Posts Tagged ‘ National Party ’

Rankin appointment inspired

Christine with her baubles of office...

Christine with her baubles of office...

National’s appointment of Christine Rankin to the Families Commission is inspired.

This is going to be a win/win for them no matter how it goes. 

While Christine is no doubt passionate about ‘families’ – whatever the hell that is nowadays – she’s also become a bit of a talk show circuit celebrity. The reason she’s so good on talk-back, or National Radio, is that she’s  good for ratings always going to say something bordering on insane and is guaranteed to get hand wringing liberals frothing at the mouth and the lines running hot.

Christine is divisive, and it you had a Commission that would make you look heartless and Tory by ditching, hell, keep it on, just stack it with your cronies. This is what the thing was set up (by Labour) for, a nice harmless place to give your political mates a juicy paid position to keep them out of your hair.

If Christine and Co turn the whole thing into a circus, National can wind it up, claiming it’s dysfunctional. If, on the other hand, they make something out of it, National can claim it was sensible to put her in.

And in the mean time, if the hand wringers and trough gorgers keep resigning in protest, then that’s achieving something useful as well.

As I said, inspired!


Opportunity for Maori Party

maoripartyThe Maori party are at a set of cross roads and how they deal with it will determine whether they remain a relevant voice for their voters, or end up gradually disappearing into irrelevance.

You’ll note I say ” a voice for their voters”, as I think it would be arrogant for them to claim to be a voice for Maori. Maori didn’t exactly break any records for voter turn out this election and not every Maori who did bother, voted for the Maori Party. So they can’t claim to be a voice for all Maori. 

The Green Party here has failed to get over it’s left-of-Labour ideology, and because it’s got a lot of ex-Alliance members and Unionists in it, it can’t be viewed as a real Green Party as say the Green Party in Germany is. How not smacking your kids is good for the environment is lost of me, and obviously a lot of other voters. The Green Party here actually has a real problem because it’s not an environmental issues political movement, it’s a left wing political movement with a lot of Big Government, Statist, Unionist type policies. The fact that they can’t bring themselves to deal with National shows they have lost the plot. I’m sure if they were just an environmental political movement, they could, like the Green’s in Germany have with the Conservative and Liberal parties, have found some common ground with National. This is a huge loss for the Green’s and until they get rid of left wing unionist and ex communists from their ranks and focus on the environment, they are going to become more irrelevant.

This is where the Maori Party comes in.

They can either allow the left wing Maori Sovereignty idealists of their party to push a certain type of political ideology on them, or they can become a party focused on issues important to their voters (and lets face it, every other NZder). This way, they can (like the German Greens) work an agreement with any party who will give them some ground (left or right). Indeed the Maori Party really needs to run a mile from such tags that the MSM will try and pin on them. Like ACT, who I don’t see as being right wing (that’s a convenient MSM tag) the Maori Party should be able to work with anyone.

I understand the Maori Party are keen on vouchers for school children, they have this system in place already and it works well. ACT’s for this as well, and obviously there’s some synergies. Hell, I’d vote for the Maori Party if it was going to see a voucher system put in place because if it works for them, it’ll work for everyone else.

The Maori Party too understands that Social Welfare is not helping it’s voters, and here again they actually have some common ground with ACT.

If the Maori Party can become a practical ‘issues’ party, a bit like ACT, instead of being stuck as left or right (ACT is very socially liberal, much more so than National), then they have a long and successful future ahead of them, and there’s every reason to believe that they will have more than just Maori votes, but in fact have a broader appeal just like the Green’s in Germany have.

If, on the other hand, they allow extreme ideologues to dominate the debate and come out with things about Maori Sovereignty, then they can expect to inhabit the fringes and the practical policies that would not only benefit Maori, but everyone else as well, will never see the light of day. 

That’s why the Maori Party are about to make the most important decision in their existence, and for all our sakes given some of the excellent policy ideas coming out (apart from the silly $500 for all Maori families for Christmas type policies) I hope they decide to take the path of a party focused on progressive social and education policy and not run by academics and ideologues like the Green Party is.

Tape Gate

I thought that Nick Smith’s observation that the covert taping of MP’s at functions after asking leading questions would lead to a less relaxed contact with party activists, and that this was bad for democracy, had some truth to it.

In the fuss and blame (and counter blame) that has seen this indident blown out of proportion, that rather thoughtful point was lost the the white noise.

I thought it was actually a very interesting observation and not because it was aimed at the Labour Party who are being blamed for the setup, presumably in retaliation for the same thing happening to them.

When I first got involved in politics way back when I was first elegible to vote I remebered being quite impressed that I was able to meet and often very briefly, chat to politicians (one of them being our current PM). As a young political ‘activist’ that made a big impression on me, I had joined the party and here I was being able to talk to the people who lead the country.

As politicians have become more unpopular, and political parties not a very cool thing to be involved with (if indeed it was ever cool), it becomes more important that to attract the interest of young people and the influx of their ideas and views into politics. Whether it is of the Left or Right easy access to elected officials is a very important part of maintaining a participative democracy.

Anything that erodes the appeal of politics and involvement in political parties surely must be a bad thing long term.

Nick Smith is right. I should imagine now that if a reasonably high profile MP or Cabinet Minister was approved by some young bright eyed activist and quizzed about that parties more ‘hard line’ policies, that MP is going to be very reticent to have a very deep discussion about it.

The tricky thing is that I’m not sure that now that ‘genie’ is out of the bottle, that there is any going back. A code of conduct for how MP’s and political parties conduct their campaigns is not going to work and there have always been dirty tricks. I just it’s just a sad progression that eventually these things will happen and each time it will erode the relaxed attitude our politicians have to the public and their supporters.

Whether or not the latest ‘tape gate’ episode will affect National’s election chances (and I don’t think it will make a difference or that the supposed revelations were very enlightening), it has achieved one thing, and that will be a subtle change in the way MP’s interact with the rest of us. And that can’t be a positive thing.

Bill English appologises… for what?

I see Bill English has apologised for “not choosing his words well” (which sounds dangerously like saying you’ve ‘miss-spoke’).

This is just dumb, I don’t know what he needs to apologise for, nothing he said would surprise any National supporter, or for that matter anyone currently planning to cast their vote for National.

There isa hell of a lot that needs to be sorted out, and I thought he showed that he was remarkably in tune with a lot of NZders thinking on things like ‘Working’ for families (I’ll work for your family). People I talk to are completely pissed off with what amounts to a shameless electoral bribe with their taxes contributions. The fact that English said it would be looked at (Christ, he didn’t even say there was a policy) should give hope to those of us who are sick to death of working 60+ hour weeks only to Auntie Helen and Uncle Mike raid my pay and redistribute it to a bunch of their voters.

The RMA is clearly a joke, when I have to pay more in fees to the Council that the cost of the project, and a few farmers wanting to get cashed up can stop the cables to supply electricity to a city housing a third of the population there is something seriously wrong.

You could just as easily turn the argument (made by the Left) around and say he didn’t really say National were going to do anything concrete and really he was playing it up for the audience (which seemed to include someone from the Labour Party). In fact National might be going to “look at” a lot of things, which means bugger-all when you think about it. Hell, I’m “looking at” buying an Aston Martin, there’s just the small problem of money.

The suggestions that there is some “secret agenda” are getting tiresome. It seems that all Helen can do in the absence of any meaningful policy of her own is guffaw in her deep manly way, and bang on about how National are running a massive secret agenda… from their top secret base hidden in the depths of Rangitoto run by sneaky secret undercover agents and financed by secret organisations so secret Helen would have to kill you if she revealed who they were… and so on. Now that it is clear that Labour’s super special secret weapon against National the EFA has failed, next we’ll be hearing about how Helen and Mike have sent the SAS (the SFO now being disbanded) to find the naughty secret base where National is hatching a secret plans.

If National want my vote they had better be planning at “looking at” the Working for Families policy, and I’d bloody well hope they would be looking at planning to ditch Kiwi Bank which, everyone seems to have forgotten, was Jim Anderson’s pressie for supporting Labour. WTF is the Government running a freaking Bank for, haven’t they got more important things to do??? While they are at it, Air NZ, Kiwi Rail, Orcon, NZ Post and another business they’re involved in as well. If National want to seek a mandate from the Electorate for privatisation next election I suppose that’s a good idea, and they’ve made it pretty clear that’s the plan.

No, it’s not Bill English who should be apologising, it’s Mike and Helen, they created this mess.

Labour are clearly in complete panic mode, and I would imagine Miss Clark will find plenty more things “hilarious” over the coming months, one of them being the “crazy” way her poll ratings are plummeting!

Is National ‘Labour Lite’?

Labour Lite?

I have to agree with Rodney Hide that the only thing that Labour and National disagree on is who should be Prime Minister.


Labour have played a clever game, they can claim that such and such policy will be dumped by National leaving it’s beneficiaries disadvantaged and it is the cold heartless right wing National party that will do this as part of it’s secret agenda to gut social welfare provisions and other social benefits introduced by Labour.


This puts National in a position where it has to deny this, and then support whatever policy it is being accused of planning to cull, and then National outlines how it will actually improve the policy, usually by appending more money on it…


Who’s the winner with this strategy, well Labour, because it means they are calling the shots. They also don’t have to announce any new policies (notice there is nothing new from them, just calls for National to release policy) Labour in effect wins endorsement for its policies and this leads to National looking like Labour Lite.


National can’t risk releasing policy too early, previous elections they have and it has cost them dearly as it has allowed Labour to spend months picking holes in them and forced National into damage control, by the time the dust settles Labour as assimilated the policy and can claim that National is weak and useless with no thought out policies.


I guess this shows what a formidable team Helen and Mike are, they have been in the game a long time and whether you like them or not, you have to agree they are smooth operators often running circles around the Nat’s.


National needs to take control of the debate and relying on polls isn’t going to do it. Maybe National needs to shift the debate away from specific policies and focus on other issues all together, issues that do set National and Labour apart… and one way would be to use the Peter’s fiasco to their advantage.


Most people are sick and tired of Peters, the majority of voters think is a clown. National could take the moral high ground and say they want to clean up politics (maybe take a leaf out of Obama’s book) and they won’t be doing business with Winston Peters. This would for a change put Labour in a difficult position where it would have to start explaining itself for a change.


Until National shows it has the skills to gain the high ground in the political debate and can start to clearly demonstrate to the public how it is different from Labour, then the label of Labour Lite is going to stick, and that will have voters starting to wonder why they would bother with a team that is inexperienced and only different from Labour in style rather than substance.





One poll National can afford to ignore

National is under mounting pressure to start rolling out substantive policy soon as a new poll suggests rising impatience with its refusal to show its hand too early.The Fairfax Media-Nielsen survey found 55 per cent of voters want to see policy from National now, against 35 per cent who are happy to wait.

National has learnt something from last election. If were running the show I’d be studiously ignoring any calls that rushed them into releasing policy this far out from the election. The fact that Labour is getting shriller about this issue shows that it is hurting them. labour probably thought it was going to be able to run a repeat of last election, incredibly this appears to be plan A, B and C.

It’s a bit surprising that the public have such short memories, we only have a three year term so it wasn’t that long ago!

Whether you agree with National’s policies or not, clearly the ‘slow burning fuse’ is a much better strategy.

Last election Labour systematically scare mongered on the policy that they could and adopted the rest. When you’re dealing with such a ‘fexible’ opponent the best strategy would be to keep your powder dry.

Labour tactic now seems to be to try and persuade the public to put the pressure on National so they can run a repeat of last election. Key and the new crew seemed determined to run their campaign to their timetable, not Labours. So far Labour don’t seem to have released any policy and their entire campaign seems to be built on personal attacks on Key and blowing huge amounts of our taxes on re nationalising sectors of the economy.

In any case, with Labour in it’s current state I suspect National figures that if you give them enough rope, they’ll end up hanging themselves.

The good ideas start to flow

Australia’s biggest provider of work-for-the-dole programmes, Mission Australia, says it is keen to move into New Zealand if an incoming National Government puts such programmes up for tender here.

My, haven’t the National Party been busy! If they can sustain the flow of new(ish) ideas for dealing with old problems until the election then they might win on merit rather than by default.


This, kids, is a record player, it was what people used to play music on. A relic... like the Labour Party

This is such a tidy idea and one operated by city missions. The idea of giving missions a greater role in helping with disadvantaged people is not new, but one worth looking again and it’s refreshing to see that the Nat’s have actually been thinking about some solutions to our problems.

Even though the policies so far are been a fuzzy purple colour, that hasn’t stopped Labour bleating on like a broken record about National wanting to privatise everything. Heard Marion-oneway-Street accusing National of wanting to privatise ACC this morning, really all she had to say was that they were privatising it, privatising it, privatising it… oh, and did you know, they’re going to privatise it?

For gods sake Labour, smell the coffee guys, if all we’re going to hear about over the coming months is about how National are “going to privatise it” then your’e toast.