Friday, November 07, 2008

Voting with hearts and minds

Here is the late political shift I blogged about on Tuesday. I am assuming this is the Fairfax-Nielsen poll as the DomPost doesn't actually label it;

When I got home Wednesday there was a message on the answerphone from a gentleman who did not identify himself but told me he had just voted. "I've given my vote back to ACT. I think you've got the right policies."

BACK being the key word.

Vernon Small describes this in his comment today.

"...even ACT is starting to rise, as the right-wingers in National have granted the themselves the luxury of voting with their hearts."

Personally I would have thought they were voting with their hearts and minds.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

On Obama

Cactus has written an exceptional piece on the election of Obama.

I have nothing more to offer than this comment just left at No Minister;

All the hoo-ha over America electing its first black President reminds me of the fuss over Helen Clark's election as the first NZ woman Prime Minister. Who cares their sex or colour? It's what happens to the country under their leadership that matters. Obama is not an economic liberal.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What price the Maori Party?

Here's the latest Maori Party policy.

To gift $500 to parents of some 230,000 children 'living in poverty' and superannuitants, to help them over the Xmas period.

They say it will cost $136 million.

I make it roughly $300 million (500,000 superannuitants and 100,000 parents x $500)

Basically workers are being asked to pass the hat and put in $150 each so beneficiaries can get a $500 Christmas present. Labour governments have done this sort of thing in the past, although perhaps not exclusively for beneficiaries.

The Maori Party say it will be good for the economy because the recipients will spend it. That is making the assumption that you will not. Of course you are 'rich' and won't need the money yourself at Xmas.

One lady is honest enough to acknowledge the money might not reach the children.

"Who it makes a difference to depends on which families you give it to. There are a lot of drugs and alcohol. If I'm being honest [there are some who would] rather spend money on things like that."

But that is just an annoying detail. Probably the price the Maori Party are prepared to pay.

But will National or Labour?

Is this what the Maori Party support will come down to?

Back in 2006 Tariana said, "...the Maori Party is not for sale."

It is. And so are the other minor parties. But I would hope that a party like ACT would set a price that was of benefit to all New Zealanders. If the Maori Party hold the balance of power I fear that their actions will create division and resentment. I hope I am wrong.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Late shift in the political breeze

There is a late shift in the political breeze. Having campaigned in 2005 and 2008 I can tell you that there is more positivity towards ACT this time around. Part of this is the goodwill towards Rodney, whose image we have really promoted in the Hutt South.

People are feeling confident that there will be a change in government and are now thinking how to best use their votes to make it a worthwhile change. I am getting this at street level but I think it was reflected last night in the comments of Jenny McManus and Jon Johanssan after the leader's debate. They were both talking up ACT's prospects.

As usual we have had a devil of a time keeping the signs up (if they haven't been nicked or destroyed). That relies on myself and whoever will help as re-erecting the large signs is a two person job. Huge thank you to Neo-girl. We don't have the unions running around doing it all for us. And we are also trying to look after two electorates. But we have had fun and it's great when people yell out that they are voting for us or even stop to say they have just done so.

The mail will all go out. It's been tight but we are on target to make it. One more meeting and then, roll on Saturday and, as the campaign manager has coined it, The Fall of Helengrad!

Doing a DPB apprenticeship

In Australia Rupert Murdoch is railing against welfare dependency in the first of the Boyer Lectures.

Meanwhile, back across the ditch in God's Own, thousands of young people continue to embark on their welfare careers annually.

I asked a friend to guess how many young females had moved from being on the sickness benefit for pregnancy reasons, to the DPB last year. Without a pause she replied, "As many as moved from the dole to the sickness benefit a few months earlier."

Smart. When I put the same question to my husband he replied, "A hundred, hundred and fifty maybe."

"Try three thousand," I answered.

OK. I'm exaggerating. Actually it was 2,972.

Eighty percent were aged 24 or less. 51 percent were Maori.

This is not a safety net. This is a career choice. This is the DPB apprenticeship.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Grey Power - privilege in perpetuity

The campaign is an experience that makes me even more than usually aware of how the vast majority of people are in socialism up to their necks. It is a mindset that blinds them to what present day politics is all about. Vividly demonstrating this is a statement in today's Dominion Post by Grey Power;

We have a political system which has been built up to serve politicians and vested interest groups, rather than serving the public.

Now what is Grey Power if it isn't a 'vested interest group'?

I turned 49 yesterday so in just one more year I will qualify to join this crew. I can't wait - not.

Grey Power epitomises the pursuit of privilege. They cleverly cover this by tugging on the heartstrings with cases of elderly people shivering in their cold homes, suffering on hospital waiting lists. All the while thuggishly pulling the guilt lever on those who have not yet reached that lofty position of having 'paid taxes and served their countries all their working lives'.

Their inability to step back and see that the problems affecting them are a product of the political system they fuel and feed on by boastfully reminding politicians that their ranks hold many, many thousands of voters and their bidding should be heeded by those whose seek power.

What tops it then is to hear members almost uniformly slating Roger Douglas, the man who did more than any other politician this country has ever seen to try and tear apart this nasty, sticky web of socialism whereby the biggest whiners win the day. He opposed privilege in its every manifestation.

Perhaps Grey Power are cleverer than I give them credit for. Perhaps they understood that if people like Prebble and Douglas had their way there would be no government of any consequence worth whingeing to. That their own children and grandchildren might be infinitely better served by a government that stopped robbing people blind, allowing real freedom and prosperity, seems of little consequence.

The advert describes Grey Power as 92,000 mature citizens. Mature? My definition of mature requires that people have grown up and are able to think for themselves. This bunch are the herd-like cradle-to-gravers who are responsible for the last 50 years of the scratch my back politics we should all loathe and fear.

And get this. They want to know...

"...why governments have to tax the hell out of our superannuitants to pay for other vote catching bribes."

They just don't get it. Lie down with dogs etc.