John English: loses a second election for National!
Jacinda Ardern: a big mouth will only get you so far!
Winston Peters: The hottest senior citizen in the country right now!
Northland: New high speed monorail from Whangarei to Auckland announced.
The parties (From most right wing to most left wing.)
ACT (1 seat)
If Toorak had its own party, it would be ACT. It’s about as far right as can be electable. ACT got to a maximum of 5 members and then crumbled on internal scandals. ACT are the party for greedy people who never worked for it.
National (58 seats)
Basically the same as the Liberal-National coalition though probably with more focus on the Nationals side. Has been in power for 3 terms, taking power away from <deepest voice possible > Helen Clark. National are notionally pro-farmer and pro-business, though since the 80’s this has generally meant big farm and big business, though in effect they pander to foreign non-resident investors which created a housing and immigration bubble.
New Zealand First aka NZF ( 9 seats) and Winston Peters kingmaker of the day
A center right nationalist/populist party formed for the cult of personality of Winston peters. Peters entered parliament in 1979 and was only out from 2008-2011. At 72 he’s the oldest person in the NZ parliament. The party was formed as a result of Peters public disagreement with the National government policies in 1990-1992, a party that refused to let him stand again in his seat. He forced a by-election as an independent and then at the next election he won with his fledgling party. The parties support has fluctuated over the years and even went to zero seat in the 2008-2011 period. Peters is a canny political survivor and his consistent issues have been cutting immigration better treatment for retirees ( a segment he enjoys huge support from) and the country’s economic problems.
Labour (45 seats)
More or less the same as the ALP, though the last time they were in power they governed without increasing government debt. Previously had supply and confidence with NZF from 2005-2008 allowing them a third term.
Greens (7 seats)
Just like the Australian greens closet Marxists with a few sane people thrown in to make it look electable. Competes with labour for the same voters but the Greens tends to the target the younger and more naïve voter. Greens lost a lot of support for suggesting reducing the immigrant numbers, what bigots!
The possible outcomes (deja vu)
This will be the third time Winston peters has held the balance of power and been the king maker for a NZ government, the next weeks will be filled with intense negotiations with Labour and National so see what positions in caucus his party might get and what policies can be agreed on.
The first ex-wife
ACT, Nationals long time flunky would be jettisoned as irrelevant and National would have the numbers but at what cost? NZF’s flagship issue immigration might be an easy concession as immigration numbers are said to be naturally deceasing. But after 20 years of immigration flooding is it too late to prevent the damage from mass immigration?
The second ex-wife
Labour (with nasty neighbour greens)
A minority government option with greens either offering supply and confidence or abstaining from no-confidence votes. Jacinda Ardern might be willing to do anything to get power and end Nationals 3 term government.
The second ex-wife with menage a tois angry sex
Labour with greens
The more complex option attempting to wrangle policy with 2 leftist partners who are sometimes at odds with each other sometimes trying to claim credit for conceiving and/or implementing the same ideas. This seems less likely given that NZF generally dislikes the Greens as much as it dislikes ACT seeing both as too extreme.
The Maori party completely removed from government with all its seats taken by Laobur. Now no political party exists that specifically represents Maoris despite there being 7 dedicated Maori seats in parliament .
Gareth Morgan’s TOP party received 0.2% of the party vote; apparently 8000 NZ voters don’t know how highly this former reserve bank economist spoke of North Korea when he did a motorcycle tour there.
Winston Peters held his election party in Russel, close to the original site of the first New Zealand government Kororareka. Yet another deja vu.
NZ’s MMP electoral system is similar to how the Australian senate is formed. This system is supposed to be more representative of the will of the people and is meant to give more voice to smaller parties. But in the end MMP gives more power to political parties, who in the end often decide who is going to be the government not the voters.
The most interesting entrails
The most interesting part about this election? On the quiet the reserve bank might be a casualty. From NZF’s website:
My favorite band, Deja Voodoo, they probably sound familiar.
Clive Palmer has now shown what a shrewd operator he is. Many saw his apparent spray at the Chinese government as an off the cuff frustration as the QandA presenter pressured him on a commercial case he was embroiled in. Whether Clive realized it not (an we suspect with the money he has he can afford the best advice) he attacked at the most critical point.
Clive has shown he is able to legitimately convert financial power into political and media power.
This gave Clive Palmer two powerful weapons in his current cases against a Chinese business over money he is owed.
The Chinese government hates scandals.
In Australian English ‘Mongrel’ means or mixed breed dog , applied to sports (particularly boxing) means tough aggressive man.
Mike Tyson’s boxing style might be described as Mongrel, tough, aggressive, and lacking complex technique.
When translated, the term Mongrel means mixed or hybrid.
Chinese are very sensitive on questions of race and race mixing and genealogy.
Bastard looses nothing in the translation but is generally considered more offensive in China than here, as the Chinese are very conservative in family matters.
Chinese are also very sensitive to insults in general, so much effort is spend on keeping up good appearances (saving face) it becomes a significant distraction in day to day life.
Chinese people eats dogs and wealthy people eat more dogs that those who are poor. Chinese people realize westerners find the idea of eating dog objectionable seeing dogs largely as beloved pets or animals of service. Even wild or feral dogs which are culled are not eaten in the west, eating dog s is seen as a cultural taboo through much of the west.
Bastard also continues the theme of sexual improper conduct and adds in illegitimacy and despicable nature.
The most curious thing about the uses of these insults is that they are an anachronism even for someone of Clive Palmer’s age. The terms are now obscure in language generally, and are considered locally only mildly offensive.
So a mildly offensive remark in the Australian vernacular translates via a dog whistle (pun intended) to a highly offensive slur against a litigation opponent very much under control of the Chinese government. It entirely possible this scandal has reduced the resolve of Palmer’s opponent in the court case due to Chinese Government political pressure. On the third party adjudicator side of the commercial case, the court is now under pressure to resolve the case in Palmer’s favor, as he is willing to damage trade relations with a very important international trade partner. Palmer’s PUP party has a controlling wedge in the senate, able to block any legislation the opposition wont support. The opposition is unlikely to support Liberal/national policy because of its shock doctrine budget.
That’s a hell of a gambit by a man who can afford to move large pieces on the board.
Clive Palmer clearly is economically rational and hardly a man to do any thing without very careful precognition. Palmer openly admits he rarely attends the lower house where he is a member citing the fact his single vote there generally makes little difference in the outcomes. This in itself a dog whistle to the disenchanted vote who see both major parties as being out of touch and rightly seeing greens as being destructive Marxists. This was no accident, it was a carefully planned and disguised scandal to get leverage in his commercial case.
The apology was a week in forth coming so one can imagine the back room horse trading that was done to produce such an apology and smooth things over.
Billionaire mining magnates don’t apologize for free.
Clive Palmer now has significant leverage in his commercial case, after all he would not appear on a leftist echo chamber like QandA without a good reason.
Money is always a good reason.
*Scoring political points a good ancillary benefit.
How did the Chinese government feel about this?
Heres a clue, be sure to read the comment to this Chinese newspaper link.