The Conscript’s Dilemma

No forced hierarchy could ever form if those conscripted into it at the bottom killed those doing the conscripting

The thought experiment known as the Conscript’s Dilemma is at the very core of anarcho-homicidalism. It poses a very basic and very primal question that invites the listener to question their inherent attitudes to hierarchy, violence and submission. This essay discusses it from an anarcho-homicidalist perspective.

Imagine that you are a young man entering the prime of his life. Your village lies in the territory of a despotic king who regularly raises conscript troops to go and fight for treasure in overseas adventures. Those sort of adventures are foreign to you. You have you own life to live in the village – obligations to discharge, maidens to court etc. Life is orderly and good.

One day a conscription officer rides into your village. He explains that it’s war time again, and that he has come to round up for the army all fighting age men – which means you. The penalty for refusing to heed the king’s call is death.

This scenario has played out millions of times throughout the history of the Earth. It’s well-known what happens in the vast majority of cases: the villagers, cowed by fear of the distant king, willingly give up their sons to the war machine for fear of incurring the king’s wrath.

After all, if incurring the king’s wrath means certain death, and going to war only means the possibility of death, and there is no third option, going to war is the obvious correct choice.

Or so it might seem.

An anarcho-homicidalist thinks otherwise. Central to the idea of anarcho-homicidalism is that dominance hierarchies could not form without the consent of the dominated, and that anyone trying to enslave you can rightfully be killed if necessary to protect one’s own liberty. This means that the conscript at the centre of this dilemma has a third option: kill the conscription officer and trust that his fellows are also anarcho-homicidalists.

If the others are also anarcho-homicidalists, they will back him up. They will understand that killing the conscription officer was necessary to protect the village and its residents from the kingdom’s hierarchy. They will understand that the king’s actions are tantamount to an attempt to enslave, because they are implicitly claiming that the bodies of the villagers are the property of the king.

If they are not anarcho-homicidalists, that is to say they are normal men, that is to say they are cowards, they will be terrified of getting into trouble from killing one of the king’s men. They will turn the anarcho-homicidalist in, probably for the inevitable reward, or perhaps even kill him themselves out of a belief that he is a murderer and that the conscription attempt was legitimate.

The anarcho-homicidalist knows that if he killed the conscription officer, the punishment is unlikely to be much more severe than the worst potential cost of obeying the demand for conscription, which is to go to war and get slaughtered.

However the potential reward, should he find enough support in his actions that he is not simply taken down by the king’s local sheriffs, is total freedom.

Ultimately, this is what the question of anarcho-homicidalism often boils down to. If you’re not willing to kill to maintain your freedom, then you can’t maintain it in the face of someone willing to kill to take it away.

The Conscript’s Dilemma could be described in much the same way as the Prisoner’s Dilemma, with which it shares much of the same meathook logic. Essentially it’s a question of game theory, and it’s a curious one because the people involved, despite being best served by co-operation, are challenged by powerful incentives that incline them towards not co-operating.

More precisely, the dilemma is that if everyone was an anarcho-homicidalist, and everyone had confidence in everyone else’s faith in anarcho-homicidalism, they would all choose to kill any conscription officer who tried to force them into the army and thereby make slavery impossible, but if sufficiently few of them are anarcho-homicidalists then they will not resist enslavement efforts out of fear that the slavers will punish them, and so slavery becomes possible.

It is a useful rebuttal to those who reject anarcho-homicidalism right off the bat on account of that it explicitly calls for killing people. Very often, the alternative to having a will to kill in self-defence is to become a slave.

Who Voted for the Ban 1080 Party?

Of all the smaller parties in the 2017 election, the Ban 1080 Party might be the strangest of them. There are other small single-issue parties – the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party being foremost of these – but even these other parties have equivalents overseas. Who are the Ban 1080 Party, and what do we know about their 3,005 voters?

The Ban 1080 Party website argues for the need to stop making aerial poison drops that use sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) in New Zealand’s national parks and forests. The website’s tagline is “Protect our native birds” and they believe that aerial 1080 drops are a risk to the wellbeing of New Zealand’s birdlife.

A strong South Island focus was evident from the correlation matrix – the correlation between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and living on the South Island was 0.37. The reason for this is probably because a greater proportion of South Islanders will live in the vicinity of a national park or a forest than North Islanders, who are much more urban on the whole, and it’s these people who access the outdoors who are most concerned about things like aerial poison drops.

This explain why the Ban 1080 Party also correlates strongly with other demographics that are well-represented on the South Island. The correlations between voting Ban 1080 in 2017 and other demographic categories were 0.34 for being a Kiwi of European descent, and 0.22 with median age. The only age bracket with a significant positive correlation with voting for the Ban 1080 Party was the 50-64 age bracket – the correlation here was 0.38.

If we examine measures of class we can see that Ban 1080 Party voters are poorer and less educated than the national average, which is especially striking if one considers that they otherwise belong to demographics that are positively correlated with wealth.

The correlation between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and median personal income was -0.23, and the correlation between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and having no NZQA qualifications was 0.44. Related to this is a correlation of 0.30 between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and being a regular tobacco smoker. This paints a picture of a section of the community who are relatively simple people and who perhaps have been taken in by the hysteria a bit.

The rural nature of Ban 1080 Party voters is demonstrated starkly when it comes to the correlations between voting for them in 2017 and working in the agriculture, fishing and forestry (0.67) or mining (0.69) industries. There was also a significant positive correlation of 0.35 between voting for Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and working in the hospitality industry.

These three correlations reflect the high proportion of Ban 1080 Party voters who were enrolled in either the West Coast-Tasman or Clutha-Southland electorates.

Underlying that Ban 1080 Party voters are comprised of the outdoorsy kind of person who spends a lot of time in national parks and forests, there are significant positive correlations between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and both being born in New Zealand (0.46) and being male (0.35).

Ironically, given their heavy conservation focus, the Ban 1080 Party does not attract followers who are like the Green followers. The correlation between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and voting Green in 2017 was -0.09.

People who voted Ban 1080 Party tended to overlap with those who voted New Zealand First and, oddly, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. Voting for the Ban 1080 Party in 2017 had a positive correlation with voting for either of these parties: 0.41 for New Zealand First and 0.28 for the ALCP.

Part of the reason for this is the high level of Maori support for the party. This might sound contradictory, given that most Maoris live on the North Island, but a couple of statistics make this association clear. The first is the correlation between voting Ban 1080 Party and being Maori, which was 0.16, and the correlation between living on the South Island and being Maori, which was -0.26.

This tells us that South Island Maori were proportionately big supporters of the Ban 1080 Party, which is fitting considering that this demographic is extremely active in the outdoors with hunting and food gathering.

Who Voted New Zealand First in 2017

New Zealand First voters are generally drawn from the hard-done-by segments of the population

A previous article in this column examined the differences between New Zealand First voters and the voters of both National and Labour. It turns out that New Zealand First is almost equidistant from the two major parties if measured demographically. This article, however, looks more closely at who voted for New Zealand First in particular.

Despite being considerably whiter than it was in 2014, New Zealand First is not a particularly white party. In 2014 there was a correlation of 0.00 between voting New Zealand First and being a Kiwi of European descent. By 2017 this had climbed to 0.21, which was still not significant.

The strongest correlation between being of a particular ethnicity and voting New Zealand First was with being Maori, which was 0.38. The correlations between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and being a Pacific Islander (-0.21) or being Asian (-0.52) were much more negative.

Tellingly, for a nationalist party, their strongest support was from Maoris, who have the strongest roots in the country as essentially none of them are immigrants. Their next strongest level of support was from Kiwis of European descent, who have the second-deepest roots in the country, and their weakest level of support was from Asians, who have the shallowest.

As in 2014, New Zealand First voters in 2017 were some of the least educated out of any voting bloc. The correlation between having no NZQA qualifications and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was 0.67, and the correlation between having a doctorate and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was -0.60. This tells us that New Zealand First voters are decidedly working-class.

True to stereotype, there was a strong positive correlation of 0.58 between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and being on the pension, but there was also a strong positive correlation of 0.47 between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and being on the invalid’s benefit.

All of this suggests that the easy story of New Zealand First being an old racist’s party is somewhat misguided – it’s true that they do get many votes from poorly educated old white people, but that’s more because New Zealand First gets a lot of votes from hard-done-by people in general and poorly educated old people tend to be limited to their pension and therefore hard-done-by.

Gareth Morgan’s personal antipathy towards Winston Peters was reflected in the correlation of -0.31 between voting The Opportunities Party in 2017 and voting New Zealand First in 2017. This put TOP in a band with United Future (-0.27), ACT (-0.34) and the Greens (-0.48) as parties whose voters did not correlate highly in a general demographic sense with the voters of New Zealand First.

All four of those parties are particularly Pakeha-heavy parties, and ACT, the Greens and TOP appealed heavily both to young and educated people. So there is plenty of reason for these reasonably strong negative correlations.

There were positive correlations between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and voting for any of the Maori-heavy parties in 2017. These were Maori Party (0.11), MANA (0.24) and Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (0.40).

Many will be surprised that there is a moderately strong positive correlation between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and voting Conservative Party in 2017 – this was 0.38. The reason for this is that both parties appeal to the large faction of poorly-educated old white voters mentioned above.

Despite the shared appeal to old white people, however, the correlation between voting National in 2017 and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was only 0.04, far from being significant. The reason for this is the class difference – the National Party appeals to people who are doing well economically (and most of these people are old), whereas New Zealand First appeals to people at the bottom of the ladder (and poor old people with no realistic way of becoming wealthier are definitely near the bottom).

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

Who Voted Greens in 2017

The Green Party tore itself to pieces during this year’s electoral campaign, but a hard core of voters stayed with the party

The Green Party vote collapsed from 2014, as a previous article has examined, with much of it going to The Opportunities Party. Although the special votes helped them out since the time that linked article was written, they still fell to 6.27% in 2017 from 10.70% in 2014. This article looks at who voted for them.

The major curiosity about the Greens and their movement is that, although they are on the left, they are comprised of people who do not immediately benefit from increased resource distribution (i.e. the wealthy). The correlation between voting Greens in 2017 and median personal income was 0.36, which was up from 0.31 in 2014, and not a whole lot weaker than the correlation of 0.49 between median personal income and voting National in 2017.

All of the correlations between voting Green and being in one of the income bands below $70K were weak no matter if they were positive or negative. But above this point, the correlations were strong. Between voting Green in 2017 and earning $70-100K the correlation was 0.49, with earning $100-150K it was 0.56, and with earning $150K+ it was 0.51.

However, much like 2014, the average Green voter in 2017 was a bit younger than the average Kiwi. The correlation between voting Green in 2017 and median age was -0.18. This is mostly because of a very strong correlation of 0.60 between being aged 20-29 and voting Green in 2017.

The Greens lost ground with Kiwis of European descent. By 2017 the correlation between voting Green and being a Kiwi of European descent was 0.17, down from 0.24 in 2014, which meant that although it was still positive it was no longer significantly so. They also lost ground with Maoris. The correlation between being Maori and voting Green was -0.09 in 2014 but -0.14 by 2017.

By 2014, the Greens were already much better educated than the average Kiwi, and by 2017 this distinction had only strengthened. The correlation between voting Green in 2017 and having a university degree was 0.64 for having a Bachelor’s, 0.81 for having an Honours, 0.71 for having a Master’s and 0.68 for having a doctorate. This higher general education explains why Green voters can be above average in income despite being below average in age.

The Greens maintained their core, urban elite vote despite the losses from 2014, and this is evident from looking at the voting patterns of certain industries. The correlation between voting Green and working in information media and telecommunications was 0.75, with working in professional and scientific services it was 0.70, and with working in arts and recreation services it was 0.69. All three of those correlations were as strong or stronger in 2017 than they were in 2014.

Things were much different for voters in working-class industries. In 2017 the negative correlations between voting Green and working in a particular industry included -0.02 in retail trade (down from 0.09), -0.20 in construction (down from -0.09), -0.29 in agriculture, forestry and fishing (down from -0.24), -0.32 in transport, postal and warehousing (down from -0.29) and -0.56 in manufacturing (down from 0.49).

A couple of correlations that Green Party thinkers won’t be at all happy about, given their pretensions to being a party that represents the poor and downtrodden, are the moderate negative ones between voting Green in 2017 and being a machinery operator and driver (-0.47), labourer (-0.31) or as a technician or trades workers (-0.25). These occupations are dominated by Maoris who tend to have pro-Labour and pro-New Zealand First sentiments.

Green voters had little in common with the voters of any other party except for The Opportunities Party. Lending further evidence to the suggestion that TOP primarily took votes away from the Greens is the fact that the correlation between voting TOP in 2017 and voting Greens in 2017 was 0.77.

None of the correlations between voting Green in 2017 and voting for the parties that did get into Parliament were significant, except for the case of New Zealand First, which was significantly negative. These were 0.17 with ACT, 0.11 with Labour, -0.25 with National and -0.48 with New Zealand First.

It might seem strange that Green Party voters have a stronger correlation with ACT Party voters than with Labour Party ones. That’s not really so strange if one considers that on measures such as age, education, income and ethnicity, the two parties are reasonably similar (i.e. young, well-educated, rich, white and urban).

In a sense, it can be said that the Labour-National dichotomy is the dilemma the average Kiwi voter is faced with, but the ACT-Green dilemma is the one that the average ambitious, professional young Kiwi voter is faced with.

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

Who Voted ACT in 2017

The ACT Party got an extremely high level of media coverage for a party so disliked by the electorate, but it didn’t help them in 2017

The ACT Party cuts a lonely figure on the New Zealand landscape. Although their advertising budget was literally hundreds of times greater than the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, they couldn’t win even twice as many votes. This tells a story of a party whose goals are not well aligned with the will of the New Zealand people; some could argue they were directly antithetical. This article looks at who their voters were.

ACT won 13,075 votes in 2017, down from 16,689 in 2014. This suggests that they were abandoned by some 20% of their voters from 2014. Fortunately, the correlation matrix tells us about several places that their vote became weaker.

ACT voters were the wealthiest of any party’s voters. The correlation between voting ACT in 2017 and median personal income was 0.61, which was a fair bit higher than the correlation of 0.36 between voting ACT in 2014 and median personal income (for reasons that we will investigate).

Not even the correlation between median personal income and voting National in 2017 was as strong – this was 0.49. In 2014 the average ACT voter was poorer than the average National voter, so the fact that they are wealthier in 2017 is a useful clue. It suggests that some ACT voters nearer the middle of the income ladder switched allegiances.

The correlations with voting for ACT and being in the higher income bands strengthened from 2014 to 2017. For those earning $150K+, the correlation with voting ACT in 2017 was 0.79, up from 0.44 in 2014. For those earning $100-150K, it increased to 0.66 in 2017 from 0.43 in 2014, and for those earning $70-100K it increased to 0.53 in 2017 from 0.35 in 2014.

At least part of the reason for these explanations is because the correlations between having a university degree and voting ACT strengthened from 2014 to 2017. By 2017 the correlation between voting ACT and having a university degree was 0.70 for having a Bachelor’s, 0.58 for having an Honours, 0.65 for having a Master’s and 0.51 for having a doctorate.

ACT also became a lot whiter from 2014 to 2017. By 2017 the correlation between voting ACT and being a Kiwi of European descent had become 0.16, much more positive than 2014 when it was -0.28. This reflects a collapse in Asian support – the correlation between being Asian and voting ACT was 0.85 in 2014, but only 0.46 by 2017.

These correlations start to tell a story of a large number of Asians who left the ACT Party for the National Party after 2014 (this is supported by the investigation into who voted for the National Party in 2017).

Despite the initial assumption made by many, the large numbers of Asians voting National could actually speak to an increasing solidarity between Asians and other Kiwis, because although National speaks for low taxes and low welfare they aren’t as aggressive about it as ACT are.

Pacific Islanders don’t like ACT (the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting ACT in 2017 was -0.23) and Maoris really don’t like ACT (the correlation between being Maori and voting ACT in 2017 was -0.51). This is not surprising if one considers how fervently ACT support the wealthy.

One curiosity is that the ACT voting bloc became older this election. The correlation between median age and voting ACT in 2017 was 0.26, compared to 0.02 in 2014. This is hinted at by the strengthening in the correlations between voting ACT and being aged 50-64 (from -0.07 in 2014 to 0.17 in 2017) and between voting ACT and being aged 65+ (from -0.11 in 2014 to 0.11 in 2017).

Considering also that the average ACT voter was much less likely to be born overseas in 2017 (the correlation between voting ACT and being born overseas fell from 0.78 in 2014 to 0.57 in 2017), this paints a picture of a rich, old, white, very highly-educated core of ACT voters who have remained with the party, and a less-committed group of younger, heavily Asian professionals, some of whom still supported ACT in large numbers in 2017, but many of whom were successfully tempted to switch allegiance to the National Party.

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

Who Voted For Labour in 2017

Jacindamania might have won Labour an extra 10%, but these new voters were not representative of Labour voters as a whole

The Labour Party had a rocky ride leading up to the 2017 Election, with the resignation of then-leader Andrew Little forcing a rethink of their entire electoral campaign. Despite that, their vote increased to 36.89% after the special votes were all counted, up from a dismal 25.13% in 2014. A previous article has already covered who those new voters were – this one looks at the overall group of Labour voters as a whole.

Labour voters are much poorer than the average New Zealander. The correlation between voting Labour in 2017 and median personal income was -0.52, about the same as in 2014, and shows the degree to which Labour is in favour of greater resource distribution (or at least the degree to which it gets support from those in favour of such).

There were significant positive correlations between being in any income band below $15K and voting Labour in 2017. This signifies a large change among those in the $10-15K income band – being in this band had a correlation of 0.21 with voting Labour in 2014, and had increased to 0.35 by 2017. Also, being in the $30-35K income band had a correlation of 0.15 with voting Labour in 2014, increasing to 0.27 by 2017.

Being in any of the income bands above $60K was significantly negatively correlated with voting Labour in 2017. This tells us that the idea of redistributing wealth through taxation doesn’t appeal much to the sort of people who have the most wealth.

There are a number of reasons for this connection between voting Labour and relative poverty.

One of the most obvious reasons is that Labour voters are much younger. There is a very strong negative correlation of -0.75 between voting Labour in 2017 and median age. Although part of the reason for this is that children are included in the median age statistics and that parents of young children prefer to vote Labour, most of the reason is simply because young people are poorer.

Because we already know there is a significant correlation between age and wealth we can tell that much of the reason why Labour voters are younger and poorer is simply because they have had less time to build a career or gain job expertise and this lack of seniority results in lower wages and salaries, which results in relatively stronger sentiments in favour of wealth distribution.

Labour voters are also much less educated. The correlation between having no NZQA qualifications and voting Labour was 0.34 in 2014 and 0.38 in 2017. The correlations between having no NZQA qualifications and voting New Zealand First were 0.79 in 2014 and 0.67 in 2017, so this suggests that a large number of the working class shifted from New Zealand First to Labour in the three years before the 2017 Election.

The university educated are mildly unwilling to vote Labour. The correlations with voting Labour in 2017 and having a university degree were -0.24 for a Bachelor’s, -0.22 for an Honours, -0.19 for a Master’s, and -0.17 for a doctorate. These aren’t strong – only the first of them is even statistically significant – but they’re less strongly negative than in 2014.

This mild unwillingness is probably down to two contrasting factors. Most university educated people are young because tertiary education became liberalised in recent decades and available to many more people, but on the other hand university educated people earn a lot more money than their non-educated peers, and this improved social position inclines them away from policies of resource distribution.

A third factor explaining the correlation between poverty and voting Labour is that Labour voters are much more likely to be on a non-pension benefit. The correlations between voting Labour in 2017 and being on a benefit were 0.41 for the student allowance, 0.58 for the invalid’s benefit and 0.73 for the unemployment benefit. Related to this is the fact that being a solo parent had a correlation of 0.79 with voting Labour in 2017.

In 2017, the Labour vote correlated strongly with the votes for other parties who also have a high level of Maori support. Here the correlations with voting Labour were 0.61 for the Maori Party, 0.56 for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and 0.41 for MANA.

Also in 2017, the Labour vote had strong negative correlations with the vote of parties full of old, white men who don’t want to redistribute resources. Most obviously was with National (-0.94) but significant negative correlations also existed with ACT (-0.62), United Future (-0.43) and the Conservatives (-0.31).

The Greens and The Opportunities Party were close to neutral in this regard. The correlation between voting Labour in 2017 and voting Greens that year was 0.11, whereas with voting TOP it was perfectly uncorrelated at 0.00.

The biggest change from 2014 was with the correlation between voting Labour and voting New Zealand First, which was 0.11 in 2014 but had become negative by 2017, at -0.15. The reason for this is mostly because of the large number of Maori voters who left New Zealand First after they said they wanted to abolish the Maori seats, and this can be seen by the change in correlations between being Maori and voting New Zealand First (down to 0.38 in 2017 from 0.66 in 2014) and between being Maori and voting Labour (up to 0.58 in 2017 from 0.42 in 2014).

Woman were significantly more likely to favour the Labour Party in 2017. The correlation between being female and voting Labour in 2017 was 0.33, slightly stronger than in 2014. As mentioned in the section about National, the reasons for this can be surmised from evolutionary psychology.

In summary, the sort of person who would vote Labour is someone in favour of greater resource distribution, which means someone with less resources than average, which means young people, the less educated, Maoris, Pacific Islanders and women.

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

Who Voted For National in 2017

The National Party has the confidence of the rich to deliver

The National Party went from being able to govern with a handful of suppliant support partners after the 2014 General Election to needing the support of Winston Peters after 2017. As Peters has expressed a will to change, this is a much weaker position (and reflects falling to 44.45% support in 2017 from 47.04% in 2014). This article looks at who voted for them this year.

Fundamentally, National is the major conservative party and therefore they want most things to change as little as possible. Their voters are mostly made up of the sort of people who already occupy a reasonably high social position and who want to maintain this by not reducing inequality or redistributing resources.

This would explain why the correlation between voting National and median personal income is so high: at 0.53 in 2014 and 0.49 in 2017. National voters are considerably wealthier than the average Kiwi, and they are wealthier than the voters of any other party except for ACT (the correlation between voting ACT in 2017 and median personal income was 0.61).

Unsurprisingly, then, there is a very strong correlation of 0.63 between living in a freehold house and voting National.

National continues to get support from voters in the wealthier income bands, although these correlations became slightly weaker in 2017. All of the income bands from $60K or above had positive correlations with voting for National in 2017, but there were all marginally weaker than the same correlations in 2014 (from 0.24 to 0.21 for $60-70K; 0.36 to 0.32 for $70-100K; 0.34 to 0.30 for $100-150K; 0.35 to 0.30 for $150K+).

Related to this, one of the strongest correlations with voting for National in 2017 was with being self-employed with employees – this was 0.72. This is strong enough to suggest that anyone self-employed with employees who found themselves voting for a party other than National would have few fellows.

By 2017, the average National voter was fairly likely to be born overseas. The correlation between being born overseas and voting National in 2017 was 0.38, up from 0.33 in 2014. That probably reflects the degree to which National has been chasing specifically Asian voters who might be tempted to vote conservative on account of high wealth and/or low solidarity, and to which Pacific Islander voters switched to them because of religious sentiments around abortion etc.

Maoris, for their part, predictably abstained from the National Party. The correlation between being Maori and voting National in 2014 was -0.75 and in 2017 it was -0.74. Correlations of these strengths can be guessed at from the fact that National scores less than 10% in some Maori electorates.

This tells us that the vast bulk of the change in native-born support for the National Party was from native-born Kiwis of European descent. Indeed, the correlation between being a Kiwi of European descent and voting National fell from 0.60 in 2014 to 0.52 in 2017 – still pretty strong, but not as strikingly so.

From this we can determine that the reduction in support for National among Kiwis of European descent, from very strong to moderately strong, was partially balanced by an increase in pro-National sentiment among Pacific Islanders and Asians. So it follows that the correlation between voting National in 2017 compared to 2014 became more positive for Asians – increasing from 0.09 to 0.16 – and that the correlation between voting National in 2017 compared to 2014 became less negative for Pacific Islanders – weakening from -0.46 to -0.39.

It’s important here to take care not to mislead. The National Party voting bloc might have slightly fewer white people and slightly more Islanders than last time, but the National Party is still very much a pro-European party, and Pacific Islanders still mostly prefer Labour.

At least part of the reason for the increase in Pacific Islander support for National was religious sentiments inclining them towards conservative positions on ever-more present issues like gay marriage and cannabis law reform. We can see that the correlations between voting National and being either a Mormon or a Jehovah’s Witness – two religions with a high proportion of Pacific Islander followers – became less negative towards National: from -0.63 in 2014 to -0.57 in 2017 in the case of Mormons, and from -0.53 in 2014 to -0.49 in 2017 in the case of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The correlation between voting National and median age fell from 2014 to 2017, from 0.81 to 0.78. This was particularly noticeable in the 50+ age brackets and for being on the pension – the correlations between being in any of these categories and voting National fell from 2014 to 2017.

However, this correlation between age and voting conservative is one of the strongest and most significant in this entire study. Simply getting older is more likely than almost anything else to make a New Zealander become conservative.

Curiously, people with university degrees were less likely to vote National this time around. Although anyone holding a university degree was more likely than not to vote National (ceteris paribus), the correlations between voting National fell for all of them from 2014 to 2017: from 0.25 to 0.22 for a Bachelor’s, from 0.22 to 0.16 for an Honours, from 0.20 to 0.16 for a Master’s and from 0.20 to 0.13 for a doctorate.

The National Party lost a little of its mild South Island bias as well. The correlation between living on the South Island and voting National in 2017 was not significant, at 0.08 (down from 0.13 in 2014). This small change is probably because a lot of the white middle-class grandparents cohort, who are numerous on the South Island, switched away from National to be replaced by Pacific Islanders who live on the North Island.

Managers were the occupation that preferred National more than any other. The correlation between voting for National in 2017 and being a manager was 0.52.

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

Who Voted For the Maori Party in 2017 (And Who Didn’t)

The Maori Party made a number of strategic errors over the past decade, and by 2017 the total damage from them had become fatal

When the Maori Party made the decision to support a conservative Fifth National Government, many commentators believed that it would be the death of the party. Indeed, the Maori Party was destroyed at the 2017 General Election, when voters appeared to decide that supporting a conservative government had lowered Maori standards of living. This article looks at who stuck by them and who didn’t from 2014.

Let’s get the most obvious out of the way – there was an extremely strong correlation between voting Maori Party and being Maori. In 2014 this was 0.91, and by 2017 it was slightly weaker, at 0.89. This puts a figure on what we already knew – that the vast bulk of Maori Party voters are Maoris.

In this, and in most other regards, Maori Party voters were very similar to who they were in 2014.

One notable difference is that the Maori Party this year got a fair bit more support from Pacific Islanders. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting Maori Party in 2017 had increased to 0.08 from 0.01 in 2014.

Of course, Pacific Islanders will very seldom be on the Maori Roll and therefore this increased support from them would not have helped the Maori Party win an electorate seat. Indeed, it could even be argued that broadening the Maori Party tent to include Pacific Islanders was one of the main causes of it losing so much support to the Labour Party in 2017.

Considering that the Maori Party won almost as many votes in 2017 (30,580) as it did in 2014 (31,849), it might be that the attempt to broaden their appeal to other ethnic groups, while partially successful, cost them just enough Maori support to mean that they did not win any Maori seats.

This suggestion is backed up by the observation that Maori Party voters were slightly less likely to be New Zealand born in 2017 when compared to 2014. The correlation between the two was 0.62 in 2014 and 0.58 in 2017. Furthermore, the correlation between voting for them and being born in the Pacific Islands became less negative, from -0.19 in 2014 to -0.12 in 2017.

If this is true then it speaks to the string of strategic errors that the Maori Party made. If they gambled their electoral future on public belief in some kind of pan-Polynesian sentiment, they lost everything.

This loss of support to Labour can be seen in microcosm in the education and training industry. The correlation between working in this industry and voting Maori Party fell from 0.38 to 0.34, while it rose in the case of Labour, from -0.01 to 0.15. This means that a person in this industry in 2017 was only slightly more likely to vote Maori Party they were to vote Labour, compared to much more likely in 2014.

It can also be seen with the occupation of community and personal services workers. The correlation between having this occupation and voting Maori Party was 0.64 in 2014, but 0.59 in 2017, whereas the correlations with voting Labour went in the opposite direction – from 0.20 in 2014 to 0.39 in 2017.

So it would seem that a reasonable number of Maori voters in people-focused jobs switched to the Labour Party, and that this was partially compensated for by an increase in Pacific Islander voters.

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

Who Voted For the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017?

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party may have have won 3,000 fewer votes in the 2017 Election than the 2014 one, but they won more votes than the Conservative Party, four times as many votes as United Future and over half as many votes as the ACT Party. That’s quite a few considering the minimal campaign expenditure. So who voted for the ALCP in 2017, and how were they different to 2014?

The average ALCP voter was fairly hard done by in 2017, slightly worse than in 2014. The correlation between voting ALCP and median personal income was -0.48 in 2017, strengthening from -0.40 in 2014. Also, the correlations between voting ALCP and being in any income band below $50K were all more strongly positive in 2017 than 2014, and were all more strongly negative in 2017 than 2014 for all income bands above $70K.

Part of the reason for this is that many of the voters the ALCP lost from 2014 were the educated, middle-class white ones who ended up voting for TOP. Indeed, it can be seen that this year’s crop of ALCP voters were more poorly educated than last time. All of the correlations with having a university degree and voting ALCP were less strongly negative in 2014 than by 2017 (-0.46 had become -0.51 for a Bachelor’s degree, -0.42 had become -0.49 for an Honours degree, -0.46 had become -0.51 for a Master’s degree, and -0.38 had become -0.45 for a doctorate).

It would seem that the group of ALCP voters that left for TOP between 2014 and 2017 were mostly the same university educated young professionals or students that left the Greens for TOP between 2014 and 2017. This might be little more than 0.1% of voters in the case of shifting from the ALCP, but for a party that small losing them has a big effect.

This means that the ALCP had become a bit less white by 2017. The correlation between being a Kiwi of European descent and voting ALCP fell from -0.15 in 2014 to -0.23 in 2017, while the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting ALCP flattened out, from -0.10 in 2014 to -0.00 in 2017. It was even more strongly Maori in 2017 than in 2014: the correlation between being Maori and voting ALCP in the former was 0.91, compared to 0.89 in the latter.

Although there was still a significant correlation between voting ALCP in 2017 and having no religion (0.24), it was a fair bit weaker than the same correlation in 2014 (0.34). This is a fairly distinctive change and gives an idea of the sort of person who switched to the TOP party from 2014.

The ALCP also lost voters in the 30-49 age group. Here the correlation between being of this age group and voting ALCP became more strongly negative: from -0.39 in 2014 to -0.43 in 2017. The ALCP vote fell across the board but even more sharply in this age group than the others. In the 20-29 age group the vote held relatively firm, telling us that what was already a young voting cohort in 2014 got even younger.

All of this explains why there was a strong negative correlation of -0.70 between voting ALCP in 2017 and voting for National in 2017. The ALCP continued to get support from the young, the Maori and the poor – in other words, from those mostly acutely affected by cannabis prohibition, who are entirely different demographics to those who regularly vote National.

The high amount of Maori support was also reflected in the high correlations between voting ALCP and voting for other parties that have a high level of Maori support. The correlation between voting ALCP in 2017 and voting Maori Party in 2017 was 0.80; with voting MANA in 2017 it was 0.65; with voting Labour in 2017 it was 0.56 and with New Zealand First in 2017 it was 0.40.

Reflecting this, voting for the ALCP had strong negative correlations with voting for parties generally supported by wealthy or old white people. The correlation between voting ALCP in 2017 and voting Conservative in 2017 was -0.40, compared to -0.51 for voting United Future and -0.52 for voting ACT.

Fittingly for a banned substance with immense medicinal value, there are very strong correlations between voting ALCP in 2017 and being on the invalid’s benefit (0.79) and the unemployment benefit (0.82). These were both a little stronger than in 2014, which might suggest that the cannabis law reformers that switched to TOP were more likely to be employed white professionals primarily interested in recreational cannabis, whereas those who remained with the ALCP tended to be on sickness or invalid’s benefits and mostly interested in medicinal cannabis.

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

When Opening the Borders to Mass Immigration, The Effect on the Locals’ Quality of Life is Not Considered

The forces pushing for mass immigration in recent decades have been an alliance of both the left and the right, which is why the West has seen so much of it, despite that it often has clearly negative effects for the locals. Some people don’t seem to fully understand that, when agitating for mass immigration, the forces in favour of it have got no interest whatsoever in the effect of that immigration on the quality of life of the locals. This essay looks at why.

Western conservatives are not only terrified of being seen to oppose immigration lest they be confused with the racial conservatives who lost World War II, but they are more than happy to open the floodgates to mass immigration for economic reasons.

First among those economic reasons is that mass immigration destroys the existing bonds of solidarity among the native population, which works to divide and conquer them and make them ripe for wage exploitation. Western conservatives know that Westerners are too afraid to protest the importation of low-skilled workers from outside the country lest they be seen as racist, even when that same importation is undermining their labour power and thereby sharply lowering their quality of life.

It’s obviously much harder to start a union when much of the workforce doesn’t speak English, or if they’re here on temporary visas, or if they’re from a cultural tradition that has little idea of worker’s rights (which is most of them). So the wealthy know that by opening the floodgates to the whole world they can smash the sentiments that prevent workers from selling each other out as cheaply as possible.

Second among these economic reasons, but no less important, is that mass immigration drives up the value of investment property, which a large proportion of Western conservatives hold. In so far as the value of any given piece of land is a function of the amount of money willing to bid to own it, it’s mathematically obvious that opening the borders to all and sundry will remove previous restrictions on demand, thereby driving it up – alongside the price of the property.

After all, no-one is making more land, so the supply of land in New Zealand is a constant. By letting in a few extra million people, the wealthy can stimulate demand which pushes the price of that land up.

Which is great if you’re in the minority that already holds land, and terrible if you’re in the majority that doesn’t.

This reason, incidentally, is why the population will never be allowed to fall, and why it has not been allowed to fall in Western European countries where the birthrate has been below replacement level for a number of generations. Economic reasons mean that the rich will simply force their puppets in Parliament to maintain the price of their land holdings by opening the borders.

This is why the population of France has not decreased in several decades, despite that native French women have had a below replacement level birthrate for over a century now. The French elites would rather import foreigners to replace the missing locals than allow their property values to decline with a falling population – and the same is now true of Britain, Spain, Italy and Germany.

After all, if you’re in the top 1%, then it doesn’t matter if the average goes down as long as inequality rises by enough to compensate, because rising inequality will see the top 1% cream more and more of it. Selling your countrymen out for shekels might lower the standard of living of the nation, but it won’t lower yours (until enough other people do it of course, but the hope is that this point is never reached).

Western liberals, for their own reasons, are also more than happy to open the floodgates to mass immigration.

One reason is that these liberals do not generally live in the same neighbourhoods that are affected by mass immigration and the crime that comes with it. So the negative side of agitating for mass immigration is not considered to outweigh the positive side of virtue signalling one’s good will towards poor foreigners.

Another reason is that they are ideologically opposed to national bonds for the reasons that these are impediments to a global communist state. The sharper the lines are around who counts as a Kiwi and who doesn’t count as Kiwi, the more difficult it is to subsume New Zealand into the global communist consciousness.

None of this is to argue that immigration is a bad thing or that it should be stopped. But it’s clear that the National Party has lost control of the immigration system above and beyond the desire to keep wages low and house prices high. The wishes of the people who already live in New Zealand, and who have inherited a sense of guardianship over the land, is not respected and the effect of this immigration on their quality of life not considered.

Ultimately, the New Zealand immigration system needs to be run according to the philosophy that the New Zealand population as a whole are to be the beneficiaries of the fact that this is a nicer place to live than most of the rest of the world. Not right-wing special interests who want cheap labour for the sake of maximum profits or left-wing special interests who want the destruction of social coherency for the sake of maximum control.