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.

Post-election changes

As the election has gone now I am no longer “The Family Party candidate for Selwyn”, so have changed the blog heading. Sorry if this causes any problems with feed readers and the like. I have added a logo instead that links through to the party website.

Electorate analysis – East Coast Bays

The primary focus of our campaign this year was to take either Mangere or East Coast Bays, to bypass the 5% threshold. I have discussed the Mangere result here. The main results for East Coast Bays (parties gaining over 100 votes) are below, full results are here.

Parties Candidates
Family Party 435 ADAMS, Paul FAM 3,275
Green Party 1,210 BRADFORD, Sue GP 1,969
Labour Party 6,855 GOLDSMITH, Vivienne (Viv) LAB 5,628
HUTTON, Toby NCAWAP 258
New Zealand First Party 944 JONES, Dail NZF 683
ACT New Zealand 1,844 KRONFELD, Tim ACT 1,149
National Party 19,617 McCULLY, Murray NAT 18,428
United Future 234 McINNES, Ian UFNZ 200
Libertarianz 21 ZAMORA, Elah LIB 50
Jim Anderton’s Progressive 196
Mäori Party 110
The Bill and Ben Party 124
Party Informals 95 Candidate Informals 247
TOTAL 31,889 TOTAL 31,887

East Coast Bays turned out to be our best electorate, and Paul Adams took 10.3% of the candidate vote here. Although this was not enough to take the electorate, he did gain far more votes than Sue Bradford (Green), and the Act candidate. Paul was the third highest polling candidate, after National and Labour. Unfortunately, although we had been pushing the “2 for 1″ message very heavily here (vote for Paul Adams, get both Adams and McCully as McCully would be in on the list), most voters still went for McCully.

In 2005, McCully took 17,213 votes, the Labour candidate took 9,927, and Paul Adams (standing as an independant) gained 5,809 votes (full results are here). In 2002, McCully took 12,134 votes, the Labour candidate took 10,600, and Paul Adams (standing for United Future) took 2,872 (results here). So this is the third election running that Paul has been the third highest polling candidate, above the candidates from any other minor party – which is an excellent achievement in itself. This year there was not so much a major swing to National, as National’s votes remained at about the same level, but rather a swing away from Labour. Many voters seemed to stay at home, with the turnout dropping from over 37,000 in 2005 to less than 32,000 this year. There was a swing towards ACT, and towards the Green party (presumably disgruntled Labour voters). But the biggest change was the number of voters who stayed at home.

It is disappointing that despite a heavy campaign Paul actually polled lower this year than in 2005, but can probably be best explained by the number of voters who stayed at home. There is also the possibility that a few voters may have been put off by his association with the Family Party for some reason. However this is unlikely because Paul polled higher this year, standing for us, than he did when he stood for United Future. So I think the fact that McCully won by a landslide is simply due to the nationwide swing towards National.

Overall, taking over 10% of the candidate vote is an excellent achievement, and certainly something that could be built on in future. McCully is a formidible opponent, as he has been the incumbant there for so long, but he is always high enough on National’s list for there to be no point voting for him, unless you are a Labour voter specifically wanting to shut out a right-leaning minor party such as ourselves. The strange thing about the MMP 5% threshold is that it means it can be best to vote for the opposition sometimes.

Electorate analysis – Mangere

The primary focus of our campaign this year was to take either the Mangere electorate or East Coast Bays, to avoid the 5% threshold. Jerry Filipaina was campaigning full-time in Mangere for a year before the election, and by the election the party had visited every house five times. However our actual results there were disappointing. The main results (parties gaining over 100 votes) are below, full results may be found here.

Parties Candidates
New Zealand Pacific Party 2,212 FIELD, Taito Lemalu Phillip NZPP 4,767
Family Party 237 FILIPAINA, Galumalemana Jerry FAM 856
RAM – Residents Action Movement 14 FOWLER, Roger RAM 138
National Party 3,641 HARRIS, Mita NAT 3,081
MATATUMUA, Lemalu Talia IND 48
Jim Anderton’s Progressive 137 PO’E, Tala JAP 126
Labour Party 13,162 SIO, Su’a William LAB 11,263
United Future 182 SOLOMON, Pulotu Selio UFNZ 389
Green Party 452 STRICKSON-PUA, Muamua Sofi GP 462
ACT New Zealand 252 TABACHNIK, Michael ACT 214
Mäori Party 165
New Zealand First Party 767
Party Informals 245 Candidate Informals 343
TOTAL 21,688 TOTAL 21,687

I will do my best to describe the situation in Mangere, but remember I was campaigning in Selwyn at the other end of the country, so if anyone spots any errors stick them in the comments & I’ll fix it.

No media organisation published polls for Mangere in the run-up to the election. We were unable to have a professional poll conducted, due to the workload of polling companies or their refusal to conduct one due to having a conflict of interest because they were conducting polls for another party.

However a month before the election we conducted an internal poll, which I am now able to release publicly. Although conducted by ourselves, it was done as rigorously as possible to ensure it was accurate. This poll showed Sio (Labour) on 28%, Jerry (Family) on 31%, and Field (Pacific) on 33%. In other words, all three candidates were neck and neck, so it could go any way. It was on the basis of this poll that we were able to campaign saying that Jerry had a decent chance of taking the electorate.

In the month following that poll our campaign stepped up in an attempt to bring Jerry into the lead. Our final visit of every house in Mangere occurred on the Saturday prior to the election, when the team visited 14,500 homes in the one day. Our brochures were pushing the “2 for 1″ message, ie vote for Jerry and get two local MPs, as Sio would be in on the list anyway. On Friday night before the election the team was parading around Mangere and Manukau East until midnight with the truck, billboard trailer and motorbikes!

However, the campaigns of Labour and the Pacific Party also swung into gear strongly in the last few weeks. Labour was particularly well-resourced, and being already ingrained in the culture would have made an impression on many voters. Old habits die hard, and if a voter was still undecided on polling day (due to heavy campaigns by three different parties) they may well have just ticked Labour because they always had.

Liberty Scott has questioned what Labour campaigners were actually telling people, as the fact that some believed their benefits would be cut if National got in certainly makes it sound like some Labour campaigners could have been spreading lies about National. If this is the case, this could have turned voters off not only National but any party hoping to go into coalition with them, such as ourselves.

Labour was also ringing people up on the morning of the election, and giving their supporters rides to the polling booth. We simply didn’t have the resources to do the same this year.

Many Mangere voters did not actually vote. Only around 20,000 voters turned out in the South Auckland electorates, as opposed to over 30,000 in most other electorates. There is a possibility that many people who were intending to vote for us when polled, did not end up actually voting. However more Labour supporters would have voted due to the free lifts to the polling booths. It is also possible that some people who were intending to vote for Jerry were picked up by Labour, which influenced them to vote Labour after all.

As a result of all these factors, and possibly others, Jerry’s support on polling day was nowhere near as high as he had polled, the election result really took us by surprise.

In future, when targeting South Auckland electorates, we will have to be very careful to address all these factors. We must ensure voters understand MMP, so they clearly understand they can vote for our candidate and still support Labour if they wish. We must ensure they have accurate information about policies, and keep an ear to the ground for what Labour campaigners are actually saying to the people (not just the official campaign material).

And we’ll probably need to hire a load of buses for election day!

EDIT:

There is a real possibility that our campaign helped to reduce Labour’s votes from Mangere. In 2005 Labour took 21,000 votes from Mangere, from a total turnout of 29,000. Although it wasn’t great for us, possibly our campaign resulted in many voters being confused who to vote for, as they may have been put off Labour but unconvinced whether they should vote for us, and therefore they stayed home. This year Labour only got 13,000 votes in Mangere. So although our campaign there didn’t get us in, it could well have dented Labour’s election performance considerably and so still helped to change the government.

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.

Family Party level of support

The Family Party gained a low percentage of the party vote, only 0.33%. Full election results may be found here.

This would have been extremely disappointing had we gained an electorate seat. However as we did not gain an electorate seat it is not too bad, as it means few votes were wasted. So under the circumstances I am not that disappointed with the party vote result. Rather, I am disappointed with our performance in our key electorates. I will comment on those later in the week after discussing it with the team.

But how much support does the Family Party actually have around the country?

There is a lot of support for our policies around the country, from both Christians and non-Christians. I found a great level of agreement from voters while campaigning. However many people were not willing to risk their party votes on us, preferring to use them to ensure a change of government, and in most cases vote for National or Act. Going by the results however, many of these people were still willing to give our candidates their vote.

As a result, our candidates gained around 4 times as many candidate votes for themselves as they gained votes for the party. For instance, in Selwyn we received 122 party votes and 441 votes for myself.

Our candidates gained from 0.9 to 10.3% of the candidate vote in their electorates. The mean was 2.6% of the candidate vote in these electorates, but this figure may be skewed upwards due to strategic voting from people in Mangere and East Coast Bays who didn’t necessarily support our policies but wanted a change of government. The median was 1.6%, which is a more conservative measure of our support.

Therefore, if it was guaranteed that votes for us would not be wasted (if we had an electorate MP already in parliament and likely to hold their seat, like Rodney Hide and Act), I believe we would have received at least 1.6% of the vote. We would have probably received much more than this in fact, as having an MP would have given us greater media coverage and publicity than we were able to achieve, and we would have received a higher broadcasting allocation. Furthermore there are probably many people who liked our policies yet were unwilling to give us either vote.

So we do have a lot of support. People were just careful not to waste their party votes. In the end that turned out to be a good thing (less votes wasted). Hopefully we can gain an electorate seat next time round and actually represent these well-supported policies in parliament.

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.

Vote for The Family Party

Party Vote – The Family Party

——————-

Electorates for a change of government:

Mangere – Jerry Filipaina (Family Party)

East Coast Bays – Paul Adams (Family Party)

Manukau East – Papali’i Poutoa Papali’i (Family Party)

Epsom – Rodney Hide (Act)

Ohariu-Belmont – Peter Dunne (United Future)

Tauranga – Simon Bridges (National)

Everywhere else: Whoever you feel would represent you best, from the Family Party, National, Act or United Future (the only four parties likely to get in that will not go into coalition with Labour).

——————-

I’m flat out on the ground campaigning at the moment, little time to blog, but I think that about summarises what we need to do on Saturday if we are to get rid of Labour! Even if you disagree with my view on the party vote, those electorates are the ones to go for to ensure a change of government, and I’m not just recommending Family Party candidates.

Kiwi Party enabling theft

If you want to conduct an easy bank robbery, contact the Kiwi Party and they’ll give you all the information you need. I am dead serious.

The Kiwi Party has decided to send letters to every person who signed the smacking petition. Family First has distanced themselves from the Kiwi Party as a result, and many people are rather upset because many of those signatures were collected by non-political groups, and even by opposing political parties such as the Family Party and ACT! For balance, read the Kiwi Party response to Family First here.

But I am not concerned too much about the addresses being used, except that it is a bit rude when those addresses were not collected by the Kiwi Party. I am more concerned that they are distributing dates of birth to anyone interested in helping out.

If you are interested in helping send these letters, the Kiwi Party will send you scanned copies of the signed referendum, containing full names, signatures, dates of birth and addresses. See a copy here that was sent to Andy Moore (details blanked).

With this information you can:

  1. Go to the address and steal their mail (to obtain bank account numbers etc)
  2. Learn to forge their signature
  3. Go to the bank and use the date of birth and forged signature as ID
  4. Withdraw all their money

I am not joking. My parents had over $5000 stolen in exactly this way a few years ago. This is very serious.

I write this not to encourage robbery, this method of stealing money is well understood by criminals so me posting it here won’t make much difference. I write this to expose how serious this massive breach of privacy is. I have refrained from directly attacking Kiwi until recently – we have been the object of abuse from them often, even to my face in debates, and I don’t want to sink into the mudslinging. But now they may be sending all the information that anyone needs to steal my money (as I signed the petition), to a random stranger. That disgusts me personally, and I must speak out personally, which I would do whether or not I was standing for another political party.

If you want to vote for a principled conservative party this election, there is only one real option – The Family Party.

Are Family Party policies affordable?

I was speaking at a meeting with the local candidates Amy Adams (National), David Coates (Labour) and Ivor Watson (ACT) on Wednesday. It went very well and I received a lot of applause and positive comments. People especially appreciated our stand on the smacking law and the drinking age.

Amy Adams had the last speaking slot however and said something like “I have news for the Family Party, these minor parties can make all sorts of promises because they haven’t costed them out, and we won’t implement them. All our policies are fully costed and affordable”, which I had no opportunity to counter. This objection is often made to all minor parties however.

There is no point in a minor party attempting to fully budget for if every single one of their policies were implemented, as this won’t actually happen so the figures would be useless. Rather we need to look at the impact of each policy individually, as each policy would be fitted into the budget of the major party in government.

So let’s consider our top 10 policy priorities, and whether they could be implemented by a National-led government:

  1. Repeal the Anti-Smacking law:
    Costs nothing. Saves money (better disciplined children = lower crime in future).
  2. GST off basic foods and other essentials:
    Will cost money. Some of this will be recouped through lower health costs (healthier foods & warmer homes = less health problems), but that won’t fully pay for it.
  3. More front-line police:
    Will cost money. But National is already budgeting for more police, not as many as we would like but it is a step in the right direction.
  4. Harsher sentencing:
    Could cost more, but National is going in this direction too, so already budgeted for. Part of our policy includes “disciplined hard work” for all sentenced prisoners, which will actually save money.
  5. Repeal the Emissions Trading Scheme:
    Saves billions of dollars. This does remove the government’s “windfall” tax profit from it, but National is intending to remove this anyway (although they will keep the ETS). Unlike National’s policy of retaining the ETS (slightly tweaked), our policy keeps far more money in the NZ economy, resulting in more economic activity here and a higher tax take.
  6. Constitutionally strengthen the traditional family unit:
    Costs nothing.
  7. Counter NZ’s abortion-on-demand culture:
    Fewer abortions = saving of public health budget. Adding education programs for mothers considering abortion = extra cost. Should be revenue neutral.
  8. Protect NZ’s Christian Heritage:
    Costs nothing.
  9. Repeal the prostitution law reform act:
    Costs nothing.
  10. Repeal the Electoral Finance Act:
    Costs nothing.

So we have:

  • 6 policies that cost nothing or should be approximately revenue neutral
  • 2 that cost money but are already at least partially budgeted for by National
  • Only 1 that costs additional money not in National’s budget
  • 1 that saves billions

It is quite clear we would have few financial problems introducing our top ten policies within a National-led government. Our one costly policy in this list is balanced out by one that would save billions (as compared to National’s budget), probably saving far more money than the other will cost.

Our policies are sensible, practical and affordable. We just need the numbers to persuade National to adopt them.

Furthermore it is extremely arrogant for a National candidate to suggest that National would not be implementing any policies of a potential coalition partner. If they wish to be in government they will have to compromise on policies, that is a fact, it is ridiculous to suggest they can rule alone under MMP, especially based on current polls.

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