Rickety rickshaw in danger of losing driver


Quote of the day from Claire Trevett:

If polling tracks were Roads of National Significance, then National is in a people-mover on the Waikato Expressway, occasionally zooming up and down gentle inclines but confronting little that has yet forced it to alter its speed.

Labour, meanwhile, is clinging to a battered rickshaw rattling along pothole-ridden, precipitous back roads hoping like hell to hit a flat stretch. Alongside are the outriders of the Greens and NZ First, trying to pop the rickshaw’s tyres so they can purloin its passengers for themselves. . .

Not only is Labour’s rickshaw rickety, its at risk of losing its driver and it’s doubtful if the party has the resources required to make it more road-worthy.

If it lost a wheel, it couldn’t hope for any help from potential allies because most loss of poll traction for Labour is likely to result in gains for them.

Only one poll counts


It’s a political truism that only one poll counts.

It’s another that the trend is a friend.

That last point might be true for National but it’s definitely not for Labour as the gap between the two parties continues to widen.

Last night’s ONE News Colmar Brunton poll has more poll woe for Labour and Goff:

National 56% steady; Labour 29% down 1%; Green Party 9% up 3%; NZ First 2% steady;  Act 1% down 1% ; Maori Party 1% steady; Mana Party 1% steady.

Assuming Act, Maori Party and United Future held electorate seats the make up of parliament would be: National 69; Labour 36; Green Party 11; Maori Party 4; Act 2; United Future NZ 1; Mana Party 1.

John Key has gone up 6 to 59% as preferred Prime Minister; Phil Goff is steady on 8%.

The 3 News Reid Research political poll has National with more than twice the support than Labour is attracting:

National up 3.5 to 57.4%; Labour down 2.2 to 26.6%; Green party up .5 to 9.8%; NZ First down .3 to 1.9%; Act down .6% to 1.6%, Maori Party down .7 to .8%; Mana steady on .7% and United Future steady on nothing.

Key attracts 54.5% support as preferred Prime Minister in contrast to just 6.2% support for Goff.

Polling was done before the news of ratings downgrades broke.

Opportunity for renewal missed


Labour has released its full list of candidates for November’s election.

It includes several candidates who have been selected for unwinnable seats very recently and highlights the stupidity of doing its list ranking in April.

When you’re in opposition it is prudent to be prepared if the election date is unknown. But John Key announced in early February that we’d be going to the polls on November 26 which made it safe to rank the list much later.

They not only ranked the list too early they did it badly, missing the opportunity for significant renewal. That’s left them  with far too many of the tired old candidates who are associated with Labour’s failures of the noughties.

They could have learned from National’s mistakes after the 1999 election when too few of the dead wood fell on their swords. Failure to do that leaves them plummeting towards a similar forced clean out to that which National suffered in 2002 and little hope for a significant injection of fresh talent.

Glenn donating $100m if we keep National-led govt


Owen Glenn has pledged to donate $100 million to youth and education in New Zealand if we still have a National-led government after the election.

Mr Glenn says the money would be invested from primary school through to tertiary education, and beyond to help New Zealand market its products and services overseas.

The story in the link doesn’t stipulate the condition but it is clear  in the video (from 19:44 )Duncan Garner Sean Plunket who was interviewing Glenn asked him directly if the donation was dependent on National and Act winning the next election and Gleen said that was correct.

Overt better than covert


Why all the fuss about parties openly doing deals over electorate candidates?

Patrick Gower calls them dirty electorate deals done dirt cheap; and the Herald follows up one editorial saying parties do deals at their peril with another saying  it’s politics but not as many want it.

One of MMP’s virtues is supposed to be that it encourages parties to work together to get concensus. If that’s good in parliament, why not in elections?

There’s nothing new about accommodations between potential allies and it’s better to have overt deals than covert ones.

There is a risk. National voters put Peter Dunne into parliament which allowed him to be part of the Labour government for nine years.

But if there’s going to be deals it’s better that they’re in the open. That way voters know parties’ intentions and can take them into consideration, or not, when they vote.

If people don’t like the way parties are playing the game they have an opportunity to change the rules by voting against MMP in the referendum on the electoral system on election day.

Stating the obvious


Shock horror, one of the WikiLeaks revelations is:

Former National Party leader Don Brash was “not unhappy” about losing the 2005 election because it meant he didn’t have to work with NZ First.

“Winston Peters really is a nutter,” he is quoted as saying by a United States Embassy staff member in a November 2005 diplomatic cable. The comments come in an intelligence briefing to Washington after Peters’ first big trip as foreign minister.

If there was a silver lining to National not winning the 2005 election it was not having to work with Peters.

Brash said yesterday: “I don’t recall saying that but it doesn’t really surprise me. I certainly don’t have a very high regard for Mr Peters.”

That could be the understatement of the year.

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