Progressives won’t factor in next parliament


The report on the latest political poll says, as most do assumes that the Progressive Party will hold a seat in the next parliament.

Unless Jim Anderton loses his bid to be mayor of Christchurch and then reneges on his promise to resign from parliament at the end of this parliamentary term, there won’t be a Progressive Party after the next election.

It hasn’t been a real party for years, it’s just a one man vanity vehicle and when he goes it will go too.

Political corpse stirs


The vital signs  have been hard to distinguish for months, but the corpse of the Progressive Party has stirred again.

It’s re-registered as a political party even though its leader told members to join the Labour Party.

Is there any reason for doing so apart from allowing Jim Anderton to get the extra funding as a party leader while he campaigns to be Chrsitchurch mayor?

That it’s managed to come up with the 500 members required for registration is evidence the bar is set far too low.

If the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association has 39,700 members, surely it’s not expecting too much to require a group which might end up in parliament to have at least a couple of thousand members?

More gets less


What does this say about the standard and appeal of the candidates?

 Jim Anderton’s Progressive Party has found that the more active candidates that it fields in elections, the lower its party vote is.

From Liberation where a series of posts on Key to Victory: the 2008 Election Campaign, edited by Stephen Levine and Nigel Roberts continues with a look at the Progressives campaign.

Given the party exists only in name to provide the would-be mayor of Christchurch with a party leader’s budget, this could be considered an obituary.

Another reason 500 members too few for party


The Veteran at No Minister has performed a community service by requesting that the Auditor General investigate payments made to  Jim Anderton as leader of the Progressive Party which is a party in name only.

This supports my contention that 500 members is too low a threshold for a group to enlist before they can register as a political party.

MMP lets wee parties into parliament where they cost us a lot of money and potentially into government where they can wield considerable power as well.

If they can’t get at least a couple of thousand people to agree with their principles and philosophy and pay a sub they’re not parties they’re lobby groups.

If the few remaining members are told to sign up to another party which leaves the group with just a leader, they’re not parties, they’re one-man vanity vehicles.

NZ election results


The National Party’s Waitaki Electorate is partying in Oamaru.

National’s Jacqui Dean is the only candidate who was seeking both ticks but we’ll wait for some of the indicator booths to be counted before we get too excited.


Update #1: 11.1% of votes counted:

National Party 133,847 48.79 44 19 63
Labour Party 86,035 31.36 18 22 40
Green Party 16,919 6.17 0 8 8
Mäori Party 5,832 2.13 5 0 5
ACT New Zealand 9,347 3.41 1 3 4
Jim Anderton’s Progressive 2,304 0.84 1 0 1
United Future 2,204 0.80 1 0 1
New Zealand First Party 12,373 4.51 0 0 0

That 4.51% for New Zealand First is too close to 5% for comfort.

Update # 2 With 32.9% counted:

National Party 269,633 47.81 42 19 61
Labour Party 180,069 31.93 20 21 41
Green Party 36,083 6.40 0 8 8
ACT New Zealand 20,148 3.57 1 4 5
Mäori Party 12,025 2.13 5 0 5
Jim Anderton’s Progressive 5,031 0.89 1 0 1
United Future 4,763 0.84 1 0 1
New Zealand First Party 24,035 4.26 0 0 0

Update # 3: First cheer of the night – TV1 just said NZ First won’t be in parliament.

Update # 4: Jacqui Dean is the new MP for Waitaki, Labour’s candidate David Parker conceded the seat – at 9.30.

Update # 4 : With 90.9% counted:

National Party 859,959 45.58 41 18 59
Labour Party 634,083 33.61 21 22 43
Green Party 121,982 6.47 0 8 8
ACT New Zealand 69,911 3.71 1 4 5
Mäori Party 42,221 2.24 5 0 5
Jim Anderton’s Progressive 17,665 0.94 1 0 1
United Future 16,804 0.89 1 0 1
New Zealand First Party 80,114 4.25 0 0 0

Update # 5: with 96.9% of polling places counted:

National Party 921,446 45.51 41 18 59
Labour Party 681,707 33.67 21 22 43
Green Party 130,995 6.47 0 8 8
ACT New Zealand 75,148 3.71 1 4 5
Mäori Party 45,465 2.25 5 0 5
Jim Anderton’s Progressive 19,045 0.94 1 0 1
United Future 18,116 0.89 1 0 1

Update # 6: From RadioNZ

Results: Party Vote

    National 45.5%
    Labour 33.7%
    Green 6.5%
    NZ First 4.2%
    ACT 3.7%
    Maori 2.2%
    Progressive 0.9%
    United Future 0.9%

(Total votes counted: 97.6%)

Update # 7: with 98.3% counted

National Party 936,315 45.46 41 18 59
Labour Party 695,014 33.74 21 22 43
Green Party 133,108 6.46 0 8 8
ACT New Zealand 76,352 3.71 1 4 5
Mäori Party 46,208 2.24 5 0 5
Jim Anderton’s Progressive 19,303 0.94 1 0 1
United Future 18,389 0.89 1 0 1

Results: Party Vote

    National 45.4%
    Labour 33.8%
    Green 6.5%
    NZ First 4.2%
    ACT 3.7%
    Maori 2.3%
    Progressive 0.9%
    United Future 0.9%

(Total votes counted: 98.6%)

Update #  8: the blue team has won.

Results: Party Vote

    National 45.5%
    Labour 33.8%
    Green 6.4%
    NZ First 4.2%
    ACT 3.7%
    Maori 2.3%
    Progressive 0.9%
    United Future 0.9%

(Total votes counted: 99.7%)

National Party 949,584 45.47 41 18 59
Labour Party 704,909 33.75 21 22 43
Green Party 134,400 6.44 0 8 8
ACT New Zealand 77,699 3.72 1 4 5
Mäori Party 46,721 2.24 5 0 5
Jim Anderton’s Progressive 19,507 0.93 1 0 1
United Future 18,604 0.89 1 0 1
New Zealand First Party 87,929 4.21 0 0 0
Kiwi Party 11,599 0.56 0 0 0
The Bill and Ben Party 10,728 0.51 0 0 0
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party 7,571 0.36 0 0 0
New Zealand Pacific Party 6,944 0.33 0 0 0
Family Party 6,944 0.33 0 0 0
Alliance 1,720 0.08 0 0 0
Democrats for Social Credit 1,112 0.05 0 0 0
Libertarianz 1,024 0.05 0 0 0
Workers Party 824 0.04 0 0 0
RAM – Residents Action Movement 404 0.02 0 0 0
The Republic of New Zealand Party 298 0.01 0 0 0
  70 52 122

Update:  # 9- final result:

Polling Places Counted: 6,304 of 6,304 (100.0%)
Total Votes Counted: 2,103,842
Special Votes: 208,001
Less than 6 votes taken in Polling Places: 1,261
Party Party
National Party 951,145 45.45 41 18 59
Labour Party 706,666 33.77 21 22 43
Green Party 134,622 6.43 0 8 8
ACT New Zealand 77,843 3.72 1 4 5
Mäori Party 46,894 2.24 5 0 5
Jim Anderton’s Progressive 19,536 0.93 1 0 1
United Future 18,629 0.89 1 0 1

MMP muddies polling waters


Colin James says National’s lead in the polls isn’t as decisive as it looks:

Rolling average of 4 most recent polls.

Rolling average of 4 most recent polls.

In a two horse race National is well ahead but if the Maori Party wins more seats than its part vote entitles it too there could be an overhang of three seats.

Jim Anderton and Peter Dunne might add to that by gaining fewer party votes than their seats entitle them to, too.

The party with the most votes usually forms the government under MMP but if 62 seats or more, rather than 61, is needed for a majority that makes it more difficult.

While the gap between National and Labour could tighten the odds are against National falling behind Labour. However, with the overhang it’s possible that National, Act and United Future couldn’t muster the 63 seats needed to get a majority which puts the Maori Party in a position of great power.

And if it goes left rather than right we could end up with a six headed monster with Labour, Greens, Maori Party, NZ First, United and Progressive.

I don’t want to think about what that would do to the country.

Cutting the tax cake


National: for every dollar in tax cuts there is almost a dollar for increased expenditure on priority issues dear to the public’s heart – this is the nearest you’ll get to having your cake and eating it too.


Labour’s policy will take the cake you’ve baked, share it around and, when pressured, give you some of the leftovers.


ACT will provide no cake. They will however, give the tax cuts needed to enable you to purchase a dietary plan of your choice which depending on how well you manage your allowance may or may not include cake.


The Maori Party will hold a hui and invite you to share the cake your bring as koha.


New Zealand First will ask you to pay for cakes that it will sell, give away or eat themselves as its leader sees fit.


The Green Party will legislate so you have to make your own cake from low fat, low sugar, high fibre, home-grown organic ingredients and share it with your neighbours.


The Progressive Party will nationalise all the bakeries then force you to eat badly made state baked cake.


The Libertarianz will ask, “Why do we have to have cake anyway?”


Only 6/8 for multi-party debate in Queenstown


Only six of the eight parties in parliament will be represented at an election debate in Queenstown.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen will represent Labour. Other speakers scheduled are Deputy National Party leader Bill English, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, Progressive leader Jim Anderton, Greens co-leader Russell Norman and Act candidate Roger Douglas.

The wee parties complained they’re not getting a fair go from TV and Peter Dunne was one of the most vocal critics. But United Future isn’t bothering to turn up for this mulit-party opportunity, nor is the Maori Party.

It’s understandable that the leaders can’t be everywhere but surely they have a candidate who wouldn’t disgrace themselves or their parties who could turn up to fly the flag.

Under MMP every vote is supposed to count but this is further evidence that provincial votes don’t count as much as those in the big cities.

ETS passes 2nd reading


The Bill which will introduce the Emissions Trading Scheme passed it’s second reading with 63 votes in support and 56 against.

Labour, the Greens, New Zealand First and the Progressive party voted for it. National, United Future, Act, the Maori Party, Gordon Copeland and Phillip Field opposed it.

The Maori Party  media release on the Bill makes interesting reading:

We remain strong in our belief that, fundamentally, the ETS is still just an Emissions Trading Scheme, when what is required is an Emissions Reduction Programme,” said Co-leader Tariana Turia.

“A 2% reduction in emissions over ten years is simply fiddling while Rome burns. The time for scheming is over. Now is the time for a programme of action,” said Mrs Turia.

“A real Emissions Reduction Programme will require significant changes in our lifestyle, but the alternative, of doing almost nothing, will be a lot worse,” she said.

Doing something is not always better than doing nothing – this something will sabotage the economy for little or no environmental gain

“A sound programme would be comprehensive, covering all industries and all gases. The government’s scheme is on the right track in that respect.

“But a scheme worth supporting would also be fair to all industries and consumers, and transparent, so everyone can see how the costs and credits have been allocated,” she said.

“Pollution is a cost of business that should be identified at source, and that business must be held responsible. Any cost they pass on to consumers will at least encourage environmentally responsible choices. The principle must be that polluters pay, because the purpose of the programme is to cut emissions.

But there’s no point in levying what is effectively a tax on primary production when science has yet to come up with much in the way of effective ways to counter emissions.

“Instead we have deferred liability and masses of free credits going to the biggest industries and the worst polluters for years to come. This negates any incentive for them to make changes. This is not ‘polluter pays’ – it’s ‘pay the polluters’,” said Mrs Turia.

“Credits to assist export-exposed industries to adjust to the new regime should be allocated on the basis of need – not by blanket donations and exemptions to huge corporate lobbyists.

“Those free credits could be invested by the government in speeding up energy savings and moving to renewable sources, in building resilient and sustainable communities, and supporting poor and vulnerable people who will be worst affected by the social and economic upheaval,” said Mrs Turia.

“The government is not willing to fully explain the disastrous consequences of doing so little to save the planet, for fear of a voter backlash. We have to know the truth, so we can make the tough decisions that are needed right now.

Of course there would be a voter backlash if it was understood that the ETS will impose such huge costs for little or no gain.

“We are told the Green Party and NZ First have signed up to it. I predict that the concessions won by them will seem like a mere thirty pieces of silver, once the full impacts of climate change start to be felt,” she said.

“We maintain our original position – that we need a radical rethink of the whole approach. This scheme represents a failure of leadership.

The need to make drastic changes to curb greenhouse gas emissions is what defines this moment in our history. We have no time to lose. The common interest must prevail in the pursuit of environmental justice, and social and cultural wellbeing,” said Mrs Turia.

Regardless of the science, the politics requires action. Good leadership would have achieved cross party consensus which balanced costs and benefits. But bulldozing through this legislation will do economic and social harm with little or no environmental good to show for it.

Hat tip: The Hive

How do we know who’s who?


When I checked the Act Party website yesterday I noticed that there were only three photos. Dave Mann made this comment on my Wednesday’s post about the list which summed up my thoughts:

How totally unprofessional of these clowns to publish a candidate list with missing photos. Can’t these people at least get it together to do a simple set of mug shots on their own web site, FFS?

It also prompted me to wonder if the other parties do a better job so I had a look at websites for the parties in parliament and this is what I found for them:

Act: Names and photos of numbers one to three on the list, names (and electorates for those standing in seats) of the other candidates. No other information on the people or how they can be contacted and no information about the candidate standing in Botany who isn’t on the list.

Green Party: The candidates from number 1 to 30 on the list have photos, a statement and link through to other information. There is then a page and a half of other candidates (all of whom are number 31 on the list which seems to be a ludicrous extention of the philosophy which gives them co-leaders) and a statement. Some have links to other information.

Labour: This site is funded by us which might explain why it lists MPS but doesn’t mention candidates at all.

Maori Party:  I couldn’t even find a list of MPs and if there is any mention of candidates I didn’t find it.

New Zealand First: The MPs are listed but there’s no mention of candidates.

National Party:  All electorate and list candidates are listed with links through to photos and information about each of them (except the list only candidates at numbers 68 to 74 who were added to the list on Saturday).

Progressive Party: This site has a (small) list of spokespeople but no mention of candidates.

United Future: There is a list of 22 candidates with electorates and links through to photos and additional information.

National and United Future have the best presentation of candidates with photos and personal information – although the latter has only 22 people seeking election.

The Greens get a pass because although they don’t have photos and information for all their candidates they do for all those likely to enter parliament.

The other parties don’t appear to know that there’s an election in the next three months, or if they do they’re not interested in letting voters know about their candidates via their websites.

Another thought, apropos of Parliamentary Services funding the Labour website. What does it say about the second biggest party in the country, and the one currently leading the government if it doesn’t have the money to fund its own website?

Perhaps they’re spending too much on wages for their bloggers.

Only three parties haven’t breached EFA


Which parties have breached the Electoral Finance Act  and which have not?

National, Act and the Maori Party – all of which opposed the changes to electoral law last year – are now the only parties which have not yet been ruled in breach of it, although Act MP Heather Roy was cautioned over a newsletter she produces.

Labour which drafted this anti-demcoratic legislation and the Progressive Party, NZ First and the Green Party which supported it have all breached it.

Does that mean they don’t understand their own law, or they don’t care if they break it?

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