What plot?

September 19th, 2010 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The SST headline is:

Plot to grab as Hide’s falls apart

Except there is no plot. The story doesn’t talk about any plot. This is not the fault of the journalists who wrote the story – sub-editors pick headlines. So what does the story say:

is deciding whether to stand a credible candidate and grab back the Epsom seat from Act’s .

National is not deciding, in the sense of making a decision. Of course many in National are discussing Epsom, but decisions on whether to vigorously contest Epsom will not be made in the next few days or even weeks. You never decide strategically important things in the middle of a media storm.

Around the middle of 2011 is when National will make decisions about what sort of campaign to run in Epsom. You don’t decide these things 14 months before the election.

With Act’s credibility in tatters over the David Garrett fiasco, National is worried endorsing Hide next year would upset Epsom voters, particularly women. That has put pressure on National to stand a strong candidate or risk voters ignoring any tactical voting option.

National has in fact never endorsed Rodney. National has always stood a candidate. The issue is whether the candidate primarily pursues the party vote (which most candidates are expected to do), or also campaigns aggressively for the electorate vote (which only happens in a few seats not held by National).

My expectation is that National will have a strong candidate, regardless of what sort of campaign is run.

Some party insiders believe the anti-Act mood is so strong that Epsom voters could decide “stuff this, I’m voting for National anyway”. The Act brand is so discredited that there is already talk in National about a new far-Right party.

Unless Fairfax is going to start talking about the Greens as a “far -left” party, could they please not use that term about ACT.

It is quite possible that voters in Epsom will vote for a National candidate, even if not explicitly seeking their votes. I actually don’t think the decision rests with National – it rests with the voters in Epsom. And I think they will make their decision quite rationally. If voting for Rodney looks like it will significantly increase the chances of National retaining Government, then they will – as they did in 2005 and 2008. If however it looks like voting for Rodney will not help the centre-right greatly (if if ACT is polling at below 1%), then his chances are not so good.

But these are decisions that people reach in the election campaign, not 14 months before.

So Rodney’s challenge is to use the next 12 months to get ACT polling well enough, so that Epsom voters will tactically vote. But this will need a blemish free performance from ACT and Rodney. And there seems little doubt that a couple of the “scorpions” within ACT are determined to destroy the party, so long as they can have “utu” on Rodney. This was made clear in the e-mails Whale oil blogged. And they may succeed – time will tell.

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71 Responses to “What plot?”

  1. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:

    I saw the “plot” headline and failed to see how that was justified too.

    I actually don’t think the decision rests with National – it rests with the voters in Epsom. And I think they will make their decision quite rationally.

    Yes, the voters – there seems to be a lot of presumptive reporting. Hopefully the voters will make their decisions (plural, with plural reasons) more rationally than they poll for mayor. Bob Parker for Epsom?

    Mana could become a pivotal electorate if those voters chose.

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  2. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    Correction: National has in fact never OFFICIALLY endorsed Rodney.

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  3. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “The Act brand is so discredited that there is already talk in National about a new far-Right party.”

    What utter idiocy is this? I defy TRACY WATKINS or MARTIN KAY to name one far right person in the National Government, or even to justify the allegation that ACT was/ is “far right”.

    Once more, just sick left wing propagandists posing as journalists, and starting the propaganda offensive against any break away from the leftist norm before any such group is even in embryonic form. Disgusting that these partisan Goebellian propagandists dare to call themselves journalists.

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  4. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    ACT are ‘far-right’ in the context of New Zealand politics. There is no political party to the right of them in parliament.

    It would be fair to say that the greens are the ‘far-left’ party (again in a NZ context) however the Greens primarily brand themselves around environmental issues and therefore to most voters they would not be perceived as a far-left party.

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  5. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    Is is possible to install a plug-in that allows you to view kiwiblog comments but blanks out Redbaiter?

    Since ACT imploded he has given up on actually debating anything and just spews a mindless cacophony of abuse.

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  6. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    National didn’t contest Epsom because they wanted to rort MMP to get a lapdog coalition partner. ACT certainly is a lapdog that has no effect in parliament (except for the odd bone thrown), but unfortunately the party is a mangy mongrel full of bludgers, fools and the odd criminal. So it doesn’t look too good to be associated with them now.

    If National was honest, instead of trying to game the system with ACT, they wouldn’t be in this mess.

    I remember last election that many people voted the National member in Ōhariu. Some commentator (maybe Linda Clark) said they should be strategically voting for Peter Dunne. I remember thinking to myself that to do so would be repugnant, because it would involve voting for Peter Dunne! Yuck.

    The major parties need to stand strong, and not try to win coalition seats on technicalities.

    [DPF: National did contest Epsom]

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  7. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    Stick a fork in rodders…he’s done !!!

    You spin me right round baby, like a broken record baby…

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  8. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    How long can the embarassment last for the voters of Epsom? I mean would you admit you voted for Hide?

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  9. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Is is possible to install a plug-in that allows you to view kiwiblog comments but blanks out Redbaiter?”

    Yes, and if you use Firefox it works very well. Its called RIP. Here’s the url. Please install it and add my name, and in future I hope its helps you refrain from clogging threads with off topic personal attacks on other commentors.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/521/

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  10. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    [DPF: National did contest Epsom]

    Then why did they stand Richard Worth?

    I admit that National technically had a candidate standing.

    I found this quote from pundit.co.nz: (9 Oct 2008)

    Hide says Key told him that National “was not going to go all out to try to get Rodney Hide out of Epsom and that they would be standing Richard Worth”…. [saying] “these were leader-to-leader discussions”.

    Three main possibilities:
    * The writer Tim Watkin was lying
    * Rodney Hide was lying (more likely)
    * That Hide and Key had a little agreement that Epsom was ACT’s (just as likely)

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  11. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    ‘How long can the embarassment last for the voters of Epsom? I mean would you admit you voted for Hide?’

    At the last election the party vote for National was 62% in Epsom and 6.2% for ACT, I think that gives an indication of the true support for ACT in Epsom.

    As long as National offer a candidate who is at least breathing at the next election Rodney will be history.

    (By the way it was Richard Worth who stood for National in Epsom at the last election, what a choice Worth or Hide).

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  12. PaulL (6,023 comments) says:

    There was a time when ACT wasn’t a far right party. They were the “liberal party” – socially and economically liberal. Now that they’re just economically liberal, but have allied with the SST, really all that’s left is for them to become racist and religious, and they’ll be all the way there.

    The Greens are definitely far-left, especially as their last environmental campaigner retires at this election.

    Unfortunately it is the nature of politics for the major parties to move to the centre, leaving no room between them for centre parties, other than those that move outside the pure left-right. So we have Winston-first, standing for racism and Muldoonist economics. Dunne, standing for bad hair-dos and fifties values. The Maori party, standing for god knows what – presumably using race as a mechanism to entrench power, but without any real idea of what to do with that power because they know nothing any politician can do will make any difference for Maori – Maori aren’t even a distinct group with similar needs or desires any more. ACT could have done similar, in the middle economically, but with some good ideas about freedom. The Greens the same, but with environmentalism. But for some reason both have become embroiled in far-right / far-left, with no real prospect of that leading to power or influence.

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  13. eszett (2,392 comments) says:

    If however it looks like voting for Rodney will not help the centre-right greatly (if if ACT is polling at below 1%),

    Is it possible to set the hurdle any lower?

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  14. PaulL (6,023 comments) says:

    eszett: ACT have polled around 1% in most election campaigns, and definitely a long way out from the election like we are today. But they’ve always gotten 3% or so, even after the newspapers conduct their usual campaigns of declaring that a vote for ACT is a wasted vote, they’ll never get back in, and by they way they’re a far-right party.

    If they conducted this same campaign against the Greens each election, how do we think they’d fare?

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  15. eszett (2,392 comments) says:

    Once more, just sick left wing propagandists posing as journalists, and starting the propaganda offensive against any break away from the leftist norm

    If they are not far right, why would the “left wing propagandists posing as journalists” go after them? Another one of your contradictions possibly?

    Or maybe they are not far right and there are no “left wing propagandists posing as journalists” and ACT is just fucking it up as they go.

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  16. jackp (668 comments) says:

    I am an Act supporter, I don’t like National, now I am wondering who to vote for. I am sure there are a lot of people in my shoes. Right now, I am looking at Winston…perhaps he could dilute the powers. I’ll have to wait and see.

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  17. eszett (2,392 comments) says:

    Of course, PaulL. It’s always the media.

    So ACT voters are the intelligent right wingers that get influenced by the left wing biased media that they don’t read.
    Yeah, that makes sense.

    I suppose that the National party takes into consideration that they would reach around 3% at the election. My interpretation of David’s comments was that if they are likely to get below 1% in the election, the National would pull the plug on Epsom.

    That’s a mighty low hurdle if you ask me.

    If Labour was contemplating something similar, the would be outrage how Labour is trying to get a left wing party into parliament despite having minuscule support.

    Fact is, it is not the media, it is ACT who has fucked this up. Rodney Hide to be specific. He brought in the SST with Garrett, he knew about his past, he decided to keep it secret, he decided to make him Law and Order spokesman.

    He really thought he would get away with it. I guess it never occurred to him that the information could be leaked from his internal rivals.

    Hide knew that Garrett was untenable. He knew of the assault conviction and he knew about the passport. Did it not occur to him to ask if there are any other skeletons in the closet, like lying to the judge about previous convictions? Did Hide not get one of his aides to look into the court records to see if there is anything in there that may harm Garrett in future?

    Either way it looks very bad for Hide.

    The media or the left do not need to get very much involved in this. All they need to do is sit back and watch.

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  18. BlairM (2,317 comments) says:

    Can’t believe ACT are being tagged as “far-right”! Internationally I would put them at about the same place on the spectrum as Germany’s Christian Democrats or Britain’s Lib Dems. They’re pretty centrist. They don’t even want to cut government spending. How can you be right wing if you don’t want to cut spending?!

    The problem with politics in New Zealand is that it is so batshit insanely Hard Left that ACT’s limp-wristedness looks extreme to them. Hell, the Democrats in the US are more right wing than ACT.

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  19. jackp (668 comments) says:

    YOur right, BlairM. I was a democrat in the states and I find the politics in New Zealand too far to the left. But look where it is on the OECD. 22 and dropping.

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  20. Shazzadude (526 comments) says:

    Who they choose will make it obvious what their tactics are, whether it’s a Melissa Lee or a Steven Joyce/Tim Groser.

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  21. PaulL (6,023 comments) says:

    Eszett, simple maths. If ACT get 1.2% of the vote, then letting Rodney hold Epsom gives 2 seats the right don’t otherwise have. In fact, even if they get 1% of the vote, that’s 1 seat the right otherwise don’t have. One nice thing for National about ACT being definitely to the right, is that those MPs will never support Labour. So National give up nothing, and get 2 votes. How hard is this?

    As for your ranting about the left wing media….sorry, don’t confuse RedBaiter with me. The media do it because they hire 20 year old idealists who know nothing about the real world. I.e. because they’re stupid, not because they’re malicious.

    I completely agree ACT have fucked this up – from bringing Roger back, to letting him feel entitled, to Rodney feeling entitled, to Rodney losing focus on politics, to infighting within the party, to Garrett not being open up front. Not all those things were things that Rodney could have predicted, but he should shoulder his share of the blame. Certainly he isn’t running a tight ship. Problem is, it looks to me like he was trying to, and that’s what led to the problems with Heather (him trying to work out what she was up to in case it embarrassed the party).

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  22. Chris Diack (739 comments) says:

    DPF is right. But then it is the SST they often just make stuff up.

    The notion that Hide winning Epsom was because National formally or informally arranged this is nonsense. Epsom voters decided what was to occur in Epsom because of their superior understanding about MMP. It’s understandable given the nature of Epsom (and Remuera before it) that these voters work it out. To be fair to both Labour and National both are getting more adept at working under MMP. Both National and ACT made the Epsom situation work and thereby enhanced the chances of stable centre right Government.

    One can understand why the Left want to talk about this; better than talking about Mr Carter. Labour is the only Party to have an MP go rogue on it in this Parliament. The Leader of the Opposition cannot get traction with anything Labour is doing itself in the face of an very popular PM and thus is reduced to being a commentator. Labour’s angle is of course to reduce the political options available to a future Key led National Government.

    Labour would like the next Key led Government to be solely reliant on the Maori Party (which may be marooned at its current five seats because of its support for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill. Labour also knows that a National Party solely reliant on the Maori Party will be leveraged under the M&CATM Bill; that is the only reason Tribal elites are holding their tongue. Of course they know the M&CATM Bill isn’t much better than the current law; in one sense its worse; it eliminates the application of the common law in determining what is a common law property right issue; the tests applied by the judges even if one goes to Court are statutory under the M&CATM Bill not common law. Critically it does not restore New Zealand law to whatever it was on the day prior to the passage of the Seabed & Foreshore Act. It does set up a “deal making system” over the seabed and foreshore both within the statutory scheme and over the statutory scheme itself; doing deals with politicians are always easier when they need your vote. Look for an ongoing process here. Labour itself was prepared to run the risk of the creation of the Maori Party over the seabed and foreshore; it will be just as tough for National if not more so post 2011.

    On matters of character consider also the conduct of individual MPs from the centre right during this term. Worth resigned; Garrett is also likely to do the honourable thing. That speaks to a common species of decency whatever their other crimes or malfeasances. The interests of Party/Parliament and Country matter.

    DPF’s last point is perhaps the most subtle. All political parties only exist on the basis of some level of co-operation between existing and likely politicians. Any political party can be destroyed from within as it only exists on the basis of practiced goodwill among its most of its key figures for most of the time. One needs sufficient levels of inter personal goodwill in order to get things done for New Zealand – because that after all is what voters are interested in that is why they reward a political party with their vote.

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  23. eszett (2,392 comments) says:

    I completely agree ACT have fucked this up – from bringing Roger back,

    Actually, John Armstrong had an interesting point.

    Don Brash! Roll Hide, Boscawen becomes leader, Brash joins ACT and stands in Epsom.
    Sounds like a reasonable scenario for ACT.

    Don Brash as an ACT minister working for Key. Now wouldn’t that be funny?

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  24. James (1,338 comments) says:

    ACT got rid of Donna ASAP when she started to smell and Garretts resignation continues the trend of doing the right thing no matter the hurt.Aside from Keys recent hardline on Worth is there another party thats swallowed the dead fish like ACT has….? No wonder the dead silence from across the house re Garrett…

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  25. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,876 comments) says:

    What beats me is how this little gang of idiots expects to do anything but lose their deposits when they’ve finally discredited John Boscowan and destroyed what was an effective ally for National. (Yes, I reckon they’ll target Boscowan next.)

    Do they seriously, seeeeeriously think somehow they will suddenly magically win 5% of the party vote?

    Who are they again? Lance Corporal Roy, a loony toons ex lootnant Colonel with no security clearance, a conniving totally disloyal and utterly untrustworthy board member, and the old goat himself, Roger Douglas.

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  26. reid (16,199 comments) says:

    “this little gang of idiots”

    Apart from Roy’s former advisor who else are suspects?

    Roy and Douglas? Seriously? Why?

    Surely Roger’s not doing this merely to get rid of Hide? That’s fucking nuts.

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  27. Viking2 (11,348 comments) says:

    The last politician to have absolute power over his MP’s was Muldoon and he kept resignation letters from all in his safe.
    Is this what’s happening here.

    Shame he didn’t use it on Roy. But then Turiana was able to manipulate Roy. Not able to do that with Garrett.
    Somewhere in this the Maori and Findlayson are in cahoots.

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  28. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    Epsom voters decided what was to occur in Epsom because of their superior understanding about MMP.

    Those Epsom voters can shoulder the blame for the shambles they have caused. They were, of course, convinced to do this by the two colluding parties involved – so to brag about “superior understanding” is like a druggie bragging about a loanshark who will lend him cash – it’s going to end up in tears.

    But Epsom voters deserve to be tarred with the ACT disaster brush. They were as much a part of the MMP-gaming scam as ACT and National. Next time Epsom, be honest and stop trying to rip off the system.

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  29. reid (16,199 comments) says:

    “The last politician to have absolute power over his MP’s was Muldoon and he kept resignation letters from all in his safe.”

    Apart from George Hawkins who courtesy of his police files keeps in his safe letters from all Liarbore MPs promising him they won’t make him resign…

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  30. reid (16,199 comments) says:

    “Those Epsom voters can shoulder the blame for the shambles they have caused.”

    Look if you’re faced with a choice between Hide and a pompous ball of puff called Richard Worth, who the hell would you have chosen. The fact he was going to self-immolate was not forseeable, then, and even if it was, I’d have still voted for Hide.

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  31. Chris Diack (739 comments) says:

    Well of course Tristanb is a fool. Those voters have and are ensuring stable centre right government. A Government more centre than right probably for their liking but stable Government nontheless.

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  32. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Ok, enough.The corpse has had its kicking and now we are over it.Davids gone….thats sad as he was a very good MP…head and shoulders over that shower of shit that occupys the cross benches.He managed to make NZ a safer place in less than one term whilst those hand wringing,hypocritical criminal lovers waded in the blood that the repeat violent offenders they let loose to prey upon the people of this country spilled when they should have been behind bars long before….so fuck anything those pricks have to say re Garrett.

    ACT will suck this up,learn from it and reign hell upon the pious and the pissant come next election.We have nothing to lose…who really cares a fuck for the opinion of those dolts and dipshits who will never support us anyway..? Fuck em.We will do whats actually RIGHT for the people of this country..even the moronic,ungrateful ones and damm the consequences.

    Those who disagree…suck my balls.

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  33. trout (932 comments) says:

    As an Epsom voter I am fascinated how journalists and bloggers presume to know how we think and vote. At the last election Hide looked to be the best man for the job; and we got the Government we wanted. Like most other small parties before them ACT is struggling to make an impact and there are obvious idealogical differences within their ranks. Obviously this needs to be sorted, the cancer needs to be excised. For us Hide represents the Super City; if the transition is successful he can take the credit for it and carry the kudos into the next election. If it fails he is dogmeat.

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  34. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Trouble is that the inevertible snags and cock ups (especially if Brown is elected) will occur early painting a false picture of where things really are at.If it settles down and really delivers for the people of Auckland Rodney may already be gone and not recieve his due recognition and praise for getting it right.Thers always a lag effect and a lack of justice around things like this…both ways.

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  35. thedavincimode (6,606 comments) says:

    jackp

    “I am an Act supporter, I don’t like National, now I am wondering who to vote for. I am sure there are a lot of people in my shoes. Right now, I am looking at Winston…”

    The price of democracy. Everyone gets a vote.

    Tell me jackp, can you give us some indication of where you see the confluence of ACT and Winston First policies and why you support that policy common ground? Or is it just a personal preference for dishonest short people and a belief that they are best suited to run this country. Or is it even that you are just a moron?

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  36. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Winston Peters is the embodiment of what ACT exists to oppose and defeat.A small minded,xenaphobic racist,economic dunce whos corrupt to boot.

    Hes Labour material through and through…

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  37. Jim (35 comments) says:

    The Nats would give up at least two perhaps three ACT seats if they strongly contested Epsom. That will be the difference between winning and losing the next election.

    ACT has been in a bad shape before and recovered.

    Small parties do not ever appeal to the majority of voters and should not be judged by what appeals to the majority.

    The number of seats won and lost by NZ first and by the greens also go up and down for reasons that defy the reasoning and values of the majority.

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  38. reid (16,199 comments) says:

    Fuck Jim I wish we still had karma. DPF, how come Whale has it and you don’t?

    Jim, +eleventy gajillion however minus a relatively trivial ninety eight gajillion million karma

    (i.e. it’s very good, not quite the best ever, but right up there).

    [DPF: Because with 600,000+ comments here, it takes up too much processor resources as idiots do stuff like try and vote every comment up one]

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  39. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    The very prescence of Hide, Boscawen, Garrett, Roy, Douglas does enormous damage to this government by its very prescence. Women voters will not be impressed by the bully tag Hide brings to Cabinet and now every law and order debate will be tinged with ‘but what about your own’ argument.

    If Epsom National voters want to continue that association, they will be hurting their own party. Expect to see lots of photos of Hide, Garrett and Key laughing during the next years campaign advertising.

    ‘Fool me once- shame on you, fool me twice- shame on me, fool me three times- call me a f…..n idiot’. John Stewart 2009.

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  40. reid (16,199 comments) says:

    “The very prescence of Hide, Boscawen, Garrett, Roy, Douglas does enormous damage to this government by its very prescence.”

    Hide, Garrett and Roy are seriously tarnished.

    Roy has a chance of rehabilitation since she is recognised as competent, hard-working, serious. Garrett and Hide, different stories.

    Douglas and Boscawen aren’t even touched by this.

    I like someone’s thought above re: Brash. He would be a seriously interesting development for Epsom voters.

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  41. grumpyoldhori (2,416 comments) says:

    A lot of Epsom voters must be revolted by the knowledge that even though Hide knew about Garrett stealing the identity of a dead child he still went forward and picked him to be a list MP for ACT.

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  42. PaulL (6,023 comments) says:

    I actually like Hide. I’d rather the party reforms around him, after booting those who can’t get with the program. And then I’d also rather he exerted a bit more pressure on what he actually believes – genuinely liberal policies. The three strikes policy was actually one of those, and a good achievement. Opposing the gang patches bill also. But we need the whole party in behind him doing the same.

    Franks is of course the other choice to rejoin. I like Franks, I’m not sure now (and wasn’t then) that he is charismatic enough to be leader. But he is very clearly principled – he wouldn’t have walked into some of these traps.

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  43. Nookin (3,264 comments) says:

    Completely agree with you about Franks.

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  44. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    @PaulL – completely agree about Franks. I’ve met him a couple of times and he’s precisely what Act needs: Clear thinking, rational and, as you suggest, principled.

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  45. Chris Diack (739 comments) says:

    bchapman isnt a supporter of this Government nor the ACT party.

    Actually there is little sign that what is occuring with ACT or the Maori Party for that matter affects Key. I suspect that most centre right voters distinguish between the parties. What matters to most of those voters is that the Govt has a programme and gets on with it. If the Govt had confidence and supply problems then that would be a problem for Key.

    As for this odd ball stuff about women not voting for John Key because of Rodney Hide – get a life. More lefty dreams. Women who swing between Labour and National will be weighing up Key verses Goff. They will most likely decide on the basis of the qualities of these two; not their support parties. The problem for the left is that cannot assert that both ACT and the Maori Party are a no go; that means no National led Government.

    If we want to go down the gender politics road I would also note that if David Garrett does resign, Hilliary Calvert will lift the ACT Caucus to two Women MPs (40% of the Caucus) which is the higher than any other Party in Parliament except the Maori Party which also has 40% of its Caucus who are women.

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  46. reid (16,199 comments) says:

    “[DPF: Because with 600,000+ comments here, it takes up too much processor resources [to use karma] as idiots do stuff like try and vote every comment up one]”

    Well why not set it to not update after say 3 days, tell people not to do it frivolously and ban those who persist?

    [DPF: Because the plugin does not have those settings, and it tends to be bots from overseas that hammer the site. We get quite a few DOS attacks]

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  47. reid (16,199 comments) says:

    “I actually like Hide. I’d rather the party reforms around him, after booting those who can’t get with the program.”

    Paul on my reading on the program issue is, no-one including apparently Rodney, knows what the program is.

    ACT has not clearly articulated its position since the Supercity proposal and that’s yesterday’s news.

    That’s what ACT is lacking.

    Both Brash and Franks could inject the necessary ingredients (together with John Ansell if they’ve got any sense, to provide some somewhat urgent accurate communication).

    ACT cannot die. To me, this is a bottom line, personally. It matters more than anything other party in politics, if we are to pursue a rational as opposed to idealistic, economic future.

    National used to do this, but doesn’t provide the vanguard, anymore. Ever since it lost its rump to the urban seats. It’s then that it lost its way, courtesy of the urban magnetism that appears to attract useful idiots from far and wide, like moths to a flame, until the whole sector is infected with their well-meaning yet ultimately futile indeed counter-productive brand of moronism that brings about calamity in 100% of known cases.

    Need I say more.

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  48. MT_Tinman (3,092 comments) says:

    I notice how every one of the commynist commenters both here and in the real slime is pushing the ACT is dead line.

    Are they trying to convince us or themselves?

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  49. Viking2 (11,348 comments) says:

    History shows that the National Party has never had a majority vote to be Govt. Even last time it never collected enough votes to govern on its own.
    Does it seem likely to do that at the next election, even if they decide to challenge Epsom,(which they won’t). At least not while Key is in charge.
    So if the Nats want to be in Govt. then they need a partner, more so next election than this last one for there should be no doubt that Labour will gain on the last vote. To say not is to ignore history ( remember Biills low poll),and the fallibility of people.

    So unless you want the Nats. relying on the Maori Party for being in power with the attendant pork barreling that will go with that then you had better pull your heads out of the shit and start to do some thinking.

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  50. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    V2,
    National are perfectly capable of getting 50% of the seats next election. When was the last poll that showed them in the 40s?

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  51. PaulL (6,023 comments) says:

    bchapman: won’t happen. Polls say all sorts of things, but it usually changes in the heat of an election campaign. People are picking National at the moment because that nice Mr Key is on TV looking all reasonable all the time. Some of that will carry into an election, but not all of it – not once the dirt starts to fly, the scare campaigns about insurance companies and all that crap. And even if they did get over 50% of the seats in the next election, it’d be a one off. They shouldn’t be playing a short game here.

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  52. Psycho Milt (2,405 comments) says:

    Small parties do not ever appeal to the majority of voters and should not be judged by what appeals to the majority.

    Absolutely. You’d think this would be obvious, but a lot of people seem unable to cope with the concept – witness TV3 running a text poll on whether their viewers thought Garrett should go or not. Hello-o? Garrett’s a list MP – how many TV3 viewers responding to the poll were even distantly likely to consider giving ACT their party vote? A fraction of fuck-all, perhaps. Likewise, Garrett’s a laughing stock over at the Dim Post – oh no! All those Dim Post readers who’ll never, ever vote ACT again! What an electoral disaster for ACT!

    The only thing that counts is what previous and potential-future ACT voters think of what happened, and in that respect the people who leaked the story have done far worse damage to the party than Garrett or Hide – by a big margin.

    Disclaimer: not an ACT voter, not likely to be, don’t have any great interest in seeing National/ACT remain in govt, etc…

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  53. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Yes, National haven’t decided their strategy re: Epsom, ha ha ha ha.

    Seriously ACT are fubar and as things stand any government that doesn’t run a high profile candidate in Epsom has rocks in their head.

    I suppose the polling just before the election is called will tell though.

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  54. Jim (35 comments) says:

    That great and long dead Louisiana demigod Huey Long once said that the only way a particular candidate would lose is if he was caught in bed with a live boy or a dead girl. ACT is not far away from that, but it will escape.

    Long’s Law applies to ACT winning Epsom and therefore 1 or 2 more list seats in 2011.

    By splitting the party and constituency vote, Epsom voters get several more national leaning candidates elected.

    3 more rioght-wing seats is a powerful basis to sow forgiveness. Ensuring that the ACT list vote is not wasted, and national government has coalition partners. ACT will hammer away at this theme list seats bonus theme and its accomplishments at the next election.

    The idea of the Nats. having to rely on the Maori Party, as Viking mentioned, will not sit well with Key or with Epsom true blue voters. That would make it difficult for the NATs to be more than a 2 term government.

    The Nats will not want to reply on a minor party whose voters give a majority of their party vote to Labour. Do not be surprised that Peter Dunne faces a token Nat the next time too, but Dunne is goes with the flow, so he is no guarantee partner either.

    the Nats want three terms. To do this the Nats need the 2 to 5 seats that ACT can deliver, at their worst and at their best. Key is playing a long game. he wants to be PM after the 2014 as well as 2011 elections.

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  55. James (1,338 comments) says:

    ACT says go fuck yourselves you pissant fringe dwellers.What the hell right do you have to an opinion anyway? Piss off and die.

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  56. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    PaulL
    Even if they got 45% of the vote they will be fine (they may even get 50% of the seats still). In any case ACT will only give them 2 or 3 MPs- the Maori Party will have 5 or 6 so unless they are 1 or 2 short Rodney (plus 1 or 2) will not be any help anyway.

    I still think JK will get 50% of the vote by himself, Labour are dispirited and broke, their supporters are dispirited by the timidity of the leadership whosound totally incoherent every time they open their mouths.

    ACTs best chance for the future would be to go with Roy as leader, ditch the SST and stick to arguing their economic beliefs and critiquing English’s economic policies. Whilst Hide is around he will never be able to oppose Key- what sort of future is that?

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  57. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Act are fubar

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  58. Shazzadude (526 comments) says:

    Thedavincimode

    “Tell me jackp, can you give us some indication of where you see the confluence of ACT and Winston First policies and why you support that policy common ground?”

    ACT drifted into New Zealand First’s space when they abandoned their liberal focus to become a populist party focused on crime. ACT’s big ticket from their agreement with National was the 3 strikes on criminals deal, which has little to do with the values ACT were founded on.

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  59. James (1,338 comments) says:

    When did NZF ever get tough on crime and 2) actually do something about it…?

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  60. Chris Diack (739 comments) says:

    bchapman is great with advice for a Party and Government that he does not support.

    He also doesn’t know history.

    In 2002 when Helen Clark and Labour was stratospheric and National had slumped to an all time low and the Alliance had disintegrated – did Clark’s Labour win 50% of the vote??????????????????????

    And actually he is also wrong on his assessment of Labour. They are not in as bad a shape as National was in 2002. Goff is a campaigner. He is also clearly in charge of his Party. Apart from Chris Carter Labour shows high levels of discipline. He will do better next year than most polls currently suggest – save some seismic event he wont win – but the performance will be creditable in the face of a very popular PM. After the election it will be declared unwinnable for Labour.

    And here is what we also know about the last election. Without Epsom and ACT Helen Clark would still be PM.

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  61. reid (16,199 comments) says:

    “[DPF: Because the plugin does not have those settings, and it tends to be bots from overseas that hammer the site. We get quite a few DOS attacks]”

    I’m sure if you can give us some real names and addresses DPF, we can get together a vigilante squad and “learn them.”

    It is the lefties who are doing this, isn’t it…

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  62. James (1,338 comments) says:

    ACT drifted into New Zealand First’s space when they abandoned their liberal focus to become a populist party focused on crime. ACT’s big ticket from their agreement with National was the 3 strikes on criminals deal, which has little to do with the values ACT were founded on.

    There is no conflict between ACTs hard line on crime and their Classic Liberal foundations…far from it.At the heart of CL is the principle that the State exists to protect peoples rights from force and fraud and punish violators of them…thats exactly what 3 strikes does….and not before time in NZ.If anything 3 strikes is too leniant as it allows that second strike….which is one too many where serious violent crime is concerned.

    Sure ACT needs to get more balanced with its socially liberal side but theres nothing wrong or out of place with 3 strikes…liberty is not license.Being liberal doesn’t mean being soft on crime.

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  63. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,066 comments) says:

    The only thing that counts is what previous and potential-future ACT voters think of what happened

    That’s not accurate in this case Milt – Hide also needs to win Epsom to get his party back into Parliament, which means winning a much broader cross-section of society than just ACT voters. And Epsom voters who aren’t die-hard ACT supporters simply will not vote for Hide.

    Key won’t commit to anything until the election campaign, but he cannot endorse Hide. National have to stand a candidate in Epsom, they’ll then win no matter whether the PM endorses them or not.

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  64. Psycho Milt (2,405 comments) says:

    Personally, I doubt that Epsom’s National supporters have been voting for Hide because they’re so chuffed with him – I think DPF’s right and they’ve been voting for Hide because they know how MMP works and the right gets additional MPs out of Hide winning Epsom. That still applies, and the biggest factor will be how much ACT is polling towards election day, ie how many additional MPs for the right would voting for Hide bring in? If it looks like all they’d get is him, then yes he’s a goner.

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  65. PaulL (6,023 comments) says:

    DIM – Hide has been a good local MP for Epsom. I think it’s wishful thinking on your part that the people of Epsom simply won’t vote for him. He isn’t a different guy than he was last election, and the media said all the same things you’re saying. He ran a good local campaign, there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t do so again.

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  66. Chris Diack (739 comments) says:

    Danyl Mclauchlan

    More sage words from someone who does not live in Epsom and does not support ACT, National or the current Government.

    What we do know about Epsom is they did not support a Helen Clark led Labour Government last time, unlike Mr Mclauchlan.

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  67. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    He (Garrett) managed to make NZ a safer place in less than one term whilst those hand wringing,hypocritical criminal lovers waded in the blood that the repeat violent offenders they let loose to prey upon the people of this country spilled when they should have been behind bars long before….so fuck anything those pricks have to say re Garrett.

    Aint a damn thing changed in the real world. NZ is not any safer than it was before. If anything 3 strikes law makes it potentially a far less safer place and current gov’t policies in not dealing with spiralling unemployment by creating jobs ensures things are gonna get a whole lot unsafer .

    3 strikes is a sick joke that will come back to haunt ACT in later years. Hah..who am i kidding there won’t be an ACT party a year from now.

    Suck your balls ???…How about i metaphorically kick them so far up they’ll be hangin out the end of your chin so you can suck em yourself

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  68. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “More sage words from someone who does not live in Epsom and does not support ACT, National or the current Government.”

    What ails these commies that they always so arrogantly presume that the right need their advice on what to do? Weird.

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  69. s.russell (1,590 comments) says:

    Some observations on the maths:
    1) Act’s support was only 1.5% in 2005.
    2) A similar level of support in 2011 would entitle it to two seats IF Hide won Epsom.
    3) If Act got 1.5% in 2011 and did NOT win Epsom, those two seats would be shared out among all other parties (which would probably mean one each to National and Labour, depending on exactly how the votes add up).
    4) Ergo, the ”cost” to the centre right is ONE seat, not two (which National might think a price worth paying to rid itself of an encumbrance).
    5) If Act were effectively eliminated from the political firmament where would those votes go? Notwithstanding jackp’s inclination to Winston (see posts above) most would go to National.
    6) In the short term (ie 2011) Act support would probably be influenced up or down by the perception of whether it was going to get in. A widespread view that it would not would be likley to see many Act voters switch to National, rather than waste their votes.
    7) Yes National could win 50% of the seats. If you remove those parties which fail to get seats from the count National could do it on maybe 47%. Note that the CDU/CSU pulled this off in Germany once too. But, as that was, this might well be a one-off.
    8) If the Maori Party is here to stay (and I think it is), we are going to have to learn to live with it. Wishing wont make it go away, so it makes more sense for National to embrace it – especially given the demographics of growing Maori population. (NOTE: None of the alternate electoral systems put forward in the 2011 referendum would abolish the Maori seats, they would just create more of them.)

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  70. Chris Diack (739 comments) says:

    s.russell is a mathematical genius – but a hopeless historian.

    First. 1.5% for ACT in 2005 was historically low. That’s because National had Brash as leader – as Catherine Judd said at the time – he was the 10th ACT MP. True ACT support ranges between 3 – 6% of the voting age population.

    Then our genius cites Germany as evidence of the chances of National getting 50% + 1 of the seats in Parliament. On this evidence it is statistically more likely that there is a grand coalition between National and Labour than an outright majority of the seats in Parliament for National given that there has more grand coalitions in Germany that outright parliamentary majorities for the CDU/CSU.

    The fact is without ACT there would be NO National led Govt. The Maori Party would not have backed National if it did not already have the numbers to form a Govt.

    The lesson from German is that an electoral system designed produce a multi party Government needs more than 1 party to form a Govt. The only question is which other Party.

    Therefore without Epsom and ACT Helen Clark would still be PM.

    Finally our mathematical genius (who has also an expert in electoral systems) grandly states that the Maori seats will remain. Correct. However SM (backed by a lot of Nats) would ensure that there would be NO New Zealand Govt without the Maori Party

    Go back to the calculator.

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  71. Repton (769 comments) says:

    First. 1.5% for ACT in 2005 was historically low. That’s because National had Brash as leader – as Catherine Judd said at the time – he was the 10th ACT MP. True ACT support ranges between 3 – 6% of the voting age population.

    Political parties have died before. Social Credit used to have a lot of support. Who remembers them now?

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