No Minister

An Election Question To Ponder

mrspdm asked me the following question earlier this morning and the more I thought about it the more I decided to put it out there for greater minds than mine to answer.

`Why did rural communities and farming communities through out New Zeland switch their vote from National to Labour despite Labour repeatedly kicking them in the guts over the last three years?’

I cannot come up with an answer other than Covid – but what say you.

Written by pdm1946

October 18, 2020 at 8:48 am

Posted in New Zealand

19 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Oooo, ooooo, Pick me. Pick me.

    First and foremost it could be that a lot of rural females voted for Jacinda.

    But there may have been a lot of farmers who’ve just given up on National.

    Look, I voted National from 2002 to 2017, each year with decreasing hope that they would be anything more than just a short-term defense against whatever nuttiness the Left had in store.

    For all the blathering about COVID, the fact is that on everything bar tax increases and new taxes, National cosied up to Labour as much as possible. “Me Too” – but with better management (supposedly – imagine Jamie-Lee Ross with responsibility & power).

    It’s just not enough anymore. In the last decade I found my farming business increasingly burdened by regulations and demands that cost me money – a lot of money – that I’d like to have spent on actual improvements to the farm. Let alone that none of these contributed a damned thing to increased revenue or reduced costs. And all that occurred under National, who simply allowed Regional Councils and Environmental bureacrats to have their way with us.

    That, and the feeling that National simply left rural gun owners to be thrown to the wolves as potential mass murderers in the public mind, probably added to the distaste. All of those factors may explain why so many rural National seats fell this year. They’ll all pay a bitter price for that at the hands of Green-Labour, but eventually you just get tired of being treated like an afterthought. Now admittedly I don’t know any farmers (male or female) who were not going to vote National, based on conversations at a recent funeral where the district turned out en masse, but these numbers and results suggest otherwise.

    Tom Hunter

    October 18, 2020 at 8:58 am

    • The logical answer to most of that would be ACT, however, perhaps with all the negative media against farmers, perhaps they are starting to believe the hype?

      uncoffined

      October 18, 2020 at 9:59 am

    • It’s now been admitted that Federated Farmers voted Labour to keep the Greens out.

      uncoffined

      October 20, 2020 at 7:13 am

  2. I am a first time labour voter as I prefer a labour government to a labour green one

    Ian

    October 18, 2020 at 9:32 am

    • Ian were you a National or a Green voter previously?

      pdm1946

      October 18, 2020 at 9:41 am

    • Interesting. I’ve seen speculation about such voters as you. I’m reminded of the many fools who voted for Winston First in 2017 in order to provide National with a spine.

      We all know how that “plan” worked out. I suspect the same here. It hangs on the idea that Labour will remain moderate. The last time there was such a landslide win I don’t recall the Bolger government being moderate, at least in its first year, after which the rapidly falling polls caused Ruthless Ruth to be sacked and her supporters to constrained.

      Tom Hunter

      October 18, 2020 at 9:42 am

  3. National

    Ian

    October 18, 2020 at 9:48 am

  4. ” I suspect the same here. It hangs on the idea that Labour will remain moderate.”

    Curious here. What does “moderate” mean in the context of government? That Labour will implement some National policies? That “death by a thousand cuts” is preferable to swift action?

    Labour has a once in a generation chance to remake this country and take it away from the “It’s the economy, stupid” of the graspers and return power to the creators, the workers, the artisans. Power to the people, not the almighty dollar.

    Glamdring

    October 18, 2020 at 9:54 am

  5. Polls have been fascinating.
    Free Range Stats early in the cycle when there were only a few polls had Labour been able to govern alone.
    Their last calculation of polls before the election
    http://freerangestats.info/elections/nz-2020/index.html

    NOEL

    October 18, 2020 at 10:01 am

  6. Tom,

    So by your view National’s most successful PM for 50 years, caused you to lose faith in National because he got his votes to govern from the centre. Well, I guess that is why National won’t be taking too much advice from you. Going more to the right will not get National back into office.

    Key and English both understood which parts of the Clark government intiatives were cemented in, and which weren’t. And by reassuring the public on the things the had become part of the fabric, were able to win three elections, and be the largest party on the fourth.

    So since you are almost certainly right about who has just voted for Labour in rural communities (rural women) National’s challenge is to win them back again. That won’t be done by going conspicuously hard right.

    It will take much smarter and much more modern policy to win them back. For instance, Scott Simpson will have a big job in constructing a modern pro environment rural policy. It is not just something for the rural communities. Urban voters will also take notice.

    Maybe something like a Rural Environment Restoration Fund, of say $1 or 2 billion. Serious government money in partnership with rural communities to make a real difference.

    Wayne Mapp

    October 18, 2020 at 10:02 am

    • Well, I guess that is why National won’t be taking too much advice from you.

      Your eternal paen on this blog. Well, it looks like they took advice from the likes of you and came a cropper.

      Tom Hunter

      October 18, 2020 at 10:06 am

    • Tom,

      National doesn’t get their advice from me. The outcome of this election has been clear the whole year. It was never going to be National’s year.

      Up till two weeks out, I had thought the likely result was going to be 32 to 35%. But in the last two weeks, I thought 29 to 31%. In fact it was worse than I anticipated. Why was that?

      National did not have good campaign, especially in the latter half, despite Judith doing well in the debates. Though it was obvious to me she had lost energy in the last debate.

      Up till two weeks or so out from the election, I thought National was on track for 33% or so. Then it all turned to custard. For instance, the problems with the alternative budget, the leaks of Denise Lee’s email, the walk down Ponsonby Rd, the terrible attempt at a wealth tax chant a week or so ago (because you don’t follow MSM, you would have missed the terrible optics of that on TV), the poor quality advertising, Gerry’s spats with the media. Just to mention the worst things of the last two weeks.

      And ironically, the wealth tax debate. It was understandable National was going to go hard on that, especially given the Greens insisting on it. But when the PM emphatically ruled it out, our continuing on about it had the effect of driving National voters to Labour, specifically to stop it. Our voters accepted the PM’s very clear message for an absolute majority to give them certainty. It was hard for National to pivot out of the wealth tax debate, though apparently (according to Richard Harman in his blog “Politik”) some in the caucus wanted Judith to get out of that particular trap.

      Wayne Mapp

      October 18, 2020 at 10:44 am

  7. Despite my wish for a rightish approach, it does not have the votes. The trick will be to maintain self reliant principles yet give enough to the centre to get women and the young on board. But National will not have to be all things to all men (and women). Rat cunning needed a la Key. But still scratch a couple of itches.

    Max Ritchie

    October 18, 2020 at 10:16 am

  8. Re covid, National should have communicated either that they would stay strong on the current policy or articulated another one. They fell between two stools. When your brand is good governance having a shambles over the leadership is not a good look. Collins yes in the circumstances but Brownlee? Come on. We needed a future leader in the deputy stot. Not yesterday’s man. Someone who had appeal in the areas that Collins didn’t. Those I have talked to this morning think the nats got what they deserved.

    Ian

    October 18, 2020 at 10:17 am

  9. Wayne Mapp said.

    `Though it was obvious to me she had lost energy in the last debate.’

    I thought the format and questions of that last debate were slanted very much in Ardern’s favour. There were no had questions requiring a specific answer – where was Ihumtao in that debate – ignored as were a couple of other areas that Ardern had previousl floundered on.

    pdm1946

    October 18, 2020 at 11:03 am

  10. National has gradually become a party of the left. Sure the votes are usually in the center, but National became left of center years ago, Key further enhanced this when he was in charge. National are a pseudo Labour party. Voters this time wanted the real thing and we have got it. A veritable socialist utopia where tax and spend is the preferred system.

    Alan Hancox

    October 18, 2020 at 12:32 pm

  11. The question is answered easily enough just with the commonplace that people won’t vote for a party that looks like it lacks competence. This year, National’s had three different leaders, lost two MPs due to egregiously stupid, bordering-on-criminal behaviour, seen a mass exodus of more competent and run a cringe-inducing clusterfuck of a campaign. There’s no need to look further than that to see why Labour has succeeded in some rural electorates, but I’d go further.

    A lot of farmers do actually take the environment seriously, so Collins’ eye-rolling dismissal of climate change, laughably illogical argument that NZ is responsible for little of the world’s emissions so it doesn’t matter what we do, and her clumsy attempts to talk up a culture war between rural and urban dwellers all must have put a lot of those people off. She’s a leader with plenty of appeal to bullies and throwbacks to Muldoon-era NZ, but that’s a relatively small number of people. National had better find someone with wider appeal before the next election.

    Psycho Milt

    October 18, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    • A lot of farmers do actually take the environment seriously…

      Yes we do when it comes to things like preserving 10ha of native, virgin bush on my farm over the last forty years, leaving wetlands and streams well surrounded by trees and shrubs and so forth.

      … so Collins’ eye-rolling dismissal of climate change, laughably illogical argument that NZ is responsible for little of the world’s emissions so it doesn’t matter what we do,

      There is nothing illogical about either claim as they are a simple fact of numbers. Whether that justifies us doing nothing is a separate question, but that fact remains that even a zero-GHG-emissions NZ would indeed do nothing measurable – technically nothing statistically different – in reducing global GHG emissions, let alone slowing or reducing global AGW.

      And what farmers like me object to is that in aiming for zero emissions we see a great deal of talk about methane and little about CO2, and even more of an imbalance on practical measures. As Professor Woodford has pointed out in a series of detailed analysis of NZ agricultural methane, it is not equivalent to CO2 in terms of AGW impact:

      What very few people understand is that this supposedly simple fact is based on a dodgy assumption that the effects of methane can somehow be turned into equivalent units of carbon dioxide:
      Accordingly, for those of us who do believe that saving the planet is indeed important beyond time horizons of 100 years, the whole concept of carbon dioxide equivalents should be considered as simplistic nonsense.

      And even then it is not increasing as CO2 is, being cyclical in nature.

      In the case of New Zealand’s ruminant-sourced methane, the gross emissions have been close to static for the last 30 years. This is documented in the national inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and is not controversial.

      The reason why the Greens and Labour are going after the farming community on methane is very simple:

      1) Farmers are considered “rich” and able to afford whatever is thrown at them. The phrase asset-rich-and-cash-poor is ignored.

      2) Farmers are a tiny percentage of the vote and can therefore be hit or intimidated by a Left-wing government with impunity.

      3) Farmers don’t vote Greens or Labour so no loss. This may have changed a bit with the latest election results but I doubt it.

      4)The Greens and Labour are terrified of actually jacking up the fossil fuel energy costs on their urban luvvie supporters who say they really care about AGW but don’t want to pay $10/litre + for petrol and so forth. It’s why Adern did that little song and dance last year about “over-priced petrol”, and why the Huntly power station is not even close to being shut down. You can’t have it both ways, and with urban voters and their CO2 excluded from the responsibility for AGW – aside from their preening – that leaves farming and methane to carry the can.

      … and her clumsy attempts to talk up a culture war between rural and urban dwellers all must have put a lot of those people off.

      Culture war attacks don’t come much harsher than labelling rural opponents of your environmental plans as “dirty dairying” and rural people objecting to a gun grab as MAGA NRA members and potential mass murderers. Based on the online responses I’m sure that urban Left voters were overjoyed to know that those attacks left a mark, and I sure as shit didn’t hear any of those people crying in their cups about them.

      Tom Hunter

      October 18, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    • There is nothing illogical about either claim as they are a simple fact of numbers.

      Sure, just a fact. And if a criminal tells the parole board he’s responsible for only a vanishingly small percentage of crime in this country, that’s also a fact. However, the parole board would find the implied argument he’s making to be illogical and irrelevant. Because it is.

      The reason why the Greens and Labour are going after the farming community on methane is very simple:

      Yep. That reason being that agriculture is a significant contributor of our emissions but National have steadfastly refused to do anything about it when they were last in power. It’s up to Labour and the Greens to be the adults in the room because National won’t be.

      Culture war attacks don’t come much harsher than labelling rural opponents of your environmental plans as “dirty dairying”…

      That’s exactly the culture war propaganda I’m talking about. Collins took this very approach in one of the debates. It’s propaganda aimed at creating the impression of a culture war, by pretending that Labour and the Greens call agriculture “dirty dairying.” They don’t, but claiming they do helps convince the ignorant and the just plain stupid among the rural population that the townies are against them and the answer is to vote National.

      Psycho Milt

      October 19, 2020 at 3:03 pm


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: