Ardern’s positive politics pledge

I’m all for more positive politics (and less negative, dishonest and divisive politics), so Jacinda Ardern’s pledge for “a positive, factual and robust campaign” sounds very good. But, unfortunately, Ardern has a history of not matching rhetoric with actions.

From labour.org.nz:

Running a positive, factual and robust election campaign

This week Labour MPs descended on Martinborough for the annual Labour Caucus retreat. It was here that Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern set our intention for the year ahead – to run a positive, factual and robust campaign.

Speaking to caucus, Jacinda Ardern said: “New Zealanders deserve a positive election. I don’t want New Zealand to fall into the trap of the negative fake news style campaigns that have taken place overseas in recent years.”

In light of this, Jacinda Ardern took the opportunity to announce that the Labour Party is signing up to Facebook’s new advertising transparency rules.

“It means voters can see who is behind paid advertising online, how much they are spending and who they are targeting. The measures help avoid anonymous fake news style ads,” said Ardern.  “These rules are compulsory in the US, UK, Canada and the EU amongst others, but not here. We think it’s the right thing to do to voluntarily adopt them anyway and set a clean tone for the election.”

Ardern also confirmed Labour will have its major election policy costings independently verified so voters can be sure of what they are voting for.

So, sounds good – in theory.

But I hope that this time, Ardern (and Labour MPs and the party) deliver.

At this same time last year Ardern promised a ‘year of delivery’ – “”For us domestically it doesn’t really matter what the international community does or says, it only matters what we deliver”.

“2019 I think for us as a team is going to be characterised by the word ‘delivery’. 2018 was obviously a huge year for us: bedding in as a new Government, setting up the infrastructure for a significant change in direction for New Zealand, reinvesting in those core services – health and education and housing in our budget.”

“That work has now been set in place. 2019 is now the year that a lot of delivery will be required of us and is actually already underway.”

“We do not claim perfection but we do claim a considerable advance on where we have came from.”

The Government has delivered on some things, as any government does. But at least as notable are the things that haven’t been delivered. The big election promise and post election commitment, Kiwibuild, has largely been a failure and has been dumped. The light rail commitment seems to have been so lightweight it has floated away.

Ardern campaigned last election on ‘openness and transparency”. In her government’s first year Ardern was embarrassed by her minister of Openness and Transparency, Clare Curran, being secretive and misleading. Ardern dumped her.

This government seems no better than the last in it’s abuse of the Official Information Act that is supposed to ensure openness and transparency.

Ardern seems impotent when it comes to the negativeness and determination not to be open by NZ First ministers Winston Peters and Shane Jones, but she should have an influence on her own Labour ministers and MPs.

Will there be no more Labour MP references to ‘9 years of neglect’ and misleading claims of National Government reduced spending?

Will Labour MPs more openly share facts with the public, especially when asked?

Will this year see a turnaround of the toxic politics of the past? Will we get a positive campaign, by Labour at least?(National’s negative attack politics is another disappointing story).

I hope so. Ardern has time to plan her campaign this year, and time to make it clear to her MPs, candidates and party promoters that she wants a positive, factual campaign. She has no control over some in social media like on Twitter and The Standard, but her and her party’s campaigning really is positive and factual perhaps that will filter down and influence the actions of Labour leaning activists.

Perhaps she can lead by example, and lift the quality and tone of this year’s election. If she and Labour can deliver on that it is likely to improve their vote and their chances (and Greens), especially if it contrasts with NZ First and National attack campaigning.

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52 Comments

  1. adamsmith1922

     /  26th January 2020

    Hmmm!

    Reply
  2. duperez

     /  26th January 2020

    I appreciate that Jacinda Ardern wants politics to be positive and has she and her Government operate in ways fitting and heading for that aspiration.

    They can and will do what they do but is the world they’re operating in for changing? You’re in the corner of a cafe playing a genteel game of tiddlywinks when 37 stirred up Mongrel Mob members come in followed by 47 very upset Black Power guys. Smiling, having solutions to the problems of the world in your head and expecting nice behaviour?

    The starting point of a positive, factual campaign is to recognise the fact that it is a negative dog eat dog world.

    Reply
  3. Corky

     /  26th January 2020

    Great sentiments. I hope she pulls it off. That way Nationals attack campaign will highlight the differences in political approach. Of course the gamble is voters may not like Nationals approach. But human nature usually bows to the strong.

    Reply
    • In the modern world, especially here in Aotearoa, strong leadership is what’s important, not ‘strong’ attack politics, which is more of a weak reverting to old school politics without the courage to try a much more positive approach.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  26th January 2020

        Well, yes… you have described National perfectly.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  26th January 2020

          Do you see the the picture of the ‘crop markings from a plane released by “Nationals Meme Working Group” – ie thats code for Farrar Topham and co.
          https://www.facebook.com/nznpmwg/

          national attack politics at work… one of those farmers whos not realised the cold war ended 30 yrs ago and that now Bridges gets the inner sanctums of “red China “

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  26th January 2020

            Yes, well, very good, Duker. Carry on. But may I suggest your energy would be better spent supporting Labour? Maybe volunteer for mail drops and looking after Neve – that type of stuff.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  26th January 2020

              Bridges kids get more face time with photographers in their living room, than little Archie does. Its shameless using the very young kids like that , English and Key never did it when they were leaders

            • Corky

               /  26th January 2020

              Maybe Jacinda is a bad influence on Simon?

            • Duker

               /  26th January 2020

              Bridges was having home exclusives with his kids before Neve was born, and apart from 1 or 2 posed photos the rest or Neve are just shots in public from the paps. Not ‘photo shoots’

            • Corky

               /  26th January 2020

              I see Labour has been caught thieving, Duker. Yep, those socialists are charging declined visa applicants our tourist levy fee. They have nearly made a million bucks out of this scam that was NOT made apparent to applicants on their application forms. There was no way this could have been an oversight. You may now understand why I have zero time for socialists and their sly ways.

            • Duker

               /  26th January 2020

              Tourist levy fee ? Its a visitor levy, which is also paid by those on working visas, student visas, amoung many others. ( 84 types of visa to be exact)
              You are misinformed as usual

            • Corky

               /  26th January 2020

              Oh, really. I will ring TV1 and tell them to stop lying. I love the way you try to bluff your way out of situations. Let’s see what talkback has to say tomorrow. They will no doubt have an immigration consultant on… usually Aussie Malcolm or Tuariki John Delamere. I think they will know more than you.

  4. Reply
    • Reply
    • Duker

       /  26th January 2020

      Pledge cards ?
      Did someone forget about the National partys TV election funding rort where they were able to get 12% extra bucks from their funding , but not paying the GST. The TV advertising was restricted to a maximum amount , but Joyce the campaign manager ignored the ad bookers advice and spent money he couldnt legally spend, knowing he could get away with it if they won

      Reply
  5. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  26th January 2020

    Within a couple of days of Ardern’s message… we have Willie Jackson stating on Radio that National’s policy on Gangs is to exterminate them, shoot them all and lock them up.
    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/01/labour-s-willie-jackson-accuses-national-mp-chris-bishop-of-wanting-to-be-rambo.html

    Hyperbole or deliberate misinformation a.k.a. lies from Labour?

    Reply
    • That’s one of Ardern’s obvious problems – she says one thing and her MPs do the opposite. Not a good start to her election strategy as announced by her.

      Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  26th January 2020

      Both, Maggy. But only idiots will believe it.

      I am managing not to say the obvious.

      Reply
    • I said at the beginning of Labours tenure that by this election time they will have learnt to dislike Maori with a passion. I also said Maori will be a major problem as time went on.
      Sure enough, I was spot on. Not that I want kudos. Anyone who lives in the ‘real world’ knows the situation Labour find themselves in with Maori was always a given.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  26th January 2020

        I’m glad that you don’t want kudos, as you will certainly not be given it.

        Reply
    • duperez

       /  26th January 2020

      National’s policy on gangs isn’t to ‘exterminate them, shoot them all and lock them up.’
      Is there any doubt it would be the policy of many of their supporters including those on Kiwiblog?

      (On second thoughts is there any doubt that National’s aim to exterminate gangs? I there any doubt about National’s goal is to lock them up?)

      Reply
      • Maggy Wassilieff

         /  27th January 2020

        I’ve been reading Kiwiblog for over 7 years and never seen anyone advocating the shooting of Gang members.

        Perhaps you have some examples to show that MANY Kiwiblog supporters are keen on this.

        I would hate to think that under the cloak of anonymity, you are using someone else’s blog to spread misinformation, aka LIES.

        Reply
        • “about death squads taking out gangs”

          What on earth is wrong with that idea?

          We don’t need Death squads DG, we already have the men in NZ ready and able to do the job, they are called the NZ SAS.

          As far as I am concerned a gang patch should also double as a target, give the SAS a “shoot on sight” order and we would clean these scum off the streets in weeks.

          https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2014/07/general_debate_14_july_2014.html/comment-page-2#comment-1359979

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  27th January 2020

            ”Perhaps you have some examples to show that MANY Kiwiblog supporters are keen on this.”

            I don’t do Kiwi Blog but the operative word may be ”MANY?”

            I can tell you it’s not the SAS gangs need to worry about…it’s the rumblings of ‘time for vigilante action.’

            Reply
          • Maggy Wassilieff

             /  27th January 2020

            Oh, well done

            (but wasn’t David Garrett an ACT MP?….. not a Nat)….and Big Bruv seems to have disappeared off the scene, before I ever encountered him).

            Reply
  6. NOEL

     /  26th January 2020

    Gummintts aint voted in by partisan voters like Blazer and Corky.
    Any attack politics may be counter productive.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  26th January 2020

      I’m not a partisan voter. I support what I consider the best of a very bad bunch. Keep your eyes open for my many criticisms of National. But you are RIGHT. Governments are voted in by the ‘ mush in the middle.’ It’s quite obvious for voters like me..either on the Left or RIGHT, that to enact lasting change this country needs to be stripped down to bedrock and rebuilt.
      The difference is what will be built on that bedrock.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  26th January 2020

        Noel, Corky has said many times that he doesn’t vote and sneers at the mugs who think that voting will make a difference.

        Reply
      • Corky

         /  26th January 2020

        Yes, I don’t vote. Maybe I should have been clearer for those who have bad memories.
        ” I support National as a government, but I won’t be voting for them or anyone else.”
        Surely even a child could understand that sentence.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  26th January 2020

          That’s pointless. Why bother ? If you don’t believe in them enough to get out and vote, you can’t expect to be taken seriously.

          Your bizarre interpretations of their policies would be likely to do more harm than good if anyone believed them.

          Reply
  7. oldlaker

     /  26th January 2020

    I’m not sure Labour will really welcome a factual campaign. The “facts” include failures to fulfil a long list of campaign promises (as listed above)… but also including cutting net immigration by 20,000-30,000. The latest figures from Stats NZ show a drop but only of around 12,000 from November 2017.
    That figure is way out of line with all the figures for previous months (it is lower by 9000 odd) and is only provisional and likely to be revised but, even so, it’s nowhere near the figure Ardern nominated (and 30,000 more than the net 10,000 inflow Peters recommended).
    Unfortunately, Ardern says anything that sounds good at the time. Which, as we now know, includes the “year of delivery” slogan that was made up on the spot before a speech.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  26th January 2020

      What numbers are you referring too? Its a potpourri of different visas, times and sometimes double counting.
      this was the official numbers released a few days ago
      “Today’s release of updated migration estimates indicates New Zealand’s annual net migration for the year ended May 2019 was 46,100

      “The latest net migration estimates indicate we are about 20,000 below the peak of 63,900 reached in the year ended July 2016,”
      https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/net-migration-high-but-down-from-peak

      Cutting nett migration by 20,000 Delivered !!

      Reply
  8. Kitty Catkin

     /  26th January 2020

    The reverse test shows that the ‘robust, factual and positive’ campaign is meaningless. No one sets out to run a weak, inaccurate and negative campaign and proudly announces this.

    The idea of relentless positivity is alarming; it’s mindless refusal to face reality.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  26th January 2020

      Mindless refusal to face reality ? How can you be that clueless
      John Key interview 2008 election campaign
      “Key is branded as an optimist. Rather than follow the pattern of recent National leaders before him who have torn into sitting governments and come across largely negative, Key has tried to carry a positive tone where possible.”
      “Repeatedly answering questions about Crosby/Textor’s influence with a twee line that he intended running a positive and upbeat campaign
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10523317

      Its nothing new , in fact a very common campaign line…..except when a woman says it she is ripped to shreds.
      Its about time some better understanding of politics than 12 yr olds do was shown in comments

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  26th January 2020

        Positive and upbeat is quite different to relentless positivity, which sounds like a manic refusal to accept reality. It doesn’t matter who says it, man or woman, they still sound alarmingly manic.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  26th January 2020

          Did anyone tell you have ‘relentless negativity’

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  26th January 2020

            No, because it’s not true.

            I don’t believe in mindless optimism, I believe in being realistic. If there’s cause for optimism, then I’m optimistic. I see little sense in being an ostrich and pretending that things like the number of people in emergency housing increasing in the hope that if it’s ignored, it will go away.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  26th January 2020

              I explained it was an election theme , and a common one at that. She just got in early before Bridges could claim it … he’ll come up with something like …fundraising working for NZ …

            • Blazer

               /  26th January 2020

              National practiced ‘ostrich’ politics for 9 years….refused to recognise deep problems and turned to …’kick the can…down the road’.

  9. Alan Wilkinson

     /  26th January 2020

    We know Labour talks a good game, and then does nothing useful when given the ball.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  26th January 2020

      Growing economy says different.
      The Kiwibuild- after about 6 years of national floundering around with Smiths comedy routine- is much slower than expected as the below ground infrastructure on most sites needs a complete makeover. Ive seen one site I pass regularly , may 8 houses on large sites removed now for say 16-20 homes , but the sewers have to be replaced, stormwater didnt exist for these old places , it went to the gutter, the power and telecoms is all new etc.
      And now the houses foundations are major work again as bridging piles and house piles are required.
      tell us how the SHA program worked , the Councils did their side of the bargain, but the land owners baulked at getting building consent when a nice juicy development consent was all they needed to double the land value. Land banking was all it was about

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  26th January 2020

        Smith of course was a complete waste of space. As I said at the time he was put there to talk and do nothing because National didn’t have the votes to do anything.

        Labour has continued to do nothing because the Greens will block anything sensible and they daren’t team up with the Nats after their Kiwibuild fiasco. So they are still building unaffordable houses.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  27th January 2020

          repeating the same lie on a daily basis will not give it credibility.
          You have been informed National had the mandate to progress in 2008 but couldn’t be bothered.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  27th January 2020

            Sure B. Informed by you and your Lefty obsessions..

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  27th January 2020

            PS: Smith became Minister of Housing in 2013 so just your usual irrelevant distraction troll.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  27th January 2020

              Nats didnt have votes to do anything ? So building more homes was blocked by its gaggle of small parties.
              I know from builders who were doing new builds for HNZ that the Nats pulled money out of doing that – during a recession!
              Beacuse we dont have scale in housebuilding with a industry that has small franchise builds for the middle market the days of builders who could do more than 5-10 houses at once is gone.
              The levers Labour has moved are in order
              1- Bright line – so that tax free multiple sells of a single property are constrained , these are often led by real estate agents. As well selling again within 5 years by investors catches the eye of IRD who will go back quite a few years if they suspect a property trader who pretends to be investor.
              2.Overseas buyers restricted who kept market on boil in most expensive areas – ie Central Auckland and Queenstown
              3.Kiwibuild to increase new supply at bottom end of market ( which franchise builders had abandoned as there was more money made in house land package in mid and upper ranges

            • Blazer

               /  27th January 2020

              so from 2008 to 2013 National had no ministerial portfolio for housing…very good Al.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  27th January 2020

              Just your usual distraction troll, B. Once in a blue moon you say something sensible. It’s always a shock like a pig wearing lipstick.

  10. Alan Wilkinson

     /  27th January 2020

    On the positive side, Bridges needs to learn to make people feel happy. Generally after watching him you feel like banging your head against a wall. That is not a winning achievement.

    Reply

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