Election 2017 – The Churn is Real

James K

James is a government policy analyst, and lives in Wellington, New Zealand. His interests including wargaming, computer gaming (especially RPGs and strategy games), Dungeons & Dragons and scepticism. No part of any of his posts or comments should be construed as the position of any part of the New Zealand government, or indeed any agency he may be associated with.

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9 Responses

  1. LeeEsq says:

    What’s it like living big in a country where politics is not cast in apocalyptic terms?Report

    • James K in reply to LeeEsq says:


      It’s nice, I thoroughly recommend it.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to James K says:

        I’m not sure if thats possible for the United States or many other countries at this moment. Too much widely divergent thought on everything among the citizenry.Report

        • James K in reply to LeeEsq says:


          I will grant you that New Zealand has less scope for diversity of opinion than most countries simply because we are so small, but still we are not free of political controversy. There was a protest by farmers just yesterday where Ardern was decried as a communist for wanting to tax water use by farmers.

          I think we need to look beyond scope of disagreement for the hostility that has arisen in the politics of so many countries.Report

  2. Michael Cain says:

    So, what are the issues in New Zealand? Anyone threatening/promising big changes?Report

    • James K in reply to Michael Cain says:


      Housing, immigration and water quality are probably the main things.

      National is promising the least radical change, which is to be expected as a three-term government. Their primary line of argument is that Labour is too fractious and tax-happy, and beyond that intend to carry on with solutions they already have running for the issues of the day.

      On immigration, Labour wants to restrict immigration more, but not as much as New Zealand First. Act, the Greens and National are generally pro-immigration.

      On Housing, Labour and the Greens wants to introduce new taxes on investment properties, The Greens and New Zealand First want to restrict foreign ownership of residences and Act wants to limit the urban planning powers of city councils.

      On water use, Labour wants to tax water use by by farmers. National’s position is that water belongs to everyone so taxing use would be inappropriate. Act and TOP want to introduce tradeable water use permits.Report

  3. Marchmaine says:

    Interesting proportional voting you have; the longer I stare at FPTP, the more I think we should experiment with proportional voting in the US. Yes, it can increase factionalization… which is a theoretical bad, if you are James Madison, but I’d rather have rational factions than the irrational two we’ve got.Report

    • Jesse in reply to Marchmaine says:

      My argument for proportional voting is that it’d likely moderate the two largest parties – you’d have San Francisco Republicans and Wyoming Democrat’s elected. \

      Sure, you’d also get some Green’s or Socialist’s elected from some dark blue urban cores or people who make Ted Cruz look moderate in some deep red areas as well, but it’d also lessen the team aspect when everybody from actual socialists to Wall Street bankers who like gay people no longer have to be in the same party.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Jesse says:

        Yeah, I’m fine with that. Not exactly in the sense of “moderating” the parties, more in the sense of letting the steam have somewhere to go, plus allowing for coalitions around policies not simple tribal binaries on every aspect of American life. Plus moderation is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. I don’t think you or I would categorize the other as “Moderate” 🙂

        Though wouldn’t the San Francisco Republican no longer be a Republican nor the Wyoming Democrat a Democrat? Maybe those are too specialized a beast… they’d have to be part of a 10% faction after all.

        Even if we just split into 4 new parties around a simple Social/Economics pole it would be an improvement. (I suspect). Excessive factionalism, yeah, I could see that becoming vexatious – you’d have to get the threshold right… which I why I might prefer to see even more experiments at the state level first.Report