Archive

Archive for January, 2014

That was Then, This is Now #22 – Lowest wages vs Highest wages

31 January 2014 4 comments

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TWT TIN 22

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This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 24 January 2014.

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Previous related blogpost

That was Then, This is Now #21 – Increasing Govt Charges for Services: Labour vs National

References

Fairfax Media: PM – No money for aged care workers

NZ Herald:  PPTA ‘cautiously optimistic’ over school leadership changes

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Letter to the Editor: What taxes John Key’s mind?

30 January 2014 1 comment

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FROM:     "f.macskasy" 
SUBJECT:   Letters to the Editor
DATE:      Thu, 30 Jan 2014 08:26:50 +1300
TO:     "  Sunday Star Times"  <letters@star-times.co.nz> 

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The Editor
Sunday Star Times
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With continuing high unemployment and ongoing job losses;
increasing child poverty and wage/wealth inequality; a
shortage of decent, affordable housing; threats to our
coastal environment from deep-sea drilling; increasing state
surveillance on New Zealanders; rising interest rates to
come - what taxes John Key's mind?

The flag.

Nice to know that Dear Leader has our interests at heart and
is focused on the real, sole critical   problem confronting
our nation.

The next election can't come soon enough.

-Frank Macskasy
(address & phone number supplied)

 

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2014 elections vote

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

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Letter to Radio NZ: Key, the flag, and irrelevancies

30 January 2014 4 comments

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FROM:     "f.macskasy"
SUBJECT:  Flag
DATE:     Thu, 30 Jan 2014 07:53:28 +1300
TO:       Checkpoint RNZ <checkpoint@radionz.co.nz>

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Kia ora Geoff & Simon,

It should be fairly evident to all by the most naive that
raising the flag is Key's juvenile attempt at distracting
voters from the real problems confronting this country.
Chief amongst those is rising child poverty, wage/wealth
inequality; high unemployment; shortage of affordable decent
housing, etc.

With all these problems facing the country, Key focuses on 
irrelevancies and suggests a referendum.

We had a referendum on the sale of state assets and he
ignored the results. So now he wants another referendum and
he'll respect the results of that one?

Pathetic and laughable.

-Frank Macskasy

(phone number supplied)

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vote election 2014

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

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Latest Roy Morgan poll bad news for National

30 January 2014 1 comment

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Red Green Up

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The latest Roy Morgan poll is bad news for John Key, as it confirms a downward trend for the current National-led government and a rise in the left Labour-Green bloc.

Taken between 6 January  to 19 January, 2014, the poll was conducted through   calling  1,509 respondents, both on landline and mobile telephones. (Currently, Roy Morgan is the only polling company that calls cellphones as well as landlines.)

The poll showed that voter-support for the main ‘players’ is fluid and that none of the parties can take anything for granted. At 46%, the Labour/Green Bloc is outstripping National’s 43.5%, which appears to have no viable coalition partners on the Right.

The Numbers

The Right Bloc:

National Party: 43.5% (- 1.5%)

Conservative Party of NZ: 2.5% (+ 0.5%)

Maori Party: 2% (+ 0.5%)

United Future: 0.5% (+ 0.5%)

Act: 0% (unchanged)

The Left Bloc:

Labour Party: 33.5% (+ 3%)

Green Party:  12.5% (- 2%)

Mana Party: 0.5% (- 0.5%)

Wild Card:

NZ First: 4% (- 1%)

The Trend

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Roy Morgan New Zealand Voting Intention - January 22, 2014

Source

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The Analysis

1. At 43.5% in the poll, this constitutes a 3.8 percentage-point drop from National’s election night result of 47.3%, in 2011. A few more percentage points lost between now and Election Day this year, and it’s Game Over for this hopeless government.

A point to consider is that part of Key’s unbelievable success can be laid at his public persona of an easy-going nature, and his uncanny ability to de-politicise politics. As he is forced to become more political in a very politicised year, that easy-going nature and de-politicised approach to issues, will be put to the test. The Prime Minister may yet become a political creature like his predecessors.

2. Labour’s 33.5% poll result contrasts starkly with their poor election night result in 2011, where their support collapsed to 27.48%. If the Labour-Green-Mana bloc can increase their support by a couple of more percentage points – the next Prime Minister will be David Cunliffe and Dear Leader John Key will be taking an extended vacation in Hawaii.

Expect Labour to attack National on it’s weak fronts;

  • rising mortgage interest rates – estimated to reach 7% to 8%
  • rising fuel prices as the global economy picks up, and the demand for oil increases
  • a bounce upward in unemployment, as businesses attempt to cut costs by reducing staff
  • an on-going shortage of affordable housing
  • young New Zealanders forced out of the housing market, due to National’s sign-off on Reserve Bank policies
  • continuing wages lagging behind CPI increases
  • worsening balance of payments and another credit downgrade by Standard & Poors, Moodies, and/or Fitch
  • and as winter sets in – an outbreak of infectious disease in low socio-economic areas will impact on Key’s reputation as a sound political manager

3. Though NZ First currently polls at 4% – just under the 5% threshold – this blogger believes Peters can pull his Party up, and return to Parliament. The only qualifyer to this is if the public are sufficiently  spooked by Peters’ continuing refusal to indicate which Bloc he will support, post-election.

In essence, voters will be reluctant to give him a “blank cheque”, knowing that (a) he will be “king maker” and (b) he may “make the wrong person king”.

For a Voter who supports a Labour-led Coalition – what if Peters joins the Nats?

For a Voter who supports a Key-led government – what if he opts for a left-wing government headed by Labour?

This “fetish” of Peters – whilst strategically sound in some respects – may start to annoy a significant proportion of swing-voters to such a level that they are reluctant to take a “punt” on him.

As always, when playing two elephants off against each other, there is a risk of being trampled underneath.

4. It appears that Labour has ‘cannabalised’ support from the Green Party. Anyone in Labour rejoicing at this will need to smarten up their ideas. The task ahead of us is to grow the overall Labour-Green-Mana vote – not cannibalise each others’ support. Attacking each other is a mug’s game and the only person who will rejoice is the current Prime Minister.

There were 800,000 non-voters at the last election. They are the ones we should be engaging with.

5. National seems to have lost support to the Conservative Party, which has recorded a rise in polling. But if the Conservatives fail to win an Electorate Seat, their small rise – at National’s expense – will not only be wasted, but will harm National’s overall Parliamentary seat numbers.

6. Act’s currently zero polling indicates that there may be no strategic value for National to “gift” them the seat of Epsom. If the next Act candidate (John Boscawen?) cannot pull in another Act MP on his “coat tails”, then the Nats might as well take their seat back.

That will be the end of Act and another nail in the coffin that is being prepared for neo-liberalism in this country.

7. If everyone who voted Green in Ohariu sobers up long enough to cast their electorate vote to the Labour candidate, that will be the end of Dunne’s political career. Had 1,775 Green voters who gave their electorate vote to Gareth Hughes voted for Charlers Chauvel instead, Dunne would have lost his seat in 2011.

8. The Maori Party is doomed.

9. The Conservative Party will not cross the 5% threshold, nor win an electorate seat. Aside from alienating women voters by calling them sexually promiscuous, or opposing marriage equality for all New Zealanders, regardless of sexual orientation; or admitting to breaking the law and assaulting his own children – Craig and his Party are simply too ‘fringe’ for 99% of New Zealand voters to stomach.

Even the religious-based Christian Coalition in 1996 could only achieve 4.33% of the Party vote. Not enough to cross the 5% threshold.

And if by some miracle (!), Craig wins an electorate seat and/or crosses the 5% threshold – who else will be on his Party List? The Conservative Party list may field candidates every bit as loopy and ill-disciplined as Peter Dunne’s rag-tag band of eccentrics in 2002. And that did not last very long either.

10. We are on track for a change of government at the end of this year. But there is still a lot of work ahead of us.

Note

Of all respondents/electors surveyed, 4% (unchanged) did not specifically  nominate a preference for any party.

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vote left

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 23 January 2014.

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References

Wikipedia: New Zealand general election, 1996

Wikipedia: New Zealand general election, 2002

Wikipedia: New Zealand general election, 2002 – Early activity

NZ Herald: Key says he’ll quit politics if National loses election  (3 January 2011)

Wikipedia: New Zealand general election, 2011

NZ Herald: No proof to promiscuity claim (9 May 2012)

TV1 News: Conservative leader says gay marriage ‘not right‘  (27 July 2012)

NZ Herald: Colin Craig: I smack my child  (13 January 2014

Roy Morgan Poll: Jan 22 2014

Previous related blogposts

Post mortem #1: Green Voters in Electorates (27 November 2011)

Mr Morgan phoned (1 September 2013)

Latest Roy Morgan Poll – on course to dump this rotten government (14 September 2013)

Census, Surveys, and Cellphones (Part rua) (12 December 2013)

Latest Roy Morgan Poll: next govt too close to call? (15 December 2013)

Letter to the Editor: Winston Peters, Kim Dotcom, and blank cheques (22 January 2014)

Other blogs

The Daily Blog: Does Winston want to go home?

The Standard: National’s first strategic mistake

The Standard: Latest Roy Morgan – Labour + Green ahead

No Minister: Key softens stance on deal with Peters

Gordon Campbell: On National’s election fling with New Zealand First

Polity: The science of Key’s 2014 coalitions

Public Address: Hard News: All John’s Friends

The Dim Post: Winston Peters is not that unpopular

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Whalers go gunning for Whaleoil

29 January 2014 5 comments

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whaleoil cyber attack

Source: Radio NZ – Blogger believes death threats from West Coast

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On Radio NZ’s “Checkpoint” this morning, poor ole right wing blogger and Sultan of Sleaze, Cameron Slater,  was painting himself as the “victim of bullies”;

http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/2583839

Oh, the irony and hypocrisy… *shakes head*

He obviously still does not understand that if you attack, denigrate, and abuse people – that eventually he will strike someone who will hit back. Hard.

Karma is not a mystical thing. It is humans getting pissed off.

That he doesn’t understand this simple aspect of human nature reaffirms in my mind that Slater doesn’t understand people. The term psychopath comes to mind.

Or just plain arsehole.

Postscript:

Folks should lay off the death threats. We know that Slater is a foolish little man who acts in a repulsive manner – but death threats are not cool. (That’s if the “death threats” are real, and not an attempt by Slater to garner sympathy and headlines. We’ll see if he goes ahead with the police complaint.)

Still – death threats. Not cool.

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vote left in 2014

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

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Letter to the Editor: A Rock Star Economy?!

28 January 2014 2 comments
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FROM: 	"f.macskasy" 
SUBJECT: Letters to the Editor
DATE: 	 Tue, 28 Jan 2014 22:32:06 +1300
TO: 	"NZ Herald" letters@herald.co.nz 

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The Editor
NEW ZEALAND HERALD

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HSBC chief economist, Paul Bloxham, describes New Zealand as
the "rock star" economy among OECD nations. 

I hope not. Rock stars have a nasty habit of burning out
early (the Rolling Stones being an exception) through drugs,
booze, and other nasty vices.

I recall that Ireland was described as the "Celtic Tiger"
between 1995 and 2000 - until it's economy crashed and
burned later. It's massive foreign investment led to an
unsustainable property boom which collapsed like a house of
cards in 2008 with the GFC.

The "Celtic Tiger" has lessons for our own nation, as we
also face an unsustainable property boom and associated
private debt that, by  31 June 2012, reached a staggering
$256.4 billion, or 125.3% of GDP  (ref; RBNZ).

I've no doubt that the HSBC - a UK-based bank - is loving
our "rock star" economy. They are no doubt amongst big
lenders, funding our property speculation habit.

Trouble is, like most suppliers of a "habit", they will
eventually seek payment-in-full.

That's when we'll see how rock stars crash.

-Frank Macskasy
(address & phone number supplied)

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election 2014

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

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David Cunliffe’s State of the Nation, 27 January 2014

If you missed David Cunliffe’s State of the Nation  speech, here it is;

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Cunliffe state of the nation 2014

[Click on image]

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The only thing he missed out on; that  he will take on the role of Minister for Children once he becomes Prime Minister. Cunliffe was correct; children are the future of this country.

A quarter of a million children in poverty is not an “issue” – it is a crisis slowly exploding into our communities. Only fools with their heads buried in neo-liberal sand willfully ignore such a growing problem.

David Cunliffe, Prime Minister & Minister for Children.

Such a move would add unassailable gravitas to such a portfolio. It would be a good start.

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