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Friday, November 19, 2010

Mana by-election

Rush of early votes in Mana
A rush of early votes could point to a surprisingly high turnout in the Mana by-election as the candidates make their last pitches to voters.

The campaign in the electorate is do or die for Labour, which has had the maestro behind Auckland Mayor Len Brown's super-city campaign, Andrew Beyer, organising a massive volunteer effort to get voters to the polls tomorrow.

While the two main parties are picking turnout at 50 per cent or lower, votes cast so far suggest the attention on the race between Labour's Kris Faafoi and National's Hekia Parata has already created strong interest.

Early votes cast totalled 1721 by close of business on Wednesday – well up on the 1341 recorded in Mana at the same time during the last general election.

Mana won't go to National, let's be pretty clear about that. People are hurting from this recession and no matter how charming the candidate, that is up hill death in a by-election. The question is how much will the winner win by and will it be Chris or Matt?

If the combined total of Matt and Chris's vote is significant, Matt would have shown Labour that a more clear ideological position to the left can have electoral success.

If Matt wins it will suggest that there is a deeper anger occurring in the electorate.

IF Hekia wins it will launch a blood letting on the left that won't be pretty.

Even if Hekia cuts into Labour's majority, the combined total of Matt, Chris and Jan Logies vote will quieten down David Farrar from exclaiming too much of a win for the right.

Results will be tomorrow afternoon.


At 19/11/10 7:51 am, Anonymous Danyl said...

I expect McCarten will come 4th, although if the Greens vote tactically for Labour he'll manage an impossibly distant 3rd. Labour will win by a comfortable but reduced majority.

At 19/11/10 8:51 am, Anonymous Joe Carolan said...

As the Battle of Mana draws to an end, a real victory has already been won. For the last month, the Serious Left in Aotearoa has united in struggle and put in the mahi, fighting on issues that concern working people and that embarass the party apparatchiks from Labour and National.

What the final tally will be for Matt McCarten's insurgent campaign, only Saturday can tell. But the New Left has fought hard for every vote it gets, whether high in the hills of Tawa or in the heart of Cannon's Creek. Even those undecided about voting for Matt have supported his radical programme for full employment, higher incomes and tax justice. As he said himself- "If the people of Mana voted for what they wanted- we'd win by a landslide."

Another real victory that has been won is one for democracy itself. Rather than explain why their party does not support radical change, Labour have been pushing the line that a vote for Matt splits the Left. And they are noticably nervous about this- they are drafting in hundreds of volunteers, activists and union organisers for the last few days, and their more uncouth supporters are beginning to lose their tempers. And there's a real reason why.

Amongst the staunch working class, there's a realisation that Phil Goff ain't gonna win the national election in 2011. Labour are too soft, and are bereft of any tangible policies that make a difference to the working class. Their candidate, Kris Faafoi, was imposed on the local organisation from Goff's office, and has barely been in the party for a year. Many workers see through the cynical tokenism from Labour HQ.

The days of the Left being a One Party State are over, whether in the unions or in the political field. We're going to need a REAL resistance movement when National win in 2011.
As Labour stays firmly in the political centre, it needs to learn one lesson-

We're not splitting the Left vote- we ARE the Left vote.

At 19/11/10 9:28 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Knew you couldn't quit the blogosphere cold turkey Danyl.
Welcome back.

At 19/11/10 10:59 am, Anonymous aj said...

The only number that counts here will the the total right vs left result. If the left don't annihilate the right by increasing the the difference I'd be quite surprised.

At 19/11/10 8:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

fighting on issues that concern working people AREN'T U THE NEW PREZ?

At 19/11/10 9:12 pm, Blogger mickysavage said...

Kia ora Joe

I beg to disagree ...

Matt said a month ago after the last Labour conference the following:

"And just when the left were still hugging each other in delight, the Labour Party for the first time since who knows when got excited about being left-wing again.

Labour Party president Andrew Little set the scene by giving a speech I’m sure he had always wanted to give.

No more “measured and responsible” nonsense that was the norm under Helen Clark’s regime. It was good rousing stuff. It wasn’t revolutionary – that would be too much to expect – but it showed Little’s real emotional connection to the workers’ cause.

Little’s example fired up the latent leftie sentiments still lurking in the faithful. Even Phil Goff got in on the act, revelling in his new role as the “left-wing” leader, dissing everything he once advocated for on behalf of his old boss Roger Douglas.

It was a bit forced and it was hard to swallow his Road to Damascus conversion. But I’ll play along for now.

But most of what the conference did mattered little. It was rather the universal acceptance by conference attendees that the new-right experiment was wrong and it’s now over.”

I can see that he had reservations about Phil but he seemed to be really happy with the party and he should have been. So what happened?

At 20/11/10 8:05 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil Bowdler

Science reporter, BBC News


The last mining disaster to occur in New Zealand was back in 1967 at the Strongman mine, close to the mine involved in this latest accident.

Then, a gas explosion killed 19 miners. Officials say better safety standards and more opencast mining have reduced fatalities, although Pike River is one of several functioning underground pits.

Elsewhere, sadly, deaths are still measured in the thousands.

Last year in China, which mines almost half the world's coal, a total of 2,631 miners were killed - about seven a day. But even these terrible figures are an improvement - back in 2002, the death toll almost reached 7,000.

Deaths in Chinese mines make up some 70% of the global total, but other states also have poor records.

In 2008, 201 people were killed in India's coal mines and 64 in Russia's, according to figures collated by the BBC. In the same year in the United States, 53 miners were killed, 35 in Colombia and 30 in Poland.

These deaths and the latest incident are a reminder that coal mining is highly dangerous. The walls and roof of tunnels can fail, and there is the danger of explosions caused by gases such as methane or hydrogen sulphide.

Many of these dangers can be reduced by adequate bracing of the mine, and gas drainage and monitoring equipment.

At 20/11/10 5:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...dissing everything he once advocated for on behalf of his old boss Roger Douglas.

It was rather the universal acceptance by conference attendees that the new-right experiment was wrong and it’s now over.”

Douglas (and ACT policy);

"He argued for the sale of almost every government asset, including roads, hospitals, schools and universities.Every social service was to be privatised.We were to have a single rate of income tax at 15 cents in the dollar, and GST would be raised to fifteen percent to match."


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