Archive for August 24th, 2008

Latest poll goodish news for Labour

August 24, 2008

Labour’s “on the move.” So says TV3 News, reporting the latest 3News poll.

The poll confirms the trend revealed by other recent poll results. A slight bounce for Labour, National maintains a decisive advantage, with the loose lips debacle not having made much impact… yet.

National remains on 48%, Labour is up 2 points at 37%, the Greens are down one point on 6%, NZ First’s on 3%, Act 2%, and United Future 1%.

A little under 3 months out from the election this is good news for Labour, who need to start closing the gap. If the Greens and NZ First make it back into Parliament, then it doesn’t have too much more ground to make up before the election starts to look very exciting.

The minor party results probably don’t mean too much, although it doesn’t look like the donations saga has done Peters any good.

The poll of 1000 voters was taken between August 14 and August 20, and has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

Watch out old media, blogging has arrived! (Well, in the USA)

August 24, 2008

Even the New York Times has woken up to the fact that “The Year of the Political Blogger has Arrived.” Writing about the coverage of the party conventions by bloggers, the NYT notes that:

“This year, both parties understand the need to have greater numbers of bloggers attend. While many Americans may watch only prime-time television broadcasts of the convention speeches, party officials also recognize the ability of bloggers to deliver minute-by-minute coverage of each day’s events to a niche online audience.”

Okay, we’re talking the US here and not NZ. Here the National Party gave its (unpaid) house blogger a pass to cover its conference and access the free bar, but denied Standardista Clinton Smith credentials. NZ journos have only just started to notice the new kid on their block, as the recent confusion over shifting roles shows (here and here).

Of course, they have bigger blogs in the US, like HuffPo and Daily Kos. Daily Kos is sending 11 people to cover the Democratic Convention. They have national media credentials, access to panel sessions, the convention center, into the stadium for the acceptance speech festivities. “We are doing interviews (already lining them up), attending breakfasts and panels and the whole nine yards.”

The major parties in the US gave press credentials to bloggers first in 2004; a dozen (GOP) and 35 (Dems) only. This year the GOP is handing out credentials to 200 bloggers. Bloggers covering the Democratic Convention get either a “national credential”, providing the same access as members of traditional news media receive, or the more coveted “state blogger credential”. The latter allows one blogger per state to cover the convention alongside its state delegation, with unlimited floor access.

There is frustration amongst the bloggers that they are not being treated equally with the old media, reflecting a growing sense of entitlement:

“This is stuff we deserve — we helped the party get people elected,” said Matt Stoller, a political consultant and a contributor to the blog Open Left, who worked as the volunteer in charge of getting credentials for bloggers at the Democratic convention four years ago. “Maybe in 2004 it was about being accommodating and innovative — but this time around there’s a real fight for power in the party.”

Take note old media in NZ. It may not happen this election, but if you want to see the future, you know where to look.

Sunday paps

August 24, 2008

Slim pickings in the HoS. But somebody sensible got to write the editorial for a change, and there’s a thoughtful discussion of the Green’s dilemma:

“The Green Party’s agonised indecision about whether to support Labour’s proposed Emissions Trading Scheme is, in microcosm, the story of the species’ failure to face up to climate change.”

So true. The editorial comes to a conclusion about the current dilemma not dissimilar to that expressed here and by Chris Trotter:

“The boilerplate answer to the party’s dilemma is that that the practice of politics is one of tactical compromise. In showing itself to be a reliably pragmatic partner of Labour, the Greens could keep alive the possibility of a Labour-led, centre-left coalition Government after the election; in spurning legislation that does not fulfil all their expectations they risk looking like purist ideologues, aloof from and irrelevant to the hard business of governing.”

Well, call us boilerplates then! The editorial then adds a rider that both Chris (I am sure) and I endorse without reservation:

“The danger is that, if the ETS passes with Green support, the main parties – and the country – will sit back and regard the job as done.”

Elsewhere in the HoS, Bill Ralston provides a more balanced perspective on the PM’s control freakery.

Fran O’Sullivan discovers at a Business Round Table how the “dead hand of the state is contributing to the country’s rather alarming productivity record.” What a surprise! (I hope Granny’s been billing the BRT for Fran’s publicist work over the years.)

And Matt (not on-line) bemoans the lost opportunity to pressure China to treat its people better. Something no-one would disagree with, but not startling. Still, Matt probably was more worried about a big rat, that I hope to post on soon.