There’s been good coverage of the impeachment case against Donald Trump. If you found it a little harder to get a sense of why the Republican-leaning half of America has seemed less impressed by it, listen to Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell’s statement of the case for dismissing the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress (despite the old saw that the latter is one of President’s main duties).
McConnell cast the impeachment exercise as a case of partisan fever in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives – with the Senate’s job being to break the fever, before it breaks the country. Continue reading “And McConnell shows how Republicans are likely to play the post-impeachment game”
No-one should have been astonished to learn from a Newsroom headline that Political sparks fly at Waitangi as PM promises ‘more mahi’
The report began by noting
There was a sharper, election-year edge to proceedings at this year’s Waitangi pōwhiri. Simon Bridges and Winston Peters clashed, while Jacinda Ardern made the case for why Māori should have patience with her Government…
The report observed that National leader Simon Bridges’ speech seemed to be addressed not to those on the paepae, but for the New Zealanders who would be following events at Waitangi from home.
After a glancing reference to National’s record on Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Whānau Ora and partnership schools, he moved swiftly to attacking Ardern as he referenced her speech at Waitangi last year.
“She said there would be less poverty, she said that she would reduce inequality between Māori and Pākehā, sadly the Government has failed to deliver on these promises.” Continue reading “NZ First pumps PGF millions into Maori projects in Northland – then accuses Bridges of politicking at Waitangi”
As New Zealand’s politicians contemplate a September election, are there lessons for them from the successes of right of centre parties in Australia, the US and UK – and their failure in Canada?
Caution is needed in drawing conclusions, given a few well-placed ballots can be the margin between radiant success and crushing failure. Reference the election of Donald Trump with fewer votes than Hilary Clinton in 2016, and last year’s defeat of Andrew Scheer’s Canadian Conservatives despite winning more votes than Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party.
But one thing to reflect on is what right of centre parties stand for – and what the median voter thinks they stand for. Continue reading “How centre right parties win and lose elections these days”
Back in September, when the NZ Herald issued its supplement “Mood of the Boardroom”, Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi featured as the politician who most impressed top chief executives on ministerial performance.
The newspaper reported it was the first time in the history of the Mood of the Boardroom survey that a minister ranked towards the tail-end of Cabinet (at 17th) and who had been in the position only since January, had substantially outranked his colleagues.
Faafoi headed not only the PM, Jacinda Ardern, and deputy PM Winston Peters, but other senior ministers Grant Robertson, Andrew Little and David Parker.
Last week Faafoi was engaged in a rather different exercise, receiving what he described as a “stern talking to” from the Prime Minister after it was disclosed he had promised to “speed things up” in an immigration case for Opshop singer Jason Kerrison. Continue reading “Faafoi’s folly – his confession to saying dumb things should put focus on his portfolio and the future of fuel prices”
Sometimes it’s a great job being a news editor. Like the BBC staffer putting together the national news for radio on Tuesday morning. Continue reading “The BBC seems unsure if law and order is an issue in Britain’s election”
Kris Faafoi, ranked 17th in Cabinet, emerged as the politician who most impressed top chief executives for ministerial performance in this year’s NZ Herald CEOs survey.
It is the first time in the history of the Mood of the Boardroom survey that a minister ranked towards the tailend of Cabinet, and who had been in the position only since January, had substantially outranked his colleagues.
Fran O’Sullivan reported Faafoi is seen as an engaging politician with a safe pair of hands. She quoted one business leader finding Faafoi displaying “real understanding, energy and integrity”.
Faafoi’s key portfolio, so far as the business leaders are concerned, is Commerce, but he also holds Broadcasting, Communications, and Digital Media As well he carries the Associate Housing responsibility.
And it is in one of those portfolios where Faafoi’s mettle as a minister is being seriously tested. Continue reading “He’s business bosses’ favourite politician but broadcasting challenge will put Faafoi’s mettle to the test”
The views of political philosopher John Gray can defy description. His Wikipedia entry notes – with a touch of his own elegance – “Gray’s political thought is noted for its mobility across the political spectrum over the years”.
But few suggest that the author of ‘The Delusions of Global Capitalism’ is boring. And there is much to be gained from his latest essay in the New Statesman. Curiously, while entitled ‘The Closing of the Conservative Mind: Politics and the Art of War’, by the end it appears to justify a somewhat different conclusion. Continue reading “Political philosopher John Gray is often wrong but sometimes very right”