Winston Peters

Rodney Hide on the Winston Peters lottery ticket

…it’s a close-run thing. It’s not decided by how popular Key is, or how many votes National gets.

It’s the total centre-right vote versus the total centre-left that counts. And that’s a nail biter.

There’s also every likelihood that voters won’t decide the Government. That could be up to Winston Peters.

It’s deplorable but that’s MMP and that’s Peters’ cunning. To vote New Zealand First you must not care whether Cunliffe or Key is Prime Minister and whether the Greens are in Government. A vote for Peters is for any of the above.

Peters will go with who is best for him.

You have been warned.

All this has come about due to a number of scared old people putting the rest of New Zealand into a position where nobody knows what’s going to happen.   Read more »

Patrick Gower on the election

When Patrick Gower isn’t taking stories from me, he is taking stolen materials from hackers.

But today he writes in the Herald on Sunday about the election.

Try to make sense of this: it looks like John Key can’t lose an election that he can’t win.

Yes, Key in an unloseable position in an unwinnable race.

The polls show the left can’t win – they can’t get the numbers together to get a feasible majority no matter what.

The right can get the numbers together to win – but not without some serious compromises. It looks as if it’s not a matter of whether Key wins, but more how he wins.

For several years now the opposition have mocked John Key, along with the pundits like Gower, claiming he didn’t have support partners.

Now it looks like National has plenty of support partners…so many that National may be able to form a government easily with at least 60% of the vote.

Things aren’t so flash on the other side.

Let’s start with the death throes of the left.

The Greens’ tricky, cynical and reheated claim they could work with National was probably the final gasp of the left bloc this week.

It was just Greenwash, really: Russel Norman and Metiria Turei hate Key and everything he stands for, and have spent the past three years bashing National.

Labour’s election campaign is slip, slidin’ away

The election is slip, slidin’ away from Labour.

They are approaching the territory of Bill English, expect a sudden collapse of their vote in this final week as people wake up to the fact that they can’t win.

Voters don’t vote for losers.For the same reason people leave early from a rugby match when their team is getting pasted the voters will abandon Labour.

National is urging its supporters not to split their vote as our latest poll confirms the minor parties are on the rise – and Labour continues to slump.

The stuff.co.nz/Ipsos poll signals a horror start to the final week of the campaign for Labour as its support slides to 22.4 per cent, putting it on track for an unprecedented trouncing.

It appears to have bled some support to the Greens, who are on 13 per cent. But most attention is around the seeming unstoppable rise of Winston Peters and NZ First.

Read more »

Herald editorial calls out Winston

Yesterday’s Herald editorial calls time on Winston’s usual political chicanery.

Winston Peters sounds worried, as well he might be. His party has risen in our poll this week but Colin Craig’s Conservative Party remains poised near the threshold. If the Conservatives gain another percentage point or two they will offer National an option to Mr Peters, should National need another supporting party to return to office. John Key would clearly prefer to deal with almost anyone else.

The 8 per cent or so of voters who are planning to put Mr Peters back in Parliament are probably his perennial admirers and impervious to a public appeal, but here is one. Spare the country, please, another round of Mr Peters’ phony post-election routine. We have all seen it before. He makes everyone wait while he plays out a negotiation for no purpose beyond the pleasure he finds in it.

He thinks he is keeping people guessing but it has become tediously obvious what he will do in the end. If the result next Saturday night leaves him in a pivotal position there is no doubt he will put the winning party in power; he would not dare do otherwise.

The only uncertainty is the number of days or weeks he will want to delay the inevitable. New Zealand’s government should not be put at the disposal of somebody like this. Only his supporters can do something about it.

Winston likes the theatre…there are only two shows he won’t perform…a dogs show and no show.

They ought to consider that Mr Peters is nearly 70. It is well past time to retire him.

He has been in and out of Parliament since 1978, longer than any other MP. He has never come to terms with changes to the economy 30 years ago and at this election he is reaching further back to recall the protected prosperity of the 1950s.

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Winston would blow the Bribe-Meter to bits!

The Taxpayers’ Union is pissed off that it’s thrown money at a respected economist to develop an election ‘Bribe-O-Meter’ and New Zealand First won’t (presumably can’t) provide basic policy information for its policies to be costed.

“The Taxpayers’ Union has made numerous formal and informal approaches to Mr Peters and his party. Despite our best efforts Mr Peters continues to fob off providing transparency to the voting public.”

Our independent expert, who used to lead the team at IRD that costed social policy for numerous governments (ironically including when Mr Peters was Treasurer!) has spoken to Party officials in Winston Peters’ office but still does not have enough information to give any insight as to what NZ First’s policies will cost.

Perhaps the reason NZ First has shied away from releasing their policy costings is because Mr Peters is worried it would deter voters? In 1996, the last time National was forced to go into government with Mr Peters, it cost taxpayers $5 billion, or $2,950 per household.

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Probably the best summary of Dirty Politics yet

House Of Cards TV Series HD Wallpaper

Paul Thomas writes int he NZ Herald about Dirty Politics.

Millions have been splashed out and a pigsty’s worth of mud slung but what have we actually learned from this election campaign?

• Nicky Hagar knows a thing or two about marketing.

• Cameron Slater isn’t as nice as he looks.

• You can judge a minister by the company she keeps.

• While the Whale Oil cabal give the impression they’ve watched too many episodes of House of Cards, their machinations owe more to Walter Mitty than Frank Underwood.

• Hillary Clinton got the wrong Kiwi politician when she added Helen Clark to the select group – Keith Richards and cockroaches – that would survive nuclear Armageddon. She should have nominated Winston Peters.

• Contrary to Tana Umaga’s famous complaint, some people seem to think we are playing tiddlywinks here.

Fair points. I also like the picture of Frank Underwood in the article, and since we are talking about House of Cards…who is going to play Zoe?

The campaign has also reinforced that just as truth is the first casualty of war, irony is the first casualty of politics.

There was Internet-Mana’s Laila Harre on the TV news complaining about the media manufacturing a news story out of a private email (Hone Harawira foaming at the mouth about the Internet Party’s preoccupation with legalising cannabis).

That was followed by David Cunliffe complaining about the timing of the release of a damning New Zealand Institute of Economic Research assessment of Labour’s capital gains tax arithmetic and accusing Federated Farmers, who commissioned the report, of “playing politics.”

A month ago Cunliffe was hailing Hagar’s carefully timed intervention in the election, predicting it would “shift hundreds of thousands of votes”. One man’s political stunt is another’s welcome contribution to the debate.

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Are you willing to play the Winston Peters Lottery?

Get used to it:  Winston Peters will be part of the government come September 20.

The problem is, he won’t tell you which side he’ll back.

In fact, he’s just as likely to go with Labour.  After all, they are operating an open chequebook election, whereas National is trying to come off as much more responsible.

If you want to boot the National Government out next Saturday why on earth would you vote for Winston Peters and NZ First?

On the other hand, if you want to keep National in power after the election, why would you opt for Peters and his party?

The truth is you wouldn’t.

If you want certainty Peters doesn’t come into it.

Voting for Peters is a big, blind, gamble: he won’t tell you what he plans to do.

He claims that’s up to voters to decide. Rubbish. Read more »

The drink takes its toll?

Moments after the Clown of Campbells Bay, Andrew Williams, is kicked into touch, Winston starts to bang on about binge drinking.

Mere coincidence or a telling sign?

Being drunk in a public place will be an offence if NZ First has its way after the election.

Party leader Winston Peters also wants more police on the beat.

He says the government hasn’t increased the police budget in six years despite population increases.

“They went further in the last budget and actually took $40 million from the police budget,” he told a public meeting on Wednesday.

“That’s why they go to extraordinary lengths to convince you crime is dropping.”  Read more »

This election is far from over – Cunliffe

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since Labour launched its campaign five weeks ago. Everyone thought at the time Labour was a bit mad to launch so early. Wasn’t the party going to run out of things to say? As it happened, Labour has struggled to be heard over the noise created by Dirty Politics. Maybe that early launch wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

Not that it has done Labour much good. On the latest polls, Cunliffe just might be able to stitch together a government but he would have to hoover up every minor party within cooee of the Left wing of the political spectrum. And he would need Winston Peters, who has made it abundantly clear he has no intention of being an also-ran in a government that relies on Hone Harawira (or for that matter the Maori Party).

If anything, Labour’s support has flatlined over the course of the campaign. It’s not much to show for five weeks of hard slog, 5am wake-up calls, squeezing into tiny airplanes, snatched evenings at home, hours of prep for the leaders’ debates, and dispiriting shopping mall walkabouts.

Labour’s support has indeed flatlined, with voters now moving their votes from National looking for some kind of strategic advantage.   Risky stuff though.   Read more »

The Clown of Campbell’s Bay won’t get any answers until after the election

There is nothing so shameful as an out of sort MP trying to sue a party that doesn’t want him.

No surprises that this is Andrew Williams.

The High Court at Auckland will wait until after the election to hear a claim from New Zealand First MP Andrew Williams that his party has unfairly axed him from the party list.

Mr Williams is seeking a judicial review, claiming that the way he was treated breached the party’s constitutional requirement for fairness.

He was originally dropped from three to 13 on the draft party list, and then dumped from the official list altogether.

Mr Williams said in a statement today that his case had been set down for November 27. He had wanted a court date after the election so it would not be a distraction for the party during the election campaign.

After the draft list was leaked, Mr Williams complained to the media and blamed party deputy leader Tracey Martin for his low placing.

Not only was he dropped down the list then rinsed completely after he whinged but it seems now he has been chucked out of the caucus and party as well.   Read more »