Look deeper than the headline moves in National’s reshuffle to find the longer-term significance. Those moves included Paul Goldsmith winning the prize of being Opposition Finance spokesman and Gerry Brownlee in taking on Foreign Affairs, not just because he has the capacity to deploy a bit of humour in needling Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, but because he is signalling he is up for another term.
Insiders point to the leap through the ranks of Hutt South MP Chris Bishop from the cross benches. Still only 36, but in his second term, Bishop has converted the once traditional Labour stronghold of Hutt South into a National seat.
In Parliament as Opposition spokesman on Police he has been effective in puncturing the government’s promises on building up police numbers by 1800. Generally he has kept Police Minister Stuart Nash on his toes and kept police issues close to top of the political agenda—something that some of his seniors have been able to do in their areas of responsibility. Continue reading “Bishop is given a chance to make an impact in National’s reshuffle”
A Flat Tax: The Good, the Bad and Why It Probably Won’t Happen was the headline on an article published in Money Talks News – pitched at an American audience – in 2014.
Act leader David Seymour, who included a flat tax among the policies he unveiled at the weekend, should take note. Even if he was to get 14 MPs into Parliament (anyone putting money on that very, very long shot?), all the other Parliamentarian will vote to stick with a progressive income tax system.
But that’s no reason for a debate to be stifled.
The article in Money Talks News took the complex US Federal tax code into considerations (the code comprised 73,954 pages in 2013 and included seven tax rates, four standard deductions and at least a dozen tax credits for individuals. Then there were exemptions, itemised deductions and the special tax rules.
Why not eliminate all those hoops and simply tax everyone using the same percentage?
The answer was that it depends on who you ask. Continue reading “David Seymour’s Herculean challenges: getting 14 MPs into Parliament (really?) and flattening the tax rate”
A bold headline on a press statement released today proclaims: One Third of Voters may Vote Conservative.
Clearly this was not related to the politicking in Britain, where the the Conservatives are struggling for support.
A recent YouGov poll found the centrist Liberal Democrats were the surprise leader in a new survey which asked British voters who should lead Parliament.
The Liberal Democrats held the support of 24 per cent of voters, while the Labour and Conservative parties were tied at 19 per cent each.
The far-right Brexit Party came in second place, with 22 per cent of voters’ support.
The press statement we referenced in the opening paragraph related to poll results in this country and was released by the New Conservative Party, which clearly has mastered the craft of spin doctoring.
Christians were left out of considerations in the headline, disguising the broader poll finding (as headlined on Kiwiblog) that 33% could vote for a conservative or Christian party. In that headline, “conservative” was spelled with a small “c”. Continue reading “Poll points to a heartening level of support for conservatives AND for Christians”
What to make of the latest opinion polls? Because they diverge so far from each other, experts say one must be wrong.
Perhaps some of those pollsters who got the mood of the Australian electorate so badly out of kilter with the actual election result have been imported to carry out one or other of the two samples. Or, maybe, because the polling done by each organisation covered different periods, there was a dramatic revision in the political mood almost overnight.
Even given the divergence, the pundits were virtually unanimous: Simon Bridges is gone—if not by lunchtime, then some time soon.
That’s, of course, what they said at the time of the last set of polls.
National’s leadership preoccupies these commentators much more than the actual performance of the government. Continue reading “Polls apart – but what are we to make of political surveys when the results are so divergent?”
Newshub breathlessly reported this week its latest political poll from Reid Research: “National plunges to its worst result in 12 years”.
The polling showed Labour at 47.5% and National at 41.6%, and according to Newshub political editor Tova O’Brien, the poll for the first time in its history put Labour ahead of National.
In her excitement at finding such a dark day for National’s leader Simon Bridges, she appeared to overlook the Reid Research polling which recorded Labour ahead in election year, and again in 2018.
Still, it wasn’t good news for National. Nor did it give much cheer to NZ First at 2.9%, while Labour’s other coalition supporter, the Greens, slipped to 5.1%. Continue reading “A comforting poll result for Jacinda but let’s see how she scores with China”
Deputy PM Winston Peters has lit a firestorm in his own support base over the government’s decision to sign the controversial UN Migration Compact—a move National says it will overturn.
NZ First’s Facebook page went into overdrive as one-time NZ First voters voiced their anger. After all, NZ First campaigned strongly against the previous government’s immigration policies and stood out in demanding stricter controls on migration.
Now the party appears willing to adopt the UN’s rules on open, regular migration.
So did Peters miscalculate? In Parliament he had been using the UN compact to bait National, because it was the government in 2016 when offering support as the compact was being initiated. Continue reading “UN compact: Peters’ supporters fear he hasn’t put NZ First”
Much excitement is frothing among the leftish commentary at the poll rating for National leader Simon Bridges, down to 7% in the latest Colmar Brunton sample. Can he last at this level?
Not easy, but then the party’s level at 43% is still remarkably strong, given the extraordinary events that were taking place even as the pollsters were making their calls.
Even though the ambitions of some behind Bridges are palpable, they are hardly likely to risk calling for a no-confidence vote at this point. Continue reading “Down but not out – Bridges can take heart from Jim Bolger’s poll experience”