Voting in the asset sale referendum closes this Saturday. So far about 1.2 million votes have been returned.
There has been a major imbalance in promotion, all No and no Yes. One side wants to make something big out of it, the other side wants to bury it.
The result is widely expected to strongly favour the No vote. This is partly because opinion generally leans that way.
And the Green and Labour parties are very actively campaigning for a No vote. They are treating it like a mini election, with hoardings, advertising, direct promotion from MPs and extensive social media campaigning. This is backed by left leaning blogs.
In contrast virtually no one is promoting the Yes vote. It is seen as futile.
Knowing they will ‘win’ easily the No promoters are trying to make a victory out the number of votes they can get. They are targeting a vote in excess of the number of votes National got in the last election – 1,058,636.
If they achieve this they will claim that National didn’t have a mandate to part sell the assets. But it will be too late, most of the sales programme is complete.
And everyone knows the referendum will be ignored by the Government. Timed leading into Christmas and the holidays National no doubt hope the referendum will quickly be forgotten. Greens and Labour will try to extend their campaign into election year and the expected Genesis float will give them something to campaign around, but by the time next year’s election campaign kicks off asset sales are likey to be just history.
Unless Labour campaigns with the Green proposal to buy back assets. Would that be an election winner? Or flogging a dead horse?
Posted by Pete George on December 11, 2013
Labour candidate Poto Williams was always expected to win the Christchurch East by-election, and many claims have been made about what the numbers and the win means.
On a turnout of about half the general election in a contest who’s result seemed inevitable the numbers game is mostly meaningless without knowing details about who didn’t vote and why they opted out.
Regardless it was a clear and very good win for Labour.
This will have given them confidence they can continue the success through to the election in about a year’s time. However there are no guarantees that this win will have much if any effect on the general election where party voting is given the most attention.
Labour leader David Cunliffe is talking up a groundswell of change, that may be nothing more than trying to make the most of a positive outcome in trying to talk up greater things.The Labour feelings of euphoria and sensed change may be little more than the energising that a successfull campaign generates.
Christchurch has it’s own very serious issues that the rest of New Zealand have little or no appreciation of – but a seat or two in Christchurch may make a difference in a close national contest.
Labour and Cunliffe still have a lot to do to convince voters they could make a decent government – alongside a significant Green influence plus a probable need to pander to Winston Peters.
One by-election does not a government make.
But it’s a success for Labour that will give them more hope, it will secure Cunliffe’s position, and is a good way to finish off a very mixed year.
Next year’s election is 50/50 – it’s both National’s to lose and Labour’s to win.
Posted by Pete George on December 2, 2013
Colin Craig says he will work with any parties on common policies.
One of Craig’s biggest policies is to have binding referenda. And he wants to roll back the ‘anti-smacking’ law.
Craig also opposes the asset sales. It would follow that should the upcoming referendum vote against asset sales then Craig would support the Greens in rolling back the asset sales. And rolling back the convention centre?
We could end up with a Conservative-Labour-Green government, especially if the CCCP get’s in at the expense of NZ First – if they can work out their clash on the smacking law.
Craig will at least promote binding referenda so we can have Government by party political agenda petitions and referenda.
Posted by Pete George on November 13, 2013
The partial asset sale programme shows that political game playing and sound business decisions don’t go well together. Have we ever seen such a costly (to the country) opposition campaign before?Labour and Greens have deliberately tried to score points at great cost to the country (us).
And I always thought National was unwise to put so many political eggs in one business sector basket, one of the most important rules of investment is diversity, so small investors would be unwise to put too much into power generation.
Another angle – while the sale prices and subsequent market performance have been disappointing when all the Green energy initiatives kick in next term the Government may have been wise to flick off ownership in big old energy companies.
Posted by Pete George on October 25, 2013
Today’s Roy Morgan Poll shows a potential Labour/ Greens Alliance (49.5%, up 1%) with a clear election winning lead over National.
- National Party (41.5%, down 0.5%).
- Maori Party 1.5% (up 0.5%)
- ACT NZ 0.5% (unchanged)
- United Future 0% (down 0.5%).
- Labour Party is 37% (unchanged)
- Greens has risen to 12.5% (up 1%)
- New Zealand First 5% (up 0.5%)
- Mana Party 0.5% (unchanged)
- Conservative Party of NZ 0.5% (down 1.5%)
- Others 1% (up 0.5%)
Posted by Pete George on October 17, 2013
After eighteen months of organising a petition and gathering signatures it has been confirmed that we will have a referendum on asset sales.
This has been driven by political parties with political agendas, not by citizens. The legislation has already become law, the first asset has been part sold and another is likely to happen before the referendum.
NZ Herald reports.
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the referendum should take place as soon as possible, and the partial sale of power companies should be suspended until the vote was held.
Labour’s state-owned enterprises spokesman Clayton Cosgrove said Mr Key should respect the democratic process, and the asset sales programme – including the Meridian float – should be halted until after the referendum
Greens and Labour have been calling for a suspension of sales for some time.
If legislation was put on hold pending a petition and potential referendum then so-called Citizen Initiated Referenda would become common political party obstruction to the government of the day.
If Greens were in Government and proposed legislation to give Working For Families tax credits to beneficiaries and an opposing petition was started would they wait for the outcome of that and a possible referendum?
Would Labour wait for a petition and referendum before introducing a Capital Gains Tax?
Would Labour-Greens wait for opposition delaying tactics to run out of options before implementing their NZ Power scheme?
They are abusing so-called citizen democracy to re-litigate what their failed election support and their failure to stop it in the normal parliamentary process.
They have used parliamentary funds to promote a political agenda. And the referendum will cost millions of dollars – so they can continue their political agenda.
Politicking is all they can achieve, because we know from past experience that Citizen Initiated Referenda are ignored by Parliament, including by Labour and Greens when it suits them.
The whole petition and referendum system has become severely flawed.
Posted by Pete George on September 3, 2013
Posted by Pete George on August 8, 2013
National is soaring and Labour is slumping.
National Party to 51% (up 4% since July 1-14, 2013)
Maori Party 1.5% (down 0.5%)
ACT NZ 1% (up 0.5%)
United Future 0% (unchanged).
Labour is 29% (down 2%)
Greens are 10% (down 1.5%)
New Zealand First 4% (down 0.5%)
Mana Party 1% (down 0.5%)
Conservative Party of NZ 1.5% (unchanged)
Others 1% (up 0.5%)
Not much one needs to say about that really.
Posted by Pete George on July 31, 2013
The panel may or may not know the answer to this one, but I see there’s leading members of the opposition here.
Does anyone know, that when the opposition becomes the Government in 2014, whether they will repeal this bill?
The camera panned to David Shearer standing at the back of the hall alongside David Parker. There were calls of ‘Dave’, and Shearer started to look around inquiringly, then uncomfortably. Parker points to Shearer, presumably indicating that’s where the mic should be brought.
There was a bit of crowd banter. Then the shot switches back to the front where David Cunliffe stands with a microphone.
Sometimes you have issues where you feel your ancestors fluttering around the ceiling, and the Labour party has a proud tradition of taking on evil and iniquitous legislation, whether it’s apartheid, or nuclear weapons, or other things of that nature.
Our leader has committed to a thorough review of this legislation.
And based upon what we have heard tonight, I personally and I’m sure my caucus colleagues, would be of the view that this legislation must not, will not and cannot stand.
Cunliffe sat back down in his front row seat.
Seated beside Cunliffe was the Green security and intelligence spokesperson Stephan Browning, who then took the microphone to reaffirm Green party opposition to the bill.
The question starts about 01.14.40 on this Video on Demand.
Cunliffe would not have known Shearer had come in late and was standing at the back – unless Labour MPs communicate amongst themselves.
It would be interesting to know who asked the question. It could have been a pre-planned question and answer, as often happens at political meetings.
UPDATE: A claim at The Standard…
David Shearer corrects Cunliffe, (and others). Angrilly shouting out, “We will be having a review.”
Posted by Pete George on July 26, 2013
Shane Jones has starkly differentiated Labour from the Greens on oil and gas exploration. He has been reported as saying “Offshore oil and gas drilling was an essential feature of domestic and export growth” and “it would get full government support”.
The Labour regional development spokesman has been visiting Taranaki with Andrew Little, talking to people in the oil and gas industry as Stuff reports in Labour duo keen to talk jobs and growth.
“I am keen to defang these misapprehensions that are abounding that somehow industry has disappeared from our purview.
“Nothing could be further from the truth and if my visit provides the opportunity to reinforce the centrality of jobs, the importance of industry and the need for a future Labour-led government to assuage whatever anxieties might be there in the minds of employers or future investors then I am up for the task,” he said.
Offshore oil and gas drilling was an essential feature of domestic and export growth, Mr Jones said, and businesses and enterprises enabling it would get full government support.
Odd expressions aside, this signals a strong separation between Labour and the Greens on oil and gas. The Greens even used yesterday’s Cook Strait earthquakes as an excuse to express opposition to offshore drilling.
It’s difficult to see how a Labour-Green (and possibly Mana and/or NZ First) government could fully support offshore drilling.
Greens have consistently and strongly opposed off-shore drilling and onshore fracking, two major components of proposed exploration and recovery of oil and gas. Green energy policy includes:
The Green Party supports:
- Making all new deep sea drilling within territorial waters, the EEZ and the continental shelf for fossil fuels a prohibited activity (with deep sea defined as below 200 metres).
- Placing a 10 year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas within territorial New Zealand, the EEZ and the continental shelf.
The Greens frequently deliver that message strongly – and more, they are actively involved in initiatives to block drilling and fracking.
Jones from Stuff:
“Sustainability is as much about sustaining the livelihood of people as it is about guarding the ecological habitat of the Hochstetter’s frog. As long as I am in politics as a Maori politician I am going to be unambiguous in standing up for jobs and people,” he said.
It was “mischievous” to talk about Labour’s policy as designed to suit the Green Party and though he occasionally found common cause with New Zealand First it was only with the aid of a telescope that he might do the same with the Greens.
As stated by Jones Labour’s aims are diametrically opposed to Green aims and policies. There could be a major clash if a Labour-Green government is to be formed.
And as shown in the next post Jones also seems to be at odds with Labour’s own Energy spokesperson.
Posted by Pete George on July 20, 2013