Bishop is given a chance to make an impact in National’s reshuffle

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”

David Seymour’s Herculean challenges: getting 14 MPs into Parliament (really?) and flattening the tax rate

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”

Poll points to a heartening level of support for conservatives AND for Christians

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”

Polls apart – but what are we to make of political surveys when the results are so divergent?

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?”

A comforting poll result for Jacinda but let’s see how she scores with China

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”

UN compact: Peters’ supporters fear he hasn’t put NZ First

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”

Down but not out – Bridges can take heart from Jim Bolger’s poll experience

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”