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The Greens’ failure to plan ahead

Eugenie Sage chose Facebook to post her justification for having to give a Chinese water bottling company OIO consent to develop a plant that could export a billion litres of water a year.

This was a major dead rat for the greens to swallow. They had campaigned as a party against bottled water and foreign investment. They had hidden behind not having to actually run anything to make grandiose statements about issues that they never really expected to have to deal with . . .

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Farmers vs. Fish & Game

Simon Lusk, with Bruce and Mabo

Farmers repeatedly complain about Fish & Game being anti farmer. This may be so in the eyes of farmers but farmers should put themselves in the shoes of Fish & Game. Doing so would be revealing.

Fish & Game take an active interest in the environment, especially waterways, because they manage trout populations. They fight against anyone who pollute waterways, as habit preservation, restoration and improvement is the single best way to increase the number of trout.    Read more »

Simon has had an interest in campaigning since the 1980 Presidential Campaign, and has followed campaigns closely since then. His first campaign was getting a 4th former successfully elected to a school Board of Trustees. He was harassed by people who thought it should have been a 7th former and learned that campaigners need thick skins.

 

In 2000 & 2001 Simon completed a Master of Arts in Politics through Otago University, with Prof Bob Catley, a former ALP Member of Parliament, as his supervisor. Bob’s direct approach to campaigns taught Simon a huge amount about professionalism, staying focused and winning.

Simon has been involved in a large number of campaigns for selection, general elections, local body elections, ending monopolies and opposing public projects. He does not comment on specific campaigns other than to use anecdotes to illustrate points.

Simon works with a small number of campaign professionals and outsources work where others have a superior skill set in specific areas.

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Incite Politics

Reviews: The US midterm elections

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Environmental reforms & the 1980 reforms

As a ten year old when David Lange came to power I have vivid memories of the fears of the apocalypse farmers claimed was coming. Lange’s government removed subsidies, and interest rates rose to incredible levels.

Farmers in the 80’s complained about the changes saying it was the end of farming. When Lange visited Hawke’s Bay he was taken to a friend’s parents farm, where he was told that even good farmers were going out of business. This made the front page of the local paper. Farmers kids left private schools to attend free state schools because their parents could no longer afford the fees.

Most farmers will either remember this or be aware of what happened. Farmers struggled for a while and some exited the industry. This would have been traumatic for some, especially those who were running unviable businesses that were propped up by the state, but the industry as a whole succeeded when freed from Muldoon’s corporate welfare.   Read more »

Simon has had an interest in campaigning since the 1980 Presidential Campaign, and has followed campaigns closely since then. His first campaign was getting a 4th former successfully elected to a school Board of Trustees. He was harassed by people who thought it should have been a 7th former and learned that campaigners need thick skins.

 

In 2000 & 2001 Simon completed a Master of Arts in Politics through Otago University, with Prof Bob Catley, a former ALP Member of Parliament, as his supervisor. Bob’s direct approach to campaigns taught Simon a huge amount about professionalism, staying focused and winning.

Simon has been involved in a large number of campaigns for selection, general elections, local body elections, ending monopolies and opposing public projects. He does not comment on specific campaigns other than to use anecdotes to illustrate points.

Simon works with a small number of campaign professionals and outsources work where others have a superior skill set in specific areas.

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Why an alternative budget matters

Labour have demonstrated what happens to an incoming government that have not properly costed their policies. They rapidly run out of money to spend on their election pledges.

Throughout Labour’s nine years in opposition I kept asking when would Labour release an alternative budget. Labour insiders always had an excuse for why this wasn’t being done, usually claiming that National would steal their policies if they costed everything out.

My view was that this was a complete bullshit excuse that meant successive . . .

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Why taking heads is required in politics

The current Labour government cannot buy a good news story. They are lurching from disaster to disaster, and mainly through inept political management. This inept behaviour is reinforced by the unwillingness to sack anyone for mistakes, omissions or basic stupidity.

Jacinda Adern has set the tone for the government. It is a new friendly type of government that does not sack anyone for the kind of thing that would normally be a sackable offence. This is a fundamental part of Jacinda’s brand, but she is being let down by the typical stupid politicians and backroom operators that make mistakes . . .

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What to watch for the US midterms

Conor Lamb, a Democrat, is narrowly ahead in the Pennsylvania 18 congressional district special election, which is something of an indicator for the mid term elections in November. PA18 was a district that Trump won by 20%, so there was a massive swing to the Democrats, whether they hold the seat or not.

This kind of result gives commentators license to go completely over the top and talk about how the Democrats are going to take control of the Congress in November, and start impeaching Trump in January. Rather than buy into the hype it is far more prudent to . . .

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Incite Politics

New Zealand’s problems

Instinctively there is a lot to like with using Social Investment as a model to appeal to middle New Zealand. It displays a softer approach to improving the lives of the less fortunate, and in a manner that will not cause the chattering classes to attack National with much venom . . .

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Incite Politics

How National show they are ready to govern

As National looks to move from opposition to government it needs to avoid the simple mistakes opposition parties often make in opposition. They start by thinking the voters are wrong not to re-elect them. When the voters realise their mistake the opposition party will be returned to government. This never happens and is not worth relying on as a strategy to get back into government . . .

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Incite Politics

Do National have a vision?

National replaced the dull & dour Bill English with the enigmatic Simon Bridges. Bridges is enigmatic because no one really knows what he stands for and what his vision is.

As a party National is supposed to stand for free markets, individual responsibility and hard work. Their track record, except when Ruth Richardson was finance minister and Don Brash was leader, suggests that these values are nowhere near as important as obtaining and retaining power for the current leadership team . . .

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