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Posts Tagged ‘Orewa speech’

Random Thoughts on Random Things #7 – the fate of the Maori Party

17 July 2014 1 comment

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Watching Pita Sharples interviewed on TV3’s ‘The Nation’ on 5 July, two things occurred to me.

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There is every likelihood that, come election day,  the Maori Party is doomed. If they are really, really, really lucky, they might win one seat. Perhaps.

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As much as I dislike National’s coalition lap-dogs, We may yet need the Maori Party.

Up till now, I have wished for their hurried departure from Parliament. As a much-needed coalition ally to National, they have propped up this government and allowed various policies to be enacted that further the neo-liberal agenda at the expense of the majority of New Zealanders.

But this, in turn, has meant that National and ACT have toned down much of the anti-Treaty rhetoric that Brash engaged in when he was leader of the Nats. When Brash gave his infamous Orewa speech in January 2004, the more conservative, reactionary element in New Zealand society rewarded him and his party with a huge (if short-lived) 17%  ‘bounce’ in the polls.

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kiwis not iwis - beaches

 

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National’s  strategists understand they cannot afford to alienate that support. Not when every vote and every seat in Parliament counts. And not when this year’s election promises to be the narrowest-run race in decades.

Keeping the Maori Party on-side has also meant losing a strategic tactic from the Right – playing the racist “Treaty Card”. National can no longer play that “card”. Not if it expects to keep the Maori Party as a coalition ally.

This is an added ‘bonus’ for the Left. By removing  anti-Treaty messages from National’s “arsenal” of available campaign strategies,  racist rednecks no longer have a “natural political home” to vote for, en masse.

As someone who has no love for National and it’s coalition allies, I have to grudgingly admit to a new-found use for the Maori Party – as a useful brake on National’s racist tendencies.

Perhaps Labour and Mana should consider the strategy of “gifting” one of the seven Maori Electorates to the Maori Party?

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References

TV3: The Nation – Interview – Maori Party founding co-leader Pita Sharples

TV3: Interview – Pita Sharples – Transcript

Fairfax media: Brash takes aim at Key in race speech

Previous related blogposts

Poll shows gain for National’s ‘dog whistle’ politics

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Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 12 July 2014.

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Poll shows gain for National’s ‘dog whistle’ politics

18 September 2012 6 comments

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Continued from: Latest Roy Morgan Poll shows change of government

The latest Roy Morgan Poll (27 August –  9 September)showed  a predictable rise in support the  National Party at  46.5% (up 2% since August 13-26, 2012),

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Roy Morgan Poll 9 September 2012 – Trending

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See: National (46.5%) increases strong lead over Labour (31%)

Translated into seats,

National – 46.5% –   56 seats

Labour – 31% –  38 seats

Greens – 12.5% – 15 seats

NZ First – 4.5%  (likely to increase to 5% in 2014)–  6 seats

Maori Party – assuming – 2 seats retained (possible) (3 seats, unlikely)

Mana Party – 2 seats  (possible)

Peter Dunne – assuming 1 seat retained (possible)

ACT – 0.5% – assuming Epsom lost – no seats (probable)

Labour, the Greens, and NZ First dropped minutely, and ACT is heading for Zero Percent territory.

Seen in a Left-Right bloc context;

Labour-Greens-NZF-Mana: 61 seats

National-Peter Dunne-Maori Party: 59 seats

The figures are not at all surprising. This blogger predicted that National will experience a “bounce” in the polls as it engages in dog-whistle politics.

Bashing the unemployed, solo-mums (but never solo-dads) and other welfare beneficiaries and “standing up to greedy Mow-ries” is always a vote winner with low-information voters.

Don Brash’s “Orewa Speech”  in January 2004 was racist dog-whistle politics that pandered to the lowest common denominator in New Zealand politics.

See: “NATIONHOOD – Don Brash Speech Orewa Rotary Club”

It also gave National a temporary boost in public opinion polls, rising 17% in a subsequent  TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll.

See: At least Louis Crimp is honest

17% increase in public support – a sad “reward” for a racist speech that pandered to our most base instincts.

The SOE water rights issue and bene-bashing is a predictable strategy for any right wing Party to employ, to boost public poll support. At the moment, National has very little else to rely on – the news from the economy is all bad.

National may stop at abolishing the Treaty of Waitangi and “nationalising water and air”, and may think twice before demanding that all welfare recipients sew black triangles onto their clothing – but I’m sure several of them have fantasised over the prospect.

This blogger predicts that National may indeed rise another percentage point or two – but like the aftermath of the 2004 Orewa Speech, the Nats will fall back as peoples’ irrational racist fears subside and poor economic indicators and poverty continue to dominate headlines.

We are still on course for a change of government in 2014, if not earlier.

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Previous blogposts

Latest Roy Morgan Poll shows change of government!

National ramps up attack on unemployed and solo-mums

National in trouble? Time to dog-whistle the Middle Class!

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