Blog rules on election day

The Electoral Commission has a blanket ban on influencing voters on election day:

On election day (from midnight on 19 September until 7pm on 20 September) there is a general prohibition of the publication of any statement that is likely to influence which candidate or party a person should, or should not, vote for. 

See Gagging social media on election day

The major political blogs are taking this seriously.

Kiwiblog:

It’s election day

September 20th, 2014 at 12:01 am by David Farrar

It’s now election day so no discussion of NZ politics until 7 pm please. This especially includes preferred outcomes, how people should vote or how you voted.

And if you haven’t already voted, make sure you get out there and vote.

The Standard:

Have a happy and legal election day

Written By: Date published: 8:05 pm, September 19th, 2014

At 12pm tonight, the comments section on this site will (largely) stop accepting comments. The reason for this is that the electoral law and the electoral commission are quite clear. On  election day you may not urge others to vote or not vote a particular way.

This means that we won’t accept comments on this site as a simple way to ensure that no-one may use this site to violate the law or to get this site into trouble. Besides you all should be out working for parties to turn the vote out.

The Daily Blog:

The Daily Blog will be closed for Election day as this should be a day of celebration, not ongoing debate. Harsh words and anger have separated and divided us as a country for the last month of campaigning, let us put aside our bitter arguments and rejoice that we are blessed to live in a country where the transfer of power can occur without violence, without intimidation, without the gun. Few places on earth are so lucky.

Whoever has the privilege of leading our country  has a great responsibility to seriously tackle the many complex issues we face, not as individuals, but as a whanau.

Kia kaha Aoteara. Vote now.

Whale Oil:

Participating (commenting) on Whaleoil today – EXTRA RULES
by Pete on September 20, 2014 at 5:00am

Even though any breach of the Electoral Act on Whaleoil today will probably be met with a caution at worst, we would like to run a decent show.  None of our articles will breach the rules.  But people that comment are also required to change what they would normally do to fall within the requirements of the Act.

Failure to adhere to the rules set out here today (until the polls close at 7 pm) will result in having your commenting access permanently withdrawn.  Even if you did it out of ignorance.

Summary

Whaleoil is under constant scrutiny by those that want to trip us up or want to cause financial, legal or reputational harm.  Anyone who places Whaleoil in a position to be complained about will lose their access.  In simple terms, avoid talking about politics!   Whaleoil will be quite different on election day as we will also need to run articles that fall within the guidelines.

It will be extremely difficult not to trip up if you want to talk about New Zealand politics.  Simply do not comment on any political issue directly or obliquely, until 7 pm.   If you can’t restrain yourself, you’re in a lottery where you may ‘win’ a permanent ban.

Whaleoil will help you by posting articles that have nothing to do with New Zealand politics.

 

Final note:  I fully expect the usual trolls to sign up and leave offending comments in an attempt to get Whaleoil in trouble.  If you see such comments, simply flag them.  Do nothing else.  Do NOT respond.  (Do not feed the trolls).

 

Thanks.

Public Address is by far the least active on this, with a minor paragraph at the end of a post Time to Vote.

I’d appreciate if the discussion for this post was not rancorous – and, of course, please don’t upset the Electoral Commission tomorrow by appearing to persuade any other reader to vote in a particular way. But apart from that, rock on everyone. See you at the polls.

Coalition possibilities many and varied

The polls show that the election is up for grabs with a number of coalition possibilities, depending on the final vote of course.

Tracey Watkins summarises the state of play at Stuff and details Possible coalition line-ups after election.

National’s options:

❏ National in coalition with NZ First.

Key’s preference would be to have Winston Peters on one side of him and allies including ACT, UnitedFuture and the Maori Party on the other to give himself options to move to either the Left or Right. But Peters is jealous of his rivals and might make it a condition that the others be kept out in the cold. Key has made it clear the deputy prime ministership would be on the table, but Peters’ previous record as foreign affairs minister would make that an obvious job. Senior Nats have also mused about the Speakership but Peters has so far rubbished that. National would have to make some concessions on foreign investment but could probably live with modest tinkering. Peters has also put tackling exports, immigration, poverty and unemployment on his shopping list. A key sticking point might be tax cuts – National has promised them in its third term, Peters say they are unaffordable.

❏ National in coalition with Colin Craig’s Conservatives.

National’s preference would be a deal in which the Conservatives offer confidence and supply but don’t receive any ministerial portfolios. Craig has previously suggested this would be his preference as well, but a rush of blood to the head once the corridors of power are opened to him could see the Conservative Party leader attempt to drive a harder bargain. If forced to rely on Craig Key’s preference would be to keep his distance – meaning he might try to strike a deal with Peters as well. Craig has made binding referendums a bottom line of his support but has left the door open for a way around that by allowing for a financial veto.

❏ National and the Greens.

The Greens and Key have all but ruled this out  – but after a mad election campaign anything is possible. If the Greens were able to wring significant concessions and pivotal portfolios out of National would they cross the line? Unlikely, maybe even impossible – but never say never.

In 2011 National got 47.31% of the vote and were able to make a majority with two seats from ACT and UnitedFuture. A repeat is a possibility  but it would be a little surprising if National equalled or surpassed their record high of last election.

Labour’s options.

❏ Labour and the Greens.

On current polling Labour is too weak to make this option viable. If it got across the line the Greens would want significant concessions and key portfolios including finance. Cunliffe has ruled that out but would have to concede economic development or similar. New Zealand might also see its first co-deputy prime ministership.

Labour and the Greens are promising sweeping reforms on everything from taxes, to the way the Reserve Bank operates, regulating the housing markets, a massive programme to build affordable houses and more interventionist policies to encourage the growth of a smart, green economy. A capital gains tax to rein in the housing market, raising the pension age and universal KiwiSaver all signal a big shift away from the status quo.

❏ Labour, the Greens and NZ First.

The last time Labour was in government with NZ First the Greens were locked out of any power sharing deal at Peters’ insistence. They are much too strong to allow that to happen this time round and Peters’ rhetoric around the Greens has mellowed in recent times in recognition of that reality. On policy, this grouping seems reasonably compatible – they are in sync on issues including foreign investment and monetary policy, but Peters would refuse to deal unless Labour scrapped its plan to raise the age of eligibility for superannuation.

❏ Labour, the Greens, NZ First and Internet-Mana.

If Hone Harawira holds his Te Tai Tokerau seat Labour may not have the numbers to govern without the Internet-Mana Party to get it over the line. Cunliffe has stressed that he has no intention of doing a coalition deal with IMP but is banking on having the minor party’s votes all the same. He is banking that it will have nowhere else to go since it is unlikely Harawira would ever back a National government.

Voter’s options: many and varied – if you haven’t voted you can help make something happen.

Final poll results – table

All five pollsters have released their final week results, with results narrowing.

Election 2014 final poll results

Notes:

  • Polls ask “If an election was held today who would you vote for?”, they don’t try to predict election day voting.
  • It is common for movements in support late in campaigns due to tactical voting and undecideds deciding.
  • If ACT and United Future win electorates they may add more to seats than their share of vote.
  • If the Maori Party hold all three seats they will get more than their vote share. If they hold two seats they will be about proportional to their party vote according to the poll average.
  • If Conservatives don’t make the 5% threshold the other parties will increase their % share of seats.
  • If Hone Harawira loses Te Tai Tokerau Internet-Mana will not get any seats and their party vote will be ‘wasted’.
  • In 2011 National got 47.31% and with ACT and United Future seats were just able to make a majority.

Most of this polling will have occurred before Monday night’s “The Moment of Truth” meeting. NZ Herald recorded before and after results:

With 60 per cent of the poll done by Monday night, when the event happened, National was polling at 47.8 per cent, down on last week, said DigiPoll general manager Nandan Modak. From Tuesday it jumped to 49.1 per cent.

But I asked Andrew from Colmar brunton if he’d seen any change and he responded:

Was looking the whole time, even during.

Impossible to tell if any impact, with any degree of certainly.

I saw no increase for National compared to first two days, but it’s not that simple, as party support differs by day normally.

- @Unimatrix_0

Colmar Brunton explain ‘margin of error”:

The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level. This is the sampling error for a result around 50%. Results higher and lower than 50% have a smaller sampling error. For example, results around 10% and 5% have sampling errors of approximately ±1.9% points and ±1.4% points respectively, at the 95% confidence level.

See full final results – Final pre-election poll results

See also Coalition possibilities many and varied

Greenwald speech (2) – surveillance versus interference in a country’s election

The second part of Glenn Greenwald’s speech at Kim Dotcom’s “The Moment of Truth” event on Monday night was on the alleged planning of mass surveillance.

The second really extraordinary thing, and this is genuinely really stunning to me, was on the very first day that I began doing interviews about the reporting that we were here to do, the Prime Minister, in the words of the New Zealand Herald, for the very first time admitted that his Government had in fact planned a programme of mass surveillance aimed at New Zealanders.

That appears to be an inaccurate representation of what Key said.

NZ Herald on Saturday in He’s Dotcom’s little henchman: PM attacks journalist’s spy claims

Greenwald said that New Zealand’s spying agencies had been conducting mass surveillance on New Zealanders as part of the Five Eyes arrangement between the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Key said that was wrong. “There is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB and there never has been. Mr Dotcom’s little henchman will be proven to be incorrect because he is incorrect.”

He believed Greenwald was jumping to conclusions based on partial information.

NZ Herald on Sunday in Spying claims force PM to release classified documents

Prime Minister John Key will declassify highly sensitive documents to prove the GCSB pulled the plug on plans to spy on New Zealanders.

Last night Key said he suspected that former Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald’s mass surveillance claims were “part of a conversation” of a surveillance plan that was never formulated.

“I am prepared to declassify documents and release proof in the coming days,” said Key.

“There is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB [Government Communications Security Bureau] and there never has been.

“Mr Dotcom’s little henchman will be proven to be incorrect because he is incorrect.”

Key told 3 News the mass surveillance plan was in response to cyber attacks targeting New Zealand businesses in 2011.

3 News on Saturday in Key hits back at Greenwald’s claims of mass surveillance

The Prime Minister has admitted for the first time that New Zealand spies did look into a form of mass surveillance on Kiwis, but never actually went through with it.

Mr Key has admitted for the first time that yes, New Zealand spies did look into what he calls a “mass protection” option that he concedes could have been seen as “mass surveillance” or “wholesale spying”, but that, and this is the important bit, he says it never actually went ahead.

Mr Key has revealed that after two major cyber-attacks on New Zealand companies, in late 2011 and early 2012, the GCSB stared to look at options with the help of partner agencies like the NSA.

But Mr Key says this idea never got past the business case stage because he deemed it too invasive.

Key said the Government investigated an option of a programme of mass surveillance rather than what Greenwald claims – “his Government had in fact planned a programme of mass surveillance”.

Back to Greenwald’s speech.

He admitted that for the very first time on Saturday after my arrival when he started to have suspicions about what it was I was going to expose.

I’m sure Key considered what Greenwald might try to expose and would have prepared responses long before Greenwald arrived here.

And the reason that’s so stunning to me is if you think about what has happened in this country over the last eighteen months there has been a very serious and sustained debate over surveillance policy, probably as much as if not more than just about any other country on the planet.

It began with the revelations that the Government had illegally spied upon the communications of a legal resident of New Zealand, Kim Dotcom, as well as several dozen other at least citizens and legal residents.

It then was followed by a very intense debate, one media outlet here called it one of the most polarised debates in decades, over a new Internet law that the Key Government insisted on enacting that would vest the Government with greater powers and this all took place within the context of the Snowden revelations, and the global debate about electronic surveillance and Internet freedom and individual privacy that those disclosures provoked.

Key claims he pulled the plug on the GCSB investigating mass surveillance months before the Snowden revelations and the global debate.

The law that was passed was claimed to clarify and tighten up loose legislation to prevent repeats of misinterpretation and potential illegal spying, and it increased oversight of New Zealand’s spy agencies. It’s highly debatable whether it gives the Government greater powers so Greenwald is taking one side of the argument.

And so as this country was immersed in this very serious and sustained debate about surveillance, a debate in which the Prime Minister himself actively participated.

He concealed from the citizenry all of that time the fact that by his very own admission, which is actually inaccurate, but even he admits that he concealed the fact that his own Government over many months was developing a programme of mass surveillance aimed at the citizens of this country.

Greenwald is fudging timing here. The “many months” were up to a year before the debate. 3 News reported:

But Mr Key says this idea never got past the business case stage because he deemed it too invasive.

This was before the Snowden leaks, and Mr Key says the fact he said no is why he has been able to be so resolute that there was no mass spying on Kiwis.

Key says it was an investigation that stopped well before the Snowden leaks and the debate in New Zealand. They weren’t happening concurrently as Greenwald implies.

Greenwald:

What possible justification is there for having concealed that for well over a year, until my arrival compelled him to finally admit it because he knew it was going to get exposed anyway?

I find that genuinely stunning.

It could be justified because by the time of the debate it was one option (presumably the GCSB investigates other options that it never implements) that had been ruled out by the Government.

During the debate Key kept claiming there was no mass surveillance and there would be no mass surveillance. If he said “we thought about it but decided against it” it would have made little or no difference to the outcome of the legislation. If anything it would have further inflamed the debate by raising an issue that was no longer in the frame.

Key presumably chose to talk about it now because he believed Greenwald would make claims about mass surveillance that needed to be addressed and countered.

Did Greenwald think he could come to New Zealand and make claims and accusations during the last week of an election campaign without them being challenged?

Fran O’Sullivan in Key wins – now let’s focus on real issues:

Key has been roundly attacked for declassifying documents to prove his point that the GCSB has not been involved in widespread surveillance of New Zealanders.

Bizarrely, it is somehow seen as perfectly all right for Dotcom and his associates to use stolen National Security Agency files to try to prove the Prime Minister a liar on how his Government has administered national security, but not for Key to declassify New Zealand’s own files to prove he isn’t a liar.

This is utter madness.

Key saw Dotcom coming and released the Cabinet document which backed his statements before the Internet Party visionary’s Moment of Truth fiasco.

He had lined up former NSA analyst Edward Snowden, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and self-styled adversarial journalist Glenn Greenwald to undermine Key’s credibility and use their combined influence to swing voters against National five days before the election.

But Dotcom’s associates failed to produce any clear evidence to show Key had lied when he said the GCSB had not indulged in mass surveillance of New Zealanders.

Nothing concrete was produced to prove New Zealanders have been illegally spied on.

Not only has nothing concrete been produced to back his claims, for a journalist Greenwald seems to have been making misleading assertions, possibly either deliberately or negligently misrepresenting what has happened.

Greenwald is openly anti-surveillance. He accepted an invitation to speak at a meeting organised by a political party that wants to take down the ruling Government. He has voluntarily participated in the democratic process of a country he has no connection with.

Greenwald seems to see a change of Government in New Zealand as a way of reducing surveillance in New Zealand so he is backing a party and a campaign that wants to achieve that.

What’s a bigger issue to Kiwis, surveillance or interference in a country’s democratic process?

Final pre-election poll results

All five polls have been published in the final week of the election campaign.

Stuff/IPSOS
No polling period given, poll date 17 September

  • National 47.7% (-5.1)
  • Labour 26.1% (+3.7))
  • Greens 12.0% (-1.0)
  • New Zealand First 6.6% (+2.2)
  • Conservative Party 4.5% (+0.9)
  • Maori Party 1.0% (+0.7)
  • Internet-Mana Party 0.9% (-0.5)
  • Act NZ 0.3% (-0.4)
  • United Future 0 (no change)

Poll results and poll report: Tight race ahead for Key and Cunliffe

Our poll provides a maximum sampling error of +/-3.1%-point, at the 95% confidence level. This means we can be 95% confident that the survey results are within 3.1% of the result had we surveyed the entire population of the NZ population, when the analysis is based on all respondents surveyed.

One News/Colmar Brunton
13-17 September

  • National 45.1% (-1)
  • Labour 25.2% no change)
  • Greens 12.5% (-2)
  • New Zealand First 8.1% (+1)
  • Conservative Party 4.4% (+0.4)
  • Maori Party 1.6% (+0.8)
  • Internet-Mana Party 1.8% (+0.4)
  • Act NZ 0.6%
  • United Future 0

Summary and Detailed Report (PDF)

The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level. This is the sampling error for a result around 50%. Results higher and lower than 50% have a smaller sampling error. For example, results around 10% and 5% have sampling errors of approximately ±1.9% points and ±1.4% points respectively, at the 95% confidence level.

NZ Herald/Digipoll
11-17 September

  • National 48.2% (-0.4)
  • Labour 25.9% (+1.3)
  • Green 11.1% (-0.4)
  • NZ First 8.4% (+0.3)
  • Conservatives 3.3% (-0.5)
  • Internet-Mana 1.0% (-1.3)
  • Maori 1.1% (+0.4)
  • ACT 0.5% (+0.2)
  • UnitedFuture O.2% (+0.2)

Pre-poll report: DigiPoll: Conservatives fail to make 5 per cent threshold – again

Poll report: Moment of Truth gifts Team Key a late bounce in polls

The poll of 775 eligible voters was conducted between September 11 – 17 The Party Vote is of decided voters only. Undecided voters were 5.6 per cent. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 per cent.

“The Moment of truth” split:

The Kim Dotcom-inspired event in Auckland’s Town Hall that was supposed to end John Key’s career gave the National Party an immediate bounce in support this week, according to polling for the last Herald DigiPoll survey.

With 60 per cent of the poll done by Monday night, when the event happened, National was polling at 47.8 per cent, down on last week, said DigiPoll general manager Nandan Modak. From Tuesday it jumped to 49.1 per cent.

3 News/Reid Research
September 9-15

  • National 44.5% (-2.2)
  • Labour 25.6% (-0.5)
  • Greens 14.4% (+1.4)
  • New Zealand First 7.1% (+1.2)
  • Conservative Party 4.9% (+0.2)
  • Maori Party 1.1% (-0.2)
  • Internet-Mana Party 2.0% (0.3)
  • Act NZ 0.1% (-0.2)
  • United Future 0.1%

Report: Poll: Winston holds balance of power
(it’s far to close to call specific outcomes with Conservatives on 4.9% which is teetering either way)

Poll of 1000 voters was taken between September 9 and 15 with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent. 

Result table: http://www.reidresearch.co.nz/TV3+POLL+RESULTS.html

Roy Morgan:
September 1-14

  • National 46.5% (+1.5)
  • Labour 24.0% (-2.0)
  • Greens 13.5% (-2.5)
  • New Zealand First 8.0% (+2.0)
  • Conservative Party 3.5% (no change)
  • Maori Party 1.5% (+ 1.0)
  • Internet-Mana Party 1.0% (no change)
  • Act NZ 0.5% (-0.5)
  • United Future 0.5% (+0.5)
  • Independent/ Others 1.0% (no change)

Roy Morgan rounds to the nearest 0.5%

Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?” This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile telephone, with a NZ wide cross-section of 935 electors from September 1-14, 2014. Of all electors surveyed 5% (up 1.5%) didn’t name a party.

Greenwald’s speech (1) – bickering about bickering

The opening four minutes of Glenn Greenwald’s speech at “The Moment of Truth” was little more than playing politics with John Key – bickering about bickering.

Thank you very much. Thank you so much. Thanks to everybody for coming tonight and thank you so much as well to the Internet Party for organising such an impressive event and inviting me to speak.

Greenwald was introduced by MC and leader of the Internet Party, Laila Harre. Sitting on his left on the panel is organiser of the event and founder and funder of the Internet Party. Greenwald later claims it isn’t political.

I am extremely excited to be here and by be here I mean both this event and New Zealand generally.

I’ve only been here for a very short period of time, ninety six hours, but it has been very eventful.

There has been a lot that has happened in that short period of time but there are three episodes that I have found particularly extraordinary since I’ve been here that I want to highlight because I think it has some important meaning for what we’re here to talk about and for the upcoming election.

He thinks what he is saying is important “for the upcoming election”.

The first really extraordinary event is that you know is not all that common to arrive in a country, and within less than twenty four hours literally find oneself being publicly maligned and attacked by the nation’s head of state using the most adolescent epithets imaginable.

Minor misunderstanding – Queen Elizabeth is New Zealand’s head of state, represented in New Zealand by the Governor General.

It is an extraordinary event, in New Zealand at least, for a foreign journalist to make a very public anti-Government appearance at the behest of a political party founder and funder with an open aim of bringing down the current Prime Minister Government.

Has Greenwald done anything like this before? Did he expect no reaction or opposition being so political in a country he has little or no connection with in the last week of an election? or is he playing politics as much as the Prime Minister.

You know Saturday was my first full day here in New Zealand and I was welcomed by being called literally on no less than a dozen occasions a henchman, um, by the nation’s Prime Minister, and today earlier this morning he descended even a little bit further into the muck crowning me a loser, something that I don’t think I’ve been called since I was like fourteen years old so it brought back a lot of really good memories.

And the really amazing thing about it is I’ve done reporting over the last year and couple of months on the NSA and then on global surveillance as a result of the documents I was provided by my source, Edward Snowden, and the New Zealand Government certainly is not the first Government that has disliked the reporting that we’ve done.

And they are not even the first Government that has tried to distract attention away from the substance of the disclosures by trying to attack the journalist personally in order to discredit the journalism.

Greenwald seems to have trouble differentiating his journalism from his political activism.

But what is unique about New Zealand is that in every other country where that was done it wasn’t the Head of State that actually spouted those insults, um they get underlings or representatives or minions to do it because generally Heads of State are very concerned about appearing dignified and statesmanlike.

Spouting insults like ‘underlings’ and ‘minions’, and opening his speech with this counter attack on John Key was a distraction from the substance of his disclosures. Greenwald’s initial approach was playing politics and playing the man – during an election campaign – just like Key.

But I don’t know I guess in some warped way New Zealander’s should consider themselves blessed to be led by a person who has completely unburdened himself with those concerns, I mean he has no interest at all in dignity or statesmanlike behaviour whatsoever, and….

Greenwald has unburdened himself, seeming to have no interest so far in dignity or journalist-like behaviour.

Dotcom, seated right beside Greenwald, keeps reminding of his own undignified presence with frequent and distracting loud laughter.

You know I never thought that I would actually hear myself saying what I have said multiple times in interviews over the last four days which is, it’s a very weird thing to hear one saying, which is I’m not going to lower myself to the Prime Minister’s level by getting into the mud with him and name calling.

And I’ve tried really hard to adhere to that over the past four days and I’m going to try hard although I might not completely succeed but I will try hard to adhere to that tonight as well because there are a lot of really important substantive issues that we shouldn’t allow to be overwhelmed or distracted by what he’s hoping to be this kind of bickering match.

He has already failed. Up to now, in the first four minutes almost exactly of his speech, Greenwald has said nothing substantive, instead being distracted and lowering himself into the political bickering mud.

Video: “The Moment of Truth”  – approximately 28:30 to 32:30

Dotcom was introduced as one of the ‘Truth’ speakers

There’s been a lot of puzzlement about when and why Kim Dotcom decided not to present what he had been promising for years, and what he had insisted the town hall meeting was about for months.

Just over an hour before it started Dotcom was promoting himself in the line-up.

 ·  5.38 PM – Sep 15 

Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and I will see you at the Auckland Townhall tonight.

At the start of the meeting Dotcom was included in the list of those introduced to speak.

His party leader Laila Harre opened the evening with a short speech and then she outlined who would be speaking, at just over 27:00 on the Youtube video:

Now it is our turn again.

Tonight we will hear from Glenn Greenwald, Bob Amsterdam, Kim Dotcom, Julian Assange, and perhaps another very special visitor.

Whanau, I would like you to join me in welcoming again out guests and our panel.

Moment of Truth lineup

Dotcom was clearly presented as a part of the panel.

Either Dotcom (and Harre) already knew he wouldn’t be presenting his promised case, or he stood down or was pulled during the course of the speeches that followed.

When was ‘The Moment of Withdrawal’?

Peters torpedos left wing options

Winston Peters appeared to promote a Labour+NZ First coalition option yesterday but it looks more like a torpedo to the left, especially aimed at the Greens, perhaps to try and pick up votes from the debris.

The main question is whether Peters was trying to be noticed on a day that Kim Dotcom was sucking up most of the media attention, or if he was trying to slip a positioning statement in under cover of the big news of the day.

Peters put out a media release yesterday afternoon - Alternatives In Election 2014 which praised both Labour’s David Parker and National’s Bill English.

When David Parker was attacked by a former business partner, alleging a breach of the law by the Hon David Parker, I was the first MP to back David Parker because, over an extensive period of time, I believed that he was a man of honour and integrity.

Similarly, I have observed the Hon Bill English’s conduct regarding the allegations in “Dirty Politics” and his reserve in the defence of the Hon Judith Collins’s conduct.

In addition on the question of tax cuts by National, Mr English’s aversion to claiming that they were possible is further evidence for me, that like Mr Parker, he has a certain integrity and honour.

Consequently, I see both of them as capable of being Ministers of Finance.

By stating he would work with either Labour or National Peters appears to keep his coalition options open. But he also slams the Greens.

In this campaign the Green Party has twice, for reasons best known to them, in essence led an assault on the Labour Party.

“Of late the Greens have been talking about being co-deputy prime ministers and wanting the finance portfolio.

“Does that mean when the Prime Minister is abroad we are going to have two acting prime ministers instead.

“This situation would be farcical.

“If the Greens think they are going to take over the levers of economic management they are assuming other parties are not watching their record.

“This statement in no way challenges the Labour Party’s belief that in the right circumstances they could form an alternative government.

“Voters need to be disabused of the view promoted by the Greens that we in New Zealand First would stand by whilst they promote extremist policies in government.

“This is not indicating a choice but the media seem to have overlooked one option entirely, a Labour-New Zealand First combination in Coalition or Confidence and supply.

“This emerged in 2005, has precedent, and it was a stable, successful government that delivered the greatest surpluses in recent years.”

Things were considerably different in 2005 when Peters shut the Greens out of Government.

Labour got 41.1% (to National’s 39.1), NZ First got 5.72% and the Greens 5.3%. Labour and NZ First combined with United Future (2.67%) giving a total of 49.42%.

Current polling has Labour in the mid twenties and NZ First 4-8%. Even if a miracle happens and Labour recovered to 30%, and NZ First climbed to 10%, that gets only 40%, well short of a majority. Greens (polling 10-15%) would be essential to get over the line.

Labour+NZ First is likely to be closer to 35% and could go as low as 30%.

“A Labour-New Zealand First combination in Coalition or Confidence and supply” looks an unattainable option. Peters must know this.

If Peters rules out combining with the Greens as he appears to have done here then he has only two choices – a coalition with National (possibly alongside Conservatives if they make the threshold, giving National alternatives) or going on the cross benches.

Peters must see potential votes from Green bashing. He has u-turned on his word before but he has consistently avoided working in Government alongside the Greens.

This looks like a torpedo to the left, conceding a left wing coalition is extremely unlikely.

D-Day versus Key-Day

Tonight Kim Dotcom will have his big time in his own spotlight, an event he calls “The Moment of Truth”. He is trying to place himself on the same pedestal as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden – they have one thing in common, they are all being sought by countries for extradition and prosecution, but beyond that Dotcom is an odd associate.

John Key has created a climate of doubt that it will be the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so media will not just be broadcasting the supposed revelations unchallenged, they will be looking for Key’s response. That was a smart play by Key who has had months to prepare for this.

Dotcom may have sidelined himself by bringing Glenn Grenwald to New Zealand to headline his show with supposed revelations that our GCSB has been undertaking mass surveillance on us.

Greenwald is usually labeled a journalist – and his Pulitzer prize is often mentioned – but he is also a side taking political activist. In his own words in a recent interview for Metro:

I’ve been very clear that I’m not neutral on the question of mass surveillance. It’s dangerous and I oppose it. I’m supportive of political parties around the world that have made it an important part of their platform to work against it, whether it be the Green Party in Europe or the Green Party here, or the Internet Party, or the Techno Pirate party in Sweden.

He has deliberately chosen to reveal what he claims during our election for “maximum impact”.

I think it’s entirely legitimate for a journalist to think about how to maximise public awareness of the reporting that you’re doing. And I knew that by physically travelling here, at this time, when the citizenry is most engaged politically, that would present an excellent opportunity to bring as much attention as possible to these matters.

That sounds more like political activism, and interference in a country’s democratic process.

Key has upped the ante prior to the show, putting his political credibility and probably his political future on the line. Andrea Vance reports at Stuff:

Greenwald says the Government hasn’t been truthful about the GCSB legislation, which passed into law in August 2013.

Key insists Greenwald is “absolutely wrong”.

“He said the GCSB is undertaking mass surveillance against New Zealanders. They are not. There is no ambiguity, no middle ground. I’m right, he’s wrong.”

He says he has documents, including a Cabinet paper, to back his claims. But he won’t release them until Greenwald reveals what he has. And he accused the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist of playing politics, by staging a “sound and light show” with Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom, just days before the election.

Greenwald will join Dotcom at a “Moment of Truth” event tonight in Auckland, where he is set to detail his claims about the GCSB.

Key claims the Snowden documents tell only half the story – that Cabinet signed off proposals for the GCSB to investigate “widespread cyber protection” in early 2012 after two “significant” cyber attacks on Kiwi companies.

But he says that after a year he stopped the work as an internal review unearthed a raft of problems at the agency.

Despite Key’s counter attack Greenwald remains staunch that what he doesn’t know won’t affect the impact of his accusations. He is backing is part of ‘the truth’ being enough truth.

Despite no other world leaders disputing Greenwald’s previous disclosures about other countries in the Five Eyes alliance, Key said: “He’s absolutely wrong . . . he’s releasing hacked information which is presenting a picture which is completely incomplete . . . what I can say to New Zealanders is do not believe them.”

Key looks to be well prepared. It’s not known yet how well prepared Greenwald is to have his allegations strongly challenged. He may have come here thinking New Zealand would be an easy hit after his efforts with the USA, UK, Canada and Australia.

We will have to see what Greenwald produces tonight, and then what Key counters with. Waiting for Key’s response will diffuse the impact of the show tonight.

Dotcom is also going to try and prove Key wrong, but his cases have been overshadowed by his big-noting with international anti-surveillance activists. Whether Key knew Dotcom before he has claimed, just prior to the Dotcom raid, seems relatively trivial.

Dotcom also wants to prove he was granted residency in New Zealand to make it easier for the US to extradite him supposedly at the request of Hollywood.

John Armstrong says that Dotcom’s credibility is also on the line in Dotcom’s last chance to shine.

It is delivery time for Kim Dotcom. No ifs, no buts, no maybes. He must deliver the irrefutable evidence that he has repeatedly promised to show that the Prime Minister has not told the truth.

Dotcom’s “moment of truth” must be a moment of proof. He must prove that the Prime Minister has not been straight with the public, firstly regarding exactly when he became aware of the Megaupload mogul and, secondly, that the intelligence agencies for which John Key has ministerial responsibility have conducted mass surveillance.

There can be no room for doubt. There can be no reliance on the circumstantial. There can be no shifting of goalposts by saying the fuss is all really about New Zealand spying on other countries.

If tonight exposes Dotcom as nothing more than a big-noting charlatan who has attempted to hijack the electoral system, then the public backlash could be withering.

Dishing the dirt on Key in the last week of the campaign may have seemed a clever move when the idea was first mooted within internet-Mana. It may yet be the the final humiliation for the parties of the left in an election campaign that has been turning into a disaster for them.

Key will also be prepared for this.

In founding and financing a political party Dotcom has a stated aim of bringing down Key and the National Government. This already looks like having backfired, with National looking reasonably strong and the Internet-Mana Party failing to attract substantial support.

It’s possible Dotcom will land a big hit on Key tonight, but it could as easily benefit Key and National more than it hurts them, especially if Dotcom’s fireworks are a fizzer.

This campaign circus will make it very difficult for an already failing Labour and other parties to get any worthwhile attention in the final days leading up to the election.

Some on the left are hoping Dotcom will rescue a desperate situation for them. They are betting the election on Greenwald’s cards and have already shown they are prepared to take Glenn’s gospel as the whole truth and the only truth. They are already convinced Key is a liar so will disregard anything he says as usual.

The election that has been taken over by international political activists and a German trying desperately to stay in New Zealand to avoid prosecution in the US.

But voters across the spectrum get to make the final judgement on Saturday. The final polls over the next couple of days may be less able than usual to predict what might happen, they will not reflect what comes out of tonight’s “moment of truth” and the ensuing counter truths and arguments.

Dotcom’s big day has arrived. Key looks confident and well prepared.

We will never get the full truth from either side, but the country will judge Dotcom and Greenwald (most Kiwis won’t have heard of him) versus one of New Zealand’s most popular Prime Ministers ever.

Today is D-Day. Saturday is Key-Day, one way or another.

Glenn Greenwald in New Zealand

Media interviews with Glenn Greenwald on his New Zealand visit to speak at a public meeting arranged by Kim Dotcom plus related coverage.

The Nation: Interview Glenn Greenwald

United States journalist Glenn Greenwald says there are serious questions about whether the New Zealand Government was truthful about the GCSB law change.

“What I can tell you is that the statement that the GCSB made to New Zealand citizens last year — ‘We do not engage in mass surveillance of New Zealanders’ — is one that is not truthful.”

The Government engages in “extraordinary amounts of analysis of metadata – meaning who’s talking to whom for how long, where they are when they speak – on a massive, indiscriminate scale, not just internationally but of New Zealanders as well”.

He says New Zealand is an active member of the Five Eyes Alliance and spends an extraordinary amount of resources on electronic surveillance.

“…Every single thing that the NSA does that we have been reporting on over the last year and a couple of months involves New Zealand directly.”

The GCSB spies on a variety of countries, both hostile and allies. New Zealand spy agencies also have access to the XKeyscore spyware and contributes to it.

In his first television interview in New Zealand, he talks to Lisa Owen about the Edward Snowden leaks and how New Zealand agencies are involved in spying here and abroad.

Mr Greenwald is in New Zealand for Kim Dotcom’s “moment of truth” announcement on Monday night.

Lisa Owen Interviews National Party Leader John Key

We’ve only got a little bit of time left, so I just want to ask you one more time. Glenn Greenwald, the investigative journalist, is going to be on this show shortly. What do you think he’s got on New Zealand, and should you be worried?

Don’t know, but Kim Dotcom might not like surveillance agencies or intelligence agencies. Fair enough. He’s got his own reasons, and he can look himself in the mirror and ask himself why. But for other New Zealanders, there is a risk in New Zealand. It’s much smaller than other countries, but there is a risk. And as prime minister, I have to take the responsibility to do everything I can to protect New Zealanders.

NZ Herald: He’s Dotcom’s little henchman: PM attacks journalist’s spy claims

Greenwald, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, said that New Zealand’s spying agencies had been conducting mass surveillance on New Zealanders as part of the Five Eyes arrangement between the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Key said that was wrong. “There is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB and there never has been. Mr Dotcom’s little henchman will be proven to be incorrect because he is incorrect.”

He believed Greenwald was jumping to conclusions based on partial information. Greenwald has worked with Edward Snowden over material Mr Snowden obtained relating to the activities of spy agencies worldwide.

NZ Q&A Video: The GCSB engages in mass surveillance – Glenn Greenwald (0:46)

Pulitzer prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald says the GCSB engages in mass surveillance

NZ Q&A: Key “rejected mass surveillance plan”

John Key: GCSB looked into a mass surveillance plan but he rejected it

National Party leader John Key told TV1’s Q+A programme that the GCSB looked into a plan for mass surveillance after two companies were subjected to a major cyber-attack – but he rejected it.

“ What ended up actually happening though was in about September of 2012 obviously there was the shake-up of GCSB, I brought in Rebecca Kitteridge, I started saying to the agency look, firstly your law needs to change, secondly your institution needs to strengthen, and thirdly I’m a little uncomfortable with where you’re sorting to go. I think you’re actually arguing this far too broadly. Even though a lot of New Zealanders might like it, because it’s really a Norton anti-virus at a very high level.”

Mr Key said he would produce proof that New Zealanders are not subject to mass surveillance, as claimed by Journalist Glenn Greenwald.

“ This is the point around the politics of all this. He’s had these documents for well over a year or so, so he’s miraculously turning up 5 days before, 6 days before an election to try and bamboozle people, and try and make all of these claims which don’t stack up. But he’s only seen one bit you see, he’s hacked in, he’s seen all of this information, he said aha gotcha, and of course what he doesn’t realise is none of that ever happened. So I’ll be able to produce the document that says here’s rescinding the asking of the business case, here’s the document that actually shows what’s taken place.

Q&A Video: Government considered mass surveillance but ruled it out – John Key (9:51)

Metro: Steve Braunias’ Campaign Diary: Day 9

DAY NINE: IN WHICH GLENN GREENWALD RECEIVES VISITORS AT THE SAD AND DEPRESSING DOTCOM MANSION – AND THE “LITTLE HENCHMAN” CALLS THE PRIME MINISTER A DIRTY LIAR
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 237 other followers