In his IFR column yesterday hard core leftie Chris Trotter said:
New Zealand should probably hope for a National victory, too.
So does this mean Chris has seen the light and repented? Well, not quite. Chris goes on to explain:
A defeat for the Right in November would be all too likely to encourage conservatism’s most dim-witted and violent adherents to take Von Clausewitz at his word and “continue politics by other means”.
So Chris is just saying people should vote National, because if you don’t we’re all going to start rioting in the streets.
This is one of the reasons why People Power do harm beyond the odd smashed window. They allow Chris to paint a picture of thousands of violent rightists just waiting to go on the rampage if National should lose the election. It’s about as likely as Tame Iti voting ACT.
Earlier in the column, Chris covers the events of 2005 election reasonably fairly:
However, the Right’s conviction that they were robbed of victory in 2005 is not entirely fanciful. The money the Labour Party used to pay for Helen Clark’s infamous “pledge card” came from a public fund which at least two responsible state officials had warned it not to use. That arguably illegal decision freed-up the half-million dollars the party needed to bank-roll its South Auckland strategy. That Labour was able to edge past National in the final hours of election night was due, in no small measure, to campaign over-spending.
The Right’s rage was not abated when the final election returns showed a narrow majority of votes had been cast for the Centre-Right. The combined total of votes for the parties of the Centre-Left (Labour, Progressive, Green) was 1,082,281 (48.1%) while the Centre-Right (National, Act, NZ First, United Future) secured 1,115,257 (49.6%).
Chris hasn’t classified the Maori Party as Centre-Right or Centre-Left. Also I get slightly different percentages as there were a total of 2,275,629 valid votes. Maybe Chris is going off total votes for parties which made it into Parliament which is 2,245,801. Let’s see – that might be it as that gives the CR 49.7% and CL 48.2%.
Incidentially while I have heard many people rage about the illegal overspending of some $400K to $800K by Labour, I’ve not heard many claim that the CR got more votes than the CL. I certainly tend to regard the Maori Party as more CL than CR, which puts the CL marginally ahead of the CR. Even if you add Destiny into the CR vote that gives you 1,129,467 for the CR and 1,130,544 for the CL – almost a tie – only 1,077 votes in it.