Little on poor poll

Labour are down 4 to 28% in the latest Colmar Brunton poll, which is the same as Roy Morgan’s March poll – see One News/Colmar Brunton April 2016.

This has to be a major concern for Labour, who are failing to make any traction under Andrew Little’s leadership. Little looks out of his depth, failing to grow into his job of turning Labour around.

This is a concern for politics and Parliament in general in New Zealand. A weak opposition weakens our democracy.

In a Stuff report on the poll…

Labour has taken a body-blow in a new poll, falling back to 28 per cent while National surges to 50 per cent.

There is more bad news, too, for Labour leader Andrew LIttle in the preferred prime minister rankings where he slips into third place on 7 per cent against 10 per cent for NZ First leader Winston Peters.

…Little comments:

Little said the poll was “disappointing”.

“I had a bad couple of weeks a couple of weeks back, which I expect reflects that.”

That included his comments about legislating for trading bank interest rate cuts and limiting immigration by ethnic chefs in favour of locally-trained chefs..

The debates about a UBI was also a likely factor, Little said.

But he believed Labour was addressing the right issues.

The public were angry about the Government’s approach to the Panama Papers, which had seen Key defend the foreign trust tax regime.

But LIttle said that came towards the end of the polling period and it took longer for such issues “to seep into the public’s consciousness more deeply and more broadly”.

But this is a recurring wish in vain for Labour, hoping that the next negative news will damage National’s poll standing and hoping that by default Labour will pick up the shed support – except that Labour continue to fail to impress voters.

NZ Herald has more from Little:

“I think it’s a question of us knuckling down, understanding the need for a clarity of message, and sticking to the things that are important to New Zealanders.”

Response was very muted at The Standard, with no posts and just a few comments that reflected resignation by some and excuse making by others, with Sabine suggesting the polling methods were the problem and Jenny Kirk going further:

Totally agree with you, Sabine.

For a PM who is so embarrassing, who is clearly a sleazebag with women/girls, who has done NOTHING for the ordinary New Zealander, who just loves to play around with the big wealthy VIPs, and who deals in corrupt behaviours, and who has started to get booed in public, there must be something screwed in the way the questions of polls are asked, for his seemingly continuing “popularity”.

Neither consider that there could have been problems with Little and Labour.

Has New Zealand politics ever had such a sustained period of poor opposition? It was 2008 that Labour lost power, and they have failed to impress since then, in fact going backwards in each of the last three elections.

And the biggest worry is there is no sign of any significant improvement.

Little is not impressing, Labour’s caucus lacks strong MPs, their policy and media management has been awful, their social media support has been mostly absent or woeful – are there any positives?

At best Labour seem to be hoping for miracle shifts in their own camp and National stuffing up.

Can Labour do anything about it? They have to try. And try something different because what they have been doing has been a failure.

Little needs to take stock, rethink his approach and Labour’s approach, change some support personnel who are failing in their jobs, and somehow raise his game and drag Labour’s game up with him.

Failing to address their shortcomings will leave Labour looking like they are hanging on for the next 18 months until next year’s election and then trying yet another leader.

But in their current state they will struggle to attract quality candidates, so they will face more of the same – decline.

With the Greens having seemed to reached their ceiling of support and Winston Peters and Ron Mark as the alternative alternative options for voters look grim.

Key and National may hang on as the least worst option, again. While it’s not as bad as in the US our democracy is in a poor state.

Right now there seems little hope for Labour on another poor poll.

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85 Comments

  1. Danyl at Dim-Post also comments on Colmar Brunton Polls

    But if you look at more recent history, their poll results under the centrist leadership of Shearer went as high as 36%. Then he was rolled, Cunliffe took the party to the left, and they wound up in the mid 20s. Then Little came in and seemed more moderate, and the poll results went up. But this year they’ve campaigned on free tertiary education, a UBI, fuck the TPPA etc, with a subsequent decline in support and they’re back in the 20s. It kind of seems like the voters are telling them something here.

    I complained bitterly about Shearer’s centrism at the time, and I’m sympathetic to the forces moving the party to the left. But there don’t seem to be many voters available to them there, and plenty of voters available in ‘the centre’.

    But centre voters are stuck with the status quo unless the alternative makes up it’s mind that it wants to be a major party again and starts to act competently and confidently.

    Reply
  2. And Thomas Beagle comments at Dim-Post:

    Moving left is all very well, but you have to *sell* the policies.

    Is Labour in favour of a UBI? I’m not sure. Have they explained it well? No.

    I still don’t understand Labour’s position (du jour) on the TPPA.

    And free tertiary education seems like a good idea to me but it’s got to be part of something bigger.

    Sanders and Corbyn may be relatively left-wing, but their views seem informed by a clear view of what their respective societies should be like. They’re not scared of some radicalism (i.e. ideas that were mainstream 20-40 years ago) and they give every sign of actually believing in them and being prepared to argue for them. It’s the conviction and sincerity that sells.

    I often have the impression that Labour are slightly embarrassed by their own policies. That they’re trying to triangulate but just aren’t very good at it. No one is going to vote for that.

    When the left has lost confidence in Labour the centre are a lost cause for those wanting change.

    Reply
    • David

       /  11th April 2016

      “They’re not scared of some radicalism (i.e. ideas that were mainstream 20-40 years ago)”

      Just to point out that these ideas left the mainstream when the Soviet Union collapsed and even the most dim-whited could see the truth behind it. Sanders and Cordyn draw much of their support from people too young to have see their ideas in action.

      Reply
  3. Nelly Smickers

     /  11th April 2016

    It’s not Andrew Little’s fault – I blame John Key XD

    Reply
  4. Iceberg

     /  11th April 2016

    “But he believed Labour was addressing the right issues.”

    How does he reconcile that with the 72% who think that they aren’t?

    My bet is that they will chase the Panama thing for the next few weeks in an effort to appeal even more to their dropkick activists, only to discover no none else cared and that it ends up being an own goal.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  11th April 2016

      Yes. Agree. Agree also with Pete and the commentaries so far posted.

      Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  11th April 2016

      Right on queue, Anthony Robins bursts into print at TS with a TL;DR post with 728 links that no doubt lead to the conclusion that Key is Putins love child.

      Reply
  5. David

     /  11th April 2016

    When you say it’s a bad thing that there isnt an effective opposition I kinda agree but it hasn’t made a jot of difference really. The media have been hugely critical in the last two years, which seems to have nailed their credibility too, but because we have MMP the government has to compromise on every single piece of legislation so Labour are pretty much irrelevant and unnecessary.

    Reply
    • It’s common to see people on the left blaming the media for being Government friendly and anti-Opposition.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  11th April 2016

      Criticising the government and John Banks on each and every thing they do or say on principle is just stupid as well. How can you score any effective hits if you’re seen as crying wolf on so many things. The zero hour contracts was a good example of how Oppositions and Government should work.

      Reply
  6. David

     /  11th April 2016

    The other thing with Labour is there doesn’t appear to be a normal everyday working person in their entire caucus. All their top people are former student union, trade union officials, former parliamentary staff or have been in parliament since whenever so the likely hood of being in touch or producing any decent policy and being able to sell it is nil.
    They need another massive electorate defeat and total clean out, I don’t think we have the next labour prime minister in parliament yet.

    Reply
    • Clayton Cosgrove says he was “held senior executive positions in business both in New Zealand and Australia, and so I feel extremely fortunate to have gained so much experience in both the private and public sector”.

      But he’s leaving the Little led ship.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  11th April 2016

      Yes.

      Reply
      • Nelly Smickers

         /  11th April 2016

        And talking of ‘transplanting’ – Wayne said he heard that Cossie was off to New York to join Helen and H2 😛

        Reply
  7. Strong For Life

     /  11th April 2016

    Little is too negative. People do not like constant whingeing and whining and that is all Little does. He also has the charisma of a cucumber and a smile to match.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  11th April 2016

      My pick is charisma of a potato but you’re right. If you don’t have any charisma you might get away with it if you’re at least sharp and a superb communicator but that’s a big fail too.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  11th April 2016

        I look at the team he’s got and I think Jesus. I might be being unfair because it’s a difficult to shine in Opposition as a leader let alone as an Opposition spokesperson, but they just don’t impress. David’s comment above about their background is on the button.

        Reply
  8. Labour is just making up the numbers in Parliament. They are boring, uninspiring and unflinchingly negative on each and every issue. They offer nothing positive to this country in any shape or form. There’s no way out of such a swamp when all policy is formulated in a diehard chamber, when the weight of minority factions are considered before the greater good and when clapping in time with the FJK crowd is your main preoccupation.

    If Labour was your dog, you’d be loading a gun and taking it out to the back of the farm.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  11th April 2016

      That’s cruel but funny.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  11th April 2016

        No, I wouldn’t, I’d be letting the poor thing die peacefully in its own time. Unless it seemed kinder to put it out of its misery, of course.

        Reply
  9. Corky

     /  11th April 2016

    “The public were angry about the Government’s approach to the Panama Papers, which had seen Key defend the foreign trust tax regime.”

    John Key has just announced an independent enquiry into our foreign trust tax laws. I don’t know why? But he has said if things have to change, they will. And so the knee-capping of Labour continues. Whichever way Little moves, the baseball bat is waiting.

    But hope springs eternal. When the first New Zealand entity identified in the Panama Papers is named, the Left will have a field day. It could be a well know person/family- maybe like the Tosh family- lets hope they aren’t Jewish. Whoever it is, the Left will drag them through the mud. And once again the voters will punish them because the Left has refused to learn what isn’t working for them.

    Reply
  10. Patzcuaro

     /  11th April 2016

    I see the current polling questions of “who would you vote for if an election was held today and who is your preferred PM” as being slightly blunt instruments. It is very hard for an opposition leader to get much traction in the preferred PM stakes unless the government is extremely unpopular.

    In the US they poll the following:

    President approval rating – which has risen as the primaries have progressed, no surprise there
    Congress approval rating – which is very low and controlled by the Republicans
    Direction of the country – they are on the wrong track

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/state_of_the_union/

    Perhaps it would be fairer to the opposition leaders if they polled – “Is the leader of a certain party doing a good job?”. And “Is the country going in the right direction?” might give a early warning of a change in the governments fortunes.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  11th April 2016

      That’s a good idea. The other thing I don’t know is who do they poll?

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  11th April 2016

      I prefer the blunt approach. There’s little wriggle room or chances to apply spin.

      For example: Is the country moving in the right direction? I don’t think it is. Nationals approach to superannuation issues is appalling in my view. But I will still vote National, as will many people who share concerns over the same issue.

      While polls do give a general indication of the voters mood, and may influence some voter perceptions, when it comes to the crunch and people want a change it is ” bugger the polls” because change will come regardless of poll indicators. Helen Clark is testament to that.

      Reply
      • Patzcuaro

         /  11th April 2016

        I’m not suggesting either or rather getting more info. It maybe that the opposition leaders are doing a good job but circumstances, ie a good PM or a strong economy mean they have little chance.

        Reply
  11. Alan Wilkinson

     /  11th April 2016

    Our democracy is in a poor state because Parliament reflects the poor level of political and economic understanding in the electorate, which is itself a consequence of many decades of state education run by bureaucrats celebrating socialism.

    The consequence is that kids from private schools run the businesses of the country while kids from state schools aspire to a plum bureaucratic job or a life on the dole. Parliament reflects the same divide.

    Reply
  12. Dougal

     /  11th April 2016

    Labour voting base:

    Unions 15% of the total working population at best 12% of the Labour vote.
    Beneficiaries 10% total working population at best 7% of the Labour vote.
    Students 4% total population at best 1% of the Labour vote.
    Died in the wool supporters outside the above mentioned 5% of the Labour vote.
    Swing Voters from other parties best statistics based guess 5% total voting base.

    The numbers above gathered from MBI and Statistics NZ. This 30% total is quite telling and reveals some interesting data. The 12% union base is just over 30% of the over all vote but dominates the party background and policy. This statistic alone should be cause for reflection for no other reason than a steady decline in membership. A long hard look at the other groups is not a pretty picture either, the remaining are made up of self interest groups, the disaffected and the undecided.

    To me it looks fairly hopeless. They have no strategy for the middle income voting base, which should be their target, no strategy to take votes from the afore mentioned minority parties and no strategy for alignment. Once again McCarten is responsible for this but is mired in and blinkered by the union backstory. A change of leader will only serve to destabilise again. So, as I said, hopeless is to kinder word.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  11th April 2016

      Interesting statistical analysis. If National is successful in reducing the welfare population that would further erode the support base.

      However the non-voting segment is also large and I’m wondering if your numbers account sufficiently for that?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  11th April 2016

        Do you know anywhere I can find an analysis of why people don’t vote?

        Reply
      • Dougal

         /  11th April 2016

        Indeed, I should have labelled the middle income voting base (missing million) as part of the available pool but because there is a level of consistency in voter apathy this number generally remains static. I did mention this block as requiring a strategy and has been previously identified as the “missing million” so begs the question, what is the strategy? Labour know they exist, how do they capture that vote? Perhaps I can shed some light on some aspects of that..Certain sections of the ethnic minorities in New Zealand don’t vote. The extrapolated numbers make this significant. They don’t vote because they are not interested in politics or politicking. They may vote based on single issues such as tax and wage increases. They do not understand the voting process, MMP or what it is they are supposed to be doing at the polling station.

        This may seem like I am the ignorant one and just assume these things are occurring but I speak from first hand experience with my immediate family. To clarify they are of varied backgrounds, South East Asian and Chinese primarily. The Chinese in particular are, broadly speaking, not interested in voting. They would prefer status quo and have little interest in government because in general, unlike home, the government has little interference in their daily lives. Increase Tax and they would likely be more interested in voting but not for Labour. There are many other reasons but the afore mentioned are the most prevalent.

        The remaining S.E.A. voters have great difficulty with understanding the voting systems, language and commentary. These reasons alone create apathy and in the main, these votes are never made unless they have their own representative who can clearly explain the political climate, both advantages and disadvantages at any given election. These people do not yet account completely for the missing million but are certainly a fairly large proportion and are only growing in numbers. We are a full generation away from informed, young to middle aged voters. This is time Labour cannot afford and is the tip of the iceberg. Where are Labour on these issues and what is McCarten’s strategy for this? I expect he and they have nothing!

        Reply
  13. Alan Wilkinson

     /  11th April 2016

    An interesting electoral survey analysis at Kiwiblog:
    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2016/04/2014_election_study_on_party_favourability.html

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  11th April 2016

      That is fascinating. Especially the net favourability table.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  11th April 2016

      I wonder though what the survey response rate would have been for people at the low end of the economic scale. I suspect few would complete and send back the questionnaires.

      Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  11th April 2016

        Probably the same people that can’t be bothered to vote in a general election.

        Reply
        • @ PDB – The same people you wouldn’t bother your society educating to vote or encouraging to vote, right?

          Reply
          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  11th April 2016

            PZ: Can lead a horse to water and all that…………..wonder who all those Asians that didn’t bother to vote would vote for?

            Reply
            • Regardless of who the Asians would vote for PDB, I think you probably benefit somehow from a dehydrated horse, so you don’t want to lead it to water?

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  11th April 2016

              I’m a great believer in the fact that ‘not voting’ is a valid form of expression come general election time.

            • That’s apparently not the reason most non-voters don’t vote though? Another dehydrated horse argument. Using similar logic, I dunno why we bother educating children at all, do you?

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  11th April 2016

              Maybe Labour could implement something like this?

              http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/nazi-germany/nazi-education/

            • Gezza

               /  11th April 2016

              PDB that’s low.

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  11th April 2016

              why is that? Did you actually read it??

            • Gezza

               /  11th April 2016

              @PDB Yes. Did you?

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  11th April 2016

              Fascinating area of how human conditioning can occur……

            • I’ll go for “low” as well PDB, inverse Godwin style. It often strikes me as funny – fucken hilarious actually – that under neoliberalism the Right-Centre-Right, despite having successfully captured the governance of every aspect of life with economic ideology, still believe some Far-Left Socialist faction (nay, National Socialist) still completely controls education?

              Gotta have a bogey man, eh?

              Perhaps it does though? Perhaps you just don’t recognise who the ‘National’ component of it is?

              Horse …. drink ….?

            • Gezza

               /  11th April 2016

              I can’t believe you could use that as an illustration. But ok if that’s acceptable on this blog I have to get used it.

            • @ Gezza – PDB must be making a veiled allusion to “blood purity”?

              Meantime, this horse is getting fu#ken thirsty …

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  11th April 2016

              “I can’t believe you could use that as an illustration. But ok if that’s acceptable on this blog I have to get used it”

              I think you are too easily offended – a so-called ‘civilised’ country like Germany running such a terrible, but effective schooling system to brainwash the following generation. As I said a fascinating subject.

              Maybe Labour can do a ‘lite’ version, getting those non-voters out in force in future with a schooling system promoting negative politics and waving of flags with pictures of Big Norm Kirk on them?

            • Gezza

               /  11th April 2016

              Would you get up at a press conference and say
              “Maybe Labour could implement something like this?”
              and then read that out?

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  11th April 2016

              To be honest Gezza – with Labour nowadays nothing would surprise me…..

            • Gezza

               /  11th April 2016

              @ PDB I read your comments and I think about them. I could get the point you are making without your going that far.

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  11th April 2016

              We can learn by the past but not live in the past.

        • Gezza

           /  11th April 2016

          Maybe. But it’s an assumption. I couldn’t see anything on the survey size or the return rate and the link to NZSSDS wasn’t working.

          Reply
  14. Pete Kane

     /  11th April 2016

    Well Nick Legget’s decision to run for Mayor of Wellington won’t have done much for Little’s mood. Serious division in the Capital’s Labour ranks I would be guessing.

    Reply
  15. Kevin

     /  11th April 2016

    Yes, it’s not the Left’s fault – it’s dodgy polling and voters too stupid to understand the Left’s message.

    Reply
  16. @ PG – “Has New Zealand politics ever had such a sustained period of poor opposition?”

    No, I don’t think it has. Why? Well, here’s a strange thought – Perhaps, under the prevailing ‘orthodoxy’, an opposition isn’t really required any more?

    Certainly not minor peripheral adjustments-style opposition and absolutely not in contravention of their own stated policies. For instance, Labour would actually ‘look’ better just going along with TPPA. It’s counter-productive opposing it now. It’s too late. I think this lesser need for old-fashioned opposition is a medium-term outcome of neoliberalism and perhaps to a lesser extent MMP? The latter is potentially a healthy sign. Not so the former.

    Another way of putting this is, if the GFC didn’t do it I don’t know what will? Except that it has made a difference elsewhere. We were cushioned by dairy. Real opposition has to be aimed at the core, the central ideology; monetarism and fiscalisation, the “economic constitution”, neoliberalism, finance industry ‘capture’ of politics …

    Real opposition would require, for instance, Michael Cullen to have stuck to his 1994 assessment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act as being “hijacked in select committee”, leaving no “legal space to consider social or democratic principles” like “sustainable economic growth, a more fair and equitable society and full employment”. That binding future governments to a specific fiscal policy was “constitutional nonsense” especially when, he said, “it was aimed at providing ‘a form of legislative contraception for the [imminent] MMP parliamentary system.” As Kelsey points out, pg 189 ‘The Fire Economy’, “the Act became part of the political wallpaper and within a decade Cullen was agreeing with Treasury that it was ‘sound’ and just needed tweaking.” Labour surrendered.

    As yet no-one is up for genuine opposition in New Zealand. Labour might as well not bother. Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn represent forms of real opposition. They talk about “systemic change” and engender real fear in centre-right neoliberals who can’t see that a portion of the 20% who don’t vote are sympomatic of something rotten in the state of ‘Milton Friedman’ … as are long elective surgery waiting lists …. ghastly ‘contract’ hospital meals … ‘contract’ policy making … dog attacks … and lack of facilities for the mentally ill leading to murders …

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  11th April 2016

      The real difference between National and Labour is that National ‘talk up’ New Zealand and Labour ‘talk down’ New Zealand – what is the more appealing?

      Reply
      • @ PDB – another symptom of unnecessary opposition, surely?

        Because Labour are stuck in the mold of ‘opposition’ they have to do the opposite of what the government is doing. It’s a arcane Croc-o-Shite, left over from the days of Whigs and Tories – or its the modern day equivalent – no real ‘labour’ involved – and high time we abandoned it, until such times as some Party, movement or individual comes up with a positive alternative, the sort of things Saunders and Corbyn are talking about …

        That alternative will eventually become the new ‘orthodoxy’, agreeable both to a majority of voters and unworthy of ‘opposition’ in the old-fashioned sense … until a new better alternative emerges … a 21st century dialectic materialism …?

        Reply
        • Pantsdownbrown

           /  11th April 2016

          PZ: “Because Labour are stuck in the mold of ‘opposition’ they have to do the opposite of what the government is doing”.

          I disagree – they could do the same thing the govt is doing but better, more efficiently and smarter and thus still provide a valid alternative.

          Reply
          • @ PDB – Given the prevailing orthodoxy, Labour would have to move even further away from both social and democratic principles to achieve “the same but better”. They might as well merge with National if that’s the case?

            The old sway-backed horse is still mighty thirsty …

            Reply
            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  11th April 2016

              No point opposing the ideas that are working…….

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  11th April 2016

              @PZ, considering Key is widely considered to have chased Labour into the far Left corner, surely Labour could merely contest the centre without endangering whatever your social and democratic principles are?

            • @ PDB – Now you agree with my original comment, Yay!!! Well, with the beginning of it anyhow …

              It will remain to be seen whether your “ideas”, the prevailing neoliberal ideology, can still be said to be “working” when say elective surgery waiting times exceed life expectancy, dog attacks reach 4 per day or the combined ‘Precariat’ – low-paid, under-employed, unemployed and beneficiaries – trend towards 20%, 30%, 40%, 50% of the population?

              Or when (not if) the next financial crisis happens? Horse? Water?

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  11th April 2016

              We all know by now PZ that the really big financial crisis always occurs when Labour is in govt………

            • @ Alan – Good evening. Labour and National, from 1984 to the present day, have rid us of most of those principles. The only way they can “contest the centre” is to play the neoliberal game with even fewer principles, do you see? For instance, to save the taxpayer money and provide fewer services to the taxpayer? Or make the [hated] bureaucracy trough smaller and the [adored] corporate trough bigger?

              Be a while yet but eventually the horse is gonna die of thirst, and people are gonna think, “Mmmm, I rather liked that old horse. That’s not such a good outcome. Bit like all the kids who’ve had their faces torn off”.

            • @ Pantsdown – “We all know by now PZ that the really big financial crisis always occurs when Labour is in government”

              Now you’re being pathetic. The GFC was a neoliberal contagion that spread through nations of similar ideology and hence across the world … Its a global thing PDB, as you well know, like the “global free-market” and indeed, quite probably a direct result of it?

              Labour bought into that ideology back in 1984 and successive Labour and National governments have embedded it, repeatedly placing money ahead of people. A very few have benefitted immensely, a significant proportion somewhat and many not at all or negatively.

              It might even be argued that notwithstanding the finance, insurance and real estate sectors, the FIRE economy that provided ready-to-burst bubbles, Labour’s handling of other aspects of the economy while it was in power 1999 – 2008 gave National the means to ‘cushion’ our experience of the GFC? Examples, dairy prices? Turning off contributions to the Super Fund?

              There’s bugger all difference between them … Two cheeks of the same arse …

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  11th April 2016

              Reeling some big fishes tonight……….ha!

        • One day in the future when we have ‘probiotic’ democracy, we’ll look back at the anti-biotic strain we have now and cringe, saying, “how did it survive so long?” … weakening its own immune system … becoming ever more ‘resistant’ to its own humanity … ever more toxic unto itself …

          Reply
          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  11th April 2016

            MMP has a lot to answer for……..

            Reply
            • Crap PDB, utter crap, except insomuch as without MMP toxic democracy would be dead already, which would absolutely necessitate a more ethical alternative. By comparison to MMP, your FPP ‘tyranny of the majority’ is a Super-Bug, closer to what you cited above than anyone cares to admit …

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  11th April 2016

              Jumping to conclusions there PZ – FPP was not the answer either……..

            • Do enlighten me … I’ve forgotten what the other type of proportional representation was …?

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  11th April 2016

              NZ history site…..

              The 1992 referendum

              In a complicated two-part poll, voters were asked whether they wanted to change the existing voting system and then to indicate support for one of four reform options: mixed member proportional representation (MMP), the single transferable vote (STV), supplementary member (SM) or preferential vote (PV). If there was majority support for change, the government promised to hold a binding referendum (with a choice between the first past the post (FPP) system and the most popular reform option) the following year.

              Although only 55% of registered electors took part, an overwhelming 85% voted to change their electoral system. In the second part of the poll, 70% favoured MMP. As Labour leader Mike Moore put it: ‘The people didn’t speak on Saturday. They screamed.’

              The second poll

              The second, binding referendum – a straight run off between FPP and MMP – was held at the same time as the 1993 general election. There were now well-organised lobby groups on both sides of the debate, and the campaign was fiercely contested. A barrage of television and newspaper advertisements sought to sway undecided voters.

              As the poll was held alongside a general election, the turnout – 85% – was naturally much higher than in 1992. And the result was much closer. MMP was still backed by a comfortable margin, 54% to 46%. New Zealand was to have a new voting system.

            • Well that’s good, isn’t it. Much the same turnout as other referenda and general elections. Plenty of people exercised their “valid form of expression” by not voting. A kind of ‘minority majority rules’? Toxic democracy in action.

              We might’ve ended up with the PR system like was used in the first Flag referendum? Jeesus that was a cunning ploy! Where the uninformed actually get to vote for a ‘candidate’ (flag) they may not like or might actively not want to vote for if they happen to be stupid enough to give it a ranking.

              The prolonged effects of over-use of antibiotics is a perfect analogy, don’t you think?

  17. Alan Wilkinson

     /  11th April 2016

    Here’s a challenge: Write the policy and strategy that Labour should have to be a credible opposition – without nominating some superhero to lead them to the promised land on mere charisma.

    Reply

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