Election’s won?

November 3, 2008

I’m biased but I’m not over confident about the election outcome. However, others who don’t share my bias are sure that National will win.

The three commentators who followed the TV3 debate said John Key will be our next Prime Minister and Bill Ralston  is saying the same thing:

Helen Clark will go down fighting but go down she will. . .

. . . on Saturday night her government will fall. The public mood is that it is time for change and there is little she can do about that.

. . .  I think the maths is against her. I do not believe NZ First will trigger the 5 per cent MMP barrier and Peters hasn’t got a hope in hell of winning Tauranga. I know everyone always says, “You can’t write Winston off”. Well, this election I do.

That means there will be a sizeable wasted vote, possibly as much as 5 per cent if you include the votes wasted on the Kiwi Party.

At that point John Key and National just have to get half of 95 per cent of the vote and their task is much easier.

. . . When political scientists look back at the 2008 election I think there will be consensus Labour committed a huge blunder in targeting John Key personally. Labour’s hugely negative campaign of denigration is leaving a sour taste in the mouths of many New Zealand voters.

. . . Labour has waged what is essentially an opposition election campaign, accentuating the negative, and it will lead them into opposition.

. . . Its attempts to portray Key as a duplicitous ogre fail when the electorate is increasingly coming to see the National Party leader is not evil incarnate.

If attacking your opposition is better campaign strategy than highlighting record you haven’t got much of a record.

Tonight is the TV3 Leaders debate and Wednesday is the final TVNZ marathon showdown between Clark and Key.

There is no doubt Helen will hit him hard and try to rattle him but, providing he keeps his cool, I doubt if either debate will display John Key as anything other than an affable, intelligent leader more than capable of being a Prime Minister we can actually trust.

At that point Labour’s entire campaign strategy collapses.

And that, my friends, is how Labour lost the 2008 election.

I’m still not that confident, but I am encouraged.

The TV3 debate

November 3, 2008

The first segment of the TV3 debate ended in a shouting match, the second opened with a request for better behaviour from John Campbell and he  got it.

It means that each of the leaders can talk uninterrupted – except by the chair.

I’m too biased to give a fair assessment of John Key’s and Helen Clark’s performances – of course John’s better 🙂

 But if the outcome of the election is influenced to any great degree by this then democracy is in trouble.

 Update: John Campbell asked what’s the difference between Bill English and Michael Cullen.

Point to Key for answering: “Bill’s got charm.”

Point off Clark for saying he didn’t in 2002.

Update # 2: Point to Key for: “If nine years isn’t enough to do that no amount of time is.”

Update # 3: Linda Clark, Jenni McManus and Jon Johansson have all agreed that Key will be our next PM; and Linda said she thinks it will be decisive enough that the Maori Party won’t hold the balance of power.

Why wait until December?

November 3, 2008

John Campbell just asked Helen Clark why we have to wait until December for a mini-budget.

She hasn’t given a reason.

Why should we trust them with a blank cheque?

Greens set lawyers on to Act

November 3, 2008

Act changed an advertisement  based on the Green Party “vote for me video” after the Greens sent a them legal letter.

The ACT ad used the Green Party image of the little girl but has a different voice-over saying: “If you really want to vote for me you’d give me opportunities not regulations, choices not controls, you wouldn’t tell me what lightbulbs to use, or showers or how many children I could have because if you do I probably will go overseas and all there will be is empty space.”

After a legal letter ACT pulled the ad.

Another version of the ad where the child’s face is different is on ACT’s website.

ACT Party president Garry Mallett said the image was changed enough so there was now no copyright breach. Mr Mallett was double checking legal issues before it screened on television.

He said the Greens should be happy ACT were recycling.

Greens co-leader Russel Norman was unimpressed.

There’s an entertaining exchange of views on the advertisement over at John Ansell.

SFF scraps PGW deal

November 3, 2008

Silver Fern Farms has formally put an end to the $220 million deal with PGG Wrightson after PGW defaulted on its agreement to take a 50% stake in SFF.

Although Silver Fern has axed the deal, the cooperative said it had not yet decided what compensation it will seek for Wrightson’s failure to pay the first instalment of $145 million.

It simply said that Silver Fern’s default on October 1 “has left Silver Fern Farms with no alternative but to terminate the agreement relating to the proposal”.

This followed “continuous discussions” and the inability by Wrightson to deliver any level of certainty as to a possible settlement date over an adequate period of time.

“Termination of the agreement was a necessary step to provide certainty to our shareholders and other stakeholders,” said Silver Fern chief executive Keith Cooper.

“We have not determined the amount or form of compensation we will seek to recover,” he said.

“If any alternative arrangement is agreed and implemented, then this issue will be addressed as part of those arrangements.”

SFF has the right to seek compensation but they will be mindful that if they do they may jeopardise their  relationship with PGW and they won’t want to do that if they want PGW stock agents to procure stock for them.

Greens won’t sit with Peters

November 3, 2008

Green party co-leader Russel Norman says his party won’t work with a Labour government if Winston Peters is in cabinet.

“I think that if we get to the position post-election where Winston Peters is being proposed as a minister, or if he gets back in, I think he can’t sit around the cabinet table until we clear this issue up,” he said.

“I think the latest allegations are actually the most serious yet because they are allegations of money for policy.”

At last they’ve found their principles and they’ve left Labour isolated.

The Maori Party and Jim Anderton haven’t gone this far but the former voted in favour of the privileges committee censure of Peters and Anderton abstained from the vote so Helen Clark and Labour are the only ones who are still supporting him unconditionally.

Unless there’s a huge reversal on the trend showing in the polls Labour will need the Greens to form a centre-left government but they’ll almost certainly need New Zealand First as well.

The Greens are also calling for a commission of inquiry into the funding scandals involving NZ First. That would be a very good idea regardless of whether or not the party returns to parliament.

Rugby bigs back blue

November 3, 2008

Former All Blacks Michael Jones and Inga Tuigamala are backing John Key and National.

Their reasons for the endorsement are based on their spiritual values, and their belief that the National Party could take Pacific people in a forward direction, the pair said today.

“We don’t want our people just working in factories”, said Tuigamala. “We want them starting to own those factories.”

It’s great to see men who have achieved so much themselves encouraging others to follow their example.

Encouraging people to be ambitious is far better socially and economically than the soft bigotry of low expectations that Labour’s redistributive socialism fosters.

Inquiring Mind  calls this a most interesting development.

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