Dominion Post’s 2009 Predictions

Stuff has the 2009 Dominion Post Predictions:

1: Attempts to reach cross-party accord over the Electoral Finance Act will founder and its replacement will prove a thorn in National’s side as the parliamentary term rolls on.

Not so sure about this. I think there is a limit to what the parties will agree on, but should not be a thorn or National so long as it allows good process. Remember there are two stages to this – the repeal of he EA which will happen early next year and the passing of a new law to replace it, which probably won’t happen until late 2009/2010. In the interim the old Electoral Act will apply but with the transparency provisions around donations inserted into them.

2: Former prime minister Helen Clark will be appointed to an overseas post and quit the House before the end of the year, to be replaced in her seat by Phil Twyford.

Heh I named Twyford at the replacement some weeks ago. They just need to find a solution to the Tizard problem I blogged about.

3: Former finance minister Michael Cullen will be gone from Parliament by lunchtime on Budget day – or soon after.

Yep, that is the timing I would expect.

4: National’s early attempt at reaching out to the unions will quickly fall by the wayside as workers mobilise against plans to extend the 90-day probation law and roll back the Holidays Act.

Well most unions will attack National, regardless o what National does. They are effectively branches of the Labour Party. If the Dom Post is suggesting the 90 day probation period law will be extended this year, then I think they are wrong.

5: Miss Clark’s right-hand woman – H2, or Heather Simpson – will pop up in a surprising new role.

Who knows. Simpson is incredibly capable, and is too young to retire so will do something. However a job where you have to persuade people instead of instruct them could pose a challenge.

6: Annette King will signal her intention to quit Parliament before the next election, making way for a deputy leadership candidate from the Left of the Labour Party.

Also predicted here some time ago.  The question is whether Andrew Little will go for Rongotai or Hutt South. Having said that I do not think King will announce her retirement in 2009. I would expect it more mid 2010.

7: There will be at least two by- elections triggered during the course of the year.

Hmmn ballsy call. Mt Albert is an obvious one. Rongotai may have been a possibility before she became Deputy Leader. Hodgson will be bored, but can’t see him going early. Maybe a National MP becomes an Ambassador?

8: The Reserve Bank will lower interest rates to less than 4 per cent, but the Government will bow to pressure to boost the economy with even more fiscal stimulus than is currently in the pipeline.

Not sure they can afford to. 5% o GDP is at the upper end around the world, and we have a structural deficit. You could only do it if you suspend contributions to the Cullen Fund – that way borrowing would not increase but we would have a greater stimulus.

9: There will be trouble within ACT that will sideswipe the Government as its feisty members agitate against the Government’s economic line.

Fairly easy call. The question is whether it will be constructive criticism, or the other sort.

10: The plan to cap and reduce the number of bureaucrats will create even more bureaucrats.

Ha, except they may be called consultants. Actually I am not as cynical as the Dom Post. I think you will see a signiicant slow down and even maybe a halt to the massive growth in the bureaucracry. Will be an interesting one to watch.

11: National’s poll ratings will stay above 40 per cent despite the economic crisis.

I’m not so sure. Governments tend to get held responsible and it could be a very short honeymoon. But overall I think probably will stay in the 40s, but could have the odd dip below.

12: Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons will announce she will stand aside and is likely to be replaced by Metiria Turei.

Yepm the only question is whether it is in 2009 or 2010. I suspect she announces in 2009 and Turei is elected in 2010.

13: A junior minister will have egg on their face within six months, testing Mr Key’s promise to set a high level of accountability.

Almost inevitable. But mere egg on the ace is not a sackable offence. It depends on how long the egg boils or.

14: Jim Anderton will finally signal an end to his long parliamentary career, putting the future of his Progressive Party in doubt.

I don’t think there is much doubt over its future. Again this may be a 2010 announcement though.

15: Labour will be a very strong opposition, with poll ratings in the high 30s by year’s end.

Yep I have said they will be strong. And they got 34% so getting high 30s should not be hard. But will votes come from Greens or National?

16: Lockwood Smith will prove to be a flexible and able speaker, promoting Parliament’s traditions without too many histrionics . . . or the need to bellow “Order!” as loudly as his predecessor.

I hope so, and so far has looked good in the job. Peters gone helps.

17: Labour’s ousted West Coast MP Damien O’Connor will be back – if we wants to be – but those occupying the next few slots on the list will come under considerable pressure to step aside, in the interests of renewal, if more replacement MPs are needed.

Dead right. Again I said this a few weeks ago. After Damien they have a series of undesirables on the list. One or two may step aside, but will all of them?

18: The Maori Party will find itself voting against the Government far more than it votes for it, especially on law and order and social issues, leading to some soul- searching among its MPs.

I’m not sure it will. I think it will vote for more Government bills than against. But certainly some issues will test their MPs.

19: The emissions trading scheme will survive, and with few changes.

Probably the very changes indicated in National’s manifesto.

20: Finance Minister Bill English will embrace Labour spokesman David Cunliffe’s offer of a bipartisan approach to the world economic meltdown. Yes, we are joking.

Heh, only if they can agree to job share 🙂

As always, will be good to score in a year’s time.

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