Wednesday 30 August 2017

Winnie the Sinnie

So, apparently, Winston Peters has been in a spot of bother this week - either a hapless wronged soul or a fiendish bauble grabber who wanted a bigger slice of superannuation.

Over on The Standard, the redoubtable swordfish - anyone who names themselves after a Tom Waits album is alright with me - brought an analysis posted on Politik NZ to my attention.  Apparently, some Dark Forces within National have spotted that if the Greens fail to make the 5% threshold, and Gareth Morgan's TOP take a couple of percent, the combined wasted vote will mean National will manage to govern alone, or with minimal help from the Usual Suspects.
Also fuelling National's strategy is polling it has which shows the Greens on around three per cent and Gareth Morgan’s Opportunities Party on two per cent.

That was reinforced yesterday with a One News Comar Brunton poll showing the Greens on 3.6% in Whangarei.

The strategy then is clear; to try and boost National's vote --- thought to be in the mid-40s – by two per cent or so, and then to rely on a high wasted vote from the Greens, TOP plus ACT to reduce the percentage it needs to get half the seats in Parliament.

Last election the so-called wasted vote was 7.15%; that meant that to get half the seats in Parliament a party needed to get 46.4% of all the votes.

National got 47% and got 60 seats but because there was a one seat “overhang” caused by Peter Dunne it didn’t quite have a majority.
From here, it follow logically, that  smearing Winston Peters is a political power play.  He isn't needed as a coalition partner, and if NZ First can be beaten down a few points, with some of that support switching to National, Bill's yer uncle.

It's an attractively Cunning Plan, but I think National would have to be a bit daft to try that strategy, to be honest. It relies on the Greens not getting into parliament, alienates a significant potential partner and relies on Boring Bill managing to be more appealing to voters than John Key, and on Ardern not having much of an impact.

Of course, this is New Zealand politics we’re talking about, which seems to be going through one of its mad phases, so who knows?

Tuesday 29 August 2017

Death by triangulation

So, apparently there is an election on!

And Donald Trump is president!

And Jeremy Corbyn was not utterly demolished by Theresa May back home in Blighty!

Gosh, what lols you scamps get up to while I'm not looking.

I will try to get myself back into the habit of posting slightly less irregularly.  For the moment, I'm shamelessly going to copy posts I've made over at the Standard, because 'm too lazy to think how to say the same thing in different ways.

So, paid parental leave.  National have announced a policy - 22 weeks of it!  How generous of them!  How bountiful!  Of course, just last year Bill English grinched Sue Moroney's bill to extend it to 26 weeks, which has resulted in a lot of hissing and booing, pantomine style, from the denezins of the left.  How dare these National tykes make off with good Labour policy!

This is at least the third time National and Labour have announced similarish policies - Dunedin Hospital, Doctor's visits, and now paid parental leave.  Labour's offer have generally been more generous (though I'm inclined to favour National's free doctor's visits for children, rather than Labour's more general but not total reduction).

Problem is, a lot of people will look at what the parties are offering and think, “We’d like to do something … But maybe Labour’s idea is too much.” People (unless they are directly affected by in something) like to appear generous, but not too generous.

So complaining that it is a Labour policy, just not as good, is beside the point. National is giving voters reasons to vote National, without feeling too bad about themselves.

I fear Labour face death by a thousand trianglations.


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