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Monday, September 05, 2011

National party list: margins

National's list rankings continue to tread a fine line between rewarding competence and protecting the loyalist plodders. One obvious product of National's inherent conservatism is the lack of women - only a quarter of the list.

The main problem is that once the top couple of dozen are entrenched in ministerial positions their rankings tend to ratchet upwards from inertia rather than on merit. This retains the journeyman time-servers like Nick Smith, David Carter, Kate Wilkinson and more obviously Anne Tolley - widely disrespected in professional circles and beyond as a poor eduction minister - in high places. As a first term government it doesn't matter, but going into a probable second term the renewal issue is worth raising.

The stand out movers for me are Paula Bennett and Hekia Parata. Both happen to be Maori women and so the opposite of the interests that National represents, but they are not being promoted purely as tokensim from what I can work out. It may be an element - it was definitely an element initially - but they have proved their worth on a scale of management value. Bennett was John Key's big gamble in Cabinet and she was targeted relentlessly by Labour, but has survived and even with the appalling bullying and leaking of personal details to the media of people that complain about her she has made a fist of her portfolio. A fist rather than a helping hand, but the awful fact is that still flies with the public and her patronising style finds acceptance amid the middle classes. They have rewarded her for that.

Judith Collins is static on 7 and will be the next National PM because the men will all fight each other for the leadership and not recognise the real threat is a woman. The female ends up as the compromise option that the male contenders can agree with to maintain their mana in relation to each other. That is what happened with Clark in Labour and with Shipley in National. That's my theory anyway. If Collins keeps her nose clean she can let her ambition out at the right moment and be leader. But that's a long way into the future if the current polling is anything to go by.

Amy Adams, Simon Bridges and Nikki Kaye have bounded ahead and along with Sam Lotu-Iiga are the younger guns who may crack a ministerial position should the Nat's win again in November. I'm on the record as having said Nikki should have been given a shot last time and it looks like she may be a card in the winning trick this time round.

Immediately below Nikki is an Asian/Ethnic/Other token zone:
34 Melissa Lee (37)
35 Kanwaljit Bakshi (38)
36 Jian Yang (-)
37 Alfred Ngaro (-)
Melissa Lee (amazingly her Mt Albert by-election meltdown has been forgiven... since she is one of the few Asian faces in the party). Kanwaljit Bakshi is the thickly accented turbaned guy who asks the odd patsy at the end of parliamentary Question Time - no-one will know who he is. Jian Yang - if the Nats are anything like Labour (and they are) - is there because they've personally donated heaps and have mates from their ethnic group who have deep pockets which they are expected to tap. And they can be as hopeless a parliamentarian as is possible because the party doesn't care: they are the tokens promoted for the most cynical of reasons. It is truly pathetic that the parties lock out, or cannot attract, decent Asian candidates.And talking of cynical parachuting, there's John Banks' hagiographer, Paul Goldsmith... standing against John Banks in Epsom... for the Party vote... well up at a safe No.39. It's a tawdry Tory fix. He's a born to rule Tory with few things going for him - all the smug Tory wankery of a Simon Upton without the profile or intelligence. He exemplifies the undeserving wankers that rely on the ignorant working class voters to enter parliament. If only those people would wake up and kick their arse the way they kicked Labour's arse in 2008 when they left the underserving likes of Judith Tizard in the wilderness. And talking of wilderness - Tau Henare, the party-hopper and traitor to his union background - may be safely in at No.40, but has been given a clear signal he's on the way out.

The NZ Herald's handily put their 2008 list ranking in brackets:

1 John Key (1)
2 Bill English (2)
3 Lockwood Smith (12)
4 Gerry Brownlee (3)
5 Tony Ryall (6)
6 Nick Smith (5)
7 Judith Collins (7)
8 Anne Tolley (10)
9 Chris Finlayson (14)
10 David Carter (9)
11 Murray McCully (11)
12 Tim Groser (15)
13 Steven Joyce (16)
14 Paula Bennett (41)
15 Phil Heatley (22)
16 Jonathan Coleman (29)
17 Kate Wilkinson (30)
18 Hekia Parata (36)
19 Maurice Williamson (8)
20 Nathan Guy (18)
21 Craig Foss (33)
22 Chris Tremain (31)
23 Jo Goodhew (39)
24 Lindsay Tisch (19)
25 Eric Roy (28)
26 Paul Hutchison (23)
27 Shane Ardern (24)
28 Amy Adams (52)
29 Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga (35)
30 Simon Bridges (51)
31 Michael Woodhouse (49)
32 Chester Borrows (32)
33 Nikki Kaye (57)
34 Melissa Lee (37)
35 Kanwaljit Bakshi (38)
36 Jian Yang (-)
37 Alfred Ngaro (-)
38 Katrina Shanks (46)
39 Paul Goldsmith (-)
40 Tau Henare (26)
41 Jacqui Dean (40)
42 Nicky Wagner (43)
43 Chris Auchinvole (42)
44 Louise Upston (53)
45 Jonathan Young (66)
46 Jackie Blue (45)
47 Todd McClay (54)
48 Alan Peachey (34)
49 David Bennett (44)
50 Tim Macindoe (55)
51 Cam Calder (58)
52 John Hayes (50)
53 Colin King (47)
54 Aaron Gilmore (56)
55 Jami-Lee Ross (-)
56 Paul Quinn (48)
57 Paul Foster-Bell (-)
58 Maggie Barry (-)
59 Ian McKelvie (-)
60 Mark Mitchell (-)
61 Mike Sabin (-)
62 Scott Simpson (-)
63 Claudette Hauiti (-)

I've only gone down to 63 out of the 75 - not because at that point National would have got over 50% of the vote and could govern alone, but because Claudette Hauiti is such a dumb bint that National themselves could not possibly want her in and therefore they don't expect to get to 50%. Their target must be less than 50%. Paul Quinn being the dumb male-bint (whatever a male bint is called?) at No.56 is in a sacrificial position - at the high water mark set last election. The party are hoping that he won't actually make it and few, if anyone but Quinn himself, would argue that the caucus and parliament would be a better place without his bellowing, moronic interjections. Quinn is the dunce at the back of this class. Quinn's classmates in the desks next to him - Gilmour at 54 and Lee-Ross at 55 - must also be intellectually sub-par to be relegated to such company.

Standing behind Mr Thickie at No.56 are two weak candidates. The National heirarchy has defined them as weak by placing them below Quinn and anyone behind Quinn should be mightily insulted. So Maggie Barry and Mike Sabin are so insulted, but being in ultra-safe seats (North Shore for Barry, Northland for Sabin) they can expect to romp home in those electorates. But that would be taking the voters for granted.

Everyone knows that Maggie is the nice gardening lady from TV. And she's not rated precisely because she is "nice" - and that's the beginning and end of her talent it seems. Her high profile is in stark contrast to the level of confidence Head Office has shown in her. Maggie could be taken out by a strong Act candidate if it was 1996, 99, or 2002 - but Act's days look all but over and although Brash would appeal on paper to North Shore voters he's yesterday's yesterday man. John Boscawen would put a big dent in her majority however. If Colin Craig is insisting on blowing mega dollars on his own ego then North Shore (or Tamaki) would be the place to do it. People don't vote for nice they vote for strength - if either Boscawen or Craig stood against her they would have a chance.

As for Sabin - why do they rate him so low? You think they would like another thick cop - a rugby head munter for the provinces - wouldn't you? That's the epitome of the National Party isn't it? He must be thicker than Quinn - and that takes some doing. But he has some sort of smarts - getting out of the NZ Police to exploit the 'P' meth panic with his own company trading on the hysteria and paranoia. Winston Peters is from Northland and with that home advantage - and the Maori vote - he could take out Sabin who has v irtually no profile compared to Winston. With NZ First hovering around 4-5% Winston contesting this electorate looks like the best option to secure representation.

Winston's stance on preserving state assets and stopping privatisation and foreign sales is widely known and undisputed. People did not trust Winston with his explanations and denials about how he went about funding NZ First, but they do trust Winston not to sell the nation's family silver. It would be helpful - perhaps 1-2% helpful - if he also apologised and came clean on what he did regards his party's slush funds, if he said sorry, but that is remote and he would rather put his pride above that. However he may not have to do the mea culpa if it looks like he would take Northland. In that scenario NZ First could still track around 4% and the seat would get at least four others in on his coat-tails.

Since privatisation and foreign sales is National's policy this election it would seem the right time and place for Winston. He would also be on Hone Harawira's turf too and that would create a lot of free press in those confrontations. If Winston Peters is going to stand anywhere my pick is Northland.


At 6/9/11 11:49 am, Blogger Ovicula said...

Is that picture real or satirical? John Key is in every segment except the one for National's ethnic team. As far as I can tell, ethnic is a term used by polite racists to differentiate their white selves from these "others". It is very common in Queensland. For example, I asked in a delicatessen once if they had chestnut flour and got the reply "Waddaya want to eat that ethnic muck for? We've got plenty of good Austrylian food."
I've never seen a cult of personality built around someone with so little personality. It frightens me.

At 6/9/11 11:07 pm, Blogger Tar and Feather The Bastards said...

Oh it gets worse - johnny boy is helping out as the front guy in the Chinese Dragon costume !!

At 6/9/11 11:21 pm, Blogger Frank said...

Considering I'm not voting National, their Party List could consist of the following for all I care;

1. Mickey Mouse (smile & wave, Mickey!)
2. Goofy (get back to rebuilding Christchurch!)
3. Donald Duck
4. Mr Magoo
5. Daisy Duck
6. Huey
7. Dewey
8. Casper the friendly ghost
9. Louie (demoted from #8 for pot smoking)
10. Scooby Doo
11. George Jetson
12. Bambi
13. Oscar the Grouch
14. Secret Squirrel
15. Uncle Scrooge
16. Penelope Pitstop
17. Huckleberry Hound
18. Minnie Mouse
19. Wendy the Good Little Witch
20. Yogi Bear
21. Fred Flintstone
22. Big Bird
23. Top Cat
24. Tweety Bird
25. Wile E Coyote
26. Hot Stuff the Devil
27. Space Ghost
28. Aquaman
29. Booboo
30. Wilma Flinstone
31. George of the Jungle
32. Roger Ramjet
33. Kermit the Frog
34. Barney Rubble
35. Hong Kong Phooey
36. Road Runner
37. Miss Piggy
38. Dopey
39. Grumpy
40. Happy
41. Sneezy
42. Doc
44. Sleepy
45. Stumpy
46. Bashful
47. Plasticman
48. Atom Ant
49. Alvin the Chipmunk
50. Dumbo

& 20 other useless hangers-on.

Not much different to the real Nat Party List. Hang on... which was which, now?


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