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  1. #1
    SideysGhost SideysGhost is offline

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    New Zealand General Election 2017

    I don't expect this thread to draw much interest, and what it does draw will probably be mindless idiocy from the peanut gallery, but ho-hum.

    Early voting has already started with the main event on Saturday 23rd September. New Zealand uses a form of PR called Mixed Member Proportional (MMP). It's very similar to the Scottish system for Holyrood elections where each elector has two votes: one for the local FPTP one-seat constituency and one for the Party List, with a German-style 5% threshold for getting List seats in parliament, and some NZ-specific complications regarding Maori electorates and seats to ensure Maori representation in parliament.

    After nine years of dominance by the National Party (think the saner wing of the UK Tories), popular ex-PM John "smiling assassin" Key retired last December, being replaced as PM by former Finance Minister Bill English. Main opposition party Labour have also gone through a string of leaders over the last few years, finally ditching earnest-but-dull Andrew Little in favour of young rising star Jacinda Ardern with just 6 weeks to go to the election. The Greens and United Future also had leadership heaves over the last few weeks, swivel-eyed WingNut loons ACT are still being kept alive with a dirty pact with National in the Epsom constituency, cat-hating eccentric Gareth Morgan has launched his maverick The Opportunities Party going all-in to upset the appletart, old war-horse Winston Peters is charging into what will probably be his final election campaign with his NZ First Party - with his usual populist pandering and moaning about bloody immigrants trying to be the new Trump and there is also of course the Maori Party and Mana in the mix, so it's all rather dramatic by the normally staid standard of Kiwi politics.

    Changing leaders a few weeks out might seem risky but it has certainly worked out for Labour who immediately started soaring in the polls with both major parties now somewhere around 40% - Labour up around 16% in a couple of weeks! National immediately panicked and went on the attack with smear campaigns against Ardern personally on abortion, suicide and euthanasia and even whether she will have children, and Labour policy generally accusing Labour of an $11.7bn fiscal hole in their plans which errrrr didn't exist.

    So all very entertaining, but also very serious issues on inequality, the house price bubble, the standards of rental properties, mental health services funding, the suicide epidemic, homelessness, climate change, water pollution and yes immigration are all bubbling to the surface too.

    Actually half those issues are all spin-off effects of the lunatic housing bubble. Tackle that and many, many problems will be immediately ameliorated.

    As things stand there are a multitude of potential coalition options post-election depending where the numbers fall, but Labour clearly have far more pathways to power than National, who are likely to be restricted to populist NZ First (apart from the sole ACT nutter) as the only other group that is interested in playing with them.

    Personally it'll be my second election voting here. My electorate vote is decided, party list vote is still up for grabs....
    Last edited by SideysGhost; 11th September 2017 at 06:01 PM.
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  2. #2
    Strawberry Strawberry is online now
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    I think I'd probably vote for the Maori party, I've always thought they should get a better deal. As for the NZ First guy moaning on about bloody immigrants, well excuse me but isn't he the immigrant?
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  3. #3
    SideysGhost SideysGhost is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post
    I think I'd probably vote for the Maori party, I've always thought they should get a better deal. As for the NZ First guy moaning on about bloody immigrants, well excuse me but isn't he the immigrant?
    Well in fairness Winston is a Maori but yeah in general New Zealanders moaning about "bloody immigrants" is a tad bonkers when the vast bulk of the population's ancestors have only been here since about the 1870s at most.

    I know a regular in the local pub who drones on about bloody immigrants all the time, big NZ First supporter. He's from......Southampton I just can't fathom the belligerent arrogance of the average racist [email protected]

    And yeah the Maori Party actually do have some good progressive policies, I'd be inclined to consider them for a party vote along with the Greens, Labour and maybe Mad Gareth Morgan's TOP outfit (if I could be sure he wouldn't prop up National).
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  4. #4
    NYCKY NYCKY is online now
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    Great OP. Personally, always like to see these threads from posters in other countries with good local knowledge.
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  5. #5
    NYCKY NYCKY is online now
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    I remember the recent hubbub about Jacinda and the questions on family. Has that had a discernible effect on the race overall?
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  6. #6
    Strawberry Strawberry is online now
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    Me too.

    And I agree with the weirdness of someone from Southampton supporting a no immigrants to New Zealand party. Its like Anne Marie Waters being the uber UKIPer who wants all foreigners kept out - she's from Dublin, FFS, she's an immigrant to the UK herself.
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  7. #7
    SideysGhost SideysGhost is offline

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    Obligatory Vote Compass thingy if any of ye are curious who you would end up supporting if you lived here. Wellington Central postcode is 6011

    https://votecompass.tvnz.co.nz/
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  8. #8
    Fritzbox Fritzbox is online now
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    Quote Originally Posted by SideysGhost View Post


    So all very entertaining, but also very serious issues on inequality, the house price bubble, the standards of rental properties, mental health services funding, the suicide epidemic, homelessness, climate change, water pollution and yes immigration are all bubbling to the surface too.

    Actually half those issues are all spin-off effects of the lunatic housing bubble. Tackle that and many, many problems will be immediately ameliorated.
    Pretty much the same range of problems like another small island nation on the other side of the world I can think off...
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  9. #9
    Strawberry Strawberry is online now
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    Apparently I should be voting Green closely followed by Mana.
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  10. #10
    SideysGhost SideysGhost is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYCKY View Post
    I remember the recent hubbub about Jacinda and the questions on family. Has that had a discernible effect on the race overall?
    Definitely, along with the attacks on abortion, euthanasia, and the "fiscal hole" debacle, the perception of inappropriate and aggressively sexist questioning by "rich old white men" in the media like Mike Hoskings has very much annoyed younger and female voters in particular. Labour were languishing in the low 20s before Jacinda took over, the early attacks just boosted her massively, and the increasingly-desperate attacks are only cementing Labour support, which could be 43% now on some polls. Meanwhile National have slumped from the high-40s to the high-30s, and Labour's preferred partners the Greens are also on the rise again in the polls (albeit to a meagre 6%) after a bit of controversy a few weeks ago led to the forced resignation of the co-leader and a backroom staff shake-up, and a collapse in their support.

    Kiwi friends are saying this is the most dramatic, interesting and unpredictable election in decades.
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