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Incite Politics

National doesn’t need a friendly ghost, it needs a free spirit

Who, then, are the free spirits in the National Party’s present caucus? Who among them is brave enough to think differently? To behave unexpectedly . . .

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Incite Politics

Could John Tamihere win an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ contest for the Auckland mayoralty?

One possibility might be to pick up the fallen banner of the late Penny Bright. This eccentric campaigner never stopped asserting that Auckland City’s opaque accounting practices have hidden, and continue to hide, hundreds of millions of dollars expended annually on contractors. Money that has brought no discernible benefit to Auckland’s citizens . . .

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Incite Politics

Not Duck-hunting with John Kerry: Why the Republicans keep beating the Democrats.

Not that the DNC cares a whole hell of a lot. To the likes of Hillary and her supporters, the White working-class, with their awful attitudes and their love of guns, are simply “deplorables . . .

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Incite Politics

Standing for something

Can a party that goes out of its way to avoid contested elections truly be described as democratic? Should a party that allows its board (rather than its members) to decide who will be president really be given a pass by the Electoral Commission . . .

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Incite Politics

Forget about beating Jacinda: Concentrate on beating Labour

[...] the Labour-NZ First-Green coalition’s, most obvious weakness lies in its ideological incongruity. It’s component parties stretch the length of the political spectrum: from NZ First’s social conservatives on the right to the Greens social radicals on the left, with Labour hugging smugly what it perceives to be the centre ground . . .

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Incite Politics

Sinners need not apply

Bennett’s decision makes even less sense when one considers that her weaponization of sexual indiscretion occurred in the context of an internal fight . . .

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Incite Politics

Class act

The Wentworth by-election holds some important lessons for the Right. The most important of which is that an unmistakeable class divide slices through the ranks of contemporary conservatism – just as it does through the ranks of contemporary social-democracy.

The Wentworth result was a blatant snub to all the right-wing bovver-boys who have messed-up and intimidated the “nice” wing of the Liberal Party. Political yobs like Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton: people a Sydney patrician like Malcolm Turnbull wouldn’t be seen dead with unless the politics of the Party Room demanded it. This damning social . . .

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Incite Politics

Who, or what, is the “floating voter”?

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Winning before you fight

It is likely that the hearts and minds of voters are won or lost by Leaders of the Opposition before they become Leaders of the Opposition. Put another way, there is about every successful Opposition Leader an air of inevitability. Politicians who are successful in weaving about themselves a narrative of personal irresistibility and preordained electoral success are almost impossible to stop. The reverse is equally true. Politicians who cannot persuade either their colleagues or the wider public that they have what it takes to win, never do.

The most vivid exemplar of this notion is Rob Muldoon. The principle . . .

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Incite Politics

No place on the mountain-top for Simple Simon

Some politicians are more comfortable climbing the mountain than they are living at its summit. David Cunliffe, for example, was a tenacious mountaineer. He had set his sights on the Labour leadership and climbed over or around every obstacle in his way. Upon reaching the top of the mountain, however, he simply fell apart. For Cunliffe, the thrill was all in the ascent. For him, the summit held only terror.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the National Party leader, Simon Bridges, is also finding life at the top terrifying. His political behaviour, to date, is not that of a . . .

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