Roy Morgan poll

October 11th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The latest Roy Morgan poll is sober news for . They are still 8% ahead of Labour, but 5.5% behind Labour and Greens combined. On this poll the seats would be:

  • National 51
  • Labour 41
  • Greens 17
  • NZF 8
  • Maori 3
  • United 1
  • Mana 1

You need 62 seats to govern, so either Lab/Gre/NZF or Nat/NZF/Maori. United Future and Mana might be there but wouldn’t make the difference.

The Roy Morgan poll can be quite variable but they have shown a 5% drop for National in the last month, and with the constant bad headlines this is not surprising. The Government is still progressing some very good policies, and making progress on the economic front (despite the high profile job losses).

I think the Govt needs to do a number of things to regain momentum. They include:

  • A commission of inquiry into the GCSB. The fact three other cases have been disclosed as being of uncertain legality gives the Govt grounds for this. Without an inquiry, the issue will drag on for the next six months or longer. The GCSB, with all respect, has displayed signs of incompetence.  It is almost unforgiveable that they took two weeks to recall that Kim Dotcom had been mentioned to the PM at a general briefing. They should have located that within hours, not weeks. I personally don’t believe there has been any ill intent, but there has been enough errors made, that it is difficult to see public confidence being restored without a more rigorous inquiry – not just into Dotcom. Such an inquiry could also review the legal framework around the GCSB, so it is future looking also.
  • Significant change to the Christchurch schools debacle. It could well be that all the changes are justified, and sensible in the long-term. But the why it was done has resulted in such ill feeling, that the Government needs to go for less change there. People know some stuff has to change, but go for the essential, not the “ideal” in terms of efficiency.
  • Amend the ECan legislation to make it a hybrid body as the Commissioners recommended. When not even the Commissioners are wanting to stay on as a purely appointed body, you have to ask why would the Govt do this?
  • Deal with the child poverty campaign (which is in fact a campaign for higher taxes and more welfare). National’s policies around welfare reform, national standards, reducing child abuse, better domestic violence laws are in fact all about reducing real child poverty, and giving more kids a better start in life. The left’s only answer to these issues is tax and spend. They won’t confront the much tougher issues of welfare dependency, the bottom 20% of students etc. National will. But National is not making the case well enough, and allowing the left to define child poverty as being just about “relative poverty” which in fact is just another name for income inequality.
  • Position the left as the party of higher costs for struggling households. People forget they want to ramp up the ETS so petrol and electricity prices increase. They want more inflation, which will hit struggling families. They want more taxes.

All Governments have had spells when they struggle in the . It happened to Labour six months into their first term (the winter of discontent). It seems to be happening to National six months into their second term. The challenge is to respond to it, and respond to it well.

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138 Responses to “Roy Morgan poll”

  1. kowtow (7,967 comments) says:

    Too close to Maori and redefining marriage.

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  2. Paulus (2,565 comments) says:

    Can only agree with you on Child Poverty Campaign.
    The rest are well within what the Government is doing, and would flatter the multi-opposition and make Key’s job more difficult, which the media led opposition would love.
    Simply, National cannot win the 2014 election as Greenpeace New Zealand Branch will hold all the trump cards, and they know it.

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  3. flipper (3,847 comments) says:

    Just one point that I should have made earlier: The February GCSB briefing of the PM was given via a power point computer priogramme – at least that is what we have been told.

    Please do NOT tell me that the programme has been “accidentally” erased.
    If the proigramme is not available for Inspector General viewing arses should be kicked – out.

    By the way… GCSB has been a problem. But nothing like that facing our Canadian cousins where our (and US, UK and Aus.) ECHELON intelligence take was copied by a Russian GRU money man (just now arrested) for the past several years.

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  4. Alan Johnstone (1,083 comments) says:

    I’m reminded of reading Tony Blair’s book, he says early on people and the media tend to give you the benefit of the doubt on things, then there comes a point where they don’t and once that happens there is no way back.

    I think Key is reaching this point; He looking shady on the kim dotcom stuff and is no longer the teflon leader he was.

    The next election was always Labours to lose.

    ps,

    Roy Morgon appears very shonky, some of their polls last year were all over the place

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  5. RRM (9,668 comments) says:

    I reckon Paula Bennett’s vulnerable children thing that was in the paper this morning will be a boost for National.

    It looks like she is doing something big about that issue, and making real changes to the machine, which makes a welcome change from endless hand-wringing and calls for inquiries and reports.

    There are some aspects of what’s proposed that I’m not too keen on, and I’m not even a Paula fan normally, but it is good to see a politician come out and say:
    “I will do THIS and THIS and THIS and THIS, and I will do them according to THIS timeframe, starting today…”

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  6. grumpyoldhori (2,416 comments) says:

    Time to dump both Bennet and the minister of Education, having women at the cabinet table because they are horis is a sad reason to have them there.

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  7. bij (66 comments) says:

    “The left’s only answer to these issues is tax and spend. They won’t confront the much tougher issues of welfare dependency, the bottom 20% of students etc. National will. ”

    i would have thought promoting more information-sharing about child abuse would be coupled with increased funding for caseworkers, you know, to DO something with that information. please correct me if better social services is either part of the announcement or somehow not necessary…

    i agree that spending on social services is more effective than spending on benefits (if that is your point).

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  8. wreck1080 (3,820 comments) says:

    National pandering to maori who want money without working for it, refusal to address working for families and free student loans get my goat.

    The asset sales failure and the gcsb debacle shows the government to lack competence.

    Education is a shocker , nothing more needs to be said there.

    Under MMP National have abandoned more conservative voters , relying on the ‘no other alternative’ to keep the conservative vote. Act have devolved into a total farce..

    Lost voters like me need someone with the characteristics of Bob Jones to form a pragmatic political party — probably it would be pigeon holed as a right wing party but I’d call it a common sense party as left wing policies really baffle me at times.

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  9. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Time to give Parata her marching orders. Key should also lift his act to avoid looking aloof and detached.

    Otherwise, the worst possible nightmare, a Labour-Green government, could be inflicted on New Zealand. Expect a myriad of new taxes, controls, prohibitions and regulations in that (unfortunate) case.

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  10. Mark (1,436 comments) says:

    DPF a good summation. GCSB, the failure to deal with Banks and the Dotcom affair very well and education have all hurt Key’s image. It is Key that has given National the edge and he has struggled a bit over the past 2-3 months. The idea of a Labour/Greens coalition with NZ first is abhorent.

    It is only one poll and it will be interesting to see where trend is heading but as DPF commented given the government performance over the past 3-4 months it is not totally unexpected.

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  11. iMP (2,345 comments) says:

    DPF, the Poll says Mana was too low to register but you have them at 1. Conservatives got 2, how come you didn’t include them?
    I appreciate you are probably listing only parl. parties, but Consv, has more support than UF & Mana combined, so surely they are relevant?

    [DPF: I assume electorate seats remain the same, unless a public poll shows otherwise. Hence I assume Harawira retains Te Tai Tokerau]

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  12. thedavincimode (6,591 comments) says:

    Manolo

    Good time to dump all these Labour-lite policies do ya reckon? :)

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  13. Lloyd (125 comments) says:

    If the Greens get in, Xerox will be come a preferred supplier, as QE gets implimented…

    And calling Maori ‘horis’ is racist, antediluvian bullshit from a f*ckwit. It is not debate; it is old-fashioned knuckle-dragging cheap shots. There are many reasons to support suggestions that Hekia should go, (her overall performance, inability to listen to experts, following departmental advice that is presented by sandle-and-sock-wearing incompetent space-takers in the MoE, and her general arrogance) but her race is not one of them.

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  14. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    Maori+Mana dropped from 4% to 1.5% (give or take due to rounding) – Watered down Maori support?

    Re the poll overall – there’s obvious concerns for National and Labour are still labouring, but it’s still over two years until the next election. Last election showed that a lot can change in the last month.

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  15. lastmanstanding (1,241 comments) says:

    Agree with you re a Commission of Inquiry and posted this here an elsewhere. My take on the spooks is that Key has been very hands off compared to Clark with them and they have got a bit to cocky and arrogant as a result.
    I betcha Clark wouldnt have let the Dotcom thing get out of hand. She would have been right onto it.
    Forget the BS about operational matters blah blah blah. Clark as head of the spooks would have known every time they pissed.
    Key on the other hand is a laid back hands off type of guy and the spooks have taken advantage of that to do what spooks do and that is push the boundaries and in this and possibly other cases a Commission would find out.
    We dont know what else the spooks have been up to. This aint conspiracy stuff Let face it we know enough already to know the spooks have acted outside the law.
    IMHO as I have posted before we need a COI of 3 retired HC Judges with an open ended TOR so they can get the spooks in and give them a taste of their own medicine. The citizens have a fundemental right to know whats been going on .
    Its about good governance. Disclosure and Transperancey. Forget the BS about secrecy. Until the citizens can trust the spooks they deserve to have the hot poker down their Y fronts.
    When the citizens know the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth and have confidence in thed spooks then the spooks can go back to their little games of secrecy but this time JK gotta make sure he keeps a beady eye on them on our behalf.

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  16. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Urgently, put some spine in John Key’s back to help him challenge the greedy Stone Agers, who claim ownership of everything under the Sun.

    The image of weakness the government has displayed over the past two months is reflected in the falling pool figures.

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  17. iMP (2,345 comments) says:

    The actual Morgan results (parties):
    Support for Labour is 33.5% (up 0.5%); Greens are 13.5% (up 2%), New Zealand First 6.5% (up 1.5%), Mana Party 0% (down 1.5%), Conservative Party of NZ 2% (unchanged) and Others 0.5% (unchanged).

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  18. Cunningham (829 comments) says:

    Manolo (7,721) I agree. Parata is now in a position where she can achieve nothing. I suspect the public have lost all confidence in her and once that happens you are on a hising to nothing in education. She needs to be moved onto something else.

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  19. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Well I do think national need a serious kick in the arse. Theyve missed many opportunities:

    1. Set up national insurance scheme – like was done after napier earthquake (State Insurance).
    2. Organise an earthquake tax levy (which the nation would have strongly supported)
    3. They should have kept a mile from the Sue Bradford anti smaking fiasco.
    4. I think theyre overdoing roads – not by much but through out last century everyone who dismissed rail has been burnt.
    5. They are still failing to reign in local government and their wasteful ways.
    6. They remain terrified of the teacher unions and they need to do a Thatcher job on the union.
    7. Banks and Dotcom and GCSB are making the management of government look stupid.
    etc, etc

    They are taking too much notice of knee-jerk reaction that flies around the internet. Many of the comentators who occupy the ether dont vote – they just spend their time moaning. The teacher unions will never vote for them so why waste time being frightened of them.
    They seem not to have any concept of statesmanship – true country leadership and doing the big things.

    However the greens at 17 seats are a serious bloody worry These are many of the people who the government cave into on twitter etc – but Key etal dont seem to realise that the bloody greens are never going to vote for them……

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  20. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Yes, davinci. You know it’s time to ditch “socialism by stealth” and interest-free student loans.
    But Labour lite’s “leader” refuses to do so, afraid of his own shadow. Ah, the brave Neville.

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  21. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    DPF, the Poll says Mana was too low to register but you have them at 1. Conservatives got 2, how come you didn’t include them?

    It’s projected seats.

    ^ (as per Mana) is not too low to register, it is <0.5%

    Conservatives debuted in Roy Morgan at 3, dropped, then leveled off at 2 for the last two polls. It will be a real challenge for them to climb to the 4-5% necessary to get into parliament.

    I'm not sure they would get a protest surge like Winston/NZF. What could work in their favour is picking up a 'knock National but not Labour+Green' vote.

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  22. Griff (7,016 comments) says:

    Lloyd
    GOhori gets to call Maori horis because he as per his name is one. :lol: your view of him may be correct however
    You can not be racist if you have no power says Margaret “Maori are incapable of being racists because they ‘are not in a position of power’ Mutu

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  23. Viking2 (11,284 comments) says:

    It needs to grow some balls more likely.
    No. 1 sort out the labour and Union Laws. Get rid of the unions rorting the legislation, destroying relationships and end their funding of the Labour Party.
    Cut the social jobs that support people like the socialists and the greens. e.g. councils and all sorts of other nice to haves that supply a money flow to the despicable pricks.
    Get rid of blatantly incompetent ministers like Wilkinson and ensure that the likes of Nick Smith retire.

    Cut govt. spending even more.
    Be a lot more business friendly to Kiwi’s rather than grovel to the film industry who will wipe us like a dirty arse just as soon as there is abetter deal about.

    And so on.
    .

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  24. Mark (1,436 comments) says:

    Wreck1080 I dont agree with ll you have said but the general thrust is right on the money.

    Failed asset sales programme, treaty of Waitangi issues, GCSB, Dotcom and the failure to sack Banks have all hurt National.

    Its not just working for families but the whole inequity of the tax system that needs addressing.

    Education – Tolley was poor but Parata has been a disaster for National. Charter schools are an unnecessary distraction and National standards a shambles. Not to mention Christchurch and the missreading of public opinion on class sizes.

    The lead up to the next election will be interesting

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  25. Mark (1,436 comments) says:

    Manolo (7,723) Says:
    October 11th, 2012 at 9:33 am
    Time to give Parata her marching orders. Key should also lift his act to avoid looking aloof and detached.

    Otherwise, the worst possible nightmare, a Labour-Green government, could be inflicted on New Zealand. Expect a myriad of new taxes, controls, prohibitions and regulations in that (unfortunate) case.

    Manolo I dont always agree with you but this time you have hit the nail squarely on the head. :)

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  26. tom hunter (4,572 comments) says:

    Lloyd
    GOhori gets to call Maori horis because he as per his name is one.

    Shush, Griff, shush.

    Let whiter-than-white Lloyd bask in the warm glow of his superior racial attitudes for the moment, as he elevates himself above the dross of his race.

    It’ll make it funnier when the time comes that GOH calls him a racist on some issue or other!

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  27. toad (3,673 comments) says:

    I see you’ve written off the chances of ACT retaining Epsom, DPF.

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  28. MH (693 comments) says:

    Stop the feminisation of teachers,recruit more males to counter the imbalance in primary schools thus ensuring NZ has a good stock of future rugby players and insert more European teachers in South Akld and polynesian Wellington to counter the segregation and courtship by the league fraternity. Reintroduce Maori into decile 1 schools by promoting Housing Corp enclaves in white areas.Life is simple.

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  29. bc (1,356 comments) says:

    A good summation of the problems National are having at the moment, DPF.
    The two big ones that just won’t go away are:
    1) The Dotcom/GCSB fiasco. Key is looking really shaky here. He has more ums and errs than David Shearer at press conferences when he tries to explain himself out of this mess. And as they say – explaining isn’t winning.
    2) Christchurch Schools. Parata does not have the people skills to handle this delicate situation. And why the urgency? Could they not wait until the rebuilding was in full swing and a bit of positivity was being felt in Christchurch (or at least until after the next election!) until you start closing schools. Not only that but there is a feeling there is a hidden agenda when schools with stable and increasing rolls and/or schools with undamaged buildings are getting closed. It feels like schools are being closed unnecessarily to create a ‘need’ for charter schools. The government should give up on charter schools. It is ACT policy and there is no mandate for it.
    On the backburner for now, but will make an unwelcome return:
    3) Asset sales combined with Maori water rights

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  30. iMP (2,345 comments) says:

    PV % (Possible Seat Allocation)
    1. National Party 41.5% (50)
    2. Labour 33.5% (42)
    3. Greens 13.5% (17)
    4. NZFirst 6.5% (8)
    5. Conservative 2.0% (3) Omitted by Kiwiblog.
    6. Maori Party 1.5% (0)
    7. ACT NZ 0.5% (0)
    8. United Future 0.5% (0)
    9. Others 0.5% (0)
    10. Mana 0% (0)

    The key point here, is who holds an electorate seat (and thus their Party Votes count). Will Mana win their Maori Seat?; will the Maoris win their seats (or NZF)?; It is widely known that National has talked to the Conservatives about a seat, so their support will likely count?; and what to do with NZF if they dip under 5% but don’t win a seat?

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  31. Redbaiter (8,039 comments) says:

    “Position the left as the party of higher costs for struggling households.”

    Oh gawd help us.

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  32. tom hunter (4,572 comments) says:

    Funnily enough the bank was just asking me the other day what my plans were for the future – an expansion perhaps??

    Ha!

    I explained to them that I’ve always been aiming at 2014/15 as the time to exit, hoping against hope that Labour-Greens could be held off until 2018 when my youngest will near the end of school.

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  33. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Look at the bright side: the whorish Dunne could be confined to history. It can only be good! :-)

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  34. Redbaiter (8,039 comments) says:

    Let’s hurry along with that plain packaging of tobacco products.

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  35. bc (1,356 comments) says:

    iMP @ 9.37am
    It doesn’t matter if Mana support is at 0.1%, Hone will win his Northland Maori seat. The Mana party is effectively a one man show, it might as well be called the Hone party.
    By doing a Mana/Labour vote split, the Northland Maori really get bang for their buck with their vote.
    The Conservative party may have a higher percentage but unless they get over the 5% (or 4% before the next election?) they will need to win a seat. And that is going to be a big challenge. Colin Craig should try and get John Tamahere!
    United Future are on shaky ground – Peter Dunne will need to win his seat again.
    ACT are done and dusted. The public will punish National if there is a repeat of the ‘teacup tapes’ fiasco. And there is slim chance John Banks will get in again, even with National support. If I was National I would cut my losses, abandon charter schools which is ACT policy and campaign to win Epsom.

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  36. Scott (1,739 comments) says:

    Well I suspect they are dropping because they are allowing private members bills to be introduced into Parliament that are anathema to most National voters. Who wants gay marriage,gay adoption and euthanasia? Labour did, but who knew National and the Prime Minister did as well?

    Now we know-John Key is a liberal and his governance on social matters is no different in its results than Helen Clarke’s. John Key is selling out the conservative vote,which outside the latte enclaves is quite large,to capture the soft liberal voter.

    Check out the latest Investigate for some perspective on gay marriage and also a very insightful article on National’s craven sell out to Maori separatism with its latest Treaty settlement. I hope you enjoy the design of the Maori sovereignty flag. Because under this government you are going to see a lot more of it.

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  37. rg (201 comments) says:

    Again you suggest that the people of Epsom will choose a labour govt over a National govt and not vote for the ACT candidiate in Epsom. There is no logic to this reasoning.
    The people of Epsom want a National govt, they will vote for the ACT candidate, it is not logical for them not to. They get two votes while the rest of us only get one. They understand that and they will oblige. The biggest problem ACT have is the unreliable and biased polling whereby the pollsters use their unreliable and biased polling to influence the voters of Epsom. They came close to succeeding last time and need to be called to account.
    National supporters ignore the ACT Party factor at their peril.

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  38. Redbaiter (8,039 comments) says:

    “I explained to them that I’ve always been aiming at 2014/15 as the time to exit,”

    That’s actually a large part of this.

    National led by John Key has completely failed to deliver on the hope that he would take the country in a different direction, and therefore most people who might vote counter to socialism/ separatism have just packed up and left.

    NZ is going down, and if Labour and the Greens win power then it is an excellent example of voters getting the government they deserve.

    You can’t fix stupid.

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  39. Alan Johnstone (1,083 comments) says:

    I think we can assume the MP will hold at least 2 of there three seats and Hone will hold his seat up north.

    Labour could take TM from the Maori Party, I see the other two as safe.

    I think we should work on the basis that the lifeboat rule will be removed and a 4% threshold put in place, and there being no seat deal between National and Conservatives. No benefit to National to do so, they either make 4% at which point they don’t need a seat, or it’s just wasted votes.

    Peter Dunne should probably be good for another 3 years.

    ACT as clearly dead; Epsom voters surely wouldn’t hold their noses again. It’s not about policy to any great extent, it’s about the shelf life of an administration in the age of 24 hour media, it comes down to John Key saying “trust me”.

    As the baggage of office accumulates, I don’t see how Labour lose next time out.

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  40. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    Well I suspect they are dropping because they are allowing private members bills to be introduced into Parliament Parliament

    National are not “allowing private members bills to be introduced”, Member’s bills get in if they get drawn from the ballot, and stay in if they get enough votes (from the whole Parliament).

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  41. somewhatthoughtful (457 comments) says:

    We don’t confront the issue of “Welfare Dependency” because it’s been proven consistently that it’s not a real issue, just a dog whistle to middle NZ in order to get swing voters who are scared of poor people stealing their stuff.

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  42. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    NZ is going down…

    No it’s not. So far we have survived a major and severe economic event better than many countries, and we are cureently about on target to get back to surplus.

    National deserve to be criticised for many things but their overall management of the economy has been onw of their strong points.

    I know they haven’t made drastic changes but that would have been very risky, especially in difficult times. Those wanting revolution are in the wrong country.

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  43. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    National led by John Key has completely failed to deliver on the hope that he would take the country in a different direction..

    Spot on.

    National has disappointed many people with its total inability to change the socialistic course established by Labour. Key deserves a large share of the blame for his timid and populist stance on many issues.

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  44. Redbaiter (8,039 comments) says:

    If only there was a true leader within National…

    ..but when you have what is primarily a bunch of fluffy feel good poll driven separatists and progressives, anti-male, anti-marriage, anti white, anti- European, anti-Conservative, high taxing, big spending, anti-business, sometimes talking the talk but always failing to walk the walk, and who have collectively and steadily and carelessly betrayed every principle the party professes to stand for, who the hell would want to lead them??

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  45. tvb (4,260 comments) says:

    The problems with the GCSB relate to poor staff work. The could be dealt with by the SSC Looking at competency of advice. I assume the PM will look at things more closely as he is the sole safeguard regarding warrants. I do think he was a bit casual in his approach. Education is drifting into the usual mess created by the teacher’s unions. The needs to beca political strategy here. Maybe they need to be smashed like the Watersiders in the 1950′s. But the ground needs a lot of preparation.

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  46. Redbaiter (8,039 comments) says:

    Pete George in his usual alternative universe.

    The NZ voters are like sheep milling at the perception of some nearby threat, and looking for a gate to run through to escape that threat, but their problem is every gate just leads to further danger.

    They’re fucked, and about to be eaten by the wolf of economic reality that National was too spineless to tell them about.

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  47. gopolks (102 comments) says:

    The problem with every roy morgan poll is, the Greens are always too high. They always state that the greens have around 14-16% of the vote, come election day they get 7-8%.

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  48. bc (1,356 comments) says:

    rg @ 10.16am “National supporters ignore the ACT Party factor at their peril.”
    I suspect the opposite is true. If it wasn’t for the ‘teacup tapes’ debacle, I believe National would have got over the 50% mark in the last election.
    Jon Banks has NO credibility. National would do themselves no favours if they prop him up again. The public (voters) don’t like the type of manipulation that goes on in Epsom and National will get punished if they support Banks who is considered dishonest.
    Even if National does try and do a deal in Epsom and support Banks, I would imagine even the Epsom voters wouldn’t want him.

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  49. tom hunter (4,572 comments) says:

    I know they haven’t made drastic changes but that would have been very risky, especially in difficult times.

    Because I believe in democracy I’m always willing to accept the choice of the people, even when I think it’s stupid (of course “accept” does not mean that I’m going to sit around waiting to be screwed over) – so my disappointment lies not with National failing to make drastic changes so much as the fact that they’ve not even bothered to make the arguments or tried to persuade people!

    Those wanting revolution are in the wrong country.

    Countries like Greece and Spain may not actually be that far away from revolution now – and they got there not via the Lake Geneva to the Finland Station route but via the decisions of the mass of politicians and the people to not make any drastic changes but that would have been very risky.

    As someone who proudly views himself as a moderate, centrist, sensible-shoes, non-wild-eyed revolutionary, you would never hold yourself and other gentle, like-minded souls, responsible for causing such revolutions.

    But you are Pete George. You are.

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  50. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    It’s worth noting that this poll was taken up until Sunday 7th so the Green’s Russelstiltskin Xerox policy will not have had any effect.

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  51. iMP (2,345 comments) says:

    Centre Right 2014 Govt (based on todays poll support):
    1. Nat 50
    2. NZF 8
    3. Consv. 3 (Nats give them a seat)
    4. Maori ? (creates overhang: also the Coalition kingmakers).
    —-
    Mana 1 (creates overhang).

    More detailed analysis here: http://conzervative.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/poll-conservatives-out-poll-small-parties

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  52. flipper (3,847 comments) says:

    lastmanstanding (835) Says:

    October 11th, 2012 at 9:40 am
    Agree with you re a Commission of Inquiry and posted this here an elsewhere. My take on the spooks is that Key has been very hands off compared to Clark with them and they have got a bit to cocky and arrogant as a result.
    I betcha Clark wouldnt have let the Dotcom thing get out of hand. She would have been right onto it.
    Forget the BS about operational matters blah blah blah. Clark as head of the spooks would have known every time they pissed.
    Key on the ….. etc.

    At 9.13am yours truly said ….
    ” The February GCSB briefing of the PM was given via a power point computer programme – at least that is what we have been told.

    Please do NOT tell me that the programme has been “accidentally” erased.
    If the programme is not available for Inspector General viewing arses should be kicked – out.

    By the way… GCSB has been a problem. But nothing like that facing our Canadian cousins where our (and US, UK and Aus.) ECHELON intelligence take was copied by a Russian GRU money man (just now arrested) for the past several years. ”

    So who checks the checker?
    :)

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  53. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    Tom, it’s a bit of a stretch trying to blame me for the financial messes in Greece and Spain.

    And why is New Zealand weathering the GFC better than most countries? Perhaps it has something to do with a “moderate, centrist, sensible-shoes, non-wild-eyed” economic policy being adhered to by the National led government.

    I think English would like to be more radical but knows it is too risky right now.

    I would like to see a revolution in simplification of our tax and welfare systems, but the dodgiest economic periood in nearly a century is not a good time to attempt that.

    Labour had good economic conditions to address it and blew it, in fact did the opposite. First we have to survive and recover. Then we need to make incremental changes.

    As the revolutionary blowhards on the fringes continue in frustration that no one ever does EVERYTHING they want NOW.

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  54. RRM (9,668 comments) says:

    Oh yay, what could have been an interesting thread, ruined as usual by Wedbaiter and one or the other of his neutered pups, moaning pointlessly about how everything’s shit and John Key is a socialist/coward, and apartheid apartheid apartheid and National’s founding principles and blah blah blah.

    Please, if this ship is sinking as you keep insisting it is, feel free to abandon it, any time you’re ready…

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  55. Redbaiter (8,039 comments) says:

    “they’ve not even bothered to make the arguments or tried to persuade people!”

    That’s right Tom, but there’s a simple reason for that, and its that too many people in National, and John Key most of all, are as fucked in the head as Labour.

    They can’t articulate the arguments that are lacking because THE FUCKING HOPELESS LIBERAL ARSEHOLES DON’T CAN’T WON’T UNDERSTAND THEM.

    The are so hopeless they do not even know that an alternative argument exists. So how could they ever articulate it????????????????????????????

    ????????????????????????????????????????????

    Its like Whale having Matt Damon as his Face of The Day.

    Its like David Farrar cheering for legislation forcing limits on election spending.

    Its like Phil Heatley being in the thrall of the Green Party and the Maori Party and doing fuck all to help oil explorers get rights to drill.

    Its like implementing the ETS in the first place, leaving aside not being able to get rid of it.

    Utterly utterly utterly fucking hopeless.

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  56. bc (1,356 comments) says:

    iMP, I know you really want the Conservatives in but I just can’t see it happening.
    As the election gets closer Winston Peters will amp up the anti-treaty feeling along with his usual attacks on immigrants. Also unless Key ups his game a little bit, Winston will make some dents on his teflon coating. Not to mention that votes will NZF will not have the risk of being wasted as they are consistently over the 5% mark unlike the Conservative party. NZF will grab the “conservative” vote – and no I’m not a Winston supporter!
    The Maori Party will continue to drop and they will rely on seats. I’m going for 2.
    United Future is no guarantee.
    ACT are dog tukka.
    So it will have to be a Nat/NZF/Maori coalition and even then that could be marginal.

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  57. chrisw76 (85 comments) says:

    As someone who has been a National supporter for the last few elections, the recent displays of incompetence have been especially frustrating. Education has been an on-going sore for 4-years and needs someone competent in the job now. While the vested interests of the education unions can be cited, you can’t tell me the health sector doesn’t have the same issue and that has been as quiet as a mouse for some time. In Christchurch in particular, I can tell you the feeling is that if the government doesn’t turn things around they will get absolutely clobbered in 2014.

    Personally I can tolerate a lot in a government, but an inability to manage (i.e. do the damn job they are paid to do) is something that has me looking at the alternatives. Tactically if National continue on this track through to the election and look like they are going to loose then the best option for the country is may be a vote for Labour to keep the Greens lunacy marginalised.

    Cheers, Chris W.

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  58. Redbaiter (8,039 comments) says:

    “an inability to manage (i.e. do the damn job they are paid to do) is something that has me looking at the alternatives. Tactically….snip… the best option for the country is may be a vote for Labour”

    You’re looking for an ability to manage and so therefore you might vote for Labour??

    FFS.

    Like so many other NZ voters, you deserve to have a fucking financial tsunami hit you. Its probably the only thing that will shock some sense into you.

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  59. greenjacket (437 comments) says:

    Well written Pete George.

    The polls are the public (justifably) grumpy at recent pratfalls by National. John Key (or rather GCSB) dropped the ball on KimDotcom, Banks should have been sacked, and Parata is a PR disaster.
    But these are small scandals compared to what voters really make their decision on, which is economic management. As soon as election time comes around, the choice of Shearer as PM and Russel Norman as Minister of Finance will scare middle NZ shitless.

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  60. questlove (242 comments) says:

    The problem with every roy morgan poll is, the Greens are always too high. They always state that the greens have around 14-16% of the vote, come election day they get 7-8%.

    The Green Party got 11.06% of votes last election.

    Also Colin Craig comes across as an incompetent religious nutter trying to buy his way into parliament and he’s not going to win an electorate.

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  61. publicwatchdog (2,306 comments) says:

    John Key – New Zealand’s first U$A Prime Minister?

    Don’t think most Kiwis are very supportive of that ‘look’.

    One minute you’re the rooster – the next minute – the feather duster ………….?

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

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  62. iMP (2,345 comments) says:

    I agree bc, but National has few choices and has to work with NZF, Consv. and Maoris (in that order) to form anything approaching a Coalition (61 seats). UF, ACT are gone. Mana will win Hone Racist’s seat but would never go with National. So, dems the options. I think an overhang is likely.

    This forces Nat to throw Conservatives a leg-up, as it has done on Epsom (for ACT) and Ohariu-Belmont (for UF). It may hav to do the same for NZF (no guarantee they will stay above 5%). The alternative is a Lab/Greens govt. on these poll figures (of course not the same as a 2014 election result, hut we’re extrapolating with the poll actuals).

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  63. lastmanstanding (1,241 comments) says:

    fillper I suggest Key doesnt want a COI with 3 retired HC Judges with an open TOR because he suspects it may uncover a combination of incomptence and illegal activities that would make his future look very uncertain,

    Afterall as PM he is the one that balls out Ministers and sacks them like he did Nick Smith.

    So how will it look if the spooks agencies that he is Minister of have behaved worse than any other government department in recent history and he is the guy in charge.

    Sort of damages his credibility to be passing judgement on any of his Ministers when he is in the position that a PM would have sent him to the back benches in the same circumstances.

    If the oppos are smart they will hammer this issue and keep calling for a COI and start digging to find a tame spook who will spill more beans.

    This is their first and best shot at causing real damage to Key. He cant survive if it is shown that Ministries he is charge of are incompetent and have acted illegally and he didnt ensure he knew what they were up to.

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  64. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    It will be interesting to see how Waitakere is polling. Considering the electorate ranks at 16 in the proportion of the population who are unemployed (looking for work but not employed). The electorate also ranks 9th for Sickness Benefit and 14 for DPB.

    These people are more likely to be concerned by the Government’s changes to benefit targeting measures such as drugs testing as well as workplace law reform like the extension of the 90-day trial and extension of the new entrant’s wage.

    Particularly concerning is the law reform that may be considered unfavourably by those on the Domestic Purposes Benefit. Work obligations for those receiving the DPB have been increased considerably with the requirement to look for part-time work beginning when the child is five years old compared with the situation during the 2011 General Election where there was no obligation until the child turned 18. With the electorate ranking 14th in the country for the proportion of the electorate receiving the Domestic Purposes Benefit, this will have an impact.

    I predict they will lose Waitakere in 2014. Paula entered parliament in 2008 with a personal majority increase of 11.5% compared with a National Party electorate party vote increase of around 7%. At the time of the 2008 General Election, the main issues were taxation, macroeconomic management and trust issues so beneficiaries might not have had much to worry about. However, by the 2011 General Election, welfare reform was on the horizon and Paula’s slim majority vanished to the point a judicial re-count was required. This in an electoral background that saw the National Party increase its popular vote by nearly 6%.

    Since then the National Party has enacted many of the workplace and benefit reform that were signalled during that 2011 campaign.

    A National Party loss in 2014 would be in-line with long-run expectations considering that National have held the seat for less than a third of its 53-year existence and have held the seat for more than two terms on only one occasion.

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  65. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    Ohariu-Belmont became Ohariu in 2008.

    Act is not gone, they have one MP although it’s hard to differentiate him from National. Banks will struggle to be able to stand for Act next election (if he wanted to), but a revamped Act with a strong Act candidate could still a chance, as long as they don’t get sucked into media/cafe nonsense.

    UF has not gone obviously having one MP who has been written off for several elections. Dunne increased his majority last election, acknowledging he needed to do more for his electorate. It’s unknown yet whether he will retire or stand again. If he stands it’s unknown if National will stand and compete with a strong candidate, or if Labour will stand a stronger candidate, or if Greens will compete or cooperate with Labour.

    For all that if Dunne chooses to stand again there is more chance of him getting a seat than Craig.

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  66. Keeping Stock (10,184 comments) says:

    Hekia Parata has both made a meal of key education announcements, and had the rug pulled out from under her by her officials. Key should find another less high profile role where she can rehabilitate, and put Tony Ryall in charge of education. He has been the safest pair of hands in Cabinet since 2008, and would make sure that the officials dance to his tune rather than have him dance to theirs.

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  67. backster (2,124 comments) says:

    I don’t agree with any of the points (except the last) made by DPF and would consider not voting at all if they were followed.
    There is no doubt that the relentless anti Government propaganda by Campbell, Q&A etc are having an effect. To cave in would make the Government look weak and in competent I don’t think they are either. I think the Government needs to come to grips with the increasing Maori bias especially that displayed in Auckland City Council decisions. The Education Minister and education policy needs to be supported not undermined. The Spy agency likewise needs to be efffective and able to be pro-active, if they are undermined to the extent they have to thread their way through a bureaucratic entanglement before they dare re-act to a threat to National Security (then hullo Libya). Local Body reform to reduce rate rises, excessive salaries and fell good wastage as advocated by Nick SMITH would also be a point of difference.

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  68. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    “higher taxes and more welfare”

    Christ-Last out,lights out…

    I wonder if that reknowned economist Dr Norman can explain what happens when all the taxpayers flee a country leaving only the parasitic lazy bludgers?

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  69. Scott Chris (5,981 comments) says:

    LoL, Farrar can’t bring himself to publish the percentages.

    Perhaps Key should learn to be less stubborn.

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  70. wtfunz (133 comments) says:

    PG – I’ve been in agreement with you on several matters lately but this statement is a big part of the problem.

    “I know they haven’t made drastic changes but that would have been very risky, especially in difficult times. Those wanting revolution are in the wrong country.”

    I believe the NZ public gave a firm vote for radical change when it gave National a majority vote 3 1/2 years ago. This was unheard of under MMP and will never happen again. They could govern alone and totally, totally wasted that opportunity. The majority said- ” we are sick of the grievers, we want radical changes to a failing social welfare model, we don’t want the Govt telling us what we caren’t do, we are sick of seperatist politics- read maori seats, we want to be rewarded for hard work not punished, WE WANT ACCOUNTABILITY.

    While I agree with you National have handle the global collapse, earth quakes, mining disasters pretty well (god save us if Liebor were in charge) they have failed miserably on the above points when they needed to grab the ball and run hard.

    PG -to quote you again – “Those wanting revolution are in the wrong country.” They also know that Pete – thats why they are heading across the ditch in droves. People don’t give up having family near by, enjoying NZ’s lifestyle and its advantages just for money. A lot are really, really pissed off nothing is changing.

    I’m afraid I’m with Red – NZ is rooted and will get the governance it deserves. Get out quick and leave NZ to the new immigrants for we surely also deserve the Islamists, Somalis, Afganies, Indians, Chinese and Koreans that are replacing those “hopeless kiwi’s” that are running.

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  71. Alan Johnstone (1,083 comments) says:

    People on here appear to think National can win votes by moving to the right.

    Utter madness.

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  72. toad (3,673 comments) says:

    @Pete George 11:25 am

    Act is not gone, they have one MP although it’s hard to differentiate him from National.

    I think the 71% of New Zealanders who view John Banks unfavourably differentiates him pretty well.

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  73. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    “Amend the ECan legislation to make it a hybrid body as the Commissioners recommended. When not even the Commissioners are wanting to stay on as a purely appointed body, you have to ask why would the Govt do this? ”

    Don’t play mr innocent Farrar, you know exactly why and so does everybody in Canterbury. Deceptive, cheating, lying, thieving bastards…. both this government and all the dairy farmers set to profit from this. I spit on them.

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  74. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    wtfunz – it’s normal to both agree and disagree with people.

    I believe the NZ public gave a firm vote for radical change when it gave National a majority vote 3 1/2 years ago.

    I disagree with you on that. Most people support moderate parties and moderate policies and moderate change.

    National campaigned with moderate policies and assurances, for example promising not to sell any assets in their first term. And that got them 44.93% of the vote in 2008.

    Act had a more radical approach and got 3.65% of the vote.

    A few people wanted even more radical change. What party did they back and how much support did it get?

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  75. wtfunz (133 comments) says:

    Alan J
    Can you please explain the unprecedented (under MMP) shift to the right in the 2008 election?

    You really don’t think people wanted stronger National based policies?

    Now explain what this Govt has achieved given clear mandates?

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  76. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    toad – I meant Bank’s policy positions. I suspect most National supporters would like to differentiate themselves from Banks.

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  77. wtfunz (133 comments) says:

    PG – I guess the next election will show who is right here. If the polls are right I am at the moment. Where has all Jon boys support gone?
    Unfortunately moderate gives you John Key who I suspect takes all his policy from wife Bronagh (she clearly has the balls in the family). Given the lack of difference between todays parties swing voting is as popular as swing parties in the 80′s. No one knows who’s shagging who!!!! We get that nice warm fluffy, down the middle, dress to left crap destroying most democracies today.

    I do not agree with you but will review the discussion with you in 2014 when the Liebor,Gweens, Maoris coalition begins its final destruction of this country.

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  78. Alan Johnstone (1,083 comments) says:

    “Alan J
    Can you please explain the unprecedented (under MMP) shift to the right in the 2008 election?

    You really don’t think people wanted stronger National based policies?”

    I think John Key had worked hard to detoxify the National Party brand in the eyes of middle NZ and it was seen to be a success.

    There was also a general tiredness with Labour; there was an acceptance that 9 years in office had left them out of touch and remote. The 2008 election was a “labour must go” push vote more than a positive pull vote towards National.

    Every professional will tell you that elections are won in the centre; the right wing block won the election last year by about 1%; moving rightwards and abandoning the middle ground is suicide.

    surely this is obvious to everyone ?

    I’m making no comment as to what policies are right or wrong, just the realities of elections

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  79. Redbaiter (8,039 comments) says:

    How did Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan get elected Alan?

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  80. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan didn’t get elected under MMP, nor did they get elected in New Zealand.

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  81. wtfunz (133 comments) says:

    There you have it — MMP. And we had a referendum on this = the people of NZ get what they deserve!

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  82. Scott (1,739 comments) says:

    Couldn’t disagree more with Mr Johnstone. National is allowing Parliament to be dictated to by the left wing of the Labour party. Gay marriage for example is not a National policy and they should not be supporting it and especially their leader John Key. He is allowing massive social change that is not in line with what the National voters wanted at the last election.
    Similarly Maori separatism is being fostered by National ministers with the latest treaty settlement with Tuhoe. John Key is not governing like a National PM.

    He should stop supporting gay marriage and see that it is voted out in its second reading. He should stop these awful treaty settlements that are only encouraging Maori separatism. He should stop his obsession with side issues like smoking and grandiose plans like phasing out smoking in NZ by 2025.

    He should do what he said he was going to do. No social engineering and concentrate on the economy and getting people back to work. That is what he was elected to do by the people of this country.

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  83. Redbaiter (8,039 comments) says:

    Re the referendum on MMP-

    A referendum where John Key and the National Party were (as always) too frightened to take a stand either way.

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  84. tom hunter (4,572 comments) says:

    Tom, it’s a bit of a stretch trying to blame me for the financial messes in Greece and Spain.

    One of the reasons I so rarely engage in debate with you is this almost pathological ability to miss the point. Let me see if I can explain it to you in the following manner. If somebody wrote the following:

    As someone who proudly views himself as a hardline purveyor of right-wing economics, you would never hold yourself and other like-minded souls, responsible for wrecking NZ society since the 1980′s.

    But you are Tom Hunter. You are.

    I would not flounce my skirts and assume that they were trying hold me personally responsible but the ideas I hold, and I would respond by arguing those ideas.

    Is this common-place aspect of debate really that difficult to grasp or is the political truly personal in your case?

    And with that (hopefully) out of the way …

    And why is New Zealand weathering the GFC better than most countries? Perhaps it has something to do with a “moderate, centrist, sensible-shoes, non-wild-eyed” economic policy being adhered to by the National led government.

    Perhaps it has more to do with them still coasting on the non-moderate, non-centrist efforts of Labour-National, circa 1984-1993, as did the Clarke government before them. But the state is rapidly closing the gap again and the private sector is running on the fumes of that period as taxes and regulatory costs resume their slow, steady increases.

    Aside from that you might want to take a look at our national economic statistics for total debt/GDP and others that put us much closer to the likes of Greece than most people imagine we are. And on top of that, it does not require engaging in economic theory to understand what our unemployment rate would be were it not for the escape hatch that is Australia, itself fueled by a resource price boom that is, in turn, driven by China. As that comes to an end ….

    I think English would like to be more radical but knows it is too risky right now.

    Over on the “Train” thread I’ve already used the example of Linus’s faith in the appearance of The Great Pumpkin, so will not repeat. I doubt it would be funnier than your comment anyway.

    I would like to see a revolution in simplification of our tax and welfare systems, but the dodgiest economic periood in nearly a century is not a good time to attempt that.

    Great, and it brings me to the other point that you missed. I thought I made it clear that I do not hold National in contempt for failing to enact a revolution in such times: apart from anything else I’m as aware of “electoral realities” (eg. a population increasingly dependent on the state) as you are.

    But – to repeat myself – I do hold them in contempt for failing to make the arguments for change, because when things are dodgy that is exactly the time to make such arguments, if not the changes. When times are good people are simply not interested, which means when the tough times come a society is either not ready for them or is forced into sudden, drastic actions like those of the Lange government, or like the European zone now.

    Allowing our country to drift into such disasters by worshiping at the feet of the Moderate God, is anything but moderate and sensible.

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  85. Alan Johnstone (1,083 comments) says:

    Reagan by being popular with his electorate and leading the country out of recession. But he was sui generis.

    Thatcher by the vagaries of a flawed electoral system that gave her a vast majority on 42% – 43% of the popular vote.

    But, you actually validate my point, despite I suspect not intending to, in the ’83 and ’87 elections the British Labour party moved hard to the left and left the center ground for thatcher. I recall the ’87 election very well.

    The tories started to lose when the UK labour party under Kinnock, smith and then Blair, moved back to the centre ground.

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  86. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    And Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan non-MMP governments have ended up with their countries where economically?

    Greece and Spain don’t have MMP. In fact hardly any other countries have MMP.

    Europe is relying on Germany to bail out all their failing economies. Germany has MMP.

    And there you have it.

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  87. iMP (2,345 comments) says:

    If NZConservatives were the 5th highest polling party (after starting a month before) at the 2008 election and are again the 5th highest polling party in this poll today, WHY would National give ACT a seat at 0.5% or UF at 0.5%? (both of which have MPs in the HOuse) Do the maths. National need centre-right bums on seats.

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  88. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Neville Key is proving to be an empty and hollow suit: no substance, no ideas, no political courage.
    His feeble figure has run out of luck.

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  89. berend (1,676 comments) says:

    “The left’s only answer to these issues is tax and spend.”

    How funny, I thought this is exactly what National is doing.

    If not, who is borrowing $300 MILLION a week?

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  90. wtfunz (133 comments) says:

    Tom – beautifully put.

    Alan – so a dedicated centre party would be a resounding success. Telling everyone what they wanted to hear, picking up all the votes thus storming to power. Really!!!! Sounds a little like Winston and we all know what a valuable addition he has been to the political scene. Bucket please.

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  91. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    iMP, National supported Act and UF in 2011 because there was a reasonable chance either or both would win an electorate seat, and there was a chance that either or both could pick up more seats via party vote.

    There was little chance of CCCP making the threshold and less chance of CCCP winning an electorate.

    In addition, if National had tried to go it alone and competed with Banks and Dunne in their electorates I think there would have been more resistance to National getting an absolute majority. That is in part why Peters did so well, people didn’t want Labour but didn’t want single party rule.

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  92. Redbaiter (8,039 comments) says:

    “One of the reasons I so rarely engage in debate with you is this almost pathological ability to miss the point.”

    I would encourage not to move away from that policy, and in fact impose it upon yourself far more rigourously.

    Engaging with PG is like grappling with a column of wood smoke.

    Like most of the extreme left who pollute kiwiblog, his peculiarly limited political perspectives ensure that any point you might make in the first place is completely lost in the ensuing confusion of obtuse thinking patterns and off the point allegations and smears.

    IMHO you’re an interesting and valuable contributor to Kiwiblog and it would be sad to see you burn yourself out on piffling wittering narcissistic idiots.

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  93. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    Tom, I think you have it arse about face.

    The fact that we seem to have weathered the GFC relatively well suggests that National’s careful and steady approach has paid off. It’s hard to see how we could be much better off than we are now. Slashing Government spending would have reduced borrowing for a while but exploding unemployment and the resulting increase in benefitr payments and reduced tax take would have meant much more hardship for more people. And possibly the country.

    When times are good it’s easier to moderate the effects of major changes. Labour blew that opportunity.

    But hey, have fun ignoring me and engaging with Redbaiter. And good luck with finding a party that gets enough popular support – and into a coalition – for slash and burn to light the matches.

    Can you answer one question – do you support the Conservative Party?

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  94. kowtow (7,967 comments) says:

    pete. I think you got your arse served on a plate.

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  95. Redbaiter (8,039 comments) says:

    “Bucket please.”

    Yes, take for example Wellington Central, where all National can do is run a far left candidate (Nikki Kaye) to compete with Cindy Horseface ON HER TERMS.

    They would have been better off putting someone there with a POV completely opposite to Cindy’s. They may have lost the seat, but eventually, after being punished economically for some period, and having been giving something different to mull on over the years, the electorate would eventually get to the point where they would decide to give the other view a try.

    That is why parties have founding principles. Not to abandon them, but to put them in front of the electorate (Nats won’t do this) and encourage or sway the electorate to vote for those principles. (Nats won’t or can’t do this either). Tom has already said this above.

    So in Auckland Central we have NZ in miniature. And what should have been done there is what should have been done throughout the country. Except that the National party is too spinelessly ready to always dance to the tune of the left.

    So naturally we end up where we are today, back with the National Party only warming the seats for Labour for a few years, changing sweet fuck all, and then stepping aside again for Labour to continue on its path of destruction.

    What’s the definition of insanity again??

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  96. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    I’m not surprised you’d think that kowtow. But it was hardly a plate – Tom isn’t renowned for brevity, he tried the kitchen sink. But that doesn’t make him right to more than a fervent fringe. When is the tom, redbaiter and kowtow party starting up?

    A bunch of blog buddies does not a revolution make.

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  97. tom hunter (4,572 comments) says:

    … it would be sad to see you burn yourself out on piffling wittering narcissistic idiots.

    A point on which we will have to agree to disagree, as we have in the past. Frustrating as it might be I see no alternative but to engage in argument with people like Pete, as I really don’t see how the political and ideological landscape can be changed otherwise. I don’t think that preaching to the choir will help.

    But hey, have fun ignoring me and engaging with Redbaiter.

    I said “rarely”, not never – but the rest of that sentence is the same old, same old…

    And good luck with finding a party that gets enough popular support for slash and burn – and into a coalition – to light the matches.

    So in addition to missing the point I can add strawman to the list. Let me state – for perhaps the billionth time – that the approach I want to see the government take is to maintain a relentless focus on making the individual more free of the state. That involves a combination of setting up systems that enable the growth of independence over time, and capping the relentless growth in government spending that drives dependency.

    And I do not accept that a right-wing government quail in the face of making such arguments because they might run into hardline leftists who scream about slashing and burning, because I have already seen a situation where a left-wing government has effectively done it. In the case of Superannuation the last Labour government effectively acknowledged that the state could not be the complete solution and that anybody relying on it entirely would end up in deep and sad trouble. So in addition to trying to shore up the ediface they introduced Kiwsaver – an individually focused, retirement savings scheme. If it works as planned, then a couple of decades from now the country may have a situation where hundreds of thousands of NZ citizens are not dependent (or at least not entirely dependent) on the state for their retirement.

    I want to see that approach taken across a whole range of life areas and if a bloody left-wing government like Labour can move a little way in that direction I do not accept that National cannot move further.

    None of this is the same as slash and burn, but the psychological approach you bring to the debate absolutely guarantees a limitless growth of government in all areas of life – one which will see ordinary citizens thrown on scrap heaps as effectively as all those poor bastards in the 1980′s in places like the Forest Service, where they thought they had a job for life, courtesy of the state.

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  98. Grendel (972 comments) says:

    Dont be too smug Toad (though i admit that will be hard as smug is one of the key planks of the greens), i know more than a few green voters who think you are a bunch of nutcases who should never be allowed anywhere near power, but want you to have a ‘voice’.

    Dont assume your bunch of nutcases is viewed favourably by much of the electorate. the majority of the bellcurve will sit within tolerates to reviles.

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  99. berend (1,676 comments) says:

    Pete George: The fact that we seem to have weathered the GFC relatively well suggests that National’s careful and steady approach has paid off.

    You can do better than that Pete.

    There are quite a few other countries that have weathered the GFC well (already using the term GFC marks you as a leftie, which you are not, so why use this term?). All due to John Key?

    Economically we’re just part of Aussie. John Key can do nothing in 3 years (exactly what he did) and we would be ending up at the same point.

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  100. kowtow (7,967 comments) says:

    Pete please stop talking about fringes, keeps reminding me of your Peter D,the biggest fringe in town.

    And we’ve weathered the GFC because NZ makes or sells things that people want. Oil,aluminium,scenery,milk,meat etcAll the things the looney left hate.

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  101. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    the approach I want to see the government take is to maintain a relentless focus on making the individual more free of the state.

    I’d support that.

    That involves a combination of setting up systems that enable the growth of independence over time…

    Sounds good as an overall theory, but I think very difficult to achieve. We have problems with intergenerational dependence that can’t be changed easily nor quickly.

    What specifically do you suggest?

    and capping the relentless growth in government spending that drives dependency.

    I disagree with capping because:
    a) it shouldn’t be necessary
    b) it can hinder occasional increases when they are necessary/justified
    c) it doesn’t have popular support
    d) it would likely be overturned by a subsequent government anyway

    I agree with you on Kiwisaver, but I suspect RB wouldn’t be so fussed on that.

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  102. tom hunter (4,572 comments) says:

    Tom isn’t renowned for brevity,

    True, which is why I’m only at 3627 comments after most of a decade, compared to the rarefied, lofty heights of near 15,000 in less than four years.

    But I actually did chuckle at that barb.

    Anyhoo … back to the Slashing Government spending nightmare scenario as a specific case in point. While the greatest impact would be made in the biggest cost areas of our middle-class welfare schemes I would – once again – acknowledge political realities and say that “slashing” is not possible in them.

    However, just as a measure of good faith and a demonstration of principles, I see no reason why National could not have simply dumped a whole raft of useless government ministries. And I don’t mean rolling them into super-ministries! I mean dumping the functions: The Ministry of Womens Affairs, The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, The Race Relations Office, and so forth.

    The point would have been made both about saving money, even if only relatively little, and getting government out of useless, feel-good involvement with people’s lives. From a purely partisan viewpoint, how many votes would National have lost in such an action? But they refused because they could not cope with the attacks that would have been run 24/7 by Campbell Braindead and every other lefty in the country – that not having a Ministry of Womens Affairs means one hates women or does not support them, as with Pasifika, and that not having a useless Race Relations office means one is in favour of having poor race relations.

    That’s the mindset capture here that the left have pulled off – and you appear to fully buy into it, as does National implicitly. The idea that having a government department or a ministry means you care – as if a single woman or Pacific Islander in this country would truly be worse off if these ludicrous institutions vanished.

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  103. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    P.G., you’re the biggest compromiser I’ve seen in a long, long time. You’ll take that as a compliment, I guess.

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  104. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    That’s the mindset capture here that the left have pulled off – and you appear to fully buy into it, as does National implicitly.

    That’s about as soundly based as my slash and burn comment. What makes you think I ‘fully buy into’ that?

    You didn’t mention the Families Commission. At least National/UF have trimmed that back a bit.

    But sometimes investments need to be made, as long as the eventual aim is to phase them out – perhaps as in “a combination of setting up systems that enable the growth of independence over time”.

    I’m not as individual orientated as you seem to be, I think we have to get more back to community level (instead of centralised bureacracy based).

    Local solutions are usually best for local problems. I don’t like to call it ‘poverty’ but that is one issue that really needs to be localised, and not just pile more and more tax into black holes in Wellington.

    I’d like to ask all those who think ‘we’ should do more to fix ‘poverty’ related problems – how much would you be prepared to contribute each week if you could see that money going towards real solutions in your own communities?

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  105. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    Manolo – what have I compromised on?

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  106. kowtow (7,967 comments) says:

    There is not a material poverty in Aotearoa,so contributions or koha if you prefer,will not fix it.
    There is a moral poverty abroad and that applies to the feral underclass and a lot of others too. This won’t be fixed by laws,taxes or “redistributing” wealth.

    We lost the plot a long time ago.

    The UF party,uber fringe?

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  107. graham (2,292 comments) says:

    Ah, you may call United Future “fringe”, but (to paraphrase Tolkien):

    One Vote to rule them all,
    One Vote to find them,
    One Vote to bring them all
    and in the darkness bind them

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  108. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    UF – uber ignored in a crowded middle. That’s not fringe.

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  109. wtfunz (133 comments) says:

    PG – shit, now you’re asking the really hard questions of the left. You seem to have forgotten they are either on the take via the Government ex the benefit or govt job. They pay zero or FA taxes and I can tell you they aren’t giving any more for policies they love. They want the businesses that actually create things or those nasty investors who provide rental houses to do that. They have no concept of how this strangles job creation.

    I can tell you our last combined GST, PAYE and personal tax bill was $48,000. For me it was just another $48,000 down the toilet that National has continued to flush. Here i was hoping they might take their finger off the button. I’m determined personally not to pay anymore for their bullshit policies!!!!

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  110. TheContrarian (1,082 comments) says:

    Redbaiter is like the Conservative version of Draco T. Bastard over at The Standard.

    Where Draco thinks anyone to the right of him is a Tory, Red thinks anyone to the left is a socialist.
    Draco thinks Labour is a right wing party where as Red thinks National is a left wing party.
    Draco says it’s the capitalists fault, Red blames the commies.

    We need to get these guys together in a room.

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  111. tom hunter (4,572 comments) says:

    What specifically do you suggest?

    Since I don’t have the time to go into the specific details required of a piece of legislation, the following will have to do, which I’ve written about in 2010, 2011 and again just last month.

    But as I said even earlier in 2008, even as I voted for National:

    What is National going to do should it win this November beyond babysitting the institutions of Labour and the Left. Nursing those things along, tiring all the time and steadily losing votes simply by being in Government and getting blamed for the insanities of those self-same institutions. Until the day comes, one or two election cycles down the road, when a revitalised Labour gets back into power and gets to push forward some more. Ratchet Socialism at its best.

    And here we are!

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  112. tom hunter (4,572 comments) says:

    I’m not as individual orientated as you seem to be, I think we have to get more back to community level (instead of centralised bureacracy based).

    (shrugs shoulders) It might work. But I’m reminded of one of the rather tart observations about Europe made by Mark Steyn some years ago:

    … nothing makes a citizen more selfish than socially equitable communitarianism: once a fellow’s enjoying the fruits of government healthcare and all the rest, he couldn’t give a hoot about the general societal interest; he’s got his, and if it’s going to bankrupt the state a generation hence, well, as long as they can keep the checks coming till he’s dead, it’s fine by him.

    Beyond hitting the Insufficient Funds point I don’t see how we’re going to change this attitude.

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  113. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    And here we are!

    I don’t think we are. Labour doesn’t look anywhere near revitalised to me. They wasted their first term in opposition. And they seem to be repeating – even with a similar type of non-inspiring heart isn’t in the spin leader.

    This points to a potentially bigger problem than usual – if National continue to stuff up and lose in 2014 then by default we will get a weak unrevitalised Labour pushed by an ambitious Green Party and extorted by a last hurrah Winston.

    A bland UF seat or two may never have looked more welcome. I know the usual will knock that, but what’s a safer option?

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  114. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    A bland UF seat or two may never have looked more welcome.

    Tantamount to asking: Do you prefer the electric chair or swallow some sulphuric acid?

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  115. ChardonnayGuy (1,190 comments) says:

    I think Dunne needs to rebrand. United Future sounds too scotch-taped. Why doesn’t he rename his own party the Liberal Democrats if he’s so hot for Clegg and the yellow bird side of the ConLibDem UK coalition? For one thing, it’d erase the vile memories of Copeland, Baldock ad naueseum from the mid-noughties. And perhaps merge with any amenable ACT members. For one thing, it’d rationalise the number of centre-right satellite parties.

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  116. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    The Contrarian @ 3.07pm: Today’s National is a left-of-centre party.
    Cannot you surmise it from its past three and a half years of government?

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  117. tom hunter (4,572 comments) says:

    Labour doesn’t look anywhere near revitalised to me

    Oh I quite agree with that. The fossils are still in positions of power and the Adern’s have face-planted on a number of occasions, as have the supposedly bright, slightly older faces like Cunliffe. Incidently, the latter’s “garden” speech reminded me less of Chauncey than Neil’s No, no, man, we sooooow the seeds and then we grooooow the seeds argument from The Young Ones.

    But the point surely is that even as weak and inchoherent as they are, they’re easily in range of forming a government with the Greens. That just shows you how useless National are in having any really deep ideas and arguing for them.

    Labour only has to get their shit together just a little more, swallow the fact that the days of excluding the Greens are gone, and they’re in for 2014.

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  118. ChardonnayGuy (1,190 comments) says:

    And as for National, they need a credible and coherent satellite party partner. Fast. Because the Conservatives are a pack of policy-free opportunist godbots, the Maori Party is pragmatic enough to alter trajectory if National loses power and Labour and the Greens make a better offer, ACT is dead in the water unless Catherine Isaacs replaces Banks in time for 2014 as ACT MP, and that leaves…Dunne, or will as long as the voters of Ohariu Belmont prefer him to Labour’s Charles Chauvel.

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  119. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    ChardonnayGuy, you are not from Dunedin, are you? :D

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  120. publicwatchdog (2,306 comments) says:

    AUCKLAND ELECTRICITY CONSUMER TRUST ELECTIONS!

    Got your voting papers folks?

    Went to the YOUR POWER TEAM launch yesterday.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/david-fisher/news/article.cfm?a_id=191&objectid=10839471

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/david-fisher/news/article.cfm?a_id=191&objectid=10839721

    The stated policy of the YOUR POWER TEAM (Labour/Green ticket)
    which I support as an ‘anti-privatisation’ / ‘anti-corruption’ campaigner:

    Opposition to further privatisation of Vector (the ‘lines’ company)

    Opening the book of the AECT so the public can see where our money is being spent.

    Opening the meetings of the AECT so that the public can attend.

    So!

    Guess who I voted for!

    :)

    Penny Bright

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

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  121. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Opening the meetings of the AECT so that the public can attend.

    A toilet cubicle will suffice to house the expected audience. Go away, Miss Dim.

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  122. Pete George (23,353 comments) says:

    ChardonnayGuy – I agree re rebranding, and in fact they’ve been promoting the Lib Dem connection: http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/unitedfuture-your-liberal-democratic-party/

    But I’m not sure that’s the answer – it might clarify branding of the party within political circles but I doubt most people care about political labels.

    Before rebranding they need to collect more people who see the opportunity – a party framework with policies most people would agree with in the main, a presence in parliament with a current electorate, and a heap of opportunity to fast track into parliament. A few good people could get a long way much faster than with just about any other option. There’s even an opportunity (probably) for someone to fast track to leadership within a term or so.

    That’s why I decided to try UF and am still with them – the potential. But the party needs an injection of a younger generation than me. Anyone ambitious and not wanting to wheedle their way up a large party for a decade?

    Don’t worry about what the party was and is except for the sound principles and comprehensive policies it’s based on – think what you could do with it. Anyone young and brash out there?

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  123. TheContrarian (1,082 comments) says:

    @Manolo

    Sure they are

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  124. Scott (1,739 comments) says:

    Here are a few deep ideas for National. Remember your roots. Stand up for Mum and Dad and the kids. Stand for marriage and community. Let’s have smaller government and individual responsibility and local communities. Repeal almost every piece of anti-family social engineering of the last 30 years.

    Then watch government spending go down and social capital go up. Restore our armed forces. Remember our country’s greatness. It is time we got back our soul.

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  125. Alan Johnstone (1,083 comments) says:

    “Redbaiter is like the Conservative version of Draco T. Bastard over at The Standard.

    Where Draco thinks anyone to the right of him is a Tory, Red thinks anyone to the left is a socialist.
    Draco thinks Labour is a right wing party where as Red thinks National is a left wing party.
    Draco says it’s the capitalists fault, Red blames the commies.

    We need to get these guys together in a room.”

    It’s probably the same guy behind both of them, posting from his secure mental ward

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  126. Redbaiter (8,039 comments) says:

    Billionaire Thomas Peterffy is perhaps best known as the founder of electronic stock trading firm Interactive Brokers, but the Hungarian-born American entrepreneur also grew up in the shadow of socialism and is not excited about what he sees happening here in the U.S.

    On Wednesday he began airing his own, privately financed one-minute ad addressing his concerns about the U.S. election and urging viewers to vote Republican.

    “I grew up in a socialist country and I have seen what that does to people,” Peterffy, who is believed to be worth as much as $5 billion, says in the ad. “There is no hope, no freedom, no pride in achievement. The nation became poorer and poorer, and that’s what I see happening here.” …

    “America’s wealth comes from the efforts of people striving for success. Take away their incentive with badmouthing success and you take away the wealth that helps us take care of the needy.”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/thomas-peterffy-why-warning-us-socialism-225706100.html?

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  127. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I always have a sly chuckle when Redbaiter describes National and ACT as Left wing.

    I figure he is trying to live up to his name.

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  128. kiwigunner (225 comments) says:

    How come the poll on this website is always dated two months ago when National were doing well?

    Current polls tell us that Key is over – he was and is an actor rather than a leader- seemingly never working instead popping up having a great old time here and there whilst the rest of us struggle along. He didnt do the work regarding DotCom and all of our suspicions about his lack of ability and effort have been confirmed. What once was laid back is now lazy. as for Parata she has completly failed with her role. National standards a joke (and quickly hidden on the Stuff Web Site I see). What was the hurry to restructure Chch schools if not for Charter Schools? This was I suspect Key policy too masked by Act. Nice work John.

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  129. orewa1 (428 comments) says:

    So here are just 4 specific problems and solutions for National:

    1 Arrogant Ministers: Several Ministers have become totally self-obsessed and consumed with power. Their tactic is to attack and marginalise groups whose support in the end they will need. Parata, Collins, Bennett and Ryall are examples. Kiwis dont like bullies who divide society. Solution – give these Ministers a dressing down and explain politics 101, which says in a small country you need to build bridges rather than barriers and work with, not against, as many groups as possible.

    2 Poor housekeeping: National is failing to address issues that matter to the mainstream electorate, and instead focusing on marginal sideshows that are intensely important to a passionate minority but of little consequence to most. Meanwhile a massive number of “housekeeping” Bills sit languishing on the order paper. Ministers from the PM down are seen to be taking the day-by-day management of their portfolios too lightly. Solution – accept that being an MP and a Minister, like any other job, has its humdrum aspects but you still have a responsibility to the public to deal with them competently.

    3 Coasting to Ongoing Victory: National assumes that the enemy is Labour/Shearer. In fact the real leader of the opposition is Russell Norman, and right now whether or not you like his policies he happens to be doing a bloody good job in that role. Solution – focus on the real enemy, not the assumed one.

    4 Putting the good of the Party ahead of the good of the nation. People can see through this. Great governments are driven by vision, courage and leadership. Bad governments are driven by the desire for continued power, polls, and risk aversion. Never in history has New Zealand more needed a good government. But sorry, this is a bad one. Solution – take a deep breath and lift the thinking to develop a vision of the New Zealand we want to be in 2025.

    A sea change has arrived and a massive change of direction is needed.

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  130. Redbaiter (8,039 comments) says:

    Hamnida, you and most other NZers are so deeply submerged in the socialist shit you do not have the capacity to understand anything outside your narrow frame of reference. You just do not have anything to make the comparison with.

    You’re brainwashed, so you don’t understand what people are saying.

    You’re blinkered, so you don’t see what other see so plainly.

    Your holding your hands over your ears, so you can’t hear what others hear.

    Really, trying to talk to NZers so deeply immersed in socialism for so many years is much like talking to a ventroloquist’s dummy.

    Their brain has been removed, and in the space where it once resided is an empty cavern that vacantly echos the thoughts of their masters.

    NZ has become a nation of sad socialist knuckle draggers and because so many of them are like that, they don’t even know it.

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  131. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    New Zealand a Socialist Nation – I wish.

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  132. Redbaiter (8,039 comments) says:

    Hamnida, here’s a precis of 10 points within the Communist Manifesto-

    1. Abolition of property rights

    2. A heavy progressive income tax

    3. No rights to inherited wealth

    4. Those who encourage rebellion will lose their property

    5. All credit controlled by the state

    6. All transport and communication controlled by the state

    7. All industry factories and farms controlled by the state

    8. All must be employed on equal terms by the state

    9. Towns and countries to blend into one economic unit controlled by the state

    10. Free education in public schools

    Now, I’ll allow we haven’t reached the stage of compete communism yet, but we’re a long way down the track. At least as far down the track as socialism, only a few stations away from the end of the line.

    “The New Zealand people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day New Zealand will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened.”

    – Norman Thomas, socialist (quote regionally adapted)

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  133. big bruv (13,571 comments) says:

    Scott

    “Here are a few deep ideas for National. Remember your roots. Stand up for Mum and Dad and the kids. Stand for marriage and community. Let’s have smaller government and individual responsibility and local communities. Repeal almost every piece of anti-family social engineering of the last 30 years.”

    Would you also outlaw Sunday trading and make church compulsory?

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  134. Scott (1,739 comments) says:

    Church has never been compulsory,nor should it be-so bit of a red herring there. Yes I would outlaw Sunday trading and bring back Sunday for worship and for families to be together. Sunday needs to be a special day off which I think would really help family and community cohesion. It is amazing how tired many people are from the 7 day a week grind of trying to keep businesses running everyday.

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  135. big bruv (13,571 comments) says:

    “Yes I would outlaw Sunday trading and bring back Sunday for worship and for families to be together.”

    Right, so you so love freedom and families so much that you would legislate to take away their rights to do things together other than go to church.

    Did it pass you by Scott that most people do not attend religious services anymore, thankfully the vast majority of the public see religion as irrelevant and take little or no notice of middle eastern superstition.

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  136. Nookin (3,191 comments) says:

    Scott
    Does that apply to doctors, nurses, police, service station attendants, radio and TV announcers and the like or is it an established fact they they are heathens who must work? And what if the family want to go out for a meal, do we shut the restaurants and and tell the family to go home? Where to you draw the line?
    Maybe some business owners, esp in tourist towns, want to be open to cater for and benefit from families having that special day?

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  137. OneTrack (2,837 comments) says:

    Longknives @11:40 – “I wonder if that reknowned economist Dr Norman can explain what happens when all the taxpayers flee a country leaving only the parasitic lazy bludgers?”

    Of course he can – Need more money, just fire up the printing press again.

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  138. OneTrack (2,837 comments) says:

    orewa1 @6:00 – “. In fact the real leader of the opposition is Russell Norman, and right now whether or not you like his policies he happens to be doing a bloody good job in that role”

    I disagree he is doing a good job, but because the biased left-wing MSM we have in NZ doesnt actually question anything he or the Greens do, it does give that appearance.

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