Tagged: Labour

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...

11 “game-changers” which weren’t for the 2014 New Zealand election

1. Advance voting Gareth Hughes at The Daily Blog, 2 September 2014 I believe advance voting will be a game-changer this Election. Young Kiwis in particular are notorious for voting in low numbers but this Election it doesn’t matter what the weather is like on September 20, how big the lines are, or if there’s something else on – everyone can vote from tomorrow or any day over the next seventeen days. Elections always take place on a Saturday to minimise disruption to the working week. But for young Kiwis, many of whom work part-time jobs on a Saturday (or...

Cunliffe and Robertson

Three reasons why David Cunliffe’s apology for being a man might have been a smart move

This post was originally published at Liberation. The majority view seems to be that David Cunliffe’s apology on Friday for ‘being a man’ was a mistake. But a contrary view could be that the apology was a very deliberate and calculated risk. Here are three reasons why Cunliffe’s apology might have been a smart move.  1. Voters are talking about Cunliffe There’s only one thing worse than being talked about – not being talked about. There are 74 days until the election on 20 September. If Labour and Cunliffe win every one of these days – in terms of media attention and focus...

Rodney Hide Epsom billboard

Can Labour learn from Act’s leadership primary? (part 2)

#56052984 / gettyimages.com This post was originally published at Liberation. In the last post, I looked at the background to the Act Party’s 2004 leadership primary, which saw Rodney Hide win election over three other contenders. In this post, I consider some new information passed from a former Act insider, who wishes to remain anonymous. The comments are a cautionary tale as to what can go wrong with a primary contest. Based on this information and analysis, I ask whether Labour will end up going the same way that Act did following its destructive primary. An Act Party insider writes: I’m bemused by...

Act billboard 2005

Can Labour learn from Act’s leadership primary? (part 1)

#55789878 / gettyimages.com This post was originally published at Liberation. The current New Zealand Labour Party leadership primary contest presents a more democratic way to elect a party leader. Traditionally, the party leader has been seen as a matter for the parliamentary wing, with the much less visible role of party president being elected by the party as a whole. In this blog post – the first of two posts on the subject – I argue that the new primary system, while far from perfect, can only be seen as a long-overdue reform which should strengthen the Labour Party as...

David Shearer and David Cunliffe

Memo to David Shearer: is taking gifts from lobbyists ever a good idea?

#145209321 / gettyimages.com This post was originally published at Liberation. David Shearer has defended taking free hospitality from SkyCity at the Rugby World Cup by saying he didn’t know at the time about the ‘convention centre for pokie machines deal’. If this is really true, then Shearer is, at the very least, guilty of incompetence, as the deal was announced in June 2011 and he is an Auckland MP. The deal was covered by the media at the time in June 2011. The alternative is somewhat worse for Shearer, namely that he was in fact fully aware of the news of the deal in June 2011,...

Coalition agreements

ACT will not be going into formal coalition with National. This is because ACT does not want to risk losing its independence from National and wants to be able to vote against the many aspects of National policy with which it disagrees. Instead, it will gain one or ministers outside Cabinet and negotiate some policy compromises with the National Party. The near-absence of formal coalition agreements from New Zealand politics now seems to have become cemented. The 2005-2008 Progressive Party-Labour coalition may have been the last we will see. But why not have a formal coalition agreement? Germany, on whose...

Update: targeting voters abroad

Many thanks to Stephen who posted some interesting information as a comment to yesterday’s post on the difficulties of targeting New Zealand voters abroad. According to an expat organisation called Kea New Zealand, which is running a campaign called “Every Vote Counts”, only around 28,000 of 500,000 New Zealanders living abroad who are eligible to vote actually do so, which I think is a staggering statistic. As for the motives behind the campaign, according to Kea: Every Vote Counts is strictly non-partisan, and does not advocate that expatriates vote for any particular political party or candidate, nor hold or act...

Populism on the rise again – an opportunity for ACT?

Populism seems to be on the rise again in New Zealand politics. Today we had Helen Clark declaring a virtual war on tagging with draconian, yet ineffective policies to deal with spray-paint vandalism. The chances of this sort of policy, which includes banning the sale of spray-paint to youths under 18, actually working hover slightly above nil. But it’s a popular policy to push to the electorate: 1. Tagging is a bane of the (mostly white) middle class. It gets people riled in a way that banging on about “sustainability” never will. Tagging is emotional, as it gets to the...

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