Tagged: John Key

Forget the spaghetti pizzas – it’s substance voters are looking for

Get ready for more spaghetti pizzas, selfies and walkabouts on university campuses. It’s that time again when politicians pull out all the stops to do what they think will make young people vote for them. How bad can it get? At the 2014 election, Kim Dotcom spent some $4m largely targeting the youth vote. Symbolic of this attempt was a series of dance party events called the “Party Party” – the most memorable outcome of which was Dotcom leading a “f**k John Key” chant. Internet Mana later used the chant in an online campaign video. But the party ended in...

Cunliffe and Robertson

New Zealand’s increasingly dangerous level of political vitriol

A long thin country, marked by its diversity of landscapes. A small population, outflanked by bigger and more powerful neighbours. An increasingly multicultural society with a significant indigenous group. It could be New Zealand. But it’s Sweden. Like New Zealand, Sweden long had a tradition of personal, retail politics in which politicians rub shoulders with voters as apparent equals. That’s what one expects in a small country. But there is one big difference between Sweden and New Zealand. Sweden has suffered not one, but two political assassinations. The first, in 1986, was the murder of then Prime Minister Olof Palme. The...

Top tweets on the TVNZ leaders’ debate between John Key and David Cunliffe

Below are some of the top tweets on tonight’s TVNZ leaders’ debate between John Key and David Cunliffe. In roughly reverse chronological order. (To be updated) Good point from Gordon Campbell: “hard to imagine David Shearer carrying Labour’s banner in that debate last night” http://t.co/Dxg9wpGxfp — Mr Howell (@jeffieh) August 29, 2014 Green Party companion leaders’ debate: The Greens take an inclusive approach to being excluded. So when we wer… http://t.co/yBKKdiE2m3 — Frog Blog (@frog_blog) August 29, 2014 During last night’s Leaders debate I was struck by the fact that Key accepted all of Cunliffe’s basic assumptions. http://t.co/PCuwzeJkw8 — Jamie Whyte...

Conference 2009: coverage guide

Not attending ACT’s conference myself, I’ve spent the last couple of days digesting the reportage on it, which has actually been very good. For an excellent background to the conference, I suggest listening to last Friday’s Focus on Politics programme from Radio New Zealand, which examined the state of ACT. ACT MPs Rodney Hide, Roger Douglas and David Garrett were interviewed for the programme, along with University of Otago Politics lecturer Dr. Bryce Edwards. All of the participants on the programme shared some interesting insights. Hide explained that his low profile since the election was driven by a desire to...

Conference 2009: preview

ACT’s Annual Conference takes place next weekend. I won’t be attending this year, so would appreciate reports from anyone who is. ACT has always held its conference early in the year and in post-election years this gives it a good opportunity to report back to members on the election outcome. In 2009, I imagine the mood will be very much self-congratulatory, perhaps even surpassing the 1997 “Victory Conference” after ACT made it into Parliament for the first time. There is good cause for this: not only were the 5 MPs ACT gained at the 2008 election at the top end...

Ultimus inter pares – part I

Minister of Local Government Minister of Regulatory Reform Associate Minister of Commerce + Minister of Consumer Affairs Associate Minister of Defence Associate Minister of Education + Reviews, committees, discussions, aims, aspirations, considerations, concepts, Commissions, working groups, taskforces, briefings – Roger Douglas = A great deal for the National Party. Over the past week ACT has been successfully cornered by a cunning John Key. Overtly, Key has told New Zealand that the reason he wanted to draw in the Maori Party and United Future – even though their participation is technically unnecessary – is to build an “inclusive” government. But the...

The new world

In just four days we gained a US President-elect and an NZ Prime Minister-elect. If Phil Goff succeeds Helen Clark as Labour leader as expected, for the first time since 1993 both of New Zealand’s main parties will be headed by men. And Sir Roger Douglas is back in Parliament. Welcome to the new world. First, let me offer congratulations to ACT for an impressive comeback. And congratulations to the 10 people who correctly predicted in this site’s poll about a month ago that the party would gain a result in the 3-4% band. While ACT’s number of MPs not...

The difference a year makes…

Some highlights from the transcript of my interview with Rodney Hide, August 2007: “I mean my view of Roger Douglas is, he’s a great guy, but he’s always bagged his own team, he’s done that his entire life in politics, and so he’s continued, he bagged ACT and me and Richard from the time we got to Parliament, so there’s nothing new in that.” “So we’ve got to make ourselves relevant and new and also position ourselves better in an MMP environment, as compared with a tactical appendage to National” “I think we have changed ACT totally, no longer a...

Strategic voting and ACT

It’s the final week of a fairly lacklustre election campaign by all parties concerned. But if ACT does manage to gain an extra MP or two, it may well be due to “strategic voting” taking place. I take strategic voting to mean voting for a party for a reason other than, or in healthy addition to, agreement with its policy. I’ve previously argued that ACT should give up trying to convince voters to become neo-liberals and gain supporters for pure tactical reasons. Earlier in the campaign, we saw ACT reintroduce the tired, but sometimes profitable tough-on-crime stance. Perhaps precisely because...

Attack – and be attacked

Recently ACT has launched some scathing attacks on both Labour and National, in the hope of tarring both with the same brush and showing ACT out to be the only option for something different. To take just one example, from last week: It’s clear to us that the problem for New Zealand is economic as well as financial. It’s also clear that the political response from John Key and Michael Cullen has been both woeful and irresponsible. Their policy promises will make tough times worse. ACT can keep chipping away on these attacks, but its capacity to be heard is...

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