Update US Election 2016. Are you about to #FeelTheBern

I said in August of 2015 that Hillary Clinton was going to walk away with this election and the GOP knew she was. I actually think in February of 2016 that is still the most likely scenario, but it’s not quite as clear cut as it was, and it’s certainly not what is best for America, but then again what is best for American may shock some Americans (unless you’re under 35).

Bernie Sanders is a septuagenarian politician who is resonating with Millennials/GenY population of the US. He is a Democratic Socialist and wants kids in American to be able to have access to free tertiary education and thinks that to have free access to health care is a human right that everyone should be entitled. He is the candidate, Democrat or Republican, who has the most consistent track record over 40 plus years of his political ideology and he would bring a revolution to the US should he get over the line and be the Democratic nominee…and there is a chance that may happen.

One of Bernie Sanders’ biggest issues is that as a ‘Democratic Socialist’ he has been tarred with a narrative from his opposition that he is un-electable, however polls are showing again and again that he is probably more electable than Hillary Clinton.

head to head

These are a series of polls by Quinnipiac University, a reputable source of polling, and shows that in a head to head race Hillary Clinton loses to 4 out of the 5 GOP candidates (even Bush who is no longer there) and only beats Donald Trump by one point whereas Sanders beats all 5 GOP candidates, two of them with double digit leads. Now ‘yes’ this is just a poll and we all know that the only poll that matters in on electron day, but the trend is showing Sanders’ support increasing and Clinton’s decreasing to a point where the votes are looking very 50/50 in most of the foreseeable primaries.

What the American population needs to understand that what this ‘far left’ oft called ‘Socialist’ candidate is promising them is what the rest of the world calls ‘business as usual’. In NZ Sanders would be on the centre-left, swinging to the left on some of his ideas, but he wouldn’t be seen as extreme in his views. In the UK it’s just been pointed out the Sanders is very much like their Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. I would like to see an interview with our ‘Right Wing’ Prime Minister asking him where he stood on some of Sanders’ ideas and you’d find that he would likely agree with a good portion of them. Say that to an American conservative voter and their head would explode.

Looking specifically at this election, the numbers are clear, that if Bernie Sanders is the Democratic nomination he is the favorite to be the next President, however the institution set up around the political world of corporate money, advertising dollars, SuperPac influence do not want Sanders to get the nod and whether he can overcome that is the biggest question. Clinton is weak in areas that appeal to the voter for Sanders, she takes money from SuperPacs, she earns from Wall Street (millions in fact from speeches she and Bill have given) and she doesn’t want to upset the apple cart with small manageable goals versus Sanders calling for a revolution. Clinton has chinks in her armor that a GOP nominee could exploit whereas they don’t have that opportunity against Sanders. She is still under a cloud with the FBI investigating here email server issue and questions around how money is being used in the Clinton Foundation, if either of those blew up during the presidential run, well I don’t want to alarm anyone, but you could well be saying “Hello President Trump.”

What both the Democrats and GOP need to understand is that, if not this election, then the reign of the institutional politician is coming to an end. If Clinton get’s over the line this time, then by the end of an 8 year reign that Millenial/GenY population will be late 20s to mid 40s and a very powerful voting block possiblly even having nominees running for President themselves.

I would love to see a President Sanders and yes I am prepared to say that whilst I think the odds are still with Clinton, the best thing for America would be to #FeelTheBern and put Sanders in the Whitehouse.

#buythisbeachNZ is a complete waste of time

Sorry to be a party pooper but this #buythisbeachNZ campaign is a complete waste of time and will not work. It’s a lovely idea…but a waste of time.

If you own property let me ask you this. If you purchased a house close to a decade ago for say $400,000 would you sell it today for $400,000? Answer ‘No’.

If you were very interested in purchasing a property and you knew exactly what you competitor was going to offer would you offer a smidge more to get that property? Answer ‘Yes’.

The Able Tasman beach in question was purchased by Michael Spackman in September 2008 for $1,925,000. Presently it’s rating valuation is $1,580,000. That means when he purchased the property the ‘RV’ was likely far less but he still purchased it for two or three times the RV value. This means that on today’s market it could sell for somewhere between $3,000,000 and $4,000,000 so unfortunately the $2,000,000 being raised by the #buythisbeachNZ campaign will be well short of what the beach sells for. Also if you wanted to purchase this property and you knew that these vendors had raised, lets say, $2,100,000 then in your vendors bid you would make it $2,150,000. Everyone knows what this group is going to bid on this property. From Mr. Spackman’s point of view (or anyone who was selling their property) his expectation would be to get much more than he invested nearly a decade ago and with revelations yesterday that he is being chased for millions of dollars by the BNZ it’s not very likely that he will choose to gift the million or so that the campaign will be short to the people of NZ and, if we’re honest, who would?

Gareth Morgan has since come out of the woodwork and pointed out some of these points and offered to put in a million more if he can use one of the buildings on the property for 15 years. So NZ would get 99% of the property now, then the remaining 1% of the property in 15 years when Morgan relinquished it to the people of NZ. Seems like a fair idea to me…I mean if the choice is that or losing it to a private owner for ever more. But the group behind #buythisbeachNZ has said ‘No’ which makes me question both their motives and intelligence.

So who are the protagonists in this story? Gareth Morgan is the guy who has a track record of donating large sums of money to people and groups in NZ for the betterment of the country, like the $47 million he gave away after the sale of trademe and who are the people behind the #buythisbeachNZ campaign?…dunno…Duane Major is the man fronting it but what is his background?…dunno…what is his track record with vast sums of money?…dunno…what is his credit like to be able to handle large sums of money?…dunno…what happens when the $2 million mark is hit, but the property does not get purchased?…dunno…what is the recourse for all the people who have given money that, when the $2 million is hit, will go through but then not used to purchase the property as I’ve spelled out above?…dunno…why does he want so much control that he has rebuffed Morgans offer, then only offer that will possibly secure the beach for NZ?,,,dunno but I am far more comfortable with Gareth Morgan using a small crib on the property for 15 years than the unknown Mr Major having unaccountable access to $2 million.

There are only two possible conclusions here. The first is that Major is a well being moron and doesn’t understand that $2 million won’t purchase the property, or he calculating and incredibly smart, knows exactly what he is doing and knows that in a few days he’ll have access to $2 million dollars and nothing to spend it on. Both conclusions lend me to state again that whilst this seems to be a nice idea, at best it is a complete waste of time and at worst it is a con of the highest magnitude.