Political predictions from ‘Stuff’

Stuff has made some political predictions for the year ahead. It is crystal ball stuff, of course, but their bias is showing in their soothsaying, which makes it easy to pull to pieces. Let’s have some fun with this.

quote.

1. No brothers or sisters for baby Neve this year but we’re predicting there be will be some more additions to the Parliament family after another couple of MPs announce they have babies on the way. end quote.

Parliament is turning into the biggest creche in the country. Suddenly all anyone talks about is babies. Isn’t there a country to run? You wouldn’t think so. quote.

2. National MPs will lose their nerve partway through the year after the party’s poll ratings start to slide. And they will install Judith Collins as leader on a promise to destabilise Jacinda Ardern’s leadership. end quote.

Here is where the bias shows. National’s polling has remained consistently high since the last election, and there is no reason to think that will change. It is more likely that Labour’s polling will start to fall, as the government’s honeymoon period is over. As for the prediction that they will roll Simon Bridges and install Judith Collins – yes, I think that is quite possible. It is also quite possible that this will improve National’s polling. quote.

3. The Euthanasia Bill will pass with NZ First’s support but its implementation will be subject to the country supporting it in a referendum. end quote.

Possible, although I’m not sure about the referendum. There is already going to be one on the legalisation of cannabis, and possibly another on lowering the 5% MMP threshold for parties in government. quote.

4. Ardern will have a cabinet reshuffle and promotions will include emerging star Kris Faafoi, plus the surprise return of veteran MP Ruth Dyson to address the lack of senior women cabinet ministers. Rookie MP Deborah Russell will make the biggest jump from the back bench.   end quote.

Kris Faafoi deserves a promotion. Deborah Russell? Possibly, but only because she is a woman. But Ruth Dyson? Spare me. If this comes true, it will show how shallow the government’s talent pool really is. quote.

5. NZ First’s Shane Jones will spend increasing amounts of time (and money) in Northland, in preparation to be lined up to contest the Northland seat with the understanding that if he wins he will be the successor to Winston Peters. end quote.

 

This is already happening, with him splashing as much cash around as possible in Northland. It is the longest election campaign in New Zealand’s history, designed entirely to give NZ First the electoral seat it needs for survival. quote.

6. The bullying inquiry led by Debbie Francis will find a widespread culture of bullying in Parliament and the Beehive, heralding a long overdue beef up of protections for ministerial and parliamentary staff. end quote.

She could start with Meka Whaitiri. Again, this is hardly a prediction, as the enquiry has already been started by the biggest bully in parliament Speaker of the House. quote.

7. Ardern will be forced to sack another minister due to an ethical scandal. end quote.

Another soft prediction. The law of averages says that this is very likely, and ?an ethical scandal? covers a multitude of sins. The biggest problem for Labour is that at this rate there will be no one left to become ministers. quote.

8. A Government backbench MP will have their wings clipped after becoming embroiled in a personal issue. end quote.

Meh. Another soft prediction, most likely to be true, but it could be anyone. Still, as you see, there is going to be a talent problem for the government this year…if there isn’t one already. quote.

9. The fallout from the Karel Sroubek deportation scandal will continue into the new year. end quote.

Why don’t you stick your neck out and say that Iain Lees-Galloway will fall on his sword over the Sroubek affair, after he is thrown under the bus by Jacinda? That takes care of both 7 and 9. quote.

10. Resignations among National’s old guard will continue and there will be some surprises with at least one triggering a by-election. Movements will prompt a reshuffle and promotions will include up and comers Nicola Willis and Chris Bishop. end quote.

Everyone ignores the fact that there is a lot of talent in the National ranks, and resignations happen all the time. Watch out for Chris Penk, Dan Bidois, Paul Goldsmith and Todd Muller this year, as well as Bishop and Willis. quote.

11. National will trigger the waka jumping bill to remove Jami-Lee Ross from Parliament after he becomes a thorn in their side following his return to Parliament. end quote.

I have given up trying to predict what Jami-Lee Ross will do, but I hope, when he does come back, that he is in better health. That alone will determine what happens next. quote.

12. The Government is going to park their promise of abortion reform for fear of alienating its conservative South Auckland Pasifika vote.  end quote.

Nope. Jacinda works on ideology. Abortion is a left wing mantra. It will pass into law, but it will cost the government support. quote.

13. A majority of the tax working group will recommend some kind of extension of a capital gains tax, with a series of exemptions and carve outs. But the campaign against the tax will grow until Labour abandons meaningful tax reform. end quote.

Another no. This is also a piece of left wing ideology. Michael Cullen will make sure capital gains tax is passed into law come hell or high water. He will probably sacrifice his wealth tax and other taxes on unrealised gains, but that will be it. The Stuff political editors make the mistake of thinking that this government actually listens to anyone. Hint: think oil and gas. They don’t. quote.

14. There will not be 1000 KiwiBuild homes built by the Government’s deadline of July 1. Things won’t be looking much better by the end of 2019. end quote.

Spot on. But we already know this. Ask Judith. quote.

15. Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson will adopt a soapbox cause that will have co-leader James Shaw scrambling to carry out damage control. end quote.

Yes, Marama will get onto her soapbox over something, but James Shaw won’t scramble for anything. He will support her 100%. He is stupid like that, and doesn’t see what it does to his party’s support. quote.

16. Despite success in their flagship Zero Carbon Bill, the Greens will round out the year in the exact same position at around six per cent popularity. end quote.

I disagree. The Greens are shedding voters. The realities of being in government are disappointing their ideological supporters. Besides, how do you think allowing a Chinese company to take our water went down with Green voters? quote.

17. Attempts to find friends for National will see two new parties emerge as contenders – a Vernon Tava-led environment party and a party targeting the Christian and Pasifika vote to leverage off the Christian vote mobilised by the euthanasia, cannabis and abortion reform debates. end quote.

This is already happening. The New Conservatives are showing promise. It is hard for a new party to get over the 5% threshold, but both ACT and the New Conservatives could attract a lot of support, particularly now that we have Marxists in government. quote.

18. NZ First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is made a minister as the jockeying between him and Shane Jones to succeed NZ First leader Winston Peters heats up. end quote.

Fletcher who? Don’t think so, although with the complete lack of talent in the government ranks, anything could happen. quote.

19. Peters will lose the legal battle over the leak of his superannuation details, claim victory, and the Government will have to pick up the tab for National MPs’ expenses. end quote.

Yes, yes and yes. Classic Peters. Don’t get me started. quote.

20. Teachers will call off their strikes in February but the Government will continue to be plagued by industrial action. end quote.

Maybe but yes, there will be strike after strike. Welcome to the 1970s, and people will get sick of it really fast.

I have a few predictions of my own.

Winston will announce his retirement from politics in the next 6 months, will get a prestigious overseas posting, and will be awarded a knighthood in the next Queens Birthday honours.

Iain Lees-Galloway will be forced to resign, after the Sroubek affair gets too close for comfort for Jacinda, and she throws him under the bus.

Simon Bridges will be rolled by Judith Collins. Paula Bennett will ?retire to spend more time with her family?.

Jacinda and Clarke Gayford will go through a very public split, aimed at garnering sympathy for Jacinda as her popularity starts to wane.

The UN Migration Compact issue will not go away, and there will be rallies and protests that even the left wing media cannot ignore completely.

The government will move to drop the 5% threshold for MMP to…maybe 3%. That is the only way that the coalition government can possibly continue after 2020 but this will also help ACT and the New Conservatives.

The government will introduce a bill similar to the Electoral Finance Act, designed to keep them in power and thwart the opposition for ever.

There. I’ve stuck my neck out much further than the Stuff editors. What do you think? Any other predictions?

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