Andrew Little close to not making it back into parliament

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It was a shock this evening to hear Labour Leader Andrew Little state he has considered stepping down as leader in the face of bad polling. This statement will be catastrophic for Labour. It’s a message of weakness and double mindedness to potential voters who, whether we like it or not, search for strength when looking for a leader and, as we’ve seen before with Labour when David Cunliffe was “sorry for being a man“, will only go down as more fragility in the Labour Party of the 21st century.

With the latest OneNews Colmar Brunton poll having Labour on 24, maybe Little may not need to step down as, if these polls turn out to be correct, he is on a knife edge of not making it back into parliament at all.

The utmost irony to this story, is that a joint attempt to oust the National Government via a Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Greens, may be the reason Little doesn’t get back in.

The MoU offers, amongst other things, the opportunity for the two parties to work together in seats where the Green/Labour bloc were greater than the National vote. The idea is simple, no Green Party member will stand, the ‘left’ will vote strategically allowing a Labour MP to get in.

Such a move could be critical in marginal seats such as Auckland Central where Labour’s candidate, Jacinda Ardern, came within 600 votes of National’s Nikki Kaye in 2014, while the Green candidate took 2000 votes.

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By my reckoning there are four seats that where is may be relevant. Auckland Central, Christchurch Central, Ohariu are definite possibilities and Maungakiekie is a coin flip. What that means is that if we assume that all current Labour MPs hold their seats (and that is a pretty big assumption) and because of the MoU and with a little bit of luck they flip the four new seats, it will give Labour 30/31 electoral seats.

So why is this trouble for Andrew Little I hear you say? It’s because of how MMP allocates List MPs.

If you’ve heard people say that ‘the only vote that matters is the party vote‘ that’s because it’s the party vote that decides how many MPs you get into parliament. Which MPs are then decided by those who win electoral seats, followed by those on the list.

So for argument’s sake, if there are 100 seats in parliament and Party A gets 40% of the party vote, then they have 40 MPs. If Party A has won 30 electoral seats then the last 10 come from the list. If they have won 25 seats then 15 come from the list and so on… If they win 42 seats, that’s how we get an ‘overhang’ in parliament as their seats outnumber their party vote.

Andrew Little is not an electoral MP, he is only a list MP, he is #1 on the list however should this polling be correct, and Labour get 24% of the vote (120 MPs x 24%) that would only equate to 29 MPs…so if 30/31 MPs come from electoral seats, then none come off the list and Mr Little, the leader of the opposition, is not in parliament.

Now I am not suggesting that these poll results will be the final vote results, if we’ve learned nothing else from Donald Trump it’s that the polls are not always to be trusted…but typically with NZ First performing better than polling indicates, the Greens performing worse and Labour performing about what the polling says historically then what it means for Labour, and Andrew Little in particular, is that you have about 8 weeks to figure it out.

 

The GOP…home of ‘Fake News’

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So I am ‘lucky’ enough to be on the mailing list for the Republican Party who, for some reason, consider all the people on their list to be conservative.

Normally these emails come in and I skim them, ignore them or just delete them but for some reason not today.

I saw that the GOP wanted me, to participate in their survey because they’ve “had almost 68,000 conservatives in your area share their thoughts on what should be the #1 priority for Congress” and of course they “still need your answer in order to get an accurate representation.”

Firstly as a heads up, I suspect my answers may not give them an accurate representation of what their conservative supporters may want…just sayin…but also the survey is so full of ‘fake news’ that I wanted to show you how.

I’m not going to take it apart piece by piece, which I could and would be easy to show how the leading questions or binary options in a world of levels of answers would be appropriate, but as an example I will just focus on one particular question…it’s the question I have as a screen shot above about Planned Parenthood.

The question reads

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So the question is asking if funding should stop to non-profit organisations like Planned Parenthood…that part of the question is fair…moronic, but fair. However the next part, which is not a questions but a statement is in the ‘pants on fire’ category of so called ‘fake news’.

The GOP, the party in the US that controls all three branches of government, is tellings it’s supporters that Planned Parenthood’s ‘primary function’ is performing abortions. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Planned Parenthood provides almost 9.5 million services each year to 2.4 million patients. A ‘service’ can be many things including, but not limited to, pregnancy tests, cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infection testing, contraception, mammograms and abortions.

Last year Planned Parenthood performed 328,348 abortions. That number is 3% of the total number of services which, I think you’ll agree, is nowhere near an organisation’s ‘primary function’. It would be fairer to say that abortions at Planned Parenthood are a miniscule part of the overall work they do but what the GOP does is misinform their supporters into believing these lies, which then get propogated on conservative news websites and that then leads to an ill informed public…the most ill informed…and the cycle of misinformation continues. There’s an old saying…”lies make it round the world three times before truth gets its pants on”.

Add all of this to the Hyde Amendment which states that federal funds can’t be used to perform abortions excepting if the life of the woman is in danger and you’ll see the GOP Fake News in full effect.