Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kiwiblog - Dyer on Libya


^ the post linked above is very good.

In addition to the US, UK & France, Australia's foreign minister Kevin Rudd has been a keen advocate for a no fly zone.

One commonality between the advocates for the 'no fly zone' is they all have strong democracies. I don't know about Brazil, but Russia & China sure as hell don't.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Australia Politics Quote Of the Day

"Tony Abbott is good if you want to turn back the boats, but he's not so great if you want to win over rusted-on Labor voters," one federal MP said.
Tony Abbott omitted from NSW Coalition campaign after Barry O'Farrell jibe | News.com.au


Friday, March 25, 2011

Reports of a Labour Leadership Coup


The first term in opposition after being in Govt for nine years was always going to be tough for any party.

In National's first term of opposition English rolled Shipley. Across the ditch in Australia the Liberal Party went through two opposition leaders; Brendon Nelson, & Malcolm Turnball before settling with Tony Abbott.

I've been impressed with how Labour have held it together under Phil Goff & was probably one of their greatest strengths. It's the speculation which is most damage to a leaders credibility.

With the breaking story of Darren's resignation and Trevor Mallard in hospital, speculation is rife at the moment that a coup is in progress to make David Parker the new leader of the NZ Labour Party.

This could not have come at a worse time six months out from a general election.

Now that the genie is out of the bottle, it's going to be very hard for Goff to push it back in. So Labour may as well go through with the coup and get it done and over with. If the Labour Party caucus don't have confidence in Goff then how can they expect the public to?


There are many unanswered questions regarding this case, but I'm most puzzled why the police would search the house of deputy Labour Leader Annette King.

Until more information comes to light, I actually have a great deal of sympathy for the situation Darren is in.
His entire life is politics - he lives and breathes it. They've made fun of him in parliament on more than one occasion for having Hansard printouts stuck to his bedroom walls.
So if Darren loses his job over this, I image it would be fairly devastating for him.

It's never nice to see someone's hopes and dreams crashed.
Update: Annette King is Darren's land lord - that's the connection.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Govt Enacted Exceptional Powers

The govt has enacted exceptional powers due to the Chch Earthquake & the Rugby World Cup.  Basically this means circumventing or shortening parliamentary process.  
Of course these are exceptional events, & I suspect most people are fine with this & NX agrees.  However, maintaining a good process is beyond politics of the left & right, and should be fought for. 
So you'd think the opposition would have a field day with this.  Yet they've been strangely quiet.
I suspect it's because when it comes to enacting government powers, the left rather likes this.  Which also explains why there has been more criticism from commentators on the right.  
Phil Goff has been opposing the govt with a left wing critique, which has done bugger to capture the publics attention.  Ironically, he'd probably have more luck if he tackled them on some issues from a centre-right perspective because there are many disenchanted right-leaning voters out there.  I think he tried this once with a speech on Maori issues, which did nothing but anger his base supporters.  Plus a lot of people are suspicious, and rightly so, about how genuine his convictions are. 
In short, Goff is between a rock and a hard place.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Question Time – 17 of March, 2011

Bill English provides a timely reminder in an answer to parliament why it's good Labour no longer controls the treasury benches.

"Unlike the previous Labour Government we don't claim to control everything".

I reckon John Key's Post Cabinet Press Conference's are really good.

For one you get to see that the press do not give the PM an easy ride, but the way he bats away the questions is something to behold.

Key puts paid to opposition spin.


Compulsory viewing for political junkies (left and right) who need a reality check.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Australian Politics is Screwed

This article is so weird – at least from a New Zealand perspective. Rudd & Turnbull poll higher than the leaders of their respective parties.

To recap – Gillard replaced Rudd as Prime Minister when his polling slipped. And the same goes for Abbott; he replaced Turnbull when his numbers took a dive. Since then there has been a general election where Gillard was elected as PM (by the skin of her teeth), and Abbott is currently out polling the government by quite a comfortable margin. Given the public has seemingly validated the two leaders, why are their predecessors out polling them?
I'm sure political junkies could analysis this to no end, but I think my gut feeling sums up the situation nicely – all the leaders are equally unappealing.

If you managed to merge Turnball and Abbott into one person, you might get someone decent i.e. a socially liberal, monarchist who's neutral on climate change. On their own, I don't like either.

As for Rudd vs Gillard, the same applies. If you combined Rudd's humanity with Gillard's modesty you might get someone more likeable.

I'm just pleased that in New Zealand, the choice is easy. John Key leaves them for dead.