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.

Advertisements

We have an ETS

Labour’s emissions trading scheme has been passed into law. This is a sad day for New Zealand. And virtually no attention was given to this massive law, the biggest reform since Rogernomics, by the TV media – everyone was focussed on the Winston Peters scandal. That scandal is completely unimportant by comparison, it just made good headlines.

National could have prevented this law being passed, at least today, as they could have delayed it until tomorrow by which stage Winston Peters may be fired. But they appeared to make little effort to do this in parliament today, rather allowing it to go through.

This means New Zealand has ended up with a terribly faulty piece of rushed legislation, that could do immense damage to our economy. National may modify it somewhat, but it will still do a lot of damage.

But National allowed it to be passed today probably because this means they can blame any problems with it on Labour, rather than taking the blame themselves as they would have to if they introduced one.

This is blatant politicising, not working for the good of the country.

If you want this legislation repealed, as every person who cares about the environment and the economy should, there are only two parties that will push for this – The Family Party and Act.

I mention both parties, rather than just pushing the Family Party, because this issue is far too important to just use to gain votes. It could be the biggest issue affecting the country today. There are two parties who will seek to have it repealed, and together we may achieve this. It is too big for one minor party to tackle on their own.

But a vote for National is a vote to keep this disasterous legislation, with some minor tweaks.

EDIT:

Family Party press release on the ETS.

EDIT2:

Federated Farmers are justifiably annoyed with this, read their response here.

Tauranga poll Bay of Plenty Times

David Farrar has posted the results of a Tauranga poll published in the Bay of Plenty Times. They only asked 100 people in a reasonably unscientific manner (who they saw on the streets) but the results are very telling:

  1. Simon Bridges (Nat) 53%
  2. Undecided 18%
  3. Anne Pankhurst (Lab) 16%
  4. Winston Peters (NZF) 12%
  5. Larry Baldock (Kiwi) 1%

The Kiwi Party is relying on this seat to get into parliament. As I have said previously, this will be a battle between Simon Bridges (National) and Winston Peters (NZFirst), as Mr Peters will be relying on this seat to bring his party back into parliament. There will be heavy media coverage of these two candidates.

In this situation it will be impossible for Mr Baldock, however good a candidate he is, to make any inroads. The Winston Peters scandal is just too well favoured by the media, and if voters wish him out they will most likely vote for Simon Bridges to ensure this.

This unfortunately means that the Kiwi Party has virtually no chance of gaining any seats in parliament this election. The Kiwi Party is very well intentioned, and stand for some good things – they are probably the most similar party to the Family Party after all, being formed after the leaders left the Family Party negotiations table. However if they have no chance of getting a seat, any vote to them will be wasted.

These votes could have been used effectively by the Family Party, which has a good chance of taking the Mangere electorate (and has quality candidates in a number of other electorates too). Failing that, they could at least have been used by Act or National. But if these votes are wasted they will increase the proportion of Labour and Green representation in parliament, exactly the opposite of what the Kiwi Party (and the Family Party) would like to achieve.

If you want to vote for a conservative party and have your vote count, vote for the Family Party.

ETS legislation being rushed

The government really is panicking. The Emissions Trading Scheme has been jumped forward to no.1 on the order paper today. Helen Clark really wants this one done while she has Mr Peters’ support.

I predict that she is going to sack Mr Peters or at least express a lack of confidence in him next week, or even tomorrow, as soon as she has this scheme passed. It turns out now that he has lied to her personally about the money, so I expect she can’t wait to get rid of him before association with him damages her party too much.

Let’s see if I’m right…