Thursday, April 28, 2011

Burger King Meeting

The fact that Hide and Brash had a meeting at Burger King made me chuckle, mostly because it sounds like something I would do. I suspect it was Don Brash's suggestion.

Secret meetings at fast food joints aside, Dr. Don Brash is the new leader of the ACT party. Yay!

Couple of comments on Rodney Hide. He's been an effective minister in the National lead govt. He saw through the creation of the Auckland Supercity - probably the largest shake-up in local body politics since ever. In spite of criticism from some on the left who called the reforms 'anti-democratic', a left-leaning candidate is now major of Auckland City. I haven't heard a peep from anyone on the left or the right who advocates repealing the Supercity Act. If that's not a tribute to Hide's success, I don't know what is.

So while he's a successful minister, he's not an inspiring party leader - especially now that he's in government. So stepping down as ACT leader was the right move IMO. Where to now for Rodney? Given he's a good minister, perhaps he should consider standing for Epison as a National Party candidate.

Don Brash now has a real opportunity to craft a ideologically pure Classical Liberal party. Which means liberal on economic and social issues. Dr Brash is a great communicator & I believe he could carve out this niche.

The more people detract & denigrate him, the more his message will permeate. I've just listen to Matthew Hooten on Nine to Noon dating back to last Monday. Hooten, a seasoned political analysis, predicted Hide would hang on & Brash would form a new party. He coudln't have been more wrong, which shows how much stock one should put into what he says. Brash would be wise not to take advise from this guy (again!).

Asides from WhaleOil, I've been surprised how badly right-leaning commentators have read the Brash coupe - especially the usually astute David Farrar of Kiwiblog.

Lastly, a quick comment on MMP. It would be hypocritical for me to vote for Brash yet vote against MMP. But I can't ignore the fact that MMP is corrosive to minor parties in coalition with a government from the left or the right. I can't think of a single minor party which came out of government with more votes. The Alliance, NZ1st (twice), United Future, and now the Maori Party & ACT have all suffered. The result is side shows, & instability. The new Brash led ACT party will also suffer in coalition with the Nats.

While I like the MMP system because it creates diversity & is more representative of New Zealanders, if the system is going to be retained perhaps the rules around smaller parties needs to be refined.

Whether I vote for MMP, Brash or Key, I'm still undecided. But one thing is for sure, politics just got interesting again.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Don Brash & John Key

If Brash becomes leader of the Act Party, then my choices for the 2011 election just got a whole lot more complicated.

Do I vote for Dr Brash - my personal political hero who took the fight to Helen Clark only to have the 2005 election stolen from him by Labour's corrupt practices.

Or John key - the only Prime Minister I've ever liked and is performing excellently.

To further complicate things, I've to decide whether to vote for or against MMP. If MMP brings someone like Brash into parliament, then it's good. If it brings in someone like Hone or Winston Peters, then it's bad. That is my dilemma.

Either way, as long as Phil Goff & Winston Peters aren't running the show, then I happy. For a while this coming election was looking rather dull with the Nats so far ahead. But it looks like the minor parties will make things interesting. This election could become a battle for the political right of New Zealand politics with the National Party forced even further too the centre.

On a side issue, I've been disappointed with the usual high standard of political analysis by DPF & IV2 on the Brash take over of Act. They've focused on technicalities and his age. When Act is polling just above 1%, none of that really matters.

Key isn't driven by the issue of turning NZ into a republic, and for that reason I'm very happy for him to visit the Queen.

Helen Clark was a declared republican & no doubt had many pent up years of resentment toward the monarchy as lefties often do. I can only imagine the vitriol Clark, Wilson, & H2 would've spewed behind closed doors.

So while Clark had to meet the Queen as part of her duties of state, the meetings came across as phony & dishonest.

Key & Bronagh, on the other hand, are doing New Zealand proud.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Frisking The Standard on the 2008 Polls

"remember, National lost 10% during the final five months of that race, too"

The quote above is in reference to the 2008 election race.  

I don't recall the Nats dropping a massive ten percent.  I know they dropped a bit.  With the power of the internet, I can check. 
All of a couple of mins later I find the truth:

"In April 2008 – six months beforehand – Labour averaged a poll rating of 35.9 percent in polls conducted by the Digipoll, TNS, Colmar Brunton, Nielsen and three by Roy Morgan (which we have counted once, using an average of the three). This is 2 percent higher than their election day result.Using the same polls and methodology, National polled an average 51 percent – 14.9 percent ahead of Labour, and a massive 6 percent higher than what they achieved in November."

"I'd like to see the $110 billion dollars of subsidies for greenhouse polluters under National's Emissions Trading Scheme cut."

The Standard stages this argument in such as way that to take an opposing point of view would be to relegate yourself to an eco-villian from the cartoon series 'Captain Planet'.  Which is exactly how they see you & you're treated accordingly. 
But as usual, their analyze is superficial. 

Who are these polluters?  What is NZ's emissions profile?  With the power of the internet combined, it's very easy to find out the answer to these questions*.

Half of NZ's emissions come from agriculture. So farmers are the 'polluters' The Standard are talking about.  Other than Climate Change, lefties often advocate the plight of the less well off.  With the global population continuing the rise, the pressure on food supplies increases.   Farmers are best known for producing food. 
So if farming becomes unaffordable in New Zealand;

1. Global food production drops (particularly dairy and meat products).
2. Other countries with less environmentally friendly farming practices pick up the slack with the end result being more pollution. 

Once again, The Standard (New Zealand's premiere Leftie blog) side steps reality in the interests of promoting their holier than thou, narcissistic, slogans.  What a bunch of muppets. 


"Total emissions 70.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent, up from 59.1 million tonnes in 1990.
Primarily methane emissions from cattle and sheep, which number about 10 million and 33 million, respectively. Methane is about 21 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
New Zealand is unique among developed countries for having such a high proportion of emissions from agriculture, with the average for developed countries at about 10 percent.
Methane comprised 37 percent of the nation's total greenhouse gas emissions and rose 3.3 percent from 1990 levels.
Overall, agricultural emissions rose 8.4 percent from 1990 by 2009.
Transport accounted for 17.5 percent of national emissions, electricity generation and heat production 8.4 percent.
Transport is mostly made up from burning fuel for cars and trucks while electricity generation is from power stations fueled mostly by gas and coal.
Emissions from the energy sector increased 34.3 percent from 1990 levels, mostly from growth in power generation and transport.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Japan's Nuclear Disaster

From BBC News. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13050228 There's been a lot of criticism that the Fukushima nuclear disaster has received a disproportionate amount headline news given that no one has died as a result of the nuclear incidence. I would tend to agree. The 9.0 earthquake which created the tsunami was x8000 stronger than the one that hit Christchurch. It's a testament to the Japanese that any of the nuclear reactors survived.


The NZ economy is really struggling at the moment borrowing $300 million a week just to pay the bills. 
While leftie blogs are jumping up and down that it's the National Govt's fault (in power 2.5 years), the reality is this is the continuing legacy of Helen Clark & Michael Cullen's government (in power for 9 years).

Helen Clark is to blame not just for her economic policies that cranked up entitlements and government spending which are very difficult to scale back, but the continuing political environment of denial. Helen could argue a rainy, stormy day was mere overcast and was actually sunny. 
Helen Clark cultivated this environment by not only being risk adverse, but by continually criticizing bold decisions taken by previous governments  i.e. the mother of all budgets, & Rogernomics.  The reality is that she did not repeal any of Ruth Richard's bold budget while in govt, and she was actually a minister during the Rogernomic era.  So while she understands the reality of these bold measures (and even voted for some of them), she presents a different view because it suited her politically (while some may consider this good politics, I actually find it disgusting & disingenuous).
The result is an opposition Labour Party which hasn't talked about deficit reduction once, and a timid National government. 
Don Brash is a great reality check.  Shame he never made it into government.  


A politican from any persuasion can gain a lot of kudos if they hold their own against a clearly partisan interviewer. 

Following that rather serious post, here's a joke about a Veterinarian:

"A veterinarian was feeling ill and went to see her doctor. The doctor asked her all the usual questions, about symptoms, how long had they been occurring, etc., when she interrupted him: "Hey look, I'm a vet. I don't need to ask my patients these kind of questions: I can tell what's wrong just by looking. Why can't you?"
The doctor nodded, looked her up and down, wrote out a prescription, and handed it to her and said, "There you are. Of course, if that doesn't work, we'll have to have you put down."


^ in the news article above, a thirty year old veterinarian murdered his pregnant mistress to stop his wife from finding out.  
The vet will probably spend the rest of his life behind bars.  This case is sad on multiple levels, but what struck me was the waste.
The guy obviously had passion given the hours of study and cost involved to become a vet, and at thirty he was just starting his professional career.  He probably would've gone on to service the community for the next thirty to forty years.  
So all that hard work, passion, and potential was overridden by sex and pride. 


Nats 54%
Lab 34%

For Phil Goff I think this proves there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Nats on track to governing outright after the next election.


"Since 2008, when Rudd and Gillard decided to pander to Manne and the progressive Left by dismantling Howard's painfully built but enormously effective border protection policies, almost 11,000 asylum seekers have arrived on more than 200 boats....While at least 220 people have died at sea and more than 1000 children have been put on boats, the number of special humanitarian visas provided to offshore asylum seekers has halved."

Many Aussie lefties used Howard's asylum seeker policies as a political 'call to arm'.  And it worked. 


I was talking to an Aussie lefty about this issue the other day.  He said without hesitation "let them in, they're not criminals" and in the same breath talked about population pressures with regards to water & transport. 






A few right wing blogs I regularly read have opportunistically used a few candid quotes from Nick Clegg's interview above to character assassinate him. 

I think this is unfair because if you read the interview in it's entity (which I suspect they have not done), he comes across as a pretty decent guy.

I prefer Clegg as deputy PM to when he was in opposition (contrary to most people I suspect). The same applies for Obama.  The lofty ideals they once preached don't seem to survive the transition to office where they become rational centralists. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Opposition call for the Govt to Resign


Cunliffe calls for English to resign over a scheme which the previous Labour govt designed, & Goff calls for the entire govt to resign for 'a range of reasons'.

What next? Will Goff demand the public flogging of John Key for spelling errors.

The call for resignation should really be held in reserve for real serious issues - say corruption. Have Mr Goff and Mr Cunliffe not read the fable about the boy who cried wolf.

By being so flippant, Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition is failing all New Zealanders.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Thought for the day - RNZ Politics

Don Brash to commentate for the political right.

I often listen to the politics commentary on the Nine to Noon show with Kathryn Ryan - whom is very good.

While the left commentator has changed multiple times over the years, the right have been stuck with Matthew Hooten.

Hooten has his moments, but I'd like to hear Dr Brash's opinion every now and then - especially on economic matters.


Heh, I suspect The Herald rather likes being savaged by the Tizard.


If Dalziel thinks the govt is taking advantage of the earthquake for political ends, then isn't she guilty of the exact same thing with a speech like this. 

For one it was inevitable that the up & coming budget would be influenced by quakes.

I would like to hear Labour's plan for tackling the ever growing deficit.
They had fair weather when they were in govt & the evidence to date suggests  that mindset prevails.