Decision 2011: National – the better of two evils

I have just done a poll for Horizon Research about the election. One of the questions was “Who do you think is more likely to lead the Government after the election?” I chose National. I was then asked “You said that you thought that National would be most likely to lead the formation of a new Government after the 2011 general election. Why do you think that?”

My response to this question is simple.

The Labour Party has no leader and no vision. It’s not a case of the National Party being a good option, it’s a case of the National Party being the least worse option.

Yes, people are sick of National. But there’s no viable alternative. Labour is useless, with Phil Goff focusing on the “real” issues, like whether the Prime Minister should have spoken Maori at the World Cup Opening Ceremony. The Greens are far too extreme on most points for most New Zealanders. ACT is the same but in the opposite direction. While the Maori Party have managed to do a lot for their target audience, that target audience is too narrow for most New Zealanders to consider voting for them. Then there’s Mana, who make Communists look right wing.

National is going to win the election not because they are positive for the country, but because they’re less negative. National sucks, but everyone else sucks worse.

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Posted on September 13, 2011, in New Zealand Politics and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. ‘No leader’, yes. He’s been around too long, and the media don’t help him either. Every story about Goff is about how long his leadership will last.

    But I’d dispute the ‘no vision’ point – they certainly do have a vision, more of a vision than National, but with the RWC it won’t get the airtime. Nat’s haven’t been a great govt at all in my view. I don’t know what’s extreme about the Greens – capital gains tax and cutting the Roads of National Significance are both economically sound ideas.

    Really National are going to win because a) the media has already decided they have, and b) the RWC will be hogging all the airtime – Key will appear if the AB’s win, cementing his reelection bid.

  2. Goff has not lead the Labour Party at all. The person leading the Labour Party at the moment is Trevor Mallard. That’s not a good look in two ways. Firstly, Phil Goff is the actual leader, so having someone else take control is a bad look. Secondly, Trevor Mallard is not the type of person anyone is going to want running the country. He is an idiot and a delinquent.

    Labour’s vision is to “own our future”. I don’t want Labour to own my future. I want to own my own future. A capital gains tax is a good idea, BUT Labour is being stupid with the way they’re doing it. I’ve done enough blogs on Labours CGT that I”m not going to go into it again (https://politicalisation.wordpress.com/2011/07/09/capital-gains-tax-good-if-its-done-right-but-labours-doing-it-wrong/ for example).

    Replacing GDP with the “happiness index” is pretty extreme. Making New Zealand fix a problem we barely contribute to is extreme.

    The media have decided National are going to win because the public have decided National are going to win. No other reason.

  3. “I don’t want Labour to own my future”…

    Own our future as in not selling off assets. National say Kiwi mum and dad investors will be able to buy shares in our assets. But we ALREADY OWN THEM. Making us buy what we already own is moronic. Hence “own our future” – why do we have to buy what is already ours???

    The media I think have done a poor job. Every story on Labour is about Goff’s leadership, every portrayal of Key is very sympathetic. Very little focus on policy and vision.

    • The term “asset sales” gives people images of privatisation. However, National is not suggesting privatisation. They are suggesting partial sales. The Government still retains majority control, giving the benefits of SOEs, but the companies also have shareholders to answer to, giving the efficiency of a privately owned company. Particularly when there are two or more SOEs in the same industry, like the power companies, this will cause greater efficiency and lower prices for consumers. The Government doesn’t lose the dividends, because they still own 51% of the company. Sure, they lose some, but the consumer gains too.

      Look at Air New Zealand. It failed as an SOE. It failed as a private company. It’s booming now with the same model that National’s proposing for some other assets.

      • I don’t dispute any of that Daniel, I know what the ‘mixed ownership model’ is, but the fact remains that even with partial sales, National are asking us to buy shares in assets that we already own. It’s like having to pay rent on a house you yourself own. It defies logic in my opinion anyway. And yes, it does open the door to foreign ownership of up to 49%.

        But I’m framing it as an ownership argument, you’re framing it as an efficiency argument. Ergo, we’re not going to agree 😛

      • Personally, I don’t care who owns it. The 49% being held by other people, whether they be citizens, naturalised persons or overseas investors, will still result in the same goal – increased efficiency and value for customers.

        In fact, if overseas investors come in, that’s a boost to the economy.

    • Meh…you might personally not care. Myself, I think of it as I technically own a small portion of each of those assets. Asking me to buy what I already own is silly but that’s just me.

      I’m not saying there isn’t merit in the efficiency argument, but at the same time opening the door to foreign ownership (albeit minority foreign ownership at this stage) might have negatives for those paying the bills.

      At the same time I won’t say Labour are entirely honest with calling it asset sales, when you rightly point out it is a mixed ownership model in which the state is still majority shareholder. The best of both worlds?? Time will tell…

      • If you own a small portion, you’re just buying a bigger portion if you buy shares in those assets. You own about 0.000025% of each SOE. If you then buy 1% of that asset, you’ve increased your shareholding by 4,000,000%. I think my maths might be a bit off on the 4 million per cent, but you get what I mean.

        We need to look at what’s more important. Do we want every New Zealander to one 0.000025% of an SOE, or do we want every New Zealand to save money on every day things like power. If we look at Merdian Energy’s profit for the year of $219 million, if every cent of that was given in dividends, each New Zealander’s dividend would be $54.75 (on there being 4 million New Zealanders. I know the figure’s not exactly right, but it will still show what I’m trying to show here). If New Zealanders get more than $4.56 off their power bill a month through the efficiency given by mixed ownership, they will have become better off overall.

        Time will tell if this does give us the best of both world. It seems to be working well in other places it’s been used so I suspect it will, but we shall soon see.

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