Huffington Post labels NZ election as “dirty”

October 21st, 2008 at 12:46 pm by David Farrar

The massively read liberal leaning Huffington Post has done a feature on dirty elections. They say that the US election is actually very clean compared to others:

But as far as campaigns, we don’t know dirty.

Picking recent and ongoing campaigns in Nigeria, Russia, Austria, New Zealand, Taiwan and Zimbabwe, they remind that we’re watching a Stepford Wives Tupperware gathering by comparison …

What a wonderful list of countries we are included with?  I guess they have noticed the unrelenting campaign of secret tapes, stolen e-mails, insinuations of being a “domestic shouter”, complaints about temper tantrums etc etc.

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84 Responses to “Huffington Post labels NZ election as “dirty””

  1. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Nothing wrong with being compared alongside Taiwan.

    But playing the Zimbabwe card – so typical of rightwing internet commentators. Thank God for hyperbole, that great neon warning sign forever telling you that you are reading Partisan BS, not journalism!

    [DPF: You may want to unlock your brain cell from its cave and note the comparison is from the Huffington Post - one of the most liberal outlets in the US]

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  2. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just the election but our entire political system has been dragged down to the lowest possible level by a decade of corrosive and corupt leadership.

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

    Anyone for charecter assasination?

    As Helen Clark (The truthful trustful one) said, this is not going to be a negative or dirty election.

    As we can all see, she has been completely honest, as has her poodle.

    The Greens have also been entirely honest about wanting to stop people having families.

    At least that way there will be less showers and no children to have to discipline!

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  4. cgra (1 comment) says:

    Nigeria and Zimbabwe arm militia to intimidate voters
    Russia uses its youth leagues to intimidate voters
    The KMT in Taiwan is a ‘reformed’ military dictatorship
    Austria has two dodgy fascist parties

    Meanwhile National is taped saying they would consider privatising Kiwibank sometime in the future

    Scandalous

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

    I still can’t believe that Labour are proud, and that people accept that secret recordings, and leaking the other parties policy documents is good sport. It is on the same level as underarm bowling in a test match.

    Now we have the new gutter level personal attacks on TV. Funny though, in a black, dark, way.

    Yes, Labour, and her minions are that corrupt, cancerous, corrosive, and slippery!

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  6. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    This condemnation from the Huffington Post, a Bush/ Palin hating gang of nut job left wing extremists- Klark Labour sink to an incredible low.

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  7. llew (1,532 comments) says:

    While she mentions NZ, she doesn’t follow up with an example as she does for the others she mentioned. It’s a mistake. Some intersting comments in the thread though.

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  8. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    I note that the Huffington Post article makes no attempt to validate what (in particular) has been “dirty” about our election.

    Therefore by the standards expected here, our mention in that group is little more than “a dirty smear”…

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  9. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    You telling us that Hells is playing clean and honest Llew?

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  10. GK (97 comments) says:

    Frankly Charlotte I don’t give a damn. The Puffington Host is up there with The Daily Kos. Its readership includes the shrillest group of sorry tinfoil hat wearers you could muster. They would to a man, excuse me, person; vote labour green if they were citizens of this place.

    The fact is we of the center right have pointed out for years the vicious and vindictive nature of the left axis in NZ. It probably makes headlines because this viciousness is starting to bounce on them. They can dish it but not take it.

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  11. Swampash (114 comments) says:

    After seeing that article I thought about the US candidates’ behaviour towards one another in the debates and at events such as the Al Smith fundraiser a few days ago. I pictured Obama’s numerous expressions of respect and praise for McCain’s record of public service, and McCain’s silencing of a racist rally-attendee by describing Obama as a “decent family man” with whom he just happens to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. And then I pictured such politeness from, oh I don’t know, Clark, Cullen, or Peters.

    <TUI> YEAH RIGHT </TUI>

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  12. redeye (626 comments) says:

    “Frankly Charlotte I don’t give a damn. The Puffington Host is up there with The Daily Kos. Its readership includes the shrillest group of sorry tinfoil hat wearers you could muster. They would to a man, excuse me, person; vote labour green if they were citizens of this place.”

    Complete and utter crap. I for one read Huffington almost daily and yet intend to vote National here. For mine the ignorant are the narrow minded that seek their news from sources all promoting the same shit.

    Try opening your mind. You might find it refreshing.

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  13. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    DPF must be stoked, but like llew suggested the article has all sorts of crap that hasn’t and won’t happen in NZ e.g. guns, vote rigging, (massive and overt racism, machetes.

    I wouldn’t rule out something like the Taiwan example though – “…a former education secretary declared that one candidate’s father had multiple affairs and had screwed his adopted daughter.”, but that hardly makes a dirty campaign.

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  14. GK (97 comments) says:

    Try opening yours and vote ACT!

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  15. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Complete and utter crap. I for one read Huffington almost daily”

    Proving GK is quite correct in his analysis. (“Its readership includes the shrillest group of sorry tinfoil hat wearers you could muster.”)

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  16. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    And you never know Steve, Clark might fake an assassination attempt in order to garner sympathy votes. We are, apparently, playing in that league…

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  17. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,049 comments) says:

    While she mentions NZ, she doesn’t follow up with an example as she does for the others she mentioned. It’s a mistake. Some intersting comments in the thread though.

    The HuffPost article refers to New Zealand because our election is discussed in this Foreign Policy story about The Worlds Ugliest Elections. Here’s what they have to say about New Zealand:

    The offenders: Third-party New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and some clever hackers

    How it will get ugly: After governing New Zealand since 1999, the Labour Party faces high odds in its attempt to win its fourth consecutive election victory. The center-right National Party has consistently posted double-digit leads in the polls. The prospect of a transfer of power has contributed to an uncharacteristically bitter campaign. Third-party politicians, whose support is usually required to form a governing coalition, have been responsible for much of the campaign’s vitriol.

    Winston Peters has attacked both sides, claiming that the Labour government’s free trade agreement with China had gone “as sour as the milk in their baby-food products” and referring to former investment banker and National Party leader John Key as a “greedy merchant banker.” New Zealand’s true innovation in mudslinging, however, has been electronic.

    Worst of the worst: Thanks to a “Google bombing” campaign by Labour Party supporters, a Web search on google.co.nz for the word “clueless” returns John Key’s Web site as the top result. National Party supporters retaliated, causing a search for “Labour-funded lackeys” to turn up a link to a pro-Labour newspaper.

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  18. Portia (204 comments) says:

    “I note that the Huffington Post article makes no attempt to validate what (in particular) has been “dirty” about our election.”

    You need to follow the link here:
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4492

    … the culprits are Winston Peters’ usual antics (they seem to think it’s novel for this Election) and the google-bombing campaign by Labour.

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  19. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    redeye, I’m with Redbaiter, and I too have LOOKED at the Huffington Post and have even signed in and contributed to debate there; but it is a lost cause, it is like visiting “The Standard” in NZ, it is rabidly leftwing, big-government, anti-conservative, and anti-Christian.

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  20. gazzaj (106 comments) says:

    NZ’s election looks really clean by comparison to their other examples…

    Nigeria: “This comically flawed election dashed any hopes that Africa’s most populous country might lead the way for democratic reform”

    Russia: “Zhirinovsky shot a cardboard cutout of Medvedev with a large-caliber rifle at a campaign rally”

    Austria: “Strache called for outlawing Islamic clothing in Austria, as well as a ban on the construction of minarets, and promised to prevent Austrian girls from being “fondled by hordes of immigrants.” ”

    Taiwan: “former chief secretary of the Ministry of Education began ranting that [presidential candidate] Ma’s father had several affairs and had “screwed” his adopted daughter. ”

    New Zealand: “a Web search on google.co.nz for the word “clueless” returns John Key’s Web site as the top result”

    I get the feeling they were being paid by the word for that article..

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  21. llew (1,532 comments) says:

    You telling us that Hells is playing clean and honest Llew?

    I wouldn’t go that far :) But I’m guessing that Huffington didn’t mean to associate us with that lot.

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  22. insider (990 comments) says:

    One of the things that pleasantly surprised me was the US VP debate. There the two competitors greeted each other warmly and civilly.

    But the end of the debate was far more interesting. I was watching it live streaming on the net and the video kept going for 10 or 15 minutes after the end with sound and you could see Palin and Biden bring their families on stage and introduced them to each other. They chatted away to each other for ages – Biden and Palin’s dad seemed to have a big chat.

    And of course the two candidates went and thanked the moderator for her contribution…

    It was kind of hearwarming to see such civility in the middle of the biggest competition in politics.

    Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from that example. That said I don;t see too many of our candidates being charged with associating with terrorists etc. The yanks can do dirty better than anyone. We don’t even get close.

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  23. llew (1,532 comments) says:

    But then again…. thanks Danyl & Portia for clearing that up. Heh. Winston First.

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  24. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    For those trying to write off the Huff Post Forget it fact is your glorious beloved heavenly leader has managed to get us mentioned in the same sentence as those other pillars of good governance.

    This just sums up the past 9 years.

    We are now paraiahs in the world of governance dragged down to the gutter by a lesbian feminist prime minister who wont admit that she is and failed bumbling ex history teacher who has pissed BILLIONS up against the wall in a mad demented attempt to destroy the economy

    As I have said many times THE REVOLUTION is UPON US We must storm the Bastille and remove their heads from their necks

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  25. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    Now we are talking gd, time to cleanse our country!

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  26. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Heh. Winston First.”

    So enlighten us oh faithful commie propagandist- how much did Winston have to do with the Google bombing of Key?

    Deflection- one art form in which the communists have immense superiority.

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  27. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..who has pissed BILLIONS up against the wall in a mad demented attempt to destroy the economy..”

    ..that’d be george dubya..and the ‘freemarketeers’..?

    ..wouldn’t it..?

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  28. llew (1,532 comments) says:

    So enlighten us oh faithful commie propagandist- how much did Winston have to do with the Google bombing of Key

    Go ask the author I guess – this is what it says on the link that Portia posted. It looks like they’ve taken some random NZ political stories & mashed them together.

    New Zealand

    General Election, November 2008

    The offenders: Third-party New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and some clever hackers

    How it will get ugly: After governing New Zealand since 1999, the Labour Party faces high odds in its attempt to win its fourth consecutive election victory. The center-right National Party has consistently posted double-digit leads in the polls. The prospect of a transfer of power has contributed to an uncharacteristically bitter campaign. Third-party politicians, whose support is usually required to form a governing coalition, have been responsible for much of the campaign’s vitriol.

    Winston Peters has attacked both sides, claiming that the Labour government’s free trade agreement with China had gone “as sour as the milk in their baby-food products” and referring to former investment banker and National Party leader John Key as a “greedy merchant banker.” New Zealand’s true innovation in mudslinging, however, has been electronic.

    Worst of the worst: Thanks to a “Google bombing” campaign by Labour Party supporters, a Web search on google.co.nz for the word “clueless” returns John Key’s Web site as the top result. National Party supporters retaliated, causing a search for “Labour-funded lackeys” to turn up a link to a pro-Labour newspaper.

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  29. llew (1,532 comments) says:

    So enlighten us oh faithful commie propagandist

    I see your comprehension skills are as sharp as ever Wussell.

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  30. Ross Miller (1,624 comments) says:

    and ‘they’ didn’t even bother commenting on the insidious Electoral Finance Act.

    typical shoddy journalism … pick up and pick on that paragon of virtue and soon to be consigned to the dustbin of history, Winston First Peters, and some third rate Labour Party missfit and ignor the real threat to democracy rammed thru Parliament with no electoral mandate.

    But I do see the Mulgabe connection.

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  31. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “I see your comprehension skills are as sharp as ever Wussell.”

    ..and I see you’re just as stupidly committed to dealing in unsubstantiated rumour as always LLLLewser.

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  32. llew (1,532 comments) says:

    ..and I see you’re just as stupidly committed to dealing in unsubstantiated rumour as always LLLLewser.

    What is this aversion you have to the truth Russell Watkins? I don’t care what opinions you hold, but I thought I’d made it quite clear that I have no time for ad hominem insult – is this always the resort of the Right? Or just you?

    Actually, I know the answer to that & I am sorry for insulting the rest of the Right with the comparison.

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  33. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “I don’t care what opinions you hold, but I thought I’d made it quite clear that I have no time for ad hominem insult – is this always the resort of the Right?”

    I will write what I like here, (within the bounds of Mr Farrar’s tolerance), whatever threats you and your cowardly ilk might make Lllewser.

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  34. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    “I am sorry for insulting the rest of the Right”

    You know where too stick your apology!

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  35. llew (1,532 comments) says:

    will write what I like here, (within the bounds of Mr Farrar’s tolerance), whatever threats you and your cowardly ilk might make Lllewser.

    Yes, big brave Wussell, reserves the right to harass & bully. Reserves the right to bravely waffle & ignore reality. I have made no threats, but since you’re so brave & reckless with calling others cowards, you’ll surely embrace the chance for others to know who is making such a courageous stand.

    http://www.nzvotes.org/Files/Images/CandPic/525.jpg

    Bye.

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  36. llew (1,532 comments) says:

    You know where too stick your apology!

    Look, you do it D4J, I’m sure you have more experience.

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  37. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Its about ideas LLLLlewser, and you and the rest of your weak kneed lily livered commie lot couldn’t come up with one if your life depended on it. Thats why these kind of issues are always your focus.

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  38. llew (1,532 comments) says:

    typical shoddy journalism … pick up and pick on that paragon of virtue and soon to be consigned to the dustbin of history, Winston First Peters, and some third rate Labour Party missfit and ignor the real threat to democracy rammed thru Parliament with no electoral mandate.

    Word is that this stemmed from a couple of stuff pieces from COlin Espiner.

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  39. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    philu So that guy who said we are facing 10 years of deficits after he has spent 5 years of over taxing me and others was………………………Oh Dr Cullen The socialists Min of Fin

    Could that be the same Min of Fin whose mistress has consistently told us is a financial genuis,

    Really????? At least I can balance my families budget have no borrowings Unlike the brilliant Dr Cullen who can no neither.

    face it philu the guys an economic pygmy

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

    At least the Google bombing wasn’t done by anyone connected with Labour in anyway whatsoever!

    TUI ADVERT

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  41. big bruv (12,349 comments) says:

    Time for the Nat’s to hit back at dear corrupt maggot leader.

    Despite the urgings of middle aged men such as myself they should not go nasty on Clark as it apparently turns off the stupid Shelia voters.

    What they need to do is create an advert that plays on the “trust” theme, it then needs to highlight all the scandals of the Labour party especially the anti smacking legislation where Klark said she would not support it before the election and the theft of $880,000.

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  42. Lee (627 comments) says:

    “..that’d be george dubya..and the ‘freemarketeers’..?

    ..wouldn’t it..?”

    Not to anyone who actually pays close attention to US politics

    First, Bush is not a freemarketeer, he’s a big government-big spending Keynesian.

    Real freemarketeers, such as those at the Mises Institute, have been predicting the current financial crisis for many years now.

    Second, at least part of the current mess was created by the Congressional Democrats who passed insane laws forcing lending institutions to give loans to people with bad credit histories because not doing so “discriminated against the poor”.

    But the rot in global finance is mush deeper than superficial arguments about right/left. In one important aspect both the mainstream right and left are equally to blame because they both sign up to classical economics (Keynesianism on the left, Chicago school supply-siders on the right). Classical economics wrongly treats economics as a measurable and predictable science and human actions as rational and objective. But human behavior is often irrational and subjective, especially when it comes to choice.

    Thankfully the light may finally be dawning. Two of the biggest selling books in the financial world, and elsewhere at the moment are the brilliant ‘Fooled by Randomness’ and ‘The Black Swan’ by Nassim Taleb, who destroys the fallacies and arrogance of classical economic theory.

    Ok, my somewhat off-topic rant is over. Sorry folks but I’m suffering from a major head cold and trying to mollify it with bourban+coke.

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  43. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    “We are now paraiahs in the world of governance dragged down to the gutter by a lesbian feminist prime minister who wont admit that she is and failed bumbling ex history teacher who has pissed BILLIONS up against the wall in a mad demented attempt to destroy the economy”

    what a load of bullshit. I bet you even got a bloody hard on when you were typing that little diatribe.

    The piece at Huffington is bollocks and we all know it, he didn’t even try to defend his position on NZ.

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  44. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    Bush a “big government-big spending Keynesian”

    Well that’s about as poor an analysis of the President of the United States as there ever was. Wow!!!

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  45. Lee (627 comments) says:

    Another rational, thoughtfull and carefully worded response from Paul.

    And my understanding of Bush’s economics is spot on.

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  46. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Another rational, thoughtfull and carefully worded response from Paul.”

    Yeah- the left- they’re the intelligentsia you know.

    Smirk..

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  47. JamesMason (6 comments) says:

    …and maybe they were referring to the bilboards placed around the country starkly suggesting the leaders of political parties operated like military dictators such as Mugabe or Bainimarama

    Some might call that dirty.

    [DPF: No the billboards were making the point the the EFA was the sort of law authoritarian leaders like the Commodore would applaud. And considering the Electoral Commission has reported that the law has had a chilling effect on political participation, it isn't really even debatable now]

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  48. llew (1,532 comments) says:

    The piece at Huffington is bollocks and we all know it, he didn’t even try to defend his position on NZ.

    Isn’t Huffington a she? Anyway, this must be one of the first times that “the Left” have scorned a Huffington article, while “the Right” have lauded it.

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  49. dime (8,752 comments) says:

    bruv – that would be illegal now with our anti-free speech bill.

    ah yay Pauls back.. school must be out.

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  50. Lee (627 comments) says:

    It’s certainly a rare occasion for me to agree with what a left-liberal like Huffington has to say. But if anything I don’t think she goes far enough.

    Remember that all the Watergate scandal amounted to was a break in and some stolen files. In NZ we have had hacking, stolen e-mails, secret tapes, attempts to pervert the course of justice, and bullying attacks by Clark on independent oversight committees because they did not obey her orders to cover up corruption.

    In the US Nixon was forced to resign in shame. In NZ a politician guilty of far worse crimes is free to run for office again. And an underhanded criminal like Nicky Hagar is free to write more books based on illegally gained information.

    NZ over the last nine years has become little more than bannana republic with the rule of law reduced to a limp joke.

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  51. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Isn’t Huffington a she?”

    That you don’t know for sure says so much about you. Unaware knuckle dragger. Adriana Huffington has been spewing leftist poison into the atmosphere like the foul smelling smokestack of some bizarre left wing sausage factory for decades now.

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  52. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Remember that all the Watergate scandal amounted to was a break in and some stolen files. In NZ we have had hacking, stolen e-mails, secret tapes, attempts to pervert the course of justice, and bullying attacks by Clark on independent oversight committees because they did not obey her orders to cover up corruption.”

    Barbarians, and the EFB is the jewel in their tawdry crown.

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  53. redeye (626 comments) says:

    ” PhilBest (3139)
    redeye, I’m with Redbaiter, and I too have LOOKED at the Huffington Post and have even signed in and contributed to debate there; but it is a lost cause, it is like visiting “The Standard” in NZ, it is rabidly leftwing, big-government, anti-conservative, and anti-Christian.”

    Phil, They can’t be compared to The Standard as they don’t ban you for having a different opinion but there is no doubt they are a cheer site for the Democrates. That’s fair enough, this site is unashamedly a cheer site for the Nationals. At least they don’t claim to be fair and balanced:-)

    On something else that you have raised, it does really give me the irrates that most left wing organisations are so anti Christian. Churches are an easy target as they don’t usually fight back. On the flip side I find the term Right Wing Christian as hypocritical as the rest of the popular oxymorons. How do ‘Right Wing Christians’ reconcile with the Bible when it clearly states the rich man will not make heaven (ie. It’s easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle).

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  54. llew (1,532 comments) says:

    That you don’t know for sure says so much about you. Unaware knuckle dragger.

    Is it just me, or can anyone else hear a faint whine?

    Like something that might issue from a gnats arse. But not as substantive.

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  55. llew (1,532 comments) says:

    That you don’t know for sure says so much about you. Unaware knuckle dragger. Adriana Huffington has been

    Love it when you come storming in to correct my “ignorance” & offer baseless personal attacks.

    That’s Arianna.

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  56. Lee (627 comments) says:

    redeye,

    the Bible uses the example of the rich man who had turned his wealth into an idol to illustrate that NONE of us can get right with God without the free gift of his grace. We all have our individual idols, wealth, food, drugs, the tv, sports, sex, whatever. Even politics can become an idol. The Bible does not condemn these things in and of themselves, but only condemns us when we make them the center of our lives. Elsewhere the Bible clearly says that all wealth is a blessing from the Lord.

    That said your right in a way. Terms like “left wing Christian” or “right wing Christian” are meaningless. The Gospel transcends such limited distinctions.

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  57. Paul G. Buchanan (301 comments) says:

    I think that the parallels between New Zealand and the other states cited in the Foreign Policy article are overdrawn (DPF’s header for this thread is misleading because the Huffington Post just picked up on the FP article). It is significant, however, that Foreign Policy (or at least one of its researchers) felt the need to make the comparison, especially since FP is the “Flagship Magazine” of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington DC power house think tank of mainstream liberal (in the US sense of the word) persuasion. That is, it is neither leftist (like the Institute for Policy Studies) or rightist (Heritage Institution) in orientation. That it would allow NZ to be mentioned in such a context is alarming.

    The article mentions hacking and Winston Peters but, as people have mentioned earlier, does not go into the other malfeasance that has crept into NZ political discourse and behaviour over the last decade or so. What is ironic is that this process of political decline–at least in terms of the “civility” of the political process–has been referred to more than once as a product of the “Americanisation” of NZ politics. Not only have US political advisors been hired as consultants and NZ party staffers sent to the US to learn the ropes of American-style campaigning, rhetoric and party practice. The thrust of NZ political argument has moved away from substantive matters of policy and towards personal issues–witness the sexually-oriented invective hurled by many in this forum– whether or not misbehaviour connected to (the abuse of) public office has occurred. That is a slippery slope. If the current state of the US political system is anything to go by, NZ should not want to continue down that path. Yet the public large appears to not care or is simply cynically ignorant of what is happening in front of them.

    What is most alarming about the descent of NZ politics, which is not mentioned by the FP article because it is only focused on elections, is the creeping authoritarianism of government decision-making. This is done under the cover of the oersonality-focused discourse mentioned above in which partisan slagging substitutes for informed, serious debate about the pressing policy issues of the day. With public attention directed towards assaults on character, scandal and the like, the government goes about the business of pushing through its agenda relatively unimpeded. The issue is not whether the agenda is good or bad; the issue is that it is done basically by government fiat rather than parliamentary consensus. Again, this is not healthy for a democracy.

    Given the historical precedents, it is unclear that a future National government would necessarily reverse this process of “autoritarianisation,” simply because it would not be in their political or bureaucratic interests to do so (Michels’ “iron law of oligarchy” applies here). if anything, it is this that allows NZ to be compared, although still at a stretch, with the likes of Russia and Austria (forget Zimbabwe, as that is a ridiculous comparison because it is a failed state governed by a neo-sultanistic kleptocracy).

    It is fair to say, then, that NZ politics in general has gotten “uglier” over the last two decades. It is unfair, however, to compare the slow descent of NZ political society, which is actually evidencing the sclerosis of a long-standing and robust liberal democracy–to the deeply ingrained if not primordial authoritarianism of Russia and Zimbabwe, amongst others. Unlike NZ, there is no history of democracy in places like Russia, so to assume that its elections would meet some mythical Western standard of civility is a bit unrealistic. NZ can indeed be criticised for the decline in the quality and civility of its politics, but such comparisons are specious at best., Moreover, if anything, the sclerosis scenario is the one currently afflicting the US itself, and which the upcoming election is somehow supposed to change. We shall see about that.

    Hence, it appears that in including NZ in the list of “ugly” elections, the US author doing a bit of pot-calling-the-kettle-black.

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  58. Lee (627 comments) says:

    Paul,

    Is there any way we can reverse the problem your talking about?

    And do you think this is linked with a wider decline in the West in general?

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  59. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    THIS MAN IS A WISE MAN:

    Lee (177) Vote: Add rating3 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    October 21st, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    “…….First, Bush is not a freemarketeer, he’s a big government-big spending Keynesian.

    Real freemarketeers, such as those at the Mises Institute, have been predicting the current financial crisis for many years now.

    Second, at least part of the current mess was created by the Congressional Democrats who passed insane laws forcing lending institutions to give loans to people with bad credit histories because not doing so “discriminated against the poor”.

    But the rot in global finance is mush deeper than superficial arguments about right/left. In one important aspect both the mainstream right and left are equally to blame because they both sign up to classical economics (Keynesianism on the left, Chicago school supply-siders on the right). Classical economics wrongly treats economics as a measurable and predictable science and human actions as rational and objective. But human behavior is often irrational and subjective, especially when it comes to choice……”

    # Lee (177) Vote: Add rating3 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    October 21st, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    “It’s certainly a rare occasion for me to agree with what a left-liberal like Huffington has to say. But if anything I don’t think she goes far enough.

    Remember that all the Watergate scandal amounted to was a break in and some stolen files. In NZ we have had hacking, stolen e-mails, secret tapes, attempts to pervert the course of justice, and bullying attacks by Clark on independent oversight committees because they did not obey her orders to cover up corruption.

    In the US Nixon was forced to resign in shame. In NZ a politician guilty of far worse crimes is free to run for office again. And an underhanded criminal like Nicky Hagar is free to write more books based on illegally gained information.

    NZ over the last nine years has become little more than bannana republic with the rule of law reduced to a limp joke.”

    # Lee (177) Vote: Add rating1 Subtract rating 1 Says:
    October 21st, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    “redeye, the Bible uses the example of the rich man who had turned his wealth into an idol to illustrate that NONE of us can get right with God without the free gift of his grace. We all have our individual idols, wealth, food, drugs, the tv, sports, sex, whatever. Even politics can become an idol. The Bible does not condemn these things in and of themselves, but only condemns us when we make them the center of our lives. Elsewhere the Bible clearly says that all wealth is a blessing from the Lord.

    That said your right in a way. Terms like “left wing Christian” or “right wing Christian” are meaningless. The Gospel transcends such limited distinctions.”

    KEEP IT UP, Lee, we need more of this sort of good sense.

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  60. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    # redeye (57) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating 1 Says:
    October 21st, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    ” PhilBest (3139)
    redeye, I’m with Redbaiter, and I too have LOOKED at the Huffington Post and have even signed in and contributed to debate there; but it is a lost cause, it is like visiting “The Standard” in NZ, it is rabidly leftwing, big-government, anti-conservative, and anti-Christian.”

    “Phil, They can’t be compared to The Standard as they don’t ban you for having a different opinion but there is no doubt they are a cheer site for the Democrats. That’s fair enough, this site is unashamedly a cheer site for the Nationals. At least they don’t claim to be fair and balanced:-)

    On something else that you have raised, it does really give me the irritates that most left wing organisations are so anti Christian. Churches are an easy target as they don’t usually fight back. On the flip side I find the term Right Wing Christian as hypocritical as the rest of the popular oxymorons. How do ‘Right Wing Christians’ reconcile with the Bible when it clearly states the rich man will not make heaven (ie. It’s easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle).”

    Thank you for that, Redeye. Lee has responded admirably to your point about the parable. But I am interested that you can see something wrong in the anti-Christian attitude of “most left wing organisations”, as you say. The best, “charitable” part of the origins of socialism, is often said to come from Christianity, but even then it has been perverted. Christian charity would not result in the moral hazard that socialism does, that is, there is a difference between receiving help by way of mercy, and by way of a “right” or an entitlement.

    There is also a difference between what Christian grace does for the sinner, and liberal leftist “tolerance” of socially destructive behaviours that any culture interested in sustaining itself will have stigmatised if not banned outright. The most extreme anti-Christian Communist regimes all ban “free love” and the like for the explicit reason of societal and national durability.

    Ultimately, anyone who calls themself a Christian will have to confront these issues. Socialism is possibly Christianity’s deadliest enemy. Notice the violence of the Left “establishment” attacking Sarah Palin. I mean, they make it an issue of reason itself, if someone is a Christian – as if they themselves are not merely repeating the worst errors of the historical enemies of reason. Think it through – do the beliefs of a Christian not make them good leadership material rather than bad leadership material? Have we lost our senses, if we actually PREFER someone who doesn’t even believe in “truth” other than something each person can construct for themself? We would REJECT someone who actually thinks there is a God watching and judging their every action, we’d PREFER a leader who thinks we are all just highly developed pond scum anyway?

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  61. Lee (627 comments) says:

    My church partners with other community organisations to help out with a local primary school which is in area of extreme poverty. When Labour came to power one third of the children attending that school were going hungry. After nine years of Labour one third are STILL turning up hungry. The only reason they eat at all is because a small army of “right wing Christians” get up every morning and make lunches for those kids.

    Our thanks for this was to be spat on by Helen Clark and Sue Bradford and their respective parties for being “uncaring fundamentalists who want to beat children.”

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  62. JamesMason (6 comments) says:

    “James Mason: and maybe they were referring to the bilboards placed around the country starkly suggesting the leaders of political parties operated like military dictators such as Mugabe or Bainimarama

    Some might call that dirty.

    [DPF: No the billboards were making the point the the EFA was the sort of law authoritarian leaders like the Commodore would applaud. And considering the Electoral Commission has reported that the law has had a chilling effect on political participation, it isn't really even debatable now]”

    I’m sorry David, but you’re obfuscating the point: not whether criticisms can be made of the EFA (and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn’t criticise the EFA at least to some degree), but the nature of how those criticisms are made. Linking NZ political figures with brutal military dictators was what the bilboards did.

    [DPF: You said I suggested they operated like said dictators. That is different to linking them to them. I think it was entirely appropriate to link party leaders to dictators when they pass anti-democratic laws that suppress freedom of speech.]

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  63. Rex Widerstrom (5,124 comments) says:

    Linking NZ political figures with brutal military dictators was what the bilboards did.

    It’s called hyperbole, James. Like calling your opponent “cancerous and corrosive” when what you really mean is “I want to remain PM and he’s standing in my way”. All sides do it.

    As for DPF’s billboards, Mugabe didn’t start out shooting people. In fact he did well for Zimbabwe in the beginning and was widely admired. Then when his grip on power became tenuous he started making it incrementally harder for those who opposed him to exercise their rights.

    Not suggesting the PM is about to grow a small moustache, but still…

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  64. JamesMason (6 comments) says:

    Sure, the fact that both sides do it was sort of my point.

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  65. Paul G. Buchanan (301 comments) says:

    Lee:

    In a number of democracies political pacts have been reached governing the basic rules of the game. These pacts are not contracts because they are not exogenously enforced. Instead they are more akin to political compacts or compromises, in that they do not have the status of law and are endogenously enforced. Their importance lies in that they are mutually and voluntarily binding and establish the procedural rules in which substantive debate about and competition over policy can occur. In some countries emerging from authoritarianism (e.g. Chile 1989, Uruguay 1985, Spain 1973, Venezuela 1958 or Costa Rica 1948), these arrangements came to be known as “foundational pacts” for the obvious reason that they set the ground rules for future political competition (the Venezuelan pact broke down in the 1990s and resulted in the rise of Hugo Chavez. He rules without a pact). In mature democracies the nature of pacts varies, and is often limited to particular issue areas (although there have been a number of occasions in Europe where substantive pacts on things like wage/price ratios have been negotiated). But the most successful pacts tend to be those that are procedural rather than substantive, because the mutually agreed upon rules allow political parties (and other political actors) to use their respective resources and skills in the effort to influence, if not dominate the policy debates of the time. Within the established rules, to the winner go the spoils.

    In NZ what is needed is a “pact of civility” in which all political parties agree to the basic rules of political competition and debate. This might involve the rejection of any personal attacks or references to personal behaviour that does not directly impact on the discharge of political office and duties. Thus, personal misbehaviour in office (say corruption) is fair game, but sexual preference is not. Obviously criminal behavior would not be covered by such a pact, but the pact might limit the use of politically-motivated laying of criminal charges. The pact could cover issues of campaign financing etc. The point is that the parties themselves could negotiate the terms, which then become self-enforcing.

    I will not comment upon the EFB except to note that,as alluded to above, this might have been one area on which such a pact might have worked (the operative term being “might”).

    As in cases of all pact-making, the key to success is that the actors involved have a sincere and principled, as opposed to tactical or opportunistic interest in reaching such an agreement. That presupposes a level of integrity and mutual interest on the part of those involved.

    I cannot say if the decline in political civility in NZ is related to a general decline in Western civilization. Perhaps it is. But it could just be a product of globalisation, in the sense that the amount of cultural-political overlap between Western and non-Western countries leads to a “lowest common denominator” effect in politics as well as popular culture. On the other hand, as the recent quote in Peter Creswell’s blog noted, “what is wrong with decadence,” especially if decadence is an expression of freedom? I am being slightly facetious here, as it is views like this that lead me to believe that libertarians sometimes have difficulty dealing with complex reality. My specific opinion is that so long as the voting public tolerate the “Americanisation” of NZ politics as I outlined in the previous post, they will get what they deserve.

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  66. JamesMason (6 comments) says:

    but, to reply to:

    [quote]Mugabe didn’t start out shooting people. In fact he did well for Zimbabwe in the beginning and was widely admired. Then when his grip on power became tenuous he started making it incrementally harder for those who opposed him to exercise their rights.[/quote]

    I don’t think 99.9% of people would ever take the billboard’s argument as being that sophisticated frankly. The linking was pretty clearly done for an emotional factor of Mugabe as shorthand of ‘bad guy military dictator’.

    ( dammit, can’t get the quotes to work :/ )

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  67. Lee (627 comments) says:

    Paul,

    Thanks for your response to my query. Much appreciated. I’m only a self educated redneck from northern Florida, and I need to take some to digest your response, but I think I get the gist of what your saying.

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  68. Rex Widerstrom (5,124 comments) says:

    James: <blockquote>Text you want to quote</blockquote>

    Shorthand for “dictatorial” is exactly what DPF was aiming for, as opposed to “shorthand for mass murderer” as some shrill voices from the left seem to disingenuously claim.

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

    insider at 2:03 pm

    That said I don;t see too many of our candidates being charged with associating with terrorists etc.

    That would be the Greens and the Maori party. Remember “Urewera 17- otherwise known as “Te Qaeda”?

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

    Hels is an embarrassment to New Zealand. Time for a change on 8 November.

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  71. Russell Brown (403 comments) says:

    The Foreign Policy article on which the HuffPo article is based is a piece o’ crap.

    It seems to be drawn exclusively from two stories by Colin Espiner on Stuff: ‘Parties accuse each other of dirty tricks’ and ‘Minnows lash out at campaign launches’, which provides both the Peters quotes and the supposed justification for the claim that “third-party politicians, whose support is usually required to form a governing coalition, have been responsible for much of the campaign’s vitriol.”

    It actually reflects very poorly on FP, which trades on its rep for insight and research.

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  72. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    “That would be the Greens and the Maori party.”

    No, it wasn’t them.

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  73. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “It actually reflects very poorly on FP, which trades on its rep for insight and research”

    Hahhahahah.. get outta here you sap… only a rank propagandist would have the utter gall to try something so transparently false. The Huffington Post is a partisan rag produced by tin foil hat leftists. If it ran a story saying Sarah Palin was an alien in a human body it would do its reputation no harm at all.

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  74. JamesMason (6 comments) says:

    Shorthand for “dictatorial” is exactly what DPF was aiming for, as opposed to “shorthand for mass murderer” as some shrill voices from the left seem to disingenuously claim.

    Rex:

    Firstly, thanks for the info about quotes. :)

    Secondly though, I’m not so sure it’s disengenuous. I mean you stick up a picture of someone who is primarily known as a murdererous dictator, then people are going to associate that image with ‘murdererous dictator’. I mean, you could stick up a picture of Hitler with the intention of referring to the fact that he brought in laws that were undemocratic upon gaining power. But people don’t primarily associate him with that.

    If you’re going to use an image, you have to be prepared to deal with the major connotations of that image. David’s real or imagined ‘intention’ has nothing to do with it. The actual *effect* is the issue.

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  75. Russell Brown (403 comments) says:

    Hahhahahah.. get outta here you sap… only a rank propagandist would have the utter gall to try something so transparently false.

    The HuffPo story is based on the Foreign Policy article, which is a rather thin piece of work. I’m not sure what could be “rank propaganda” about that observation, but carry on in your own reality if you wish.

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  76. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Humour – yet another despicable corrupt practice by the knuckle dragging luddite commie scum. We on the right need to stand up to these dirty socialists who would try to make light of things and enjoy themselves.

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  77. Vicky32 (7 comments) says:

    @GKK, “GK (77) 20 7 Says:

    “The fact is we of the center right have pointed out for years the vicious and vindictive nature of the left axis in NZ. It probably makes headlines because this viciousness is starting to bounce on them. They can dish it but not take it.”
    Center right? (sic)…
    Far right as far as I’ve seen so far…

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  78. Vicky32 (7 comments) says:

    @RRM (1301) Vote: 4 6 Says:

    October 21st, 2008 at 1:36 pm
    “And you never know Steve, Clark might fake an assassination attempt in order to garner sympathy votes. We are, apparently, playing in that league…”
    Yeah, as if! Hilarious, or it would be if I didn’t fear that you mean it… Where on earth do you boys get off with your shrill insults against her? You’re “playing the (wo)man and not the ball” as I believe the NZ expression is.

    Vicky

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  79. Vicky32 (7 comments) says:

    @gd,
    “by a lesbian feminist prime minister who wont admit that she is ”
    Maybe that’s because she’s not? You take Ian Wishart’s conspiracy theories seriously? Honestly, are you boys really that scared of a woman in power?

    “As I have said many times THE REVOLUTION is UPON US We must storm the Bastille and remove their heads from their necks”
    Idiocy, sheer idiocy and possibly actionable.

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  80. Vicky32 (7 comments) says:

    @big bruv (1928) Says:

    “Time for the Nat’s to hit back at dear corrupt maggot leader.

    Despite the urgings of middle aged men such as myself they should not go nasty on Clark as it apparently turns off the stupid Shelia voters.”
    Oh, mate! I bet you’re divorced, or maybe just a life-long single. The 85-year-old virgin, eh? You can’t get a woman if you hate them, they can smell it on you, you know.
    Speaking as one of the Shelias” (sic.)

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  81. Vicky32 (7 comments) says:

    @redeye ( Says:

    “On something else that you have raised, it does really give me the irrates that most left wing organisations are so anti Christian. Churches are an easy target as they don’t usually fight back. On the flip side I find the term Right Wing Christian as hypocritical as the rest of the popular oxymorons. How do ‘Right Wing Christians’ reconcile with the Bible when it clearly states the rich man will not make heaven (ie. It’s easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle).”
    As a Christian, I find Right Wing Christians make me irate! Really, they make the media think that Christian and fascist go together. They don’t, and it’s a disgrace. Left wing Christians rule!
    Vicky

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  82. Vicky32 (7 comments) says:

    @PhilBest
    “Socialism is possibly Christianity’s deadliest enemy.

    Sorry, I couldn’t agree less! Christianity is socialist (or should be.) Socialism is about providing equal outcomes for everyone, and so is Christianity. God doesn’t favour the rich – God doesn’t favour anybody.
    Palin is a crazy and a complete disaster for reasons far other than her Christianity. She knows a lot about money, and guns, and money and hunting and money, but she knows less about foreigh policy than my violet plant on the kitchen windowsill. Thank God Obama won!

    Vicky

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  83. Vicky32 (7 comments) says:

    @Lee

    “Our thanks for this was to be spat on by Helen Clark and Sue Bradford and their respective parties for being “uncaring fundamentalists who want to beat children.”
    If you are claiming you were literally spat on, then you shouldn’t lie. Do you want to beat children? If so, why? I was terribly ashamed of all the churches who opposed the so-called “anti-smacking” bill, which of course was nothing of the sort.

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

    Newsflash Vicky32:

    Helen Clark and Labour lost the election on 8 November 2008. The country has changed for the better.

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