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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

A brief Post-Election Wrap-up

Taking stock, learning, and moving forward


"Winston"

"Winston"

"Winston"


Despite the extensive list of talented candidates and detailed plans to restore New Zealand put forward by NZ First, the media persisted in fixating on Winston Peters and using negative phrases like "Not to be trusted" and "Coalition of Chaos". It seemed as if NZ First was only Winston, when he had a talented team of dedicated supporters who had his back more than ever before, and a comprehensive list of policies to take this country back.

 

Be sure to pay attention:

Quotations, like the one below, and graphs, originate from an analysis of the election conducted by a knowledgeable and concerned individual who wishes to remain anonymous. The full article is published at the bottom of this page, and can be found here on the Resistance Kiwi website.

"After the Parliament protests, there was much talk of unifying the minor political parties, but this was achieved with only limited success. One attempt aimed at bringing together people behind a single minor party was Voters United. Regular polls were held as Voters United progressed. These polls were only for the minor parties – those that generally attracted too few votes to make it into Parliament. The aim of Voters United was to consolidate those votes towards a single party to give it a greater chance of Parliamentary representation."

Playing the Man and not the Ball:

There was a disproportionate focus on Winston Peters as a person, taking attention away from crucial political issues. This fixation on an individual politician, rather than focusing on broader policies and national progress was akin to playing the man and not the ball. This unhealthy fixation on the negative hindered the ability of Winston and NZ First to engage in meaningful political discourse. It's widely believed that this was a conscious effort to reduce the impact of NZ First's election campaign, due to the party's potential to disrupt the cosy relationship between the media, politicians, and civil servants, and also the threat NZ First posed to the $55 million Public Interest Journalism Fund.


Going Nuclear:

As the election date drew closer, the media was aware that NZ First was likely to gain more than five percent, and maybe even reach 10 percent, prompting a succession of hostile interviews between Jack Tame and Winston, among other interviewers. It could be said that the media went "nuclear".


If that wasn't bad enough, leaders and supporters of several of the minor one-percent "freedom" parties put the boot in as well. Instead of unity, we had division. What NZ First received from them was abuse, including multiple accusations challenging Peter's integrity and honesty, that bordered on being defamatory.


As the election neared, it became abundantly clear that NZ First was our only hope:

"The national polls had New Zealand First polling at 6% while NZ Loyal was on 1%, and only capable of winning a maximum of two seats in Parliament (due to NZ Loyal registering a party list to the Electoral Commission consisting of only three people, one of whom apparently quit the Party soon after the lodgement, leaving only two possible party seats if no electorate was won). A vote for NZ Loyal was always going to be a wasted vote, and as it happened, over 26,000 wasted votes."

Calls for unity and strategic thinking:

Two years ago, it was estimated that 30 percent and more of voters wanted change from the incumbent political parties, but could we offer them an attractive alternative? A flurry of fledgling parties had emerged, but was it ever possible to create a complex and workable political party from scratch in so little time, and wasn't there the danger of splitting the vote with the consequence of there being no representation for the disenfranchised at all?


A political party was destined to oblivion if it didn't win an electorate seat or gain five percent or more of the Party Vote.


If each of us came together and united our resources, including our votes, behind a single party, we could easily surpass the five percent threshold and gain the power to hold the balance of power via MMP.


The struggle between Egos and Compromise

It was suggested that a run-off in popularity for minor parties, take place before the General Elections in October. It was proposed that a few weeks before the election, those parties that weren't likely to gain enough votes to secure a seat in Parliament should end their campaigns and encourage their supporters to back the major "freedom" party — the one likely to get candidates across the line, and into Parliament.


The Voters United website outlines the process for selecting the winning party:

https://votersunited.nz/


Unfortunately, despite the evidence that NZ First was the clear winner, there persisted the prevailing "five percent or nothing" mentality, where ego-driven leadership and their starstruck supporters stuck rigidly to an all-or-nothing approach. This stubborn mentality led to a lack of compromise and collaboration, in some instances, becoming vicious and personal, thereby limiting the potential for constructive dialogue and effective governance for the collective good.


False promises were made and unrealistic goals were articulated, such as one leader claiming a miracle would bestow their party two million votes.


Opting Out of the Political Process: Consequences and Accountability

By not participating in elections, refusing to support any political party, voting for any of the "one percent" parties, or voting for an irrelevant candidate in protest, individuals surrender their right to make any grievances about the outcome known.


The fact of the matter is this: By withdrawing from the democratic process, or casting their votes foolishly, people give up their power to make meaningful modifications and hold those in power accountable. Not only that — they empower their enemies!


If you're not in the game, don't complain!


Losing sight of what really matters, and why I ended up backing Winston Peters and NZ First:

As people continue to argue among themselves, while others look the other way, and most give up, more innocent people are being maimed and more are dying needlessly. To have failed at gaining the balance of power, we now face at least another three to four years of needless suffering and waste.


"People lost sight of what we were trying to achieve – a compromise of sorts to ensure the freedom candidates got into Parliament to begin much needed change to our system. They forgot about the big picture. Emotionally exhausted after three years of maltreatment by an over-reaching government and desperate for change, many fell in line with the empathetic messaging from NZ Loyal, ignoring reason and the national polls, which were very accurate."


For this to end and to avoid catastrophic repeating of past mistakes, we need transparency, integrity, and accountability from elected officials to regain public trust, and that'll only come from having enough representation on the inside.


The polling was clear — we all had to unite and back NZ First. However, it never happened. There was no unity: instead there was a frenzy of back-stabbing as a compromised media gleefully added fuel to the flames.


Fair Representation for All: Strengthening New Zealand's Resolve for a Better Future

Divisiveness and fear are detrimental to the strength of New Zealand. Divisiveness and fear only serve those who are in power and are reluctant to give it away. Unity, feeling secure, and being able to express oneself are vital necessities for a free and democratic society.


Additionally, we must avoid the tyranny of the majority.


"Tyranny of the majority" is a concept that refers to a situation in which a majority group in a society or democracy exercises its power to make decisions that oppress or disregard the rights of minority groups. This tyranny occurs when the majority uses its numerical superiority to control and dominate the political and social landscape, often at the expense of minority rights, freedoms, and interests.


Despite differences and disagreements, coming together as a nation is crucial to address pressing issues and work toward a better future.


"Had the participating minor parties and their members put all their support behind New Zealand First – taking into account the national polls, not just Voters United – then that result would have been better. With an additional 2.39% – the percentage of the wasted vote – New Zealand First would have achieved 8.85% of the party vote. Only 0.13% behind ACT, which has 11 seats in Parliament."

"Waking up on Sunday 15 October to the reality was sobering. Learn from the mistake and forgive each other. And to the parties, you have three years, figure it out. United we are strong. Divided we fail."

Without any betrayal, if people had worked together and the media had concentrated on policy and candidates, NZ First could have gained a larger number of supporters and achieved a greater than 10 percent rating. However, that didn't occur. It's time to carry on and make the most of what we have. We have a job to finish!


Conclusions:

For us to move forward and to make a better society for all, we must learn from past mistakes and strive for a transparent and accountable political system that considers the needs and aspirations of everyone. There must be collective engagement in politics to guarantee a future that genuinely represents the interests of all citizens.


The time has come to cast aside our divisions and stand together. I earnestly invite you to join the ranks of New Zealand First, transforming it into a formidable political force that'll supplant both Labour and National, emerging as the paramount party that champions the collective dreams of all New Zealanders. With three years ahead of us, let's not waste a moment — let's seize this opportunity and make it happen!


If you don't think we can do it, or if you think NZ First is the wrong horse to back, then think about this:


We become the Party and the Party becomes us!


 

Egos & Heroes – post-election musings on the efforts of the freedom community

By guest contributor

If you’re truly focused on the thing you want, then you’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen.

For the past three years New Zealanders have been suffocating under the actions of a totalitarian government. One way to achieve change was to unite together for a voice in Parliament.

After the Parliament protests, there was much talk of unifying the minor political parties, but this was achieved with only limited success. One attempt aimed at bringing together people behind a single minor party was Voters United. Regular polls were held as Voters United progressed. These polls were only for the minor parties – those that generally attracted too few votes to make it into Parliament. The aim of Voters United was to consolidate those votes towards a single party to give it a greater chance of Parliamentary representation.

In the 2020 election, the minor party vote (or “wasted vote” as it’s referred to – those that were cast in favour of a party that did not make it into Parliament) was over 220,000.

During the closing weeks of the election campaign in late September / early October, New Zealand Loyal was the leading party on the Voters United website, with New Zealand First coming a close second. The other minor parties – FreedomsNZ, NewZeal, DemocracyNZ, and others – had all fallen by the wayside as their support waned in favour of the stronger two minor parties.

But there was a problem. Voters United was only a microcosm of minor party supporters, which in turn were a microcosm of the wider voting public.

The national polls had New Zealand First polling at 6% while NZ Loyal was on 1%, and only capable of winning a maximum of two seats in Parliament (due to NZ Loyal registering a party list to the Electoral Commission consisting of only three people, one of whom apparently quit the Party soon after the lodgement, leaving only two possible party seats if no electorate was won). A vote for NZ Loyal was always going to be a wasted vote, and as it happened, over 26,000 wasted votes.

It was a no brainer but emotions and egos had been engaged. Was it ego that drove New Nation Party to continue to campaign against all logic and reason that it would get nowhere – achieving only 1,288 votes nationwide? Or the religious enthusiasm of NewZeal, which emerged out of the religiosity of OneParty? Did they really believe that people were going to vote for them enough to win a seat or was it merely a way to push their religious beliefs onto others, perhaps as a church membership drive?

People lost sight of what we were trying to achieve – a compromise of sorts to ensure the freedom candidates got into Parliament to begin much needed change to our system. They forgot about the big picture. Emotionally exhausted after three years of maltreatment by an over-reaching government and desperate for change, many fell in line with the empathetic messaging from NZ Loyal, ignoring reason and the national polls, which were very accurate.


graph

Emotions flared and the freedom community was divided. (Although, it must be stated, the freedom community was already divided and fractured after Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki pronounced in August 2022 he would lead an “umbrella” party of minor parties. That act alone was enough to drive many people in different electoral directions.)

The thing about the freedom community is that it is full of lone wolves, that is what is distinctive about it – diversity and individualism. Unfortunately this was also its undoing. When it was critical that the community unite, this community was incapable of doing so.

The messaging was simply put and repeated ad nauseam during the election campaign: “Don’t waste your vote. Be strategic. Voting for a party that doesn’t get over 5% of the party vote will be distributed to the major parties you didn‘t want to support.” But you did it anyway.

Was it the egos of the minor party leaders that kept them from honourably stepping down in favour of the greater good? What did they hope to achieve? Like the Pied Piper, they led their voters to their collective death. Was it really worth the 8 votes or the 200 votes they received in some electorates?

Thankfully we can be grateful for the heroes who never lost sight of the big picture and voted strategically. Those who took into account both the polling results on Voters United and the wider national polls. New Zealand First gained 6.46% of the vote and 8 seats in Parliament. A small victory. It could have (and should have) been so much more, but it’s a lesson we must learn, for next time.

Had the participating minor parties and their members put all their support behind New Zealand First – taking into account the national polls, not just Voters United – then that result would have been better. With an additional 2.39% – the percentage of the wasted vote – New Zealand First would have achieve 8.85% of the party vote. Only 0.13% behind ACT, which has 11 seats in Parliament.

They would have been a larger voice for the freedom community.

chart

Waking up on Sunday 15 October to the reality was sobering. Learn from the mistake and forgive each other. And to the parties, you have three years, figure it out.

United we are strong. Divided we fail.


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