Gang patches banned by Rodney Hide

The law banning gang insignia in Wanganui has been passed. It won’t do any good, and is a major breach of personal freedom.

Just so you don’t think the liberals are all against it and the conservatives are all for it as the Herald may imply, I’ll quote Family Party leader Richard Lewis (former South Auckland police sergeant):

“Banning gang patches will only strengthen the sense of victimisation that unites gang members and creates appeal towards gang life. … Gangs have outlasted Governments and Police Commissioners. It’s naive to think banning their colours will make any discernable difference to what gangs do.” (link)
“Banning patches will help gangs take their business of drug dealing further underground.” (link)

Who supported this disgraceful law:
National
Peter Dunne (United Future)
Rodney Hide, Peter Garrett, John Boscawen (ACT)

Who opposed it:
Labour
Green
Maori
Sir Roger Douglas, Heather Roy (ACT)

Most of the votes were predictable:
National supported it to pretend they are doing something.
Dunne supported it to keep in their good books, and he probably likes banning stuff.
Labour opposed it because National supported it.
The Greens opposed it because they want to ban or control anything that moves unless it is offensive, then they pretend to be in favour of personal freedom as a smokescreen so you don’t notice all the bans.

It is the Maori party, Douglas and Roy that have truly stood up for freedom and common-sense today. Hide, Garrett and Boscawen could have, but chose not to.

It is good to see ACT’s open vote policy meaning people can choose to go against the party leader when he goes against the personal freedoms he apparantly stood for before the election. But it is disappointing that three ACT MPs chose to inflict this disgraceful law on New Zealand.

A sad day for New Zealand, and a sad day for ACT.

AROUND THE BLOGS:
Andy Moore looks at what Rodney Hide said on this in the past, and his massive U-turn now.
Bernard Darnton discusses the principles of the law, a classic post including:
“Backers of the law claim that it’s necessary to crack down on gang members and that they need to be cracked down on because they’re always breaking stuff and hurting people. If that was true you wouldn’t need a law against leather jackets, you could just arrest all these gangsters under the Prohibition of Breaking Stuff (and Hurting People) Act.”

ACT Party advertising complaint upheld by ASA

act_ets_flier3Before the election the Act party sent a letter and flyer about the emissions trading scheme to rural households. This letter and flyer contained some excellent information on the ETS, and I was glad to see Act educating people about this flawed scheme.

However Act claimed to be the only party opposed to the ETS, and the only party that would withdraw from Kyoto (note Kyoto was only mentioned in the letter, not in the flyer reproduced here). This was completely false, as the Family Party also opposes the ETS, and supports withdrawing from Kyoto.

I complained to the Advertising Standards Authority over this, and my complaint has been upheld. Act’s response to the ASA over this issue was very arrogant, and stated (in full):

“The statement needs to be taken in the context of current political discourse in New Zealand.

This is an election campaign where most parties contesting the election will not obtain parliamentary seats. The Family Party is likely to be one of those parties.

Accordingly, the meaning of the statement is that the ACT Party is the only party that voted against the passing of the bill in parliament and will be the only party elected to parliament after the election that will oppose it.

If the Family Party oppose the statement on the flyer then that party is welcome to produce and distribute its own flyer/pamphlet putting their position. That’s how elections work.”

As it turned out we did not get into parliament, and I can understand their position on this. But the fact remains that they said they were “the only party”, which is completely untrue. If they had said “the only parliamentary party” or something to that effect, it would have been fine. But they didn’t.

I did not like complaining about these advertisements as the message was one that needed to be heard. But I could not roll over and allow a blatant lie. If someone has a good message they can portray it honestly.

I am glad this complaint was upheld.

I am also glad that Act was able to gain enough votes to get 5 MPs and get some concessions out of National on this important issue. I am however disappointed that a lie was used to in part achieve this result.

The New Government

National’s agreements with Act, the Maori Party and United Future have been released, and in general they look pretty good. They are discussed in detail on Kiwiblog here (Act, UF, Maori). I am going to look at a few points that relate to families, and Family Party policy.

Act:

  • Reduce and align personal, trust and company tax rates at 30% as a medium-term goal. Excellent.
  • Various measures to reduce bureaucracy and core government expenditure. Excellent.
  • Delay the ETS so it can be reviewed in the light of the current economic situation etc. It is unfortunate that they aren’t dropping it, but reviewing it is something. Not as good as the Royal Commission would prefer but it is still slightly hopeful.

United Future:

  • National will support a bill on Income Splitting to the first reading. So we won’t necessarily get income splitting (it will just be considered by parliament), and it won’t be for married couples (as our policy is) but rather for however Peter Dunne wants to define a family (which could just be for people with children, who knows). But it is a granny-step in something close to the right direction.
  • Greater use of private hospitals to reduce waiting lists. Excellent.

Maori:

  • Review foreshore & seabed legislation.
  • “The two parties both have policy priorities and there are areas of commonality and other areas of difference. The National Party and the Maori Party will work together to progress these priorities as and where agreement can be found.” Basically a wishy-washy way of saying they’ll be cooperating without saying what they’re planning to do.

Act and United Future agree to support National’s 11 policy priorities and post-election action plan (the Maori party will only support individual policies on a case-by-case basis, but National still has a majority without them), so this should all happen. These policies include:

  • Tax cuts. Good.
  • Cap bureaucrats, focus on frontline services. Good.
  • No parole for the worst repeat violent offenders. Good.
  • National standards in literacy and numeracy. Sounds a great idea, but it better come while cutting another piece of teachers workloads to compensate, they have enough paperwork already.
  • Maintain WFF and Kiwisaver. Good for families already reliant on WFF. It would be nice however to see a long-term plan where WFF was phased out in favour of equivalent tax cuts, there are plenty of problems with WFF.
  • Keep interest-free student loans & provide a 10% bonus on early repayments. Bad, in my opinion. And I have a student loan myself. More incentive to borrow big, as now not only do you not have to pay interest, you now don’t even have to pay off all the principal.
  • “Instruct that a full 12-month course of Herceptin be publically available”. Very bad, as it establishes a terrible precedent of state interference in Pharmac. Pharmac’s decisions can mean life or death for some people. It must therefore be able to decide where to allocate limited state resources based on expert opinion, not based on political interference, as politicians are more likely to be swayed by emotive marketing campaigns for drugs that may not be the best use of state money. Note there is not even a guarantee to increase funding to cover it, Pharmac may be expected to take money away from other drugs to cover National’s whim. Effectively, the government may be deciding who lives and who dies, based on how well drug companies can market their products – we really don’t want that.
  • Repeal the EFA. Excellent.

There’s loads of other stuff in there, it’s mainly good.

Rodney Hide, Heather Roy, Peter Dunne, Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia will all be Ministers. It is odd having Peter Dunne as a Minister, considering he only contributes one seat and National doesn’t need him to govern, but I expect Key is looking to the future and getting in his good books in case UF has more seats next time round.

Act has not negotiated anything with regards to the smacking law, but we can expect them to be strongly pushing for National to honour the will of the people in the upcoming referendum. So hopefully that will go eventually.

All up this is a positive direction for the country. But there are a few negatives in it, state interference in Pharmac being one notable point. It is better than what we’ve put up with for the last 3 years however.

Electorate analysis – Selwyn

I will discuss other electorates after talking to the team up north. But here are the main results from Selwyn, for parties gaining over 100 votes (full results are here). Last elections results for Rakaia (now Selwyn) are here for comparison.

Parties Candidates
National Party 18,339 ADAMS, Amy NAT 20,076
Labour Party 8,536 COATES, David LAB 9,830
Family Party 122 DENNIS, Samuel FAM 441
Jim Anderton’s Progressive 634 MAIN, Philippa JAP 1,197
United Future 376 NORMAN, Victoria UFNZ 227
ACT New Zealand 1,245 WATSON, Ivor ACT 480
Kiwi Party 172 WILLIAMSON, Eleanor KIWI 264
WOODS, Bill IND 528
Green Party 2,390
Mäori Party 127
New Zealand First Party 1,036
The Bill and Ben Party 171
Party Informals 147 Candidate Informals 367
TOTAL 33,412 TOTAL 33,410

Selwyn is a National seat, and always has been. Quite a few National voters have moved to Act this year however, due primarily to the Emissions Trading Scheme (Act had 869 votes in 05). There has always been Labour support here, but it has dropped significantly this election (from 11,338 in 05), apparantly moving to National, Green and Progressive. It is hard to compare however due to boundary changes and the fact that there was a higher turnout in 2005.

The higher number of informal candidate votes than party votes suggests people are fairly sure which party they want to vote for, but less certain about which candidate they prefer. On the other hand, it could just mean that those who wanted to waste their vote had a joke party to go with (B&B), but no joke candidate, so many B&B voters just spoilt their candidate vote, as those numbers pretty exactly make up the difference…

I received 319 votes from non-Family Party voters (assuming all Family Party voters voted for myself, not necessarily correct). From what I gather speaking to voters, I expect most of these voters gave National their party vote. Those voters I have spoken to wished to secure a change of government, and didn’t want to waste their party vote, but they preferred Family Party policy to that of National.

Bill Woods didn’t do that well, despite being the former mayor, but he had little publicity.

I am very pleased with my votes for a first try, being ahead of the United Future and Kiwi candidates, and close behind the Act candidate and Bill Woods. It will take a lot of work to topple Amy Adams, but that will be a job for the next election now that my name is out there! I was about the most local candidate on offer, most others being recent imports into the area, and I think this gives me a good base to work from.

There is a lot of misunderstanding out there around MMP, and around the policies National had on offer. Many people I spoke to wanted to fix the smacking law, and get rid of the ETS. However they were under the impression that National would do those things, and were surprised to find National policy was to keep them. Some wouldn’t believe me, I’ll have to carry National policy documents with me on my rounds next time! There was a strong faith that National would provide change and fix the policies that annoyed everyone, but few voters had actually looked into their policy. Furthermore, most people thought voting for Amy Adams would help National in some way, not realising that this was a wasted vote as she’d be in on the list regardless. It could be argued that it would actually be better for National to even vote in Coates, as he would have kicked out a more experienced Labour MP, providing National with some advantages in the house!

To take this electorate in future will be a lot of work, as you first have to teach people how MMP works, then teach them National policy, before you can even get on to your own. But it is certainly doable, as National always places a good candidate here that is reasonably high on the list, this being regarded a safe seat – this was Ruth Richardson’s electorate, and Jenny Shipley’s. Logically, it makes little sense to vote for the National candidate here. But to persuade 15,000 voters, half the electorate, will be an interesting challenge for next election.

Election result

Great result for the country, we finally have a change of government.

It was very interesting to see Clark announce she is standing down, it isn’t surprising she would decide to do that but it is surprising she would announce it immediately. Talk about trust, all these people who voted Labour because they like Helen Clark (and I have found many people in that category while campaigning) will be very disappointed. They obviously couldn’t trust her to stick round and do what she felt was best for the country, rather she just wanted the top job and when she didn’t get it she was gone. Now she’ll force a by-election in her electorate just because she didn’t get quite what she wanted (she is hardly going to stick round as a lowly MP), she obviously has little regard for all the people who voted for her wanting her as their local MP. We don’t always get what we want, and most of us were taught that when we were young with a good smack on the buttocks.

It is good to see National could rule with just Act, and although they may involve Dunne and the Maori Party too, having just the two parties would make for a simple government.

The result was disappointing for the Family Party, but the change of government helps to soften that disappointment. As I said earlier, we don’t always get what we want, but I have no intention of quitting like Clark just because things didn’t go quite how we wanted. It is very hard for parties outside parliament to get in, and this just reinforces that fact. I would like to thank Jerry Filipaina especially for the excellent work he put into Mangere attempting to take that seat, it is very disappointing that that did not eventuate. Paul Adams also did an excellent job in ECB, being our highest polling candidate, but unfortunately missing out too.

I received 441 electorate votes, which I am very pleased with for my first time standing, far higher than the United Future and Kiwi candidates and close behind the Act candidate and Bill Woods. Although this was of course not anywhere near enough to take out the electorate, considering I never actually asked for electorate votes in my campaign (apart from possibly off-hand at one “meet the candidates” event), only asking for party votes, and was standing for a party most people had never heard of, I am very pleased with the result. It is a very encouraging level of support that I should be able to build on in future years should I stand again.

I would like to thank everyone who voted for me or any other candidate, or for the party, for your support. Unfortunately we didn’t gain enough support this time round, it is hard to get your message to enough of the country in your first election, but there’s always another election – try convince your mates to vote for us as well next time!

This new government will not solve the most serious issue in our country today, which in my opinion is our abortion-on-demand culture. We can lobby them for improvements, but to really fix this we’ll need more conservative representation in the next election. So the result is far from perfect, but is a massive improvement over the current situation.

With National in government, more representation from Act, and Helen Clark stepping down, I am certain we can look forward to a better country over the next three years.

Electorate votes

As I said previously, this election will be decided by electorate votes in a few key electorates. Peter Dunne has now announced he will support a National-led government. National needs as many friends as possible, and Labour as few as possible, if we are to have a change of government. So updated electorate recommendations for a change of government are:

To ensure representation from Act, United Future and The Family Party:

  • Epsom
    • Rodney Hide (Act)
  • Ohariu-Belmont
    • Peter Dunne (United Future)
  • Mangere
    • Jerry Filipaina (Family Party)
  • East Coast Bays
    • Paul Adams (Family Party)
  • Manukau East
    • Papali’i Poutoa Papali’i (Family Party)

To ensure NZ First does not get in:

  • Tauranga
    • Simon Bridges (National)
  • Rimutaka
    • This is more debatable. Probably the National candidate, Richard Whiteside, as many Labour voters will probably vote strategically for Ron Mark, giving Whiteside a chance. But it is a Labour seat currently.

The party vote is where you decide which party policies you support. But the electorate vote can be used strategically under MMP, as it makes a big difference to which minor parties are represented in parliament and which are not. Sometimes this may mean voting for someone whose policies you disagree with – I have recommended candidates from four different parties here. But that is the nature of MMP.

This election, strategic electorate voting is absolutely essential if you want to change the government.

Right to Life survey

The initial results of the Right to Life candidate survey on pro-life issues are available here.

As expected, both the Family Party and Kiwi Party candidate responses are a sea of green and yellow (pro-life positions).

The response from the major parties was very poor, with only 4 from National, 5 from Labour and 3 from Green, so it is hard to know how representative these are. But if we assume they are representative, the other parties in order from pro-life to pro-death(?) are something like:

  • National
  • United Future
  • Act
  • Labour
  • Green

Alan Liefting of the Green party is the only candidate to have a full line of red dots as his answers – I have talked to Alan a bit in the past at university and this doesn’t surprise me at all. We must get rid of the Green party.

It is interesting that National looks better than United Future on a cursory glance, but there are few responses to judge them by. This does confirm why the Family Party will find it much easier to work with National than with Labour.

Hat tip: Right to Life New Zealand

Close election requires strategic voting

This election is going to be scarily close. It will actually be decided by the votes in several key electorates:

  • Epsom (whether Act is in or not, should be guaranteed but nothing is certain in politics)
    • Rodney Hide
  • Mangere and East Coast Bays (whether the Family Party is in or not)
    • Jerry Filipaina and Paul Adams
  • Tauranga and Rimutaka (whether NZ First is in or not)
    • Simon Bridges and Christopher Hipkins Richard Whiteside

Voters wanting a change of government in these five electorates need to vote strategically. Even if you disagree with Act’s policies, but are in Epsom and want a change of government, Rodney Hide needs your vote. Even if you disagree with Family policies, but are in Mangere or ECB, Jerry Filipaina or Paul Adams needs your vote.

To keep NZ First out, as they will support Labour, Simon Bridges (National) needs your vote in Tauranga, and Christopher Hipkins (Labour) needs your vote in Rimutaka (as the other candidate with the best chance of taking it, the electorate is currently held by Labour) Richard Whiteside in Rimutaka. It doesn’t matter if you disagree with National’s or Labour’s polices – their total numbers will be decided by the party vote, even voting in a Labour candidate here will make no difference to Labour’s total numbers. But candidates make a massive difference to the minor parties.

On the other hand, if Labour voters go for Ron Mark in Rimutaka, that reduces Hipkins chances, and maybe it would be better to vote for the National candidate – this is like trying to play chess 8 moves ahead against 40,000 other players… I don’t like recommending voting against Ron Mark, he is a good man, but unfortunately they will only be siding with Labour this time so he is dragged down by the fact he is in NZ First. Very frustrating. If he jumped ship to National or stood as an independent I could recommend him.

I would also like to be able to recommend Larry Baldock in Tauranga, as a Christian candidate who won’t side with Labour, but ultimately keeping NZ First out will achieve more to change the government than getting Baldock in, and if National voters go for Baldock they risk letting Winston Peters take the electorate. If only Baldock was standing in a different electorate I would be able to recommend him too. But the reality is that Simon Bridges needs those votes more.

We must ensure National has as many friends as possible, and Labour has as few as possible, and that will take careful, strategic voting – and in some cases that may mean voting for someone whose policies you disagree with (such as in Rimutaka). That’s MMP for you.

EDIT: You may note some changes with regard to Rimutaka. This is after I received the following email from Richard Whiteside, the National candidate there, who obviously knows far more about the electorate than I:

I read your blog post on Rimutaka and you have got it totally wrong. Due to boundary changes that favour National & Paul Swain standing down who got 3000 more votes than his party vote at the last election. Rimutaka is very winnable for National. I am the only married family man standing. I was born and bred locally and have been campaigning full time since April. I am running a full campaign to win Rimutaka and have had huge support from National. Being a family man I strongly support family values and have openly declared I do not support the smacking law and signed the petition.

Ron Mark got 10.8% of the vote in 2005 in Waimakariri – that is after 3 attempts, he only started campaigning 2 or 3 weeks ago & he lives in the Wairarapa not Rimutaka.

I know from polling I have a very strong chance of winning this as long as Ron Mark does not take National votes away from me.

Christian Vote 2008

Andy Moore has put together an excellent website analysing which party is best for Christians to vote for this election. He backs up everything he says with facts. His overall conclusion is:

  • Best choice: The Family Party
  • Close second: Act
  • Not recommended, but better than nothing: National
  • Not worth considering: United Future and Kiwi

Putting Kiwi and UF so low may surprise some readers, but as I said he backs up what he says with facts so I would encourage you to read the entire page.

I would add to his electorate recommendations however so it stated:

  • Mangere – Jerry Filipaina
  • East Coast Bays – Paul Adams
  • Manukau East – Papali’i Poutoa Papali’i
  • Epsom – Rodney Hide

Remember that these electorate votes are vital in MMP, both Family and Act need to take one electorate each to be represented after the election. Andy recommends National in other electorates, but I would disagree as electorate votes make little difference to the outcome for either National or Labour. Vote for whoever would do the best job in your opinion in other electorates. But Mangere, East Coast Bays, Manukau East and Epsom are vital to vote as recommended above to ensure we have a decent government after the election.

Check out his other websites too: Don’t Vote Labour and Don’t Vote Greens.

National’s proposed amendments to the ETS

John Key has announced what he is intending to do about the ridiculous emissions trading scheme. Just as I suspected, he is just fiddling round the edges. He would making a dumb expensive scheme that does nothing for the environment into a dumb nearly-as-expensive scheme that does even less.

In the first 9 months we will amend the emissions trading scheme. The second thing is that we want to put balance into the scheme so balancing our environmental responsibilities with our economic opportunities. Thirdly we need to ensure that the scheme is fiscally neutral so that it’s not a big moneymaking device for the government and thirdly that it’s got some either regard or respect for schemes that are similar around the world, where we could be at a competitive disadvantage, particularly Australia.

So all the changes that we are looking at a forestry offset scheme to allow forestry to be a bigger part of the solution. Some specific changes like ensuring that there is 90% grandfathering provision for fishing which at the moment is currently zero would change to 50%. There are other aspects that we are looking at. For instance the current scheme has a linear phase out of the credits from about 2018 depending when they come in the scheme. We think it should be more flexibility when it is phased out. Fourthly it is about getting I think getting the right incentives in that scheme so for instance take farming. In Australia agriculture comes in 2015. In New Zealand it comes in 2013 at 90% their historical allocation and then by 2018 it’s reduced. In Australia they are saying let’s be flexible about that and I am just saying I think we have got to make sure we have a scheme that reflects the need to be more flexible.

Once again, showing why we need the Family Party and Act to knock some sense into the new government.

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