Why have Labour’s chances faded so much?

June 23rd, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

ipredict-pm-2014-average-20140620

KiwiPollGuy blogs:

You can see that the prices for National stabalised just above 70c in April and May after earlier peaking at around 76c in mid-March.  I don’t believe that any single event has caused the prices to move.  It’s more a case of running out the clock; needs some sort of game-changer, and there is less and less time left before the election for them to find one.

So why has Labour gone from favoured to win, to barely having a 20% chance? I think there are multiple factors.

  1. They’ve abandoned the centre ground, and almost every policy they announce is to the left of the Clark Government
  2. Cunliffe’s multiple gaffes have accumulated to give him a very negative brand, and the public don’t want him to become Prime Minister
  3. A centre-left coalition looks way way more unstable than a centre-right coalition, especially as there is so much tension within Labour itself, let alone before you try and have the Greens and Winston in the same room
  4. New Zealanders hate the though of Kim Dotcom determining the next government. Labour’s refusal to rule him and his party out has sent many left voters over to National as they’d rather have National in, than have a convicted criminal purchase himself a change of government
  5. Their political competence is woeful

So like KPG, I don’t think it is any one factor. A combination of all of the above is responsible. Some of them they can fix, but some they can’t. I think No 4 is especially powerful, and their refusal to rule Dotcom’s pet party out will be a millstone around their neck.

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64 Responses to “Why have Labour’s chances faded so much?”

  1. redqueen (553 comments) says:

    Long may that millstone last…at least, until an extradition order is issued :)

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  2. jaba (2,120 comments) says:

    I’m starting to wonder if the Labour Party are in so much shit that they have made this donation saga up so that in a week or so they will be found to be innocent of the “charges” so they can get the sympathy of voters and blame it all on the evil right wing and John Key in particual .. is that possible?

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  3. lilman (951 comments) says:

    Also You cant rule out Key and his ability to resonate to the electorate,even if they may not vote national traditionally.
    They simply seem to be able to accept him as leader whereas Cunliffe dose not have that cross-party acceptance.

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  4. Pete George (23,434 comments) says:

    New Zealanders hate the though of Kim Dotcom determining the next government. Labour’s refusal to rule him and his party out has sent many left voters over to National…

    Not according to http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/the-real-story-in-the-fairfax-polls/

    This suggests that drop in Labour support is largely due to people moving to undecided rather than to National.

    A major Labour election strategy is to “get out the vote” but they seem to be achieving the opposite.

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  5. Redbaiter (8,344 comments) says:

    “They’ve abandoned the centre ground, and almost every policy they announce is to the left of the Clark Government”

    That applies to National too, and is the Key factor (excuse pun) in Labour’s decision to move even further to the left. They believe there’s no other political ground left.

    They’re wrong. Labour needs to go right. Leaving the far left Nats sitting out there like a shag on a rock. Trouble is Labour are too dull and unimaginative to make that work, especially with a communist dinosaur like Mccarten as a strategist.

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  6. EAD (950 comments) says:

    Q) Why have Labour’s chances faded so much?
    A) The answer lies in looking at the UK/USA – trends that happen there will eventually happen here. The Reagan/Thatcher revolution paved the way for Rogernomics. Clinton/Tony Blair, paved the way for the Helen Clark Labour Government “3rd way” that was socialism in drag.

    Where is this line of reasoning going you may ask – well in the the UK, a genuine right wing party (UKIP) has just topped the National Polls and the Tea Party has kicked out several Rhinos who have abandoned all the principles of Liberty.

    The same will happen in NZ in a few years as eventually the rhetoric runs out of tarmac. National are riding high for one reason and one reason only -they have moved so far to the socialist left that they have made Labour look like communists whilst they still have a large enough rump of people from the right who haven’t yet clocked that National aren’t the party that they tell their supporters they say they are.

    UKIP went from 3% to 29% in a matter of a 3 years – don’t bet on the same thing happening here when our debt bubble bursts and people start to care a bit more about Politics.

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  7. ShawnLH (4,482 comments) says:

    Despite the ranting of a couple of folks on KB (one from the Right and one from the Left, you know who they are) who seem to be in denial mode, the fact is that most Kiwis like John Key, even if they don’t agree with every National party policy. That likability factor is a huge advantage for National. It would be an advantage normally, but against an opposition that has had three leaders that have failed to resonate with the public, and one, Cunliffe, who is anything but likable, it is a massive advantage, and the Left has failed to understand that.

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  8. NK (1,223 comments) says:

    Their political competence is woeful.

    Isn’t Matt McCarten going great guns!

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  9. Pete George (23,434 comments) says:

    “Why have Labour’s chances faded so much?”

    While it’s an accumulating mixture of things the overriding reason must be “Their political competence is woeful”.

    And one thing that isn’t listed that shouldn’t be underestimated is Cunliffe’s lack of natural appeal. Many voters judge politicians on little more than body language.

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  10. EAD (950 comments) says:

    Shawn,

    Tony Blair was once very popular (remember Cool Britannia). Obama was also very popular once upon a time (remember “Hope and change”) until he gave America no hope and very little spare change.

    Some of us not caught up in the matrix and cult of personality could see they were both frauds right from the start.

    Here is a tip to you – remain sceptical always, judge anybody you meet by what they do, not what they say or if they seem “nice”.

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  11. ShawnLH (4,482 comments) says:

    “Leaving the far left Nats”

    Oh dear……

    It’s frustrating when you find someone who’s basic philosophy you agree with, but who manages to wrap it up in such hysteria-driven, whackjob silliness that it becomes embarrassing.

    A short trip to the Stranded at least helps me to remember that the same whackjob silliness is better represented on the Left.

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  12. ShawnLH (4,482 comments) says:

    Ead,

    “Tony Blair was once very popular (remember Cool Britannia).”

    So?

    “Some of us not caught up in the matrix”

    And that is where I stop reading. Anything you say after that is meaningless to me. Matrix references are a lazy and childish way to make an argument.

    On a few issues I could just as easily say your happily representing the Matrix (Putin……).

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  13. Ed Snack (1,838 comments) says:

    I’m not so clear that KDC really figures at all except with a certain fringe; I don’t think most people take him, Mana, or Leila Harre seriously at all.

    I see the issue as Labour turning a bit too far left, in part forced that way by National being pretty leftist as well on general matters. People in general also probably relish a bit of hope with the talk of the improving economy, but it would sure help National if wages & earnings were going up; most businesses and organizations are keeping a pretty tight lid of such costs so although we’re told that things are moving along, it doesn’t really feel like that for most people.

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  14. ShawnLH (4,482 comments) says:

    “Isn’t Matt McCarten going great guns!”

    Outside of the hard Left his political career is over. Exactly how much he is actually to blame is debatable, Cunliffe would likely be flailing without him, but the ABC crowd will hold him responsible regardless.

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  15. dime (9,791 comments) says:

    of course they cant rule of dot com. what if he was the key to power? glorious power?

    the greedy, selfish old commies that make up most of labours top 10 will ensure they continue to fail.

    they looked tired in 08! they look like the walking dead in 2014.

    i just hope national never let them off the hook and offer these greedy troughers sweet public sector roles.

    personally, id love to see mallard back teaching. i bet hes almost broke too. i guess he will cycle to his teaching gig rather than drive his 1997 corolla (im speculating on the car but thats what i see him in once hes off the tit)

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  16. Redbaiter (8,344 comments) says:

    Under the cloak of popularity, John Key is dismembering the National Party and rendering the only real opposition to socialist totalitarianism and one party rule totally ineffective as a political force.

    Some think this is a good thing, and apart from the dupes fooled into thinking popularity is a good substitute for substance, most of those thinking that way are far left one party state socialists.

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  17. Allyson (47 comments) says:

    McCarten and Cunliffe taking long knives to the Labor list will be a frightener as still a chance be next govt. Cunlife and his political enablers must be destroyed.

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  18. ShawnLH (4,482 comments) says:

    Left and Right are not set in stone. They depend in part on culture and history and where the center lies in a given country, which is not the same everywhere.

    By NZ standards National is center Right.

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  19. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    Anybody else getting excited at the prospect of labour releasing its own version of shitlers list today?
    Spare a thought for kelvin Davies, if he is high up the list labour will ban him from campaigning in Hines seat. If he is low on the list he will probably lose to Hone anyway.
    The way they are polling they may get no list MP’s and cause an overhang.
    My pick for list after electorate MP’s have been taken care of.
    David Parker (deputy leader) Has to be number 1.
    Jacinda Ardern 2
    Shamu number 3

    Nobody else gets in and the top three employ food tasters until the day after the election.

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  20. Redbaiter (8,344 comments) says:

    Government spending, debt and taxes are all higher today under John Key than they were when Helen Klark was PM.

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  21. Redbaiter (8,344 comments) says:

    “although we’re told that things are moving along,”

    Take out the Christchurch construction and we’re not doing anything marvelous in growth.

    (GDP anyway is no real measure of growth. It just a measurement that suits politicians because its an easy way to create the illusion of growth.)

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  22. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    How would you measure growth, Reddy? How do they do it in Singapore?

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  23. Nostalgia-NZ (5,097 comments) says:

    I don’t think Dotcom is a major factor in Labour’s woes, rather that it’s ‘fashionable’ for some to use him as the whipping boy at every opportunity. One could say that the Nats have Liu who they are currently trying to off load, but to say that Labour somehow have DC is a stretch and I doubt of much interest across the board. I don’t think it will happen but a ‘simpler’ kind of politics reflecting on the positives resonates more than the ‘what about them’ crap that is going on. Sometimes NZ politics are the pits, particularly the reaching back to ‘retry’ events in order to soften some contemporary problem – negative. Possibly the reason why CC throwing his hat in the ring is refreshing, he doesn’t come with a lot of baggage, seems honest even if hard to agree with. The result is that the punters don’t get a rehash of every so called ‘political’ offence of the last 20 years any time the hint of a misdemeanour is uncovered. The English comedy which I can’t recall the name of at the moment but which had the line ‘don’t mention the war’ comes to mind, maybe it will be a voice that doesn’t mention Liu, Dotcom, Banks etc that will gather in some of the not so interested.

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  24. dime (9,791 comments) says:

    “Government spending, debt and taxes are all higher today under John Key than they were when Helen Klark was PM.”

    by taxes, you mean overall tax take?

    my rate is lower.. but im paying more cause im earning a shit load more.

    youd think there would be a cut off for taxes – Dime, youve hit 200 for the year, you’ve paid more than your fair share.

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  25. srylands (404 comments) says:

    Nah ignore ipredict. Lynn Prentice told me “PM.National” has soared because some rich pricks are manipulating the market. Seriously, he did. :-)

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  26. Redbaiter (8,344 comments) says:

    What is growth Milky?

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  27. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    You have a problem with using GDP as a measure of growth?

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  28. EAD (950 comments) says:

    Shawn,

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”. I could walk you through step by step the way how the world works but you would refuse to even countenance that things aren’t as they seem because your mind is closed. Like Morpheus said in the Matrix – I can’t tell you what the Matrix is as you have to see it for yourself. But for your benefit I will give it a go.

    If you think the primary arena of human struggle throughout history has been between “the left” and “the right” then your lost already. If you understand that it has really been between the governed and the governing, then you are getting closer and there is hope. However, the real primary arena of human struggle throughout history has been mainly over the monetary control over societies.

    Baron Nathan Nayer Rothschild famously said – “I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply”

    Now you need to realise that once private interests have taken control of society’s monetary system, they will in turn, take control of the society itself.

    This control of society is out there in the open but you refuse to see it. It is is referenced many times in popular culture but still you close your mind. Have you read 1984, Brave New World – how come Orwell and Huxley could predict exactly how history and society would evolve? What do you think the monetary allegory of the movie “Wizard of Oz” is all about and “the man behind the curtain”? The Matrix at its heart is the debt based money system we currently use which essentially makes us a slave to the Bankers? Don’t believe me – when we borrow money either directly or indirectly via the government, it is money created out of thin air as a debt. You then spend your entire life going to work to earn this money that was created…….out of nothing.

    What do you think Pink Floyd was sing about all those years ago if it wasn’t our rigidly controlled society – the mental warfare that prays on your cognitive dissonance and normalcy bias. You are like a dog chasing its tail, up in arms about meaningless social issues and ignoring the looting of the country by the Bankers. Always banging on about emotional issues like gay marriage, religion, mass murderers, climate change, party politics, racism, and phantom terror threats, while completely ignoring how badly we are being screwed by our One Party government. For those who have been too dumbed down by our useless government public education system to even comprehend anything beyond a standard 4 level, we have The Kardashians, Shortland Street, iGadgets, Twitter, Facebook, professional rugby, Hollywood blockbusters, and toxic fast food paid for with your EFTPOS card. Our world is besieged by triviality, plagued by idiocy, inundated with propaganda, and consumed with consumption.

    Welcome to the Machine Shaun:

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  29. JC (942 comments) says:

    The thing is.. what is there left to achieve by a left wing party? Virtually every social target they’ve striven for has been achieved and now they are left with stuff that tips them into the “absurd” or “been there done that-failed” category.

    Thirty years ago Roger Douglas could see the blind alley that was beckoning Labour and in the UK Blair staved off irrelevance with his “3rd way” and “socialism with a flinty face” rhetoric. In other parts of the Western world left parties started to struggle and it was only hidebound tradition that kept them in power.. at least until the latest recession.

    Basically bad recessions are the way the world resets itself and removes the clutter and they aren’t kind to movements promoting stuff like Living Wages and Inequality that continue to transfer wealth from one half of the population to the other. NZ Labour still thinks there’s more juice that can be squeezed out of the orange.

    JC

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  30. Redbaiter (8,344 comments) says:

    “by taxes, you mean overall tax take? ”

    The govt budget is taxes plus borrowing.

    Borrowings have to be repaid from future taxes anyway.

    Treasury projections show govt budget trending towards $100 billion over the next five or six years. Without looking it up, I think it was about $60 billion under Helen Clark. We’re soon going to be looking at $40 billion more govt spending under National than under Labour.

    Furthermore, under Clark debt was only a few billion. Its rising to somewhere around $60 billion at the moment. English says that debt will reduce as NZ’s position in the global economy improves.

    The bottom line is that the economic good times you think are happening now are underpinned by debt, and Key and English are gambling NZ’s future on the global economy.

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  31. Rich Prick (1,666 comments) says:

    “Anybody else getting excited at the prospect of labour releasing its own version of shitlers list today?”

    Heh, I am. On current polling Labour will have two list MP’s maximum, so it will be a list of electorate MP’s and losers.

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  32. Redbaiter (8,344 comments) says:

    Good to see you still commenting JC, and thanks for an interesting contribution as always.

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  33. Redbaiter (8,344 comments) says:

    “You have a problem with using GDP as a measure of growth?”

    GDP is just money circulating.

    Under big spending socialist govts its not an accurate measure of growth.

    Even less accurate when that spending is underpinned by large levels of debt.

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  34. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    How would you measure growth, Reddy?

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  35. Redbaiter (8,344 comments) says:

    Troll- see 10am

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  36. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Growth is the increase in goods and services produced by an economy. You have a better way to measure that than GDP?

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  37. Redbaiter (8,344 comments) says:

    So when a Govt pays out more welfare cheques, is this growth or retraction?

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  38. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Does that increase production or consumption?

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  39. Redbaiter (8,344 comments) says:

    Production or consumption of what?

    Troll who asks constant questions but says nothing.

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  40. dime (9,791 comments) says:

    “Troll who asks constant questions but says nothing.” lol nailed it

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  41. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Au contraire, it’s you Reddy who has nothing to say, railing against every aspect of 21st century life and politics while offering no solutions to the problems you perceive. So again, what would you use to measure economic growth if not GDP?

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  42. Redbaiter (8,344 comments) says:

    Its a measure of the single minded blindness and ignorance that commonly underpins belief in socialism Milky that doubt about the effectiveness of GDP is something unknown to you.

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=alternatives+to+gdp+as+a+measure+of+growth

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  43. Griff (7,373 comments) says:

    Red doesn’t know how to measure growth they don’t discuss that on the sites he reads
    redblather just spurts rhetoric targeted at present society without giving any solutions except vague reference to an imagined better time in the past
    His entire content is the mindless blather of a cookie cutter redneck tea party sheepie.

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  44. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    So which alternative measure do you favour, Reddy?

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  45. Redbaiter (8,344 comments) says:

    Grief is a fashion conscious butterfly who believes in freedom and thinks all change is good and that being critical of progressive ideas is an offence that should be punishable by death or heavy terms of imprisonment.

    Even when most progressive ideas are the work of neo-communists with a record of failure that is apparent to anyone other than the most intellectually challenged, or brainwashed fuckwits who are too crippled in their political perspective to see the obvious negative outcomes of these ideas.

    Grief and his Big brother clique says you must accept all Progressive change, for only they know the true path to enlightenment. Objectors are just ignorant serfs who should learn their place.

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  46. hj (6,854 comments) says:

    The media are snuffing out immigration as an issue

    Even Peters own voters aren’t convinced by this old trick – 92 per cent of his supporters don’t rate immigration as a problem.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/10187254/Immi-what-Immigration-hysteria-falls-flat
    Andrea Vance :roll:
    Makes you wonder what she thinks of the Ried Research TV3 poll which stated 62.4% think immigration should be reduced – 85% NZ First, 58% Green, Labour 68%? Deliberate propaganda?

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  47. Griff (7,373 comments) says:

    Actually red I am all for a free market and smaller government.
    I just don’t spurt rubbish like you day in and day out
    I don’t support the transfer of wealth to breeders The payment of excessive untargeted welfare and I also don’t want interference in my private life by government. We should have the freedoms to do as we please providing it comes at no cost to others
    UNLIKE YOU
    Who thinks government should control who I fuck the recreational drugs I chose and even the gods I worship.
    freedom IN your tiny mind is the freedom to do as you say.

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  48. mister nui (1,020 comments) says:

    Milky, you are a gobshite….

    Any one that understands economics at a basic level, understands that GDP is a very poor measure for a country of NZ’s economic size. GDP is only a useful measure where you have a large domestic economy – such as the US.

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  49. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Then why do we use GDP as an official measure of growth?

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  50. mister nui (1,020 comments) says:

    Because it confounds small-brained twerps like you milky, therefore you don’t ask the hard questions.

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  51. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Pity we can’t all be as smart and well-informed as you. Something to do with the bell curve, I suppose.

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  52. ross411 (547 comments) says:

    I think Labour’s primary problem is that they treat politics like a career (and gravy train). When you’re on the inside, you lose track of reality and place more stock in what your peers who hold similar views and benefit similar to yourself say. I’ve seen it at companies I’ve worked at, where employees get an almost religious pro-company or pro-product viewpoint. Us vs. Them. This is similar to Russell Norman and other fanatic Green nutcases.

    And so, when Cunliffe speaks, he does so with an unrealistic mindset which can’t recognise why what he says is not something a reasonable person would say. The comments about rich pricks. The long rambling meaningless speeches on shows like The Nation and Campbell Live. The ‘scab’ comment. The condescending racist accent in the Avondale speech.

    It seems to me it gets worse because they’ve started believing their own propaganda, and bought the unions closer. They’ve chosen a hard liner, so hard line he steals from the taxpayer for the labour party, as head of staff

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  53. ross411 (547 comments) says:

    mikenmild (10,170 comments) says:
    June 23rd, 2014 at 11:44 am
    Pity we can’t all be as smart and well-informed as you. Something to do with the bell curve, I suppose.

    Haven’t you got something better to do than perpetuate petty arguments on the comments section of blog posts?

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  54. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Have you?

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  55. ShawnLH (4,482 comments) says:

    Ead,

    “Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”.

    And none so free as those who think they are slaves.

    “I could walk you through step by step the way how the world works”

    No, you could walk me through your opinions about how the world works.

    “but you would refuse to even countenance that things aren’t as they seem because your mind is closed.”

    No, my mind is critical of things that look like bullshit.

    “Like Morpheus said in the Matrix”

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………………….

    Real life is not a Hollywood movie.

    “If you think the primary arena of human struggle throughout history has been between “the left” and “the right” then your lost already.”

    I don’t. The primary struggle in human history is between angels and demons, literally and metaphorically

    “If you understand that it has really been between the governed and the governing,”

    Vastly simplistic and as a result not true. It has sometimes been between the governed and the governing, and sometimes between entirely different groups.

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  56. ShawnLH (4,482 comments) says:

    Reddy opines:

    “Under the cloak of popularity, John Key is dismembering the National Party”

    How exactly? By keeping them in power for three and mabye four terms?

    “and rendering the only real opposition to socialist totalitarianism and one party rule totally ineffective as a political force.”

    Winning elections is effective. Losing them because you have retreated into a minority opinion ghetto is not. Politics is the art of the possible.

    “Some think this is a good thing, and apart from the dupes fooled into thinking popularity is a good substitute for substance, most of those thinking that way are far left one party state socialists.”

    Like? Who for example?

    Most of us who like Key and think he’s doing a fairly good job do so because we are realistic about what is possible and what is not, and no amount of fantasizing about the people waking up if we just lecture them is going to change what is or is not possible.

    I’m a Conservative, in the Traditionalist sense of the word. I oppose gay marriage, abortion, secular sex education, real socialism ( as opposed to your whacky definition) and I favor small government and a lightly regulated free market.

    But the reason that I’m not bashing Key for not implementing my policies is because I am realistic enough, and honest enough, to recognize that they are minority opinions in an overwhelmingly secular and liberal country, a country where the center is further Left than I would like, but is what it is.

    I also believe, as real Conservatives should and do, in compromise and dialogue. And I’m prepared to do so for small but real victories.

    The National led coalition has given us tax cuts, with more to come, the three strikes law, restrictions on Union access to private business, Labour market reform, the 90 day waiting period, boot camps for repeat youth offenders, and charter schools.

    It’s not everything I want, but adults understand that you don’t get everything you want in life.

    No, National is not the Traditionalist Tory Conservative government I would like, but they are still delivering important changes, and despite your claim they are VASTLY preferable to the alternative.

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  57. Rex Widerstrom (5,346 comments) says:

    New Zealanders hate the though of Kim Dotcom determining the next government. Labour’s refusal to rule him and his party out has sent many left voters over to National as they’d rather have National in, than have a convicted criminal purchase himself a change of government

    So okay to take into account their wishes, but bugger the 95% of people who want someone… anyone… other than Peters and his woeful band of incompetents (and incontinents)?

    An unconvicted thief of $158,000 and proven liar versus a convicted criminal? Personally, I’m struggling to condemn one whilst exalting the other, but then my principles aren’t as malleable as either Mr Key’s or Mr Cunliffe’s.

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  58. ShawnLH (4,482 comments) says:

    Reddy in response to Reddies Troll:

    “Its a measure of the single minded blindness and ignorance that commonly underpins belief in socialism Milky that doubt about the effectiveness of GDP is something unknown to you.”

    Bollocks.

    Most mainstream pro-market economists are fine with the GDP measurement. It’s the Left that has been advocating alternatives.

    Duh.

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  59. Fentex (922 comments) says:

    National is not the Traditionalist Tory Conservative government I would like

    Oh, I dunno. given a Tory is a thief I think plenty of people would think National, given the price they accepted for Mighty River shares, are thieves and therefore tories in the traditional sense.

    Tory is an insult levied at politicians for being thieves, originally as a ironic term to contrast them with Irish and Scottish peasants forced off land by acts such as the Highland Clearances and Enclosures who turned to robbery to survive.

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  60. publicwatchdog (2,516 comments) says:

    3 months to go until 20 September 2014 …. If a week is a long time in politics THREE MONTHS is a very long time …. Kind regards Penny Bright

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  61. ciaron (1,417 comments) says:

    For once, Miss Bright appears to have a reasonable grasp of the bleeding obvious….

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  62. Colville (2,254 comments) says:

    Yes Penny.

    3 months is plenty of time for you to announce a private prosecution of Labour for donation fraud.

    Or do you only care about wrong doing when the blue team does it?

    Go on…..you can admit ….. We know you are that much of a hypocrite.

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  63. RightNow (6,973 comments) says:

    “If a week is a long time in politics THREE MONTHS is a very long time ”

    Absolutely. My money is on Labour to drop below 20% by then.

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  64. tom hunter (4,702 comments) says:

    Most mainstream pro-market economists are fine with the GDP measurement. It’s the Left that has been advocating alternatives.

    Ahem:

    Starting in spring 2014, the Bureau of Economic Analysis will release a breakthrough new economic statistic on a quarterly basis. It’s called Gross Output, a measure of total sales volume at all stages of production. GO is almost twice the size of GDP, the standard yardstick for measuring final goods and services produced in a year.

    This is the first new economic aggregate since Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was introduced over fifty years ago.

    The problems with GDP as a measure of an economy are well known and have been much discussed by economists over that fifty year period, and earlier. Most notably it measures expenditures resulting from wealth destruction as a positive for the economy, especially if they’re consumer expenditure. The classic example being the potholed road that is not repaired, causing unnecessary damage to the suspensions of cars and trucks. This is actually a bad thing, but the resulting repair expenses increase GDP and are therefore counted as being a good economic outcome, especially since there is no measure of the wealth destroyed.

    GO has it’s problems also but it certainly captures the production side of the economy far better than GDP and it seems to track economic cycles better than GDP. It’s not intended as a replacement but as a supplement, which is why the BEA is adopting it.

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