Get ready for a Labour-NZ First government

POLITICAL ROUNDUP

Dr Bryce Edwards

Jacinda Ardern is still in the running

Should National circumvent Peters and do a deal with the Greens?

Yes
59%
No
41%
Total votes: 658

Everyone seems to be preparing for a National-NZ First coalition government. Even many on the left are expecting this will be the outcome, including some in the Labour Party. The reality is Winston Peters could go either way – the left and right blocs have emerged from the election with similar voter support, allowing New Zealand First the ability to choose either option (read NBR's guide to the rules of MMP engagement here).

What’s more, for every argument for why Winston Peters will go with National, there are equally good arguments for him favouring Labour. And the idea that National will get the nod from Mr Peters simply because they have a higher party vote than Labour is largely without merit, and the notion that National has some sort of “moral mandate” or “moral majority” should be challenged.

The mistaken consensus that National is in the box seat
In the media, and throughout the political spectrum, a consensus has emerged that National is most likely to form a government with the help of New Zealand First. This was made most strongly today by left-wing political commentator Chris Trotter, who is reported as arguing “Jacinda Ardern knows she lost and shouldn't keep up the facade of being the prime minister in waiting” – see Newshub’s 'It's not enough': Why Chris Trotter believes Jacinda Ardern won't be the next Prime Minister

Mr Trotter says there’s a 25% chance of Labour stitching together a coalition. In the same interview right-wing commentator Trish Sherson argues the chances are “next to zero, at this point” as there is “no shadow of a doubt" National won the election. Her justification is a common one: “I just don't think you can go against the will of the people.” For more on Trotter’s view, see his latest column, Bill To Winston – 'Let’s Do This’

Veteran NZ Herald political columnist John Armstrong is equally strong in his belief that Labour can’t govern: “A Labour-New Zealand First-Greens combo is technically still alive. But only in the way Elvis Presley is still alive. Those on the centre-left clinging to that hope are really clinging to the wreckage of what to be blunt was a hideously disappointing night for that portion of the political spectrum” – see: English keeps National juggernaut rolling

According to Mr Armstrong, New Zealand First has no mandate to shun National: “The almost palpable mood for change has not turned out to be deep enough or widespread enough to place sufficient obligation on Mr Peters to use his likely grip on the balance of power to install a Labour-led administration.”

Mr Peters going with Labour and the Greens is “extremely unlikely” according to the Sunday Star Times’ Adam Dudding, who says such a prospect is limited to “theory” rather than reality. He reports and seems to agree with Bill English’s claim to have the "moral authority" to have first go at creating a coalition – see: Bill English: I'm ready to talk to Winston. The same report claims Labour has suffered a “defeat.”

Similarly, the Sunday Star Times ran an editorial wishing Bill English well and declaring him victorious. Written by editor Jonathan Milne, the piece says: “Let us be clear: Peters has no choice. The voting public cannot, and will not, tolerate him abusing his kingmaker position by swinging his support behind Ardern, when she is trailing 13 seats behind National” – see: Voters cannot, and will not, tolerate Winston abusing his kingmaker position

The political right is unsurprisingly pushing the line that a National-led coalition is almost inevitable. National Party blogger David Farrar says “National got an extraordinary result of 57 MPs and is highly likely to form the first fourth term government since 1969” – see: Everyone’s a winner!

Massey University’s Grant Duncan also read the outcome as a defeat for Labour and the Greens. He says a fourth-term National-led coalition is on the cards, and Jacinda Ardern’s “chances of forming a government with the centrist NZ First Party and the Greens are much slimmer” – see: New Zealand votes for conservatism and the status quo. Similarly, see Victoria University of Wellington’s Jack Vowles’ Push-pull government could end in chaos

National’s mythical “moral majority” 
It is a “fundamental core value of democracy” that the party with the most votes should become the government, according to former prime minister John Key. He told the Herald: "Mathematically Winston Peters can put together a government with Labour and the Greens but the reality is, to do that he would have to go against what he has always done [support the winning party] and he would have to step away from the fundamental core value of democracy which is majority rule” – see Audrey Young’s NZ First leader Winston Peters in no hurry to get coalition negotiations underway

Today’s editorial in the New Zealand Herald pushes a similar argument: “Over 21 years of MMP, a convention has developed that the party with the most votes forms the government. Jacinda Ardern did not quite acknowledge that practice in her speech on Saturday night but it was not a victory speech. It could hardly be one when Labour had finished 10 points behind on the night and Labour and Greens combined were five points behind” – see: Winston Peters should not hold clear winner to ransom

The Herald emphasises that “the result was not even close”, and that “English deserves to savour this victory”. The editorial urges Winston Peters to recognise this, and also points out: “Having lost the Northland seat and seen his party vote decline, Peters ought to be humbled by the result. He should not hold the winner to ransom.”

Similarly, yesterday’s Herald on Sunday editorial questioned whether a Labour-led government would have “legitimacy” given that National has more votes, and warns that such a government “would need to be sure all New Zealanders could respect its mandate” – see: Peters needs to note National's achievement

However, the line that National should form a government because it got more votes than Labour is straight out of the first-past-the-post era when the largest political party tended to have a majority of seats in Parliament. Under MMP, a party having the largest share of the vote is almost irrelevant. If they can’t put together a coalition with enough seats, then they normally can’t govern. This point is well put today by Massey University’s Richard Shaw, who is reported as explaining that “when it comes to forming a government coalition, all that matters is that a combination of parties can persuade the Governor-General they can reach 61 seats” – see Newshub’s 'No such thing' as moral majority – politics professor

Shaw points out “The word 'moral' doesn't appear in our constitution” and there is no “winner” of the recent election: “Nobody's won the election yet. The people who won the election are the people who form the government.”

National has not 'won' the election
There is a strong narrative at the moment that National has received an extraordinary result. But has it really? The vote for centre-right parties has actually declined significantly at this election. At the 2014 election, the aggregate vote for National, Act and the Conservatives was over 52%. This year, the final result for those parties is projected to be little more than 45%. What’s more, the National Party has now lost allies – United Future and the Maori Party are gone from Parliament, and Act’s party vote has halved. Basically, National has cannibalised the vote of other rightwing parties. In devouring its coalition partners, National might now look stronger but in reality fewer voters are actually supporting parties of the right.

But it is the illusion that National has won significantly more votes than the political left that particularly needs addressing. Colin James reminds us that you need to add the Labour and Greens vote together when making any comparison: “The win English has been celebrating is qualified. Think of Labour and the Greens as an informal coalition and National’s lead drops from 10.2% to 4.3%” – see: English on top but facing a stronger Labour

He then makes the very important point that the final vote tally result is likely to make the difference between the left and right blocs even smaller: “If the 384,000 specials fall as differently from the election night count as in 2014, when National lost 1.1 percentage points between election night and the final count, that lead could drop to 2%-3%. If things go wrong — as they did for the most recent fourth term governments, after the 1946 and 1969 elections — that slim lead could quickly evaporate.”

Graeme Edgeler has made some rough projections of what the final parliamentary seat numbers will be for the parties – assuming the special votes have the same “biases” as at the last election. Based on this, National is likely to lose two seats, and Labour and the Greens are likely to go up. This would produce a final tally of 56 seats for National, and 54 seats for Labour and the Greens – hardly a big difference – see: Election 2017: the Special Votes

Why Labour might still 'win' the election
One of the biggest concerns Winston Peters is likely to have about entering a coalition with Labour is that its majority in Parliament will be lower than with National. At the moment, the preliminary election results suggest such a government would have the barest of a majority – just 61 seats out of 120. However, if the special votes change the seat numbers along the lines suggested above, then a Labour-led government would have a much more comfortable majority of 63 seats, which might assuage Mr Peters’ concerns. 

Some say that there is still bad blood between New Zealand First and National, which might push Winston Peters to “go left.” Radiolive’s Mark Sainsbury says “I don't agree with all those who rule out a coalition with the left. I think it's not only possible but potentially more palatable for Winston – it could be a train wreck, but so could a National deal” – see: Bad blood makes National-NZ First deal unlikely

Sainsbury elaborates on the bad relations between the parties: “Plus there's another factor – the leaking of his superannuation overpayment. The bureaucrats have been cleared, which means the finger of blame is firmly directed at the National ministers in the loop, and Winston will want vengeance, make no mistake. Plus, there's bad blood between him and some of Bill English's top team. Remember this: Bill was there in 1992 when Peters was expelled from the National caucus, the move that led to NZ First and this whole business. Not only was Bill there, he seconded Jim Bolger's motion to kick him out.”

And Barry Soper’s analysis is also in line with this – see his column, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, don't rule it out. In addition to the “bad blood” argument, Soper says “in this MMP environment anything is possible and in Winston Peters' book nothing is as it seems and that's the way it's always been with him. Forget morality and expectation, that's a book written by others. Of course he will talk first to Bill English, he's always said he'd do that to the party with the highest vote count. But talking is far short of walking up the aisle.”

According to Jane Clifton, New Zealand First will demand a huge change of direction from National, and one it might simply be unable to oblige: “The big story of this election is bigger than National, and much bigger than ‘whither Winston?’ It’s that there was an undeniable and growing appetite for change. So, while English is right that National has the moral authority to form the next government, there is a countervailing moral authority that it cannot do so on the basis of ‘business as usual’. New Zealand First, notwithstanding its modest nine-seat heft, has the moral authority either to negotiate some meaningful concessions from National as the price for its indispensable coalition support, or, if unsuccessful, to shop elsewhere” – see: This post-election business is anything but usual

NZ First sources point to Labour|
A number of New Zealand First insiders appear to be talking to journalists at the moment, and they are all emphasising that Mr Peters is more likely to go with Labour. The most interesting example is MP Richard Prosser who has failed to make it back in on the party list. He makes a similar argument to Ms Clifton, saying Mr Peters is determined to govern in a way that reflects what the party sees as a “mood for change,” which National is unlikely to be able to deliver: “The difficulty is that they've had three terms, looking at a fourth, they are now quite deeply entrenched in their ways. How much of a directional shift could you ween out of them?” – see Henry Cooke’s Outgoing NZ First MP Richard Prosser says Winston Peters will go left

Prosser added: “My gut feeling says he will probably go left if he can.” See also more revealing comments in Nicholas Jones’ Outgoing MP criticises Winston Peters: He has always been Machiavellian

Tracy Watkins also reports the views of a New Zealand First insider. She says: “people should not assume a deal with National just because it was the largest party on the night, says a former NZ First MP. There has been a lot of speculation about Mr Peters ruling out any deal with the Greens, but people should not assume that either” – see: Bill and Jacinda on call waiting

NZ First people are also talking to Politik’s Richard Harman: “NZ First sources say leader Winston Peters remains convinced National Party politicians leaked details of his superannuation payments and orchestrated a campaign to drive him out of politics that resulted in him losing his seat. As a consequence, Politik understands NZ First will not take part in any government formation negotiations involving Finance Minister and National campaign manager Steven Joyce” – see: English faces uphill battle

Similarly, Branko Marcetic reports today that “One former NZ First MP who served in the unstable coalition [of 1996] told me Peters will probably choose Labour this time around” – see: What will Winston do? The lessons of ’96 tell us he might go with Ardern. According to the source, “he’s more likely, with a young, inexperienced leader such as Jacinda, to have greater influence there as opposed to going with his old buddies who shafted him last time around.”

The same article gave further reason to suggest the party is more in tune with Labour than National: “Among the party’s rank-and-file, there is a visceral dislike for and mistrust of the party of John Key and Bill English. A number of his party’s policies, such as writing off student loans for graduates who remain in New Zealand a certain number of years, would be non-starters under a National government. There is also the fact that, as with previous elections, Peters has spent this year savaging the ‘neoliberal experiment’ of 1984, the foremost proponents of which today are National. And at this year’s New Zealand First party conference, he used his speech to rail about how National’s policies had left the poor and middle class behind, and proceeded to personally insult virtually every National MP in cabinet by name.”

Finally, for a lighter view of Winston Peters’ kingmaker role, see my blog post of Cartoons and images about negotiating the new government


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63 Comments & Questions

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You know if all the NZ First sources are pointing to Labour then Winston is definitely favouring National

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Poor old Bryce. It didn't take long for his Left learning sensibilities to come gushing out in a long-winded piece that essentially says, but, but, but, but, but, in response to the Left's failure to gain power, and after three terms of a National Lead government too. Oy vey.

Yes, Winston could go with Labour and the Greens. But unlike Dr Bryce, Winston and NZF have to deal with the practicalities of daily political and Parliamentary life rather than with the rather wishful and fanciful thinking of the academic and the ideologue. And an agreement with National is going to be a lot easier to make and manage, more stable and with much more wiggle room built into it that one with Labour and the Greens is ever going to have.

But we await Mr Peters and his decision.

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I wouldn't say National is totally stable

The behavior of Steven Joyce during the election particularly against Winston is hardly an enticing factor for his decision. Bill also has very bad history with Winston. So it also comes down to morals and ethics which Winston has but Steven Joyce and Bill English don't have.

National might be the one with wishful thinking

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Winston has no morals as he has spent a large part of his career in opposition. Being there he can make all the promises in the world knowing full well he doesn't have to deliver. Best public speaker but that's where it stops.

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Well said. Winston made a lot of noise when he was in opposition. But toned right down once he got this foot through the door. It has happened before. He is a good sale man all right. But probably it is where it ends too.

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That would be a Peters lead Labour Government.

Can't wait.

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Agreed. One has to rate this propaganda piece (aka article) at least for it's sheer crazed imagination (or hysteria)!

The ideological bust ups and dysfunctional mess would be awash with highly confused suppression taxes, vague industrial revolution socialism policy (that has never worked anywhere, ever) and shady Klark-esque goings on that would vex Peters. Ardern's noise (empty vessel) would out muscle NZ First as it continued to put on the fake or crocodile smile of caring for everyone while stuffing and taxing everyone to the hilt. The greens would fade into oblivion in 2020 as they become lapdogs within the disarray.

Indeed, it would almost be sickly comical to see how the madness would play out if Winston formed a minority government, being a very perculiar triangle with the hysterical labour mob and the barking mad greens at the other corners!

But Peters knows just how dangerous and nuts for the country such a madhouse would be in international standings and economically (noting the majority of the country voted for rationality and did not vote for socioeconomic chaos).

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Your rant about our international standings and being economically together is based on? Key and Joyce being shown as fools ({Pony tails and dildos?) English (Spaghetti Pizza and Hill walks?) and our massive debt, youth suicide, poverty, homelessness, housing mess, hospitals under funded etc etc and guess what? The majority voted for change, not liars.

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C'mon, Winston knows his place. Otherwise, you're just being sexist.

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Have no doubt about Winston's ability to negotiate this to maximise his position. The NZ First disciples raising the prospect of a Labour deal neatly serves to remind Bill that Winston has options and wont roll over just because National is the bigger party.

Similarly, National talking to the Greens strengthens there negotiating ability... but Winston knows that's quite a bitter pill for both of them to swallow.

You cannot negotiate if your only option is to accept 3 years in opposition. Winston knows this and is wanting to ensure National are appropriately receptive to his requests/demands... he has options... National doesn't have much of one.. Labour has none.

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Can anyone tell me why the hell we let ex pats vote? If they are not a tax residents they should have no right to influence our government. It's about time we have this discussion.

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Careful.. there are many, many people in NZ who pay no tax or are net tax recipients.... should they not get a vote as well?

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People who live here are all tax residents. I am talking about people who have left NZ permanently. What right to they have to vote?

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Actually, expats can only vote if they have been home within 3 years, or in the case of PR's 12 months. I'm an expat, and i'll be home shortly, given the impact the new government will have on me, should I not also have a voice?

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Yes nearly 60% of the adult population and we want more?

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Re your expat vote comment.

Pretty simple really it's called citizenship. To be eligible to vote you must have been in Kiwiland in the last 3 years of an election.

So they get to vote in addition to the obvious noted above because: they spend money in NZ when they go home, they sent money home en mass after the CHCH earthquake, they consume NZ good and services at a higher per capita rate than any other national outside the country, students loan holders are raped by the foreign interest charge etc etc.

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My brother returns from the US about once every three years for a brief visit and so is eligible to vote. He had a rental Auckland which makes enough to pay all the expenses so would pay minimal tax. Why should he be eligible to vote?

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What claptrap.

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Pig wrestling in the mud time
They'll all do anything to avoid being a nobody for 3 years - which is a long time away for accountability + naturally all believe their achievements with overwhelm
Watch all the bottom lines go under the bus
Defeats purpose of voting !

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New Zealand has picked it's two favourite parties... I vote for a coalition between National and Labour. Imagine if they could work TOGETHER in the best interest of NZ rather that be permanently in opposition. #BillandJacinda #ByeByeWinston

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Good point, of all the parties they are the most similar. They are both center left parties who steal each others policies from time to time. Does anyone else remember who threatened to resign if the age of super was raised?

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Oddly enough, Labour's preference to fund the Boomer pension timebomb via some prefunding using the Cullen Fund is arguably more "user pays" than National's approach of pushing the age up once all Boomers are safely through too. Which party is *actually* realistically about standing on one's own two feet?

Perhaps they're both left-leaning but simply favour different beneficiaries.

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That was my hope and dreams and I am still dreaming.

Just imagine that... how productive that would be when both parties spend less time yelling at each other in the house.

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I can't see that ever happening. There's too much ingrained hatred between the two parties, and their fanatical supporters would be up in arms over it. It would be an interesting concept though.

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Bryce, NBR readers know your left leaning credentials well. If Winston went left - as you would undoubtedly like - he would disenfranchise 46% of the vote. This, I remind you Bryce, is the largest voting block in the 2017 Election. You gleefully add up the left wing parties, but Labour and the Greens barely get along. And Winston has little time for the Greens, let alone James Shaw (who had a disastrous campaign measured by votes.)Finally Winston has always gone with the party with the most votes. If he doesn't, he will destroy NZ First forever. And taxpayers and markets would suffer. Winston is too responsible to allow this to occur.

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"Winston is too responsible ..." That is incorrect, history tells us the opposite.
Winstons body language told me he was very disappointed that Labour and his party didn't do better. I'm sure that a Labour/NZFirst/no Greens was his wish. Sadly for him, both Labour and his party did not do well enough.
He awaits the final count. My guess he will be forced to swallow a dead rat and go with Nats.
Just how big, and how dead the rat, will depend on the final count.
For me, I hope the rat is as big as horse and been dead for a month.

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If Winston goes with National he disenfranchises 54% of the vote

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National is the largest voting block and effectively won the Election on that basis, but for MMP negotiations which have less to do with democracy sadly.

(Edited)

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Heh... "Effectively won" is a severely optimistic viewpoint. They used post-truth politics to try to scare the electorate yet still dropped so far they're needing to woo Winston.

Personally I reckon Winston should perhaps go with National but rein in their excesses and smarten them up. Week them off pretend growth via their immigration Ponzi and house price rises and get them focusing on actual productivity and useful investment. I note National's gone strangely quiet on their talk of closing the productivity gap with Aussie, given how it's been widening precipitously under their 'governance'.

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Hang on.... the notion national is the will of the people is wrong. Labour, greens and act together are MORE than national. So more of the nation actually voted against national!!!!!!!!! Winnie. Do the right thing here! National is so backward on the most important issues .... it's truely the old boys network of outdated religious bullshit and anti human rights and equality. Fuck em

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voting for other parties other than National was not necessarily a vote against Nat'l but a vote for the relative parties and what their policies were. In the case of the older folks its because Winnie gave them a gold card.

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If Arderne thinks she can get real estate prices back to her parents' affordability, she's in cloud cuckoo, unicorn angel dust land. Her current partner is Clarke Gayford, a Gisborne boy, who is apparently "desperate" to be famous. In Gisborne we know things. Arderne is not well liked around here.

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Erm.. I think your comment regarding Clarke Gayford has nothing to do with this debate and more to do with you just being pathetic, not to mention ill informed. Clarke doesn't need to be famous. He's done well within the music industry as a radio host and DJ, and now fronts a fantastic fishing program that also has an environmental edge. He travels all over the islands and Australia doing this. He doesnt require fame to be successful! Some people want to just pick holes for the sake of it.

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Winston can only ever be in opposition. He looks good, sounds good but really he is a nothing. There is a huge difference between being critical and all of a sudden having to make crucial decisions yourself.
A bit like being on wages compared to being in business under competition providing goods or services that are profitable enough to generate the payments for wages. A huge difference.

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Impressive piece that has taken the emotive clap trap out that is doing the rounds and dealt with the facts. I rate the chances of NZ First going in to coalition with Labour and the Greens as a clear $1.33 favourite in a two horse race. National at $4.80. To me, what will be the telling blow for Winston will be his legacy. He saw what happened to his own party when he propped up National previously and what has just happened to the Maori Party. Jacinda Ardern is unquestionably going to be PM at some point. Either in the next two weeks or in 2020. If it's 2020, it will be a landslide. National will be forced in to opposition for several elections. If NZ First propped National up, they would be decimated at the very time Winston is aged around 75 with virtually zero hope of repairing the damage. His baby will be consigned to the history books / trash bin.

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If Winston really decided to support Labour (with Greens in the wilderness), then nearly one million people who voted National (compared to 776,000 for Labour), might feel a little miffed. So might farmers who collectively generate around 60% of NZ's export earnings. It's already been said that Winston has gone with those parties with the most votes in the past - a piece of history that has some importance surely.

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National and their supporters have displayed complete indifference toward all those out there that have been hugely disadvantaged by the track they have taken NZ down. The housing situation/crisis in Auckland especially is farcical. Our health system is failing more and more wonderful NZ people every week. The very people who funded it. We now have poverty and homelessness like never before and it's all unfolding at rocket speed under this Government's watch. National and their supporters refuse to even acknowledge there are serious issues. Just don't say the word "crisis" and there isn't one.
National ran a largely negative campaign. If they had such wonderful achievements, why didn't they just focus on those? Instead, they played with the truth and in some cases and told huge bare faced lies. When exposed, they just continued as if the lie had merit. Where is the integrity in that? The way National and it's supporters have acted during this campaign has been selfish and divisive. "I'm alright Jack, how are you?"
Our beautiful country needs to stop for a long breather. Start putting all the people before $$ again. Stop the widening gap between the have's and have not's. Get the infrastructure to the point it can cope with the record number of immigrants we've just had and in record time. Sort out our failing health system. Address the considerable issues in our education system etc etc. Stop gifting our country and control of it to China. Help all those that need help but no longer feel valued by their own country. How are National going to resolve these vitally important issues when the refuse to accept they even exist?
What I am saying based on the last 9 years, is National's not the answer. (edited)

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The only point I disagree with you on is Arden. She may or may not make it if she doean't get the keys now. 3 years is a long long time in politics. Little got knee capped effectively just before the election cycle began.

Anyway, politics aside agree four terms is too long and the National policy base is in effect suffering post global QE real estate and asset bubble while the average person is poorer on a relative basis. At the end of the day people vote with their wallets.

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So it's Duncan to Duncan :) .I feel Ms Ardern has had Labour leader written all over her since the first time I viewed her several years ago. Two reasons for that. The first all related to her. The second all relate to the male Labour leaders she's served under. Phil Goff was well past his use by date. David Shearer was a good man but his timing was wrong and didn't have the support needed within. David Cunliffe is a good and decent man but a totally ineffective leader who was never going to challenge the well oiled National Party machine. He should never have been leader. Then Andrew Little. The best thing I can say about him was that as long as he stayed leader, The National Party had nothing to worry about it. At no point during his 32 months in charge did he ever connect with Kiwi's. He refused to accept his ongoing low poll rating as conclusive evidence. He seemed to believe he'd get in to power via default by National being voted out, rather than him being voted in. He totally miscalculated month after month. He should have stood down 18 months ago for the sake of his party and for NZ. Instead,he gave Ms Ardern a hospital pass just 9 weeks out from the election. For the first time in 9 years, NZ had an effective opposition but only 9 weeks to do something with it. Her performance during the election campaign was extraordinary and under very challenging circumstances, unprecedented in NZ political history. I have never witnessed a leader of the opposition being subjected to so much contempt and ridicule during a campaign yet she handled herself with genuine class. Anyone capable of doing what she did is well capable of being PM and making very positive changes for all Kiwi's. I've never witnessed a NZ political party leader connect with people the way she does as an individual. It's impressive to witness and across all age groups. Even blind Freddy can see she's a sincere lovely person. I'm as certain as I can be in Politics that she will be Labour leader for the next 12-15 years. Every bit of evidence I see confirms that in lights.

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First Past the Post system is starting to sound very good again. The MMP system gives us the non-event system that nobody wants.

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I find the present situation with MMP absolutely fascinating. We have this voting system via a democratic process. FPP had done it's time and rightfully lost it's appeal. I would wager that of all the people now decrying MMP, at least 98% of them would be National supporters. I feel certain that had Maori retained their seats and ACT done better,MMP would still be very appealing to National. How ironic that of all the people in NZ who will decide who our Government will be,it just happens to be the very person National has the most contempt for. Karma?

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If Winston believes it was Joyce who sh*t on his doorstep, I think he’ll go with L-G. More likely to be Machiavellian than mercurial, esp. if he’s just stringing Bill along.

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Given Winnie was doing his best to sh.t on Nationals doorstep I would suggest that they ignore what happened in the past and move forward

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The article is well written and quite objectively. Author has exposed the phoney media that has got the habit of supporting only rich and influential.

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The media overall seemed to have a bias to the left

(Edited)

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In the past, e.g. 2014, this has not been the case. Much rather, Boyd and Bahador's quantitative study of media coverage shows the media to be biased against the left during the election campaign of 2014 (Boyd & Bahador, 2015). Note, however, this does not imply biased towards the right (ibid.)

Furthermore, I find your statement hard to belief in the light of the highly concentrated, largely private media ownership in Aotearoa New Zealand (see for instance Myllylahti, 2016).

Spoiler alert: if media ownership is highly concentrated, this makes it easier for the rich and influential, who own the media companies, to influence media content (Herman & Chomski, 2002).

references:
Boyd, M. & Bahador, B., (2015) Media coverage of New Zealand’s 2014 election campaign
Herman, E & Chomski, N., (2002) Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media
Myllylahti, M., (2016) New Zealand Media Ownership Report 2016, puyblished by AUT’s Centre for Journalism, Media and Democracy

lolz

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Give me a break, its as simple as this.
Winston wants a gig to retire from on the best possible terms, probably in Q2 2018.
Shane then steps into his shoes in a trade role, as provided to him by JK, while he was off fishing for the last 3 year.
Who do you see writing that ticket?

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People keep mixing FFP (largest party dictates) and MMP principles and so the fact National as a single party has the largest vote is irrelevant and you have to live with it. With that premise gone, we can focus on coalitions and which is the best alignment of parties, the self interests of the parties and is the team of Jacinda, Winston and James a better proposition than more of the same (Bill) with a tack-on lieutenant vote holder to solely get to a majority as motivated and energetic for the country. Sure the status quo is a comfortable bed but too many of NZ's issues - immigration, education/training, housing, inflation (when it hits), tourism, natural resources (water), carbon emissions, export competitiveness, investment capital etc are uncomfortable. I also don't see that much difference in the policies of Labour/NZ First and what I call the "New Greens" - James needs to get his focus back on sustainability. Change only happens when its uncomfortable and maybe that will open more public debate and new solutions. Its time for a change - also lets get to 4 year terms - 3 years is in effect only two.

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If the Winston First Party goes with Labour, it will be a coalition of losers. Labour lost the popular vote, Winston lost his seat and the greens have lost the plot!

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I've seen a lot of commentators jumping to conclusions over the last few days. Bold maneuver considering Winston is calling the shots. Someone better start baking some humble pies just in case, because if Labour do actually manage to swing a coalition, there will be a lot of people needing a slice.

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I hope Winston goes with Labour etc to teach National a bloody lesson,the Nats were all about me me me,they didn't give a stuff about any body but themselves, voted Nat 4 45 years absolutely pissed of with them.

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Aren't most people about me me me these days?

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No,I've spoken to many people, my age,and they all have said,that the younger generation have a big hill to climb regarding housing, because Nat and their elites have siphoned of our existing housing to foreigners for their greed,I won't say who they are as is 99.9% of people already know.

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I too hope Peters chooses with Labour with greens as a side salad.
Within two years we have another election that Mr English wins in a landslide, NZ First and Greens gone.
In the mean time the dollar plunges, producers make money. House speculators lose their shirt.
Now tell me, what would be wrong with that.

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Great idea,best thing that could ever happen, speculators lose their shirt and property prices come down.

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I like the idea of reverting back to first past the post system; That way it would have been a Landslide to National ; 41 seats to 29; MMP does no body a service; Interesting how also The German election 30% was enough to claim victory and the Nats got 46% more than they achieved in 2008; Swing to the left you say!

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I hope Winston goes with Labour / Greens and I think this is a useful analysis. We need to get over the FPP hangovers. Also even though this is about Winston it is also about NZ First and looking at those MPS they all look to be more Labour inclined if they get the chance. Now if Winston was shafted by National Party leakers then that alone would be enough to be a tipping point.

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Tons of speculation on here about a man who is known to swing whatever way he pleases. Might as well put it all on red 21 at the roulette table people.

It ain't over til Paula Bennett sings!

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Haha. You noted Hone Hawawira on election night. I dislike the man as I think he's racist but with a mother like he has, how could he be anything else? His quote however on election night was a screamer. "It isn't over until Paula Bennett sings". ... priceless . The second funniest thing that happened on election night also involved Paula Bennett and had me on the floor in stitches. Bill English as we all know tried to annihilate Winston Peters and NZF during the election campaign with a targeted and underhanded plan. So when Bill English paid tribute to the NZF campaign in his speech, all you could see was Paula Bennett on his shoulder with her forced pretend smile doing the seal clap. Magnificent entertainment.

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Haha, agreed on all points there Mr Duncan. Nothing more entertaining than politicians performing at their most exasperated in an election year ;)

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One thing that I have noticed in your, and a lot of other people's comments regarding Paula Bennett's size, is that it's fine to denigrate her about it. It seems to be everywhere these days. If anything was said calling her a Maori so and so, there would be hell to pay. But any reference to her weight is fair game. It would be interesting to see if those people that commented on it were perfect themselves?

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MMP is clearly showing itself to be a pig's ear. delivering eternally unstable or marginally stable coalition governments.

You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. NZ is now cursed with the MMP disease where politician's who cannot even get enough votes to win their electorate seats (Winston) are effectively running the democracy. No one wins under MMP, no party wins, the losers run amok and the whole country loses with a divided leadership.

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All these moaners re MMP come across as just so many old men shaking their fists at clouds.

It's time to get used to people being able to have representation even if they're not good old salt of the earthers like everyone here apparently is.

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