gullible one is you buggerlugs – if National can’t keep their policy papers out of Labour’ s hands God help us with documents pertaining to National security.

    I loath Labour but this clearly demonstrates that National are inept certainly not Government material.

    Actually I wont vote Labour probably wont vote but Key is no better than Clark and an amateur to boot

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  14. Mr Dennis (348 comments) says:

    We (Family Party) are having enough trouble with the current limited state funding for broadcasting, we certainly don’t want more state funding. It will just entrench Labour and National still further, reversing what MMP was supposed to achieve – open up Parliament to smaller parties.

    Labour is just trying to put the Party in complete control of everything. We don’t have three independent branches of government any more. The ruling party controls the governor general (who by convention never objects to what they want), and now controls the judiciary with the abolition of the Privy Council. Now Labour wants to entrench themselves still further. Despicable.

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  15. a3catlady (58 comments) says:

    Crikey, another convention that protects our democracy bits the dust – are there any left??? In fact are there any intelligent kiwis left to do anything about it, or have we reached the limit of what we can take and are either leaving the country or burying our heads in the sand and hoping like hell that if we work hard enough, pay enough taxes, say yes Helen often enough and smile encouragingly at Michael Cullen our own little corner of Godzone will remain ours.
    Great to see some of you still keen enough to be outraged, how many more are beyond this nonsense and are just desperately hoping for an end to it all sometime soon but are not sure if the light that we think we might see at the end of the tunnel is not just the train coming.
    I want democracy back, I want some honesty and decency from our leaders back, I want some real leadership, the bold, visionary type.

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  16. Michael E (274 comments) says:

    What shows that the Labour Party saw the EFA as a “bash National” exercise is the number of times they’ve been found in breach of it – they never considered it might apply to them!

    It’s not like they weren’t warned!

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  17. getstaffed (9,188 comments) says:

    want democracy back, I want some honesty and decency from our leaders back, I want some real leadership, the bold, visionary type

    … and New Zealand needs many, many more people like you !

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  18. Miritu (23 comments) says:

    DPF, surely that’s a bit naive. Labour will do whatever it takes to stay in power. My guess is that this will soon pale into insignificance – there is far more to come.

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  19. Rex Widerstrom (5,125 comments) says:

    Only a party top-heavy with arrogant academics could choose a panel on a subject as fundamental to every single citizen as the foundations of democracy and end up with an academic, an academic and, just to round things out and provide some perspective, an academic.

    It’s hilarious to hear the left criticise John Key for being “out of touch” because he’s a rich former currency trader. To some extent they’re correct. But nowhere near as out of touch as a party whose leader and deputy leader consider their own backgrounds, littered with useless theses and research papers, to be the primary – indeed it appears the sole – fount of all knowledge.

    On the one hand you have a bewlidered dental nurse who no doubt is terribly impressed with the title “Professor” because she was once taught by some and, like many who don’t get past undergraduate level, think it’s a mark of genius. Then you’ve got Helen Clark, Michael Cullen, Steve Maharey et al who believe their own hype (academics’, I mean, not Labour’s) and think squeaking a thesis past a panel of bored reviewers is truly a badge of omniscience.

    It’s not whether professor so-and-so once stood for Labour or doctor such-and-such once wrote a letter to the editor critical of Helen Clark – it’s the fact that academics are, in general, so far removed from the reality of ordinary New Zealanders that they cannot and should not presume to know what they think, what they want, or what is best for them (and, at the risk of souding like our friend Nome, I say that as someone with a postgrad qualification. I value education. But I also know its limits).

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  20. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    ya de ya de ya de ya – Labour never learn – blah de blah. With National handing the election to them on a fucking plate every day, what the fuck difference does it make? Who is there out there who can really make a difference to this shower? Why, the opposition party. Except it is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike, as we all watch it self-destruct before our very eyes. Why? because Labour is more popular? no. Because people like Labour policy? no. Because Clark is a well-liked leader? no. Oh I know why. It’s because they act like a bunch of incompetents who appear hell-bent on snatching defeat right out of the very jaws of victory. So what do we get instead? Another three years of impotent belly-aching about how ‘evil’ Labour are? Can’t be bothered. Fuck all of them.

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  21. Buggerlugs (1,609 comments) says:

    if National can’t keep their policy papers out of Labour’ s hands God help us with documents pertaining to National security

    christ’s sake, you conspiracy theorist’s wet dream, environment and TVNZ policies are hardly up there with national security documents (which we have fuck all of, BTW)

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  22. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    I agree with the sentiment of Lee C’s post. We have no business asking Labour to give up power. Do you believe they’re even concerned? National need to get their shit together and fast.

    And for godssake, someone re-hire John Ansell. Give him whatever it is he wants, needs or otherwise, because we need his ideas in action. He comes up with better ideas as passing thoughts on this blog than what’s being officially trotted out. National need punching power now.

    It’s no longer good enough to say “we tried”.

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  23. Buggerlugs (1,609 comments) says:

    tend to agree with gg – those billboards are 9/10ths of fuck-all. There better be something up Key or Oldershaw’s sleeve other than hairy arms.

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  24. newman24 (31 comments) says:

    buggerlugs is spot on. Drove past the billboard by the airport on the motorway and even with a light on it, it was difficult to read or even know it was National! Only ‘coz a friend driving ahead happened to see it and phoned me to tell me to look out for it.

    Oops – don’t tell the cellphone gestapo that I was using a cellphone whilst driving!

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  25. first time caller (384 comments) says:

    I see the great NZ knocking machine is working well today.

    The Right doesn’t need whining mates as well as moaning enemies.

    Who gives a shit if Mallard wants to lisp around like a wanker…notice he didn’t talk about the policies at all.

    I want to vote on policy, the other contributing factor would be ethics. It wont be for a party that puts up secret tape recorders, and leaks the others policies…

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  26. Buggerlugs (1,609 comments) says:

    ftc – you might want to vote on policy, as do I. my worry is that at least 50% of the population vote with their own interests at heart.

    National not putting someone up to shoot down Mallard head to head today was a fucking disgrace – we know Nick Smith can take him apart, so why not unleash him? Jonathan Coleman, I’m not so sure about.

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  27. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    No donor is going to touch Labour now, and they know it.

    So this idea of alternative funding for just the Labour Party can come as no surprise.

    H1 and H2 aer going to assume total control real soon.

    Don’t be surprised when the election never happens

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  28. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Until National get motivated to take these Bastards apart, nothing will happen for them.

    Key does appear to be shifty on camera. FFS why can’t he just be honest, and outspoken. Try it, it works!

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  29. Buggerlugs (1,609 comments) says:

    GM – the election will happen – but wait for the flood of electoral petitions from a bunch of former unionists and other associated no-hopers straight afterward. it will tie up our constitutional arrangements in such knots not even houdini could deliver a result. clark is a conniving bitch, albeit a clever one.

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  30. Rex Widerstrom (5,125 comments) says:

    Lee C: I was just saying as much today to a real lefty over at The Standard. S/he rants away on his blog, appropriately enough called “Red Rave” and a lot of it is hardline Marxist / Lenist stuff. But even that’s refreshing compared to what Labour has become. To be fair to RedRave in the comment I was responding to s/he offers some intelligent if debateable policy options on social inequality.

    And National’s no better. “Uninspired” would be a compliment. Asleep on their feet might be more accurate.

    Just drop the red and the blue, guys, and go with the grey. Or beige.

    There, that can be your big pre-election announcement, National. Or Labour. Whoever, I forget which one you are: “We’re going beige. And we’ve got a leak that the other lot are going grey. Nyah nyah nyah. Plans for the country? What do we look like to you, idealists?”

    And maybe, first time caller, as you say:

    The Right doesn’t need whining mates as well as moaning enemies.

    But you know what it does need? To get off it’s ass and earn the respect of the majority of NZers. And it’s not going to do it with some pissant piss weak billboards.

    You know what’s wrong with small targets? They’re not worth aiming at.

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  31. Miritu (23 comments) says:

    Sadly, NZ deserves more of the same. Expect another 3 years of disaster.

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  32. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    It amazes me how much bluster there is in here from people who complain about National being Labour-lite. I wonder if your courage extends past your keyboard.

    Labour is crap and potentially dangerous for NZ and we all know that. However, complaining about what John Key and Bill English should or shouldn’t be doing won’t change jack in the next 6-8 weeks. Bill English has been doing this for longer than many of you have been able to feed yourselves and has experienced the highs and lows and mistakes and successes of politics. John Key is newer but he didn’t become richer than most of us will ever be by being wrong.

    If you feel passionate about a change in government, can I sincerely encourage you to help your local National Party branch over the next 6-8 weeks. You don’t have to be a member, just volunteer. As a low ranking party official I can assure you that even the smallest amount of volunteer time goes a long way.

    Or are you just all talk?

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  33. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    Still expecting a National – Maori party minority government after the election because Labour is due some utu for the Foreshore and Seabed Act and the Maori Party won’t want to become Labour’s bitch like the Greens have….but it is so good to watch National squirm and to watch NZ First self destruct.

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  34. reid (15,531 comments) says:

    “or are you all just talk”

    John Key may be richer than I’ll ever be but that doesn’t mean he’s always correct.

    My guess is that National’s strategic thrust during Key’s entire reign originates from their close loss last election which IMO the Nats have put down to the possibility in their eyes that Brash didn’t do enough to build coalitions. (Personally I think they’re wrong, on my reading the late announcement of the Student Loans tipped the balance just enough last election, timed as it was and given the leverage it had, but from their actions I interpolate the Nats believe otherwise.)

    In my view this has given rise to a level of paranoia in National’s ranks which blinds them to strategic imperatives.

    In my view this false belief is the reason why Key comes across as such a vanilla figure lest he offend a potential partner. This has been done to such an extent that now he gives people the impression he doesn’t speak his mind which of course lends fuel to Liarbore’s secret agenda bullshit but he and the strategists have brought that upon themselves.

    There is a lack of boldness in his vision and administration, a bland, insipid tone. The latest billboards typify this but it’s also reflected in his every move since he was elected.

    I forgive him since I believe he will be, once he assumes power and finds his feet, an excellent leader. However he and his strategists and I know McCully is numbered amongst them but he shouldn’t be, have not responded to the clear evidence that this country is crying out for some significant change and not just mere platitudes.

    I have always voted conservative and I never went through the Liberal phase so Key doesn’t have to appeal to me, he’s already got my vote. However the moving center (a.k.a. the reef fish) are the ones who decide govts and so far he’s offered them nothing, nada, zip, except non-offensive tippy toes.

    Fuck that. I say, Key, trust your instincts. Ditch McCully, give the voters something they remember, give them a policy that Liarbore really shrieks at. You have to poll around 46-48% to govern and if you’re less than that you won’t get there. Appealing to the Greens or the Maori Party is pointless, they will NEVER go with you. Differentiate yourself from this current govt or you’re history and so are the Nats, for yet another term.

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  35. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Hear hear REID!

    National need to push some of Labours faults through soundbites.

    Use the media, don’t be evasive.

    HC does it so well. They have their job done for them.

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  36. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,786 comments) says:

    I agree with david on this aspect, “The panel and assembly should be terminated WHEN there is a change of Government”

    National’s focus once in government should be a swing in the opposite direction from Labour. Turn off the taps to Labour’s funding. Reform the funding of parliamentary services. No Public funding of political parties and no limits to advertising spending on any type of media. Let see Labour live that those market forces.

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  37. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Rex and Reid you have stated in more polite and mature language than I on http://monkeyswithtypewriter.blogspot.com/2008/09/how-to-fuck-up-and-election-1.html last night.

    East Wellington Superhero – “If you feel passionate about a change in government, can I sincerely encourage you to help your local National Party branch over the next 6-8 weeks. You don’t have to be a member, just volunteer. As a low ranking party official I can assure you that even the smallest amount of volunteer time goes a long way.

    Or are you just all talk?”

    As much as I admire your commitment I’m too busy doing twelve-hour days in my business then squeezing a bit of time with the wife and kid. So perhaps I am ‘just talk’. But at the end of a week when the National Leadership has been exposed as Laurel and Hardy who would want to join them? Hardly a good week to be going on a recruiting drive. You see, it is one thing to be passionate about – say electoral reform, but another, at the end of a week of complete silence on kiwiblog about the leaks, to come on here and be tossed another crumb of outrage at Labour’s plans for the next election and be expected to do a Pavlov’s Dog at it.
    ““The panel and assembly should be terminated WHEN there is a change of Government” says DPF –
    Because the way things are being conducted at top-level by National, there won’t be. In terms of being ‘All talk’ I think I’d rather invest in some bricks next time, because National is looking as effective in opposition as tits on a snake. Perhaps it is they who are ‘All Talk’?

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  38. Viking2 (10,715 comments) says:

    National have always needed a backbone so two ticks to ACT.
    I mean look at the billboards are pathetic to say the least, policy leaks all over the place and just to brighten your day have a look at this, for the Nats confused message. Labour couldn’t have even done it better if they tried hard to find a way to sabotage the advertising.

    /www.nzherald.co.nz/column/story.cfm?c_id=702&objectid=10530617

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  39. GJ (329 comments) says:

    I think the public of New Zealand are just sick and tired pf politicians and parties attacking each other, therefore they just shut off to things that are in fact very relevant and important to them. What we are sadly lacking from our political leaders is visionary leadership.
    Look at the elections in the states, they are not promoting policies they are inspiring vision!
    As much as I like John Key, I have never heard him inspire me with his vision for NZ. What sort of country is he planning to build for my children and grandchildren?
    We need to get back to some basic fundamentals and strong leadership is one of those. Not everyone will agree with the strong leader, but strong leadership will inspire people. This is something John Key needs to learn very quickly.
    This election must produce some surprises, because of the lack of this strong leadership. Don’t be surprised to see a minor party outside of parliament come through this gapping gap. It is a season for unexpected change.
    Our current leaders have left the gate wide open and do not appear to realize it. It will be a very very interesting election.

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  40. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    From the TV3 news site:

    “3 News can also reveal we were informed of John Key’s meeting on Monday with British billionaire Lord Ashcroft because of a leak from within the National Party”

    I hadn’t heard this before, if this is true it explains an awful lot – and the Nats have some problems, similar to last election

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  41. rightofleftcentre (75 comments) says:

    Up to the last couple of weeks I thought it impossible for National to lose the election. After the events of the last 2 weeks I am having difficulty seeing them win it!

    These 2 weeks have been a gift squandered. They SHOULD have cemented Nationals claim to office.

    Squandered by vacillating and palpably weak leadership. Key seems terrified of saying “the wrong thing”. He is tip-toeing around like he’s on egg shells in case he blows it on TV!

    This may not be the actual reality of the leadership, but that’s how Joe Public is reading it and it’s Joe Public who will decide the election. Not a bunch of right wing bloggers.

    Unstrap yourself John. Let us know loudly and strongly what you and your party REALLY stand for. Show some statesmanship and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be the next PM.

    I’ll be in despair if you aren’t!

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  42. getstaffed (9,188 comments) says:

    Regarding leaks – find ‘em and audit their bank accounts forensic SFO-style. Their will be dirty public money in there IMHO. I’m guessing that a ‘turned Nat’ will be loyal to their own selfish ambition first, and Labour ideology a distant second.

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  43. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I’m no savant, but wouldn’t a good way to deal with leaks, like, be to actually tell people about your intentions in the first place, instead of pussy-footing around as if you have something to hide? Is Key not at liberty to meet with whomsoever he wants? To try and disguise the fact not only plays into the hands of the ‘secret-agenda’ conspiracy theorists, but also represents a pc-motivated suppression of our freedom to associate. Looks like getstaffed and ourselves have suggested some credible ideas. I just wish I was on the same salary as their so-called advisors are ….

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  44. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    theres an easy sequence tag you put on document to later find the origin. Im surprised they are not doing it already on draft policy.

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  45. getstaffed (9,188 comments) says:

    patrick, yes. also nil-by-email, numbered versions with a central point of ownership and an ‘issued to’ register. it’s not rocket science. i’ve worked with senstive commercial documents in this way.

    the problem, of course, is that Labour and their MSM toadies could spin publication of a leaked National party morning tea order in such as way as to have the NZ public gasping.

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  46. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    GetStaffed, you’re right, it’s not rocket science, but look at the recent examples;
    # a shadow minister on TV says “I don’t know anyone that wouldn’t pay $3 to $5,” # A deputy leader tells a complete stranger they may sell kiwibank one day # A leader who has a massive guilt attack on TV when asked about who he met.
    Keeping their mouths shut wasnt rocket science either
    The election could only have been lost by the Nats – and its not lost yet. They just dont inspire me with any confidence with all these fuckups
    The prospect of a Lab/Greens – Maori coalition would have me dusting off my CV – for international desinations

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  47. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    # Glutaemus Maximus (281) Add karma Subtract karma +4 Says:
    September 6th, 2008 at 2:52 am

    “Hear hear REID!

    National need to push some of Labours faults through soundbites.

    Use the media, don’t be evasive.

    HC does it so well. They have their job done for them.”

    Farrar started quoting Horowitz a few weeks ago. Sadly, there is next to no evidence that John Key or anyone who matters among the Nats have done any study of “political war”, or if they have and they ARE coming out with some telling, pithy one-liner attacks on Heleban policy, there must be some media plot to deliberately withhold that reality from us.

    Another person the Nats and “conservatives” generally in NZ need to learn from, is Lord Ashcroft. Contrary to popular Lefty theorising, the “super wealthy” do NOT pull all the socio-political strings, mostly they just want to keep their heads down and avoid the attention of the mean-spirited Socialists while quietly making as much money as they can. They have so much to lose, with small-minded masses and the whole mass-media ganged up against them (not for nothing do Ayn Randers refer to business men as “the new Jews”). Lord Ashcroft is a refreshing change. Funding the Conservative Party, and taking on both the socialist media and the socialist politicians head on for years, using teams of high powered lawyers and court actions, and ultimately busting them wide open, corrupt bureaucrats ending up in jail, journalists sacked, politicians sacked, newspapers settling out of court, big court awards for libel and conspiracy………..his book “Dirty Politics, Dirty Times”, is exhilarating reading. We desperately need the same thing in NZ.

    As “a3catLady” said above, our conventions that protect Democracy are one by one biting the dust. Ian Wishart could probably fill up an “Absolute Power II” from cover to cover already. Lord Ashcroft was at least able to get somewhere through the courts, which gives one faith in the strength of Britain’s non-executive institutions. Someone needs to do it here before it is too late.

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  48. NX (597 comments) says:

    buggerlugs wrote:

    I’m so angry about yet another corruption of power that I went next door and kicked their cat.

    So am I.

    I’m actually finding politics quite depressing at the mo. Labour carries on with it corrupt ways and the public seems to be rewarding them in the polls.
    The whole Winston Peter thing is an ugly sideshow.
    John Key isn’t articulating conservative prinicple very well (at least not as well as Brash did).

    Hopefully my mood will pickup during the election campaign. This is the election we suppose to say good bye and good riddens to Helen!

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