New Zealand to go to the polls on 8 November


New Zealand Dopers - can Helen Clark and Labour win again?

I heard the press conference live just after 12.30 pm our time. Despite Helen Clark’s listing all the positive stuff done during Labour’s period in office since 1999 – it is because they have been in office since that time that they are likely to lose. We NZers have a habit of growing weary of parties in political power down in Wellington. There’s definitely a “best by” date attached to each and ever administration. John Key’s Nationals really don’t look like they are an alternative, but the chances are very high that they will win.

The only way Labour can maintain power in our MMP system is if the minor parties make a good run of things and more left-of-centre parties come through with list members than right-of-centre. At present, even that possibility looks distant. The Maori Party is gaining strength, they aren’t mates with Labour and National has been making approaches to them. Only National’s opposition to continued Waitangi Tribunal agreements stand in the way of a marriage of convenience. The right-wing ACT party may also find some new fire, now Roger Douglas is back in the play.

On the left there are the Progressives (odds are on that Jim Anderton will retain his seat), the Greens (feeling a bit miffed with Labour after Helen’s dealings with New Zealand First) and New Zealand First (really more a right-of-centre party). After Winston Peters’ time in the limelight the past few weeks, I wouldn’t give NZ First much on the odds.

Yes, he’s looking increasingly past his ‘use by date’, isn’t he?

Roger Douglas?!?! You poor bastards!

Aye, it seemed like a bit of a returning nightmare, hearing the news that he’s third on the list. At least he’s just in ACT. That should limit his dark side powers somewhat.

The piranhas are indeed in his pool.

It’s funny how it’s always someone else’s fault when anything goes wrong for Winston Peters.

Aye, it is. I’ve asked Aussies this before, and I’ll ask again – c’mon, guys! You’ve got a great big country, lots of empty desert … couldn’t we just drop him over your way, huh? Pretty please? :slight_smile:

Possibly. But only if we could offload some of our own duds on NZ in return. Let me think…Brendan Nelson and Kevin Rudd would make a good pair. Not to mention the clowns running NSW.

Trouble is, our desert isn’t big enough.

Maybe we could organise a trans-Tasman “Pillocks Storage” department. Get the politicians over here to cough up a subsidy for you guys. Might even be a tourist attraction, as long as the visitors didn’t get too close. Too much exposure to Winston Peters … brrrr! There’d be lawsuits galore.

Been away too long to vote now. But I try and keep up as best I can. I’m still astonished that Peters has been around this long. From memory wasn’t he a protege of Piggy? Labour seem to be lurching a bit from left to right and back again, and I doubt it’s doing them any favours.

Roger Douglas…brrrrr. The temperatire just dropped in here. I remember screaming stuff at him back in the 80s. The intervening 20 odd years have not improved my views on him at all.

Looking at polls I suspect the Nats may be able to form some sort of coalition. Although I really have to wonder why. I really can’t see any natural ally for them outside of ACT - Peters doesn’t count because I see him as the natural enemy of pretty much everyone.

Are people that soured of Labour that they’d consider the Nats better?

If I were home I’m not sure what I’d be doing. I expect I’d probably still be in Hamilton East electorate so would probably go Labour on seat and Green for party vote.

Incidentally, anyone know why an absence from the country makes one ineligible to vote?

He became a National Shadow Minister in 1984, under Jim Bolger, opposite David Lange’s Govt.

I do remember that, but I was sure I remembered him being one of Muldoon’s ‘brightest and best’. Of course, it was a while back. I could be wrong

You’re not wrong at all. Looking up his record, he started out unsuccessfully running for National in the Northern Maori seat in 1975, the year Muldoon swept to power. He succeeded in 1978 in Hunua (against Roger Douglas’ brother, of all people).

I do recall him being one of Muldoon’s pets. He stayed loyal to National until 1991, when Bolger sacked him from Cabinet. He resigned from Parliament in 1993, kept his (then) seat of Tauranga in a by-election, founded NZ First, and has played MMP to the hilt ever since.

You’re allowed to enroll and vote if you’re still a citizen and have visited NZ at least once in the three years before a general election. Info here. I guess aside from that, it is as much residency as well as citizenship that matters under electoral law.

I guess that counts me out since my last visit was in 2004. I was hoping to vote for the Greens again.

Talk of Robert Muldoon and moving to Australia reminds me of his famous response when asked about people doing the same move back then. He said it “raised the average IQ of both countries”. :slight_smile: