Balancing gender versus balancing the budget

Do voters (including women voters) care much abour gender balance?

Quite possibly perceived competence of parties, leaders and candidates are more important to many voters.

Here’s some percentages.

  • National got 47% party vote and have 27% female MPs.
  • Labour got 28% party vote and have 40% female MPs.
  • Greens got 11% party vote and have 50% female MPs.

The voter turnout at the last election was 74.21% – at least 25% of those voters (and probably around 50%) were women.

The voter gender balance will vary across parties but presumably there’s a lot of female voters who choose to vote for parties with proportionally less women candidates.

Perhaps voters, including female voters, put more priority on balancing the budget than balancing the genders.

Blogs and party connections

Charles Chauvel raised the issue of parliamentary offices – see Chauvel accuses Whale and Kiwiblog:

In the case of the two better known right wing blogs those online sources are proxies for the present Government, and much copy is supplied to them directly out of ministers offices at taxpayers expense

What connections do blogs have with parties and parliament? Perhaps it’s worth laying this out on the table.

Kiwiblog “is the personal blog of David Farrar”. In The Chauvel valedictory Farrar makes it clear:

Some on the left always have these conspiracy theories about supplied copy. If only it was true. I recall once I did a comprehensive rebuttal of a Labour press release 60 minutes after it came out with links to all sorts of official sources. A blogger said I must have had the info supplied to me, and I facebooked my browser log for the last hour which showed my Google searches and references.

I am the only person who writes copy for Kiwiblog, unless I indicate it is a guest post.

Farrar is open about his connections (with National and others), a disclosure statement is here.

Whale Oil is run by Cameron Slater who has well known connections to National but obviously has many sources, and has openly publiocised that he is editor of Truth.

Whale Oil Beef Hooked is the personal blog of Cameron Slater. I set it up in July 2005 after several months of getting addicted to reading other blogs and finding their commentary boring. Prior to blogging, I used to shout at the television news and rant at talkshow hosts. I have had a political pedigree since I was in nappies.

All about Whale Oil here.

Like many bloggers I have sometimes been a source for both Kiwiblog and Whale Oil, they (very occasionally) pick up and blog on one of my posts.

Keeping Stock is another right-ish blog with National Party connections but author identity is not revealed.

What about political blogs on the left?

Red Alert is run by Labour and Chauvel himself has posted there.

These are the voices of Labour MPs on issues that we care about – and we’d like to hear what you think too. What you’ll read are the individual opinions of MPs. We won’t always agree with each other and sometimes our opinions may change.

Red Alert heavily censors and bans views it doesn’t like (it’s believed to be moderated by Trevor Mallard and Clare Curran).

Frog Blog is a Green party blog and Green MPs are the authors, along with an administrator:

I spend my time chewing flies around the green expanses of the Parliamentary Complex. Many people – including Green MPs, Green Parliamentary staff, and Green Party members – have my ear. I’d be horrified if anyone suggested my views represented official Green Party policy or comment, but I hope they act as a catalyst for discussion among members of public.

The Standard is the biggest blog on the left and strenuously claims to be independent of Labour.

We’ve a collective who saw a gap in the New Zealand political blogosphere and decided that we should have a go at filling it here at The Standard blog site. We write here in our personal capacities and the opinions that are expressed on the blog are individual unless expressly stated otherwise (see the policy). We do not write on behalf of any organization.

We come from a variety of backgrounds and our political views don’t always match up but it’d be fair to say that all of us share a commitment to the values and principles that underpin the broad labour movement.

Authors include:

  • Lynn Prentice (lprent) – open about longstanding connections with Labour and a party member.
  • Mike Smith – works in David Shearer’s office.
  • Irish Bill – Labour party member
  • Anthony Robins (R0b) – loyal Labour Party member
  • ‘Eddie’ – various people believed to have used this pseudonym, all with obvious Labour connections, sometimes used for blatant political attacks, has been proven wrong
  • ‘Zetetic’ – this may be another multi-use pseudonym with perhaps union/Labour connections
  • ‘James Henderson’ – believed to work for Greens in Parliament (I’ve been given a real name)

That lineup makes Chauvel’s accusation about right wing blogs very ironic.

Imperator Fish:

My name is Scott Yorke. I’m a technology and intellectual property lawyer. I somehow find the time to run a blog.

I mostly blog about the news, politics and the law.


I am a member of the Labour Party. I am also fearlessly independent of all external influences.

The Dim-Post appears to have no identifier or discloser on the blog but is known to be authored by Danyl McLaughlan (danylmc). There is a link to Twitter:

I am Danyl.


I don’t know much about him but there have been suggestions he is Green orientated and I’ve seen mentions that his partner works in communications for either Labour or the Greens.

Pundit is another collective of authors, all identified, with a variety of interests and angles.

Public Address is …

…a community of New Zealand-centric weblogs featuring Russell Brown’s Hard News, Damian Christie’s Cracker, Jolisa Gracewood’s Busytown, Fiona Rae’s Radiation, Graham Reid’s Random Play, Keith Ng’s OnPoint, David Haywood’s Southerly, Graeme Edgeler’s Legal Beagle, Emma Hart’s Up Front and regular guest contributors.

Those are what appear to be the busiest and most prominent political blogs in New Zealand.

My own disclosure

YourNZ occasionally feature’s guest posts (more are welcome!) but it currently pretty much my own blog.

I started it in June 2011 with a view to promote more discussion, but at the start it was mostly an anchor for information that I linked to from other forums I was active in. At that stage I had no conections with any organisation or political party.

It has evolved and grown (modestly) since then.

In August 2011 I was asked by United Future to consider standing as a candidate (I had already indicated I would stand as an independent), so I was a candidate in toe 2011 election for them.

Since then I have since maintained some contact with United Future, primarily with Peter Dunne. This is virtually all one way – if I want some information or a statement I contact Dunne and he usually replies. I clearly quote him when I do this. I do the same with MPs from other parties and sometimes get responses, which I quote.

I have not been and am not fed information by Peter Dunne, UnitedFuture or any other MP or party. I operate YourNZ independently. I fund it entirely on my own.

In the past I have commented on blogs under a pseudonym but haven’t done so for some time (since before the 2011 election).

I occasionally comment on news sites such as NZ Herald, ODT and 3 News, always under ‘Pete George’.

I occasionally comment on the Trade Me political message board under a pseudonym as they do not allow you to identify yourself there.

Apart from that I am open about my motives and connections in any communications and try to respond to any queries about them openly.

NOTE: If anyone has clarifications or corrections to make please advise and I will  update the above information.



Winston Peters promotes United Future

Winston Peters has promoted United Future as the only viable centre balance to National power on it’s own, as he has conceded any electorate hopes and has now also conceded any hope of NZ First being a part of the next government.

NZ First is consigned to being a sideline player at best but most likely is history.

Act and the Conservatives are vying to tug National to the right but they may struggle, the Act rope is frayed and Conservatives will struggle to get near the National ship.

Labour have moved left to shore up their base, they seem to be more focussed now on preparing for 2014 as they compete with Greens (while they acquire more and more Green policy).

The Maori Party is niche centre, and Mana is niche radical left.

That leaves the party that’s often ignored – or often deliberately excluded – United Future. Moderate and sensible doesn’t usually make the news, but being the logical (and only) option for providing a centre balance to National power the party should be newsworthy.

The United Future list keeps being dismissed or ignored – that’s either lazy journalism or blinkered eyes glazed on the same old hubris that will probably end up having little political significance.

United Future are positioned better than any other party other the Greens to make significant gains this election. Polls suggest the country is starting to wake up to this. The media are slow to follow.

In their list top three UnitedFuture has more government experience than the rest of the smaller parties (including Greens) combined.