Friday, November 25, 2011

A selection from the Otago Daily Times

The Otago Daily Times is intellectually a cut above other New Zealand papers.

Colin James' succinct pre-election wrap. The Domininion Post stupidly dispensed with Mr James services earlier in the year. They prefer lightweight bias:

What's changed during the campaign? Not John Key's prospects for a second term as Prime Minister even though Phil Goff narrowly bested him in this week's debates. But nor have Key's support parties' problems got sorted. For tactically-minded National-leaning voters, November has been unhelpful.

The trend in the average of the five main published opinion polls points to an overall National majority but not wide enough for Key to be confident in advance he won't need support. That explains Key's late buildup of Peters as a bogey: he needed to scare National voters to the polls after an otherwise soothing campaign.

ACT has come out of the campaign worse than it went in, thanks in part to the awkward, then embarrassing, tea party antics. Published polls, plus a stack of anecdotal evidence, point to its disappearance tomorrow or at best a sickly survival on tenuous life support from National.

Colin Craig's Conservatives have polled better than ACT recently. But to get seats Craig has to win the Rodney electorate.

Peter Dunne is at risk of being an overhang MP, of strictly marginal value to Key.

The Maori party's 2008 party vote is being shared with Mana. There is a real possibility the Maori party gets four seats and three are overhangs, which would mean Key has to get 62 seats for a majority (63 if Dunne is also an overhang). The good news in that for the Maori party is that it just might have more leverage than in 2008 to push its whanau ora flagship policy.

For Labour the anecdotal evidence suggests somewhere in the upper 20s, possibly better if there has been a late swing, as some polls suggest. But Labour has bled to the Greens through the campaign after bleeding to Key from 2007. The solidity of Greens' support will be tested in the next three years if Labour manages a resurgence.

And Peters? The polls have been tantalising but the trend average leaves him short. Still, you never say never with Peters. As Goff, hoping for a (not completely dismissible) shock win that needs Peters, might say.

And this delightful letter from 100 years ago:

Prohibition punishes the whole population

In the Prohibition camp preaching to the converted goes on merrily; the proposition that if my neighbour gets drunk it is against me that a prohibition order must be taken out had never greater acceptance. What percentage of citizens get drunk I am unaware: two in every 100, says a correspondent of the Daily Times. To correct the bibulous error of the two, a prohibition order is to be taken out against the other 98.

According to the same correspondent the total number of drunkards in New Zealand is 8000, which sounds a liberal estimate. For the amendment of the 8000 a prohibition order is to be taken out against the whole population. It is not assumed or assumable that the whole population will agree to this lunatic treatment; it will be held sufficient if one-half agree, or at the most three-fifths. The remaining half, or the remaining two-fifths, are then to be put under duress - guarded, watched, spied upon, policed, dragooned, bludgeoned into submission. This done, New Zealand, it is thought, will thenceforth rank as a vestibule of the kingdom of heaven. And there are ministers of religion who, having despaired of Christianity and gone back from Mount Zion to Mount Sinai, cry Amen! It will still remain, however, that two and two make four; and in my humble opinion there are other truths, fundamental and axiomatic, that may be expected to assert themselves. For one thing Naturam expelles furca, tamen usque recurret. "You may drive out Nature with a fork, and yet she will come back."

And finally today's editorial which strikes a chord with me with its criticism of Trevor "stop your nonsense" Mallard:

The Labour Party 2011 election campaign was strategically inept, which is likely to contribute to one its worst defeats when the polls close tomorrow.

Unless Labour can get every single supporter out to vote tomorrow, and the party will try, it has the potential to remain in the wilderness for at least another six years.

Mistakes were compounded on throughout the shortened campaign period and long-serving Labour MP and campaign manager Trevor Mallard might have hard questions to answer on Tuesday if the caucus meets, as it generally does.

Mr Mallard, who spent most of his time on social networks during the campaign, was nowhere to be seen. In fact, first-term MP Grant Robertson was more active on the campaign trail.

Labour made a series of mistakes, and senior MPs should have known better.

Read more


Anonymous said...

The euro has collapsed. Germany was unable to sell its bunds overnight. 30% of NZ's export market just went away.

That's the only story that matters today: that, and the question of which parties can provide immediate, rapid, decisive leadership to take the unpopular decisions NZ has been putting of for the last 20 years.

NZ's economy is worse than '84 and much worse than '91.

NZ must elect leadership that will:
* eliminate welfare, "free" health & education
* sell of assets - not just half of powerstations, but anything that can raise hard currency: schools, hospitals, roads, rail, airnz...
* restructure the labour market - no more unions, no more min wage...
* cut remainder of govt salaries by at least 50%.

Electorate vote National / Party vote ACT.

Manolo said...

Fully aware than hinges on winning Epsom, I'm giving ACT my party vote.

I declare not having any time at all for Banks.

Bruce S said...

labor can't win simply because no one wants phil goff as the prime minister of NZ. He was the member of the labor party when they were knocking off assets back in the 80's; so his credibility is shallow. And like it or not, politics is a game of PERSONALITIES and goff doesn't have one. So nothing to choose between there. No real analysis required; the result is a foregone conclusion and labor will be looking for totally new leadership, with charisma and credibility, come Monday!

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Ditto Manolo.

At the risk of repeating myself I have a great deal of respect for number 2 and think ACT under her leadership would regain something of its earlier classical liberal aspirations. Not that I have anything against Don Brash but Catherine has a lot going for her.

Anonymous said...

That quote on prohibition is gold. Good find.

Anonymous said...

phil goff as the prime minister of NZ. He was the member of the labor party when they were knocking off assets back in the 80's

The only good thing he & Labour ever did.

NZ's problems are very simple: neither Ruth nor Roger was allowed to finish the job!

Anonymous said...

So selling off assets is good for who?From the near past all i can see that it does is increase the cost of living to New Zealanders.