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.

What New Zealand Could Learn From the Nevada Legal Cannabis Experience

Nevada has moved on from the early 1970s – why can’t New Zealand?

Nevada was depicted in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as a harshly repressive place for anyone with an interest in cognitive liberty. As captured in the foul year of our Lord, 1971, the billboard welcoming drivers to Nevada warned of 20 years imprisonment for being caught in possession of “marijuana”. Fast forward to July 2017, and they have recreational cannabis legally on sale in shops. This article looks at what we could learn from them.

Colorado passed a referendum legalising cannabis five years ago, and the results were more or less exactly what cannabis law reform activists had predicted the entire time. Now there are eight American states that allow legal recreational cannabis use, making it all the more pathetic that New Zealand politicians have so far lacked the courage to even discuss the issue.

Nevada is the most recent of these. Recreational cannabis sales became legal in Nevada this July. This first month of legal sales generated $US27.1 million in receipts, about $40 million in New Zealand dollars.

Much of that $40 million is believed to be from tourists who came into Nevada for the sake of their legal cannabis. It was almost double what Colorado sold in the first month of legal recreational sales there, and if one considers that the population of Nevada is 60% that of Colorado it’s three times the amount per capita, so clearly this isn’t all just coming from local demand.

What that tells us is that, with eight American states now with some form of recreational cannabis sales, New Zealand’s edge in the tourist market is rapidly bluntening. In much the same way that Islamic theocracies like Iran and Saudi Arabia that suppress alcohol don’t get many tourists, neither will New Zealand get many tourists when we’re the last ones to legalise recreational cannabis.

At the very least, we need to get the jump on Australia. If Australia, or even one of the major tourist states (Queensland, New South Wales or Victoria), would legalise recreational cannabis it would have a devastating impact on New Zealand’s place in the backpacker circuit.

On the other hand, if we legalised recreational cannabis sales while Australia was still struggling with gay marriage, we could capture a decent sector of the international tourist market. If it were possible to visit cannabis cafes on the main streets of places like Levin and Ashburton (let alone the bigger places) then Australia would start to look like a backwater in comparison.

$40 million in the first month of sales suggests around half a billion dollars a year in recreational cannabis sales for Nevada alone. This equates to some 5-10,000 full-time jobs. On a per capita basis, such a policy might provide 8-16,000 full-time jobs in New Zealand (this is in line with job figures suggested by Waikato cannabis kingpin John Lord).

Of course, Nevada voted to have legal medicinal cannabis in 2000, and New Zealanders haven’t even been allowed to have that yet, so the worry is that if we’re 20 years behind in that regard we will be 20 years behind when it comes to recreational law reform as well, i.e. Kiwis can expect to be allowed to buy a few grams of cannabis and use it like they would alcohol sometime in the mid 2030s.

But what we can tell from the short experience with legal recreational cannabis sales in Nevada is that the process has more or less gone the same way as in Colorado and Washington: no spike in crimes, tens of thousands more white market jobs, a lot more money for schools, and a whole lot of sheepish-looking prohibitionists.

Peters Has More Leverage in a Labour-Greens Coalition than in a National One

Winston Peters aleady has a number of achievements in government, and the mana that comes with those. Labour and the Greens are more likely to recognise this than National are

The most important element in any negotiation is each side’s BATNA – Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. In other words, how good or bad it would be for either side to walk away from the table. This article will argue that, ultimately, Winston Peters ought to go with Labour and the Greens, for the reason that he can wring a better deal for himself (and for the nationalists he represents) out of that side.

The deal that Peters ought to offer Jacinda Ardern and James Shaw is this: support Peters as Prime Minister for this next term at least, with Ardern in an apprentice role as Deputy. Let’s have a coalition Government that’s mostly Labour with certain New Zealand First mandarins in high places and James Shaw in Cabinet somewhere, maybe Julie Ann Genter as well.

Peters will be the Prime Minister, so if anything goes wrong he can take the blame for it when he retires. But if everything goes right, we get at least one, hopefully two terms of stable centre-left government, at which point Peters retires triumphant.

This should allow us to undo the game of hot potato that our immigration system has become and whack the minimum wage up to a point at which our working class have a standard of living similar to Australia and the rest of the West.

And if everything keeps going right, Ardern will step naturally into the role after those two terms when Winston rides off into the sunset.

This will achieve several purposes: it will allow for a change in Government from the hyper-neoliberal National Party; it will neutralise criticisms that Ardern is too young and inexperienced to take on the top role; it will help Winston Peters fulfill ultimate career objectives.

For Ardern that’s a pretty sweet deal. There’s no reason to think that this deal will be considered part of the electoral pendulum from Labour to National to Labour to National to Labour to National to Labour to National to Labour to National, which means that if Peters does step down after one or two terms of measured, calm, reasonable and dignified leadership, there won’t be a sense that it’s National’s “turn”.

This would mean that Ardern, at age 43, will be in prime intellectual condition to begin her own three-term reign of Prime Minister.

The BATNA for Labour and Ardern is that Peters throws his support in behind National and the country has to endure another three years of neoliberalism, except this time not under the shrewd cunning of John Key but under the blundering, hamfisted efforts of Bill English, with the baby-eating banshee of Paula Bennett shrieking in his ear all the while.

This is a pretty bad alternative, all things considered. It’s effectively a total loss.

Bill English simply couldn’t accept a deal that was this sweet to Peters. His backers expect nothing less than the Ninth Floor, and there would be howls of outrage from his own party if he gave up the Prime Minister’s Office to the leader of a party that won less than a sixth of the votes of National.

National also has a much better BATNA than Labour does. Even if Peters agrees to go with Labour and the Greens to form an African coalition, that coalition would still have to succeed and to provide stable government, for if it didn’t, the electorate would be only too happy to give National another chance under Bennett.

Some in National might be only too happy to let some kind of Labour-New Zealand First-Greens abomination tear itself to pieces for three years (or less) and then set up a three-term Sixth National Government under Bennett or Steven Joyce or some other half-witted order follower.

For this reason, Peters will understand that Labour will be more incentivised to maintain a stable Government than National will. The National Party social media machine proved itself exceptionally effective at raising an angry mob at the peak of the Metiria Turei affair, and if their working relationship with Winston Peters fell apart it could be predicted that the electorate would put the blame on Peters.

This all means that Peters has much more leverage to use against and with Labour and the Greens than he does with National.

Should People Lose The Right to Vote When They Get the Pension?

Ideally, the people who voted would be the same people who had something at stake

When our democracies were set up, there was one thing that was never anticipated: medical advances leading to a white-haired horde of pensioners that held the balance of power in almost every single election. We’re essentially living in a gerontocracy now, and there’s no giant ice floe to push them out onto. This article looks at a potential compromise for our society.

Life expectancy in New Zealand was about 71 years in 1960, which meant that the average person was only expected to live a handful of years once they went on the pension at age 65. When the pension was brought in, in 1898, it was obviously much less than even this.

Life expectancy was over 81 years in 2015, and it keeps climbing as medical advances and social changes like the decline in tobacco smoking prevent what had until recently been incurable diseases. This has led to a problem arising: New Zealand now spends over $12,000,000,000 per year on pension payments, as the average person now lives a dozen years or more extra past the pension age, which has not increased.

The reason why the age of 65 was usually chosen as the age of universal pension was that, by age 65, a person’s body is usually no longer capable of the physical labour necessary to earn a full wage. The wear and tear of life as a working man meant that a full effort was no longer possible from age 65 and, because the vast majority of jobs going around were working-class ones, it was a reliable rule of thumb that most people would be knackered by then.

But if we now live in a knowledge economy, as many politicians and economists are now insisting we do, then the original reason for setting the pension age at 65 is null and void. If we live in an economy where a person’s productivity is primarily a function of their intellectual capabilities then there’s no reason to have a pension age determined by the limitations of the physical body, because there is no need to treat mentally productive people as infirm.

It might be that a person’s intellectual capabilities are not enough to keep them in employment either. Perhaps that person traded on the strength of their body and, for whatever reason, their mind was not developed to the point where participation in a knowledge economy was possible. Such a person should still have the right to a pension.

But the unfairness arises when a person who is still more than capable of earning a living from their mind does so, at the same time as pocketing a $370 a week pension that was intended specifically for people incapable of working. Winston Peters has shown that even a career as intellectually demanding as top-level politics can be undertaken until one’s mid-70s, and yet if he retires in 2020 he will have claimed the pension for ten years while still working full time.

This is really a gigantic con game, in which the elderly have forced payment for their unsustainably lavish lifestyles on the young. Worse, the larger this 65+ age bracket grows, the ever more incentivised they are to vote against any reform to this Ponzi scheme.

Democracy was never intended to have this massive bulk of old voters gumming it up. Once a person is at this stage, they have relatively little stake left in the future running of the country. No major decisions need be taken by such people – they’re already sorted.

Perhaps our old people need to have a deal put to them?

If you reach 65 and feel that you are no longer intellectually capable of participating in the knowledge economy, that’s fine. Here’s a pension – but you are no longer considered intellectually capable of participating in representative democracy.

If you want to keep working on the grounds that you’re entirely capable of it still, you can – and you get to vote as well. But you don’t get to claim a pension on the grounds that you’re too infirm to participate and still get to wield power over others.

We can accept that, for some people, the fair price to pay for being looked after until death is to forfeit their right to further influence the political system in their favour. After all, if you have a political class that pays you $370 a week no questions asked, when you almost certainly own your own home already and don’t have to pay rent out of it, you’re already creaming it by any measure. Life is sweet and easy at that point.

It’s time to stop the Baby Boomers’ theft of the production of the following generations. Taking the right to vote away from pensioners will make it possible for a fairer balance of taxation and benefits to be struck.

Where the Green Vote Collapsed From 2014

The Green Party has, by far, the best looking women, but that couldn’t prevent their party vote from collapsing at the 2017 General Election

The Green Party vote collapsed at the 2017 General Election compared to 2014. They got 10.7% of the total party vote in 2014, but could only manage 5.9% in 2017 (although this may rise slightly on specials). This article looks at who abandoned them over the three years from 2014.

The largest, most immediate clue is that the average Green voter was much poorer this year than they were in 2014. The correlation between median personal income and voting Green in 2017 was 0.03, compared to 0.31 in 2014. This means that, from being about as wealthy as the average ACT voter, the average Green voter is now about as wealthy as the average Kiwi.

If we look at educational achievement and voting Green, there is evidence that the Greens were completely abandoned by the university-educated crowd.

The correlation between voting Green in 2017 and having a Bachelor’s degree was -0.09, with having an Honours degree it was -0.08, with having a Master’s degree it was -0.09 and with having a doctorate it was -0.08. These figures represent a drastic reversal of the strong positive correlations between voting Green in 2014 and having a Bachelor’s degree (0.57), an Honours degree (0.75), a Master’s degree (0.64) or a doctorate (0.67).

A further strong clue comes from looking at the voting patterns of professionals. Working as a professional and voting Green in 2014 had a very strong correlation of 0.73, but by 2017 this had collapsed, to -0.10. There was a corresponding collapse in the correlations between working in professional, scientific or technical services and voting Green – from 0.63 in 2014 to -0.09 in 2017.

As referenced in a previous article, the vast majority of these voters went to The Opportunities Party in 2017.

The other interesting change was that the Greens won a lot more working class Pacific Islander support than previously.

The correlation between being Maori and voting Green was virtually the same in 2017 (-0.08) as what it had been in 2014 (-0.09). However, the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting Green went from a significantly negative -0.27 in 2014 to an almost uncorrelated -0.07 in 2017.

It’s possible that the Greens won a lot of sympathy from working-class brown voters in the wake of middle New Zealand ripping into Metiria Turei during her WINZ scandal, but that the Maori half of those voters preferred Labour in the final analysis.

Essentially what these numbers suggest is that the Greens hemorrhaged the support of the professional class to TOP, but won the support of a fair number of working class Pacific Islanders who probably felt sympathy with Metiria Turei during her trial and execution by the mainstream media machine.

This explains how the Greens suddenly became a much more Christian party than they used to be. When they still got the support of the mostly atheist professional class, in 2014, the correlation between being Christian and voting Green was -0.57. In 2017, after being abandoned by this professional class and welcomed by working-class Pacific Islanders, who are frequently religious, the correlation between being Christian and voting Green had actually become positive, at 0.21.

That many of these new Green voters were Pacific Islanders can also be seen from the fact that industries with a high Pacific Islander workforce component tended to switch to them. The correlation between working in the postal, transport and warehousing industry and voting Green became markedly less negative, from -0.29 in 2014 to -0.01 in 2017, and there was a complete flip in the correlation between working in manufacturing and voting Green, from -0.49 in 2014 to 0.23 in 2017.

It could be that the Greens lost much of their forward-thinking professional class to TOP but, in doing so, flattened out their bias towards the wealthy and the educated and became more of a mass socialist party that found a voice among those at the bottom.

This theory is supported by the voting patterns of age in the 2017 election. In 2014, the correlation between voting Green and being aged 20-29 was strong, at 0.56. By 2017 it had fallen to -0.05. This collapse was the most brutal suffered by the Greens from 2014, and represents their total abandonment by the most trendy and fashionable segment of society.

Tellingly, the correlation between being aged 5-14 and voting Green increased sharply, from -0.42 in 2014 to -0.08 in 2017. Obviously, children cannot vote but this tells us that young adults who were yet to have children (that aspiring professional class) were heavily represented among those who left the Greens after 2014.

Some might be interested to note that the correlation between working for a wage or salary and voting Green dropped from 0.41 in 2014 to 0.10 in 2017. This more than anything shows the extent to which the Greens of 2017 represent the working-class brown family more than they do the professional white childless urban couple.

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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.

Which of Labour or National Shares the Most With New Zealand First Demographically?

Is has been argued that Winston Peters ought to go with whichever side is most like New Zealand First demographically – but which is it?

There are many competing reasons for thinking that Winston Peters ought to go with one or the other of Labour or National in the post-election negotiations to form a Government. Some say that any arrangement with the Greens involved will not be stable enough, some say that the Opposition parties won a clear majority and therefore a mandate for change, some say that Winston will go with whoever he feels like going with. This article, by Understanding New Zealand author Dan McGlashan, looks at things another way.

We will follow here the argument that Peters ought to side with whichever out of Labour and National represents the people most similar to their own, and to that end this article will make a judgment using six major demographic categories, viz. age, ethnicity, education, income level, gender and homeownership rates.

Age

The correlation between voting National in 2017 and median age was a very strong 0.77, which represents the old people who own everything, and between voting Labour in 2017 and median age it was -0.66, which represents the people who are yet to become financially established and are living primarily on their wages.

The correlation between voting New Zealand First in 2014 and median age was negative, at -0.08, but by 2017 it had become significantly positive, at 0.24. This is primarily because of a large number of young, working-class Maoris shifting to Labour.

Young people drifted away from New Zealand First this election, and old people drifted in. The correlation between being aged 20-29 and voting New Zealand First was -0.38 in 2014 but had become -0.60 by 2017, whereas the correlation between being aged 65+ and voting New Zealand First was 0.10 in 2014 and had become 0.36 by 2017.

Young voters tend to not like either National or New Zealand First, whereas elderly voters like both, so that suggests a greater age overlap with the National Party. Decisively, the correlation of 0.24 between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and median age is 90 basis points away from the Labour figure, and only 53 basis points away from the National figure, so National win this one.

National 1, Labour 0

Ethnicity

The stereotype is of New Zealand First as an old, white, racist’s party, which is a very odd perception when it’s led by someone who played for the Auckland Maori rugby team. The truth is much more complex.

Voting New Zealand First in 2014 and being a Kiwi of European descent was perfectly uncorrelated, at 0.00. Between voting New Zealand First in 2014 and being Maori the correlation was a strongly positive 0.66. That means that at the time of the last election, the stereotype of New Zealand First voters was entirely false.

Some truth crept into it in 2017, however. By 2017 the correlation between being a Kiwi of European descent and voting New Zealand First had risen to 0.19, whereas the correlation between being Maori and voting New Zealand First had fallen to 0.40. This means that New Zealand First is still more of a Maori party than it is anything else, but that sentiments of white Kiwis are also well represented.

The correlation between being a Kiwi of European descent and voting National in 2017 was a strong 0.51, and for voting Labour it was correspondingly weak, at -0.56.

This means that New Zealand First is slightly more like National when it comes to whiteness, but far more like Labour when it comes to Maoriness. The correlation between being Maori and voting National in 2017 was a strongly negative -0.68, whereas the figure for voting Labour in 2017 was, at 0.57, very close to the New Zealand First figure.

New Zealand First was fairly to similar to National in that their party was mildly disfavoured by Pacific Islanders, in contrast to Labour. The correlations between being a Pacific Islander and voting National or New Zealand First in 2017 were -0.35 and -0.17 respectively, very different to the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting Labour, which was, at 0.57, as strong as the one with being Maori and voting Labour in 2017.

This is unlike the case of Asians, who were moderately more likely to prefer National to Labour, and who despise New Zealand First. The correlation between being Asian and voting National in 2017 was 0.10, only a smidgen stronger than what it was in 2014. Between being Asian and voting Labour in 2017 it was -0.09, but between being Asian and voting New Zealand First in 2017 it was -0.58.

All in all, if you weight each ethnicity by the number of Kiwis belonging to it, it’s more or less a draw.

National 1.5, Labour 0.5

Education

Labour shares with New Zealand First an affinity from those with few NZQA qualifications. New Zealand First was by far the most poorly educated voting bloc in 2014, and, although it’s true that they still are, the margins became smaller.

The correlations between having no NZQA qualifications and voting New Zealand First or Labour in 2017 were similar, at 0.69 and 0.45 respectively, and very different to that of having no NZQA qualifications and voting National in 2017, which was -0.32.

This isn’t really surprising because someone with no NZQA qualifications is not likely to have a large income or a number of rental houses, and so will not benefit from National’s refusal to institute a capital gains tax, and they are very likely to be living hand to mouth or close to it, which means they lost out from the rise in GST to 15%.

Some will be very surprised by the voting patterns of the highly educated, though. On the one hand, it might not be surprising that the university educated were mildly disinclined to vote Labour in 2017. The correlations with doing so were -0.32 for people with a Bachelor’s degree, -0.28 for people with an Honours degree, -0.27 for people with a Master’s degree, and -0.21 for people with a doctorate.

But neither were they particularly inclined to vote National. The correlations with voting National in 2017 were 0.15 for having a Bachelor’s degree, 0.10 for having an Honours degree, and 0.09 for having either of the two highest degrees. As it turns out, a large number of these people voted TOP, ACT or Green.

Compared to their sentiments towards Labour and National, university graduates are extremely disinclined to support New Zealand First. The correlations between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and having a university education was -0.73 in the case of having a Bachelor’s degree, -0.69 for an Honours degree, -0.74 for a Master’s degree and -0.60 for a doctorate.

This suggests that neither Labour or National have much in common with New Zealand First educationally, but Labour does share with New Zealand First a supporter base of very uneducated people. This is worth three-quarters of a point to Labour and one quarter to National.

National 1.75, Labour 1.25

Income

Leaving aside the truly broke, who know that their bread is buttered with Labour, not National, and who are indifferent to New Zealand First, voters in every income band are about equally likely to prefer Labour and New Zealand First to National.

The most wealthy Kiwis dislike New Zealand First even more than they dislike the Labour Party, which is perhaps a commentary on how the Labour Party supports the wealthy by way of supporting neoliberalism.

People with an income of $150K+ had a correlation of 0.24 with voting National in 2017, -0.43 with voting Labour in 2017 and -0.51 with voting New Zealand First in 2017, and those with an income of $100-150K had a correlation of 0.26 with voting National in 2017, -0.40 with voting Labour in 2017 and -0.54 with voting New Zealand First in 2017.

This suggests that the people who are creaming it the most look at Labour and New Zealand First with a similar level of disdain.

People in the $50-60K income band were almost perfectly indifferent to all three parties. The correlation between being in this income band and voting National in 2017 was 0.01, with voting Labour in 2017 it was -0.03 and with voting New Zealand First in 2017 it was 0.04.

This tells us that people in the middle – either the young, poor, ambitious and going up or the old, middle-class, satisfied and looking to hang on – wouldn’t really mind which way Peters went.

The people in the working-class income bands between $25 and $40K, in contrast to those in the $100K+ income bands, look at Labour and New Zealand First with a similar level of approval.

Kiwis earning $35-40K had a correlation of 0.49 with voting New Zealand First in 2017, which is much closer to the correlation between being in this income band and voting Labour in 2017 (0.38) than it is to the one between being in this income band and voting National in 2017 (-0.37).

In the income bands lower than this, people tended to support New Zealand First all the more. To the poorest New Zealanders, there is no apparent difference between National and Labour, and such a mindset seems to find a home in New Zealand First.

Ultimately, wealthy Kiwis like National and dislike Labour and New Zealand First, and poor Kiwis dislike National and like Labour and New Zealand First, so this one goes to Labour.

National 1.75, Labour 2.25

Gender

The correlation between voting National in 2017 and being male was 0.23, understandable as men earn more money than women and are therefore relatively likely to lose from the balance of taxation and welfare spending.

The correlation between voting Labour in 2017 and being female was 0.40, also understandable for the opposite reasons to why the men vote National – women earn less money and therefore benefit more from a party that raises taxes for the sake of social spending.

New Zealand First voters fell right in the middle. The correlation between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and being female was 0.10, which placed it almost exactly as far away from the National figure as from the Labour one.

In other words, New Zealand First voters were slightly more likely to be female, which fell in between National’s moderately more likely to be male and Labour’s strongly more likely to be female.

National 2.25, Labour 2.75

Homeownership

Curiously, the correlations between living in a mortgaged house and voting in 2017 for any of the three parties under discussion were basically identical. For National and Labour it was both 0.16, and for New Zealand First it was 0.14.

For living in a freehold house, things were a bit different. Predictably, people who lived in freehold houses were much more likely to vote National than Labour. The correlation between living in a freehold house and voting for National in 2017 was 0.65, and with voting for Labour in 2017 it was -0.51.

But people who voted New Zealand First fell almost right in the middle – the correlation between living in a freehold house and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was 0.22. This might be marginally closer to National but this was not the case in 2014. At that election, voting for New Zealand First had a correlation of -0.05 with living in a freehold house.

A similar pattern presented itself for those who were renters. The correlation between living in a rented house and voting for National in 2017 was a very strong -0.79, and with voting for Labour in 2017 it was also fairly strong, but in the other direction, at 0.56.

Again, New Zealand First voters fell in the middle. The correlation between living in a rented house and voting Nw Zealand First in 2017 was -0.26, which again falls right in between Labour and National. This one has to be another tie, at half a point each.

Final score: National 2.75, Labour 3.25

In the final analysis, it would be far from easy for Peters to choose between Labour and National on the basis of demographic similarities. Age would push him towards National, income towards Labour, and gender and homeownership rates would be even.

This makes for a very strong negotiating position in one sense. Unlike the Green Party – who cannot support National without committing suicide in the manner of the Maori Party and the British Liberal Democrats – New Zealand First could plausibly support either Labour or National, meaning that either side has an incentive to offer as much as it can to them.

However, Winston Peters has also been forked. He has to make one group of committed New Zealand First supporters unhappy. Either he makes the elderly European contingent unhappy by going with the Green Party, or he makes the working-class Maori contingent unhappy by going with National.

No doubt this calculus means that Peters will take his sweet time, and consider every possibility, before deciding on whose head he will place the crown.

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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.

Where Labour Won Their Extra Ten Percent

The Labour Party won about 10% more of the electorate in 2017 than they did in 2014 – but where did these new voters come from?

The Labour Party under Jacinda Ardern won an extra ten percent of voters compared to the previous election. In 2014, under David Cunliffe, they won a paltry 25.1% of the total vote, but in yesterday’s election they won 35.8% (specials are yet to be counted but shouldn’t affect Labour’s vote percentage much). This article, by Understanding New Zealand author Dan McGlashan, looks at where they won these new voters from.

In the broadest and crudest sense, the Labour Party won a lot of support back from middle-class, middle-aged to elderly white people who had previously voted National, and from Maoris who had previously voted New Zealand First.

The correlation between voting Labour in 2014 and being a Kiwi of European descent was -0.76, but by 2017 this correlation had weakened to -0.56. This shift from negative to positive was replicated by the correlation between being Maori and voting Labour, which was 0.42 in 2014 and which had strengthened to 0.57 by 2017.

Taken together, these statistics suggest that Labour strengthened their position among the New Zealand-born. Indeed, we can see that the correlation between being born in New Zealand and voting Labour in 2014 was not significant at 0.01, but it had grown sharply to a mildly significant 0.30 by 2017.

This was met by corresponding drops in support from demographics who have a high proportion of immigrants. The correlation between being born in the Pacific Islands and voting Labour was 0.68 in 2014, and this fell to 0.43 in 2017, and also the correlation between born in North East Asia became more strongly negative, from -0.17 in 2014 to -0.35 in 2017.

These can be explained by the fact that some Pacific Islanders have been here long enough now to become part of the middle class. Conservative religious sentiments might have pushed some to National as well. Likewise, many of the Asian immigrants who have arrived recently are the moneyed classes looking to shift capital from Asia, and are different to the younger, educated Asian immigrant that Labour tended to let in.

There was already a notable gender gap when it came to supporting one of the two major parties. The correlation between being female and voting Labour in 2014 was already 0.31, but by 2017 this had strengthened to 0.40. There was also a very large reduction in the strength of the correlation between working part time and voting Labour. This was -0.65 in 2014 and -0.40 in 2017.

The Labour vote was also a fair bit older in 2017.

The correlation between being in the 20-29 age bracket and voting Labour in 2014 was 0.32, and this had fallen to 0.13 by 2017. Many of these people would have been young students who were persuaded to vote for The Opportunities Party.

The correlations for older age groups, on the other hand, became less strongly negative. The 50-64 age bracket had a correlation of -0.68 with voting Labour in 2014, but this had fallen to -0.59 by 2017. Likewise, the 65+ age bracket had a correlation of -0.58 with voting Labour in 2014, and this fell to -0.51 by 2017.

An interesting point here is that the correlation with being born in Britain in 2014 (-0.73) remained equally as strongly negative in 2017. So this tells us that a much greater proportion of this middle-aged to elderly group that switched from National to Labour were people with family in New Zealand, probably therefore grandchildren.

It might be that these people, having observed the sharper effects of neoliberalism on their wider family, no longer felt motivated to support it in the same way they did in 2014. After all, it was mostly this same group of people who made the most cash out of National’s immigration policies.

Further clues come from the patterns of voters based on their industry. Some industries shifted sharply towards Labour in 2017. Most notable were healthcare and social assistance (which had a correlation of -0.00 with voting Labour in 2014 compared to 0.20 in 2017) and education and training (which had a correlation of -0.01 with voting Labour in 2014 compared to 0.17 in 2017). Also notable is that the occupation of community and personal services workers had a correlation of 0.20 with voting Labour in 2014, increasing to one of 0.36 in 2017.

What this might suggest is that Kiwis whose jobs put them into contact with other people were the most likely to switch from National to Labour.

It could be that the type of Kiwi who is an everyday grandparent, and who has taken on a social conscience in their semi-retirement, has switched some of their sentiments away from National because of a lack of confidence in the belief that they would leave a good New Zealand to their grandchildren.

Looking at the statistics of the income bands, we can see that Labour’s surge won it back much of the middle ground. Although Kiwis with an annual income of less than $15K continued to overwhelmingly favour Labour, there was a swing towards them in the income bands of those groups in the centre.

The correlation between having a personal income of $15-20K and voting Labour rose to 0.13 in 2017 from -0.05 in 2014, and the correlation between having a personal income of $20-25K and voting Labour rose to 0.10 in 2017 from -0.09 in 2014. Even though these income bands are the common student ones, it was not there that the gains were made – the correlation between being on the student allowance and voting Labour in 2017 was, at 0.32, weaker than it had been in 2014 (0.34).

Taking into account the big Labour gains among part-time workers, what all this suggests is that a middle-class, elderly group of voters, probably with wider community ties and a stronger historical sense of what the country used to be like, have come to feel that Kiwi values are no longer represented by the direction the country is taking.

It’s important not to overplay this – the bulk of wealthy, older, white voters still went with National – but there is a clear trend evident. The electorate is simply not as convinced that the country is going in the right direction anymore, and the centre is starting to shift towards Labour.

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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.

Where Did the National Party Lose Their Majority?

Elections are won and lost by slim margins nowadays and subtle shifts have weakened National’s position compared to 2014

The drama may not be over, but we can eliminate one outcome even before negotiations begin: it is now clear that the National Party failed to get enough seats to govern alone or with support partners as suppliant as ACT, United Future and the Maori Party (the last two of whom were eliminated last night). If they are to govern, it must be with New Zealand First, which is a significant weakening of their position compared to the previous election. This article looks at where National lost support from 2014.

First of all, it’s apparent that the people who voted National last night were basically the same sort of person who always votes National. The correlation between voting National in 2017 and voting National in 2014 was 0.989. So the differences between the people who voted for them last night and who voted for them in 2014 are subtle.

The National Party did worse with white people this time around, although white people were still the overwhelming bulk of National voters. The correlation between being of European descent and voting National in 2017 was 0.51, down from 0.60 in 2014, balanced by an increase in the correlation between being Asian and voting National in 2017 (up to 0.17 from 0.09 in 2014) and between being a Pacific Islander and voting National in 2017 (up to -0.38 from -0.46 in 2014).

This is suggestive of a fairly large segment of both Asian and Pacific Islander people who have managed to rise above their previous economic situation. It also reflects the increase in correlation between working in wholesale trade and voting National in 2014 (0.19) compared to voting National in 2017 (0.26), because wholesale trade is itself an industry with a large proportion of Asian workers.

Because Asians and Pacific Islanders are more likely to be born overseas than Maoris and white people, this has led to a strengthening of the correlation between being born overseas and voting National, which was already moderately significant at 0.33 in 2014 but has since then increased to 0.39 in 2017.

South Islanders still support the National Party more than North Islanders, but the correlation between living on the South Island and voting National went down from 0.13 in 2014 to 0.07 in 2017. This is probably a reflection of the fact that National increased their support among recent immigrants at the expense of Kiwi-born voters, because a relatively higher proportion of recent immigrants live on the North Island.

The correlation between working in a particular industry and voting National in 2017 increased from 2014 in the case of manufacturing (up to -0.19 from -0.23), wholesale trade (up to 0.26 from 0.19) and transport, postal and warehousing (up to -0.47 from -0.51), and decreased from 2014 in the case of mining (down to -0.05 from 0.00), hospitality (down to -0.23 from -0.18), professional, scientific and technical services (down to 0.15 from 0.18), public administration and safety (down to -0.30 from -0.26), education and training (down to -0.31 from -0.27), healthcare and social assistance (down to -0.23 from -0.18) and recreation and arts services (down to -0.22 from -0.17).

This is perhaps interesting because it suggests that people are more likely to go from voting National to voting Labour if they have a social job, compared to being even more likely to vote National if they have a relatively unsocial job.

Related to this is that social occupations tended to leak support for National compared to unsocial ones. Although managers continued to strongly support National in 2017, as the correlation between working as a manager and voting National in 2017 was 0.52, this was weaker than with voting National in 2014, which was 0.56. A similar drop was seen in community and personal services workers, whose correlation with voting National in 2017 dropped to -0.58 from -0.53 in 2014.

Taken together, these correlations show that people whose jobs bring them into contact with the most people are the most likely to feel that the country needs a change in direction, perhaps suggesting that they have observed an increase in human misery to intolerable levels.

Some won’t be surprised to note that the correlation between living in a mortgaged house and voting National in 2017 increased to 0.05 from 0.01 in 2014 – perhaps an indication that people in this group are afraid of the market crashing and leaving them with negative equity. Tellingly, this group became much less willing to vote New Zealand First – the correlation between living in a mortgaged house and voting New Zealand First in 2017 dropped to 0.06 from 0.12 in 2014.

Taken together, those numbers suggest that a lot of people want the game of hot potato being played with house prices and immigrants to continue for a while yet.

Where the election seemed to be lost for National, at least in terms of their hopes of governing alone or with ACT only, is when the real elite class, despite still mostly supporting National, did so less overwhelmingly than in 2014.

The correlations between being in any of the four highest income brackets and voting National all weakened from 2014 to 2017. These were those earning $60-70K (down to 0.21 from 0.24), those earning $70-100K (down to 0.32 from 0.36), those earning $100-150K (down to 0.31 from 0.34) and those earning $150K+ (down to 0.31 from 0.35).

They also weakened noticeably among holders of postgraduate degrees. Voters with an Honours degree had a correlation of 0.22 with voting National in 2014 but only one of 0.17 with voting National in 2017. Holders of Master’s degrees (down from 0.20 in 2014 to 0.17 in 2017) and doctorates (down from 0.20 to 2014 to 0.14 in 2017) followed the same pattern.

The cohort of National voters is also younger this year compared to 2014. The correlation between median age and voting National decreased to 0.77 in 2017 from 0.81 in 2014.

What all this tells us is that there were three major trends in play last night.

The first one is that Labour won votes off the Greens, New Zealand First and National. Labour won a huge number of Maori voters from New Zealand First and the Greens – the correlation between being Maori and voting Labour in 2014 was only 0.42, but in 2017 it was 0.58.

The second is that National won a lot of votes from people who were educated and young and Green-voting in 2014, but who grew up to be wealthy, middle-class and incentivised to vote with their wealth interests in 2017. The Greens dominated this segment of the population in 2014 and lost most of them by 2017, chiefly to TOP and to National.

The third is that National lost a lot of votes from the sort of person who is the real power elite of the country. Although the rich, the employers, the owners of freehold land, Anglicans and educated people all still preferred National to Labour, they were markedly less keen in 2017 than 2014. Many of these people switched to TOP, which is ironic because they now won’t be represented at all (at least not directly).

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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.

The Three Main Forms of Virtue Signalling

The difference between virtue signalling and a genuine desire to help is that virtue signalling doesn’t demand any kind of sacrifice

Virtue signalling is when a person (usually male) makes an effort to signal to any prospective mating partners within earshot the quality of their reproductive virtue. Like a stag bellowing as loudly as it can during the roar, much of the communication made by the human male is intended specifically to let nearby females know about his reproductive capacity. This essay looks at the specific forms of it.

The female of every sexually reproducing species attracts the male through signalling her fertility, which is perceived by the male as beauty. The male counterpart is virtue signalling, in which he signals that any offspring produced by him would successfully be able to compete with those of other males. There are three basic virtues that a male can signal to attract a female: strength, intelligence and moral rectitude.

Strength relates alchemically to iron, and is mostly a function of height and weight. This is why men with a poor posture habitually straighten their backs up when they see an attractive woman walking in their direction. After all, a man is not very strong if he doesn’t even have the muscles to hold his body up straight.

What any given woman finds attractive along these lines is mostly a function of what physical qualities the men in her ancestry needed in order to survive. And so European women are attracted to strong arms, Asian women to a steady nerve, and African women to fast-twitch muscle fibers. All women, however, are attracted to a physical body that looks as if it can survive the rigours of life on Earth – one that metaphysically represents iron.

But strength is only part of the equation. It may be the most important factor for the majority of sexually reproducing species, because most of these species assert a right to exist primarily on the basis of their physical strength, but sheer physical strength is less frequently the prime determinant of success in humans (unless they are savages).

Intelligence relates alchemically to silver, and this could be considered the next level of virtue signalling. Many intelligent men have realised that, for the human animal, intelligence is a better predictor of future success than mere physical strength, and this has led many men to make displays of their mental health and strength instead of displays of physical health and strength.

Silver is softer than iron, and consequently the men who virtue signal their intelligence tend to be more subtle than those who virtue signal their physical strength. The usual way to go about it is to show off who knows the most about any given subject, or who has the greatest range and depth of general knowledge.

Another way to do it is by wearing glasses.

This form of virtue signalling often leads to petty arguments, in which the participants are unwilling to concede that their opponents have made any valid points because of a fear that this will be taken as a concession that those opponents are more intelligent or knowledgeable. Since the point of virtue signalling is to demonstrate to any observing females the reproductive quality of the signalling male, there is very rarely an incentive to concede a point to an opponent, because this will merely make them appear more attractive at your expense.

Humans are ultimately a social species, and no single individual is capable of dominating the collective. This means that an ability to get along with other humans and to behave correctly is the virtue that most strongly predicts reproductive success in our modern societies. The result of this is the importance of moral rectitude.

Moral rectitude relates alchemically to gold, because of its rarity, value and malleability. In this context, virtue signalling refers to when men act as if they are much kinder than they really are. Here a man might claim to have a will to perform a certain act in a certain situation, or to have a certain belief about the correct ordering of society, when the reality is very different.

One of the most common examples of this moral virtue signalling in 2017 is the expression of a desire to let refugees into the country, to be taken care of by general taxation. Inevitably the intent of this is to signal to all observing females that the male is kind and decent and morally upstanding. In other words, that he is in possession of the gold of being able to understand the Will of God as expressed through morality.

The reason why this is virtue signalling is that the males in question almost never have a genuine desire to look after these people. Those who virtue signal the most about refugees almost never live in the kind of neighbourhood that refugees are dumped in, and they almost never work the sort of jobs that are impacted by a sudden increase in the supply of unskilled labour.

Other common examples are going on about having a black friend to signal that one is not racist, or pretending to support women’s sport to signal that one is not sexist.

The whole point of all of this virtue signalling is to demonstrate reproductive fitness, which is why men will often end up fighting and arguing over who is the strongest, the smartest or the most good. Essentially there’s no real difference between a couple of rams butting heads in rutting season and two men trying to demonstrate that each is the most virtuous by claiming to support various political causes.

The Best Argument For Taking Thousands Of “Refugees”

If we let in a hundred of these a year, we’d soon forget about our petty differences

Ronald Reagan gave a very strange speech at the United Nations once. He spoke about how the nations of the world would settle their differences and come together if faced with an extraterrestrial threat. This is actually a reference to a law of human psychology, and this same law provides the best argument for increasing our refugee quota.

There no denying that social solidarity has steeply declined in New Zealand over the past 25 years. Ever since the Mother of all Budgets, as a consequence of which the rich and the poor learned to truly hate each other, we have seen a Labour Government open the borders to Pacific Island immigration, and then a National Government open the borders to Asian immigration.

After all this, New Zealand citizenship has been devalued so much that hardly anyone really feels like a Kiwi anymore, apart from in the most superficial ways.

There’s no longer any cultural value that defines us as unique among the cultures of the world. Some say we are “multicultural” but that’s just another way of saying that we have nothing in common with each other. Some say we have the All Blacks but for the majority of immigrants, who could just as happily have ended up in Australia, this is little more than a flag of convenience.

Seeing what’s happened in Europe in recent decades, however, gives us a clue as to how we can strengthen our national bonds.

For the vast majority of its history, the kings and tyrants who wished to unite Europe faced a particular problem. Europe is an extremely culturally diverse continent, and the vast majority of Europeans hate basically everyone else. So they have never been inclined to unite under the banner of “European” because they identify with their village above all and then their shire and maybe at a stretch with the idea of a nation.

The idea of a “European race” is really a New World idea, applied retrospectively by American, South American and British Empire thinkers to the old continent, to describe how it appeared in contrast to their own racially heterogenous societies. Europeans aren’t fond of it.

However, the rulers of the European Union know one thing about the fundamental laws of human psychology: nothing brings a disparate group of people together faster than a common enemy. To that end, the last twenty years of mass Muslim immigration has been a godsend.

It’s inevitable, given the tenets of the faith that they follow, that if large numbers of Muslims immigrate to a particular locale, they will end up clashing with the incumbents. There’s simply no way that an ideology that commands its followers to seek out non-believers and kill them can co-exist with its neighbours, any more peacefully than Nazism could.

So now, a curious phenomenon has arisen in Europe. Any two Europeans (or Western Europeans at least) can meet and share a common story of how much they hate Muslims. Every European now has a story about being robbed or beaten, or their car set on fire, or their girlfriends sexually harassed, by a Muslim.

This has led to bonds of intra-European solidarity first starting to appear all across the continent, and now – as more stories are shared – starting to strengthen. An astute observer of history can see the battle-lines being drawn already.

If New Zealand lets in a large number of Muslim refugees, such as the 5,000 per year that the Greens and The Opportunities Party are proposing, then it’s only a matter of time until the first Truck of Peace attack kills a significant number of Kiwis. The terrorists, when they make their move, will not discriminate between types of Kiwi: we will all be infidel.

It is then that we all – Maori, Pakeha, Islander and Asian alike – will have, for the first time since World War Two, a mutual enemy. Therefore, it may be that the country needs mass Muslim immigration so that Kiwis – as the Europeans have been forced to do – can come together in mutual rejection of the hate ideology of Islam, as we once did against the hate ideology of Nazism.

However, this is also very close to the worst argument for taking in thousands of refugees.

Over a century ago, it was prophecised by high-ranking Freemason Albert Pike that World War Three would involve the mutual annihilation of Israel and the Muslim world, leaving the Christians in charge of the planet.

If one looks at the mass Muslim immigration that Western political leaders have pushed on us over the last twenty years, it’s possible that the West is being conditioned to hate Muslims with the intent of making Westerners psychologically ready to wipe them out if they should annihilate Israel. If this is the case, it might not matter what we do.

However, taking in a large number of Muslims may, in the short term, bring Kiwis of all races together in mutual rejection of infant genital mutilation, abuse of women, abuse of homosexuals, hatred of Jews and hatred of outsiders. We should keep in mind, however, that doing so is truly to play with fire.